Israel: a Shadow of the Church
You will not find the major part of God’s wisdom on the surface of the Bible, but hidden, by the Holy Spirit, in many allegorical forms (Galatians 4:24), scattered throughout the scriptures (Isaiah 28:9-10).
1 Cor 2:7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; itthat they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Such allegories, often called types and shadows, reveal to us the eternal purpose and present mind of God, as foreshadowed in various biblical narrations. Since this wisdom of God is hidden and scattered in scripture it can easily be misinterpreted or wrongly applied; In fact, God has deliberately hidden His wisdom and truth in His Word in this way to trap the scornful, dishonest and rebellious: so that His wisdom will only be revealed to those who are meek and lowly in mind.
2 Pet 3:15-16
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Therefore the interpretation and application of these allegories, of course, must never contradict the character and purpose of God, as defined by the Spirit and the letter of the Word of God:
But the wisdom [application of types and shadows] that is from above is first pure [does not contradict any principle in any other part of the Word of God, Psalms 12:6], then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits [i.e. the character of God], without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Other than this, however, these interpretations and applications of types and shadows are as unlimited as God Himself, having sometimes overlapping (but not contradictory) interpretations, because the wisdom of God is both manifold (many-sided, Ephesians 3:10) and deep (1 Corinthians 2:10).
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
1 Cor 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
The basis for applying and interpreting the scriptures in this way can be found plainly stated in the New Testament:
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:11
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [substance, or reality] is of Christ.
With this understanding, we will now begin to explore the analogy between the Church today and Old Testament Israel. The Bible refers to Israel, on their journey to the promised land, as:
… the Church in the wilderness….
Everything that God has done, and is still going to do, concerning the Church before the Rapture, is concealed in the history of Old Testament Israel in several different ways.
For example, the history and future of the Church is concealed in Israel’s journey from Egypt to the promised land, it is also concealed in the Jewish religious calendar and the feasts of the Lord. Many other stories also contain aspects of the Church history and future. By studying carefully under the Holy Spirit the stories of the history of Israel we can locate where the church is presently in the eternal plan and purpose of God and also see where the Holy Spirit is taking the church to in the immediate future.
This revelation of the present mind of God for the church through the types and shadows concealed in the scriptures is what we call present truth.
2 Pet 1:12
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
In these articles on present truth we will be regularly examining the present mind of God, as revealed by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures as explained above, for the church collectively and the individual Christian.