First, a definition to get us all thinking on the same page: What is a biblical type, or, more broadly, a biblical typology? For starters, here is the Greek word, tupos (“type”; Strong’s 5179), used in two relevant biblical contexts:
But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even on those having not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a type [tupos] of Him who is coming (Romans 5:14, LSV).
Extended Question: How, or in what way, is Adam a tupos (“type”) of Jesus?
[Levitical priests], who are an example and shadow, serve of the heavenly things, as Moses has been divinely warned, being about to construct the Dwelling Place [i.e. tabernacle], for, ‘See,’ He says, ‘[that] you will make all things according to the pattern [tupos] that was shown to you on the mountain (Hebrews 8:5, LSV).
Extended Question: What is the purpose of biblical typology?
Second, based on the extended question above, here is an overarching biblical principle that serves to anchor our present study:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through the endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures [so that] we might have hope (Romans 15:4, ESV, bracketed explanation mine).
The Church is part of a greater, heavenly reality:
Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a celebration, or of a new moon, or of Sabbaths, which are a shadow of the coming things, but the body [is] of the Christ (Colossians 2:16-17, LSV).
Compare Col. 2:17 with the nearby verse of Col. 2:19 for the contextual definition of soma (“body”) in 2:17. Moreover, the Body of Christ is not bound to the elemental forces of this world (Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:20), and while we are still present on earth, we already have one foot in the door of heaven (Jn. 17:16; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Col. 3:1; Rev. 4:1).
Extended Question: Is an argument based on biblical typology weak, vague, or invalid? How does the apostle Paul argue his theological points in his writings?
The Focus of the Discussion:
The Premise: Biblical types, copies, and shadows repeatedly emphasize and teach that when a body goes missing, when a bride is taken, and when a temple is removed, the focus quickly turns to God’s judgment, a major transition, and/or a covenant fulfillment.
The apostle Paul picked up on all three biblical metaphors foreshadowing the Christ/Church union in his letter to the Ephesians:
3. Building (Eph. 2:19-22)
The Promise: In keeping with the three illustrative shadows listed above (body, bride, and building), Biblical typology repeatedly affirms and teaches that the Body, Bride, and Temple of Christ (i.e. the Church) will go missing, be taken, and removed immediately prior to the final judgment, purification, and covenant restoration of Israel. In other words, the final judgment and transition into Jacob’s trouble (70th week; Dan. 9:27) does not begin until the Church disappears and is completely removed from the scene:
Because you kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you from the hour of the trial that is about to come on all the world, to try those dwelling on the earth (Revelation 3:10, LSV).
After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in the sky, and the first voice that I heard—as of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must come to pass after these things (Revelation 4:1, LSV).
Each of these points are discussed in the video:
(1) A Body Goes Missing:
- Enoch disappears before rebel angels descend and the global Flood commences: Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5-6
- The Mystery of Moses’ Body: Death and burial recorded in Deuteronomy, but Jude 1:9 informs us of a backstory involving Michael and Satan disputing over Moses’ body. See Flavius “Flavor Flave” Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews)* and the apocryphal Assumption of Moses. After Moses’ body disappears, Joshua/Jesus leads the Israelites into the Promised Land
- Elijah is gone with the wind before Assyrian judgment on Northern kingdom: 2 Kings 2
(2) A Bride is Taken Away:
- Benjaminite Bride-Snatching (last chapter Judges 21:21, see LXX translation: harpazo [x2]). Judges 21 followed by the book of Ruth (Boaz taking a Gentile bride, prefiguring Christ and the Church)
- Zeke’s bride taken from him before judgment on Jerusalem: Ezekiel 24:15-27
- A bride is taken away before the trouble begins in the Song of Solomon 2:10-14
(3) A Building (Tabernacle/Temple) is Removed:
- 1st, 2nd Temple removed (God’s glory departs first prior to each destruction)
- Ark of the Covenant disappearance (and reappearance—in heaven!)
- 1 Peter: Rise of spiritual temple prior to Jerusalem temple’s 70 AD fiery destruction; Jesus speaks of temple removal FIRST before Tribulation talk (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21); bonus: not one stone left; therefore, not one living stone in God’s temple will be left behind at the Rapture!
*Quote from Josephus regarding Moses’ body (Antiquities of the Jews, Book IV, Chapter 8, last line of paragraph 48):
And as he [Moses] was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared, in a certain valley: although he wrote in the Holy Books that he died: which was done out of fear lest they should venture to say, that because of his extraordinary virtue he went to God.