Answer.—There is a very strong relationship between these words. To some people they would all mean the same; to others there would be a slight difference of meaning. A type is a figure, and is also a picture, designed to bring out certain important matters and details as Divinely appointed. A figure is a much less exact representation or statement of matters than a type. Abraham received Isaac from the dead in a figure (Hebrews 11:17-19); that is, there is a pictorial illustration connected with the matter, but it is not so sharp as in a type.
A parable is a figure; it is a word-picture, but not a type. It has not the exactness of a type. We would use the words parable and picture in the same way; for we see no difference. A type is an exact pattern of its antitype, just as a printer's type corresponds to the matter printed therefrom. Isaac was a type of Christ; Rebecca, his wife, a type of the Bride of Christ; Ishmael, Abraham's son by Sarah's bondmaid, was a type of the nation [R5966 : page 300] of Israel, developed under the Law Covenant, which was typified by Hagar, the bondwoman.
A picture, a figure or a parable would have weight and value according to the character of the person who made the picture or the parable, and in proportion as it had intrinsic merit. A type would be beyond all this, in that it is very clearly defined and implies Divine foreknowledge and arrangement. God gives types. Men may give pictures, figures or parables.
Answer.—Our thought is that we should expect a type to be followed by its antitype; and we would rather look for it to follow immediately. For instance, after the type of the eating of the Passover lamb was recognized for the last time by Jehovah, it was followed immediately by the Antitype, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was crucified on the very same date as the annual Passover Supper. The type of the bullock and the Lord's goat, offered as [R5967 : page 300] sin-offerings on the Jewish Day of Atonement, was followed at once by its antitype, as soon as the typical sacrifices were repudiated by the Father, when the Jewish House was left "desolate," just before Jesus' death.—Matthew 23:37,38; Luke 13:34,35.
Again, in thinking of Isaac as a type of Christ, we think of him as the typical heir to the Promise God made to his father Abraham. God declared to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Isaac was the natural seed of Abraham according to this Promise; and Isaac continued down the Jewish Age in that he was represented in the children of Israel, his natural posterity. Thus he was the recognized seed of Abraham down to the time when Jesus became the Spiritual Seed. There the natural seed was cast off. The real Seed of Abraham, in whom the Promise centered, was not the natural seed, but the Spiritual Seed.
Jesus was not the antitypical Seed of Abraham when He was born into the world—not until He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Jesus began to be the antitype of Isaac at that time. Ever since Christ's spiritual birth on the Divine plane of being, the members of His Body have been in process of development. So this Spiritual Isaac began to fulfil the type as an antitype in the person of Jesus when He became the Spiritual Seed, and is continuing, in the persons of His Body members, to take the place of the type. Thus the type is merged into the antitype.
Answer.—The Apostle Paul explains in the case of Melchizedek that his priesthood had no beginning and no ending, the order of his priesthood was to be perpetuated; consequently his priesthood did not pass away until the antitypical Priesthood came. The Apostle particularly points out that he was without father or mother in the priesthood—"he abideth a priest continually," he continued a priest to the conclusion of the type in its antitype. He was a type of the greater Melchizedek, which is The Christ, Head and Body. Jesus was "made a High Priest forever [literally for the Age] after the order of Melchizedek."—Hebrews 6:20.
As for Adam, we are not sure that the Lord's Word speaks of him as a type. The Apostle does not contrast Adam and Jesus, but speaks of the first Adam and the Second Adam. Christ is very unlike Adam. Adam disobeyed God, while Christ was wholly obedient. Adam failed while Jesus succeeded. St. Paul says (1 Corinthians 15:47) that the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven. The first Adam continues to be the head of the human family. We still speak of him as Father Adam. The Second Adam will not begin His work until the Millennial Age, when He will become the second Father to the race, taking the place of the first Adam. He is not the Second Adam as yet. He is to be the Second Adam.
The various titles that belong to our Lord Jesus include that of The Everlasting Father. And the Everlasting Father will be the successor of Adam, who was only the temporary father of the race and who failed to give his posterity life. In due time the Second Adam will be the regenerator of the human family.
Question.—1 Corinthians 10:11 reads, "Now all these things happened unto them [the Israelites] for types." (See marginal reading.) Please explain.
Answer.—We understand the Apostle's thought to be that all these things happened to this people as typical Israel. They were the types, and Spiritual Israel are the antitypes. They, the type, had these experiences; we have experiences to correspond. They, the type, did not pass away—that is, cease to be the type—until we, the spiritual antitype, began our career. When our career began, our antitypical experiences began. The whole nation of Israel was this type, with their experiences, testings, etc.
Answer.—The subject of giving life may be viewed from different standpoints. In a certain sense the mother as well as the father of a child is its life-giver—in the sense that the child could not have attained individual existence without the mother. And yet, strictly speaking, the father alone is the life-giver; for the life-germ comes from him.
So the Bible uses this natural illustration of an earthly father, or life-giver, to picture a great spiritual truth. The world is dead in Adam—under sentence of death. Jesus has laid down the Ransom-price which will offset that sentence. By virtue of so doing He will have the right, as soon as the merit of His sacrifice is applied for the world, to become the Life-giver of Adam and his race. The human life-rights which He will give will be those which He Himself laid down in death.
But as Jesus by the will of God has associated the Church with Himself, both in the sufferings of this present time and in the glory that is to follow, she will have to do with the giving of life to the world. Her work is illustrated in Mother Eve and in womankind in general. It will be the work of the Church to nourish the world of mankind—to nourish the spark of life which they will receive from the Redeemer. Under this nourishment and care, as many of the world as will cooperate will rise up out of sin and death conditions to perfection.
Thus the Bride of Christ will have to do with the life-giving, but merely as the associates of the great Life-giver. The Ransomer, Jesus, alone is the One who can dispense His own life-rights. And Jesus Himself said, "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth." (John 5:25,29.) Any work which the glorified Church may do in connection with the restoration of the world will be as His assistants.