The Spirit in order to bring out the glory of God for human understanding uses the Word from a frame of reference and it is the Principle of Similitude.
Alphabets are symbols as hieroglyphics consists of pictorial representation. Most of the pictures can stand for the object they represent, but usually they stand for sounds. In Egyptian, the owl stands for the sound ‘m’. The Egyptian symbol for a mouth can mean mouth but it’s usually read as the sound ‘r’. Such confusion can happen as when Heavenly realities are transposed for earthly limitations communicating ideas from one medium for another. This is what we see whenever best selling novels are adapted for cinema. Descriptive literary passages in cinema may be compressed in a few shots and emotional intensity conveyed by montage and other tricks. Similarly we cannot exactly match our alphabet to hieroglyphics, because they are two very different languages.
The Spirit in order to give two concepts God as Will and God as the Son of man uses words as well as many literary devices in order to aid our understanding. Principle of similitude explains these two different realities: heavenly and earthly realities. By the same rationale He makes use of Time with reference to earth time that we may follow the Intent of God profitably. Many symbolic references are used to anticipate the advent and work of the Son of man. Thus we have many antitypes, which have been culminated in the deity and person of Jesus. Jesus Christ is the Type. In this context here is a verse of Jesus:” Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up(Jn.2:19)” Temple is a shadow of the body of Jesus. In his resurrection on the third day it was fulfilled. His resurrection in turn points to the story of Prophet Jonah who had no way of knowing what he represented in the Messianic prophecies. When the great fish swallowed him or vomited out he was doing just that according to the divine Will. ( In our own lives why we are tempted beyond measure or afflicted only our Redeemer shall know. Even so we are in the divine Plan.) However Jesus was aware of prophecies built into the Scripture were pointing to him. For he knew from whence he came; and where he would go back having fulfilled the Will of his father.
The Psalmist of Israel had spoken of the Will of God concerning him, “…In the volume of the book it is written of me…(Ps.40:6)” This is what the writer to the Hebrews comments upon. “But a body hast thou prepared me…(He.10:5,7-9) In his atoning work the body is proof of his fulfilling the divine will. The body therefore is a type. The Body consequently represents whosever believes in him. Through the Spirit indwelling each of us has a body, which is a temple. This is what St Paul refers: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dweleth in you? (1 Co.3:16).” Shekinah glory that filled the mercy seat is real through Jesus Christ in our lives.
The spirit uses such symbols throughout giving the role of God the Son volume and in the many promises build up as a tangible Presence. It is similar to what those two followers of Jesus had on their way to Emmaus experienced.
Towards close of his ministry Jesus had explained the role of Spirit was to glorify him.
One might ask is it the truth? The Spirit of truth while bearing testimony tells that “… Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (Jn.1:17) He was the Type and represented attributes of godhead. As the Father, so was in the Son. Testimony of two in law is true, is it not?
In order to impress the role of the Holy Spirit in setting the Bible from the perspective of the Father and the Son let me borrow an analogy from geometry.
A piece of paper is flat, having length and breadth. If it is rolled into a cylinder or a cone, does the essence of paper is lost? As it turns out, even though a cylinder or a cone looks curved, it is intrinsically flat.
These are same, is it not? Truth is in no way compromised.
Suppose the paper is folded into a cone the same used by pedagogues in earlier times to crown a dunce in the class; or for making ice cream, or waffle cone, are they same? Purpose of the Spirit determines its form, parable, allegory or symbol. In whichever case truth is not lost.
Coming back to the temple as a symbol for body we can see the tabernacle in the wilderness, was a shadow of the body of every believer.
Representational typology Ro.5:12 1 Co.15:21 we can see the atoning work of our Lord Saviour is connected in such convincing manner figuratively and in terms of spiritual truth that the Spirit has built upon the deity and his promises. This is our glory far greater than Moses could ever hope for.Of this we shall discuss in the next post.