First, understand that several different symbols may represent the same reality in the Bible. For instance, the church is symbolized as a woman, a building in which Christians are living stones, a human body of which Christ is the Head, and a family of which Christians are brothers. Be sure to check the context in which a symbol appears and do not try to force a symbol where it does not fit. Secondly, allow the Bible to interpret its own symbols. In Revelation , within the context of John's vision, Christ explains the meaning of the seven stars and the seven lampstands: "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. Even so, sometimes a symbol is shrouded in mystery and difficult to understand. Perhaps we fail to understand the symbol because we are unfamiliar with the reality. Imagine the apostle John's struggle with symbols that represent twentieth-century warfare!
Degn and David S. Makes You Think. The traditional interpretation of a type involves seeing a historical person, place, event, or institution as having a future historical fulfillment. The primary person, story, or event is the type , whereas the fulfillment is the antitype. Types are molds, templates, patterns, and examples of spiritual realities. Types are historical persons or events that are different in kind from allegory or parable in that types refer to a literal object pointing to a literal fulfillment or antitype. While comparisons and connections in allegories are more indirect and implicit, types are historical realities.
Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. It is a miracle that God could sponsor activities over a period of 4, years that form an audio-visual, although symbolic, portrayal of our spiritual salvation. Just think of the wisdom and foreknowledge required to perform such a feat, while at the same time permitting people to make their own decisions. In the Bible we have future history written through to the last chapter of the Book of Revelation. How can this be? It really is true. This is why Dispensational theory, with its premise that the New Testament salvation is a new dispensation separate from the old, is incorrect and destructive. That God could develop such a perfect plan from beginning to end, writing the end thousands of years before it has happened, and arranging the events described in the Old Testament so they symbolize the aspects of our spiritual salvation, is a marvel enough. But to add to this His giving to people the opportunity to make choices, brings us into the incomprehensible. The only way I can imagine this being done is that time is not binding on the spirit realm.
In addition to the ordinance of the sacrament, the scriptures tell us of many events, circumstances, objects, and people that were intended to remind us of and instruct us regarding the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. This lesson will help students consider some of these scriptural types, shadows, and symbols that point us to the Savior. Church Educational System manual, , — Show several pictures of well-known signs or symbols such as the following:.