Anagogy, Typology, and other basic principles of end-time prophecy

Some Stuff They May Not Have Covered in Christianity 101 -Part V

Anagogy, Typology, and other basic principles of end-time prophecy

For the remainder of this series, I plan to look at Bible Prophecy in general, touching again on key points made previously, which may be making a little more sense to you now, as well as providing some additional information that will be helpful for you to have a handle on as you study end-times prophecy, so that you can be confident in studying it out on your own.  Topics will include…

  •  Use of types, shadows and figures or “anagogy” (a very old and obscure term, not used much anymore)
  • Some particular passages and events during Jesus’ earthly ministry, and their significance
  •  First resurrection versus Second resurrection.
  •  Daniel 9 and the Age of the Gentiles
  • Relationships between Daniel and Revelation.
  • Comparing the beasts of Daniel with the Beast of Revelation
  • “World Church” or “visible church” vs. the Body, vs. the Bride of Christ
  • Jew vs. Gentile.
  • The purpose of the Tribulation
  • Satan, Judas, Antichrist, False Prophet

All of that won’t be in one post nor will it necessarily be in that order.  I’m just giving you an idea of what content is yet to come.



n. [Gr. upward, and a leading.]  An elevation of mind to things celestial; the spiritual meaning or application of words; also the application of the types and allegories of the old testament to subjects of the new.

First, before I talk about types and their use in scripture, I must prove by scripture, that this is what God intended, because we are not at liberty to assign meanings that were not intended by God.  The Biblical rule for establishing the veracity of a matter, is “by two or three witnesses”.  We can very easily find more than three passages that employ the principle of typography in scripture:

1 Corinthians chapter 10 attests to God’s use of this principle of types and shadows in His Word:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Likewise Colossians 2:16 and 17 underscore this phenomenon of typography in scripture: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

And Hebrews 8:4b-5: refers to something God required on Earth that is a shadow of something in Heaven:

For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

As you can see, every one of these “ensamples” points back to something that took place in the Old Testament.  If we pay attention to them, we can easily convey the principles of what type of offenses God addressed in their day, to know what is offensive to God even now, as God is never-changing.

I am pretty literary-minded as someone who has consumed “words” from the moment I first discovered my privilege of checking out books from the library in elementary school, and I also tend to think best in word-pictures when I’m trying to nail down a concept.  For me, this principle has exponentially boosted my comprehension of scripture and prophecy.  I get very excited when I read a familiar passage and suddenly realize it is a “type” pointing to some other passage in scripture.  This inter-connectedness is the reason that only those who “study to show thyself approved” really get the most out of the Bible.  There is no end to discovery!

Some other, related terms or synonyms:

Type: an emblematic representation

Typology: the study of types or of the use of types

Prefigured: shown by previous imagery or similitiude

Shadow: A faint representation

Foreshadow: To give a faint preview or clue of something to come later

In the Millennial Temple, the Jews will once again perform animal sacrifice.   Some say, “but, why would they do that, since Jesus already died?”  They did it in the O.T. as a foreshadowing of Christ’s death, they will do it during the Millennial reign as a shadow, a memorial, a reminder of Christ’s sacrificial death, just as we partake of the bread and wine “showing forth His death until He comes”.

Types can be persons (David as a type of Christ-as-King), events (lifting of the brazen serpent as a type of lifting up of Christ on the cross to be our healer), things (Brazen altar signifies judgment), institutions (church), or ceremonies (marriage).  An O.T. event that was a Type:  The Passover is a “Type”.  Blood on the doorpost at Passover is a “type” of salvation obtained only under the blood of Christ, it is a protection from the Destroyer/Death Angel.  (Rev. 9:11)   The substitutionary atonement is illustrated in the Passover.  Typology is a way God helps us understand and remember things via the use of “pictures/figures/foreshadowing”. The sacrifice of the paschal lamb was pre-figurative of the death of Christ.

There is nothing God is going to do, that is not recorded in the scriptures. Amos 3:7 tells us; Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

God reveals, for our benefit, via His Word all that  He is going to do.  There is no need to look elsewhere, and “answers” found elsewhere should not be counted upon as correct if thy cannot be confirmed in scripture.  When someone says “God is doing a new thing” I tend to see red flags. (You hear that a lot in the “Modern Day Prophets and Apostles” movement).   In preparing my research on this topic, I came across another WordPress Blogger who has already done a great job on this subject, so I’ll refer you to CLICK HERE to read that.

Needless to say,  having an understanding that types and shadows are used throughout the Bible, and that they are consistent,  can make scripture-study that much plainer.  It stands to reason, learning what they stand for can only aid in your quest for understanding of the Word.  Of course, I should point out here, that the Bible is written for Believers.  If you are unsaved and a doubter, have not asked God to apply the atoning blood of Christ to your own sin, it is unlikely scripture, or my discussion of it here, will make sense to you.  God designed it that way.  He came not to call the “righteous (as in, those who believe they are righteous on their own merits) but sinners unto repentance.  Without repentance, there can be forgiveness, but never reconciliation!  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost! (2 Corinthians 4:3)

Examples of Types in Scripture

Some examples of “types” in the Bible:

Joseph is a “type” or pre-figuring of Christ in that each was

  • A shepherd
  • Sold by his brethren
  • Sent to his brethren
  • Rejected by his brethren
  • Falsely accused
  • Remained silent before their accusers
  • Gave bread to those who were starving
  • Was the hope of salvation to as many as would call upon him

Isaac is also a “type” of Christ in that each was

  • The son of promise
  • Born by miracle: one a virgin, other past the age of childbearing
  • Birth of each was announced
  • Both were named before they were born

Women are types either of Israel, of the church, or the harlot church.

Crowns, Mountains, Heights signify power and authority

The phrase “afar off” is often symbolic of a future event rather than physical distance.  Some prophecies had a partial fulfillment in the day they were written about, but have a future total fulfillment.  When you see “afar off” pay special attention.  It could be a clue to some passage that you are puzzling out, and  may have even been told has already come to pass, but has it?  One example of an event  that took place but can not be said to be fully fulfilled was the destruction of the temple in 70AD.  In Matthew 24:2 Jesus tells His disciples that not one brick/stone of the temple would remain standing upon the others when the temple was destroyed.  Well, here it is, 2013, and if you go to Jerusalem, to the Temple Mount, you can see that Wailing Wall,  composed of many stones and clearly still standing one upon the other.  (That it is the only part of the temple complex remaining, is the reason the wailing wall is so sacred!)  The temple Jesus referred to in the Matthew 24 passage, is the some 2nd temple rebuilt and expanded under Herod the Great. (This temple never contained the Ark of the Covenant)  The wailing wall is part of that temple.  So this passage has not been fully fulfilled in the destruction of the first, nor in the destruction of the second temple.  The temple will be rebuilt once again, either before the tribulation or in the very early days of it.  We know this because we know that the Jews will resume the temple service, and that the Anti Christ will set himself up as God in the temple.  Anyone who doesn’t know this principle of shadows, types, partial fulfillments, and utmost fulfillments, will easily become confused about the events at the very end of the Gentile age as well as of the tribulation.  The temple will not take long to rebuild because the Temple Mount Faithful have already been constructing the parts and the implements, and the priestly garments, and have the blueprints all drawn up.  It is the destruction of this third temple which is the utter fulfillment of Jesus’ words to the disciples in Matthew 24.  The Third Temple will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Jesus.  Revelation 6:12-17 tells us that a great Earthquake will occur when Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives.  The mountain (all mountains) will essentially crumble, and thus pave the way for the location of the Millennial Temple.  (See Ezekiel 40-46)

Enoch is a type of the church, while Noah and family are a type of the remnant of Israel, the flood is a type of tribulation

A flood often refers to an over-surging tide of evil, which can be seen in the language of the psalms

Enoch is snatched away before the flood, Noah and family are supernaturally protected and endure the flood safely to the end.  The Ark itself is a type of Christ. (Our safety, our deliverer).

It is crucial for students of prophecy to recognize that when Jesus came to the world to be the Savior as the spotless sacrificial lamb, He went first to the Jews.  Had the nation of Israel received Him as such, He would have set up His Kingdom upon the Earth then.  Thus, everything Jesus spoke about His Kingdom, addressing Jewish believers, would sound rather immediate because up until the earliest days of the church which initiated with the calling of the 12, the gospel went only to Jews.  When Messiah Was cut off, the world entered into the gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniels 70 weeks.  This gap, which was not visible to the ancient prophets because it was a valley between the peaks of Christ’s first and second coming, is known as the Gentile Age, or Age of Grace.  When it is finished, the final “week” of the 70 weeks, will commence.  A week is a seven-year period.  Most people refer to the entire period as “the Tribulation”.  I feel it is more accurate to call it the seventieth week of Daniel, and to refer to the last half of it as The Great Tribulation.    The sign that the seventieth week has begun, will be the confirming of a “Covenant with many”  between the many and the Antichrist.

Some examples of “types” in a familiar Bible passage:

Mark 9: 2-8, Matthew 17:1-8, Luke 9:28-36

Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration, is a type of the resurrection saints.  Elijah is a type of the translated saints who are caught away without seeing death.  Peter, James and John are types of the Jewish Remnant who will see Jesus when He comes the second time.  The powerless disciples at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration are a type of professed followers who will be left behind, powerless to resist the antichrist.


Further Reading: