New Testament Types in Acts: Part 4
Nov 29, 2006
In the third chapter of Acts, immediately following the account of Pentecost, we read in verse 1:
"Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer."
This was the time of the evening sacrifice around 3:00 p.m. There were two daily sacrifices in those days, the morning and evening sacrifices. The evening sacrifice was also called "the hour of prayer," because many people went to the temple to pray as they witnessed the evening sacrifice.
In biblical types, these two daily sacrifices overlay upon the two works of Christ, the two doves, and the two goats. In other words, the morning sacrifice overlays upon the Passover work of Christ, in which He died on the cross. The evening sacrifice overlays upon the Tabernacles work of Christ, in which He is released (alive) into the world once again with his robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:11).
And so, Acts 3:1 gives us the prophetic timing for their temple visit. It is the time of the evening sacrifice, indicating that this is a prophetic pattern for the second work of Christ. There they encounter a man lame in his feet, who is sitting at the Gate Beautiful (vs. 2). This was probably the Eastern Gate, which Josephus says in Wars of the Jews, V, iii, "was of Corinthian brass and greatly excelled those that were only covered over with silver and gold."
The Greek word translated "Beautiful," however, is horaios, which means "belonging to the right hour or season (timely)." See Strong's Concordance #5611.
This immediately identifies the Gate with the "fit man" who was to lead the second goat into the wilderness in Leviticus 16:21. The word "fit" is from the Hebrew word ittee. According to Strong's Concordance, the word means "timely." In other words, the Gate Beautiful is the TIMELY Gate, and it is thus identified prophetically with the second goat, which is the second work of Christ.
This is the setup for Acts 3. Peter and John see a man lame in his feet, and they heal him in the name of Jesus. Again, in prophetic types, the feet deal with the end of time, as opposed to the head which is the beginning of the time cycle. For example, take note of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the image with the head of gold, arms of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay (Dan. 2). The head of gold represented Babylon, the arms of silver were Media and Persia, the brass belly was Greece, and the legs of iron were Rome (Eastern and Western Empires). The feet represented the final stage of the world empires in the latter days.
After the man was healed, Peter gave a dissertation (vs. 12-26) which explained how Jesus was crucified and rose again according to the biblical prophecies. The Sadducees, who were in power in those days, came running and were greatly offended, because, as 4:2 says,
"being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead."
Preaching the resurrection of Jesus got them in trouble with the Sadducees, who denied that there is a resurrection. They believed that people simply went to heaven when they died, and that since the body was "evil," the goal of life was to get rid of the body, not to be raised to life in a resurrection.
The point is that this miracle of healing the man's feet, where the man was raised up and able to walk on the ground, was a type of the foot company being raised to life in the end of the age.
The temple priests then arrested Peter and John for disagreeing with their doctrinal belief, instead of rejoicing at the miracle that God had done. They conferred among themselves to figure out how to deal with this crisis and decided to do some damage control. Verse 21 then reads,
"And when they had threatened them further, they LET THEM GO (finding no basis on which they might punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened."
Verse 23 continues,
"And when they had been RELEASED, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them."
In other words, they became types and shadows of the second dove and the second goat that were released in Lev. 14:7 and 16:21.
There were two sets of feast days, spring and autumn feasts in Scripture. The spring feasts centered around Passover and Pentecost and were fulfilled in the first work of Christ. The autumn feasts began with the feast of Trumpets and ended with Tabernacles. The miracle of raising up the lame man was a type of resurrection at the feast of Trumpets, for that is the prophetic significance of this feast day.
Paul says in 1 Thess. 4:16 that "the dead in Christ will rise first." The resurrection is the first event in the sequence of events surrounding the second coming of Christ. Only after that has occurred will "we who are alive" at that time be transformed. This will occur at the feast of Tabernacles two weeks after the resurrection of the dead (trumpets).
And so, the story in Acts 3 is consistent in its revelation of types and shadows, for we read in verse 31 that when Peter and John had given account of their arrest and release,
"And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness."
Wait a minute! I thought they were already filled with the Spirit at Pentecost back in Acts 2:4. Well, this is a second infilling, and it represents the fulness of the Spirit that is yet to be poured out at the Feast of Tabernacles in the latter days.
The result of this infilling is that the people will be able "to speak the word of God with boldness." In comparing this with the story of Jonah and his second calling to preach to Nineveh, we see the obvious connection. Jonah's calling was to preach to Nineveh, but in his first calling it was simply not done. He ran the other direction. The second time, however, he preached the word with boldness, and the whole city repented.
So this story in the third and fourth chapter of Acts tells us what happened historically at that time under Pentecost, but it also serves as a prophetic type of the feast of Tabernacles and its aftermath. This second outpouring of the Spirit will succeed where Pentecost has failed--or only partially succeeded.
The purpose of the second coming of Christ is not to destroy the world or bring in seven years of tribulation, or take the believers out of the world, but rather it is to empower them to bring the Gospel to all parts of the world. This is the Jonah work. It is a very different scenario than what has been presented to us by many Christian teachers who do not understand the feast days of Israel or the two works of Christ in the law.
And so, the end of Acts 4 tells us the story of Joseph Barnabas, the Levite from Cyprus, who sold a field and put the money at the apostles' feet. As I said in Part 3, this signified putting all things under His feet. This is, of course, the purpose of the second coming of Christ. The feast of Tabernacles is meant to empower us to do the work that lies ahead, not to allow us to retire on a cloud somewhere in the blue or to walk on streets made of gold in outer space.
Because the Church has not understood the law and its types and shadows, they have been given this idea that the second coming of Christ is the end of all evangelism, and heaven is thought to be a glorified retirement home. The very opposite is true. Tabernacles empowers us to finish the work that was begun in Pentecost.
This is the fourth part of a series titled "New Testament Types in Acts." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones