Types are pictures, figures, images, or patterns. The trendy buzzword for type is paradigm. The idea is derived from the word for footprint. A footprint gives the outline of the foot that made it; it's just that the outline is not always a perfect outline. So type in a typewriter or in printing leaves a footprint on the page in the shape of the piece of type that made it. There is a built in vagueness that limits what you can do with types. The idea of a type comes into play when there are two things that resemble each other in some way, but not necessarily all. You can get the idea from the word similitude which is used in one place in the King James Version; it just means a comparison of things that are similar. Allegories are stories involving types, so are parables.
The idea that there is typology when it comes to Israel and the Church is contained in the following verse from first Corinthians, here the key word is example.
First Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
This scripture is speaking of things that happened to the people of Israel that Moses led out of Egypt, and to Israel in general as recorded in the old testament. We must look upon them as examples and warnings for the church, especially as we move into the end times. This should serve as a clue that Israel can be considered as a type of the church. Here are some points to compare.
Israel is a group of people separated out from among all the nations to be holy unto the Lord.
The Church is also a group of people called out from among the nations of the world to be a special and holy before God.
Israel's history is a continual cycle of falling away and coming back to God. God moves mightily on behalf of his people and delivers them from oppression. The following generation forgets God, and they are eventually turned over to an oppressor. Then the people return to God and cry for mercy. Then God delivers them once again.
The Church has a similar history of backsliding and revival in cycles. God grants a revival or awakening and many are saved. Later the people backslide again. As conditions get worse, some begin to pray and God visits them with another revival.
Israel is and was dedicated to God but always wanted to be like all the other nations.
The Church is supposed to be separate and not like the world, but is always slipping into worldly ways.
Israel is waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
The Church is waiting for the Second Coming of The Lord Jesus Christ.
Basically typology is a comparison or analogy. Old testament scripture that speaks of Israel or of certain places in Israel denotes God's people. Since we understand that the church is God's people, much of this scripture also can speak to the church. The typology of Israel and the Church also means that references to Israel, Jerusalem, Zion and the Temple, when they are prophetic, will often also refer to the Church. See my article, The Shape of Things To Come.
Typology must be witnessed by the Holy Spirit. Many cannot grasp it because they are using man's logic. For example, we say Israel is a type of the church. This means there are scriptures where Israel is mentioned and we can see, if we have eyes to see, that these apply equally to the church. Yet man's logic insists on all or none. It is based purely on our own limited understanding. When someone finds a scripture where 'Israel' clearly does not apply, they toss out the whole idea.
For example, the first time we find the word Israel is in Genesis 32.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Here the scoffer would say that according to typology, God is saying Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but the Church. Well that's just plain silly! Let's use a little of that rare commodity, common sense, people!
Here are other verses where it's perfectly acceptable to substitute 'the church' for 'Israel'. Psalms 22:3
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Luke 1:68
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, Ezekiel 43:10
10 Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
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