The Eighteen Principles of Divine Revelation

Principle No. 9 The Analogy Principle

By Clifton L. Fowler

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1923


THE ANALOGY PRINCIPLE underlies the entire Word of God. It is used by the Holy Spirit for purposes of proof and of revelation. After once its astonishing frequency of occurrence is observed, its importance cannot be logically questioned. Some philosophical writers have gone so far as to declare that reasoning from an analogy is not an acceptable proof of any point in any realm of thought. With this extravagant view we most heartily disagree. The analogy, employed intelligently and under the proper limitations, is of inestimable value. God uses it throughout the Inspired Book.

Although philosophers, logicians, and scientists decry and belittle the value of the analogy for purposes of argument, yet the theory of evolution, so blindly accepted by the lesser lights and would-be great men of the philosophical and scientific world rests upon nothing else than a supposed succession of analogies. But alas, their studied succession has in it countless breaks or “missing links” and the alleged analogies themselves are strained or grossly imaginative. What consistency, that the so-called culture of today should demolish the analogy, and forthwith build upon the wreckage the idol of evolution and call upon the “kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man” to come and pay homage to the lying farce they have builded. If evolutionists could produce a true and complete succession of scientifically demonstrated analogies to support their contention, their theory would be proved. But the succession of analogies which their cause requires does not exist.

The Bible is God’s Book, but it is given to and for man. Although its message is infinite, it is addressed to finite beings. God fully knew the capabilities of the mind of man. Hence God’s Book is so written that it fits the mind of man as the waters of the sea fit the variations of the seashore. Man's mind naturally and normally turns to analogies. Emerson has said, with striking aptitude,—“Man is analagous, he studies relations.” ‘The God Who created man, and consequently knew the tendencies of man’s mind, is He Who inspired the Book. In the Book which He has given us He has placed abundant evidence that He fully knew and understood the tendency of the human mind to reason from analogy's. ‘The marvelous examples of the Analogy Principle lie scattered through Holy Writ from beginning to end, thus showing that God has prepared the Book for man, the creature of analogy. ‘The Bible is not only God’s revelation, but God’s recognition of man’s limitation, In recognizing man's limitation, God does not seek to reduce infinite truth to the level of the finite, but simply unveils the infinite, in order that the finite may be given a fair opportunity to believe. ‘The Bible invites the mind of man into a vast field of beautiful and convincing analogies, and in every instance the analogies present some mighty truth of doctrine or prophecy which can only be received by faith.

Those who argue against proofs which are based on analogies are right when the points of an analogy are in the realm of the commonplace. For instance, 1 cannot prove that I saw the same man my friend saw because I saw a man with a nose, and hair, and two eyes, and he saw a man with exactly the same characteristics. Certainly there is an analogy between the men we saw, but every point in the analogy is so commonplace as to be valueless when used to prove that we saw the same man, ‘There are too many men with noses, and hair, and eyes, for such an analogy to carry any weight. It certainly docs not prove that we saw the same man. It is such vapid. examples of reasoning by the analogy that have caused certain men to take up the cudgels in wholesale fashion against it. Such a course, however, is in accord with neither common’ sense nor Scripture.

But if the points of an analogy are in the realm of the unusual, the unexpected, the unique, then they take on tremendous’ value for purposes of proof. For example, my friend and I have visited the city and upon our return trip begin to compare notes. 1 tell him that I saw an interesting couple on one of the main streets. ‘The man was over seven feet tall, wore a battered stove-pipe hat and a dilapidated Prince Albert coat and carried a huge gold-headed cane. He was accompanied by a small weazoned-up little lady who had spent a small fortune on peroxide and “make-up.” Her bepowdered face was surmounted by a huge picture hat which was decorated by a gigantic henna plume. She wore a cream-colored taffeta silk dress and was leading a water spaniel by a pink ribbon. My friend instantaneously claps his hands and cries out, “I saw the same couple.” His mind has performed the analogy as rapidly as the words of description have left my lips. His conclusion is that we have seen the same couple. He is justified in his conclusion because all of the points in the analogy are in the realm of the unusual. ‘The mind of man naturally takes to analogies and comparisons. The analogy is a dependable, yes, reliable method of reasoning when held within the limitations we have indicated.

The definition of the Analogy Principle is:

The Analogy Principle is that principle of divine revelation under which God embeds the wonderful truths concerning Israel, Jesus, and the individual believer in some apparently remote Biblical incident, making these truths demonstrable by an extended series of similarities or contrasts.

The Analogy Principle is the type principle. It is under this principle that the beautiful types and shadows of the Bible come into view. Under this principle the most ordinary event in Old Testament history becomes ‘ a guide-post pointing to Jesus, or a lamp illuminating personal truths so sorely needed by the souls of men, or a prophecy of some event which will yet transpire in the Tribulation or Kingdom age. When an analogy of at least five points has been adduced, and the points are beyond the ordinary, we may with confidence declare that we have found one of the many Biblical analogy's. When an analogy is adduced, a type is revealed.

The presence and activity of this principle in the Scripture may be proved by employing the Direct Statement Principle. In I Cor. 10:11 God places His unqualified endorsement on the Analogy Principle:

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (the Greek word means types, or analogies) and they are written for our admonition.”

This clear-cut passage is plainly teaching that all the records of the events of Israel’s past carried two varieties of meanings,—First, the simple surface meaning which we call “history,” and, second, the deeper meaning which is completely lost on him who carelessly reads the Inspired Book. These deeper meanings are here called by the Holy Spirit Himself “types” or “analogies” or “ensamples.” These analogies reveal the fact that God Himself had so guided all the history of Israel that it became a type-revelation of some event or fact pertaining to the soul, the Saviour or Israel. “All these things happened for types.” Not “some” of the events of Israel’s history, but “all” happened unto them for types. We at once are forced to concede the importance and prevalence of the Analogy principle.

We find that more than one analogy or type is often hidden in one divinely shaped historical event.

Another passage which definitely teaches the presence of the Analogy Principle in Scripture is Romans 15:4:

“For whatsoever things are written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Here the Spirit of God again indicates two things which God purposed in the giving of the Scriptures,—the things which were written aforetime. These two purposes are:

(1) “our learning”;

(2) “that we * * * might have hope.”

When we read the history of Israel, God’s first. purpose is accomplished in our lives. It results in “our learning.” When we see the blessed analogies scattered by God's hand throughout the Word, revealing the blessings and glories which grace has wrought for the individual soul, or the ineffable beauties which cluster about the person of the Lord or the marvels of the future, they bring to our hearts “hope.”

The character of this principle is such that its presence and activity in the sacred writings would scarcely have become known but for these direct statements to act as guide-posts. The Analogy Principle is not a discovery. It is not a new thing. It was inwrought in the Scriptures when God inspired them. It is that principle which makes the ordinary events of the past an inspired picture-book. revealing Jesus, and unveiling God's grace to sin-cursed man, and predicting the future.

The Analogy Principle Illustrated by One of the Sections of the Life of Joseph.

All of the Old Testament characters present examples of the activity of the Analogy Principle in the Bible. Joseph is one of the most remarkable among them. Two great analogies stand out in his life as narrated by the Holy Spirit. We give the first one:

1. Joseph was the product of the power of God, a miracle child, born of a barren mother (Gen. 29:31; 30:22-24). 1. Jesus was the product of the power of God, a miracle child, born of a virgin (Luke 1:34; Matt. 1:18).
2. Joseph was the object of his father's special love, being the son of his old age (Gen. 37:3). 2. Jesus was the object of His Father’s special love from before the foundation of the world (John 17; Matt. 3:17).
3. Joseph was the object of the hatred of his brethren (Gen. 37:4). 3. Jesus was the object of the hatred of his brethren (Isa. 53:3).
4. Joseph's father’ made him a robe of many colors (indicating that Joseph was the heir), (Gen. 37:3). 4. Jesus is set forth as the Father's heir (Matt. 21:38; Heb. 1:2).
5. Joseph was the recipient of the revelation that he was to exercise sovereignty and rulership (Gen. 37:5-11). 5. Jesus was the object of a prophecy of coming rulership and dominion (Luke 1:33).
6. Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren (Gen. 37:13-14). 6. Jesus was sent by the Father to His. brethren (Luke 19:10; Mate. 15:24).
7. Joseph went on the mission for his father with willingness (Gen. 37:13). 7. Jesus came to this earth on His glorious mission willingly (Heb. 10:7).
8. Joseph wandered forth into the field (Gen. 37:15). (The field is the world—Matt. 13:38). 8. Jesus came to the world (John 3:16).
9. Joseph found his brethren at Dothan Gen. 37:17). (Dothan means “law.”) 9. Jesus found His brethren under the horrid yoke of the law (Acts 15:10).
10, Joseph's. brethren rejected him (Gen. 37:19). 10, Jesus’ brethren rejected Him (John 1:11).
11, Joseph's brethren entered into a plot to slay him (Gen, 37-1820). 11, Jesus’ brethren entered into a plot to slay Him (Matt. 27:1).
12, Joseph's brethren put him in a pit (Gen. 37:24). (The pits and valleys of Scripture stand connected with death.) 12, Jesus’ brethren slew Him (Acts 2:23).
13. Joseph was brought forth out of the pit— death (Gen. 37:28). 13. Jesus was victoriously raised from the dead (Acts 2:24).
14. Joseph having been lifted from the pit (death) is set forth as the (a) object of Jewish hate and ignorance (hate— Gen. 37:28; ignorance—Gen. 37:29-35); (b) object of Gentile rejection (Potipher’s wife—Gen. 39:14-20) ; (c) object of God's special love and care (Gen, 39:2-3 Gen. 39:21-23). 14. Jesus, having been raised from the dead, is revealed to be the (a) object of Jewish hate and ignorance (hate—Acts 13:45; ignorance—Acts 3:17); (b) object of Gentile rejection (Acts 14:5); (c) object of God's special love and care.
15. Joseph, having — been lifted “from the pit (death), is set forth as a man of (a) spotless purity (Gen. 39:313); (b) supernatural wisdom (Gen. 40, entire chapter); (c) prophetic. insight (Gen. 41:1-37). 15. Jesus, having been raised from the dead is revealed to be a man of (a) spotless purity (Heb. 9:4; Heb. 7:26); (b) Divine wisdom (Col. 2:3); (c) prophetic insight (Rev. 19:10)

Here the Gap Principle enters the analogy, separating the lowliness and humility of Joseph from his exaltation and kingliness. As is the case in every occurrence of the Gap Principle, the Holy Spirit leaps, without comment, the centuries which lie between the extremes of the gap.

16, Joseph, the rejected one, was made king (Gen. 41:43). 16. Jesus, the rejected one, shall be made King, when he returns in His second coming (Rev. 19:16; Rev. 20:6).
17. Joseph, upon being lifted to kingship is united with his bride (Gen. 41:45). 17. Jesus, ‘when manifested as King, shall be united with Israel, His bride (Rev. 19:7-9).
18. Joseph was recognized as the revealer of secrets (Gen. 41:45, Zaphnath-paaneah, revealer of secrets). 18. Jesus in His second coming shall be recognized as the Word of God, the revealer of all secrets (Rev. 19: 13).
19. Joseph, upon ascending the throne, enters upon a reign of peace and plenty (Gen. 41:47-49) 19. Jesus, upon becoming King, will usher the world into a dispensation of peace and plenty—the Kingdom. (Isa. 9:73 Micah 4:34).
20. Joseph has two sons— Manasseh, which means “forgetfulness,” and Ephraim, which means “fruitfulness” (Gen. 41:50-53). 20. Jesus shall reign over a Kingdom in’ which Israel shall forget the toil and sorrow of the past and shall bear fruit for God (Zech. 8:12; Isa, 65:18-21; Isa. 14:3)

At Genesis 41:53, the Overlapping Principle, a principle which we have not yet studied in this series of lessons, appears in the type and the Holy Spirit still presenting Joseph as a type of Christ turns once more back to the first coming and carries on to the victory of the second advent. In the beautiful analogy which we have presented we see how the incidents of the every day life of Joseph are so shaped by the Divine Hand as to produce a photograph of that One Who is above all others,— Jesus.

The Bible fairly teems with these analogies. Some of them, as in the case of the one just set forth, present Jesus in some phase of His character or work; some of them reveal prophetic truth concerning Israel; while others un fold the deeper personal truths so greatly needed for the rightful growth-of the individual soul. Many passages which would otherwise be dark and obscure are made to glow with light upon the application of the ubiquitous Analogy Principle.

Copyright 1923, Clifton L. Fowler