Question: How do we know whether a Biblical matter is typical?
Answer: The following seven ways prove this:
(1.) A direct Biblical declaration that a thing is typical, like the statements on Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael (Galatians 4: 21-31); on the five evil transactions alluded to in 1 Corinthians 10: 5-11 according to vs. 6 and 11; the giving of the Law Covenant (Hebrews 9: 14-23 according to v. 23; Adam and Eve as to Jesus and the Church (Ephesians 5: 31, 32); the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 as the cloud of witnesses (witnessing shadow) of 12: 1, etc. etc.
(2.) Whenever the Bible refers to a set of its books as being typical we are to understand that everything recorded in those books is typical. Thus, a comparison of Hebrews 10: 1 and Galatians 4: 21 shows that the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, are typical. God gave in Hebrew the name, the Law (Torah), to the Pentateuch as the first division of the Old Testament. Hence, everything in the Law, Pentateuch, is typical. The second division of the Bible, called the Prophets, consist of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings – the former Prophets, and the major and minor prophets (Acts 3: 24). The first six books are also historical, and are therefore typical.
(3.) Whenever a direct comparison and often when a direct contrast between things belonging to two different dispensations are made, for example, between Isaac and the Church and Ishmael and fleshly Israel (Galatians 4: 28-31), between Perizim and Gideon on the one hand and the Harvests’ Truth battles on the other. An example of a contrast as type and antitype is found between Hebrews 12: 18-21 and vs. 25-29.
(4.) Prophetic allusions to past events, persons and places (Psalm 83: 6-11; note also the comparisons in vs. 9-11; Revelation 2: 20-23; 17: 5; 21: 2).
(5.) Doctrinal and ethical allusions, apart from a direct statement, to institutions, etc.: (circumcision (Colossians 2: 11, 12); the paschal lamb (1 Corinthians 5: 7, 8), city of refuge (Hebrews 6: 18), the prophets, especially Job (James 5: 10, 11), etc.).
(6.) When persons, places and events that are not in one or more of the above ways referred to as types, for example, Elisha and the sons of the prophets, the widow of Zarephath, Ahab, Obadiah, etc., all directly acting with Elijah, an expressly mentioned type (Malachi 4: 4-6) (Matthew 11: 14) (Luke 1: 17).
(7.) When a Biblical story has an exact counterpart in things of or related to the Christian Church, even if none of the above six methods are used to indicate a type. Every experience and accomplishment of the Christian Church were prefigured by the Jewish Church (Amos 3: 7). This means everything that God’s people of the Gospel Age did, accomplished or was done them was typed in the Bible.