Joseph and Jesus #3

Sunday, January 22, 2023

“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” (Genesis 37:2 KJV).

Let us search the Scriptures to see how Joseph is a type of the antitype Jesus….

Jacob sent his son Joseph to check on his (Joseph’s) brothers. Joseph went willingly. “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem” (verses 13,14, that which follows today’s Scripture). Likewise, when Father God sent Jesus Christ to minister to His (Christ’s) brethren, He conducted His earthly ministry to Israel. “But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son” (Matthew 21:37; cf. Mark 12:6; Luke 20:13). “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me(John 6:38).

Alas, Joseph’s brethren plotted to take his life: “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him(verses 18-20, that which follows today’s Scripture). Equally, concerning Jesus, several centuries later: “But when the husbandmen [farmers] saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him” (Matthew 21:38,39; cf. Mark 12:7,8; Luke 20:14,15).

Joseph’s “coat of many colours” (Genesis 37:3) was taken from him, and he was thrown into a pit without water, a picture of death (verses 23,24). Likewise, Jesus was stripped of His seamless coat before He was crucified and died on Calvary’s cruel cross (John 19:23,24,30). Yet, the similarities do not stop there….

Joseph and Jesus #2

Saturday, January 21, 2023

“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” (Genesis 37:2 KJV).

Let us search the Scriptures to see how Joseph is a type of the antitype Jesus….

Joseph owned an exceptional garment: “Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours(verse 3, that which follows today’s Scripture). Likewise, the Lord Jesus wore a unique, seamless garment: “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout (John 19:23).

Moreover, the Bible tells us how Joseph’s brothers despised him: “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably [kindly, gently] unto him” (verse 4, that which follows today’s Scripture). Similarly, Jesus, when He took on human flesh and became biologically united with other Jews, they hated Him just as passionately as Joseph’s brethren loathed him! “But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause(John 15:25).

God gave Joseph a dream, which Joseph relays to his brethren (verses 5-7, that which follows today’s Scripture). Basically, Joseph will be superior to them, and they cannot stand the possibility that they will one day be subservient to him. Outraged, they inquire, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?” It is fascinating that, when Jesus came to present Himself as Israel’s ruler, His Jewish brethren refused Him, answering, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15).

“And [Joseph’s] brethren envied him” (verse 11, that which follows today’s Scripture). “For he [Pilate] knew that the chief priests had delivered him [Jesus] for [because of] envy” (Mark 15:10; cf. Matthew 27:18). Joseph and Jesus both had bitter, cruel adversaries (their own family!) who actively sought their destruction….

Joseph and Jesus #1

Friday, January 20, 2023

“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” (Genesis 37:2 KJV).

Let us search the Scriptures to see how Joseph is a type of the antitype Jesus….

In Bible study, a “type” is someone or something that foreshadows, previews, or indicates someone or something similar that will arise later (the “antitype”). Think of it as a prophecy, God announcing the future in advance. That is to say, the Holy Spirit will present a person or event early in the Bible canon, whose traits a subsequent person or event will share. What was true of the former will, in whole or in part, be descriptive of the latter. Over the course of the next several studies we will use Joseph and Jesus to illustrate this principle.

For example, if we look at today’s Scripture, we observe how Joseph is a son of Jacob. Jacob, remember, is a son of Isaac, and Isaac is a son of Abraham. If we turn to Luke chapter 3, Jesus’ human and biological genealogy through Mary His mother, we see His ancestors are “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (see verses 23,34). Therefore, Joseph and Jesus (assuming human flesh 17 centuries later) are both sons of Jacob.

Being more specific, we will note how Joseph is a shepherd, feeding the flock with his brethren” (today’s Scripture). Likewise, Jesus, serving Father God and ministering to Israel, is “the good shepherd (John 10:11,14), asserting, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture [be fed] (verse 9). Both Joseph and Jesus are shepherds of their fathers’ sheep.

To take it a step further, “Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age” (Genesis 37:3). Father God announced concerning Jesus, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Both Joseph and Jesus are dearly beloved of their fathers.

Here are just a few shared characteristics….

Able to Teach Others

Thursday, January 19, 2023

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 KJV).

Whenever anyone expresses thanks for our insightful Bible studies, I always answer, “As faithful brethren taught me, pointing me in the right direction, so I am glad to ground others in rightly divided Scripture!”

Many people want to be the center of attention in a local church or ministry. “I gave so much in the collection plate, this building will be named after me!” “Watch me lift my hands, dance, clap, and speak in an ‘angelic tongue’—I am so spiritual, and you had better join me or you will feel left out!” After all, with the preachers flashing their exquisite jewelry and modeling their costly attire, the commoners see no wrong in seeking the praise of men too. Yet, what really matters forever is overlooked—sound Bible teaching!

Several years ago, I asked our pastor why his wife taught the church during Sunday School (which I never attended for that very reason). He replied, “There is no man here who can teach!” Not realizing it, he spoke to his shame. Why could no men in his congregation teach the Word of God? He was negligent in teaching them, for he was a babe in Christ too! Furthermore, when I shared sound Bible doctrine with him, he fought it fervently and retained his church traditions!

It is a sad commentary, but millions of Christian women are totally ignorant of Scripture because their husbands have not taught them anything meaningful either. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…” (Ephesians 5:23). In fact, you can even find these women leading marriages because their men are spiritual absentees. This tragedy severely crippled the Corinthian church, with the “flamboyant women” abusing spiritual gifts because the men failed to teach them proper conduct in the local assembly (see 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; 1 Corinthians 14:34,35)!

As you have been taught the Bible here, dear saints, so teach the same information to others, and you will dispel the ignorance that has gripped so many for so long.

Spiritual Supercentenarians

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3 KJV).

“Eternal life” is more than living forever; it is sharing in God’s life forever through Jesus Christ the Mediator.

Recently, a distant cousin of mine died… just a few days shy of her 112th birthday! To put that age into perspective, she had already celebrated her first birthday when the Titanic sank! She was a supercentenarian, someone significantly older than 100 (technically, one who is 110-plus). Roughly one person in 1,000 who reach age 100 will see 110 because several beneficial factors must converge—genetics, lifestyle, environment, will to live, to name a few.

I met the dear lady for the first and only time some months before her 104th birthday, and was thoroughly shocked to see her astonishing condition. Though residing in an assisted-living home, she strolled independently (no cane, walker, or wheelchair), answering her front door to greet my parents and me. Her mind was still quite sharp, for she recounted ancient family history for us. Curious, I asked her about her health. Her only medication was half a blood-pressure pill and an occasional baby aspirin to prevent heart attack and/or stroke. And, to think, people half her age are in worse physical and mental shape! When I inquired about her “key to longevity”—what did she do to live so long?!—she really had no idea.

When she turned 108, she was featured on a local news broadcast. Since we had visited her, her health had declined. Now, she was wheelchair-bound and living in her daughter’s home, but she had excellent memory and could still play her triangle (a Cajun-French musical instrument). Over the course of the next four years, her physical wellbeing became even more fragile, so she began celebrating half-birthdays (never knowing if she would reach the next full birthday). She did not reach 112, but she came extremely close!

Saints, though 112 years of earthly life is a long time, they cannot and do not compare to the endless eons we in Christ will have communing with Father God, whether this sojourn here on Earth now or the glories of eternity future in Heaven!

Whom We Have Believed

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV).

It is not so much what we have believed, but whom we have believed!

When asked about his religious persuasion, a prominent individual readily admitted total confusion. He actually confessed that he did not know what he believed, though he did sense a “higher power” (a vague comment on which he could not elaborate because he was at a loss for words). This man is quite ill-fated, particularly because he lives in a nation with “Christian” church buildings on nearly every street corner and Bibles in almost every home (or, at least, internet access to a Bible!). God the Holy Spirit revealed, inspired, preserved, and translated His Book—the Holy Bible—so we would not be ignorant (uninformed, untaught) unless we chose to be!

Indeed, Satan, “the god of this world,” hides our gospel from them who are lost, for he “hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). Yet, as Almighty God enabled us to overcome that darkness so we could learn His will for us (see John 7:17), if they are willing to step into the light, He will give them the same spiritual awareness He has given us. The problem lies in their lack of readiness to see what He has already furnished.

Yet, Christianity is much more than believing something. As we gather from today’s Scripture, it is about believing Someone, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom we have entrusted our soul’s eternal wellbeing. After all, if the God-Man shedding His sinless blood and rising from the dead cannot save us from our sins, then we are truly doomed forever. However, unlike those who “do not know what to believe,” separate from those who “do not know who to believe,” “[we] know whom [we] have believed, and [are] persuaded that he is able to keep [guard, protect] that which [we] have committed unto him [our souls and spirits] against that day!” 🙂

Like-Minded

Monday, January 16, 2023

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:3-6 KJV).

Recently, I received through the regular mail a generous financial donation for our ministry. The man, quite far away, who contacted me had left his phone number, which I called so I could thank him personally.

Answering the phone, he was delighted to hear from me. As we conversed, he explained how he was a former works-religion cult member who had since heard and believed the Message of God’s Grace. Now, he was a Bible-believing dispensationalist who “just so happened” to find our ministry websites while browsing the internet, and was grateful for our innumerable Bible studies (articles and videos) available online. I also learned that he had had a heart attack only a few days prior to our phone call. Joking with him, I said, “God is not finished with you yet! He still wants you here on Earth, and His grace is sufficient!” He agreed, and we continued having wonderful fellowship around our Lord Jesus Christ, closing our chat with, “Either we will talk again here [Earth!], or, up there [Heaven!].”

Brethren, it is quite strange, but true. You can meet a “total stranger,” learn he or she is a member of the Church the Body of Christ, and, in a short amount of time they seem like you have known them your entire life. That is the harmony of the Spirit of God, taking people from all stations and nations and making them saints according to the Word of Truth. Re-read today’s Scripture: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:3-6). We should all agree on these points, for they are, in fact, what unite us to everything that Father God is doing today!

Singleness of Heart

Sunday, January 15, 2023

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,…” (Acts 2:46 KJV).

What is this, “singleness of heart?”

Today’s Scripture portrays the Messianic Church filled with the Holy Spirit, previewing Israel’s kingdom restoration and eternal life when Christ returns. Those saints are united, “with one accord” (see John 17:11,21-23; cf. Psalm 133:1; Ezekiel 37:21-23)—a picture of New Covenant living, Israel being God’s people and His being Israel’s God. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,….” “Singleness of heart” is found thrice in the Authorized Version; the other two instances are Pauline passages for employees to follow on the job.

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free” (Ephesians 6:5-8).

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons” (Colossians 3:22-25).

Our word “single” comes to us through Middle English, Old French, and Latin—and is related to “simplus,” Latin for “simple.” Think of it as, “What you see is what you get.” It is simple, not complicated! There is no hidden agenda, selfishness, deceit, hypocrisy, or pretense. “Singleness of heart” is a soul filled with sound Bible doctrine. No one is copying or simulating the life of Jesus Christ; it is His (!) very (!) life (!) manifested in and through His people!

Hearing is Not Enough #10

Saturday, January 14, 2023

“And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39 KJV).

Is hearing the Word of God enough? (NO!)

As numerous people in history heard the Word of God but placed no faith in it, as myriads today hear the Holy Bible yet refuse to trust it, so many souls in the future will hear the Word of God and persist in unbelief.

Hebrews 3:15 speaks of the ages to come: “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” See Psalm 95:7,8: “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” Psalms recalls Israel’s unbelief during the 40-year wilderness wanderings under Moses. Hebrews looks to the future, when countless Jewish unbelievers support the Antichrist. Having heard substantial information about Jesus being Christ, but not trusting Him as personal Saviour, their callous or unfeeling heart thus inclines toward the Antichrist (thereby leading to their eternal doom)!

As much sound Bible doctrine as we have heard, we should not only have believed it in our head but, more importantly, trusted it in our heart. If we believe in our heart less than what we have learned, the Lord is never (!) to blame for any resultant confusion, heartache, misery, or apostasy.

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe [not simply ‘hear,’ but ‘believe!’](1 Thessalonians 2:13).

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day(John 12:47,48).

Hearing is Not Enough #9

Friday, January 13, 2023

“And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39 KJV).

Is hearing the Word of God enough?

By the time of Acts chapter 7, Israel’s one-year extension to repent and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom is nearly over (see Luke 13:6-9, noting “this year”  in verse 8 follows Christ’s “three years” of earthly ministry). Stephen recounts Israel’s long history of unbelief—climaxing in Jesus’ rejection and crucifixion. He winds down his sermon with the following: “[51] Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. [52] Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One [Christ Jesus]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: [53] Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

Israel’s unbelieving leadership responds: When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (verse 54). Rather than admitting their sin, they proceeded to physically assault Stephen, yet the worst is to come! “[55] But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, [56] And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. [57] Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, [58] And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. [59] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. [60] And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Yes, they heard the Word of God, but they did not receive it in faith, so it cost God’s preacher Stephen his life.

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….