Brethren Archive

On Types.

by G.W. Heath

I have often wondered how intelligent Christian men could question the typology of the Scriptures, but they do so. That God was most graciously teaching men fundamentally divine truths in those early "Kindergarten" days of the world's history by such means, I see no way or reason for doubting. Those were the days of shadows; we in God's grace and mercy live in the days of the substance, the antitypes. Of course, we must not value or measure the substance by the shadow, but vice versa.
I hardly think that conscientious Israelites, who, it may be, endeavoured to satisfy the urgent requirements of the ceremonial Levitical law, by ordinances, offerings and sacrifices-requirements, which would occupy most of their time from morning to late at night, and every day of the year (and all of which together could never take away sin), ever understood the true typical character of all they did. They simply, I suggest, obeyed the divine injunctions. The wonder of it all is that these things happened, are recorded, and have been preserved, for our admonition and instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has some, and this for the help of a foreknown and foreordained people in the purpose of God, before the foundation of the world. All this to me is very wonderful!
May I say that I think the first type mentioned in the Bible, and possibly the most arresting, and certainly for us to-day the most profound (I am not sure if the word "type" is the accurately correct word for it), and which needs the Holy Spirit's help in a special way to enable us to understand it, and thus sound one of "the deep things of God,"
Abraham instructed the "eldest servant of his house" to take a long journey in order to find a bride for his son (Gen. xxiv.) The instructions, as we know, were definite, and given under a solemn oath, "thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred and take a wife unto my son Isaac," and this the servant swears to do by "the God of Heaven and the God of the earth." "Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the land among whom I dwell." The bride for Isaac was to be gathered from among his human kin, not from the Gentiles.
The Evangelist John is the only writer in the New Testament who deals with this type, or mentions the "Bride." In the Revelation, John again and again mentions "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," which of course refers to a special election out of Israel in the "last days." It would be a mixed metaphor or type indeed, if St. Paul, who never mentions the Bride, did so when unfolding "the Mystery, the Church which is Christ's Body." Therefore, I suggest that Eph. v, 32, indicates something far deeper surely than Isaac's Bride, or John's "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife." It takes us back to Gen. ii, 21, and to the "deep sleep" which fell upon Adam, when the rib for the Ishah was taken out of the side of Ish, and of it, the Lord builded a woman!
This mystery indeed is great! A woman out of a man! "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." (Gen. ii, 23) When "In the deep sleep" "dead with Christ," "quickened together with Christ, raised up together with Christ," "seated together with Christ," "One Body," "bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh." This certainly is not Bridal language, but identity and identification. Not union or unity, but Oneness. "This is the great mystery!" and one perchance we may not desire to look into too scrutinizingly.

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