Sunday 21 August 2011

FOT4 - The Old is the Pattern,(the DNA,)of the New

Feast of Tabernacles - George H. Warnock 1951
(DNA (my addition)was not discovered by Crick until after the title below had been written)ACW.

Before we begin to deal with the typical significance of the various Feasts of the Lord, it will be necessary for us to establish the fact that the Old Testament, in type and prophecy, is applicable to the Church of Jesus Christ on a spiritual plane. It is quite common among all evangelical circles to hear sermons which are based upon the Old Testament and expounded in the light of the New; but there are so many who would insist on a literal and natural interpretation if and when a spiritual interpretation would conflict with their theological views.
For example, there is no question as to the meaning of the Passover. It is established beyond all question that Jesus Christ is our Passover, who has been sacrificed for us. Then we have the type of the Unleavened Bread--and Paul exhorts the saints to keep this Feast, "not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Cor. 5:8). All Christians are agreed on this interpretation. Next in order is the waving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits before the Lord. That too, is generally recognized as having been fulfilled in Christ on resurrection morning: "Christ, the firstfruits..." Then comes Pentecost, occurring fifty days after the Passover sabbath--and the typical significance of this Feast is definitely established in the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the waiting disciples to bestow upon them the promise of the Father. (Acts 2).

But for some strange reason this pattern of Biblical exposition is forsaken, and men seek to postpone the last three events comprising the Feast of Tabernacles to some future age, and to a people other than the Church.

And whereas the first four events are generally taught as being applicable to the Church in a spiritual way, the last three are given a most literal and natural and earthly interpretation, and consequently the real spiritual meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles is completely obscured and lost. It is essential therefore that the saints know for a certainty that the Old Testament was written for us, and that the truths which once applied to an earthly and natural Israel, are now gloriously applicable to a heavenly and spiritual Israel, only on a much higher and much more glorious spiritual plane. Much could be said concerning this, but we believe a few Scriptures will suffice for the purpose of this study:
Rom. 4:13-16. Here it is clearly and emphatically declared that the Abrahamic promises were not only to the circumcision, but also to the uncircumcision; and in either case to men of faith. Neither the circumcision nor the uncircumcision had any share in the promises of the Old Testament, except they were men of faith: "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law; but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all."
Rom. 9:6-8. Again the apostle stresses the fact that it is the children of promise, not the children of the flesh, who constitute the promised seed to whom the covenants apply. "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."
Gal. 3:22. "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."
Eph. 2:12-14. "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us."
Eph. 3:3, 6. "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery: (as I wrote afore in few words...) that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel."
1 Pet. 1:9-12. This is a most conclusive passage as to verifying what we have said concerning the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the Church. Here Peter plainly declares that the prophets wrote primarily of the grace that was to come unto us, and the glory that was to follow Christ's sufferings. He goes so far as to say that the prophets were not ministering to their day and age, but "unto us..," and that the things they prophesied are now proclaimed unto the saints under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. This is what he says, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it (he) testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven: which things the angels desire to look into."

Many, many more scriptures could be quoted to confirm what we have been saying. But perhaps the most conclusive evidence of all is the fact that the apostles, in their writings, refer constantly to the Old Testament to prove the truths they are declaring to the Church, and make innumerable quotations from all portions of the Law and the Prophets to confirm their doctrines of Christ and the Church. Nor do they make any apologies whatsoever, or even intimate that they are taking an Old Testament Scripture out of its context. Therefore if it should seem strange to some that we should quote from the Law and the Prophets to confirm some spiritual truth concerning the Body of Christ--let the reader take careful note when reading the New Testament, as to how the apostles applied the Old Testament to the Church which Christ built, and applied to spiritual Israel what the prophets originally prophesied concerning natural Israel.

The whole New Testament is literally filled with direct quotations from the Old, by way of establishing Church truth, and the saints of God as the true Israel. Notice this remarkable passage in Romans: "Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God." (Rom. 9:24-26). Paul has just referred to Jews and Gentiles alike as being the "vessels of glory," and then he quoted this passage from Hosea to prove what he said. Bear in mind that Paul referred to them as the "vessels of glory" taken from Jew and Gentile alike. Then let us refer to the passage he quoted from in Hosea. Here we discover that the people Hosea wrote about constituted the true Israel. Without the further revelation given to the apostle Paul, one would never have discerned that Hosea was actually including the Gentiles in his prophecy concerning Israel's blessedness. First of all he declares God's displeasure with Israel, and affirms that God will not be their God: "Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God." That seems to be conclusive: natural Israel is rejected, and they are no longer God's people. However, in the very next verse the prophet declares: "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered: and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God." (See Hos. 1:9, 10). How could Hosea declare Israel had been rejected in vs. 9, then in vs. 10 affirm that the children of Israel should become as the sand of the sea? The apostle Paul quotes this passage from Hosea, and explains why the apparent contradiction. The answer is clear: God had now received the Gentiles into the Olive Tree of Israel. "Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles... As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people..." This clearly explains why Israel could be rejected on the one hand, and at the same time become as measureless as the sands of the sea. The natural branches were broken off, but spiritual branches were grafted in from the Gentile wild-olive--and the tree of Israel retained its glory. In fact, it became even more glorious as a result of Israel's rejection--it brought to pass even "the reconciling of the world." (Rom. 11:15).
Let us bear these truths in mend, therefore, as we study the various types and prophecies of the Old Testament--for unless we understand that the Bible, the whole Bible, was written for us, we are bound to deny ourselves the glory which God intended we should derive from the Word. "Unto us," the prophets ministered (1 Pet. 1:12). The history of Israel constituted them as "ensamples (or types)" for us, and the records "are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor. 10:11). The Law, we are told, expressed "a shadow of (the) good things to come, and not the very image of the things." (Heb. 10:1). And the saints of the New Testament are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people... which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God..." (1 Pet. 2:9, 10). Here again a simple reference to the Old Testament shows us clearly that the apostle was referring to the true Israel. (See Ex. 19:6; Hos. 2:23).
That God will yet restore the natural Israel that was cast off, and graft back into the Olive Tree the branches which were cut off in unbelief--that is true, and the glory which shall accompany such a transformation is beyond words to express. The apostle simply describes this revival in four brief words: "Life from the dead..." (Rom. 11:15). When and in what manner this shall be fulfilled, God shall manifest in His own good time, and it does not concern us so far as this study is concerned. But the fact remains, Israel never was completely cast off, for "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." (Rom. 11:2). Only this disobedient were cast off; the believing Gentiles in turn were grafted into the same Olive Tree, and became "with them" partakers "of the root and fatness of the olive tree." (Rom. 11:17).
Let us glory in our heritage, therefore, and in the fact that we who once had no share in the covenants of promise, and were without God and without hope in the world, are now "fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." (Eph. 2:12, 19, 20).
In the following pages, therefore we have no hesitancy what-so-ever in quoting profusely from the Old Testament and New, by way of establishing these glorious Church truths. If the apostle Paul was "rightly dividing the Word of truth" when he made some eighty-five references to the Old Testament in the one letter he wrote to the Romans, by way of establishing the Gospel of the Grace of God and the doctrines of the Church; and at least eighteen such references in the short letter he wrote to the Galatians; and well over one hundred such references in the epistle to the Hebrews; and if Peter would dare make some thirty references or quotations from the Old Testament in his first epistle; and if the beloved John should make direct quotations from, or references to, practically four hundred Old Testament Scriptures in the Book of Revelation: then we care not in the least if orthodox theology forbids us to take Old Testament type and prophecy and apply them to the Church. The apostles have already done so under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and that is sufficient for men who believe in the verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

There is a simple order that God has established relative to the progression of Truth and to the creation itself, and it is this: "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." (1 Cor. 15:46). This principle is evident everywhere in the Scriptures. First the old creation, then the New. First darkness, then light. First a garden in Eden and the tree of life, then the Garden of God and the real Tree of Life. First Adam, then the Last Adam. First the Passover, then the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. First Law, and then Grace. First the typical Feast of Tabernacles, then the unveiled glory of God in the spiritual Feast of Tabernacles. And the wonder of it all is this, that the end of the Old is the beginning of the New; and out of that which is destined to pass away there cometh forth that which is destined to remain.
And so it was that God called light out of darkness. It came to pass also that from the first Adam there came Christ, destined not only to become the Last Adam (the last of Adam, the last of the old race), but the Second Man (the beginning of the second creation). Likewise, the Last Passover was the occasion of the true Passover that was sacrificed for us. And when Christ died on the Cross, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain--that was the end of the Law, but it was also the beginning of Grace. God always "taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (Heb. 10:9).
It is important, therefore, that we should always observe that which is first, and natural, and from the natural learn to discern in what way it typifies the spiritual. If we read of the natural Passover, God intends that from the various circumstances and rituals connected with the natural we should hear what He would say to us concerning the spiritual Passover, even Christ. If it is the Feast of Weeks, then in this God would teach us concerning the true Feast of Weeks, even Pentecost. If it is the Day of Atonement, then let us learn to discern the pattern of the true Atonement. And so likewise, if the Feast of Tabernacles is being observed, it is for the purpose that we might learn great and mighty spiritual truths from the natural circumstances and events transpiring at the Feast. If we bear this in mind we will receive a mine of wealth from the various occasions in the Old Testament and New when the Feast of Tabernacles was observed. There are three occasions in particular that we shall refer to, as having a most remarkable application to the spiritual Feast of Tabernacles which lies just ahead of us. These three occasions are: the dedication of Solomon's Temple, the restoration of the temple following the captivity, and the presence of Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles in the time of His earthly ministry. These three observances of the Feast will be dealt with in detail in the last three chapters of the book. The particular characteristics of all three events must find their glorious fulfillment, only on a much higher and vaster spiritual plane than when they were first observed--in this great hour in which we live.

No comments: