New Testament Types in Acts: Part 1
Nov 25, 2006
We are accustomed to thinking in terms of Old Testament types, followed by New Testament fulfillments of those types. While this principle is certainly true, there is more depth to it than this. In one sense we may categorize all things in terms of Old and New Covenant times. But when we look at things more closely, we see that there is a third "time" that we must consider.
The New Testament times began on the day of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. But these N.T. times actually consist of TWO ages: Pentecost and Tabernacles. Pentecost is not the feast in which the fullness of the Spirit has come. One may be "filled with the Spirit" under Pentecost, but one's capacity is less than what is required for perfection. Paul says in Eph. 5:18 to "be filled with the Spirit," but in Eph. 3:19 he prays that we "may be filled up to all the fulness of God."
Paul clearly tells us in Eph. 1:14 and 2 Cor. 5:5 that under Pentecost we received only a downpayment ("earnest" or "pledge") of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, there must be something yet remaining for us under the anointing of the feast of Tabernacles.
And so, during the time of Pentecost, we find more types and shadows that must be fulfilled in the Age of Tabernacles. These are the New Testament types and shadows that yet remain unfulfilled. As we look at these, we will see that while Pentecost is a good feast appointed by the Father to equip us for the work of ministry to others, it is not the entire inheritance of the saints. It is only a downpayment by which we may occupy the inheritance until the full payment (Spirit) has been given.
Pentecost is "the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14). That redemption is our hope, "the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23), which characterizes the feast of Tabernacles.
The book of Acts is the first written history of the Church under Pentecost. On the surface, it tells the simple story of events in the early Church that manifested the Holy Spirit's Pentecostal activity in the first century. Marvelous things were accomplished under Pentecost--and still are being done today. And so, the fact that greater things will be done under the greater anointing of Tabernacles should not be taken as maligning Pentecost in any way.
When we read the book of Acts, we find the stories of Pentecost found on the surface of the pages contain types and shadows of the greater events yet to come in the Age of Tabernacles. There are too many details given in the book of Acts for us to treat all of them, but I thought it would be helpful to give you some food for thought in regard to certain of the stories.
First, Acts 1:1-12 tells us that after Jesus' resurrection on the day the sheaf of barley was waved in the temple, He appeared to the disciples for 40 days (1:3) at various times to instruct them in the way. Then He ascended on the 40th day, the traditional day of Elijah's ascension. We find in verse 12 that He ascended from the Mount of Olives, the place where the glory of God was last seen in its departure from Jerusalem (Ezekiel 11:23).
His ascension completed this departure, and ten days later the glory of God descended to inhabit a new and greater Temple--our bodies, collectively. The second temple built in the days of Ezra and Haggai proved to be a mere type and shadow of this greater Temple, for that second temple was never glorified with God's presence.
Meanwhile, those ten days between His ascension and the day of Pentecost (on the 50th day) were a time of preparation for the Holy Spirit. To get a better feel for those ten days, one must think like the disciples thought. Put yourself in their shoes. They had just witnessed the fulfillment of the feast of Passover, in which all the types and shadows of the Passover lamb had been fulfilled on the Cross. As I showed in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming, Jesus died just as they were killing all of the Passover lambs in the middle of the afternoon, as prophesied in the book of Exodus.
They had also witnessed the resurrection from the dead, for Jesus had been seen by over 500 brethren after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6). He had been raised early on the day of the wave-sheaf offering. Then, as the high priest waved the sheaf of barley before the Lord in the temple at the third hour of the day, Jesus ascended to present Himself as the Son of God alive in the temple in heaven. Mary was not allowed to touch Him prior to this ascension (John 20:17), because that would have polluted the Sacrifice according to the law.
The next appointed time was Pentecost. Do you not think that they were beginning to understand prophetic types and shadows by this time? Up to then, they had probably thought of the feasts as mere directives by a God who required unquestioning obedience. Such a God really did not seem to have any other purpose than to have them do religious activity that would honor Him. But after the Cross, a whole new understanding began to enlighten them and separate them from Old Testament Judaism.
I believe that when Jesus told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49) with the expectation of receiving "power from on high," it did not take a theological degree to see that this power would come on the day of Pentecost and be the fulfillment of that feast day.
What would you have done for the next ten days? I think many of them ran home from Jerusalem to gather their friends or family members to the tarrying place. Most certainly, then, they would have discussed all of the Old Testament stories about Pentecost (feast of wheat harvest) to see if they could figure out the types and shadows.
They would have discussed that first Pentecost under Moses, when the glory of God came down upon Mount Sinai in Exodus 20, and every man heard the voice of God speaking the Ten Commandments in his own language. They would have discussed how the people ran in fear, refusing to draw near to God in the Mount (Ex. 20:18-21). They would have been determined to obey Moses this time and draw near to God in the "mount" (the upper room).
They would have re-read the story of King Saul's coronation, which occurred on the day of Pentecost (wheat harvest, 1 Sam. 12:17). They would have taken note that Saul had searched for his father's donkeys for the first three days (1 Sam. 9:20), and then tarried for another seven days (1 Sam. 10:8) before being crowned king on Pentecost.
That was a total of ten days and would have allowed three days to search for the Father's donkeys (future Pentecostals) before tarrying for seven days in Jerusalem.
When 120 disciples showed up in the upper room to await the promise of the Father, no doubt they would have seen the connection with the 120 priests who came into one accord with the trumpeters at the dedication of Solomon's temple (2 Chron. 5:12, 13). When they all were in one accord, the glory of God filled that temple. And so, in the book of Acts, they again took careful note that 120 disciples had arrived. And when they were in "one accord in one place," the glory of God came to fill this greater Temple (Acts 2:1).
In 1 Sam. 10:8, the prophet instructed Saul to tarry seven days while he made "peace offerings." A peace offering has to do with making peace, or reconciliation, between enemies or anyone holding grudges. It was an offering that brought forgiveness and unity. So also, the disciples in the upper room had to come into one accord before the Holy Spirit was given. The Old Testament peace offering was a type and shadow of reconciliation in the New Testament.
All of these principles hold true for those awaiting the fulfillment of Tabernacles as well.
This is the first part of a series titled "New Testament Types in Acts." To view all parts, click the link below.