Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Shadows of Good Things

Or the Gospel in Type

Russell R. Byrum, 1922

[Original Page Numbers]



prayer and obedience God gave them water out of the smitten rock, in Horeb. Paul makes this rock representative of Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). Christ gives the water of which if one drink he shall never thirst. He it was who said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." His blood "is drink indeed." Christ both gives life to and satisfies every want of the redeemed soul.

  The battle with Amalek in Rephidim is a good illustration of the Christian's spiritual conflicts. The victory was gained by the holding up of Moses' hands. That act on Moses' part symbolized prayer to God. Through prayer our victories are won today.

  The crossing of the River Jordan into the promised land was another highly miraculous event which evidently was full of typical meaning. No other reason can well be given for God's leading the Israelites to the eastward of the Dead Sea and the Jordan that they might enter by crossing the River than that Christian truth might the better be typified. But what does this crossing of Jordan typify? The answer to this question can be known only by first learning what Canaan itself typified. Interpreters have often regarded it as being typical of heaven. So it has been represented in both sermon and song. But with this as with the holiest place of the tabernacle, we believe the Scriptures clearly show that it does not typify heaven as a place, but the fullness of Christian experience in this life.

  In the third and fourth chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews the inspired writer gives a discussion of this very matter. God said of those who did not believe that "they shall not enter into my rest." That rest was the rest from journeying, or the settled home they should have in Canaan, according to Heb. 3:8 19 and 4: 1 11. Next he shows that another rest than that in literal Canaan remains for the people of God, by quoting from David, who promises another rest than that in literal Canaan (chap. 4:7). Therefore the writer to the Hebrews says that Joshua, who led the Israelites into Canaan, failed to give them the promised rest (v. 8). [139]

  He spiritualizes that promised rest and locates it, not in literal Canaan, but in Christian experience, of which Canaan was a type. Here is positive proof that God attached typical meaning to that journey of the Israelites.

  Throughout the discussion of this matter the inspired writer shows that the reason those ancient Israelites failed to enter into God's rest was because of their unbelief, and that we today may enter in by faith in God's promises through Christ. "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest" (Heb. 4:10, 11). "For we which have believed do enter into rest" (v. 3). Then this rest typified by Canaan is a present experience in this world, not merely in heaven. We do enter it now. He "is" entered who trusts in the mercy of God through Christ for salvation, and not in his own works.

  That Canaan is used in Scripture to typify the state of perfect holiness attainable in this life, rather than of heaven as a place, is further shown by the apostle Paul's explanation of the Abrahamic covenant given in Romans and Galatians. The covenant of Abraham promised two things in particular: a numerous seed, and an inheritance in Canaan. There was a literal fulfillment of this promise under the law to Abraham's descendants, but Paul clearly shows that the main application of that covenant promise is spiritual. In Rom. 4:13 16 he says: "For the promise, that he [Abraham] should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect . . . Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all." The Abrahamic promise, therefore, has a spiritual fulfillment.

  In the Galatian letter Paul gives explanation both of the seed of Abraham and of the inheritance promised to that seed. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the [140] promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of man; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (chap. 3:16). The seed of Abraham, then, in the spiritual fulfillment of the promise, refers directly to Christ. "And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (ver. 29) . Hence Christians constitute the spiritual seed of Abraham, "the Israel of God," and they are heirs. Heirs of what? The Israelites inherited Canaan literally, yet Paul adds, "If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise" (ver. 18). The real Canaan inheritance was therefore reserved for Christians "that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT through faith" (ver. 14). There was no inheritance promised except Canaan, and this Paul identifies with the baptism of "the Spirit," which Jesus elsewhere terms 'the promise of the Father' (Luke 24:49).

  In view of these facts and what we have already shown of the fullness of Christian experience one can scarcely avoid the conclusion that if Egypt typified the state of sin, the wilderness must have typified justification, and Canaan entire sanctification. As the crossing of the Red Sea typical of conversion admits to the state of salvation, so crossing the Jordan admits to the blessed soul rest of entire sanctification, where the last remains of inherited sin are removed by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. It is reasonable that this Spiritfilled experience should have been portrayed in such a system of types as this journey presented. Also this interpretation is in harmony with the Scriptures and every law of typology. This experience of perfect rest God wants all his people to have. Too many of those who have left Egypt spend their lives wandering in the wilderness. Of course that is much better than the bitter bondage of Egypt, but God intends that all his people by faith in God, like the priests who walked out into Jordan with the ark, boldly cross over to the promised inheritance.[141]

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Original Page: 139-141
This Web Page: 36
Total Original Pages: 141
The Church of God!
Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA

5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
Pastor, Church Telephone (916) 482-7128