Heavenly Pattern of Things to Come
July 28th, 1957 @ 8:15 AM
THE HEAVENLY PATTERN OF THINGS TO COME
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 10:1-11
7-28-57 8:15 a.m.
You are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. This is the pastor bringing the early morning message entitled The Heavenly Pattern of Things to Come. It is a concluding message of a sermon – a presentation, a Bible study – that was begun last Sunday morning at this hour concerning types in the Old Testament.
In the fifth chapter of the Book of Romans and the fourteenth verse, Paul writes, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of Him that was to come" [Romans 5:14]. The apostle Paul uses a word here, translated "figure": "t-y-p-o-s" or "t-u-p-o-s" in Greek – a "type." He says here: "Adam, who is a type of Him that was to come" [from Romans 5:14]. Paul says that Adam is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, translated here in the King James Version by the word "figure," or, as the Greek word is, "a type of Him that was to come." Adam foreshadowed the Lord Jesus. Adam, the first Adam, is a type of Jesus the second Adam.
Now, once more, you find those same words used in the same way. Among many other passages, you’ll find them used in the tenth chapter of the first Corinthian letter. In First Corinthians 10, you find the same apostle Paul referring to the wilderness wanderings as being types – a foreshadowing, an adumbration – of great spiritual realities and truths that were and are yet to come. So he takes those children of Israel, in the tenth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, he takes them in this passage as they leave Egypt, as they cross the Red Sea. The fourth verse: "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" [1 Corinthians 10:4].
That is, it was a type of Christ. It was a figure of Christ – "drinking at that spiritual Rock" – which is a type, a figure, of Christ. Sixth verse: "Now these things were our," and there’s that word again, "types – t-y-p-o-s, t-u-p-o-s." "U" becomes a "y" in our English language. "Now these things were our . . . " and here that same word is translated "examples" [1 Corinthians 10:6]. In the fifth chapter of Romans, that word was translated "figure" [Romans 5:14]. Here it is translated "examples." "Now these were our examples" – they are our types – "to the intent we should . . . " [1 Corinthians 10:6] and on and on it continues.
Now in the eleventh verse: "Now all these things happened unto them . . . " and here that same word is translated "for ensamples" [1 Corinthians 10:11]. Some of those Greek manuscripts use the Greek word typikōs there. In our English, we would say "typically," a "type," then to make an adverb of it – typically. "Now all these things happened unto them . . . " – you have it translated "for ensamples" here. The Greek word is "typically." "And they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" [1 Corinthians 10:11].
Now, we took that last Sunday morning and defined what a type is. A type is an object. It is a personality – a person, a somebody. It is an incident. It is an event. It is something back there in the Old Testament that foreshadows, that adumbrates, that pre-figures – something that is yet to come. This is that. This represents that. This stands for that. This object, or event, or person in the Old Testament is a figure of something in the New Testament – a great spiritual truth that God kept before His people in the form of a figure, a simile, a parable. And the actual truth of it, the substance of it, is found in the New.
This is the shadow; this is the substance. This is the type; this is the antetype – the thing for which the type stood for. Now, that was last Sunday morning. Now, this Sunday morning, we’re going to complete that message, and there are three things we’re going to say about those types.
Number one: they were designed by the Holy Spirit of God. The man who looked at it in the Old Testament or who was commanded to fashion it in the Old Testament, or the people or the persons who went through those events in the Old Testament, might not have known what they stood for and what it meant. They were designed by the Holy Spirit, and it was only in the New Testament, in the fullness of the revelation, that we finally came to know what they really meant. But the people themselves to whom the commandment was given, to whom these things happened, did not realize it was only in the fullness of the revelation of God that we came to understand what they meant.
All right, now, see if you can’t follow me in the Bible. I said, first, these types were designed by the Holy Spirit of God. Now, in the Book of Hebrews, in the eighth chapter in the fifth verse – in the Book of Hebrews, the ninth chapter and the eighth verse, now look what this author writes. He says here, on and on and on in the eighth chapter, now, down to the fifth verse: "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for . . . " then he quotes the Lord, ‘"See,’ saith the Lord, ‘that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount’" [Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5]. Now, look in the ninth chapter and the eighth verse: "The Holy Ghost this signifying . . . " [Hebrews 9:8].
Now, let me say that again. In the eighth chapter and the fifth verse of the Book of Hebrews, Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: "For," then he quotes, ‘"See,’ saith the Lord, ‘Moses, see that thou make all things according to the pattern . . .’" Now, there’s your Greek word type, "t-y-p-e," type. ‘"See that you make all things according to the pattern’" – translated "pattern" here, the Greek word is "type" – ‘"showed to thee in the mount’" [Hebrews 8:5].
Then in the ninth chapter here, he names those things. There in the second verse: the tabernacle, the candlestick, the table, the shewbread, the veil, the seven- branched candlestick, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, on and on [Hebrews 9:2-5]. Then in the eighth verse: "The Holy Spirit this signifying . . . " [Hebrews 9:8]. Then he tells what those things mean.
All right, this is what the author of Hebrews is talking about. The Lord God gave to Moses on the top of the mount the pattern, the type, of all of these things [Exodus 24:18-27:21], and the Lord God said to Moses, "Moses, see to it that you make everything exactly as I have shown thee – every design, every measurement, every instrument. See that you do it exactly as I have shown thee" [from Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5]. Then the author of Hebrews says the reason God did that was this: that all of those things were types of great spiritual truths that the Holy Spirit was to reveal to us in the end of the age [from Hebrews 9:8].
Now, I want to illustrate that by a like thing in the New Testament. I want to illustrate it by the ordinance of baptism. When they asked John the Baptist, "John, where did you get that ordinance? You’re not the Christ, you say. You’re not Elijah, you say. You’re not that prophet Moses spake of, you say. Then by what right do you introduce this new ordinance?" [from John 1:25].
The first time one man ever took another man and baptized him was when John the Baptist did it in the Jordan River [John 1:28]. There were many ablutions, many washings, by the Jews – all kinds of them [Hebrews 9:9-10]. But no man ever saw – no one ever saw a man take another man and baptize him until John the Baptist did it. It was an innovation. It was a new ritual, a new rite, a new ceremony. So this official committee from the Sanhedrin, sent out from Jerusalem, asked John, "By what right do you introduce this new ordinance? Where’d you get this ordinance?" And John the Baptist said that he got it from heaven [John 1:23]. John the Baptist said he got it from God. John the Baptist said that God sent him to baptize [John 1:19-27].
Now, the mode of baptism, the pattern of baptism, the type of baptism was given to John the Baptist by God, by the Lord Himself. God told him to do it – to take a man, and upon his open confession of faith, to bury him beneath the water and to raise him up out of the water. Now, John the Baptist did not know what that ordinance meant. He might have known something of it. He might have known a little of it, but John the Baptist did not know what that ordinance meant.
God gave to John the Baptist a pattern. He gave him a mode. He gave him a way, and John was faithful in presenting that ordinance just exactly as God had commanded it. And he took his converts, and buried them in the water, and raised them up out of the water though, I say, John the Baptist did not know what the pattern meant. When finally we came to know what the pattern was, it represented a burial and a resurrection: the burial of our Lord and the resurrection of our Lord, and the death of our people to the old world and the old life in Christ, and the resurrection of our people to the new life and the new world in Jesus Christ [Romans 6:3-5].
All right. What if John had said, "Now, listen, I don’t know what this pattern means. God told me to do this just this way, but I don’t know what it means, and I think I’ll change it. After all, why, it’s just something that God wanted done, and I just think I’ll change it"? So John the Baptist takes this great ordinance of baptism, and he changes it. He pours water on their heads, or he takes a little cup of water and he sprinkles it on their heads. Then he’s broken the pattern.
"See," says God, "that thou make all things according to the pattern shown to thee in the mount" [Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5]. "Moses, make that tabernacle exactly like I tell you. Don’t leave out that laver! You may say, ‘Don’t need any laver.’ Don’t leave out that veil. You say, ‘Oh, it’s just a small, little thing. Why put a veil in there?’" The Lord God had a great spiritual truth, and those spiritual truths were contained in these worldly, mundane, terrestrial ordinances and objects. And God said to Moses, "Moses, see to it that you do this thing exactly like I show thee because I have in it a great spiritual adumbration. It is a shadow of something else. It is a type of something else. It has in it a great spiritual truth that some day will be known."
And all of God’s people are to be exactly like that with no more sense than to do just exactly what God says. All of His people are to be that way.
I say that to these neophytes who are still wet behind the ears, who come out of these schools, and who just know so much more than God, so much more than the Bible. And they stand up and elucidate on all this and say all that. Wouldn’t it be great if you had students coming out of the schools who didn’t have any more sense than just to believe what God says? Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had preachers like that? Dumb preachers, ignorant preachers, preachers who didn’t have any more sense than just to believe what God says and just to tell the people what the Lord has written in His Book? Wouldn’t that be wonderful to have a whole country full of ignorant preachers like that – didn’t know any more than just to do what God says? That’s all God wants of His preacher. That’s all God wants of His people – just to do these things that the Lord has said [John 14:23].
"Now, John the Baptist, now you take this ordinance, and you do it exactly as I tell you. Don’t change it." These smart ones who know more than God, they change it. These brilliant theologs who know more than God, they break the pattern of it. "You do this thing," says the Lord God, "exactly like I tell you. Though you may not know what it means, John, do it exactly as I have commanded thee." So John took his converts, and upon a confession of their faith, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan River [Matthew 3:5-6]. And, I say, when finally we came to know what it meant, it meant the death, the burial, and the resurrection of our Lord [Romans 6:3-5] – the Gospel message whereby we’re saved – and it meant our resurrection to a newness of life in Jesus.
Now, that’s what a type is. A type is something that the Holy Spirit has wrought out. A type is something that God has given: a pattern. And when we take that pattern just exactly as the Lord God has done it, then it will foreshadow. It will pre-figure. It will adumbrate. It will foretell a great spiritual truth of the Lord.
Now, we are going to spend days and days in these coming years on that as we go through the New Testament, but I’m going to take just one. Here in the ninth chapter of the Book of Hebrews, in the third verse, he mentions the veil, the veil. Now, what was that veil? Actually, it was nothing but a hanging curtain in the tabernacle [Exodus 26:31-33]. That’s all it was.
"Moses," says God to him, "see that you make all things after the pattern, after the type showed to thee in the mount" [Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5]. Now that was just a little room, just a little room, a very small room in the tabernacle, not nearly – – just like one of the rooms here in this building – – not nearly as big as this auditorium. It was comparatively a small room, and on the inside of that small room there was a hanging. There was a veil [Exodus 26:31-34].
Well, Moses could have said, "Now, that’s foolishness. That’s idiocy. That’s just old time. That’s just old-fashioned. We don’t need any veil in this little room here. We just leave it out."
"No," says the Lord God. "Moses, you make everything exactly as I have showed thee in the mount, after the pattern that I have given you" [Exodus 25:40]. So when Moses made that tabernacle, he did it exactly as the Lord God said. And on the inside of that little sanctuary, there was a veil. There was a hanging. Well, the Lord God said, "Do that."
What did that veil mean? Did it have a meaning? You look how God takes care of His types. You look how God faithfully honors these shadows. Now look at it. There, upon a day in the temple, which is the successor of the tabernacle, there in that sanctuary is a veil. There is a great beautiful hanging. And just beyond, on Mount Calvary, on Golgotha, there is the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son, our Savior [Matthew 27:33-35].
And when the hour came that He died, an unseen Hand reached down from heaven into that temple and took that veil and, from the top to the bottom, rent it in two – tore it apart [Matthew 27:50-51]. It was done from top to bottom to signify that it was done by the hand of God for a man rending that heavy veil would have done it from the bottom to the top. But this unseen hand was of God, and God’s hand reached down and took that veil and tore it apart from the top to the bottom.
Why? Because back yonder, 1,500 years before, the Lord God had said to Moses, "Moses, you make this thing exactly according to the pattern that I have showed to thee" [from Exodus 25:40] And it meant the separation between God and man through which no man could go save by the offering of blood and through the expiation and atonement of sin [Hebrews 9:7].
And when that awful hour came, filled with all of those events concerning which even Moses and Elijah came down to speak to the Lord about His death [Luke 9:28-30], in the midst of all of those crowding of events, God did not forget that type. God did not forget that pattern. But in the midst of all those crowded events, the hand of God came down and fulfilled the type and tore that veil apart [Matthew 27:50-51]. "The Holy Spirit this signifying" [Hebrews 9:8]. Isn’t that what it says? "The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was made open by the death of Christ" [from Hebrews 9:8] and we need no more priest. We need no more sacrifice. We need no longer the blood of bulls and goats or the sprinkling of an ashes of a heifer for the way into the holiest of all is made open to all men through the blood of Jesus Christ. And he speaks of that in the tenth chapter of the Book of Hebrews and the twentieth verse: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" [Hebrews 10:19-20].
In the rending of the veil in the temple, we have a picture of the rending of the flesh, the incarnation of the Son of God through whose sacrifice, through whose atoning blood, through whose body that is broken, we enter in to the holiest of all and come boldly to the very throne of grace itself [Hebrews 4:15-16, 10:19-22].
That’s a type. That’s what a type is. So when you study about types, you’re studying about the very heart of the revelation of God: the shadow in the Old Testament, the substance of it in the New. This represents that. It’s God’s great spiritual figure to keep before His people the everlasting and eternal truth.
All right, we’re doing pretty good. After a Sunday and a half, we got a little introduction made. Now, let’s go on.
Our Lord authenticated His ministry by the use of these types. Now look here in the fifth chapter of the Book of John – the fifth chapter of the Book of John and the [forty-sixth] verse – John 5:: "For," says Jesus to the people, "had you believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for Moses wrote of Me."
Now right near there but turning back just a few pages in Luke the twenty-fourth chapter and the twenty-seventh verse – Luke 24:27: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" [Luke 24:26-27].
Now, look at those two things. The Lord Jesus says that had they believed Moses, they would have believed Jesus. "For," Jesus says, "Moses wrote of Me" [John 5:46]. Then in that twenty-seventh verse of the last chapter of Luke, he says: "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, Jesus expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" [Luke 24:27].
All right, just what did Jesus say when He took those Scriptures that Moses had written and said that "when Moses wrote these Scriptures, he was talking about Me?" [John 5:46]. Now, when I go back to those Mosaic Scriptures, the Pentateuch, and read what Moses said, outside of about one passage – – and that’s in Deuteronomy, the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy – – outside of about one passage, I hardly find anything that Moses wrote directly of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But when I read Moses and see what Moses was writing about in all of those types, why I can just see Jesus in it from the first clear to the last. What I’m telling you is that when Jesus says that "Moses wrote of Me," Jesus meant that when Moses was writing down those patterns and those types, that their substance and their reality and their truth is to be found in Jesus Christ. It’s in the types. It’s in the patterns. It’s in the pre-figurations that you will find that Moses wrote about Jesus. And that’s what we’re going to do here.
We’re going to go back and look at those patterns, and look at those types, and just see what God meant when God said, "You make a sacrificial altar here, and put it there first. Then you put the laver here." Why, I can just go through that, and now after the thousands of years, I can see exactly what God meant by that. First, the sacrifice: Jesus died for our sins [1 John 2:2]. Then the laver there: buried with the Lord in the likeness of His death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection [Romans 6:3-5], and then, entering into the sanctuary [Hebrews 10:19]. Why, it is just so plain and so meaningful now, but every bit of it is a type. It had a pre-figuration of a tremendous spiritual truth that was yet to come.
Now, it says here in the Book of Luke, that Jesus "began at Moses, and then through all the prophets, He expounded unto them the things concerning Himself" [Luke 24:27]. Why, I can just see the Lord Jesus as He does that – as He takes that Old Testament and He shows to those people how all of these things were pre-figurations of Him. I can hear Him talk about Jonah. Even that story of Jonah is a type of Christ. As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so must the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights and then be raised again from the dead [from Matthew 12:40]. Jesus went through the whole Old Testament: "And in Moses and in the prophets, He spake to them of those things concerning Himself" [from Luke 24:27]. What it does for you is it makes your Book one great book. What it does for you is it confirms the authorship of the Book. "For the Scriptures came not by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" [2 Peter 1:21].
Moses might not have understood why he made the laver, why he made the altar of sacrifice, why he put the veil in the tabernacle. He might not have understood any of those things, but God did. And the Lord had in mind those tremendous spiritual revelations in these glorious days that are yet to come.
Now, we’re not done with that. We’re living in the times that are pre-figuring a world that is yet to come. God is still doing this. God still has His types. God still has His patterns. And these things, many of them that we read back there, are pre-figuration of things that are yet to come. And that’s why when you read your Bible and open these pages and you see what happens back there, you can also see what’s going to happen in the day to come.
For example, all of those woes, and those tribulations, and those heartaches and troubles that overtook Jerusalem when it was destroyed [70 CE], that is a pattern. That is a type of that great final day when the world shall be in convulsion [Matthew 24:1-44] and in the day of Jacob’s trouble [Jeremiah 30:3-7] and in the hour of tribulation [Matthew 24:21] when, if God did not shorten those days, even the elect themselves would not be saved [Matthew 24:22]. These are heavenly patterns of things that are yet to come. And by reading these things, we can see the hand of God in these future days.
It does something else for you. After you’ve read the Book and after you see the hand of God through the pages of the Book, you can lift up your heads and you can rejoice because God still has in His omnipotent hand the reigns of all of the destinies of this universe. You don’t need to be discouraged. You don’t need to be afraid. If the day were to come when there was not but one Christian left in this world, you don’t need to be discouraged and you don’t need to be afraid for the victory still lies with that one, just one.
Well, we’re going to pick up there the next time I preach here. I’m not done yet with this introductory sermon. I got a lot more things to say about it before we start out on the actual thing itself. That’s what we’re doing. We’re getting ready. In these sermons, we’re getting ready to say what I intend to say. This isn’t what I intend to say. We getting ready for that.
Now, I won’t be back until September. I’m going to hold a revival meeting down in Lake Charles , Louisiana. That was a meeting I was supposed to have in February, and they’re building a church house down there, and they wasn’t ready. And they said, "Could you come in August?"
Well, I wrote back, and I said, "Go down to the south part of Louisiana in August and hold a revival meeting?" And they said, "We going to have a new church house, and it’s going to be all air conditioned. And we believe you can preach down here just in August like you can any other time." So I’m going down there and hold this revival meeting.
Then I’m going to Kentucky and preach in my little church. I was pastor of a little church in Kentucky for six years, all the time I was in the seminary, and they’re having a fiftieth anniversary celebration. And they said, "If you’ll come and preach for us, we’ll have dinner on the ground all day long." And can you imagine what we’re going to have up there in that little country church in Kentucky with dinner on the ground all day long? Then after that, I am on my vacation. And if I can find me another place to preach, well I’ll be doing that. And I’ll see you in September, and we’re going to have a glorious time looking at this Book, and God bless us in it.
All of this is as new to me as it is to you. I never heard about this. All of this, I am finding out. I guess I should have known it, but I didn’t. But just to dig, and read, and study, and find these things – to me, it’s like a prospector finding nuggets and he’s discovered a rich vein of gold. That’s the way it is to me. So we’ll just look at it together and ask God to open our hearts to the fullness of His truth.
Now, Mr. Souther, let’s sing a song. And while we sing it, while we sing it, somebody to give his heart to the Lord or to come into the fellowship of the church, will you come and stand by me while all of us stand and sing our hymn together?