Can Jesus be found throughout the Old Testament in symbolic prophecies? Find out with guest Allan Walker on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on June 15, 2014.
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Dr. Reagan: Most Christians are familiar with written prophecies and oral prophecies in the Bible. But few seem to be aware of symbolic prophecies. When you become familiar with these you can find Jesus throughout the pages of the Old Testament. For an interview with a Bible prophecy expert concerning symbolic prophecy, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My colleague, Nathan Jones, and I have as our special guest this week a Bible prophecy expert who has made a reputation for himself as an interpreter of symbolic prophecy. His name is Allan Walker. He is from Nowata, Oklahoma, and he heads up a ministry called Allan Walker Ministries. Allan, welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
Allan Walker: Dave, thankful to be with you today.
Dr. Reagan: It is always good to have an Okie come down here to God’s country in Texas.
Allan Walker: Reluctantly.
Dr. Reagan: Well, we’re glad to have you brother.
Nathan Jones: Good to have you here.
Allan Walker: Nathan, good to be with you.
Nathan Jones: You too. Hey I got a question for you we are talking about symbolic prophecy. Could you define it for us, and then give us some examples?
Allan Walker: Ok, prophecy in the Bible is scattered throughout Genesis to Revelation. When Jesus rose from the dead He explained the Old Testament prophecies to His followers and pointed out how they all fulfilled teaching about him.
Nathan Jones: So, they were symbols of prophecies that would be fulfilled later in Jesus’ life?
Allan Walker: For example in Genesis 3:15 the seed of the woman was predicted that was actually the first prophecy in the Bible. But then Adam was put to sleep, a rib was taken from him, the woman was created from the rib, and then Adam had a bride. And that was a type, or a picture, or a symbol of the Church coming through the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: What are some other examples then?
Allan Walker: Ok.
Dr. Reagan: Let me give you one. It occurred to me the other night that one of the greatest prophecies in all the Bible– great in terms of its overall impact of its significance is totally symbolic. And that is the prophecy in Daniel chapter 2, where King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. And in that dream he saw this tremendous vision of a man who had a golden head, and silver chest, and thighs of bronze and legs of iron and feet that were brittle. Every bit of that is symbolic in nature. And he didn’t understand what it was, so Daniel said, “Well Sir, you are the golden head. And you are going to be followed by the chest of silver which is going to be the Medo-Persian Empire. And that will be followed by the thighs of bronze which is going to be the Greek Empire. And then there is going to be the iron empire, which of course was the Roman. And that final empire represented by the feet is going to be the empire of the Antichrist. And out of that empire is going to come ultimately– it will be destroyed by a rock that comes that’s not cut out by human hands, so it is supernatural rock. It comes hits the feet, destroys the whole thing, expands and takes over the whole world. And he says, “That is going to be the empire of the Messiah.” Every bit of that is symbolic in nature and took somebody to interpret it. The Bible is full of these kind of interpretive, symbolic types. Well you got one in mind?
Nathan Jones: Well, I was thinking that there is three types of prophecy or prophetic symbols in the Old Testament. We’ve got individual lives, like the life of Joseph for instance. Joseph was rejected by his brother, he was dropped down a well symbolizing death. He was brought out of the well symbolizing life. He was sold into slavery, and he redeemed his brothers through his new position of power and authority, just like Christ will when He’s got the Millennial Kingdom and He’s ruling. So there are individuals who are prophetic types. There’s also historical events that are prophetic types, like the seven feasts which I would love for you talk a little more about. How the seven feasts are prophetic of– sorry– examples of prophetic events that are happening. And of course number three is inanimate objects like the Ark of the Covenant or the Mercy Seat how they are symbolic of Jesus’ life. But could you tell me about the seven feasts?
Allan Walker: Ok, Passover was the first of the seven feasts and in the New Testament the Scripture says that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. Then there was the Feast of Unleavened Bread which speaks of the time that He was in the grave. Then there was the Feast of First Fruits which speaks of resurrection. Following that was the Feast of Pentecost which spoke of the descent of the Holy Spirit and the empowerment of the Church. Then there is the Feast of Trumpets which speaks of the coming of the Lord and our gathering unto Him.
Nathan Jones: The Rapture right?
Allan Walker: Yes.
Nathan Jones: The one we’re all waiting for.
Allan Walker: Yes sir, absolutely. Imminent could happen at any time. Then there is the Day of Atonement which actually refers to the conversion of Israel during the Tribulation Period. The rest of these refer to the Church that refers to Israel. And then there is the Feast of Tabernacles which many believe is a type or picture of the Kingdom. So, all of these major events and the plan of God are typified by those feasts. And then various characters in Scripture: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. You mentioned Joseph. Joseph’s coat of many colors for example is a picture of the unsearchable riches that were in Christ. Then of course He was put to death and He made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. And then Melchizedek is a type of the high priest and the priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. And throughout Scripture, virtually every book there is a message been done on Christ in every book of the Bible. And you can go throughout the Word of God and find Scriptures, types, prophecies, symbols, all of which point to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We actually need a working knowledge of the whole counsel of the Word of God. Many times we’ve just got a hold of bits and pieces of the Word of God and we fail to see how it all fits together. But Jesus is the common denominator that ties the 66 books of the Bible, and He is the unifying theme of Scripture. Everything in the Old Testament points forward to Christ. Everything in Revelation points back to Christ. And we see Jesus as the central theme of the Word of God.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: There was–
Dr. Reagan: Go ahead.
Nathan Jones: Well, I– you hear about symbolic prophecy, like silver means redemption, and stuff like that. And my first thought back in the day when I was studying this is, where do they get that meaning and all? Why does this point to Christ? And in my search in the Bible I found Colossians 2:16-17 which reads, “Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food, and drink, or the matters of a festival, or a new moon, or a Sabbath Day these are a shadow of what was to come the substance of the Messiah.” So all these symbols, all these prophetic types all point to Jesus Christ and God did that for a reason. Why do you think God seeded the Bible so much with symbolism then?
Allan Walker: I believe that God used object lessons. Many times in children’s ministry we’ll use puppets, we’ll use visual aids.
Dr. Reagan: Right.
Allan Walker: We’ll use various teaching symbols to illustrate biblical truth. And man being spiritually dead is unable to comprehend spiritual truth. Many of the things for example the writings of the Apostle Paul.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Allan Walker: Are deep and difficult to understand for the average person. And the Old Testament has object lessons in there that illustrate these scriptural truths and things that are otherwise seen as allegorical or perhaps just spiritual or mystical are made very real to us through these real life examples. Scripture says in the New Testament that those things which were written beforehand were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the age are come there in Corinthians.
Dr. Reagan: You know speaking of object lessons reminds me that one time I had Charles Ryrie on this program, interviewing him and of course he known as a great theologian and you think of him as a great intellectual. Well he was a very down to earth person, very funny person, but right in the middle of the whole program I asked him, I said, “Do you think we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?” He said, “I can prove it.” He said, “I knew you were going to ask me that question.” He reached into his pocket, pulls out an envelope. He says, “That envelope contains two objects that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt we are living in the season of the Lord’s Return. Open it up.” So I opened it up. He said, “Pull it out.” I pulled it out and it was a Euro note. And I pulled out that other one and it was an Israeli shekel note. He said, “That is proof positive we are living in the season of the Lord’s Return because the Bible says He’s coming back at a time when Israel has been re-established, and the Roman Empire has been revived.” So when the program was over I said, “Dr. Ryrie man that was a really great illustration, like a children’s program where you give object lessons.” He says, “Oh, people think of me as some you know theoretical, theologian and all.” He said, “The very first book I ever wrote in my life was a book on object lessons for children.” He said, “I just love object lessons.” And the Bible is full of these as you pointed out, pointing to Jesus Christ. And of course all of that goes over to the book of Revelation where it says over there in Revelation 19 makes a very interesting comment there. Revelation 19:10, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” That is what prophecy is all about, it is all pointing to Jesus Christ. And when you learn how to look for it symbolically you can find Jesus in almost every page of the Old Testament. You know my favorite, my favorite symbolic lesson is the one that you mentioned and that is Joseph.
Nathan Jones: Joseph.
Dr. Reagan: I mean just think of it Joseph came to his people with a special message from God and they rejected him, same way with Jesus. They took him and put him in a pit which was symbolic of his death, just as Jesus really died. He was taken out of that, symbolic of his resurrection, Jesus really was resurrected. He went into a far country just as Jesus has now. He took a Gentile bride, Jesus is doing that right now taking a Gentile bride. It says when the Gentile bride is complete, what will happen? He will appear to His people and they will receive Him. And what happened to Joseph? His brothers came and they received him. So everything in Joseph’s life is pointing to the life of Jesus Christ. David the same way. David was a person who was anointed to become the king but he had to wait a long time before he became king until Saul died. Jesus has been anointed King of Kings and Lord of Lords but He is not yet reigning. He is not yet reigning. He will not reign until He returns. Right now He’s our High Priest in Heaven. But one day He’s coming to reign and He is going to be like David, he’s in a period of waiting right now. So I just love the symbolism of the Old Testament and how you can find Jesus on almost page if you really look for Him.
Allan Walker: You mentioned Joseph, also Joseph had an original dream or vision which speaks of the fact that God had a plan and purpose before all of that came about. He ended up telling his brethren he said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” And God had a predetermined plan and purpose which is worked out through all these stories.
Dr. Reagan: And his very dream was symbolic prophecy as a woman with a crown, and all this sort of thing and it was pointing to the development of the children of Israel, 12 tribes and all. And so we just have these symbols all through the Bible, but we have to be very careful and let the Bible interpret itself.
Allan Walker: Exactly.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And be careful that we don’t go off into wild situations which some people often do. Well I’ll tell you what I want to come back in just a moment and have you talk about the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our interview of Allan Walker. Hey, Allan, can you tell us a little about your background and what got you into Bible prophecy?
Allan Walker: Yes, Nathan, thank you. My wife and I work full-time at the Voice of the Martyrs a Christian ministry dedicated to fulfilling the ministry to the persecuted church.
Nathan Jones: An important ministry now.
Allan Walker: And then I travel weekends teaching Bible prophecy and the Tabernacle. I was first exposed to Bible prophecy in 1974 through the Bible Map: An Overview of God’s Plan of the Ages by Leon Bates. And then the Tabernacle I was first exposed to in 1975 through a godly couple that taught me the ABC’s of the Tabernacles and I’ve had an interest in it since that time.
Dr. Reagan: Well that’s great. And I want to ask you– let’s just follow up now on the Tabernacle. I know you’ve done a lot of work on that and we’re going to tell people at the end of the program how they can get a lot of that work free of charge. So, tell us, why is it important even to know anything about the Tabernacle of Moses and what does it mean in terms of symbolic prophecy?
Allan Walker: Well, the Scriptures says, Dave that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. And there are certain things in the Word of God that are just mentioned a time or two. And then there are other great themes of the Word of God which heavy emphasis is given to. There are some 50 chapters in the Bible dedicated to the Tabernacle, and if God dedicates 50 chapters to something we know it is a central theme of the Word of God. And we need to major on the majors, minor on the minors, and if God puts–
Dr. Reagan: So this is a major, huh?
Allan Walker: Yes, sir.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, well why?
Allan Walker: It foreshadows redemption.
Dr. Reagan: Ok.
Allan Walker: We mentioned that we need object lessons to help us understand spiritual truth. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ is typified or pictured in the Tabernacle. There are actually 100’s, probably several hundred lessons we could learn through the Tabernacle, we’ll just hit the high spots today. But all of us are aware that there was a seven foot high white linen fence that went around the outside of the Tabernacle called the Outer Court. That seven foot high fence illustrated the fact that man did not have the righteousness necessary to come directly into God’s presence. There was only one gate leading into the Tabernacle typical of the fact that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way.” He said, “I am the door.”
Dr. Reagan: Beautiful.
Allan Walker: He did not say I am one of many ways.
Dr. Reagan: Let’s just pause here for a moment and clarify one thing before you continue, and that is for the viewers who may not that familiar with this. When we talk about the Tabernacle of Moses what we are talking about is a tent temple that the Children of Israel carried with them during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they built a permanent Temple in Shiloh or Jerusalem. So this a nomadic temple that was made of tents and it had a linen or whatever fence around it, so then a gate, ok.
Allan Walker: It was the center of the sacrificial system. We’re all familiar with the basic truth of the Word of God without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Allan Walker: When the priest came into the gate the first piece of furniture there was the Brazen Altar which was a picture of the cross.
Dr. Reagan: Sure.
Allan Walker: The sacrificial blood was offered there. Then the priest would have to take the blood and go into the Holy of Holies and their sins were put off for another year. But there was no chair in the Tabernacle, the Priest could never sit down.
Dr. Reagan: Couldn’t sit down.
Allan Walker: His work was never finished; over and over those offerings had to be done. And the book of Hebrews points out very clearly that that was a system that was only temporary and it was pointing toward the one sacrifice that the Lord Jesus Christ would make. When Jesus died on the cross He cried out, “tetelestai,” one Greek word meaning, “Paid in full.” Translated “it is finished,” in the King James and Jesus put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. You and I as New Testament Christians live under a much better covenant than what they did in the Old Testament.
Dr. Reagan: So, what was the next object that people came into contact with?
Allan Walker: The brazen laver which was made out of the looking glasses of the women from Egypt. And it had water in it and the priest would have to wash before they could come in to do their priestly services. And many scholars believe that that Brazen Laver is a picture of the washing of water by the Word, that not only must we be saved by the sacrifice of Christ, we must apply the Word of God to our lives, bring ourselves into conformity with the Word of God with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Allan Walker: And the priest had to do that, it was mandatory, they could not bypass the Brazen Altar, they could not bypass the laver they had to come that way.
Dr. Reagan: So, that gets us now to the entrance into the Tabernacle itself.
Allan Walker: Yes. There were five pillars on the front of the Tabernacle which reminds me that Jesus was: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And it rested upon sockets of brass. And brass you remember the Brazen Serpent was lifted in the wilderness and that was a type that sin had to be judged before man could come into the presence of God, we don’t come into God with our own unrighteousness, we must come to the Lord Jesus Christ, we must have His righteousness to have a relationship with God.
Dr. Reagan: So you go into the Holy Place, what’s in there?
Allan Walker: The Holy Place had the Golden Lampstands seven-branch lampstand made out of a talent of pure gold, of beaten work with a central branch and six other branches. The priest would fill it with the olive oil which was a picture of the Holy Spirit. And the lampstand was the only light in the Holy Place, there was no sunlight, there was no natural light and it all had to be provided by the olive oil. And then there was a Table of Showbread.
Dr. Reagan: With that lamp could that be a symbol of Jesus or the Messiah as the light of the world?
Allan Walker: Jesus says the Light of the World.
Dr. Reagan: In one of His great discourses.
Allan Walker: Yes.
Nathan Jones: Or sevenfold spirit?
Allan Walker: Sevenfold spirit, all of those are listed there, and that is very typical. And the number seven is found predominate throughout the Tabernacle as well as many other places in the Old Testament. And some scholars see Jesus as the central branch and we as born again believers grafted in, I’m the vine, you are the branches.
Dr. Reagan: Let’s move on to the Table of Showbread.
Allan Walker: The Table of Showbread Jesus is the bread of life and they must feed upon the bread to sustain them to do their priestly ministry. And it was unleavened, and leaven was a type of sin and false doctrine. No leaven speaks of the sinless life of Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Ok, that brings us to the entrance into the Holy of Holies, the veil there.
Allan Walker: The veil separated man from the presence of God, and man could not come into the presence of God apart from blood sacrifice. And only the priest could come in behind the veil with the blood and then put off sin for another year. But when Jesus, again, died on the cross that veil was rent.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Nathan Jones: Top to bottom.
Allan Walker: Signifying that the way into the presence of God was opened up for man. Interestingly enough Scofield says that the priest patched that veil back up and continued to offer animal sacrifices for another 40 years after the death of Jesus, when salvation had already been completed by the work of the Son of God.
Dr. Reagan: In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant.
Allan Walker: The Ark–
Dr. Reagan: What’s the symbolism of that?
Nathan Jones: This is the good part, yeah.
Allan Walker: The Ark of the Covenant is well known to everyone that symbol it was made of acacia wood which was a desert growth, spoke of Jesus as a root out of dry ground, overlaid with gold which was a symbol of His divine nature. Jesus was a 100% God, 100% man in one person and His divine nature and human nature are both typified by that. Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the Tables of the Law, Aaron’s rod which had budded supernaturally. Now that rod had been cut off.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Allan Walker: And then when it budded supernaturally that spoke of resurrection life, so, there the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, “No man takes my life from Me, I have the power to lay it down. I have the power to take it up again, this commandment have I received from my Father.” And then of course the manna was there. But that spoke of the fact that man had broken God’s law, he had rebelled against the priesthood there when Korah rebelled against the priesthood. And then he complained about the manna in the wilderness which spoke of man’s threefold rejection of God. And God looking down upon that would see the sin and see the broken law, but the Mercy Seat a solid slab of pure gold covered over those elements in the Ark of the Covenant. And the Priest would put that blood on the Mercy Seat which was propitiating them and putting sin off for another year.
Dr. Reagan: So, it was a symbol that the death of the Messiah through the shedding of His blood would make it possible for the mercy of God to cover the law of God.
Allan Walker: Right, rather than facing law, we face grace.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, amen.
Allan Walker: You and I have grace today because of what Jesus did, but these object lessons from the Tabernacle help us understand these spiritual truths in the New Testament.
Nathan Jones: Allan, you’ve got to tell us about the angels because that is my favorite part.
Allan Walker: Ok.
Nathan Jones: Why were there two angels on the Mercy Seat?
Allan Walker: Ok, well one scholar said that we believers, we born again believers are the curriculum that angels study. The angels look on at God’s plan of redemption and they see God’s involvement with man. And as they are watching they are facing each other looking upon the Mercy Seat they see redeemed humanity and they are watching the ongoing conflict between good and evil. And it also speaks of the angels guarding the essential Holiness of God, the Shekinah; the visible glory of God would appear there in the Holy of Holies. And it is a very beautiful picture of mankind being redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ and angels studying and watching all of this transaction.
Dr. Reagan: You know in John 20:11 it talks about Mary going to the tomb, and it says, “Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping and as she wept she stooped and looked into the tomb and she beheld two angels in white sitting one at the head, one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been lain.” And that just grabs me because what she saw was a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Ark of the Covenant. She saw the Mercy Seat where the Lord’s body had been lain, where the blood had been shed and she saw two angels at each who were hovering over that sacred spot, the fulfillment of what this is talking about. Isn’t that amazing? It just sounds like nothing but just a historical statement but if you know something about the symbolism in the Old Testament you realize she is seeing the fulfillment of prophecy there.
Allan Walker: Well, Dave you had pointed out something in some of your writings about the priest taking the blood and marking the earth.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, he would step back and mark the earth. Why’d he do that?
Allan Walker: Mark the earth, well he was claiming the earth and the Lord Jesus Christ ultimately will come back to rule and reign over every square inch of planet earth and that typified there in the Old Testament through the blood offering. And many scholars believed that the Tabernacle itself with its types, shadows, and symbols, was a picture of the First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sufferings as He came to die and to redeem us. And the Temple which was built later under Solomon was a picture of Christ in the Kingdom ruling and reigning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Allan Walker: So, the Tabernacle is a temporary dwelling, the Temple was seen as the permanent dwelling but then yet there is the eternal state beyond that as well.
Dr. Reagan: Wow, I tell you it is just amazing isn’t it? All of the symbolism, and you’ve only touched the hem of the garment. I know–
Allan Walker: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: In your teaching on this you go into great detail and point out things that I never even thought of before that have to do with that.
Nathan Jones: Pages, after pages, after pages, I found it fascinating as I read, and it reminded me I used to wonder “Why was God so particular about the measurements? And what was in it?” And how each thing was made in the Tabernacle. And then you read in Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1 that they are a shadow of the heavenly things. So the Tabernacle and the Temple are actually small scale versions of what we’ll see someday in Heaven, right?
Allan Walker: Right. All of this is extremely important, it illustrates the eternal truth. All the “I am” statements of Jesus are typified in the Tabernacle. I am the Door. I am the Way the Truth and the Life. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Vine, you’re the Branches. I’m the Gate.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Allan Walker: All of this pictures of Jesus.
Nathan Jones: And the Jews would have understood that, right, as He was teaching.
Allan Walker: They should have. They should have been able to look at the Old Testament and see. Of course Daniel talks about a specific time for the coming of the Messiah, they should have been able to see that clearly from the writings of the Old Testament.
Dr. Reagan: Well I’ll tell you it would be difficult to find an object lesson more important than the Tabernacle was.
Allan Walker: Absolutely.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to our interview with Allan Walker on symbolic prophecy. Allan, it has been a joy and blessing to have you here.
Allan Walker: Thank you, Nathan.
Nathan Jones: May your ministry be blessed. And can you bless our viewers by telling them how they can get in touch with your ministry?
Allan Walker: Yes, please contact Allan Walker Ministries on the World Wide Web at: awmin.org, again that is awmin.org.
Dr. Reagan: Allan is it true that people can go there and download, free of charge a Power Point presentation about the Tabernacle together with a 17 page script?
Allan Walker: Yes, Dave there are 17 pages of notes and a 44 slide presentation that is royalty free and available for downloads.
Dr. Reagan: That’s wonderful I hope our people will do that because this needs to be taught everywhere.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks, that’s program for this week. I want to thank you for tuning in. Hope you’ll be back next week same time. And until then in behalf of myself and Nathan Jones, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program