New Testament Types in Acts: Part 7
Dec 02, 2006
Throughout history, men have set forth their philosophies about the best forms of government and how to choose leaders and their successors. Monarchies developed out of the Dominion Mandate of Gen. 1:26. But with the introduction of sin in the world, the kings of the earth were often corrupt, self-serving, and tyrannical, so men developed more democratic ideals. These were designed to limit the power of any one person by dividing power among the many. In the process, democracy hopes that the people will be able to elect the most qualified leaders.
The problem with democracy is that it divides power among many sinners, who all have the potential of being corrupt and self-serving. It seeks to pit one man's self-interest against the self-interest of the others who share power, and in this way, hopefully, the tyranny is held in check.
The Bible sets forth a third solution in the Kingdom of God. It maintains the original idea of the Dominion Mandate, but yet also has devised a way to implement government through the most qualified leadership.
Jesus was the Heir of Adam's Dominion Mandate as the "Son of Man." He was also the direct descendant of King David and the Heir of David's throne. But this divine right to rule was not imposed upon men without their consent. He came the first time to prove His love and His qualifications to rule.
His rejection and death were part of the divine plan, for they proved that He was willing to die for the people, rather than act upon self-interest. But in His resurrection, He became "the first-born from the dead, so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything" (Col. 1:18, NASB).
Birthrights were passed down to first-born sons unless disqualified by their actions (Deut. 21:15-17). The birthright in Scripture included two things: the Dominion Mandate and the Fruitfulness Mandate. I described these in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright. Jesus came the first time from the tribe of Judah and of the seed of David in order to qualify genealogically to receive the Dominion Mandate. He comes the second time of Joseph, with His robe dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31; Rev. 19:13) in order to qualify for the Fruitfulness Mandate. Between the two comings of Christ, each associated with a different work, He qualifies to receive the full Birthright to rule the earth.
Knowing this helps us to understand the reason why Christ must come twice and why the law puts forth two doves and two goats that represent Christ in both capacities.
Through all this, we learn a very important purpose for Christ's resurrection. Because He was the first of the New Creation Man, He became "the First-born from the dead" and qualified as the Heir of the Birthright. The "first resurrection" of Revelation 20:4-6 qualifies the overcomers as the second-born from the dead and gives them divine authority over all younger brethren.
But more than that, when viewing this corporately, Jesus' resurrection provided the Head; the first resurrection provides the Body. Between the two, they provide a complete New Man, which, relative to the rest of creation, is the First-Born Heir. That is why Paul calls us "fellow heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17).
Such a calling and election does not relegate everyone else to hell or to the dust of the earth. It provides the leadership for Creation, the calling to be a blessing to all families of the earth, the ones responsible to dispense the blessings of God to all men. Many have mistakenly thought that being one of "the elect" meant that they would be saved and everyone else would be lost forever. The fact is, these are being elected to positions of government, and it does not mean that the rest will be lost forever.
Those who qualify for the first resurrection are those who actually have the character of Christ. This requires being more than a mere believer in Christ, for there are many believers who are not qualified to lead others. This is the glaring message in the story of King Saul, the prime pentecostal type in the Old Testament. Though he was given opportunity to rule as king, he misruled, and for this reason his throne was temporary. The prophet told him in 1 Sam. 13:14,
"But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord has commanded you."
In other words, to be a Passover believer, having faith in the blood of the Lamb, is a good thing, but in itself does not qualify a person to rule. To become a Pentecostal believer, being filled with the Spirit (as was King Saul in 1 Sam. 10:10) qualifies a person to rule, but not necessarily in a permanent throne. Only those after God's own heart will have an enduring throne, and these are called overcomers.
The first resurrection is God's way of making first-born sons out of those who have proven themselves to have the character of Christ. By means of the first resurrection, they not only have the lawful qualification to receive the Dominion Mandate, but also they have the character necessary to rule with righteousness and impartial justice (or equity).
Herein also reveals the fallacy of much modern teaching. Many say that the Jews are chosen to rule the world by right of genealogy, when the fact is, the vast majority of Jews are disqualified by their character along with the vast majority of the rest of carnally-minded humanity. Yet some eschatology today teaches that the resurrection will occur first (for Christians), and then Christ will set up His Kingdom with Jews ruling the earth.
This idea has no appreciation for the purpose of resurrection. Only those Jews who have qualified as overcomers will be placed in positions of rulership along with those of every other tribe and tongue and nation. The heirs of Christ will not be chosen by genealogy but by their character, faith, and agreement with Jesus Christ.
All other Jews who have died in past generations will remain dead until the final resurrection at the Great White Throne. They will not be treated with partiality in the Kingdom of God, as so many Christians tend to believe. The prophets in the Old and New Testaments certainly did not treat them as "chosen" if they were in rebellion against God or His Son, Jesus Christ.
And so, as we see how the foreshadowed types are manifested in the book of Acts, let us keep in mind that there are two distinct works of Christ presented to us. The first is a Passover work and involves death--such as is manifested in the story of Stephen in Acts 7. The second is a Tabernacles work and involves life--such as is manifested in the story of Philip in Acts 8.
Likewise, Stephen portrays to us the true believer, but Philip portrays to us the overcomer who is called to rule with Christ. Of course, both are ultimately overcomers, but the course of their ministries were designed to be types of the two works of Christ.
Philip's name means "lover of horses." Phileo means "love," and ip is the Greek word for "horse." Even as the donkey is the type of Pentecost, so also is the horse the type of Tabernacles and the overcomers. This is shown by Christ's entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matt. 21:5), while the second time He is pictured on a white horse (Rev. 19:11).
For a fuller study on the White Horse company, see my Foundation For Intercession bulletin #216 dated July 2006. This concept forms the background for the story of Philip in Acts 8, for he is the man who is "caught away" (Acts 8:39) as a type of overcomer that is caught away in 1 Thess. 4:17. It is the harpazo of Tabernacles.
This is the seventh part of a series titled "New Testament Types in Acts." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones