Vol. 12 The Symbolic Code No. 5
Vol. 12 No. 5
Printed March, 1957
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THE SYMBOLIC CODE
Mt. Carmel Center Waco, Texas
A STUDY IN TYPOLOGY
(The sermon which follows was given by Brother V.T. Houteff, July 15, 1944.)
Our study for this afternoon is based on the statement found in -- Isa. 41:21-23 -- "Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.'"
God is challenging the world not only to predict the future, but to explain also what bearing the past has on the future, that they may show that they are gods. The challenge itself, implies that none but God knows "the latter end" of "the former things." Now let us read
Isa. 41:4 -- "Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He."
God here propounds the question as to who had foreseen and declared the generations that were to come from the very beginning even to the very end of time. Then He answers His own question, -- "I, the Lord...I am He."
This scripture plainly shows that God has declared the generations of today from the beginning of time, and that the former things are significant in that they point forward, or are otherwise related, to present or future events or conditions. With the help of this chart I believe we shall be able to see a little of God's work, particularly in respect to how He has pictured the generations of today in the generations of yesterday.
Let us turn now to
Gen. 3:15 -- "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
We cannot possibly misunderstand what woman God meant in this scripture, for there was only one woman -- Eve -- then in the earth. In the presence of Adam and Eve and the serpent, God spoke these words predicting the future outcome of Eve's seed and the serpent. Eve's children were to have their heel bruised by the serpent, the Devil. And in return, the children of Eve, the human family, were to bruise the Devil's head, the serpent's head. Now you know that even if one's leg were to be amputated, one can live on; but when one is decapitated his life immediately ends. God predicted here that there was to be enmity between good and evil all through time. And though the serpent would wound the human family, yet the descendants of Adam and Eve, were finally to bruise Satan's head. "But," you may say, "Christ is to do that." I do not wish to dispute your word, but actually it is Christ through the human family that is to accomplish it. For in Jeremiah 51:20 God Himself declares that Israel is to be His battle ax, His weapon of war; for with Israel will He break in pieces the nations. Then though it is to be accomplished by the will and direction of Christ, yet Christ will do it through His people. In this way His people who have been wounded by Satan, will finally bruise Satan's head.
To represent the period of church history symbolized by Eve, we have assigned to her the first of the three sections on the chart.
Next in the line of typology we have Hagar and Ishmael, and Sarah and Isaac. They, too are types of the church, as you already know from the fourth chapter of Galatians. In this chapter, Paul makes it plain that Hagar was a type of the Old Testament church, the Jewish church -- and that Sarah was a type of the New Testament church, the Christian church. With the first period symbolized by Eve herself; the second symbolized by Hagar; and the third symbolized by Sarah, we see that church history is divided into three periods.
In the first period -- Eve's period -- there was no particular line save that of Cain and Abel, through which the seed of the woman was at last to bruise Satan's head. And since Cain, being evil, could not become that line of seed, and since Abel was now dead, someone else was needed to carry on the line of righteous seed. Let us read
Gen. 4:25 -- "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
God appointed Seth to stand in Abel's stead, and through the line of Seth was God to carry on His purpose for the human race.
Proceeding on to the next period, we come to Hagar and Ishmael. Providence, you recall, brought Hagar and Ishmael into the home of Abraham. You well know the circumstances which brought it about: God had promised a son to Sarah, but years passed without the promise being fulfilled to her and she grew impatient over the long delay. In order to pacify Sarah, God permitted that Hagar become Abraham's wife, and Ishmael was born to them. You can see that this arrangement was not a necessary part of God's plan. In fact, it was Sarah's plan whereby she could at least vicariously have a son, if she were not to have one of her own.
According to Paul in Galatians 4, Hagar typified the Jewish church, and Ishmael her children. Through it all we see that it was God's plan from the beginning to have only the church born of the Spirit -- the Christian church. But as in the case of Hagar and the birth of Ishmael, the Jewish church, which was born after the flesh only and not of the Spirit, came into being. Through the experience of Hagar and Ishmael, Providence, you see, wrote both history and prophecy, for it foreshadowed the coming of the Jewish church.
After Isaac was born, trouble came into the home of Abraham, and God instructed him to put away Hagar and her son, for her son was not to be heir with Ishmael. But why did God direct Abraham to do this, if it was not an allegory? I do not believe that God did it because He wanted to be mean to Ishmael. I believe He did it because He was writing both history and also prophecy in this experience.
If it is an allegory, then what is its meaning? -- It means that when the Jewish people, the children of the Jewish church, failed to be converted and reconciled to God, failed to be born again and become the children of Sarah -- born by the Spirit, by the will and the power of God which the miraculous birth of Isaac typified, -- when they failed to do this, they met with the sad experience which was typified by Ishmael and Hagar's being sent away from Abraham. It was God in the antitype who cast off the Old Testament church and her people -- the unconverted Jewish people, -- so that the children of the Old Testament church should not be heirs with Isaac -- the children of the New Testament church, -- for they have nothing in common.
This plainly says that the Jews that failed to accept Christ, and thereby failed to receive the second birth, shall therefore never, never have a part in the Kingdom of God. And if the unconverted Jew cannot inherit the Kingdom, certainly the unconverted Christian and the unconverted Gentile cannot be heirs of the Kingdom of God, either.
Following the Jewish church typified by Ishmael, we have next the church which originated with a people from the same nation but who received the second birth, a birth that is impossible for man to give, just as by nature it was impossible for Isaac to be born to Sarah in her old age. God alone through His Spirit and His promises can give the second birth, just as it was God alone who could make possible Isaac's birth. That is why Isaac represents the New Testament church or the people of the New Testament church. Sarah typified the church itself. Sarah and Isaac together represented the New Testament church and her children.
We have now discussed three periods: (1) the period represented by Eve, (2) the period represented by Hagar; and (3) the period represented by Sarah. Thus we have covered one part of the typology.
Just as there were three sections or divisions of the church, so also there are three sections of the true priesthood. You know that the priesthood in the time of the Jewish church was the Levitical priesthood, and it was not in existence before Israel left Egypt, and it is not the true priesthood today. Before the Levitical priesthood, there was Melchizedek who had neither father nor mother, neither beginning of days nor end of days, and he was the priest of the Most High God, king of Salem, king of peace. To him Abraham paid his tithes. Then the three sections of the priesthood lines up thus: (1) in the period from Adam and Eve to the time of Israel, we have Melchizedek; (2) to the Christian era, we have the Levitical priesthood; and (3) in the Christian period we have the priesthood of Christ Himself. So much for the priesthood.
We are ready now to study the typology of the children of the church. To Eve was born first Cain and Abel. Cain was wicked and Abel was righteous. In the typology of Abraham's two sons Ishmael and Isaac, Ishmael, who taunted Isaac, was put aside and Isaac was chosen. Then came Esau and Jacob, again one being evil and the other good. Thus we see that through the types there were two classes of children in the history of the church -- the good and the bad.
In the case of Cain and Abel, Cain who should have led out in true worship since he was the eldest son, chose instead not to worship God according to His commands; whereas Abel was a true worshipper of God. Because God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's, he persecuted and slew Abel. This incident served to demonstrate the actions of church leaders who were determined to lead God's people wrong and even resorted to martyring those who refused to be led wrong.
Next in line came Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was the older, Isaac was the younger. But Ishmael and Hagar were sent away because he persecuted Isaac and Hagar persecuted Sarah. This friction and trouble in Abraham's home foreshadowed the trouble that came later between the converted Jew and the unconverted Jew in the Christian church at the beginning of the Christian dispensation. God's casting away Hagar who persecuted Sarah, and Ishmael who persecuted Isaac, typified His casting away the Jewish nation and its people that would not become converted to Christianity.
In the experience of Esau and Jacob we find still another allegory which carries the line of church history still further as we shall see a little later. Of these twins, Esau was the older and Jacob was the younger. It was therefore Esau's privilege to be the spiritual leader of the family, and through Esau the twelve tribes of Israel were to come. Besides this blessing, Christ Himself was to come through Esau's line of posterity. But because he was evil and held in low esteem his birthright privileges, he lost them to his brother Jacob who coveted the spiritual blessings. After the momentous transaction was consummated in which Jacob purchased Esau's birthright for a bowl of pottage, then Esau reflected upon the deal and deeply regretted it. Since there was no way for him to recover his loss as long as Jacob was living, he at once sought to persecute and kill Jacob. This is the circumstance that drove Jacob from his home to another country.
Now if the experience of Jacob and Esau does constitute an allegory, where in church history does it apply? Since Ishmael was a type of the Jewish church and Isaac was a type of the Christian, then we must look sometime in the Christian dispensation for an experience similar to Jacob and Esau's, for they were Isaac's sons. Therefore, sometime during the Christian period two classes of people were to be born to the Christian church -- one evil and one good.
Before going further in the study of Esau and Jacob's typology we need to spend a few moments on this part of our chart, which shows the line of children (people) born to this line of women representing the church's history in its three divisions. To make up the church there must be the mother (the agency which embodies the Truth), the children (the people brought into the church), and the priesthood. These three constitute the living church on earth.
First in the line of the children of God in the living church is Seth who was appointed to fill Abel's place. After Seth was Isaac whom God chose in preference to Ishmael. After Isaac came Jacob who obtained from Esau the birthright which brought great spiritual blessings. Do you not see that one child from each of the three periods was used to typify the continuance of the children of God in the church?
The living church represented also by the woman of Revelation 12, was in existence from Eden and will continue to the time the Holy City receives the saints. These three good children -- Seth, Isaac, and Jacob -- were her seed, her children through time, and it was through this line of descendants that the kingdom temporal -- the kingdom of Israel -- was made up. It took all three to make up the people who constituted the kingdom, for not any one of these types did it.
But, according to Revelation 12, the church was at sometime to leave the vineyard (the kingdom) and go into the Gentile world. This phase of the church's history is not typified either in Seth's or Isaac's experience. Only in Jacob's life do we find the type for it.
Just as it was Esau's persecution of Jacob that caused Jacob to leave Palestine, so also it was the persecution by the unconverted Jews against the Christians which caused them to leave Palestine and go to the Gentile nations.
It was the line of Seth, and Isaac, and Jacob that made possible the kingdom of Israel in Palestine. But if the trouble that came between the Christian Jew and the unconverted Jew was the actual cause of the woman's leaving the kingdom and going into the Gentile world, who came into the Gentile world? Was it the Isaacites, and Ishmaelites, or the Sethites, or was it some other? It was the Jacobites in the Jacobite period who came to the Gentile world. Therefore we now see that the church is in the Jacobite period. We also are able to see from the further development of Jacob's type that from this Gentile world the living church is to return to Palestine, just as the Bible prophesies that it will.
We shall now devote a few moments to the study of Jacob, the type, in relation to the church in the antitype. When Jacob left his home in Palestine, while he was on his way to Padanaram, God met him and gave him his promises that He would be with him, and God fulfilled His promises. Likewise, when the church left the vineyard, God's Promise was with her that He would not forsake her in the Gentile world. While Jacob was in Padanaram away from home, he became very rich and his household increased greatly. Then he was commanded to return home. So it will be today in the antitype. The time will come when the church is to be multiplied and then return home. But when Jacob left his father-in-law's house, and was on the way back to Palestine, you remember that he had his great time of trouble. It happened before he reached Palestine, his homeland. He wrestled in anguish all night with God, and it was then that his name was changed from Jacob to Israel.
We are not now living in the antitypical time of the changed name, Israel, but we are living in the antitypical "Jacob" time. You might say that Jacob is the fleshly name, a name that does not spell either prince or saint. Why are we still in the time portrayed by Jacob's sin-denoting name? -- Because we have not yet started for home. When we start for home as did Jacob, we, too, shall meet with our time of trouble, even Jacob's time of trouble. And at that time we shall become thoroughly converted to God forever, and our name will be changed as is foretold in Isaiah 61:6, and it will be a name that the Lord Himself will give us. When we demonstrate that we are truly converted, then this great promised blessing will come to us. And when our name has been changed it signifies that we are certain candidates for entrance into the Kingdom eternal.
In our study today we have travelled over the road the church has gone through its long history. Our journey brought us through the patriarchal period and then the temporal kingdom age and on through the sojourn of the church in the Gentile nations. It has brought us to the place we find ourselves now -- on the verge of leaving for the Kingdom eternal, which also means that we are about to go through our time of trouble and have our name changed, then to be accepted into the Kingdom which God is about to set up that shall last forever.
For the next few minutes we shall depart from the overall application of the allegories to the living church through the ages, and let us also see what lesson there is in it for God's church at this time.
The natural birth that Rebecca gave to her twins -- Esau and Jacob -- symbolizes the church giving spiritual birth to two classes of people, one good and one bad. Since though contrary to established custom, the blessing was to be bestowed upon the younger, it denotes that in the latter-day church experience the class which should receive the spiritual blessing will forfeit it in favor of the other -- the younger -- class.
From one of these twins is to come the twelve tribes of the children of Israel -- the spiritual children of Israel, the 144,000 firstfruits. When the time comes for the 144,000 to be born, the class represented by Esau are to have first opportunity to realize the privilege of leading the 144,000 who are to usher in the Kingdom over which Christ is to rule.
When Sister White, the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church, first began her work, she had a vision concerning the gathering of the 144,000, which was to be the work of the church. In the terms of the allegory, then the Seventh-day Adventist church was travailing with the antitypical twins and was to give birth to Jacobites and Esauites. Who are the ones that would be classed Esauites, and who are the ones that would be classed as Jacobites -- the two people that are in the church now? The Esauites would be those that are older in the Advent message, those that came first and led the Jacobites, the younger ones into the church. And as it was the younger all through church history that cherished the spiritual blessings which the older ones should have possessed for themselves, so it is that the younger children in the Advent Truth -- God's true church today -- is to carry on the line of the living church. The others, the older ones, whose right it was by birth to be the leaders of the 144,000 princes standing with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, are going to lose out. When Sister White first saw the coming of these twelve thousand out of the twelve tribes it indicated that the church was travailing with them and they were soon to be born. From that time until 1930, when The Shepherd's Rod message came, there was no more Truth revealed concerning the 144,000. And since the Rod message explained who are the 144,000 and announced that now is the time for them to appear, then we may know that they, the Jacobites, were born, so to speak, from the time the message came.
But the Jacobites are not yet on Mt. Zion with the Lamb. Instead, they are in antitypical Padan-aram where God is sustaining them apart from the Esauites in the church. That is why one part of the Adventists are in Washington, D.C. and the other part is in Texas. They are unable to get along together.
According to the type we are studying, and also prophecy, the Jacobites are about to gather themselves and leave the Gentile nations to return to their homeland, Palestine. And on their way they will meet Esau and have their name changed to Israel. Since Esau, however, did not go to the Gentile nations, but it was Jacob who left and came here, there must be Esauites also in Palestine. Is that not correct? Though it is true that we are connected with Edomites in the church, -- those who despise their birthright and whom God will therefore take away, -- it is equally true that there are other Esauites besides, for the Esauites in the Seventh-day Adventist church are not all of them. No, they are not all of the Esauites. In addition to the Esauites that are in the Adventist church, there are Esauites in Palestine, and there are also Esauites in the other churches, too, and from them other Jacobites must be gathered. Do you not see that the Esauites are going to be enraged with God's people and give them trouble behind and a bigger trouble ahead? And besides all the trouble Jacob will suffer from Esau, he is also to have Laban running after him! Somebody typified by Laban will pursue antitypical Jacob for trouble.
It is very apparent, then, that God's people will have much trouble among themselves on the way, and ahead. Trouble is what they face. But God will take care of them today as He did anciently. He has promised that He will remove the Edomites in the church and He has promised also to clear away the Edomites and all of the others that are in the land of promise, and give it to His people.
If we had a representation of the Seventh-day Adventist church here along with Protestant and Catholic representations, and if we could at one presentation show them the vast amount of Truth which we have been blessed with both from typology and prophecy, they would be amazed and confounded. Just as the woman of Samaria who talked with Jesus at the well, exclaimed because He was able to reveal all that she had ever done they, too, would ask, "Where did this people learn so much about what is going to happen?"
Where did we get it? Who is the one that predicted all this? To find our answer, we will read again
Isa. 41:4, 20 -- "Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last: I am He....That they may see, and know and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."
What effect does all this Truth have upon your heart? Does it not inspire within you the consuming desire to possess the promised spiritual blessings that can be ours? Are you not becoming daily more intimately acquainted with God and becoming hid away in Him, that you may be protected in the storm which will soon break upon His people?
Those who prevail with God for His blessing will be delivered and know no defeat.
IN THE HOUR OF TRIAL
In the hour of trial
Father, strengthen me;
Lest by base denial,
I depart from Thee.
When Thou see'st me waver,
With a touch recall,
Nor from Thy dear favor
Suffer me to fall.
With forbidden pleasures
Would this vain world charm,
Or its sordid treasures
Spread to work me harm;
Grant that I may never
Fail Thy hand to see;
Grant that I may ever
Cast my care on Thee. Amen