(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a five-part series written by Thomas M. (Tom) Saltsgiver, the president of Muncy Homes Inc. and Wirerope Works Inc. He has been involved in philanthropic giving and Christian ministry since 1985, when the Lord touched and changed his life. He has served in various positions on advisory boards of his local church, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Episcopal Renewal Ministries, Acts 29 Ministries, Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, The Sentinel Group, Regent University and The Christian Broadcasting Network. Tom teaches the adult Bible study at 9 a.m. Sunday at the G.A.P. Fellowship, 312 Maynard St., corner of Third and Maynard streets, in Williamsport.)
Have you ever wondered why there are so many different interpretations of Holy Scripture in the church today? Each denomination has its own beliefs and each differs from the other. Obviously some or all are in error in their beliefs. My question is, has God given us the correct theology in the historic stories of the Old Testament and we are just not seeing it? Psalm 78 says:
Psalms 78:1-2 (NIV) (1)O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. (2)I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old.
What are parables in the Bible, but stories in the natural that perfectly portray truths in the spiritual. Is that not what foreshadowings are? We read an Old Testament historic story and it perfectly portrays a higher spiritual truth.
After the Lord started revealing to me the spiritual foreshadowings of the Bible, it presented a theology that was different than that which I had come to believe from the teachings of every church that I had ever attended. Primarily, because today's church teaches two positions: you're either lost or you're saved. Today's church tells us that all believers are saved and a member of the body of Jesus Christ; that all believers are saved and will be going to heaven; and, that all the books of the New Testament are written to and are applicable to all believers. But these are not what the foreshadowings portray.
I think we all recognize that there is a physical realm and there is a spiritual realm. Israel was God's elect in the natural. The church is God's elect in the spiritual. As much as Israel sold themselves into the bondage of pharaoh in Egypt, mankind, through Adam at the fall, has been sold into the bondage of Satan in the World. As God had to get Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land (representing Kingdom living), we in the spiritual have to take that same journey. In that journey, there are four positions.
To give you a little bit of insight on the foreshadowing: In Egypt the first pharaoh had Joseph second in command and pharaoh was the ruler over Egypt. Egypt represents the World. The first Pharaoh represents God the Father being the first ruler over the World. And Joseph represents Jesus (Joseph's life is a parallel of the life of Jesus) and Jesus was second in command under God the Father. Israel had sold themselves and their land into bondage for food. At the fall, Adam and Eve sold mankind and our land into the bondage of Satan for food - eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Then it says the next pharaoh did not know Joseph. Who is now the ruler of this world? The Bible says Satan is now the ruler of this world and Satan does not know Jesus Christ; he knows of Him, but know in the way that Adam knew Eve? We know Christ in an intimate relationship and it says the second pharaoh did not know Joseph, which is saying the second ruler of the world, Satan, does not "know" Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:3 (NIV) (3)We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
The way that Israel was delivered from the bondage of pharaoh is the same way that we are delivered from the bondage of Satan. In this writing, I am just going to hit the high points of the foreshadowing that accomplished that deliverance.
God appeared to Moses and said (paraphrased), "I'm going to send you to deliver my people" and Moses says, "No, I can't do it. I'm slow of speech and tongue." God says to Moses, "Look, I'll give you the words to say" and again Moses says, "O Lord please send someone else to do it." The Bible says God's anger burned against Moses. Why? See, the picture is God is going to send Moses, who represents Israel. Salvation comes through Israel, but Israel said no and when God said, "Look, I'll give you the words to say," he offered Israel His Word, Jesus Christ, and Israel said no and God's anger has burned against Israel ever since. It goes on. So, God says, "What about your brother, Aaron, I know he can speak well. He will speak to the people for you." Aaron represents the church and he speaks for Moses. He does not speak for God, he speaks for Moses. God would tell Moses, Moses would tell Aaron, and Aaron would do the speaking and the performing of the miracles. Today it is the church that is speaking for Israel and performing miracles because Israel said, "No," to Jesus the Word of God. So this makes the point that it is not replacement theology.
All the promises that God made to Israel will stand. The church is speaking for Israel because Israel said no. Later in the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, they were washed with clean water, had anointing oil poured over their head (as did the Kings of Israel) and were sprinkled with a mixture of anointing oil and the blood of the sacrifice. Later, you will see that this is very significant and is the same consecration that the true church of Jesus Christ undergoes to become a royal priesthood (1Peter 2:9).