“(Priests) who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.”(Heb. 8:4-5) Similarly we read thus ‘the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. (Heb. 10:1) NIV
For any serious student of the Bible the principle of Association must be held as key to understand the word of God. The Scriptures is a narrative of Triune God. Thus we get the Word from three viewpoints. Time applied is not according to human time but of God.
Firstly the Will of God is held as inviolable. Secondly the manner it is set into operation is by way of association: the Word is made flesh where we are given the agency of the Son of Man. What of God the Spirit? We read the confession of Jesus before he began his earthly ministry,’ The Spirit of the Lord is on me( Lk.4:18) His gospel relied on the agency of God the Spirit.
All Scripture is God breathed. (2 Ti.3:16.) The principle of Association even when translated into human level does not vitiate the role of Triune God. The Word when made flesh carried the equation of God and Man so that Jesus could say’ Kingdom of God is within ( among) you.’ Also note that we are taught to pray,’ Let thy Kingdom come.‘ Through his ministry he made us count where our true citizenship lay. We through his ministry are ‘partakers of the holy calling.'(Heb. 3:1) The principle of Association is the basis whereby the Bible narrative is given its coherence. This is achieved by the time frame of God is transposed(to use analogy of music) into finite time. Thus we see the Scriptures as being progressive in nature. ‘ …first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.'(Mk.4:28 NIV) On casual reading one may assume Jesus is speaking about a specific manifestation in Nature. ‘All by itself the soil produces grain. vs.28’ But we know that it is set in the context of a parable on the kingdom of God.(vs.26) With the ministry of Jesus the time frame of God became associated with human events and mode of interpretation consequently must revolve around the divinity, ministry of Jesus Christ. Here also the principle of Association must be as clearly laid out as association of concrete with the abstract. For example Word was made flesh where the flesh is associated with abstract (the Spirit).
‘The prophets inquired and searched the Spirit of Christ in them did signify.( 1 Pe.1:11-12)’ How the prophets of Old felt compelled to inquire but with the spirit of Christ? When Jesus Christ began his ministry he adopted parables a mode of revealing the divine Intent.’The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you(Mk.411-13)’. We see the principle of Association giving the world an object by which the search of patriarchs are delineated in more coherent fashion. Jesus Christ is the keystone by which the interpretation of the Scriptures is held in place.
Principle of Association works with persons, events and objects.
One form of this principle is evident in the types.
Adam as the son of God(Lk.3:38) is a type for Jesus as the first born of all creation.(Col.1:15) Jesus is the substance where shadow of Adam merely presented a type. His disobedience brought death to mankind while the second Adam conquered death. These associations carry various shades and one of the lasting pleasures of a student of Bible is when he is able to rightly divide the word in truth.
Holy Spirit interprets the mind of God in symbols, visions. In this context we ought to remember the Scripture adopts many literary artifices that are staple form that writers have adopted to address the secular world. Nostradamus was a seer in the time of Catherine di’ Medici. He predicted of many things with a great measure of accuracy( depending upon your intellectual bent)onto many historical events. For example the death of Henry II . The ability of the world like the magicians in Old Egypt carry certain amount of powers. By their powers they could withstand the work of Moses. Their ‘miracles’ are but the clever talent that man may acquire with effort. But these do not come under the principle of association.
Myths, parables and literary works of the world make use of spirit of the times, source of which is elsewhere. These men show occasional flashes of brilliance but cannot consistently enlighten the mind since they are not connected with Jesus Christ.
Many of the types and their fulfillment in the future are to be seen as partial and are relevant to us since it is associated with Jesus. Jesus Christ spoke many parables.(Mt.13:17) Jesus referring to his own death by which the story of Jonah being swallowed up by a big fish is a type.(Mt.12:39) In Jesus it was fulfilled. Also we read in the epistle of Peter the example of Noah .(1Pe.3:20-21) Revelation through dreams and vision are under the authority of God.’ God reveals the deep and secret things.'(Dan 2:22)
Principle of Association also works with objects. God commanded Noah to make an ark according to His specifications. Later he told Moses ‘Make all things according to the pattern shown to thee in the Mount.”(Ex.25:9, 5)The tabernacle on the wilderness is merely a shadow of things to to come. ‘Building of God, an house not made with hands,eternal in the heavens'(2 Cor.5:1, 5). In interpreting the word of God we need to be careful. Events predicted by prophets are marked by lapse of time that is like a bar placed for the humans. This ban works like flaming swords of cherubim(Gen.3:24) For God such a time constraint does not exist. For example we read’ What are these wounds? These with which I was wounded in the house of my friends‘(Zech. 13:6) It is not difficult to understand the drift of these verses. We can safely place the next verse since it is cited in the gospel of Matthew and Mark.(Mt.26:31;Mk 14:27) The topic veers suddenly to Day of the Lord. The principle of Association relies also on ‘kangaroo events’. Let me explain the portmanteau word or kangaroo word: the word ‘nourished’ carry within its synonym ‘nursed’. In similar fashion events mentioned in the Bible are hidden in something else so its full import can only be reveled in God’s time.