TYPES AND ANTITYPES
THE STUDY OF TYPES
A. EDWIN WILSON
The Old Testament has been called, "The Neglected Continent of the Bible." Many know the Old Testament just for a few favorite chapters. Others think of it only as giving a few biographical sketches. But few realize that for every New Testament doctrine, there is a type in the Old Testament. Historical events took place as recorded in the Old Testament in order to illustrate, typify, or symbolize New Testament truths. Note carefullyI Cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (types): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." The Old Testament contains the object lesson, and the New Testament contains the explanation of that object lesson. Prov. 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." The Old Testament is God's picture book, His object lessons, His building blocks. In the New Testament these blocks are put together and they always spell out or point to some phase of the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ and our relation to Him. The coats of skin with which God covered Adam and Eve; the sacrifices of Cain and Abel; the names of the Old Testament characters; Noah's Ark; Egypt; Pharoah; the ten plagues; the Passover; the Red Sea; the wilderness; the manna; the Jordan River; the land of promise, etc. - ALL OF THESE ARE TYPES and are written for our admonition.
Our Lord reproved the disciples on the road to Emmaus as "fools and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets had spoken." The prophets spoke in type, symbol, materials, colours, animals, buildings, persons, events, and in divers manners concerning Christ. Just think for one minute - EVERYTHING in the Tabernacle, the shape, materials, colours - all that was in the Tabernacle portrays something about Christ and His ministry and work.
In the Book ofHebrews (5:10, 11), the Spirit of the Lord rebukes Christians very sharply for their imperfect knowledge of Melchizedek as a type of Christ in His coming Kingdom when He shall be the Prince of Peace and King of kings; thus beyond any shadow of doubt, it is the DUTY and PRIVILEGE of Christians with the help of the Holy Spirit of God to search into the types of the Scripture and come to a correct understanding of them. In fact, the types of Scripture, especially those relating to the return, rule, judgment, kingdom, and the part Christians may have in His kingdom, and kindred subjects, are called by the Spirit of the Lord THE MEAT OF THE WORD. Christians are urged to leave the milk of the Word, the elementary things pertaining to salvation, and to go on to maturity by feeding on the meat, that is, the types of the Word of Righteousness - the Old Testament.
Though the word type does not occur in the King James Version, it does appear in the Greek text. In1Cor. 10: 6-11 we have the word tupoi from the word tupos from which comes our English word type. In Hebrews 9: 24 and 1Pet. 3: 21 we have the words antitupa and antiupon from which comes our word antitype. A TYPE is a divine illustration of some truth or doctrine which is foreshadowed. For instance, the Passover lamb, its characteristics, blood shedding, application of the blood on the doorposts and lintel which brought deliverance to Israel - all these are types of the Lord Jesus Christ who brings salvation to all who will apply His shed blood through faith to their lost and undone condition. Again, Egypt is a type of the world from which we are delivered. The wilderness is a type of our pilgrimage from the time of salvation until we enter the promised land. Canaan, the promised land, is a type of the Millennial land and reign of Christ and his saints who qualify to reign with Him.
JOSEPH - A TYPE OF CHRIST
Not only isFirst Corinthians ten verse eleven Scripture for studying Joseph as a type of Christ, but in Psalms 81: 5 we read that Joseph was ordained by God as a testimony, or type, in all his Egyptian experiences, and I want to call your attention to about twenty-seven analogous and typical relations between Joseph and Christ.
1. Joseph was the son of his father’s old age(Gen. 37: 3).
Jesus was the Son of God the Father’s old age, that is, He was God’s Son of eternity - from eternity to eternity - no beginning and no ending(John 1: 1).
2. Joseph was greatly beloved of his father, more so than all the other children(Gen. 37: 3).
Jesus was the beloved Son of His Father(Matt. 3:17)
3. Joseph received from his father a coat of many colors(Gen. 37:3). This coat typified three things: First, that Joseph was the son and heir of his father (Jesus was the Son and Heir of God the Father - Heb. 1: 2). Second, the coat of many colors revealed the exalted dignity bestowed upon Joseph by Israel his father (Jesus was highly exalted by God the Father - Phil. 2: 9-11). Third, the many colors depicted many offices which Joseph would hold (Jesus was the holder of many offices as signified by His many crowns; and He had many different names showing further the different aspects of His person and work - Rev. 19:12).
4. Joseph had two dreams prophesying his sovereignty over his brethren(Gen. 37:5-11).
Jesus had a prophecy concerning His sovereignty over His brethren(Luke 1:33).
5. Joseph willingly accepted the commission to go unto his brethren and see about their welfare(Gen. 37:13).
Jesus willingly obeyed the Father by laying aside His glory and coming to earth to see about His brethren and their welfare(Heb. 10:7).
6. Joseph sought only his brethren(Gen. 37:13).
Jesus came only to His brethren, the lost sheep of the house of Israel(Matt. 15:24).
7. Joseph's first contact with his brethren was while they were shepherds(Gen. 37:13, 16).
Jesus' first announcement was by the angels to the shepherds in the fields(Luke 2:15).
8. Joseph wandered around in the field when he sought his brethren(Gen. 37:15).
Jesus was a wanderer in the field (the field is the world) while seeking His brethren, and He had no place to call His home(Luke 9:58; Matt. 13:38).
9. Joseph found his brethren in Dothan. Dothan means "bound by custom" or "under the law"(Gen. 37:17).
Jesus found His brethren slaves to the traditions or customs of the Jews and the ritualism and formalism of the Judaistic worship.
10. Joseph's brethren refused to receive him(Gen. 37:18, 19).
Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not(John 1:11).
11. Joseph's brethren conspired to slay him(Gen. 37:18, 20).
Jesus' brethren took counsel against Him to put Him to death(Matt. 27:1).
12. Joseph's brethren mocked and ridiculed him(Gen. 37:18, 19).
Jesus was mocked and ridiculed by the chief priests and scribes, and Herod's men(Luke 23:10, 11).
13. Joseph was sold by his brethren as a slave(Gen. 37:27).
Jesus was sold by one of His brethren for the price of a slave(Matt. 26:14, 15).
14. Joseph was cast into the pit by his brethren(Gen. 37:24).
Jesus was to descend into the pit [Hades] also for three days and nights(Matt. 12:40).
15. Joseph was stripped of his coat(Gen. 37:23).
Jesus was stripped of His coat(Matt. 27:35).
16. Joseph was taken out of the pit alive(Gen. 37:28).
Jesus came out of the pit alive(Matt. 28:6).
17. Joseph was thought by one of his brethren, Reuben, to be dead because he did not find him in the pit and he did not know what had happened to him(Gen. 37:29).
Jesus' brethren, the Jews, think He is dead today, not knowing what has happened to Him.
18. Joseph's coat, dipped in blood, was presented to his father - a goat's kid dying in Joseph's place(Gen. 37:31, 32).
Jesus' blood was presented to the Father as an atonement for the sins of others(Heb. 9:12).
19. Joseph, rejected by his brethren, became the saviour of the world while he was in Egypt.
Jesus, rejected by the Jews, became the Saviour of the whole world(Rom. 11:15).
20. Joseph, rejected by his brethren, sat on the right hand of the throne of power in Egypt(Gen. 41:39-44).
Jesus, rejected by the Jews, is seated on the right hand of the Throne of Power(Heb. 8:1).
21. Joseph, in his rejection, took unto himself a Gentile bride(Gen. 41:45).
Jesus, in His rejection, is taking unto Himself a Gentile bride(Acts 15:14).
22. Joseph's brethren, because of great tribulation, were forced to go to Joseph for help(Gen. 42:1-3).
Jesus' brethren, amid great tribulation, shall call upon Him who is the Lord(Deut. 30: 1, 2).
23. Joseph's brethren did not know him, but Joseph knew them(Gen. 42:8).
Jesus knows His brethren but they do not know Him(Hos. 5:3).
24. Joseph punished his brethren before he revealed himself to them(Gen. 42:7).
Jesus will punish His brethren before He reveals Himself to them(Matt. 24:21, 30).
25. Joseph revealed himself to his brethren on the third day(Gen. 42:18).
Jesus will reveal Himself to His brethren on the third day(Hos. 6:1, 2).
26. Joseph's brethren carried the proclamation that Joseph was alive and the ruler over all the land(Gen. 45:26).
Jesus' brethren will carry the proclamation to all the land that He is alive and their Messiah(John 4:22; Rev. 7; Matt. 24:14).
27. Joseph was in the place of God, not only for his brethren's sake, but for the sake of the whole world(Gen. 50:19, 20).
Jesus, as God, shall rule over all the earth(Isa. 9:6, 7).
This brief study of Joseph as a type of Christ should be a revelation to one in his study of the Person and office work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
A TYPE OF ISRAEL'S FUTURE NATIONAL CONVERSION
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause 1 obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting"(1Tim.1: 15, 16)
As Paul is discussing the purpose of Christ's first advent into the world "to save sinners," we call attention to the fact that his conversion was for a different purpose entirely; that is, he was not saved just to obtain mercy but that in his salvation Christ should outline the salvation of a group who would hereafter believe. The word pattern means an outline, type, or preview. Since there are just two groups to be reached with the gospel -the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and the Gentiles - we must first ascertain to which group Paul refers as being the antitype.
The primary force in Paul's conversion was the personal, physical, visible, and literal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. We know from other Scriptures, as well as by experience and observation, that Gentiles are not to be saved as a nation but as individuals through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, such passages of Scripture as the following ones reveal the fact that there is a day coming when the nation of Israel (those who will be alive at that particular time) shall be saved, and a nation shall be born in a day:"Who bath heard such a thing? who bath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isa. 66:8); 'And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is rerined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God (Zech. 118, 9); "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11:26).
So the evidence here is conclusive that the group of whom Paul speaks in1Tim.1:16 is Israel. Of course, we always keep in mind the fact that individual Jews are being saved today, even as Gentiles, through a personal response to the gospel invitation; but God has never dealt with Gentiles as a nation - only with Israel has He so dealt. And what Paul is really saying in this sixteenth verse is that he was saved in order that his conversion and subsequent experiences would serve as a type for the conversion of the nation of Israel. In 1 Cor. 15:8, Paul speaks of himself as one born out of due time. The literal translation in the Greek and English of the words "born out of due time" is "abortion." Paul being an Israelite thinks of himself as being born from above before the time for the conversion of national Israel.
Let us note some outstanding experiences in Paul's conversion and life, and see the analogy between them and Israel's coming conversion:
1. Saul was most zealous in his persecution of Christians. The Scriptures and history record the fact that apostate Israel is and will be most zealous in its persecution of Christians. We have not seen too much of that in recent years in this country because of the small minority of the Jews, but the names Christ and Christian have been words of hatred and enmity to the Jews, and they have never hesitated to make known their feelings in every way possible against those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. During the great tribulation, Jewish hatred and persecution of Christians will reach its height, comparable to that of Saul of Tarsus as he hastened toward Damascus.
2. It was while Saul was on this mission of hate that the Lord Jesus Christ personally appeared to him, and when He asked, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Saul asked the question, "Who art thou, Lord?" It was then that Jesus revealed to him that He was the lowly Nazarene whom he hated, and he recognized Him then as the Christ.
When Christ appears in person to the nation of Israel at the close of the great tribulation, the Jews in astonishment will ask, "What are these wounds in thine hands?" and He will reveal to them that He is Jesus of Nazareth and also the Christ, their Messiah, when He answers, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends"(Zech. 13:6). Then shall be fulfilled Rev. 1: 7, "Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
We note in Paul's conversion that all with him saw the glory of the Lord, but only he heard Him speak. Evidently all shall see the Lord when He returns with clouds, but only Israel will hear Him speak.
3. Immediately upon Paul's conversion he asked, "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" Jesus said for him to go into the city and it would be told him what to do. Following his baptism Paul went away into the desert where he was instructed personally by the Lord Jesus Christ. How often he called attention to the fact that the gospel which he preached was not learned from man nor by man, but from the personal revelation of Christ to him. After Israel's conversion she, too, will be taught by the Lord Himself the gospel which she is to teach and preach (some eminent scholars notwithstanding;Isa. 11:1-9).
4. Up until the time of Paul's conversion, the spread of Christianity had been practically nil. After his conversion and under his preaching, it spread to the four points of the compass, and all the world heard(Rom. 10:18; Col. 1:23). Today, after nearly two thousand years of Christian missions, over two-thirds of the earth's population has not yet heard of Christ. It will continue to be practically the same until Israel is converted and then her experience will parallel that of Paul. Israel will again become Jehovah's witnesses and will carry the gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth (Isa. 43:9-12; Rom. 11:15; John 4:22; Matt. 24:14).
5. Paul was the last apostle chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ, and his mission in the main was to be an apostle to the Gentiles. The nation of Israel will be the last group to be commissioned to preach the gospel, and their mission will be mostly to the Gentiles. One of the primary reasons our Lord has urged upon us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to be zealous in calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name, and to pray for our Lord's return is that His purposes concerning Israel shall be fulfilled and she, as a nation, shall be saved and then carry the gospel to all of the Gentile nations, during which time an innumerable host shall be saved.
So now we see that the salvation of the Gentiles under the preaching of the nation of Israel will be far greater than it ever has been or ever could be under the preaching of the church(Acts 15:13-18).
By way of conclusion, may we call attention to the fact that the Jew is the key to God's plans and purposes as revealed in His Word. Apart from a knowledge of Israel's place in these eternal plans and purposes of God, no one can understand the Scriptures as a whole. So important is the Jew and so dear is he to the heart of God the Father that He has promised special blessings upon those who minister to them, and He has also promised a curse upon those who refuse to do so(Gen. 12:3; Psa. 122:6; Isa. 54:17; Zech. 2:8, 9).
BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND
Israel's journeyings from Egypt to Canaan are typical of the Christian's journey from the day of his salvation to the Millennial Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In the study of typology, Egypt typifies the world and the land of Canaan typifies the Millennial reign. The intervening wilderness and desert typify a Christian's pilgrimage from the time of the new birth to death. Watch how this type develops.
The beginning of Israel's journeyings was the institution of the Passover - the slaying of the lamb, the sprinkling of the blood upon the doorposts and lintel. After having their lives spared because of the blood, the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea and entered into the wilderness. An individual begins his journey toward the promised land by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. That puts such a one under the blood. The next step is that of baptism, which typifies resurrrection to walk in newness of life. The blood and the water place both Israel and the Christian on the road toward the promised land.
I must emphasize one special truth just now - while the blood and water are essential for the journey to the promised land, they alone are not sufficient. (I am not talking about salvation - that was cared for BY THE BLOOD.) The wilderness journeyings are a testing ground for Israel and Christians, to prove their ability to rule and reign with Christ. How significant that of all the responsible individuals who left Egypt, only two, Joshua and Caleb, entered the promised land. Not even Moses was allowed to enter.*
The Jordan River typifies death and the promised land the Kingdom. Let me sum it up in four brief statements:
1. Both Israel and Christians start with equal providential and spiritual blessings.
2. Each has a title to the promise of a glorious land - God's sworn possession for His children.
3. Each group has to persevere through their pilgrimage until they reach their goal.
4. Through faith in God's promises and power to take them in, they may gain their inheritance.
All but Joshua and Caleb failed to inherit the promised land because:
1. They desired evil things.
2. They worshipped gods other than the one true God.
3. They committed sins of the flesh.
4. They provoked God by saying they wished they had never started,
5. They murmured against God's judgments and against His leadership.
Just think of the large number of born-again Christians who are going to miss many blessings of the Kingdom because of the same sins as listed above.
Care must be taken that a type is not pressed beyond its acceptable limit. That Moses will be in the millennial kingdom is undeniable: " There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, andIsaac, and Jacob and ALL THE PROPHETS, in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13: 28). That it is the Millennial kingdom and not the eternal state, is shown by the context : "Strive to enter in by the narrow door" (Verse 23). Moses was a prophet of God. (Ex. 4: 12, 15, 16.)
A BRAND FROM THE BURNING
"And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head, So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, thenthou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (Zechariah 3:1-7).
A study of the life and experiences of Joshua, the high priest, is very timely for three reasons. First, it tells of the actual experiences of Joshua. Second, it typifies the experiences of the nation of Israel. And third, it is a very apt illustration of the experiences of a Christian from the time of his salvation until the day of his glorification.
Our interest just now is in the third point - that of an individual becoming a Christian and moving on toward the coming Kingdom of our Lord.
1. Joshua standing between God and Satan clothed in filthy garments is a picture of a poor, lost sinner clothed in his own unrighteousness. SeeGen. 6:5; Mark 5:1-5; Luke 15:11-24. These are a few of many passages of Scripture which give the condition of an individual before he is saved.
2. The command inZech. 3: 4, "Take away the filthy garments from him" portrays the Lord Jesus Christ taking away our sins (see I Cor. 15:3; Heb. 9:26). Just as the filthy garments were removed from Joshua so does the Lord remove our sins and transgressions from us. Man does not do that for himself; only the Lord can remove a man's sins and that through and by the power of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. In the latter part ofZech. 3:4 the Lord says, "I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Not only does the Lord take away the filthy garments but the Lord puts the change of raiment on Joshua. How beautifully this pictures the Lord taking away our sins and clothing us with His own righteousness. This is illustrated also in Gen. 3:21 where in the word "make" we have the implication that the Lord slew and skinned the animals, dressed the skins, made coats out of them and then put these coats of skins on Adam and Eve. "But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet" (Luke 15:22).
4. Joshua, having been cleansed, robed and crowned is now ready to fulfill the purpose of God in his life, which fulfillment is conditioned by Joshua's obedience. Likewise, after an individual has been forgiven of his sins, his iniquities removed from him and the righteousness of God imputed unto him, he is then ready to live for the Lord. The crown he will wear must be won; the rewards for the Kingdom must be earned; the separation from those raised from among the dead must be attained. InZech. 3:7 we read that one must walk in the ways of the Lord and must keep the charge of the Lord if such a one is to have a position of authority and honor in the Kingdom.
(A) Walking in the ways of the Lord refers to our personal relationship to Him. I mean by that, our personal holiness, our personal prayer and Bible study life, and our personal relationships in the home, out of the home, on the street, off the street. We are to be living examples of children of God.
(B) Keeping His charge refers to our official relationship to the Lord:
(1) we are to be His witnesses even to the ends of the earth - telling the story of Jesus to those who know it not;
(2) we are ambassadors, being in the world but not of it;
(3) we are to be teachers of the Word of the Lord;
(4) we are to be living and praying for His return;
(5) we are to be proclaiming the truth of His coming Kingdom.
If we walk in His ways and keep His charge then we are going to be judges in His house (that is, we shall rule and reign with Him). We will have positions of honour and glory in His court and preferred places of association with others who have qualified. It is one thing to be saved by grace and an entirely different thing to be rewarded according to works.
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT
"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed"(Luke 17:28-30).
Lot is representative of faithless Christians - those who are saved but live for self; consequently, they have no rewards or works that endure. He represents those who will be saved but have no crowns. His uncle, Abraham, is representative of Christians who, being faithful, have earned for themselves crowns and places of honor and glory in the service of the Lord during His thousand-year reign. Let us look at Lot as he moved away from Abraham and trace his downward movements as he drifted away from the Lord and became a full-fledged carnal Christian. Ultimately he was saved but all his works were destroyed.
This is very important because Jesus Himself said that in the days just before His return, the actions of Christians would parallel those of Lot, with the logical result being that few will share in Christ's rewards and in ruling with Him.
1. The first step in the life of Lot is found inGen. 13:10, 11. There was strife between Abraham's and Lot's herdsmen, and Abraham agnanimously offered Lot his choice of the land so that the herds and herdsmen might be separated. This would bring about peace which Abraham wanted because they were brethren and there should be no strife between them. Lot knew nothing of walking by faith; so in this particular instance, he chose the well-watered plain of Jordan.
A Christian can become quickly involved in worldliness when he views things with the eyes of flesh rather than through faith in the living God. Too often today there are Christians who judge things solely by appearance without any regard to God's estimate of them.
2. Having established the pattern of his life to live according to the principles of the world (walking by sight and not by faith), we find inGen. 13:12 that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. Now a citizen of the world with all his hopes and ambitions centered on worldly things, it was only logical that he should move closer to the city of Sodom, the center of the world he had chosen. He was not yet in Sodom, but he was on his way.
There are Christians today who deviate from the pattern of a walk pleasing to the Lord as they move toward the world with all its allures. Though they are not yet in it, their thoughts, plans and hopes-in fact, their whole life is beginning to be centered there.
3. It was not long after this until Lot moved into Sodom. He was not walking according to the Spirit but according to the course of this world. Living in Sodom were all of his associates and all of his children's companions. They were people who knew not God, having ambitions to soar to heights of worldly success, enjoyment and possessions. Such a life leaves little or no time for the Lord.
By way of contrast, Abraham was a pilgrim dwelling in tents. Instead of settling in Sodom, he looked for a city that had foundations whose builder and maker is God.
4. Lot then took office in Sodom(Gen. 19:1). The expression "sat in the gate of Sodom" is equal to our expression "held office and transacted business for the city." The men who sat in the gate collected taxes from those who came in. They noted the ones leaving with their cargo, and handled many other phases of the city's business.
This has its counterpart in contemporary Christians who seek office or try to place other Christians in office so that they may take over the rule of this present world.1 Cor. 4:5 tells us that this is not the day for Christians to rule the world. This is the day of the Lord's rejection by the world, and if we serve Him faithfully, it will reject us too. This is not the time for Christians to try to improve or reform the world. It is resting under the judgment of God and is moving on toward complete destruction. Dwight L. Moody expressed it in these words: "The world is a sinking ship. I am not called to save the ship. My mission is to save a few souls off the ship before it sinks." If Satan can keep churches, ministers and Christian laymen busy trying to run the world or clean it up, he is very successful in hindering the spreading of the gospel. In studying the life of the Lord you will find that He devoted all His time in calling out individuals to serve Him. He spent no time at all in reform movements.
5. Because of Lot's presence in Sodom, and because of his holding office and being a full-fledged citizen there, he lost his testimony for the Lord. InGen. 19:14, we are told that his own sons-in-law looked upon him as one who was mentally incapacitated when he tried to tell them of the coming judgment on Sodom. We learn later in this chapter that Lot's daughters and sons-in-law perished in Sodom because they would not believe the things Lot told them.
No greater tragedy can come to a Christian than to live in such a manner that he has no testimony at all among his friends and loved ones.
6. Even though Lot had no witness or testimony and no works that survived the testing of fire, he was delivered from the city before its destruction. "Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither"(Gen. 19:22a).
In this, Lot is a blessed illustration, or type, of the rapture of the saved before the tribulation. All this is possible because salvation is by grace plus nothing. One of the most precious truths in the Word of God is the fact that Christians have not been appointed to wrath and will be delivered before a single judgment of the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth.*
7. All of Lot's works were destroyed in the fire of Sodom. InMatt. 3:11, John the Baptist says, "I indeed baptize you in water ... He (Jesus) shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and in fire." "Every man's work shall be made manifest.. for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is " (I Cor. 3:13). Here the baptism in fire is the trying of our works. Just as all of Lot's works were destroyed by fire, even so shall all of our works be destroyed which are not done for the glory of the Lord. It is clearly seen in I Cor. 3:15 that a man's works can be of such a nature that they shall all be burned; or they can be done for the Lord and earn crowns and rewards. Many Christians today are so busy in church work that they have no time for the Lord. Remember that church work is not necessarily synonymous with service for the Lord.
8. Though all of Lot's works were destroyed in Sodom, he himself was saved. "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire"(I Cor. 3:15). There is nothing that a man can do to cause him to lose his salvation after he has been saved; but he can fail to live for the Lord to the extent that he will appear before the judgment seat of Christ without a single good work to his credit.
Let us note the summation of Lot's experience: He is a perfect illustration of a man who is saved but has no crown; a man who is saved but has no reward; a man who is saved but has no place of rulership in our Lord's kingdom; a man who is saved but is a castaway as far as service in the kingdom is concerned.
Remember, beloved, salvation is by grace and rewards are according to works; and for the duration of the Millennium,* there will be a difference between faithful and unfaithful Christians in the matter of rewards and service.
We must not overlook the description given of Lot’s final position: "And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters with him ; for he feared to dwell in Zoar : and he dwelt IN A CAVE, he and his two daughters"(Gen. 19: 30). In other words, Lot spent his latter days under the earth’s surface, in a cave - a type of disembodied souls remaining in Hades after the first selective resurrection. And this is what will happen to worldly Christians who, like him, will remain in Hades for the duration of the Millennium? Here is a difference ‘between faithful and unfaithful Christians.’ The faithful rule with Christ during the Millennium - ‘on’ and ‘over’ the earth ; while the unfaithful remain in the death state, in Hades, ‘in the heart of the earth’. The former are rewarded and are ‘accounted worthy’ of the ‘first resurrection’ ; the latter are not.