Section 2 .. Reasons To Believe/
Biblical Prophecy and Typology


003whiteSection 2.... Reasons To Believe         >       Prophecy In The Bible       >        Prophecy And Typology             


Prophecy and Typology

Carol Brooks

The inspiration for this article came from a piece written by Jacob Prasch entitled Future History of the Church.

Please note that this article is far from complete. I add to it as I have time.


What is Typology?
A Fine Line
Scriptural Patterns or Christian Inventions
Broad Classification of Biblical Types
One or Multiple Fulfillments of Prophecy

Abomination of Desolation
Destruction of The Temple

003white The Seven Feasts of Israel
God’s plan of salvation for mankind)

Isaac and Rebekah .. A Type of Christ and The Church
Out Of Egypt
The Virgin Shall Conceive

The Prophecies of Revelation.. Past or Future?
The Prophecies of Matthew 24 .. A Final Fulfillment?
Moses and Joshua
Joshua and The Seven Trumpets
Elijah and John The Baptist
Jesus’ Partially Fulfilled Prophecy In Matthew 10
Peter and Joel’s Prophecy


What is Typology? 
In Christian theology typology is a representation by one thing of another. In other words, a type, which always looks to the future, is

    1) an actual historical thing or event which, at the time it occurred, was a rough draft, or glimpse, of one or more actual events yet to come, although the significance may not have been apparent at the original occurrence.

    2) A type is also a person who, in some way, prefigured the Messiah, thus adding another dimension to the many more specific Old Testament Messianic prophecies

The original occurrence, is called the type, while the fulfillment is called the antitype.

A Fine Line

When it comes to the subject of Biblical typology, opinions range quite widely. On the one hand, there are those that altogether deny Biblical types and, on the other hand, those that see even the most minute of detail in the Old Testament as a type or shadow of something to come in the New.

Yet others believe that we cannot apply types without definite scriptural support for them, and that even the strongest resemblance between one person and another, or one event and another, cannot be constituted a type unless Scripture specifically says it is. For example in Romans 5:14 Paul states that Adam “is a figure of him (Christ) that was to come”, which validates Adam as a type of Christ. However although Joseph’s life so closely resembled that of Christ, he can not be considered a type since the Bible does not explicitly name him as such. However the very nature of typology is predictive. If one were to follow this line of reasoning, we would be forced to throw out all Old Testament prophecy, except those that are specifically mentioned in the New Testament as being prophecy. This would be ludicrous.

There is no doubt that the difficulty in the study of Biblical typology lies in the care one must take in distinguishing between what is merely incidental and what God has designed as a preview. While the mere resemblance between two persons, or events, does not automatically make something a type, a Biblical event or person, which serves as a pattern, for another person or event does.

The subsequent happenings or antitypes, are more intense and/or more important than the original type. There is a graduation from type to antitype... from the lesser to the greater. For example, In Romans 5:14 Paul asserts that Adam “is a figure (tupos) of Him (Christ) that was to come”. Therefore Adam would be the lesser type and Jesus Christ the greater antitype.

Scriptural Patterns or Christian Inventions

For those that argue that it is probably just a Christian invention, Scripture itself used typology in numerous places. Take, for example, Exodus 20:8 where the creation week is used as a pattern for the Sabbath.

    "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."  [christian-thinktank.com]

In the New Testament Jesus Himself cited Jonah as a type...

    But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: [Matthew 12:39]

As Jonah was miraculously raised from the belly of the fish after three days and go on to preach to the Ninevites, so too was Jesus resurrected from the dead after three days, (which was grounds for many to believe). Note that in 2:2, Jonah called the belly of the fish "Sheol," the land of the dead. (Note: Sheol in the Old Testament is exactly the same place as Hades in the New. DETAILS)

Broad Classification of Biblical Types
It is not all that easy to categorize Biblical types, but they can be loosely classified under three headings...

    1) Personal types: The lives and/or experiences of various people in the Bible reflect some aspect of Christ and redemption. For example, Moses who went into Egypt and after various miraculous events took place, led the people out of bondage and slavery. In his role of savior, leader and mediator between God and the nation of Israel, Moses was a modest version of the Lord Jesus who performs the same functions in a much more exalted and universal capacity. Other personal types from the Old Testament include Aaron who was a type of the Lord Jesus as High Priest. Isaac who is linked with the cross and the church (see below). Joseph, who’s life paralleled that of Jesus in many ways.. he too was rejected by his own people and betrayed for silver, he too was falsely accused and faced false witnesses, but attained a position at the "right hand" of the Pharaoh's throne (Jesus is at the right hand of the throne of God), finally providing salvation for his family.

    (2) Historical types: The call of Abraham, the deliverance of the nation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, the wilderness journey, followed by the conquest of Canaan are all examples of historical types.

    (3) Ritual types: The Altar, the Offerings, the Priesthood, and the Tabernacle all provide examples of ritual types. The Gospel of John [3:14] gives us a clear example of a type… "And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." Moses literally  lifting up the bronze serpent for the healing of the people [Numbers 21:8-9], is a type of Jesus who is lifted up on a cross for the salvation of the world. However the most significant example of ritual types is found in the Jewish feasts outlined in Leviticus 23. Each of the feasts has both a historic and prophetic significance. They not only celebrated a historical event in Israel's past, but were also are a prophecy of future events, only four of which have already come to pass. [See The Seven Feasts of Israel]

One Or Multiple Fulfillments
of Prophecy
We tend to assume that all types (and prophecy) in the Old Testament were fulfilled once and for all in the New, but this is far from the truth. Jesus was a first century Jewish rabbi who taught the same way other rabbis did, making it imperative that we try and understand how the Jews interpreted the Bible. We simply can not apply western methods of interpretation to an ancient Jewish book.

Western Protestants interpret prophecy in one of four different ways: Preterism, Historicism, Idealism, or Futurism. These basic four or five schools of thought have lent themselves to several offshoots (especially regarding the book of Revelation).

    Preterism  The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, meaning "past". It holds that some or all of the Biblical prophecies concerning the Last Days (or End Times) refer to events which actually happened in the first century after Christ's birth. This theory argues that all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled; it states that nothing remains on the prophetic calendar. [See End of The Age ]

    Historicism teaches that the Book of Revelation is a pre-written history of the Church from the time of its writing to the future Second Advent of Christ… the Church Age and the Tribulation are the same. Historicists believe that the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments are being, or have been, fulfilled by different events which have taken place throughout Church history. In other words, one of the seal judgments may have been the rise of Islam and their attempt to conquer Christianity. Or, one of the trumpet judgments may have been the rise of Napoleon and his conquest of Europe. This view is subscribed to by Kingdom Now advocates.. [See Section Dominion Theology]

    Idealism says the contents of the book of Revelation do not relate to any historical events, but symbolizes the ongoing struggle between good and evil during the church age until Christ returns. It reminds Christians of the glory to come and the judgment of their persecutors, and is thus designed to encourage them during times of persecution. This view ignores the fact that apocalyptic writing like Revelation generally describes actual events in history. Also the clear language of the text says that Jesus will show him (the writer) what must take place next (4:1).

    Futurism states that these things are going to happen in the Last Days and the end result of the Great Tribulation is the destruction of ecclesiastical and political Babylon. Then Christ will return with the church and set up his kingdom.

To a Western Gentile mind, one of these four methods, (or a derivative of) is the correct view of all Biblical prophecy. However, a Jew in the first century, as Jesus was Himself, would have seen all four simultaneously. Western ideas of prophecy involve prediction and fulfillment. The Hebrew idea of prophecy is a pattern that is repeated. In other words, although there is one ultimate fulfillment, there may be more than one ’smaller’ fulfillment along the way, each of which is both a type of, and a lesson on, the ultimate fulfillment.

Take, as an example, Jesus’ teaching on the Abomination of Desolation

Abomination of Desolation
In Matthew 24:15-33 Jesus says that when you see the Abomination of Desolations spoken of by the prophet Daniel, then you will know the End is near.

    When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand), Mat 24:15  ..

    ..even so ye also, when ye see all these things, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. Mat 24:33

The difficulty is that the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24, had already occurred about 200 years prior to Jesus mentioning it. (Jesus celebrated Hanukah, the Feast of Dedication, in John 10) In 168 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes thought he had solved the "Jewish problem." His troops leveled the walls of Jerusalem, and he erected a huge fortress, known as Acra, in the Temple area for the use of his Greek troops. The Temple itself was rededicated to the Greek god Zeus, with Antiochus erecting a statue of Zeus with his own likeness in the sanctuary. He also desecrated the Temple and its altar of worship by slaughtering a pig on the altar. Hanukah celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, after the Maccabees triumphed over the powerful Greek armies in 165 B.C.E. and the following miracle of a one day supply of oil lasting eight days.

However, Jesus took that past event and spoke about it in the future tense, thus prophesying it would happen again. Since Jesus spoke, there have been other Abominations of Desolation, all of which are part of an escalating pattern. One even continues into the present day...

    a)The Christians who were in Jerusalem at the time recognized the A.D. 66 assault upon the city by Cestius Gallus as the fulfillment of the words of our Lord. The mere presence of the Roman army in the "holy city" was an abomination, standing where it ought not.

    b) After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the town was still mostly a heap of ruins when sixty years later, Hadrian built a new city on the ancient ground. Called Aelia Capitolina, it was crowned by a temple of Jupiter, on the site of the ruined Temple.

    c) Julian the Apostate (called so because of his rejection of Christianity) in keeping with his effort to foster religions other than Christianity, ordered the Temple rebuilt at an extravagant expense. Had  Julian’s attempt succeeded it might have meant the reestablishment of the Jewish state complete with sacrifices, priests, and the Sanhedrin or Senate. However the project came to an end although the reasons are not clear. Ammianus Marcellinus, an apparent friend of Julian, wrote this about the effort:

      Julian thought to rebuild at an extravagant expense the proud Temple once at Jerusalem, and committed this task to Alypius of Antioch. Alypius set vigorously to work, and was seconded by the governor of the province; when fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he gave up the attempt.

    While the failure to rebuild the Temple has been variously ascribed to sabotage or accidental fire, or even an earthquake that took place in of 363, Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the time. However Julian died in 363 and was succeeded by a Christian emperor which in itself may have put an end to the project. .

    d) The Dome of the Rock was constructed over the site of the Second Jewish Temple which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. A band encircling the inner side of the octagonal arcade, is inscribed with various prayers and citations from the Qur’an. Much of the inscription between the southeast and north sides of the octagonal arcade is devoted to a Qur’anic refutation of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and exhorts Christians not to exceed the bounds of their religion by saying “Three”, since the “Messiah, Jesus son of Mary,” was only a messenger

      O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is) better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. ... Whoso disbelieveth the revelations of God (will find that) lo! God is swift at reckoning

    Between the north and west sides is found a verse from the Qur’an part of which reads

      "Bless your envoy and your servant Jesus son of Mary and peace upon him on the day of birth and on the day of death and on the day he is raised up again. It is a word of truth in which they doubt. It is not for God to take a son. Glory be to him when he decrees a thing he only says be, and it is." [1]

All of these preceding Abominations of Desolation typify the one that is yet to come. The actions of the person (or persons) responsible are likely to mirror those of Antiochus Epiphanes in some way.

    But when you shall see the abomination of desolation, which is described by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains; [Emphasis Added].

Another example of a repeating pattern is the...

Destruction of The Temple
Tisha B'Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, many of which coincidentally have occurred on the ninth of Av.
[Av is the fifth month of the Jewish year, occurring in July/August]

The Misnah is an early written compilation of Jewish oral tradition, the basis of the Talmud. According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting: Two of these events relate to the destruction of the temple.

    Five misfortunes befell our fathers ... on the ninth of Av. ...On the ninth of Av it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the [Promised] Land, the Temple was destroyed the first and second time, Bethar was captured and the city [Jerusalem] was ploughed up. [Mishnah Ta'anit 4:6]. [2]

In other words,  the First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, which resulted in the Judeans being sent into the Babylonian exile. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the same date in 70 A.D, scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land.

The Seven Feasts of Israel
The most complete description of the feasts is found in Leviticus 23. Perhaps one of the most fascinating Biblical studies is the historic and prophetic significance of these special days.  While believers are not required to keep these feasts [See Jesus and The Law], every believer should be very familiar with them, as they not only celebrate a historical event in Israel's past, but are, at the same time, a prophecy of future events… or a type.

God’s plan of salvation for mankind is summed up in these feasts, which relate to Israel's spring and fall agricultural seasons and therefore fall into three clusters... three in spring, one in summer and the remaining three in fall.

The first four feasts have already been fulfilled by Jesus Christ on the actual feast days according to the Hebrew calendar. He was sacrificed on Passover, buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. While we certainly do not know exactly how the other three feasts will be fulfilled, it is reasonable to surmise that they will be fulfilled in the same manner… on the actual feast day. [See The Seven Feasts of Israel]


In one of his most specific predictions, Moses declared that God would raise up another Jewish prophet in the future whose life would closely resemble his. He explicitly declared that he would be a 'type/pattern' for another prophet to come which to me, is one of the most compelling of all Messianic Prophecy. [See Moses’ Great Messianic Prophecy]

Isaac and Rebekah .. A Type of Christ and The Church
With the exception of Moses, Isaac was perhaps more a type of Christ than any other person in the Old Testament (Abraham a type of God the father who was willing to sacrifice his son). There were remarkable similarities between the births of Isaac and Jesus Christ.

Both the births of Isaac and Christ were announced beforehand (Genesis 18:10. Luke 1:30-31), and both were miraculous — Isaac was born to a woman who is not only barren but well past the child bearing age (Genesis 17:15-18; 18:11-14) and Jesus to a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).

Both were named before their birth (Genesis 17:19. Luke 1:31). The announcement of the births to Sarah and Mary raised questions in the minds of both women. Sarah laughed and said, "This thing cannot be. It is beyond belief." And Mary asked, "How can this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34).

Isaac was Abraham's son, through whom God promised to make a great nation, and with whom God made and everlasting covenant for his seed after him (Genesis 17:19). Jesus is the promised Messiah through whom God blesses all the nations (Galatians 3:16).

Both Jesus and Isaac were obedient to their Fathers to the point of death. Isaac carried the wood for the sacrificial altar up the mount (Genesis 22:6) and Christ carried the wooden cross to Calvary (John 19:17). When God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son He was not asking Abraham to do anything that He Himself would not do. The command to Abraham was but a type of what would occur on Calvary many centuries later. God resurrected Jesus from the dead (Romans 6:4) and when God stopped Abraham from slaying his son, Abraham considered that God raised him from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).

Rebekah: The typology is carried over to the relationship between Isaac and his wife Rebekah, who is clearly a type of the church… the ecclesia, or "called out" virgin bride of Christ (Genesis 24:16; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32) while Isaac was a type of the bridegroom who goes out to meet and receive His bride (Genesis 24:63; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).

Rebekah, who was from a land far away, accepted Isaac to be her husband without ever laying eyes on him, just as the church has never laid eyes on the Christ. Rebekah is given a ring and bracelets which obviously were token gifts given by the envoy of a man of wealth and position, just as the Holy Spirit is given as an earnest of our inheritance. [See Guarantee or Earnest] Rebekah had to follow this servant who safely guided her steps to her new home and only after arriving there did she get to see and marry Isaac. Christians are faced with an almost identical situation… each of us has to allow the Holy Spirit to be their guide to our eternal home, after which we will get to see Jesus.

Out of Egypt
When Matthew writes his nativity narrative, he says of Jesus, "Out of Egypt I have called My Son," (Matt. 2:15) quoting from Hosea chapter 11:1. However even a cursory glance at Hosea 11.1 tells us that Hosea was talking about the Exodus, when the children of Israel left Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Yet Matthew takes this verse, seemingly out of all context, and applies it to Jesus. However, the problem is not that Matthew took it out of context, nor, as some have charged, that he was manipulating the Scriptures to suit his purpose, but that the Western church has taken a Jewish book and constructed its own rules of context. Matthew thought in a way that we usually do not; Matthew thought of prophecy as a pattern, not a single event. He looked at a concrete historical event and saw in it a foreshadowing of another event.

 This pattern originated many centuries ago with Abraham.

    God judged Pharaoh, and Abraham, the father of all who believe, came out of Egypt along with his descendants. (Genesis 12:14-13:2)

    Then, in Exodus, God again judges Pharaoh, and Abraham's descendants come out of Egypt.

    Next, Jesus comes out of Egypt, after another pagan king (Herod) is judged. 

    Then, in I Corinthians 10, we come out of Egypt ourselves! Egypt being a figure of this world, while the Pharaoh or king represents satan, the god of this world. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the water, and into the Promised Land. Jesus leads us out of the world, through baptism, and into Heaven. One is a type of the other.

But the ultimate meaning is The Resurrection and Rapture of the Church. See That Earth-Shaking Seventh Trumpet

The Virgin Shall Conceive
[Quoting from an article by Al Maxey, entitled The Virgin Shall Conceive... A Reflective Analysis of Isaiah 7:14]

Isaiah was instructed to say the following to King Ahaz

     "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" [Isaiah 7:14, NKJV].

There are a few things to note. First, some biblical translations (such as the NKJV, which is here quoted) have done some interpretation as well as translation of this particular passage. The words "Son" and "His," by way of example, are capitalized, signifying the belief that this child is the Messiah. Although that is probably a correct assumption, at least on one level of fulfillment, it is nevertheless still a matter of interpretation, and such personal assumptions, even though they may be correct, should not be imposed upon a biblical text by those entrusted with the task of translation. Second, it should be noted that the NKJV has correctly rendered the text to read "the virgin." The definite article (which is present in the original -- Hebrew: ha almah) has been totally ignored by some translations and versions (thus rendering the passage: "a virgin"). Isaiah clearly had a specific person in mind.

There has been great difficulty over the years in seeking to interpret the significance of this prophecy.

    "Few prophecies have been the subject of so much controversy, or called forth such a variety of exegesis, as this prophecy of Immanuel" [Pulpit Commentary, vol. 10, p. 129].

    "This one verse has received more discussion than any other passage in the OT, yet without any consensus emerging among commentators. While Christians agree that it refers ultimately to the birth of Christ, they remain divided about its original and primary meaning" [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 990]

It should be noted that this child was to be called "Immanuel." This is a word meaning "God with us." An angel told Joseph, with regard to the pregnancy of Mary, his betrothed,

    "That which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus" [Matthew 1:20-21].

    "Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,' which translated means, 'God with us'" [Matthew 1:22-23].

Thus, we clearly have a Messianic fulfillment to the passage, as declared in the gospel account of Matthew. Isaiah 7:14, "like many other prophecies, had a double (both a typical and a true) fulfillment. The first was in the reign of Ahaz, a sign concerning a temporal deliverance, but the higher reference is to the spiritual Deliverer of the world" [Read Article in It’s Entirety]

End Times

The Prophecies of Revelation.. Past or Future?
Again much controversy has swirled around the prophecies of Revelation.. with many [Preterists] believing that most or all of the prophecies were fulfilled in the first century with the destruction of the Temple and the devastation of Jerusalem. Other believe [Futurists] that most or all of the prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. All of which totally ignores the twofold nature of Hebrew prophecy… which is not a one time event but a pattern that repeats itself over and over again, until it’s ultimate fulfillment.

In both the beginning and the end of Revelation there are statements that indicate impending fulfillment. 

    Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; [Emphasis added]

    Revelation 22:6  And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angels to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass. [Emphasis added]

However it is impossible for all of Revelation to have already come to pass in 70 AD. since among other details, Revelation 3:10 tells us that future time of trial will come upon all the world. [Also See Revelation 13:7,8,12,14,16]

    Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

The Jewish war was a time of great trouble for Israel, but did not particularly affect the other nations of the world and certainly does not match the descriptions of the great tribulation which point to a world-wide time of distress. The Bible repeatedly states that the great tribulation is a unique time of trouble such as has never been before and such as will never be in the future. Consider the following verses..

    "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be"; [Matthew 24:21]

    "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time"; Daniel 12:1

    "for that day was great, so that none is like it." Jeremiah 30:7

In any case 70 A.D. was probably not the worst time of trouble that Israel has ever experienced. The slaughtering of many millions of Jews by Hitler during World War II was perhaps even more atrocious.

Additionally Revelation 13 tells us about a political leader so powerful that no one can make war with him (v.4), the forced worship of this man by all those who dwell on the earth (v.8), a required mark received on the right hand or in the forehead (v.16), those not having this mark unable to buy and sell. None of these things have been fulfilled yet. [See The Antichrist and The Mark of The Beast]

The Prophecies of Matthew 24... A Final Fulfillment?
Matthew 24, has always been a very difficult chapter for many people to understand, much of the confusion arising from the failure to see that the disciples asked and Jesus answered two questions: one, concerning the fall of Jerusalem; the other, concerning His second coming.

Some have come to the conclusion that there is a fairly straightforward division of Matthew 24. Verses 24:4-34 have to do with the “generation” that was contemporary with the Lord and the destruction of Jerusalem, while verses 35-51 allude to the end of days. However this is not true. One of the most fascinating features of the Olivet Discourse [from verses 5-29] is that they exactly parallel the Seven Seals.  Jesus' description of the "beginning of sorrows," the "great tribulation," and His post-tribulation coming, complete with the cosmic sign, are fulfilled in the same sequence in Revelation 6. [See The Seven Seals and Matthew 24]

Therefore Jesus was not merely referring to the terrible destruction of Jerusalem which took place a few years later, but was warning about catastrophic events much further away... The Great Tribulation. This is further reinforced by the fact that Luke 23:30 and Revelation 6:16 describe people’s reaction to the terrors around them in almost identical language.

    But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts that never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. [Luke 23:28-30.

    and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [Revelation 6:16]

Moses and Joshua (From christian-thinktank.com)
The account of Joshua taking the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land [Joshua 3-5]  seems to be explicitly set up to correspond to Moses and the Exodus. Compare the Details:

    Joshua 3.7: "I will be with you (Joshua) as I was with Moses"

    Joshua 4.14 says that: the people feared Joshua 'as they feared Moses'

Both the waters of the Jordan and the waters of the Sea of Reeds split and stood up straight in a ‘heap’..Joshua 4.22-24 says For Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were passed over; 

    And it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap. [Joshua 3:13]

    And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were piled up, The floods stood upright as a heap; The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. [Exodus 15:8]

Both Joshua and Moses are visited by an angel of the Lord who, in each case, said exactly the same words.

    And the prince of Jehovah's host said unto Joshua, Put off thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. [Joshua 5:15]

    And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. [Exodus 3:5]

Joshua and The Seven Trumpets
Joshua 6 and Revelation 10 and 11 both contain the same numerical pattern. In Joshua 6:8, seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns marched around Jericho once every day for six days, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant followed them. On the seventh day they marched around the city as before, except they marched around the city not once, but seven times. At the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city”. When the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they shouted with a great shout, and the walls fell down flat.

    And ye shall compass the city, all the men of war, going about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. Joshua 6:3-4

This same numerical pattern is present in Revelation. Jesus opened the book of seven seals (5:1), the seventh seal starts the process of the seven Trumpets (8:1-2). The Seventh Trumpet introduces the Seven Bowls or the end of all things. (In the battle of Armageddon and the final Bowl the cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains ‘disappear’).

[See The End of The Age]

Elijah and John The Baptist
Elijah was undoubtedly, one of Israel's greatest prophets. He completely changed the weather over Israel for several years in a row, he called down fire from heaven, raised the dead and, skipping death himself, was borne off to heaven in a whirlwind. John the Baptist was, very clearly a type of Elijah. John’s life and message bore many similarities to that of Elijah. He appeared on the scene suddenly, sought to turn people back to God as Elijah did in his day and even dressed like Elijah. Therefore it is hardly surprising that the Jews wondered if he might be the promised figure of Elijah. (The Jews did not seem to understand that the promise of Elijah did not necessarily mean the literal, historical Elijah, but simply someone who comes in the spirit and power of Elijah and performs a similar ministry).

John the Baptist was the only prophet who was the fulfillment of a distinct prophecy given by Malachi,
who was in turn using the words of Isaiah...

    Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. [Malachi 3:1]

    The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. [Isaiah 40:3].

Jesus verified the Malachi prophecy as applying to John the Baptist, saying..

    This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way before thee. [Matthew 11:10]

The angel told Zacharias before John's birth..

    And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. [Luke 1:17]

But Malachi seems to blend, as both Joel and Jesus did, the first and second coming of our Lord. After the Transfiguration the three disciples and Jesus were coming down from the mountain and had the following conversation:

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?

    And he answered and said, Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things: but I say into you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they would. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. Then understood the disciples that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [Mat 17:10-13] (Emphasis Added)

In the above discussion Jesus seems to switch time frames in mid sentence and speak both of an Elijah that had already come [John the Baptist] and one that had yet to come, which could tie in with both the verses in Malachi that speak of Elijah [3:1 and 4:5], especially Malachi 4:5, where the Lord promised Israel that He would send them Elijah the prophet before "the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord". Perhaps another “voice of one crying in the wilderness”

Many commentators believe that one of the two witnesses mentioned in Rev. 11:3 may be "Elijah". As in the case of John the Baptist, this does not necessarily mean the literal, historical Elijah, but simply someone who comes in the spirit and power of Elijah and performs a similar function. [See The Two Witnesses of Revelation]

Jesus’ Partially Fulfilled Prophecy In Matthew 10
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends the apostles out in pairs, warning them about certain perils that they would face.

    “But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. [Matthew 10:17-23a]

However none of the events that Jesus described came to pass.. at least not immediately. At the time Jesus sent them out in pairs, they were not brought before governors and kings for His name's sake and, as far as we know, the Holy Spirit did not give them utterance when they were on trial. But much of what Jesus told the apostles would happen to them, happened to Him first. 

    Now when morning was come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pilate the governor. [Matthew 27:1 -2].

However the pattern is repeated in the early chapters of Acts, when the apostles see a partial fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy when they are brought before governors and kings and scourged in the synagogue.

    And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. [Act 5:40-41].

However in neither case did brother deliver up brother, parents deliver up their children and the children rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. Why was not all of Jesus’ prophecy fulfilled either in what happened to Him, or later to the apostles.

The answer lies in the fact that all Hebrew prophecy is a recurring pattern with an ultimate fulfillment. Therefore not all of Jesus’ prophecy necessarily applied to the apostles. One clue to the timing of the final fulfillment is found in Luke 21:12, which is essentially a repeat of the Matthew 10 prophecy, with one notable addition. Luke quotes Jesus as prefacing His words with  'before all these things”…

    "'But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls."

The “things” that Jesus was speaking about are found in the preceding verse, and clearly refer to end time conditions...

    and there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences; and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven. [Luke 21:11]

In other words, Jesus prophecy was partially fulfilled in what happened to Him, was again partially fulfilled in the events that happened to the apostles, but the ultimate and complete fulfillment is slated to happen sometime before the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which is when we shall see “terrors and great signs from heaven”.

This is an almost identical situation to the day of Pentecost, when Peter quoted a prophecy by Joel.

Peter and Joel’s Prophecy
In Acts 2:15-20, Peter quotes from Joel chapter 2, saying  "'For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

    And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.  And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day. [Act 2:17-20] 

Peter’s words have led many to erroneously assume that Joel’s entire prophecy was fulfilled that day. However a simple reading of the prophecy makes it quite clear that not everything spoken of by the prophet came to pass on Pentecost. While the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was accompanied by some remarkable signs and wonders, No prophecies were made, no one dreamed dreams or saw visions. The promised awesome displays of celestial phenomena were conspicuous by their absence. There was no blood, fire, or pillars of smoke, The sun did not turn to darkness nor the moon to blood. The day of Pentecost was quite simply not the day of the Lord that Joel predicted.

Therefore the events in Acts were only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy made by Joel. The rest is yet to come. It is not until the ‘Day of The Lord’ that the Sun and moon will be darkened…

    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. Revelation 6:12-13. [Emphasis Added]

The early church experienced a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, corresponding to the spring rains, but  Acts 2:16-21 predicts that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Last Days will also be accompanied by signs and wonders, by prophecy and visions. There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early church, and there will be again on the church of the last days. The latter rain is yet to come. [See End Time Revival Or End Time Apostasy?]

The ministry of Paul and his last days replayed the events that transpired in Jesus’ last days. 

    The rabbis make false charges against Jesus to the Roman authorities in John 9:4 & 6. however, Pontius Pilate wants no part in judging Jesus. (John 19:4-6) False charges were made by the rabbis against Paul to the Roman authorities, but the Roman governor wanted no part in judging Paul. (Acts 18:12-18).

    Prior to His arrest, Jesus met with His disciples at Passover in an upper room to break bread (Mark 14:12-15). Paul met with his disciples in an upper room to break bread before he was arrested (Acts 20:6-8,)

    Jesus predicted His death to His followers, accepting it as God's will for His life (John 10:15 and Mark 10:32-34). Paul does the very same things in Acts 20:24, 25

    In John 18:11, Jesus' disciples attempted to convince Him to avoid this death, not to go to Judea in order to spare His life. In Acts 21:11-13, Paul's disciples also try to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem in order to save his neck.

    Matthew 7:15, 24:11, Mark 13:6, and Luke 21:8 contain warnings from Jesus about wolves that would come to devour the sheep once He left, and He did this at the end of His three-year relationship with them. Acts 20:29,30 shows Paul at the end of three years warning his disciples about false prophets who would come in among them.

    Mark 15:12-15, John 19:15, Luke 23:21, and Matt. 27:21-23 record that the multitudes cried out for the death of Jesus, having been incited by the rabbis. In Acts 21:36 and 22:22 we find the multitude demanding Paul's death after having been incited by the rabbis.

    Matthew 26:59-61 shows the rabbis trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus; He was falsely accused of teaching against the Torah and the Temple. Acts 21:28 records the same thing happening to Paul - the rabbis falsely accused him of teaching against the Torah and the Temple.

    In Luke 23:8 we see how Jesus aroused curiosity, then intrigue, with the civil Roman government; in Acts 22:30 we find that Paul, too, aroused curiosity and then intrigue with the civil Roman government.

     In John 19 and Matthew 27 the Roman government tried to release Jesus, but then turned the entire affair over to the rabbinic authorities once they were unable to free Him, knowing He was innocent. In Acts 22:30 and 18:15 it happened to Paul.

    Matthew 27:24 reveals that the Roman authorities were forced to re-intervene in the case of Jesus in order to prevent rioting; Acts 23:10, 21:34-36 records that the Roman government also had to intervene in Paul's case to prevent rioting.

    The Roman governor in Matthew 26:4 came from Caesarea to Jerusalem to judge Jesus when the rabbis formed their conspiracy to kill Him; the Roman proconsul came from Caesarea to Jerusalem to judge Paul under the same circumstances, in Acts 23:12, 21.

    Jesus was delivered by His Jewish brothers into the hands of Gentiles and the governor in fulfillment of a specific prophecy, as seen in Luke 23:1, Matthew 27:2, Luke 18:32. In Acts 10:18 Paul underwent the same ordeal, again in fulfillment of a specific prophecy.

    John 18:22 tells of Jesus being struck for the way He spoke to the high priest; Acts 23:2 tells of Paul also being struck for the same reason.

    In Matthew 23:27 Jesus called the religious hypocrites 'whitewashed tombs', alluding to the whitewashing of sepulchers for the Passover. In Acts 23:3 Paul calls the priest a 'whitewashed wall'.

    Jesus used the Resurrection to counter-manipulate the Pharisees and Sadducees against each other when they had come together against Him, in Luke 20:26-40. In Acts 23:9, Paul uses the same strategy.


[1]The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem,

[2] As quoted in http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayd.htm


To Old Testament and Messianic Prophecy