When the executive tells his secretary to type something, what does he mean? When the botanist refers to a particular type of spruce tree, what does he mean? What does it mean to typecast something? To what does the theologian refer when he speaks of a type?

The theological noun “type” comes from the Biblical Greek word “tupos” (too’-pos), and it is directly related to what a typewriter does. It is found 16 times in the New Testament, and it is translated 9 different ways. The most common is “ensample” and others are “pattern,” “fashion,” and “form.” The root from which tupos is derived is tupto (toop’-to ) and it means “to smite, strike or wound.” In other words, a type is the mark left by a wound. That is exactly what happens when a typewriter or a printing press is used – an ink scar is created. And that scar tells a story. A Biblical type is a figure, a picture, an image, and sometimes it is a reverse image of something else.

Here are some of the verses where “tupos” and it’s opposite “antitupos” are used. John 20:25 – “The other disciples therefore said unto him (Thomas), We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the PRINT of the nails, and put my finger into the PRINT of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Acts 7:44 – “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the FASHION that he had seen.” I Corinthians 10:11 – “Now all these things happened unto them for ENSAMPLES: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Hebrews 9:24 – “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the FIGURES of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” I Peter 3:21 – “The like FIGURE whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

Sometimes the Bible directly declares that one thing is a picture, or a type, of something else. What are some Biblically-declared types? The tabernacle is a type of Heaven; the sacrifice of the Atonement is a type of the death of Christ. But then there are many other things which are types without saying so in so many words. For example, we have types of the Holy Spirit, which is our subject this morning.

Something to keep in mind in doing this is that types have limitations. They are like allegories, parables and metaphors in that they cannot possibly be mirror images. So they must not be used as the foundation of doctrines, but they can make for good illustrations. In other words, types can be misused into expressing people’s biases rather than the truth. Nevertheless, they can be instructive, and they can be fun.

Let’s think about some possible types of the Holy Spirit.


In Luke 24:49 the Lord Jesus told His disciples: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”What does the word “endued” mean? It means “to be put on,” clothed” or “arrayed.” There is little doubt that Jesus was talking about the enduing of the apostles and church with the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

How is having clothing put on us a type of the Holy Spirit? Would you guess that when Luke 24:49 uses the word “power‘ that it is speaking of strength or authority? (Strength) But being clothed can be with an official vestment, identifying a person as a representative of the Lord. Protection – Ephesians 6:11-17. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

A dove.

Why should we conclude that a dove can be a type of the Holy Spirit? (Jesus’ baptism.) Of what is the dove perhaps a better type? (Christ, because it was used in offerings.)

What characteristics of doves make them good types of either Christ of the Holy Spirit? Beauty; cleanliness, gentleness; peace; flight – a “heavenly” nature.

An Earnest.

What is the meaning of the adjective “earnestness“? (Showing deep sincerity or seriousness.) What is meaning of the noun “earnest” as in “earnest money“? (Down-payment; a sincere pledge to complete a bargain.) This type is given to us three times: II Corinthians 1:22 – “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” II Corinthians 5:5 – “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” Ephesians 1:14 – “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Why is this such a good type of the Holy Spirit? His permanent indwelling of the saint. He is so good to us (comforter, teacher, etc.), but with the promise of so much more. When an earnest has been given, even though the transaction isn’t complete the property has become ours.

Similarly, the Holy Spirit is likened to the use of a SEAL (or is it the other way around?). “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” In Christ “ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Why is a seal a good type of the Holy Spirit? It indicates security and safety. Ownership and authority. How is a seal unlike the earnest? It indicates a finished transaction.

A Fire.

Fire is used as an emblem of several things the Bible. How is it a type of the presence of the Lord? (Burning bush.) The Lord’s approval? (The Lord’s consumption of several sacrifices.) The Lord’s protection? (Pillar of fire.) The Lord’s testing? The Word of God? Is fire a type of judgment? Where do we see fire used as a type of the Holy Spirit? (Pentecost.)

How is fire a good type of the Holy Spirit?


How was oil used in the Old Testament? Burning for light. Anointing. Cleansing of lepers (Leviticus 14:10-29.) Food. Medicine.

How is oil a good type of the Holy Spirit?

A Servant.

How does the servant of Abraham illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit?

What qualities of a good servant well-fit the Spirit? Faithfulness and obedience.


Where did the Lord Jesus use wind as an illustration of the Spirit? (John 3:8.) How do we see wind illustrating the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?

How is wind a good type of the Holy Spirit.

Taken together these images of the Spirit, can give us a fairly well-rounded picture of His work.