Man was created for a specific purpose, revealed at the time of his creation. Immediately following the restoration of the ruined earth (Gen. 1:2b-25) ‑ a ruin resulting from Satan’s previous aspirations to “be like the most High” (Isa. 14: 12-17; Ezek. 28: 14-19) ‑ God created man to rule the restored domain, in the stead of Satan (vv. 26-28). And man was not to rule this restored domain alone. The woman - made from a part of the man and given back to the man for “an helpmeet,” in order that the man might be complete ‑ was to rule alongside the man as consort queen, with the man ruling as king (v. 26).
God, prior to creating man, reflecting on the purpose for man’s creation, made the statement: “...let them [the man and the woman together] have dominion” (Gen. 1: 26). If man was to rule, then the woman had to rule with him. Both had to rule together, else there could be no rule. This is a principle which God, not man, established at the time God created man; and the principle cannot be violated.
Thus, the first man, Adam, could occupy the position for which he had been created through one means alone. He could occupy this position only as a complete being. And for Adam to rule in this manner, Eve ‑ who was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (Gen. 2: 23) ‑ had to rule with him. Eve, because she was a part of Adam’s very being, completed Adam; and the two of them ruling together ‑ the king, with his consort queen ‑ was the only way Adam could rule the [this] earth and remain within the guidelines which God had established.
Understanding this principle will shed light upon numerous things seen in the opening three chapters of Genesis. Why did Adam, though not deceived, partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil following Eve partaking of this tree? The answer is the same as the reason why Christ, who knew no sin, was made “sin for us” when He found His bride in the same condition in which Adam found Eve (Gen. 3: 6; 2 Cor. 5: 21; 1 Tim. 2:14).
Adam could not rule apart from Eve; and Eve, following the time when she had eaten of the forbidden fruit, was no longer in a position to rule with Adam. Thus, Adam could not have fulfilled the purpose for his creation had he not acted exactly as he did. Adam acted with a view to Eve’s redemption, in order that he, as a complete being (Adam, with Eve), might one day fulfil the purpose for man’s creation.
Nor can the Second Man, the Last Adam, rule apart from a wife. He, as the first Adam, found His bride in a fallen state. And He acted in complete accord with the established type, with a view to exactly the same thing seen in the type. He Who knew no sin was made “sin for us,” with a view to both He and a redeemed wife one day taking the sceptre and ascending the throne together.
This book, THE BRIDE IN GENESIS, deals with the various ramifications of this whole overall thought, drawn from different parts of the Book of Genesis. And if man would properly understand that which God has revealed on the subject, he must begin where God began and view the matter after the manner in which God set it forth in His Word.
* * * * * * *
TYPES AND ANTITYPES
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24: 25-27).
Jesus, revealing Himself to the two disciples on the Emmaus road following His resurrection, used one means alone. He simply called their attention to the Word of God, opening the Scriptures to their understanding. He began with Moses and progressed to the other prophets, revealing “unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24: 27). And later that day, when He broke bread in their presence ‑ because of His having previously revealed Himself through the Scriptures – “their eyes were opened” (vv. 28-31).
The clear statement is made that all of the Old Testament Scriptures are about the person and work of Christ. The Old Testament Scriptures form one continuous revelation concerning that which God, not man, has to say about the matter; and God has provided this revelation of His Son through structuring His Word after a certain fashion. The Old Testament Scriptures not only provide an account of true history, but, through this history, these Scriptures also provide an account of all the various facets of the person and work of God's Son - past, present, and future. And the latter has been accomplished through God structuring Old Testament history after such a fashion that Scripture becomes highly typical in nature.
The Old Testament Scriptures form the beginning point. This is where God set the matter forth first. And, accordingly, any correct study surrounding anything which God has revealed about His Son ‑ which would include everything in Scripture (Col. 1: 15-19) ‑ must begin where God began with the matter. Such a study must begin in the Old Testament.
And, not only must such a study begin in the Old Testament, but the Old Testament Scriptures must be viewed after a certain fashion. They must be viewed after the fashion in which they were written. They must be viewed after the fashion in which God structured His Word after a typical fashion. Only through so doing can man come into a correct understanding of that which God has revealed.
PLACE AND IMPORTANCE OF TYPES
Typology is the great unexplored mine in the Old Testament. Studying the types will open the door to an inexhaustible wealth of information which God has provided, information necessary to properly understand God’s revelation to man. On the other hand, it goes without saying that ignoring the types, as so many have done, will produce the opposite result and leave this door closed.
Paul’s statement concerning this matter in his first epistle to the Christians
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [Gk. tupoi, ‘types’]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [Gk. aionon, ‘ages’] are come” (1 Cor. 10: 11).
1 Corinthians 10:
11 draws from a context (vv. 1 ‑10)
which refers to the history of Israel, extending from events immediately
following the death of the firstborn in Egypt to the overthrow of an entire
accountable generation in the wilderness, save Caleb and Joshua (Ex. 12 - Deut. 34). However, the thought of events occurring as types
in 1 Cor. 10: 11 must,
of necessity, encompass a much larger scope than this one segment in the
God, in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth. And at a later point in time, the creation, because of an act of Satan, was reduced to a ruin. Then, at a still later point in time, God set about to restore this ruined creation over a six-day period. And He created man on the sixth day, following the completion of the restoration. God then rested on the seventh day (Gen. 1: 1 ‑ 2: 3).
This entire account in the opening verses of Genesis is fraught with significance and meaning. The account has not only been arranged in a typical fashion but it has been set in a septenary structure as well. The entire 7,000-year history of man can be seen in these verses through the manner in which God structured His Word at the very outset. Beginning with the creation of the heavens and the earth, the whole of that which God revealed throughout all of subsequent Scripture can be seen in four parts: Creation (1: 1), Ruin (1: 2a), Restoration (1: 2b-31), and Rest (2: 1-3).
(This typical account with its septenary structure [Gen. 1: 1 ‑ 2: 3] actually forms the foundation upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests. And all subsequent Scripture, seen in its true light in this respect, merely forms a commentary on that revealed at the beginning, in Gen. 1: 1 ‑ 2: 3 [ref., the author’s book, THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE, Chapters 1-4.)
In Genesis chapter three, the original type of the coming Redeemer is set forth in the act of Adam after Eve had sinned. Adam partook of that associated with sin (fruit from the same tree which Eve had partaken of, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) in order to bring about Eve’s redemption; and this was done with a view to both Adam and Eve one day being able to partake of the tree of life together.
The Last Adam, Christ, was made
“sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him” (2 Cor. 5: 21;
Then chapter four, providing
additional commentary on that revealed in chapter three, sets forth the death
of Abel at the hands of Cain; and this forms a type of the death of Christ at
the hands of
Chapters five through eight set forth the generations of Adam, followed by the Noachian Flood. Three individuals stand out prominently in the latter part of the genealogical record: Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. Enoch and Methuselah were removed from the scene before the Flood came upon the earth. Enoch was removed without dying, and Methuselah was removed via death. Noah was then left behind to pass through the Flood.
The Flood is a type of the
coming Great Tribulation. Enoch and
Methuselah typify those Christians ‑ living and dead* ‑ who will be removed from the earth before
the coming Great Tribulation. And Noah
typifies the nation of
[* There is no mention of the “dead” being resurrected at this time (i.e., before the Great Tribulation): only a mention of those who are alive, who “may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass”: (Luke 21: 34-36, N.K.J.V.. cf. Rev. 3: 10.)]
Genesis is the book in which we
are first introduced to Melchizedek, a king-priest in
It is in Genesis that we find Scripture forming detailed dispensational structures several places. One such place ‑ covering events extending from the birth of Christ to the Messianic Kingdom ‑ can be seen in Gen. 21‑25 (dealt with in Chapter 11 of this book).
And Genesis is the book which contains one of the most complete overall types of Christ to be found in the Old Testament ‑ the life of Joseph, beginning in chapter thirty-seven (dealt with in Chapters 4-6 of this book).
“No one, I suppose, who has ever thought upon it, can doubt that this history [that of Joseph] is typical” (Andrew Jukes).
Note Jesus’ statement, followed by Luke’s comment, after Jesus had suddenly appeared in the midst of His disciples in His resurrection body:
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24: 44, 45).
During His earthly ministry, Jesus often drew from Old Testament typology to teach spiritual lessons concerning Himself. He drew from things surrounding the tabernacle, and from various experiences of the Israelites: “I am the door” (John 10: 7, 9); “I am the bread of life” (John 6: 35, 48-51); “I am the light of the world” (John 9: 5). Jesus told Nicodemus that the serpent lifted up in the wilderness foreshadowed that which was about to happen to the Son of Man, Who must also be lifted up (John 3: 14). In response to the Scribes and Pharisees request for a sign, Jesus declared that the experiences of Jonah foreshadowed things which He would experience (Matt. 12: 38-41). Note also His reference to Solomon in this same passage (v. 42).
Referring to conditions which
would prevail upon the earth immediately before His return, Jesus called the
disciples’ attention to the days of Noah
and the days of
Then during the latter part of His ministry Jesus taught by parables. And many things in these parables can be properly understood only in the light of the Old Testament types and symbols.
John the Baptizer referred to the position which Christ occupied in relation to an Old Testament type when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). Paul spoke of this same truth when he declared Christ to be “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5: 7). The writer of Hebrews derived the major portion of the teachings in his book from Old Testament typology, and this book cannot be properly understood apart from viewing material in the book in a type-antitype framework.
Hebrews chapters three and four
are built around the wilderness journey of the Israelites. And the key to a correct interpretation and
understanding of Heb. 6: 4-6 is to be found
by paralleling that which is stated in the passage with a type-antitype
treatment of chapters three and four. In
chapters five through seven Melchizedek is mentioned nine times; and, in the
light of that revealed about Melchizedek in the Old Testament, the things
stated about Melchizedek in these chapters can only be Messianic in their scope
of fulfilment (cf. Gen. 14: 18, 19; Psa. 110: 1-4).
In chapters eight through ten the tabernacle with its Levitical
priesthood and sacrificial system is said to be a “pattern”
(Gk. tupos, “type”
And in chapters eleven and twelve, numerous Old Testament individuals
who typify some aspect of the work of the triune Godhead in the history of
EXTENT AND PURPOSE OF TYPES
The extent of types in the Old Testament would have to be classed as inexhaustible. Many times a complete type can be found in a single verse; other times complete types can be found in several verses taken together, or in an entire chapter; and other times complete types can be found in several chapters taken together, or in an entire book viewed as a whole. No portion of Old Testament history can be placed outside the scope of Biblical typology. Events in the Old Testament are true history which are fraught with types and meanings.
The Old Testament is written in such a manner that God has interwoven prophetic types into historic events. No proper study of either the Old or New Testaments can ignore types and antitypes. Accordingly, a basic value of any Bible commentary, particularly one dealing with Old Testament history, would have to be that commentary’s treatment of types and antitypes. The reason for this is very simple: The Old Testament is highly typical. The New Testament is simply the Old revealed. Thus, within the Biblical framework of correctly teaching and understanding the Word of God, types and antitypes MUST occupy a prominent place.
“Search the scriptures ... they are they which testify of me...
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me”
(John 5: 39, 46; cf. John 1: 45).
The Scriptures to which Jesus referred in verse thirty-nine were the Old Testament Scriptures. Not a single book of the New Testament had been written at this time. Man’s failure to understand the extent and purpose of types in the Old Testament stems from his failure to heed the words of Jesus: “Search the scriptures [the O.T. Scriptures] ... they are they which testify of me.”
The word for “search” in the Greek text implies a close examination, a thorough search, and the word is used in this passage in the sense of a hunter stalking game, who directs all his attention to marks which will lead to the quarry. An individual searching the Scriptures in this manner will fix all his attention on the Scriptures, closely examining and thoroughly searching every aspect of this revelation. The folly of those who refuse to dwell deeply in the Word can immediately be seen. Such Christians are not only robbing themselves of great spiritual blessings, but, if occupying teaching positions, they are also robbing others of these same blessings.
When Jesus met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following His resurrection, He reprimanded them for not believing ALL that the prophets had written. And, as previously seen, He then began at “Moses and ALL the prophets,” and “expounded unto them in ALL the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24: 25-27).
The specific statement is made in Luke 24: 27 that ALL of the Old Testament Scriptures are about Christ. If one has a mind for the things of God, according to this verse, he can turn to any portion of the Old Testament and study about Christ. ALL of the Old Testament Scriptures ‑ beginning with Moses ‑ constitute a complete revelation of Jesus Christ. The record of creation, all subsequent events, and all individuals, together, form the complete Old Testament revelation which God gave to man concerning all the various facets of the person and work of His Son.
The Son was with the Father in the beginning. Apart from Him not one thing which presently exists came into existence. Or, for that matter, neither does it continue to exist (cf. Gen. 1: 1; John 1: 1-3; Col. 1: 16, 17). The entire Old Testament ‑ Genesis through Malachi ‑is about Him. Then, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” (John 1: 14a). From that point, the New Testament continues to be a revelation of God’s Son. And the last book in the Bible ‑ the Book of Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ ‑ is the capstone of all previous revelation, arranging in final and complete form the summation of all things which were previously revealed, beginning with “Moses and all the prophets.”
When the late Dr. M. R. DeHaan, near the close of his ministry, began to study and arrange material for a series of radio messages, entitled, Portraits of Christ, he was amazed by what he found. In the introduction to a book which was later published from this series, entitled, PORTRAITS OF CHRIST IN GENESIS, Dr. DeHaan states:
“At first the publication of a book entitled ‘Portraits of Christ’ was intended to be a study of portraits of Christ in the entire Bible. However, as I began to collect material, I realized what a hopeless task I was undertaking, and so I next limited it to portraits of Christ in the Old Testament. Again, I had not gone very far when I realized that this too was a Herculean task which could hardly be done in one volume, or even many volumes. As a result, it was shortened to ‘Portraits of Christ in the Pentateuch,’ the books of Moses. Then, finally, after completing but one chapter, I realized that I could not even begin to discuss thoroughly the portraits of Christ in the first book of the Bible alone, the Book of Genesis.
After many years of Bible study, I was amazed at the volume of material and subject matter in the Book of Genesis alone, which was the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The last book of the Bible opens with ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ,’ and this may well be taken to be the title of the entire Bible, from the very first verse of Genesis, chapter one, until the close of the Book of Revelation. It is one continuous, progressive revelation concerning the Altogether Lovely One, the Son of God, and the Son of Man.”
FUNDAMENTALS OF TYPES
A basic, fundamental rule to remember about types is the rule of “first mention.” The first time a type is recorded in Scripture the pattern is set. Once the pattern is set, no change can ever occur. Later types will add information and cast additional light on the original type, but the original was set perfect at the beginning and remains unchanged throughout Scripture.
Another fundamental rule to remember about types is in the area of “doctrine.” It is often taught that types are given merely for illustrations, and doctrine cannot be taught from types. Suffice it to say, types are far more than mere illustrations, and in the area of doctrine it would be well to ask a question, followed by a statement: “Who said doctrine cannot be taught from types? Certainly not the Scriptures!”
Types and antitypes are exact replicas of one another. The antitype is an exact imprint or duplicate of the type. The tabernacle was formed in exact detail, in every respect, to an existing tabernacle in heaven, “according to the pattern [Gk. tupos]” given to Moses in the mount (Heb. 8: 5). The “print [Gk. tupos] of the nails” in the hands of Christ were exact imprints of the nails which had been driven into His hands (John 20: 25). The truth about Biblical doctrine and types is that since the antitype is an exact imprint or duplicate of the type, doctrine can be taught from either. No distinction, one from the other, can be made in this realm.
Another fundamental rule to remember is that types, contrary to common belief, “do NOT break down.” To say that types break down is to say that types are imperfect. God established types, and He established these types perfect. Types break down only in the minds of finite man. If a man knew all there were to know about any particular type, that type could be followed to its nth degree and never break down.
NOTHING happened in a haphazard manner in the Old Testament. EVERYTHING occurred according to a Divine plan, established before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Heb. 1: 3; Eph. 3: 11). And events throughout the Old Testament happened as “types” in order that God might have these events and experiences of individuals to draw upon, allowing the [Holy] Spirit of God to use these events and experiences to instruct Christians in the deep things of God.
“Types are as accurate as mathematics.”
- F B. Meyer
* * * * * * *
Adam and Eve
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure [Gk. tupos, type] of him that was to come (Rom. 5: 12-14).
The account of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapters one through three provides us not only with the one true account of man’s beginning, but this account also provides us with the original type of Christ and His bride. God has interwoven great spiritual lessons into the account of man’s historic beginning, reflecting upon the person and work of His Son.
Adam was the first man upon the earth. He was also a type of Christ, the Second Man, the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15: 45-47). The experiences of Adam and Eve prefigure the experiences of Christ and His bride. The basic principles relating to the formation of the bride and the redemptive work of the Son in relation to the bride are set forth in these chapters and remain unchanged throughout Scripture.
FORMATION OF THE BRIDE
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet for him.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Gen. 1: 27; 2: 18, 21, 22).
1) OUT OF THE BODY
Eve was created in Adam at the very beginning, but was not brought into existence as a separate entity until a later point in time. Adam was put to sleep, his side opened, and from this opened side God took one of his ribs and formed Eve. Eve was taken out of Adam and then presented back to Adam for “an helpmeet.” Eve was a part of the very being of Adam; and, resultingly, separate from Eve, Adam was incomplete. In this respect, Eve, being presented back to Adam, for “an helpmeet,” completed Adam. And, in the highest sense, God looked upon the existing union as “one flesh” (Gen. 2: 21-24).
The bride of Christ has existed in the Son from eternity. The bride’s existence and salvation date from “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4; Rev. 13: 8). The bride, however, could not be brought into existence as a separate entity until after the Son had been put to sleep and His side opened.
This occurred at
God’s past work of bringing Eve into existence and His present work (to be completed in the future) of bringing His Son’s bride into existence must be studied in the light of one another. In Gen. 2: 22 God took a rib from Adam’s side and “made he a woman.” The Hebrew word translated “made” in this verse is banah, which means, “to build.” Eve was created in Adam at the beginning, later taken out of Adam, built into a bride, and then presented back to Adam. In Matt. 16: 18 Christ said, “...upon this rock I will build my church.” The Church (in the sense in which the word is used in Matt. 16: 18), created in Christ from eternity, is presently being [built, and its redeemed members] called out of the body, and built into a bride. And the time when this process will be completed and the bride presented back to the Son lies in the future.
(The word “Church” comes from a compound Greek word [ekklesia], which means, “called out.” And this word is used in the N.T. in more than one way. It is used during the present dispensation relative to all of the saved, for the bride has yet to be singled out and set apart from the remainder of the saved. That is to say, the bride, though presently being called out of the called, has yet to be set apart as a separate entity [e.g., Rev. 1‑3]. However, looking beyond this present dispensation [following that time when the bride will have been set apart in the preceding manner], the use of the word ekklesia becomes more restrictive in the way the matter is looked upon in the N.T.
Referring to time beyond the present dispensation, the word ekklesia is used relative to those who will be placed as firstborn sons, adopted [“adoption” (Gk. huiothesia) means son-placing] ‑ placed in a position to rule and to reign, for, within the human realm, firstborn sons alone can rule [Heb. 12: 23]. And these [firstborn] sons, looked upon in another respect, will rule as consort queen [in the coming millennium] with God’s Son, Jesus. These will be the ones who, in accord with Genesis chapter two, will be removed from Christ’s body, forming the bride of the Second Man, the Last Adam.
The “called out” being removed from the “called” is what is in view in Paul’s reference to an “out-resurrection” in Phil. 3:11 [“resurrection,” KJV; Gk., exanastasis, “out-resurrection”]. The word exanastasis is a compound Greek word which literally means “to stand up out of.” It is one group standing up out of a single larger group ‑ the “called out” being removed from the “called.”* And this will result from issues and determinations emanating from the judgment seat [ref. Appendix].
[* The author believes that all the redeemed will be resurrected at the time of Christ’s return to earth to establish His millennial kingdom; and the “called out” are those who are separated from those who are resurrected! But it would appear that Judgment must take place before resurrection, to determine who, from amongst the redeemed in Hades, “attain” (i.e., ‘gain by effort’] “the resurrection [out] from the dead” (Phil. 3: 11). Therefore “the resurrection out from the dead,” was the object of Paul’s desire and not ‘a standing up out of’ those who will be resurrected. Compare Heb. 11: 35b; Luke 20: 35; Luke 14: 14 - all texts referring to a resurrection of REWARD, of those whom Christ will have judge beforehand to be “accounted worthy”.]
Remaining within the future scope of the matter and the exact meaning of the word ekklesia [called out], the clear teaching of Scripture attests to the fact that those who will form the Church [of the firstborn] in that coming day are not those presently being removed from the world. Those taken from the world are the “called.” The “called out” are to be taken [out] from the called, the saved, the [members of the] ‘body’ [of Christ.]
In the preceding respect, the Church in that coming day will be the body of Christ [cf. Col. 1:18] in the same sense that Eve was the body of Adam. She was bone of his bones, and fiesh of his flesh [Gen. 2: 23]. ALL of Eve was of Adam’s body, but she was not ALL of Adam’s body. “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” [Eph. 5: 30]. ALL of the bride will be [taken out of] of Christ’s body [the church], but not ALL of His body.)
Thus, contrary to that which is commonly believed in Christendom, the bride ‑ in either the type or the antitype ‑ does not constitute all of the body. Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s body, the bride of Christ will be taken out of the Son’s body. The entire body over which He is the Head consists of all the saved during this present dispensation. But the bride consists of a smaller group which is presently being called out of the larger group, i.e., called out of the body.
All of the saved are “called” and form part of the body, but only the “called out” ‑ those to be taken out of the body ‑ will form the bride of Christ. The bride will be a selection out of a selection: “Many are called, but few are chosen [lit., ‘few are called out’]” (Matt. 22: 14). The type has been set, and the antitype MUST follow the type in exact detail.
Note that man had no part in God’s work surrounding the formation of Eve ‑ from the time of her creation in Adam, to the time when she was presented back to Adam. Nor can man have a part in the formation of the Son’s bride. It was Christ, not man, Who said, “... I WILL BUILD my Church.”
2) BLOOD AND WATER
The two elements from the opened side of Christ, necessary to bring into existence the bride, are “blood” and “water.” The correct order is ‑ as in Scripture ‑ blood first, and then water.
To correctly understand the
place of both blood and water in the formation of the bride, a person
must again look to Old Testament typology.
The priest ministered between
the brazen altar and the
In this same respect, in the
antitype, the Christian himself is a priest today (1
Peter 2: 9, 10). The Christian,
as the Old Testament priest, has direct access to that typified by the blood
shed at the brazen altar, the water at the brazen laver, and entrance into the
The blood of Christ has been shed, and through this shed blood we presently possess eternal salvation. An individual, having appropriated the blood shed at the brazen altar (pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary), is in a position to approach the Holy Place and have fellowship with the Father in the Holy of Holies through the rent Veil, through the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2: 5; Heb. 10: 19). But the brazen laver filled with water stands in his path. The water speaks of continual cleansing from the defilement of this world after an individual has been [eternally] saved through a Sacrifice typified by the sacrifices occurring at the brazen altar. And this continual cleansing is effected through Christ’s high priestly ministry on the basis of His shed blood presently on the mercy seat in the tabernacle in heaven.
The Christian though must allow Christ to cleanse him from accrued defilement. The Christian must act himself if cleansing is to occur.
In the ministry of the priests
Viewing both aspects of the
typology seen in the priestly ministry surrounding the tabernacle in this
respect (priestly ministry surrounding both the laver and the mercy seat),
continual cleansing seen at the laver is effected through Christ’s present work
as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary; and He performs this work in a
continuous manner on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat. But, just as a priest in
The necessity of cleansing for the bride after this fashion, taught in spiritual lessons drawn from the tabernacle, is vividly set forth in the words of Jesus to Peter in John 13: 8, 10:-
“Peter saith unto him [Jesus], Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Jesus saith unto him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit...”
In the Greek text there is a play on the words translated “wash” in these verses. The Greek words are nipto and louo. Nipto means to wash a part of the body; and louo means to wash the entire body. The word nipto (partial washing) is used in verse eight, and both words are used in verse ten. The first word in verse ten is louo (complete washing), and the second word is nipto (partial washing).
In verse eight, Jesus told Peter that apart from a partial washing, Peter could have no part WITH Him. Peter’s response in verse nine indicates that he did not yet understand the significance of this partial washing. Peter, desiring to assure himself of having a part WITH Christ, requested more than a partial washing. Peter requested a complete washing.
However, Jesus told Peter that the one who had been completely washed (louo) needed only a partial washing (nipto). Peter had been completely cleansed once ‑ a one-time event which could never be changed, altered, or repeated. But living in a body of death in this present world, Peter would become defiled over and over, requiring continual partial cleansings. And apart from these partial cleansings, Peter could have no part WITH Christ.
[Regenerate] Christians have been completely washed once. This cleansing can never be changed, altered, or repeated. However, just as the priests in the Old Testament ministering between the brazen altar and the Holy Place continually became defiled and had to wash their hands and feet at the brazen laver, the priests in the New Testament ([born again] Christians) continually become defiled in their present pilgrim walk, and must, time after time, avail themselves of cleansing through the antitype of the cleansing provided by water in the laver before they can enter into the Holy Place and have fellowship “with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1: 3 - 2: 2, ).
Christians are IN Christ, eternally safe and secure because of a complete cleansing (louo). But apart from partial cleansings (nipto) from the defilement of this world through confession [and abandonment] of [known, deliberate, wilful] sin, Christians cannot [without repentance] have a part WITH Christ.
The truths taught by Christ through washing the disciples’ feet are the same truths taught by the blood and water flowing from the opened side of Christ. The blood alone is sufficient to place one IN Christ, but the water is also required if one is to have a part WITH Christ. Both elements are necessary to bring the bride into existence, who is to be taken out of the body.
FALL AND REDEMPTION OF THE BRIDE
“For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2: 13, 14).
1) SATAN’S METHOD
In the Genesis account of the fall (ch. 3), Satan entered into the serpent of the field and approached Eve with the question, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden” (3: 1b)? Satan, in order to bring about the fall of Adam, approached Eve and dealt with her on the basis of what God had said. Eve’s response and Satan’s action following her response are quite revealing. In answering Satan, Eve not only altered but also added to the Word of God. Satan then cast doubt on the veracity of God’s Word, resulting in Eve’s sin, and the subsequent fall of Adam as the federal head of the new creation (vv. 2-6).
This is the first mention of Satan in Scripture, and several things stand out prominently in this first-mention account surrounding Satanic activity: Satan’s ways are subtle, and he uses the Word of God; and, according to the rule of first-mention in Scripture, Satan’s methods can only remain unchanged throughout all of subsequent Scripture.
Satan has appeared down through the years as an “angel of light,” and his ministers appear as “ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11: 14, 15). His primary attack has always been against the people of God, through the Word of God. Thus, it is vitally important that Christians not only know exactly what God has said in His Word, but also know that God has spoken with finality. The final court of appeals must always be the Word of God, never man’s reasoning or interpretation.
Adam was brought into existence to have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1: 26-28). This was the dominion which Satan possessed (Ezek. 28: 14; Luke 4: 5, 6). Satan knew that the supplanter (Adam) was on the scene; and in order to retain his position as the earth’s ruler, he knew that Adam, through sin, must be disqualified.
Satan, however, did not approach Adam directly. Adam, as Satan, knew exactly what God had said. And, Satan knowing this, knew that Adam could not be easily deceived in this respect. Thus, Satan, knowing the position which Eve occupied in relation to Adam (a part of Adam’s very being), approached and deceived Eve. Then, Eve’s sin placed Adam in the peculiar position of having no choice other than to also partake of the forbidden fruit.
God had given Adam three commands:
1) “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat” (2: 16b).
2) “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it” (2: 17a).
3) “A man ... shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (2: 24).
In Gen. 2: 16, 17, God’s commands allowed man to eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Among the trees provided for food was the tree of life. And though the eating of fruit from this tree would have provided for man’s perpetual existence throughout the endless ages, this was not the purpose for the tree of life. Man existed in a sinless, undying state prior to the fall. And in this condition, man had no need for fruit from a tree to prolong his life. Following the fall though, man was barred from the tree of life, for eating of this tree at that time could have placed him in an undying state in his newly acquired sinful condition.
In this light, in reality, man’s initial act resulting in the fall, which became sin following the fall, was his failure to eat of the tree of life, as God had previously commanded. Had Adam eaten of this tree before the fall, the only logical conclusion which follows is that the fall could not have occurred (else man would have lived forever in a fallen state because he had previously eaten of the tree of life, preventing man from realizing the purpose for his creation).
(Refer to the Appendix in this book for a detailed exposition of the purpose for the tree of life and why it was absolutely necessary for Adam not only to eat of this tree but to eat of this tree as a complete being [Adam, with Eve] if he was to fulfil God’s purpose for his creation.
Understanding God’s purpose for the tree of life is intimately connected with understanding a number of things dealt with at the very outset of Scripture. It is intimately connected with understanding the purpose for man’s creation, that which Adam did following Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit, the purpose for man’s redemption, and that which lies in the future for man.)
2) GOD’S PROVIS1ON
In Gen. 2: 24 God told Adam to cleave unto his wife. Once Eve had disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam was then in no position to eat of the tree of life. A part of his very being, Eve, who was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (2: 23), had eaten of the forbidden fruit and was in a fallen state.
Eve in her fallen state was no longer in a position to eat of the tree of life. Even though Adam, hadn’t sinned, he was incomplete [relative to rulership in this earth] without Eve who had sinned. Thus, Adam, being incomplete without Eve, could not now eat of the tree of life. Neither Adam nor Eve could eat of the tree of life after Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit. Adam, in order to one day eat of the tree of life as a complete being, had no choice other than to cleave unto his wife by also partaking of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Once Adam had partaken of the forbidden fruit, the complete being of Adam became in a fallen state. This is the point where the fall actually occurred ‑ the federal head of the new creation himself partaking of the forbidden fruit. And that which Adam did was the only course of action possible for him to take to bring about Eve’s redemption, allowing Adam, as a complete being (Adam, with Eve), to one day find himself in a position to eat of the tree of life.
Adam was NOT deceived, but sinned with a full knowledge of that which he was doing (1 Tim. 2: 14). God then provided a blood sacrifice and clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skins (Gen. 3: 21).
And the subsequent removal of
man from the garden in
The original type of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of His bride has forever been set forth in the act of Adam after Eve had sinned.
The First Adam found Eve in a fallen state. He then partook of sin to bring about Eve’s redemption, in order that both might one day be able to eat of the tree of life together.
The Last Adam, likewise, found His bride in a fallen state. He was then made “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5: 21). “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53: 6). He “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2: 24). Jesus was made sin to redeem His bride in order that both might one day be able to eat of the tree of life together.
In the first three chapters of Genesis, both the purpose and means of our salvation are set forth.
The First Adam. was created to rule the earth, and Eve was removed from his body to rule as consort queen with him. But Adam, through an encounter with Satan, resulting in the fall, forfeited his right to rule the earth.
Then, the Last Adam, through an
encounter with Satan (Matt. 4: 1-11), and
His finished word on
“The secret of Adam is the secret of the Messiah ... As the first man was the one that sinned, so shall the Messiah be the one to do sin away.”
‑ A Jewish Rabbi of antiquity
* * * * * * *
Isaac and Rebekah
And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruleth over all that he had, Put, 1 pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaartites, among whom 1 dwell:
But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac
And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master. and sware to him concerning the matter.
And the servant took
ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his
master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to
There are five chapters in the
Book of Genesis which set forth in type the complete history of
THE DISPENSATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF GENESIS 21-25
In Heb. 11: 17-19, recounting events in Gen. 22: 1-14 (the offering of Isaac), Abraham is said to have received his son in “a figure” (v. 19). And this reflects back upon the whole panorama of preceding events - Abraham offering his son on a particular mountain in the land of Moriah, with a ram dying in the stead of his son (the son looked upon as dead [having died in a substitute ‑ in the ram; v. 13]). And it was immediately following these events that Abraham received his son in “a figure” (the son alive on the third day [pointing to resurrection on the third day; v. 4]).
The Creek word translated “figure” (KJV) in verse nineteen is parabole in the Greek text, the word from which we derive our English word “parable,” which is simply an Anglicized form of the Greek word. The word parabole is a compound word meaning “to cast alongside” (para, “alongside”; and bole, “to cast”). A “parable,” defined from the meaning of the word itself, is simply one truth placed alongside of a previous truth to help explain the previous truth.
Thus, Abraham receiving his son in the manner seen at the conclusion of the account in Gen. 22: 1-14 is associated in Heb. 11: 19 with God’s provision of additional truth, reflecting back on previous truth. Abraham’s actions form one truth reflecting back on previous truth, given to help explain the previous truth (through providing additional light). And the previous truth would take one all the way back to that which began to be revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis, forming types of the future work of the Son at Calvary (ref., Chapter 1).
Thus, the word parabole in Heb. 11: 19 is, in reality, used in a similar respect to the way that the Greek word tupos (“type”) is used. Abraham receiving his son in this respect (God placing subsequent truth alongside of previous truth) formed a subsequent type to previous types seen in the opening chapters of Genesis, providing additional light upon the subject.
It then follows in these five chapters (Gen. 21-25) that “Abraham” is a type of God the Father, 1saac a type of God the Son, and Abraham’s two wives (“Sarah” in chapter 23, and “Keturah” in chapter 25) are types of Israel, the wife of Jehovah. Then, Abraham sending his “servant” into Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his son between the time Sarah dies and the time he marries Keturah could point to only one thing - God sending the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son between the time Israel is set aside and the time Israel is restored. Thus, one can immediately see that there is a God-provided dispensational framework of events in these five chapters.
1) The Birth of Isaac (Gen. 2l): Isaac was born in a supernatural manner at a set time. Sarah was barren and beyond the age of childbearing, but God intervened, returned unto Sarah “according to the time of life,” and “Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Gen. 17:1-7, 16-21; 18: 10-14; 21: 1-7).
The birth of Christ occurred in a supernatural manner at a set time (Gal. 4: 4). “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1: 18). God Himself became flesh in the person of His Son - the God-Man (John 1: 14).
2) The Offering of Isaac (Gen. 22): Abraham was instructed to offer his son
for a burnt-offering upon a particular mountain in the
God offered His Son at Calvary
on a particular mountain in the
A substitutionary atonement for
man was provided at
3) The Death of Sarah (Gen. 23): Following the offering of Isaac, the
wife of Abraham, Sarah, died. This can only point to that which occurred
following the offering of Jesus. It was
at this time that the wife of God the Father,
4) The Bride for Isaac (Gen. 24): Following the death of Sarah, Abraham
sent his eldest servant into
After Abraham’s servant had
procured the bride, he removed the bride from
5) The Remarriage of Abraham (Gen. 25): Following the completion of the
servant’s mission in
This can only point to that
which will occur relative to God and
SCOPE OF GENESIS 24
With the complete picture before
us concerning events both before and after the bride has been called out, one
can immediately see the proper time in which events surrounding the procurement
of a bride for God’s Son occur.
According to the type, they must occur during the present dispensation,
The journey of Abraham’s servant into the far country and his procuring a bride for Isaac will form the subject of the remainder of this chapter.
1) Old Age of Abraham (v. 1): This typifies the eternity of God. God’s plans and purposes date from eternity (Acts 15: 18). The bride was chosen in the Son from “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1: 4). As Eve was created in Adam at the beginning, but not removed as a separate entity until Adam was put to sleep and his side opened, thus it is with the bride of Christ. The bride was created in the Last Adam from eternity, but could not be removed as a separate entity until Christ had been crucified and His side opened, from whence issued forth blood and water - the two elements necessary to bring the bride into existence (ref. Chapter 1).
2) Servant of Abraham (v. 2): The eldest servant of Abraham is not named in Gen. 24. Thus, his identity is unknown, though some individuals attempt to identify this servant with a previously named servant in Gen. 15: 2 ‑ Eliezer of Damascus. But about fifty years had elapsed between the events in these two chapters, and the two servants mentioned may or may not be the same person.
The servant, typifying the Holy
Spirit, was sent into
3) Covenant with Abraham (vv. 2-9, 37): Before Abraham’s servant travelled to
Mesopotamia to procure a bride for his master’s son, Abraham made the servant
swear "by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth,"
that he would take a wife for his son only from among his own
kindred, in his own country (vv. 3, 4). The servant left Abraham’s house to go into
The type in Gen. 24 requires that the bride be called out of the saved, not the unsaved (represented by the Canaanite in the type). And this is in complete accord with the previous type, where Adam’s bride was removed from his body (Gen. 2).
(Genesis chapter twenty-four provides a good illustration of how a subsequent type will shed additional light on a previous type [Gen. 2] while remaining in complete agreement, in every detail, with the previous type.)
Abraham’s son was not to be
4) Possessions of Abraham (v. 10): Abraham’s servant took ten camels laden
with his master’s goods and departed into
The Holy Spirit presently in the world has in His possession ALL of the Master’s goods, which are to be found in the Word of God alone. The Holy Spirit - the One Who gave this Word, the One in possession of these goods - is the only One Who can, and will, reveal them to the prospective bride. And it should go without saying that any Christian who reads and studies God’s revelation MUST do so under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, who both gave and reveals the Word.
The Bible remains a closed book to all others.
5) Divine Intervention in the Search (vv. 11 15, 40): It was God Who brought about the meeting of Abraham’s servant and Rebekah. As Abraham’s servant stood by a particular well of water, Rebekah approached to draw water from the well. Every aspect of the search for the bride is marked by Divine intervention and fraught with spiritual significance.
The Holy Spirit is in the world today standing by a particular Well of Water (a type of the Word of God; cf. Isa. 12: 3; 55: 1). And the bride is the one who comes to the Well to draw Water.
6) Qualities of the Bride (vv. 15‑22):
a) “From the Family” (v. 15).
b) “A Virgin” (v. 16).
c) “Able to Draw Water from the Well” (vv. 16-22).
The bride being sought by the Holy Spirit in the world today is:
a) From the Family: The bride is being called out of the new creation in Christ where there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Those within this new creation are referred to as both “children” and “sons” of God, awaiting the adoption into a firstborn status. They are “Abraham’s seed [through being ‘in Christ,’ Who is Abraham’s Seed], and heirs according to the promise [heavenly, not earthly]” (cf. Gen. 22: 17; Rom. 8: 17; Gal. 3: 29).
b) A Virgin: This
aspect of the bride is further illustrated in the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25: 1-13). Many Bible students associate these ten virgins with
The ten virgins represent those to whom the offer of the kingdom of the heavens is presently being extended. They, thus, could only represent ALL of the saved (“ten,” showing ordinal completion) during the present dispensation (all of the called). And the five wise virgins, singled out from among the ten (all of the called), would represent those who will form the bride (those called out of the called).
All ten of the virgins possessed lamps with oil (vv. 1, 7, 8, ASV). The request of the five foolish virgins in Matt. 25: 8 should read, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out” (ref., ASV, NASB, NIV). The difference between the wise and foolish virgins lay, not in the thought that the foolish had no oil (otherwise, their lamps could not be “going out”), but in the fact that the wise virgins possessed an extra supply of oil.
“Oil” is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 10: 1, 6; 16: 13; Lev. 8: 10-12; 21: 12). The five wise virgins possessing an extra supply of oil typify Christians possessing an extra supply of the Holy Spirit, i.e., Christians filled with the Holy Spirit; and the five foolish virgins lacking the extra supply of oil typify Christians lacking an extra supply of the Holy Spirit, i.e., Christians not filled with the Holy Spirit.
All ten of the virgins in Matt. 25 went forth to meet the Bridegroom together ‑ just as all Christians will go forth to meet the Bridegroom together. But only those five wise virgins with an extra supply of oil entered into the marriage festivities (v. 10). Thus, will it be in the future experience of Christians relative to being filled or not being filled with the Holy Spirit.
c) Able to Draw Water from the Well: The bride is to be taken from Christians who are able to draw from the Word of God. Not only was Isaac’s bride found by a well, but also Jacob’s bride (Gen. 29: 6-10), and Moses’ bride (Ex. 2: 16-21).
There is a close connection between being filled with the Spirit and dwelling deeply in the Word of God. Ephesians and Colossians are companion epistles and parallel one another in a number of places. One parallel is found by comparing Eph. 5: 18-20 with Col. 3: 16, 17.
In Ephesians, Christians are told,
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Then, in Colossians, Christians are told,
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Note the contextual parallel between the command to “be filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians and the command to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” in Colossians. The inference is clear that a Christian who is “filled with the Spirit” is one who allows the Word of Christ to dwell in him richly in all wisdom. And this is not simply a reference to possessing a knowledge of the word of God. Rather, it has to do with possessing a knowledge of the Word of God, connected with wisdom from above. It is allowing the Word to dwell in an individual, in all wisdom, as he studies and prays over this Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
The bride is to be made up of such Christians ‑ dwelling near and drawing from the Well ‑ who are being called out of the larger body of Christians. Christians possessing a knowledge of the Word, in line with that revealed in Eph. 5: 18-20 and Col. 3: 16, 17, will find themselves in a position to overcome in the present spiritual warfare (Eph. 6: 10ff). And the inverse of that would be true for Christians lacking such a knowledge of the Word.
7) Riches of Abraham Revealed (v. 53): Abraham’s servant brought forth “Jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment,” and gave them to Rebekah. And he gave also to her brother and to her mother “precious things.” The riches of the father ‑ belonging to Isaac (v. 36) ‑ were revealed and given to Rebekah. Some of the precious things among these riches were even distributed among other members of the family.
During the present dispensation, the Holy Spirit brings forth treasures, revealing them to the bride. These treasures are found in the Word of God, and are brought forth as the bride, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, dwells deeply in the Word of God. These treasures are presently being revealed to the bride (1 Cor. 2: 9, 10) to show the bride that which will belong to her when she inherits with the Son in the coming age (John 16: 15; Eph. 3: 6, 8; 1 Peter 1: 4). And according to the type, some of the precious things belonging to the Son are even revealed to other members of the family ‑ Christians who will not participate in the activities awaiting the bride.
If one understands the work of the Holy Spirit in the world as set forth in Gen. 24, he will have little problem with that which is erroneously being promulgated in almost the whole of Christendom relative to the work of the Holy Spirit during the present dispensation. Invariably, Christians link the [Holy] Spirit’s work during the present dispensation primarily with a work surrounding the gospel of grace. Though that is a work of the [Holy] Spirit during the present dispensation, it is not a work peculiar to the present dispensation; and it has absolutely nothing to do with the reason why the [Holy] Spirit was sent into the world in the antitype of that seen in Gen. 24, on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D.
The Holy Spirit has always been in the world relative to His unchanging work surrounding salvation by grace, effecting the birth from above. This must be the case, for, according to the original type (Gen. 1: 2-5), He is the One Who moved/presently moves upon the ruined creation, effecting a change, with subsequent types pointing to the fact that He is the One Who breathes life into the person previously having no life (cf. Gen. 2: 7; Ezek. 37: 1-10). And apart from this work of the [Holy] Spirit, there could have been no salvation for man during prior dispensations, nor can there be salvation for man during the present dispensation.
It is only during the present dispensation ‑ extending from Pentecost to the rapture, a 2,000‑year period ‑ that the work of the [Holy] Spirit is seen in a different capacity than it is seen in any previous dispensation (though His work relative to salvation by grace remains exactly the same during the present dispensation as in any previous dispensation ‑ breathing life into the one previously having no life, performed on the basis of death and shed blood). The [Holy] Spirit is seen being sent at the beginning of this dispensation to perform a work completely peculiar to the present dispensation, which has nothing to do with salvation by grace. Rather, the work which He was sent to perform during the present dispensation has to do solely with searching for and procuring a bride for God's Son. And this special, particular work (e.g., Eph. 1: 13, 14) should never be confused with the [Holy] Spirit’s continuing work relative to salvation by grace.
Abraham’s servant was in
In like manner, the Holy Spirit is presently in the world seeking a bride for God’s Son, Jesus. This is His mission, and nothing will turn Him aside from this task. Once a prospective member of the bride has been found, the Holy Spirit begins to reveal the possessions, wealth, and glories belonging to God’s Son. These have been entrusted by the Father to the Holy Spirit during the time when He is in the world searching for the bride.
8) Invitation to the Bride (v. 58): After Rebekah had been shown the possessions, wealth, and glories of Isaac ‑ which could be hers as the bride of Isaac ‑ she was extended a simple invitation: “Wilt thou go with this man?” Her answer was equally simple: “I will go.” Note that Rebekah did not have to go. A negative answer would not have changed her family status. But such an answer would have changed her status forever in relation to the bride and the inheritance awaiting the bride.
Likewise today, after the Holy Spirit has revealed to Christians the possession, wealth, and glories awaiting them as joint-heirs with the Son, the simple invitation is extended: “Wilt thou go?” The Christian himself must decide whether he would be content just to be a member of the family, or whether he desires to inherit with the Son and participate in His [millennial] glory. There is no force or coercion ‑ just a simple invitation.
It is interesting to note that immediately after Rebekah made her decision to go with Abraham’s servant and be the bride of Isaac, other members of her family sought to delay her journey. It is the same among members of the family today (among other Christians today). Once a Christian decides, “I will go,” and begins to govern his life accordingly, he experiences trouble. And this trouble invariably emanates from other family members ‑ from other Christians who have little or no appreciation of these things (cf. Matt. 13: 20, 21).
9) Journey Toward Isaac’s Home (v. 61): “And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man; and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.”
The servant took Rebekah and her damsels out of the land on ten camels and journeyed toward Isaac’s home (the number of camels is not given at the time of departure but inferred from the number of camels [ten] which the servant had when he came into the land [v. 10]). “Ten” ‑ the number of ordinal completion ‑ signifies that ALL of the damsels went out to meet Isaac (cf. Matt. 25: 1‑13; Luke 19: 12‑24).
For Christians who have eyes to see, this hardly needs comment. The antitype is easily seen. After the Holy Spirit has procured the bride, ALL [called out] Christians (the dead raised and removed with the living) will depart this world with the Holy Spirit and journey toward the Son’s home. This will take place at the end of the present dispensation, after the Father has prospered the Holy Spirit’s journey in the far country (v. 21). After a sufficient number of Christians, necessary to occupy the positions of power and authority in the coming kingdom of Christ, have been called out ‑ responded in a positive manner to the question, “Wilt thou go” ‑ The events of 1 Thess. 4: 16, 17, synonymous with Gen. 24: 61, will occur.
10) Meeting of Isaac and Rebekah (vv. 62‑67): Rebekah went forth toward Isaac’s home, and Isaac came forth toward Rebekah’s home. Their meeting occurred between these two places, at “eventide” (v. 63). They then journeyed to Isaac’s home, where Rebekah became Isaac’s wife.
Christians and the Lord Jesus Christ will meet part way between earth and heaven, at “eventide” ‑ at the end of the present dispensation. The bride will then go with the Bridegroom to His home, where she will become His wife.
When Rebekah met Isaac, she put on her veil and was separated from the other damsels who accompanied her. When the bride meets the Bridegroom, she will put on her veil (a type of the wedding garment) and be separated from the other Christians who accompany her (cf. Matt. 22: 11‑14; Rev. 19: 7, 8).
This separation of Christians, in the antitype, will occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ. And the bride will then subsequently be allowed to “array herself in fine linen, bright and pure” (ASV) and be revealed as the wife of the Lamb for all to behold (Rev. 19: 7-10).
This is the time which the entire creation ‑ presently groaning and travailing under the bondage of sin ‑ is awaiting (Rom. 8: 18-23). This is the time when the true Hallelujah Chorus will be sung:
“After these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God
And again they said, Alleluia...
And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts [‘living creatures’] fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, All ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come...”
(Rev. 19: 1, 3a, 4 - 7a).
[Footnote. There are places throughout this chapter, where the editor is not in agreement with the author’s exposition. Dr. A. L. Chitwood believes the ‘Church’ consists only of those redeemed during N.T. times; and that the whole ‘Church’ – i.e., every regenerate member of the ‘body’ of Christ - whether they be judged as ‘accounted worthy to escape’ the end times or not (Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10) - will escape the Great Tribulation period out ahead! Compare with G. H. Lang’s ‘Pre-Tribulation Rapture’ on this website.]
* * * * * * *
Jacob and Rachel
And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him,
and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters
Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother...
And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
And Jacob awakened out of his sleep...
And he called the name of that place
The experiences of
Jacob constitute one of the numerous dual types found throughout
Scripture. That which God revealed
through Jacob sets forth typical experiences of God’s two firstborn Sons ‑ Jesus
and the nation of
A primary reference
associating “Jacob” with the nation of
To understand that which is in view, one must go back to a prior section of Scripture where reference is made to Abraham’s seed in relation to both heavenly and earthly realms:
“That inblessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen. 22: 17, 18; cf. Gen. 14: 19, 20).
Abraham and his lineage were to realize both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings. And, realizing these promises and blessings, the seed of Abraham was to “possess the gate of his enemies” in both realms.
The “gate” was where the affairs of a city were transacted in that day (e.g., Ruth 4: 1ff). Individuals “possessing the gate [of a city]” would be looked upon as controlling the affairs of that city. And, reflecting back on the purpose for man’s creation in the beginning (Gen. 1: 26-28), possessing the gate of the enemy in both heavenly and earthly realms for man would refer particularly to governmental control in these realms.
The reference is to a
time yet future, when the Seed of Abraharn (Christ,
“Christians,” who are Abraham’s seed through their positional standing in Christ (Who is Abraham’s Seed) are now the ones in line to inherit the heavenly promises and blessings within the heavenly sphere of the kingdom which Israel rejected (Gal. 3: 29; Eph. 1: 10-14) - a matter which, as well, fits perfectly within the [Holy] Spirit’s present search for a bride for God’s Son. And it should, for all of this is in perfect accord with that foreseen and dealt with in the eternal council chambers of God in the beginning (Heb. 1: 2).
The bride for God’s
Son must come from [amongst the members of] God’s Own family (ref. Chapter 2), which can’t be a reference to
(Christ, the second Man, the last Adam, can no more rule apart from having a wife to rule with Him than could the first man, the first Adam have ruled in this capacity in the type. Adam was incomplete without Eve. She was part of his very being and completed Adam [Gen. 2: 23, 24]. And so must it be in the antitype surrounding Christ and His wife.
God established a
principle surrounding the matter at the time of Man’s creation – “...let them
[the man and the woman together] have dominion” [Gen. 1: 26-28].
And this principle cannot be violated. Man cannot
rule this earth, fulfilling the reason for his creation, apart from the
Husband-wife relationship - whether relating to
After the [Holy] Spirit has
procured the bride and after God subsequently concludes His unfinished dealings
The Seed of Abraham
will control the affairs of state from both heavenly and earthly realms - Christ and His wife from a
heavenly realm, and God and [the redeemed nation of]
[* Note. There is a vast difference between
resurrected saints and those who will not be resurrected. The resurrected saints can rule in both
heavenly and earthly realms of the millennial kingdom; the nation of
Christ and His wife
will rule from the heavenly
God’s rule on earth in
the midst of
In Genesis chapter twenty-eight, though the things promised Jacob are in connection with the earthly realm of the kingdom, Jacob, at this time, would have had just as much claim as Isaac to promises and blessings in the heavenly realm as well. The reference to heavenly for one (Isaac) and earthly for the other (Jacob) was apparently for an emphasis which God wanted to make at these two points in His Word relative to things revealed about each person, for both men could only have had an equal claim on both realms. That would be to say, God wanted to call particular attention to things concerning the heavenly realm at one point in His Word when dealing with Isaac and to things concerning the earthly realm at another point in His Word when dealing with Jacob.
But, that which God revealed through the experiences of each could not be limited to one realm. There are things revealed about Isaac (through whom the heavenly realm was particularly singled out) which also pertain to the earthly realm, and there are things revealed about Jacob (through whom the earthly realm was particularly singled out) which also pertain to the heavenly realm.
JACOB - A TYPE OF
While in a strange
land Jacob met Laban, began to serve Laban, was mistreated by Laban, and became
a crafty merchantman who grew wealthy at Laban’s expense.
After acquiring a certain amount of wealth from Laban, Jacob expressed a desire to return to the land of his fathers (Gen. 30: 25, 26). But the time for his return, although near, had not arrived. God’s command for Jacob to return came only after Jacob had acquired ALL of Laban’s wealth (Gen. 31: 1-3).
From Gen. 28: 15 to Gen. 31:
3 God did not speak to
Jacob. The heavens remained closed
during the entire time of Jacob’s exile. God did not speak to Jacob
it was time for him to return. Jacob then returned to
The present return of
a remnant to the land is NOT the restoration prophesied numerous times in the Old Testament and
set forth in type by the experiences surrounding Jacob’s return. This return has occurred during a time when
the heavens, relative to
During the entire time
“And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee” (Gen. 31: 3).
“And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land” (Gen. 35: 12).
In complete accord with
these verses ‑ the heavens being opened again and God again speaking to Jacob - God will one day again resume His dealings with
The Jewish people will
be brought back into the land, possessing the wealth of the Gentiles (as Jacob
Once back in the land,
Jacob’s name was changed to
In that future [millennial] day when
JACOB - A TYPE OF CHRIST
Jacob, like Jesus, left his home and went into a far country. And Jacob in this far country is seen obtaining a bride.
(Drawing from the
previous type [Isaac and Rebekah in Gen. 24],
the Son was seen remaining in heaven with the Father, while the [Holy] Spirit was
sent into the world to procure a bride for God’s Son. Drawing from the account of Jacob and Rachel,
another facet of the matter is presented.
The work of the Son is seen as well.
But the emphasis surrounding the Son;s role in the matter is placed upon
His work leading into and surrounding
Christ’s present work in the heavenly sanctuary is not part of the [Holy] Spirit’s search for the bride on earth, though intimately associated with this search. Christ is presently providing a cleansing, on the basis of His Own blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary, for the kingdom of priests, the king-priests, about to be brought forth. And this kingdom of priests, these king-priests, would be synonymous with the bride for whom the [Holy] Spirit presently searches.
Then, again, nothing has ever occurred or ever will occur apart from the Son. He, within a correct Scriptural framework of viewing matters, cannot be separated from anything which occurs - past, present, or future [cf. John 1: 1-3; Col. 1: 15-18])
Jacob’s bride, as in
the previous type (Isaac’s bride in Gen. 24), was to be taken only from [amongst] the family
of Abraham. Jacob was specifically charged not to take a
wife “of the daughters of
Jacob met Rachel by a well of water and fell in love with her (Gen. 29: 6-18). As with Rebekah, so with Rachel - the bride is taken from those who draw from the Well, from those who dwell deeply in the Word of God (ref. Chapter 2).
Jacob became a servant and worked a total of fourteen years to obtain Rachel (Gen. 29: 18-28). Jesus, to obtain His [family and] bride, “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2: 7, 8).
After completing his commitment as a servant to Laban, Jacob took Rachel and returned to his own country (Gen. 31: 17). After the Lord Jesus Christ completes His commitment to the Father on behalf of His [family and] bride (servitude on earth, followed by His present high priestly ministry in heaven), Jesus will, like Jacob, take His bride to His Own country ‑ to heaven.* He will meet His bride somewhere between heaven and earth and then return to heaven with His bride (Gen. 24: 61- 67; 1 Thess. 4: 13-18).
[* This is true only relative to the pre-tribulation rapture of watchful saints, (Luke 21: 34-36. cf. Rev. 3: 10); the reference in 1 Thess. 4: 13-18, refers to events after the Great Tribulation, and at the time of the resurrection of reward, (Luke 14: 14. cf. Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35; Rev. 20: 4-6.]
HERE COMES THE BRIDE
In the record of Jacob and his experiences, we’re given an insight into certain things concerning the servitude of Christ and the marriage of the Lamb which is not found in other types of the bride in Genesis. The remainder of this chapter will center around these events.
1) TWO SEVENS
After Jacob had left
his home in
“Seven” is the number of perfection. It signifies the completeness of that which is in view. In the type we have Jacob serving two complete periods of time to obtain Rachel. In the antitype we have Jesus also serving two complete periods of time to obtain His bride. One period was served in the office of “Prophet” during His earthly ministry, culminating in His death, burial, and resurrection. The other period is presently being served in the office of “High Priest” in heaven. This period will culminate immediately before He returns for His bride.
Jacob could not obtain
Rachel at the termination of the first seven years because of the rights of
primogeniture. Nor could Jesus obtain His bride at the termination of the first
period of servitude because of these same rights.
Jesus came to and sent
His disciples only to “the lost sheep of the house of
The primogenital claim
The present high
priestly ministry of Christ in heaven is strictly on behalf of His bride (though today all Christians would be
included within the scope of His ministry, for the bride has yet to be singled out),
as Jacob’s second complete period of servitude was strictly on behalf of Rachel. Christ’s
present ministry in heaven has nothing to do with either
2) THE WEDDING
In Jacob’s marriage to Leah at the termination of the first seven years, we find that Jacob did not realize he had married the firstborn (Leah), rather than her younger sister (Rachel), until after the wedding. Man’s failure to understand how this could happen, resulting in confusion concerning the coming marriage of the Lamb, stems from the difference in Oriental marriage customs of that day and those prevailing in the Western world today.
When Jacob went to claim his bride at the completion of the first seven years, “Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast” (Gen. 29: 22). This is where the marriage occurred. It was a legal transaction, and only the men were present. The actual marriage transpired with the groom in one place and the bride in another.
The bride was then brought in and presented to the groom, “in the evening” (v. 23), after the marriage. She was already Jacob’s wife at this time, and the only thing which remained was for the marriage to be consummated. Thus, the reason Jacob didn’t recognize Leah at the wedding, realizing that he was marrying the wrong woman, is very simple: Leah wasn’t present at the wedding.
We have this same thing set forth in the marriage of Boaz to Ruth in the Book of Ruth. The marriage took place in the presence of the men at the gate of the city while Ruth remained at home with Naomi, her mother-in-law from a previous marriage where Ruth’s husband had died (Ruth 3: 18; 4: 1-13).
It was all part of a legal transaction which was carried out at the gate of the city, where all legal transactions were carried out in that day. When Boaz left the gate of the city, Ruth was his wife. Nothing further was required. He was then in a position to go to Naorm’s home to obtain Ruth, whom he had already married.
This same pattern will also be followed at the coming marriage of the Lamb. The bride will not be present at the wedding. After Jesus terminates His two complete periods of servitude, the marriage will occur. The first complete period is past, and the second complete period will end immediately before Jesus descends from heaven to meet His bride in the air.
Jesus will shortly complete His present high priestly ministry, after the order of Aaron, on behalf of His bride. The marriage will then take place in heaven, which will be a legal transaction between the Father and the Son, apart from the bride being present. And, following the marriage supper of the Lamb, the bride will come forth with the Bridegroom when He appears as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
The actual marriage ceremony itself, a legal transaction, is seen in the typology of Ruth chapters three and four as occurring following events surrounding the judgment seat (3: 6ff) and being intimately connected with the judgments of the Tribulation (4: lff). Within the typology of Ruth chapter four, the judgments of the Tribulation have to do with the redemption of the forfeited inheritance (ref. the author’s book, MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM, Chapter IX). And in the type, the redemption of the inheritance is inseparably connected with Ruth becoming the wife of Boaz. Through Boaz’s redemptive work surrounding the inheritance, Ruth automatically became his wife.
And this is how it must also occur in the antitype, with the antitype following the type in exact detail. The judgments which will occur during the Tribulation (under the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials) are seen being concluded at the end of Revelation chapter eighteen. Then, immediately following the only true alleluia chorus which will ever be sung (19: 1-6), full attention will then be directed to two things: Christ’s wife , and Christ’s return (19:7ff).
“Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come [lit. ‘came’], and his wife hath made herself ready.
And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb
And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he the sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war...” (Rev. 19: 7-9a, 11, ASV).
The bride, in complete accord with the type in Ruth chapter four, will apparently be Christ’s wife at this time. The wedding ceremony, a legal transaction between the Father and His son, will have already occurred.
The “fine linen” (v. 8), called the “wedding garment” in Matt. 22: 11, 12, will not be worn by the bride to attend the wedding. She will not be in attendance. This is a garment which will be worn by the Lamb’s wife to attend the marriage supper of the Lamb following the wedding.
Proper attire will be required in that day for entrance into the banqueting chamber (cf. Matt. 22: 8-14). And this attire – “fine linen” ‑ will be composed of the “righteous acts of the saints” (Rev. 19: 8, ASV). Note that Ruth had to prepare herself for meeting Boaz. One part of this preparation consisted of being clothed in the proper apparel – “put thy raiment upon thee” (Ruth 3: 3).
The coming Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal all things (1 Cor. 3: 12‑15; 2 Cor. 5: 10, 11). Every Christian’s work will be tried “in fire,” with some works withstanding the fire, and some works being consumed by the fire.
Worthless works performed for the praise, honor, and glory of man ‑ symbolized by “wood, hay, stubble” ‑ will be burned. Christians possessing works of this nature will “suffer loss” and be saved “yet so as through fire.” They will appear naked and ashamed in the presence of the Lord (Rev. 3: 18). They will not possess the type material to properly array themselves and, consequently, will be denied entrance into the banqueting chamber.
Works performed by other Christians for the praise, honor, and glory of the Lord ‑ symbolized by “gold, silver, precious stones” ‑ will endure the fire. Christians possessing works of this nature will possess the type material necessary to properly clothe themselves for entrance into the banqueting chamber, where the marriage supper of the Lamb will occur. Nakedness, accompanied by shame, will not be their lot.
Christians are presently being granted the privilege of working on their wedding garments, looking forward to the coming marriage supper of the Lamb. The admonitions and warnings on this subject in Scripture are abundant and clear.
In the preceding respect, the question of the hour in Christian circles today is singular: “Are you [and I] working on your [our] wedding garment[s]?”
* * * * * * *
Joseph and Asenath
Beloved Son of the Father
(Chapters Four through Six will
cover the overall scope of events in Gen. 37-45. This section in Genesis is mainly about Joseph
and his brethren, who typify Christ and the nation of
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.
And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words (Gen. 37: 2-8).
The life of Joseph forms one of
the most complete, overall types of Christ to be found in Scripture. Joseph sets forth in type the
beloved son of the father who
was sent to his brethren, the son who was hated by his brethren, and the son who eventually found
himself exalted over all
The life of Christ from His pre-incarnate existence with the Father to His future appearance in glory is depicted in the experiences of Joseph. In this respect, the experiences of Joseph in Gen. 37-45 set forth in type three main divisions in the experiences of Christ in the antitype:-
1. Past History (with the Father in the beginning, and sent to His brethren about 2,000 years ago).
2. Present Position (exalted to the right hand of Power, with His brethren removed from the scene, during which time He takes a Gentile bride).
3. Future Glory (following His dealings with His brethren once again, His revelation to them, their bowing before Him).
JOSEPH - A TYPE
Some have questioned the authenticity of viewing Joseph as a type of Christ. It is sometimes stated that Joseph should not be viewed in any special way as a type of Christ because nowhere in Scripture is it specifically recorded that Joseph is a type. This though is not true at all. There are at least three separate references which, when viewed in conjunction with related Scriptures, leave no room to question the validity of typological teachings drawn from the life and times of Joseph.
1) When Christ, following His resurrection, met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He began at “Moses and ALL the prophets” and “expounded unto them in ALL the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24: 27; cf. John 1: 45; 5: 46). The specific reference is made that ALL of the Old Testament Scriptures are about Christ, about different facets of His person and work. Thus, in this respect, the life and times of Joseph can only be about one thing. They can only be about the life and times of Christ.
2) The Apostle Paul called
attention to the fact that EVERYTHING which happened to the children of
But what about the remainder of Old Testament history? Should it also be considered highly typical in nature? In the light of Christ’s statements in Luke 24: 25-27, 44; John 5: 45-47, along with the evident structure of Old Testament history, one could come to only one conclusion: The entirety of Old Testament history, through Divine design, could only be viewed one way in this respect ‑ the same way Paul described that section of Old Testament history detailing the experiences of the Israelites under Moses, as highly typical (ref. the Introduction).
The experiences of Joseph constitute a type (actually, one overall type which forms numerous individual types). And, if not a type (or, types) of Christ, then who? However, we’re not left to our own imagination to ascertain the answer. The passage itself (Gen. 37: 1ff) and related Scripture (e.g., Luke 24: 27) determine the issue for us.
3) Joseph was a testimony (Psa. 81: 5) among his brethren concerning not only the promise that God would one day deliver them from Egypt, but also the promise that God would one day visit them in the person of His Son. The same Hebrew word translated testimony in Psa. 81: 5 is used elsewhere in Scripture referring to the ark of the covenant (Ex. 31: 7), the two tables of stone upon which the law was given (Ex. 31: 18), and the entire tabernacle itself (Ex. 38: 21).
Since everything in the tabernacle (a testimony) reflects on some aspect the person and work of Christ in a type-antitype relationship (Heb. 9: 1ff; 1 John 1: 6 – 2: 2), the same could only be said about Joseph (a testimony), particularly in the light of Luke 24: 25-27, 44; John 5: 45-47. Not only does everything about the tabernacle typify some aspect of the person and work of Christ, but everything about the life of Joseph also typifies some aspect of the person and work of Christ. The fact that certain things occurred in the life of Joseph, forming the type, sets forth in no uncertain terms the fact that these same things will also occur in the experiences of God’s Son in the antitype. Christians who desire to know about the past history, present position, and future glory of God’s Son can find innumerable truths concerning these things in the life and times of Joseph. But they can be seen only in a type-antitype study of the things surrounding Joseph, which point to Christ.
Then, even in death Joseph
remained a testimony among his
brethren. When Joseph died he was placed
in a coffin in
The Israelites possessed no
written Revelation during their stay in
It is conceivable that during this time an Israelite father could take his son to a certain place in the camp of Israel, point to the coffin of Joseph, and instruct his son concerning the coming deliverance from Egypt, which itself is a type of the future deliverance from a world-wide dispersion by the One Who is greater than Moses. In this future deliverance, Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead and accompany the living back to the land. This fact is set forth in Biblical typology in the person of Joseph - the dead returned with the living.
When Moses led the Israelites
The record of Joseph continues
today as one of God’s great testimonies concerning His Son and His promises.
Joseph, like Daniel later in
Thus, in life, Joseph’s experiences were a testimony for the Israelites through forming a type of subsequent things which Christ would experience in the antitype. And, in death, Joseph’s bones remained a testimony to the Israelites for generations that God would visit and deliver His people.
Then there is a future aspect, seen not only in that which will follow deliverance (blessings for the Israelites), but in the person of Joseph himself, apart from typology. Joseph is going to one day be raised from the dead, live on this earth again, and see with his own eyes that to which his experiences pointed. Joseph is going to see God’s Son exalted in [a literal] fulfilment of the things typified by his experiences millenniums ago.
Joseph is going to be raised from the dead, stand again in the land of Canaan among his brethren, and see for himself ‑ with his own eyes, and not those of another - the glory of the One Whom his experiences have stood as a type for millenniums (cf. Job 19: 25-27). He is going to see Christ exalted over the entire world (as he was exalted over all Egypt); he is going to see Christ’s brethren [i.e., the saved remnant of the nation of Israel] (who hated Christ, as they had hated him) come and bow before Christ (as they had done in his presence); and he is going to see Christ’s brethren going forth with the same message which they proclaimed in his day:
“Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the
“Jesus is yet alive, and He is Governor over all the earth” (cf. Psa. 24; Isa. 51: 6-9; 53: 1ff).
A. W. Pink in his incomparable commentary on Genesis lists no less than one hundred and one specific analogies in the type-antitype relationship existing between Joseph and Jesus. Other great Bible scholars of past years who possessed an appreciation for types, such as F. B. Meyer and Andrew Jukes, list additional analogies in books written on this section of Genesis. And there are far, far more analogies which can be gleaned from Scripture by one who has a mind for the study of types.
The words of A. T. Robertson relative to the Greek New Testament would equally apply to the field of Biblical typology in this respect:
“The Greek New Testament has a message for each mind. Some of the truth in it has never yet been seen by anyone else. It is waiting like a virgin forest to be explored. It is fresh for every mind that explores it, for those who have passed this way before have left it all here. It still has on it the dew of the morning and is ready to refresh the newcomer.”
In the remainder of this chapter and the two subsequent chapters on Joseph, a number of these analogies will be listed and briefly discussed. The reader can then conduct his own study concerning Joseph, which, in itself, is an inexhaustible study concerning Christ.
JOSEPH, THE SON OF THE FATHER (37: 3-11)
1) Joseph was the son of his father’s old age (v. 3).
“Old age” in typology speaks of eternity, Jesus has been God’s Son from eternity. He has no “beginning of days, nor end of life” (John 1: 1; Heb. 7: 3).
2) Joseph was loved more than any of Jacob’s other sons (v, 3).
God has many Sons. Because of creation, all “angels” are sons of God (Job 1: 6; 2: 1; 38: 7); through creation and adoption, “Israel” is God’s son, His firstborn (Ex. 4: 22; Isa. 43: 1; Rom. 9: 4); and “Christians,” looked upon in the sense of both “children” and “sons” (because of creation [2 Cor. 5: 17; cf. Rom. 8: 14; Gal. 3: 26; 4: 5, 6; Heb. 12: 5-8]), will one day be adopted (as Israel) and constitute God’s firstborn son as well (Rom. 8: 14-23; Heb. 12: 23).
But “Jesus” has always been God’s Son. He has been, and remains, God’s Son from eternity. Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3: 16). All other sons have come into their standing during time (not eternity), and all these sons occupy their position through either creation or creation and adoption.
3) Joseph received a coat from his father (v. 3).
The words “many colours” (KJV) are not found in the Hebrew text. This was a long-sleeved cloak - possibly solid white - which extended not only to the wrists but also to the ankles. This was not a garment designed for work, but rather a garment designed to set the individual forth as an overseer, or a superior, and to distinguish him from a labourer, or a servant.
“This sort of robe was worn by the opulent and noble, by kings’ sons, and by those who had no need to toil for their living” (F. B. Meyer).
Just as Jacob placed his elder son born of Rachel in this position, God has placed His eldest Son - His only begotten Son - in this position. Jesus is the “appointed heir of all things” (Heb. 1: 2). He has been “highly exalted” by the father and “given a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2: 9-11). And following His return, He will not only rule over His brethren, the Israelites, but also over the Gentile nations of the earth as well (Dan. 2: 35, 44; Luke 1: 32, 33).
4) Joseph’s brethren hated him (vv, 4, 7-9).
Joseph was hated because of his father’s special love, and because of his dreams and words. They thus hated him because of who he was, the position in which his dreams placed him, and what he said.
Joseph had two dreams (vv. 7, 9). Both dreams pertained to his dominion over his brethren. The first dream was about sheaves in a field and had to do with an earthly dominion. The second dream was about the sun, moon, and stars and had to do with a heavenly dominion.
Jesus was hated by His brethren because of Who He was, the position in which His message placed Him, and what He said (Matt. 26: 59-68; 27: 17, 18; John 5: 18; 7: 7). During the Messianic Era, Jesus will have an earthly dominion and a heavenly dominion. All authority in heaven and on earth has already been given unto Him, though He will not exercise this authority until that future day when He takes the sceptre (Matt. 28: 18; cf. Gen. 22: 17; 26: 4; 28: 14).
JOSEPH SENT TO HIS BRETHREN (37: 13-16)
was concerned about the welfare of his sons and sent Joseph out from the vale
Joseph willingly accepted the
commission to go unto his brethren. “
God is concerned about the
welfare of His son,
2) Joseph was sent to and sought only his brethren (vv. 13-16).
Jesus, likewise, was sent to and
sought only His brethren. Jesus “came into his own [neuter pl. in the Gk. text ‑
Own things,’ having to do with regality], and his own [masculine pl. in the
Ck. text lit., ‘His Own people,’ the Jewish people] received him not” (John
1:11). When commissioning the
twelve disciples Jesus specifically commanded them: “Go
not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye
not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
3) Joseph wandered about in the field seeking his brethren (v. 15).
field” (as “
JOSEPH FINDS HIS BRETHREN (37: 16-19)
1) Joseph sought his brethren until he found them (vv. 16, 17).
For three and one-half years Jesus went about seeking His brethren, proclaiming the same message which Joseph had proclaimed, which had to do with regality. And this, as when Joseph had proclaimed this message, resulted in His brethren hating Him:
“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion
And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words” (Gen. 37: 5-8).
Joseph found his brethren in
Some Hebrew scholars understand
Jesus found His brethren dwelling under the bondage of the law and bound by the customs and rituals of the religious leaders of that day (Matt. 15: 1-3; 16: 6). He also found them dwelling by two wells. Note Jer. 2: 13: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” The Jews had deserted the Well of Living Water and were drawing from a well which had no water.
THE RESPONSE OF JOSEPH’S BRETHREN (37: 18-36)
1) Joseph’s brethren refused to receive him and conspired against him. His words concerning his dreams were not believed (vv. 5-9, 18-20).
The Jews rejected Jesus and
conspired against Him. They attributed
His miraculous signs - which bore visible witness to the nation of
Joseph was sold by his brethren to the Gentiles for twenty pieces of silver.
Jesus was betrayed and sold by
Judas, one of His brethren, for thirty pieces of silver (John 13: 21-27; Matt. 26: 14, 15). The name Judas comes from the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “
3) Joseph was stripped of his coat and cast into a pit (vv. 23, 24).
Jesus was stripped of His garments and arrayed as a mock King, wearing a scarlet robe, a crown of thorns, and holding a reed in His right hand (Matt. 27: 28, 29). And the Roman soldiers who had ridiculed Christ in this manner then crucified Him and cast lots for His garments (Matt. 27: 35).
Following His death, Jesus descended into the pit. And He was in the “heart of the earth” - in “Hades,” the place of the dead - for “three days and three nights” (Matt. 12: 40; Acts 2: 27-31).
4) Joseph was taken out of the pit alive (v. 28).
Jesus was also taken out of the pit, out of Hades, alive. He was raised [resurrected] from the dead on the third day, and, like Joseph, in a body of flesh and bones, stood among His brethren (Matt. 28: 6, 9; Luke 24: 36-39).
5) Joseph was thought to be dead by one of his brethren (vv. 20, 21, 29).
The brethren of Jesus, the Jews, today likewise believe that He is dead. Only those whose eyes have been opened know and understand the truth about Jesus (Luke 24: 31; Rom. 11: 25).
6) Joseph’s coat was dipped in the blood of a goat’s kid (vv. 31‑35).
The goat’s kid died in Joseph’s place. This coat with the blood was then presented to Jacob, and he accepted this as evidence of Joseph’s death.
Jesus has presented His Own blood to the Father. He Himself is our Substitute, and the Father has accepted His blood (showing death) as evidence of our death (a vicarious death). Thus, those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ have already kept the appointment with death (Heb. 9: 27, 28).
JOSEPH REJECTED - JESUS REJECTED
Individuals often wonder why the
Why were Herod the king and the
It is understandable why Herod
was troubled. His position on the throne
was endangered by the arrival of the Jewish King. But why were the Jews in “all
Over the years preceding
Christ’s appearance, many false Messiahs had appeared to the nation of
The same situation that existed in Israel 2,000 years ago exists in Christendom today. The Jewish people were in possession of the Word of God and knew certain things about the Messiah’s first appearance. Christians today are in possession of the Word of God and can know these same things about the Messiah’s reappearance. The Jewish people were troubled by the announcement of their Messiah’s appearance, and Christians are troubled today by the announcement of their Messiah’s reappearance [and millennial reign].
An apostate Judaism marked
the closing days of that dispensation, and an apostate Christianity will mark [marks] the closing days of this present dispensation (Matt. 23: 1ff, 1 Tim.
4: 1; 2 Thess. 2: 3). The condition of the Church at the end of the
present dispensation is set forth in the degenerate condition of the
Why are Christians troubled when the coming of the Lord is mentioned? Why is this message, so prevalent throughout Scripture, seldom proclaimed in the majority of pulpits throughout the land? The answer is the same in Christendom today as it was in the camp of Israel 2,000 years ago. The Jewish people were not ready for the Messiah’s appearance then, and Christians are not ready for the Messiah’s reappearance today. Instead of joy among Christians, as should exist when the return of the Lord is proclaimed, trouble reigns supreme. Christians are unprepared for the intervention of the Messiah in the affairs of man once again, and they don’t want to hear about it. The return of the Lord will put an end to all of man’s plans, hopes, aims, ambitions, and aspirations performed apart from the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Thus, this terminus - so clearly outlined in Scripture - is ignored, hated, and despised.
The religious leaders in
During my past year’s attendance at local Presbyterian Churches, I
have not heard the adjective ‘millennial’ mentioned once! Not just by those placed in the pulpit, and
expected to teach the Lord’s redeemed people, but not even from amongst any
redeemed member amongst their congregations! Much of the ministry
(relative to eternal salvation through faith in Christ). is sound; and
all the ministers, well paid and gifted in word and speech; but it is not a
question of what has being said by them, but a question of what they are
presently not saying concerning Christ’s millennial reign (in
righteousness and peace) upon this earth! Such a deliberate silence and a glossing over
promises and responsibility truths - (such as ‘reward’
according to ‘works’ (
Joseph was mocked by his brethren because of his dreams concerning dominion over them, and they tried to do away with him (Gen. 37: 8, 20-36).
The chief priests, scribes, and
And the situation is no different in Christendom today. Many are openly belittling truths concerning the coming reign of Christ over the earth. They, like the Jews in time past, will have nothing to do with the Kingship of Jesus.
But, as will be shown in the
subsequent two chapters, the type (the history of Joseph in
* * * * * * *
Joseph and Asenath
Hated by His Brethren
(In Chapter 4, Joseph was seen as the beloved son of the father but hated and rejected by his brethren, who sold him for the price of a slave. In the antitype it is Jesus Who is seen as the beloved Son of the Father but hated and rejected by His brethren, who sold Him for the price of a slave. This part of the type is found in Genesis, chapter thirty-seven.
God moved in the affairs of man, bringing these things to pass in the life of Joseph in order that He might have these experiences to draw upon in teaching Christians the deep things of God. God made the type to explain the antitype. God brought these things to pass in order to explain great spiritual truths concerning His plans and purposes surrounding both His Son and man whom He created [cf. Psa. 81: 5; Luke 24: 27; John 5: 39, 46; 1 Cor. 10: 6, 11])
Following chapter thirty-seven
there is a break in the revealed chain of events covering the life of
Joseph. In chapter thirty-eight God has
seen fit to reveal certain things in the life of
Judah’s marriage to a Gentile ‑ Shuah, whose name means “riches” ‑ following the events of chapter thirty‑seven sets forth in type the fact that following the rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, Israel has gone out among the Gentiles, seeking wealth, riches.
The first son, Er (meaning “enmity”), signifies that enmity against Christ is
what has marked the Jewish people down through the centuries following
The second son, Onan (meaning
“iniquity”), sets forth the state in which the nation found itself
The third son, Shelah (meaning
“sprout”), born in Chezib (meaning “false”),
points to something taking place in the life of
During the Tribulation when the man
of sin is on the scene, there will be a division in the house of
The type dealing with this fact is set forth by the twins which Tamar bore in Gen. 38: 27-30. At the time of birth one twin put forth his hand from the womb and the midwife tied a scarlet thread about his hand to identify the firstborn. However, his hand was drawn back into the womb and the other child, which was named Pharez, was born first. Pharez means “breach,” and points to that segment of the nation which will climax their breach with God by receiving the man of sin. The second son, who was named Zerah, meaning “dawn,” possessed the scarlet thread and points to that segment of the nation which will reject the man of sin. This is the remnant which will pass through the time of Jacob’s trouble in a place prepared by God (Isa. 26: 20; Rev. 12: 6) and be saved out of the destruction which will come upon the world, as Rahab, who, through the display of a scarlet cord, was saved from the destruction which befell Jericho (Joshua 2: 18, 19; 6: 17, 25; Heb. 11: 31).
(Thus, Genesis chapter
thirty-eight provides an overview of the history of
A structure of this nature is something seen quite often throughout Scripture. A complete sequence of events will be given, and Scripture will then drop back and provide commentary on different things presented in the complete sequence.
This is actually the way Scripture is structured as a whole. The complete sequence of events is given in Gen. 1: 1- 2: 3. Then, the remainder of Scripture is simply a commentary on different things previously presented in the complete sequence.)
the history of
in the hands of the Gentiles following His rejection by
2. The Gentile aspect of the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection.
3. The intervening 2,000-year period, during which time Jesus is separated from His brethren according to the flesh, and takes unto Himself a Gentile bride.
4. The time of the Tribulation, which will come upon the entire earth.
time when Jesus reveals Himself to His brethren the second time, followed by
national blessings for
In chapter thirty-nine there is a new beginning in the type. Chapter thirty-seven sets forth the Jewish aspect of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Chapter thirty-nine begins the Gentile aspect, covering these same events once again (cf. Acts 4: 25-28); and the type is continued in the following chapters through the present dispensation on into the next, into the Messianic Era.
Joseph’s brethren are noticeably absent in several of the chapters now under consideration, and they do not reappear until that time when a famine comes upon the entire land and they are forced to go to Joseph. Israel was set aside following the rejection of Christ, and the nation will not reappear in God’s national dealings until a famine (the Tribulation) is upon the entire land once again and the Jewish people (as Joseph’s brethren) are forced to turn to the One Whom they rejected (cf. Hosea 5: 15 - 6: 2).
THE SERVITUDE OF JOSEPH (39: 1-6)
Joseph was brought down to
Jesus was sent to this earth, very God of very God, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant...” The Lord caused all that He did to prosper, and Jesus “increased ... in favour with God and man” (Phil. 2: 5-7; Isa. 53: 10; Luke 2: 52).
2) Joseph was placed over all that his master possessed. Because of Joseph the blessings of the Lord were upon all in the “house” and in the “field” (v. 5).
Jesus was born King of the Jews
(born King in the “house” of
3) Joseph’s master placed all that he possessed in Joseph’s hands (v. 6).
The Father has placed all that He possesses in the Son’s hands. The Son has been appointed “heir of all things” (Heb. 1: 2; cf. Gen. 24: 10, 36), and this inheritance will be received at the end of the present age and realized during the coming age.
THE TEMPTATION OF JOSEPH (39: 7-18)
1) Joseph was tempted, but sinned not. Joseph was alone in a strange land when he was tempted by the wife of the captain of Pharaoh’s guard (vv. 7-13).
Jesus was tempted while alone in the wilderness by the prince of this world (Matt. 4: 1-11). Jesus, the eternal Son of God, sinned not because He could not sin. He possessed no inward lust (which would necessitate a sin nature), and was thus incapable of sinning (James 1: 14, 15). Jesus wasn’t tempted to sin. He couldn't be tempted in this manner, because God cannot be tempted with evil (James 1: 13). He was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (lit. “apart from sin” ‑ i.e., apart from being tempted to sin).
The face to face encounter
between Jesus and Satan in the wilderness was necessary because of that which
occurred 4,000 years earlier in the garden in
2) Joseph was falsely accused in order to remove him from Potiphar’s house (vv. 14-18).
Jesus was falsely accused in
order to remove Him from the house of
THE SENTENCE OF JOSEPH (39: 16-40:23)
1) Joseph suffered the wrath of his master for sin, though he was not guilty. Potiphar’s wrath was kindled, but noticeably absent are the words, “against Joseph” (39: 19, 20).
Jesus suffered the wrath of His
Father for sin, though He was not guilty.
The Father’s wrath was kindled against sin, not against His Son. The Son bore our sins in His Own body at
2) Joseph offered no defence, though completely innocent (39: 19, 20).
Jesus offered no defence, though completely innocent (Isa. 51: 7; Matt. 27: 12-14).
3) Joseph was put in prison. It is evident that Potiphar did not believe the accusation against Joseph since he did not order him put to death (39: 20).
Jesus was put in prison, in the place of death. Pilate, like Potiphar, did not believe the accusation against Jesus (Matt. 27: 22-26).
4) All that were in the prison were committed into Joseph’s hands (39: 22, 23).
All that are in [Hades/Sheol] the place of death have been committed into Jesus’ hands. Jesus possesses the “keys of Hades and of death” (Rev. 1: 18). The resurrection of all individuals ([sooner or later,] saved and unsaved alike) will take place only because the Son has been raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15: 20-24). And all judgment [before and]* following resurrection will take place at the hands of the Son (John 5: 22).
[* Note. There must be a judgment before resurrection, to determine who (from amongst the dead in Hades), are “considered worthy of taking part in that age…” (Luke 20: 35, N.I.V.). cf. Heb. 11: 35b; Rev. 20: 4-6; Matt. 5: 20). See appendix for the author’s interpretation of ‘The Out-Resurrection’.]
5) Joseph was numbered with the transgressors. Two individuals are singled out who were placed in prison with Joseph. One fared well; the other did not (40: 1-23).
Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. Two malefactors were crucified with Christ. Two thieves were brought in later and also crucified with Him. One of the malefactors fared well; the other did not. Neither of the thieves fared well (Isa. 53: 11; Matt. 27: 33-35; Mark 15: 22-37; Luke 23: 26-46; John 19: 16-26).
(It is often taught that the malefactors and the thieves were the same, but this is not correct. In Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts of the crucifixion, the two thieves were crucified with Him after the inscription, “This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews,” was placed above His head. In Luke’s account, the two malefactors were crucified with Him before the inscription was placed above His head. In John’s account, the order is the same as Luke’s, but they are simply called “two others.”
The word translated “malefactor” is a broader word in the Greek text than the word translated “thief.” A malefactor can be a thief, but he can also be guilty of numerous other crimes. Different Greek words are also used to describe the manner in which the thieves and malefactors spoke to Jesus. Both thieves spoke “reproachfully”; one malefactor spoke “blasphemously”; the other malefactor - often mistakenly called the repentant thief - believed that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel, and concluded his remarks with the request, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” [Matt. 27: 44; Luke 23: 39‑42]).
THE DELIVERANCE OF JOSEPH (41: 1-36)
While in prison Joseph interpreted the dreams of two individuals numbered with him. One was restored to his prior position, and the other was hanged, both as Joseph had foretold.
Later the Pharaoh of Egypt
dreamed two dreams, and none of the magicians or wise men in
Joseph was then called forth
from prison to make known the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams. As in the experience of Nebuchadnezzar and
his dream about the great image (Dan. 2: 1 ff), or the experience of
Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall (Dan. 5:
5ff), the wisdom of
A Jewish connection with the Revelation of God after this fashion has been in effect since the time that the Hebrew people were called into existence. According to Psa. 147: 19, 20,
“He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his
statues and his judgments unto
He hath not dealt so with any nation (Gentile): and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.”
1) Joseph was called forth from prison to make known future events (vv. 14-28).
Jesus was called forth from the
place of death and made known future events.
The resurrection of Christ itself sets forth future events. The resurrection of Christ - God’s firstborn
Son - took place after two days, on the third day. This sets for the fact that all God’s
firstborn Sons - Christ,
Following His resurrection,
Jesus spent forty days instructing His disciples in things pertaining to “the
2) Joseph revealed to Pharaoh that a time of plenty would be followed by a time of famine. Both of these periods were to be seven years in length (vv. 29‑36).
“Seven” is the number of perfection. It signifies the completion of that which is in view. The dreams of Pharaoh, thus, set forth events transpiring within two complete periods of time.
Throughout the Word of God we are told about these two complete periods, which within their proper framework FOLLOW the resurrection of Christ. There is to be a time of plenty - the day in which we presently live; and there is to be a time of famine - the Tribulation period. And just as surely as the time of plenty ended during Joseph’s day and the time of famine followed, the time of plenty in which we now live will end, and the time of famine will follow (Matt. 24: 21; Rev. 6: 1-8).
THE EXALTATION OF JOSEPH (41: 39-45)
1) Following his removal from
prison and his making known God’s Revelation, Joseph was exalted and seated on
the throne of the ruler over all
Following His resurrection and His making known God’s Revelation (Acts 1: 3), Jesus was exalted and seated on the throne of the Ruler over all the earth, and the universe at large (Rev. 3: 21). God has exalted Jesus to His right hand to be a “Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5: 31); He has been “crowned with glory and honour” (Heb. 2: 9); He has been clothed with garments befitting His position - a body enswathed with the glory of God (Psa. 104: 1, 2). God has stated, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Phil. 2: 10); “All authority ... in heaven and on earth” has been given unto Him (Matt. 28: 18, ASV); and this is all with a view to the Anointed One exercising power from His Own throne in the coming age (Psa. 110: 1-3; Rev. 3: 21).
2) During the time Joseph was seated on the throne of another, and before the time of famine, he became the saviour of the world, and he took a Gentile bride (v. 45).
During the time Jesus is seated on the throne of His Father, and before the time of famine, He is the Saviour of the world, and He is taking a Gentile bride (Acts 15: 14; Rom. 11: 25; Rev. 19: 7, 8).
During the present time, the world is enjoying its day of plenty. But the day of famine is just ahead. The Church, of course, will not be here. Christ will remove His bride before the time of famine (which will involve the removal of all Christians at that time, for the bride will not be singled out - the called out will not be removed from the called - until a time following events surrounding the judgment seat).*
[*Note. The author believes the whole body of the redeemed, regardless of moral status and on the basis of bare faith alone, will be rapt into heaven before the Great Tribulation commences! This is not what Scripture teaches us, (Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10). This mistaken belief stems from the idea that all judgment takes place after rapture and resurrection: but where is the Scriptural proof for that theory?]
In the type, Asenath, the wife of Joseph, was not affected by the time of famine. She was noticeably absent during events surrounding the famine which included events surrounding Joseph’s dealings with his brethren during the time of famine. Thus will it be in the antitype. The Church will have no part in events surrounding the Tribulation; nor will the Church have a part in Christ’s dealings with His brethren according to the flesh during this time.
In a corresponding type in the
Book of Exodus we find these same truths set forth. Moses took a Gentile bride during the time of
his rejection by his brethren, but she had no part in his dealings with his
brethren during the plagues upon
As in the antitype of Joseph and
Asenath, or in the antitype of Moses and Zipporah,
Christ’s bride will have no part in the coming Tribulation, or in Christ’s
dealings with His brethren according to the flesh, both during and immediately
following the Tribulation. Christ’s wife
will not accompany Him to the earth when He returns to complete the judgments
of the Tribulation and to deliver His brethren.
She, as Asenath in relation to Joseph, or Zipporah
in relation to Moses, will be separated from Christ during this time and be
reunited with Christ only after He concludes His dealings with
Just as surely as night follows day, a time of famine will follow the present time of plenty. For those who dwell on the earth, many will come to realize too late that “the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jer. 8: 20) - which would have to do with both Christians and the unsaved.
(Salvation would have to do with Christians in relation to the salvation of their souls, which has to do with millennial verities; and salvation would have to do with the unsaved in relation to the salvation of their spirits, which has to do with eternal verities.)
* * * * * * *
Joseph and Asenath
Exalted over All
(In Chapter 5 Joseph was seen delivered from prison and placed at the right hand of power; and from this position, Joseph took a Gentile bride. The antitype, of course, is easy to see. Jesus was delivered from the place of death [by a resurrection out from the dead] and placed at the right hand of Power; and from this position, Jesus is presently taking a Gentile bride.
The bride which Christ is presently taking from the Gentiles is for a purpose which will be realized in the coming age. Christ, in that day, will hold the earth’s sceptre as He ascends His Own throne; and His bride, who will then be His wife, will ascend the throne and exercise power as co-regent with Him [Rev. 2: 26, 27; 3: 21].)
TWO COMPLETE PERIODS (41: 1 - 54)
Joseph revealed to Pharaoh the interpretation of two dreams, and these dreams had to do with events transpiring during two seven-year periods. “Seven” is the number of perfection. It signifies the completion of that which is in view. Events transpiring during these two periods, thus, point to events transpiring during two complete periods of time in the antitype.
A completeness shown by the number seven is evident throughout Scripture. The six-day restoration of the earth in Genesis chapter one - an earth which had become “without form and void” as a result of Satan seeking to exalt his throne (cf. Isa. 14: 12-17; Jer. 4: 23-28; Ezek. 28: 14-19) ‑ was incomplete without the seventh day of rest (Gen. 1:2b - 2: 3). These seven days set forth in type, at the very beginning of Scripture, the period of time which Biblical revelation covers, which is the period of time that God concerns Himself with the affairs of man on this present earth. From the point of man’s fall, the complete length of this time will be seven days - 7,000 years - one complete period of time (cf. Matt. 16: 28 - 17: 5; 2 Peter 1: 15-18; 3: 3-8). God will work six days in the restoration of a ruined creation (ruined man, along with the ruined material creation once again) and then rest the seventh day, exactly as He did in the prior restoration of a ruined creation set forth in the opening verses of Genesis (cf. Gen. 1: 1 - 2: 3; Ex. 31: 13-17).
“The thought of a ruined condition of the earth succeeding its original creation ... is required by the typical view” (F. W. Grant).
God later dealt with
The Sabbath was given to
A deliverance from Gentile dominion occurred under Moses; and this was followed by the nation being led into the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with the nation being placed in that land within a theocracy under Joshua (the Hebrew name for “Jesus,” meaning Salvation). A deliverance from Gentile dominion is about to occur under Christ; and this will be followed by a restoration of the nation to the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with the nation being placed in that land within a theocracy under Christ.
These are among events set forth by the “feasts of the Lord” in Leviticus chapter twenty-three.
of the captivity of the children of
Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy
Weeks (Dan. 9: 24-27) constitutes a period
of time (490 years) which equals seven times seventy, or seven times seven
times ten. These 490 years constitute a
complete period of time determined
upon the Jewish people and the city of
All Scripture rests upon a Divinely established numeric arrangement, and, consequently, numbers in Scripture are fraught with spiritual significance and meaning.
The world is presently enjoying its time of abundance, set forth by the seven years of plenty in Pharaoh’s dreams. But the world will shortly be ushered into a time of trouble, set forth by the seven years of famine in these same dreams. This time of trouble/famine is described in Genesis as being so grievous that “the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following” (41: 31). The antitype of this period is described in Matthew’s gospel as a time of trouble “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (24: 21).
Throughout both the complete
times of plenty and famine Joseph occupied a position at the right hand of the
ruler over all
(Note that God is the Supreme Ruler over the entire universe, which includes the earth. Then, messianic angels rule various provinces in the universe under God, with Satan [a fallen messianic angel] presently ruling the earth in this capacity.)
Joseph took a Gentile bride during the time of plenty. And Jesus is presently taking a Gentile bride during the time of plenty.
was arrayed in fine linen, a gold chain was placed about his neck (“gold,” in Scripture, speaks of Deity), he was made to ride in the second
chariot, all Egypt was commanded to bow the knee before Joseph, and he was given
a new name – Zaphnath-Paaneah -
which means, “Saviour of the world.”
Pharaoh said unto Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and
without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the
For those who have eyes to see, the antitype is clear. God the Father has placed His Son, Jesus, in exactly this same position (Phil. 2: 6-10; Heb. 2: 9; 1 Peter 3: 22; Rev. 3: 21).
But, as previously seen, though the position which Christ occupies will remain unchanged (as the position which Joseph occupied), conditions on this earth will change; and these conditions will change drastically.
The time of plenty is going to come to an end, with a time of unparalleled famine following - a time so grievous that conditions existing during the previous time of plenty “shall not be known” throughout the earth because of the famine (Gen. 41: 31). And all of this is something which man not only seems to know very little about but also doesn’t even seem to want to discuss today. Man wants to remove that day ‑ when the time of plenty ends, and the time of famine begins – far from him.
Scripture though cannot be broken. The time of plenty is going to end, and the time of famine is then going to begin:
“And the seven years of plenteousness, that
was in the
And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said...” (41: 53, 54a).
In the type, the time of plenty came to an end, and the time of famine followed, just as Joseph had said. And in the antitype, the time of plenty during which we presently live will come to an end, and the time of famine will follow, just as Jesus has said (Matt. 24: 21, 22).
GO UNTO JOSEPH (41: 55-57)
When the famine came upon
“Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the
storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the
This sets forth a truth which Christians appear to have little appreciation for today. Although the famine in this verse refers to the coming Tribulation in the antitype, the application to Christians during a time of famine (need) today is too evident to pass by without a few comments.
Do you have a need? Do you know how to obtain a supply for any need which might arise in your life? The answer is found in Gen. 41: 55, 56: “Go unto Joseph [Jesus]; what he saith to you, do.” He will then open “all the storehouses.” A similar thought is set forth in the words of Jesus in John 14: 14: “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
Asking in the name of Jesus is a very misunderstood subject today. These words do not constitute a magic formula which can be repeated at the end of a prayer merely to obtain things which an individual may desire to have. “In Jesus’ name” implies that the person is acting on the Lord’s behalf, using the talents and/or pounds left in their possession to bring forth an increase (Matt. 25: 14-20; Luke 19:11-27). That would be to say, they would be trading and trafficking, using that which the Lord had entrusted to them in order to carry out business on His behalf during His time of absence. And, in the process of carrying out this business, a person would have certain needs which must be met. That person could then make requests “in Jesus’ name,” with the assurance that such requests would be answered and met.
If a person is truly conducting business on the Lord’s behalf, in the manner that He has told them to conduct that business, it should go without saying that the person would be doing that which the Lord had told them to do. A person in this position could then go to Jesus with his needs, the storehouses would be opened, and the Lord would supply these needs (cf. John 16: 23, 24; James 4: 3; 1 John 3: 22).
One of the main cries heard in Christian
circles today is the plea for money to carry on the Lord’s work. That is a strange sound coming from the
trumpet. Reverse that into the type in Genesis, chapter forty-one and you will have the
The attitude of too many Christians today is, “Tell the people, and trust the Lord.” Arno Gaebelein, one of the great Bible teachers in past years, used to say that when you tell the people, you cease to trust the Lord. The attitude of Dr. Gaebelein in this area was far more Scriptural than the position many Christians are taking today. Not only are there certain pseudo-religious programs on radio and television, which are little more than fund-raising campaigns preying on the Biblical ignorance of Christians, but many Churches throughout the land are carrying on man-made programs which are little different. If Christians followed the admonition of Scripture concerning their needs in all areas, they would find that not only would many (probably most) Church-related programs of today cease to exist, but many others would come into existence; and the Lord would supply the necessary funds to carry on His work.
Any group of Christians doing what the Lord has told them to do need only ask of the Lord, and He will supply any need [for His work] which might arise. Any Church in financial straits today has not done* one or both of two things: The members constituting that Church have either not done what He has told them to do or they have not gone to the Lord for their needs.
[* Note. What is it which they have they not done? They have not obeyed the Lord’s command: “Owe no man anything…,” (A.V.) “To no man anything owe ye, except one another to love” (Lit. Gk. Rom 13: 8) By borrowing vast sums of money from financial institutions, and running headlong into debt - debt which now has to be paid, which has burdened the people of God, and reduced financial effort toward the Lord’s work in helping His redeemed people who are in dire need of support!]
What has the Lord told you to do? Two related thoughts will be set forth which individuals might consider, and which will perhaps shed light on the central reason why many Christian organizations and Churches have been beset by problems - financial and otherwise.
1) The Attitude of Christians Toward the Word of God in General
God has placed pastor-teachers in Churches to lead Christians into a mature knowledge of the Word of God. Christians, in turn, are to take this knowledge and do what God has told them to do in His Word. God speaks to us today through His Word.
This Word is to be taught “precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line,
line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” The ones whom the Lord will teach “knowledge” and make to understand “doctrine” are those who are “weaned from the milk, and drawn from
the breasts” (Isa. 28: 9-13).
If one follows God’s Revelation to man, his teachings will centre around God’s firstborn
Teachings concerning Christ begin in Gen. 1: 1 (cf. John 1: 1‑5). Jesus stated that ALL Scripture was about Him (Luke 24: 27, 44; John 5: 39, 46). Thus, it matters not where a person turns in Scripture, he will find himself studying about some facet of the person and work of Christ.
Teachings concerning the
Teachings concerning the Church also begin in Genesis. Adam and Eve constitute the original type of Christ and His bride, and Enoch and Methuselah constitute a type of [some] Christians being removed before the coming Flood (Tribulation) - some via death as Methuselah, others [who walk with God and ‘prevail to escape’] by being caught up alive as Enoch.
Teachings concerning the [millennial] kingdom also begin in Genesis. The Sabbath day of rest (2: 1-3), following six days of work (1: 2b - 31), sets forth the fact that a Sabbath day of rest [for mankind and creation] is coming following six days of work. And each one of these days will be 1,000 years in length (cf. Ex. 31: 13-17; Heb. 4: 4-9; 2 Peter 1: 15-18; 13-8).
Genesis is rich beyond degree. There’s
not a single Biblical doctrine that cannot be found in some form in
Genesis. In order to correctly
understand the work of the Son - past, present, and
future - along with the place occupied by
A teaching example for the
servants of the Lord to follow has been set by Jesus Himself: “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets...” (Luke 24: 27). Great spiritual lessons concerning Christ,
Thus, the import of types in Scripture can immediately be seen. Not only will God’s three firstborn Sons ‑ Christ, Israel, and the Church be placed in their proper perspective, but teachings drawn from “Moses and all the prophets” will be directed toward the earth’s coming Sabbath day of rest - the coming Messianic Era, when God’s three firstborn Sons (the Church, following the adoption) will be placed in their proper positions on and over the earth. No wonder it was said by more than one great Bible teacher of past years that types commend themselves to the spiritually minded.
2) The Attitude of Christians Toward the Word of God in Particular
The central message of Scripture, the Word [or ‘Message’ N.I.V.)] of the Kingdom, is the message upon which Satan has centered his attack throughout the dispensation. And this is perhaps nowhere better depicted in Scripture than in the parables of Matthew chapter thirteen.
In these parables, Satan is the one who seeks to bring about barrenness in the lives of Christians as they find themselves placed in various parts of the world, with a view to their bringing forth fruit (vv. 4-8, 19-23); he is the one responsible for sowing tares among the wheat, with a view to barrenness among Christians (vv. 24-30); he is the one who produced an unnatural growth in Christendom early in the dispensation, which continues today, resulting in his messengers finding ready acceptance therein (vv. 31, 32); and he is the one responsible for the leavening process which has been occurring within Christendom throughout the dispensation, resulting in an every-increasing corruption, which will continue until the whole has been leavened (v. 33).
Satan’s attack in this fashion has not been an attack upon Biblical doctrine in general. Rather, it has been an attack upon Biblical doctrine in a very particular and specific manner. It would be an attack similar to that referred to in military circles today as “a surgical strike [an attack directed at one specific target, using computer-guided missiles, leaving that which surrounds the target untouched].” It has been an attack directed specifically at the Word of the Kingdom.
And the direct command to Christians in the Word of God runs completely contrary to that which can be seen occurring on almost every hand in Christendom today. To avoid being caught up in the wiles of Satan - in which almost the whole of Christendom finds itself today - Christians are commanded to study the Word, remaining in complete keeping with the Old Testament prophecies. It is only through a knowledge gleaned from the Word after this fashion that Christians can know how to properly array themselves in armour, know how to properly combat the enemy, know how to remain faithful, and know how to maintain a proper spiritual awareness (cf. Eph. 6:10ff; 1 Tim. 1: 18, 19; 2 Tim. 2: 15).
Further, Christians are commanded to strain every muscle of their being in the present ‘race’ of the faith, something which they would know very little about apart from a proper study of the Word (1 Tim. 6: 11-19; 11 Tim. 4: 7, 8; Jude 3). And Christians are to govern their lives after this fashion with a view to a ‘prize’ which awaits the victors at the end of the race of the faith (1 Peter 4: 12, 13; 5: 1-6).
And it is not just any ‘prize’ awaiting Christians who govern their lives after this fashion. Rather, it is the highest prize of all prizes. It is the greatest thing that God could ever design for redeemed man ‑ that of one day being elevated into the heavens and being privileged to ascend the [millennial] throne with God’s Son, ruling the earth as co-regent with the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Can Christians expect the storehouses to be opened and the blessings of the Lord to flow out, even though they have gone to Him for their needs, if they refuse to do what He has told them? Look once again at the order in Gen. 41: 55, 56: GO ... DO ... and He will THEN open ALL the storehouses.
FAMINE UPON THE EARTH (42: 1-38)
The time of famine is coming. It came during Joseph’s day, and it will come during the present day. The brethren of Joseph faded from view after he had been sold into the hands of the Gentiles (37: 28), and they did not reappear until the time of famine (42: 1).
brethren of Jesus, according to the flesh, faded from view after He had been
sold into the hands of the Gentiles.
However, when the time of famine
begins, just as the brethren of Joseph in the type reappeared, the brethren of Jesus in the antitype
will reappear. And
then, as Joseph dealt with his brethren, God will deal with
the time of famine came, Joseph’s brethren were driven from their land and
forced to go into
During the coming time of famine,
Jesus’ brethren will be driven from their land and forced to go out into the
Gentile world. The Jews in the
2) During the time of famine, Joseph’s brethren had no place to turn but to Joseph (v. 6).
During the coming Great Tribulation, Jesus’ brethren will have no place to turn but to Jesus (Ex. 3: 2, 7-9).
3) Joseph’s brethren confessed their guilt in his presence. The time was after two days, on the third day (vv. 18-23).
Jesus’ brethren will confess their guilt in His presence. The time will be after two days, on the third day (Hosea 5: 15 - 6: 2). The Word of God states that Israel in that day “shall look upon me [Jesus] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zech. 12:10b).
(In the Hebrew text of Zech. 12: 10 there is an un-translated Aleph and Tau [the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet, equivalent to the Alpha and Omega in Greek, the first and last letters in the Creek alphabet]. Note Who declares Himself to be the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” [Rev. 1: 8, 11]. It is none other than the pierced One in Zech. 12: 10, the Aleph and the Tau.)
4) Joseph helped his brethren and supplied their needs - without price during the time of famine (vv. 25, 26).
Jesus will help His brethren and supply their needs - without price - during the coming time of famine (Isa. 55: 1).
THE SILVER CUP AND THE CONFESSION (43, 44)
When Joseph’s brethren journeyed
The remainder of Joseph’s
brethren, on their first trip to
Joseph questioned his brethren
concerning the welfare of their father and whether or not they had another
brother who was not with them. Not
knowing that he already knew one brother was absent, Joseph’s brethren told him
about Benjamin. Joseph then forced them
into a position where they would have to bring Benjamin with them during their
next trip into
Then, when Benjamin was brought
down with his brothers on their second trip into
Then after Joseph’s brethren had
left for home, not knowing that the silver cup was in their possession, Joseph
sent his steward to overtake them, retrieve his cup, bring his brethren back,
and place them before him. After the
brothers had been overtaken and the search conducted, the cup was found in
Benjamin’s sack (where Joseph had previously instructed that it be
placed). Joseph’s brethren rent their
clothes (an outward expression of great grief); and, after they had returned,
Benjamin and Judah represent the
entire nation of Israel during that future time of trouble when the Israelites
go to Jesus for help, just as Benjamin’s serving at the table was five times
greater than servings given to his brothers, Israel, will be blessed above measure
(“five” is the number of grace - that which God is able to
do totally apart from human intervention). And just as the silver cup
was found in Benjamin’s possession, that to which the cup points will be found
in Scripture speaks of the price of redemption. There
is no redemption apart from the shedding of blood. The tabernacle, for example - the house of
blood - rested entirely on a foundation of pure silver. This silver had been
collected from the children of
The silver cup ‑ found in
Benjamin’s possession, to be found in Israel’s possession - sets forth the fact
once and for all that this nation is guilty of blood, and this blood is none other than the
blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It matters little that large religious
bodies - Catholic and Protestant alike - as well as others, have sought to
After Joseph’s brethren realized
that the cup was in their possession, they rent their clothes; and then
In the antitype, after Jesus’
brethren realize that the cup is in their possession, there will be a great
mourning, not only in Jerusalem, but throughout all the land (Zech. 12: 10-14). Then, in the antitype of
This will occur at the apex of
the darkest hour of Israeli history.
When it seemed that all was lost and Benjamin was about to become a
During the Great Tribulation when it will seem that all is lost and the Israelites are about to be faced with slavery forever at the hands of the Gentiles, they will cry out to Jesus, acknowledge their offence, and He will hear (cf. Lev. 5: 5, 6; 26: 40-42; Deut. 30: 1-3; Hosea 5: 15 - 6: 2; Joel 16-8).
THE REVELATION OF JOSEPH TO HIS BRETHREN
“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him: for they were troubled [lit., ‘terrified’] at his presence.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am
Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into
This, of course, is a type of
that future day when Jesus reveals Himself to His brethren, the nation of
In Acts 9: 1-7, the one later known as the Apostle Paul was leading a great persecution against Christians when Jesus appeared to Paul, personally, in His body of flesh and bones. Others were with Paul, but they neither saw Jesus nor entered into His dealings with Paul. Paul asked the question, “Who art thou, Lord?” And the reply was, “I am Jesus” (v. 5). Immediately following this revelation, Paul was troubled (lit., “terrified”) by the Lord’s presence (v. 6), just as the brethren of Joseph had been troubled (lit., “terrified”) by his presence (Gen. 45: 3).
Tim. 1: 15, 16, we are told
that Paul was not saved just to obtain mercy, but he was saved for a “pattern (Gr. hupotuposis, ‘a prototype’) to them which
should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” According to 1 Cor. 15: 8, Paul
was “born out of due time” when Christ appeared
to him on the
Drawing from the types in Gen. 45: 1-4; Acts 9: 1-7 and the antitype in Zech. 12: 10-12; 13: 6, note what one finds
concerning that future day when Jesus will reveal Himself to
1. Jesus will find
will be alone in His dealings with
3. Jesus will weep once again because of
5. Israel will then stand terrified and astonished in the presence of Jesus as they gaze upon the One Whom they crucified 2,000 years earlier (Gen. 45: 3; Acts 9: 6; Zech. 12: 10).
After the national conversion of
After the conversion of
GOD’S THREE FIRSTBORN SONS EXALTED TOGETHER
God presently has two firstborn
Sons - Christ, and
In that coming day following Christ’s return, God will have another adopted firstborn son. Following the adoption of Christians (Rom. 8: 14-23), which will occur following this present dispensation, God will have a third firstborn son (Heb. 12: 23).
“Sonship” implies rulership. Sons of God presently rule the earth. Satan and his angels presently rule and are sons of God through creation, as Adam, created to rule and to reign in Satan’s stead, was a son of God [in both his un-fallen and fallen state] (cf. Gen. 1: 26-28; Luke 3: 38). But, though sons of God presently rule, God is about to replace these sons with a new order of Sons (Rom. 8: 19). Satan and his angels are about to be put down, and a new order of Sons will then be elevated to the throne. And the entire creation ‑ brought under the bondage of sin because of Adam’s sin ‑ presently groans and travails in pain, awaiting that day (Rom. 8: 20-22).
Within the framework of God’s
orderly arrangement of the earth’s government, disorder presently prevails. Satan
is out of place; his rightful place is consignment to the abyss, to be followed
by consignment to the lake of fire. Christ
is out of place; His rightful place is seated on His Own throne, ruling the
earth in the stead of Satan. The
Church [of the firstborn] is out of place; the Church’s rightful
place is to be seated on the throne with Christ, ruling in the stead of
A major change in the earth’s
government is in the offing. God’s
restorative work ‑ lasting six days, 6,000 years (in complete keeping with the established pattern in Gen. 1: 1‑13) ‑ is almost over. The
work of the [Holy]
Spirit in the world during the present dispensation ‑ that of procuring a
bride for God’s Son, a part of God’s restorative work ‑ is
almost over. And the past dispensation, with only
seven years remaining, in which God will complete His dealings with
The six days, the 6,000 years, are almost over. God’s restorative work is almost finished, and the new order of Sons is about to be manifested for the entire creation to behold. That day is almost upon us. Man’s Day is about to end, and the Lord’s Day is about to begin.
And in that coming day, during the earth’s coming Sabbath, that which is presently out of place will then be in place. In that day, following Satan and his angels having been put down, God’s three firstborn Sons will be exalted together. Only then will order be restored, with perfection once again existing in God’s ordered structure of the earth’s government.
* * * * * * *
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [‘out-resurrection’] of the dead (Phil. 3: 11).
In Phil. 3: 10-14, the “resurrection [lit., ‘out‑resurrection’]” in verse eleven appears in connection with “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” in verse fourteen. A prize necessitates a conflict, which has to do with the present conflict between Christians and the world-rulers of the darkness of this [evil] age (Eph. 6: 12ff); and the reception of this prize requires victory in the conflict. Consequently, the “out-resurrection” [of the dead] of Phil. 3: 11 cannot be [can only be*] the resurrection of Christians to which Paul refers in 1 Cor. 15: 51-57 and 1 Thess. 4: 13-18, for all of “the dead in Christ” – both [only] the overcomers in the conflict and [not] those who have been overcome in the conflict ‑ will be raised from the dead at the time referred to in these verses.
The regular Greek word for “resurrection” appearing throughout the New Testament is anastasis. This is a compound word comprised of ana, which means “up,” and stasis, which means “to rise,” or “to stand.” Thus, anastasis means “to rise up” or “to stand up.” When used relative to those who have died, the exact meaning of the word would be, “a resumption of life, allowing one to rise up or stand up from [Hades/Sheol] the place of death.”
The Greek word appearing in Phil. 3: 11, erroneously translated “resurrection” in most English versions of Scripture, is exanastasis. This word is made up of three parts (ex-ana-stasis). The latter two parts of the word (ana-stasis), as has been shown, mean “to rise up,” or “to stand up.” But the preposition ex (from ek) prefixed to anastasis adds a new dimension. Ex (the form “ek” takes when prefixed to words beginning with a vowel) means “out of,” making exanastasis mean “to stand up out of” - (i.e., the “soul” from “Hades/Sheol” and the body or “tent,” from decomposition or corruption in the grave) [‘out-resurrection’].”
The resurrection (anastasis) of Christians will be a separation of “the dead in Christ” from the remainder of the dead, whether Old Testament saints or the unsaved dead. The out-resurrection (exanastasis) will be a further separation beyond this point. It is the “standing up” of a particular group “out of” those previously raised from among the dead.*
[*Note. Here is what I believe to be an erroneous interpretation of the text: it is not a ‘standing up of a particular group out of those previously resurrected,’ but a standing up OUT FROM AMONGST THE DEAD IN HADES/SHEOL – whose souls are presently in that place of the dead, “in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12: 40; 16: 18; Rev. 6: 9-11; 20: 4-6. cf. Luke 14: 14; 20: 35; Heb. 11: 35b, etc.)]
At the time of the resurrection (anastasis), Christians will be separated from non-Christians; but at the time of the out-resurrection (exanastasis), certain Christians will be separated from other Christians. A smaller group will be separated from the one large group. The called out will be removed from the called.*
[* All those who allege must prove: and scriptural proof of the author’s error is found in the out-resurrection of Christ/Messiah: “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen,” says Jesus to the three disciples, after being given a preview of the His coming kingdom on the Mount of Transfiguration – “until the Son of Man has been raised from [Lit. Gk. ‘ek - out of dead’) the dead:” (Matt. 17:9): and Peter is careful to stress the point in his sermon at Pentecost – 50 days after the Passover and 10 days after the ascension of Messiah’s post resurrection ministry, that “David did not ascent to heaven” (Acts 2: 34, N.I.V.).]
Understanding exanastasis in the light of its context in Phil. 3: 11 will clearly reveal that a resurrection per se (a rising from the dead) is not what is in view at all. The subject at hand is “overcoming,” “winning a ‘prize’ in a conflict”; and these things are associated with the issues of the judgment seat and the coming [millennial] kingdom. Exanastasis has to do with certain Christians (the overcomers) being elevated to a status above – “a standing up out of” ‑ the status occupied by the remaining Christians (the non-overcomers).*
[* In 2 Tim. 2: 18 we read: “Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place…” Resurrection cannot ‘take place’ until the time of our Lord’s return, “when the dead in Christ will rise FIRST” (1 Thess. 4: 16); “for many are called, but few chosen (Gk. ‘called out’); and “that time” will be at the end of the Great Tribulation era, (Matt. 24: 30)]
At the judgment seat of Christ [presumably before the time of resurrection], certain [deceased] Christians will be shown to have overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil - the three great enemies presently confronting every Christian. And the remaining Christians will be shown to have been overcome. Overcoming Christians will then be elevated to a standing above Christians [i.e., resurrected before other Christians] - who were overcome and, in this manner, will be set apart for the distinct purpose of occupying positions with Christ in the [millennial] kingdom. They will realize the “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3: 14). The overcomers will “stand up out of” (exanastasis) the entire group which had previously [died] ...*
[* Keep in mind: It is only the dead who will be resurrected; the living (who are ‘careful,’ watchful and ‘able to escape’) will be translated or rapt alive, either before or after the Great Tribulation (Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10. cf. 1 Thess 4: 17). Scripture never speaks of the resurrection of those who are alive, because the soul (in Hades) and body (from the grave) are separated at the time of death, and can only be reunited at the time of resurrection. The out-resurrection of the dead, is a selective resurrection - (like Christ’s resurrection, leaving the rest of the dead in Hades). Only whose, whose personal, undisclosed standard of righteousness, which will exceeded that of the Scribes and Pharisees, will enter the “kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 5: 20). It is only those who will be resurrected at the time of Christ’s return. This out-resurrection Paul sought to “attain” (gain by effort), when he wrote the words: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” - (Christ’s resurrection was an ‘out-resurrection’ [Matt. 17: 9] from the dead, leaving the rest of the dead in Hades [Luke 16: 25. cf. John 20: 9; Acts 2: 31, Gk. & R.V.]) – “and the fellowship of His sufferings” – (for all who suffer with Him will be glorified with Him (Rom. 8: 17b. cf. 2 Tim. 2: 12; Heb. 11: 35b) – “becoming like Him in His death” – (for all martyrs will inherit the millennial kingdom (Rev. 20: 4, 5) – “and so, somehow, to attain TO THE [out] RESURRECTION [out] from the dead.” (Phil. 3: 10, 11, Gk.). All who rise out from the dead at this time, will be “repaid (or rewarded) at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14: 14; 22: 28-30): and such only (from amongst the redeemed dead) will “inherit the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5: 5: 1-6).]
These are the ones who will realize life during the Messianic Era, as opposed to those who will not (Rom. 8: 13). And this life will be in connection with a new order of sons (comprising a firstborn son, following the adoption) which God will bring forth at that time (Rom. 8: 14ff).
* * * * * * *
THE TREE OF LIFE
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden... (Gen. 19a).
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Rev. 17).
The tree of life first comes into view in the
opening chapters of the Book of Genesis.
This tree was one of numerous trees in the garden in
An evident connection between man’s rule and his partaking of the tree of life can be seen by noting the appearance of this tree in the Book of Genesis when man was in a position to rule, the absence of this tree during the entire period when man is not in a position to rule, and the reappearance of this tree in the Book of Revelation when man will once again be brought back into a position to rule (cf. Gen. 1: 26-28; Rev. 2: 26, 27). The period during which man has been banned from eating of the tree of life began following Adam’s fall, resulting in his disqualification to rule; and it will end following the issues of the judgment seat, at which time man will once again find himself in a position to rule.
But an issue beyond the thought of regality in connection with the tree of life came into view following the fall. Adam, following the fall, was driven from the garden to prevent his partaking of the tree of life for another purpose. Adam could not be permitted to eat of this tree in a fallen condition, for had such occurred he would have lived forever in that fallen state. Thus, not only did God in His grace and mercy remove Adam from the garden, but “Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way,” were placed at “the east of the garden ... to keep the way of the tree of life [to prevent fallen man from re-entering the garden and partaking of this tree]” (Gen. 3: 22-24).
Studying Gen. 3: 22-24 apart from the context and related Scripture could lead one to believe that the purpose for the tree of life was to provide perpetuity of life for Adam in his un-fallen state. However, such could not have been the case at all. “Death” did not enter into the picture until after Adam’s sin, at which time he was barred from the tree of life. Adam had lived in an undying state prior to his sin, as he continued to live in an antithetical dying state following his sin; and to say that the tree of life was given to Adam in his un-fallen state to provide perpetuity of life, preventing death, cannot be correct (even though it could have provided such perpetuity following the fall).
In Rev. 17, partaking of the tree of life has been promised to the overcomers from among those already possessing eternal life. Consequently, in this passage, the tree of life can have nothing whatsoever to do with perpetuity of life; and it is the same in the Genesis account when man was first brought upon the scene to rule and to reign.
The tree of life in both Genesis chapters two and three and Revelation chapter two appears in a different setting entirely. The tree of life reserved for Christians is associated peculiarly with a provision for those who will rule and reign as co-heirs with Christ; and viewing Adam’s position in the Genesis account ‑ created to rule and reign, in possession of life, with the fruit of the tree of life at his disposal ‑ the same would hold true. This would have to hold true, for that seen relative to the tree of life in Revelation chapter two is drawn from that which was first seen relative to this tree in Genesis chapters two and three. The fruit of the tree of life was in the past (seen in the Book of Genesis) and will be in the future (seen in the Book of Revelation) a provision for the rulers in the kingdom. This is an evident fact which must be recognized.
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retaineth her” (Prov. 3: 13-18).
Following the introduction to “the tree of life” in the opening chapters of Genesis, there are only four references to this tree throughout Scripture until one arrives at Rev. 2: 7. Solomon used the expression, “a tree of life,” four times in the Book of Proverbs (3: 18; 11: 30; 13: 12; 15: 4); and it is within this revelation given through Solomon that one finds the connection between the tree of life in the Books of Genesis and Revelation. And through putting all of this together, the reason then becomes apparent why this tree, with its fruit, was among the trees provided for Adam and Eve to eat in their un-fallen state, and why fruit from this tree is being reserved for overcoming Christians to partake of during the Messianic Era.
(Then, there is also a connection between this tree and the complete restoration of the nations of the earth beyond the Messianic Era, with all of mankind realizing the purpose for man’s creation in the beginning [Rev. 22: 2].)
In the first of these four
passages, wisdom and understanding are said to be “a
tree of life.” Viewing this in
the light of the wisdom and understanding possessed by Solomon as he ruled over
1) SOLOMON PROPERLY EQUIPPED
Shortly after Solomon ascended
the throne following the death of David, the Lord appeared to him in a dream
and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Solomon, recognizing that he
was but as a “little child” in understanding the
affairs of state within the kingdom over which he ruled asked for wisdom and knowledge. Solomon asked God for the ability to judge the people of
Such a request pleased the Lord, and Solomon was granted not only “wisdom and knowledge” but also “riches, and wealth, and honour.” His ability to rule, his material wealth, and the respect which he commanded - all coming from the hand of the Lord - would later be shown to exceed that of any king upon the face of the earth (1 Kings 3: 5-15; 2 Chron. 1: 7-17).
Solomon’s ability to judge among his people in a unique manner through the wisdom and knowledge which the Lord had bestowed began to be displayed through a decision which he rendered concerning two women and a child. These two women dwelled alone in the same house, and both had given birth to sons, one three days before the other. The son born last died one night because his mother lay upon him; and as the other mother slept with her son at her side, the mother of the dead child took the living child from his mother’s side and placed the dead child in its stead. However, upon awakening, the mother now in possession of the dead child realized that the child was not hers and found that her child was still alive and being claimed by the other mother. Not being able to resolve the matter between themselves, their case was brought before Solomon.
Solomon was told what had allegedly occurred; and as he listened to both women claiming the living child, he was unable to ascertain which was the true mother. He then called for a sword and commanded that the child be divided into two parts, giving half to each woman. Solomon, in his wisdom, knew that the true mother would be revealed through the actions which each women would take when they heard his decision.
And this is exactly what occurred. The true mother pleaded for the child’s life, telling Solomon to not harm the child but to give him to the other woman. The other woman, whose child had died, on the other hand, insisted that the child be divided. Solomon then knew which of the two was telling the truth, and the child was returned to his true mother (1 Kings 3: 16-27).
Solomon’s wisdom in this matter spread throughout all
It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard” (1 Kings 10: 6b, 7).
2) CHRISTIANS PROPERLY EQUIPPED
The wisdom and understanding
which Solomon possessed as he ruled in the
God’s bestowal of wisdom, understanding, riches, wealth, and honour upon Solomon typifies that which He will bestow upon overcoming Christians during the coming age. Through the fruit of the tree of life, God will provide the necessary wisdom and understanding to rule in the kingdom; through being co-heirs with God’s Son, Christians will come into possession of unlimited riches and wealth, for all the Father’s possessions will belong to the Son,‑ and in these positions, Christians will realize a status of honour and glory befitting those elevated to such noble rank (Gen. 24: 10, 36, 53; John 16: 13-15; 1 Peter 1: 9-11; 4: 12, 13; Rev. 4: 11; 5: 12).
The tree of life in
Christ is the Living Word which came down from heaven; and feeding upon the Living Word is accomplished through feeding upon the inseparable Written Word. In Christ are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2: 3); and feeding upon Him, through the Written Word, allows us to develop and grow, becoming more and more like Him through acquiring this wisdom and knowledge.
Wisdom and knowledge acquired during the present time though is not for the purpose of equipping Christians to rule and reign. We are living during the time Christ is in heaven, with the present existing kingdom under the dominion and control of Satan. Wisdom and knowledge presently being acquired is for the sole purpose of equipping Christians to carry on the Lord’s business during His time of absence.
Wisdom and knowledge of a nature which will equip Christians to rule and reign will be acquired only from the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. If this is a reference to Christ Himself, such a feeding upon Christ can only refer to something which is not available today but reserved for the overcomers during the coming age. Christians allowed to partake of the tree of life in that day will, through partaking of this tree, be properly equipped for carrying on the Lord’s business following His return when He is revealed as “King of kings, and Lord of lords”; and Christians carrying on His business then will do so through reigning as co-heirs with Him.
FRUIT OF THE RIGHTEOUS
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11: 30).
The second mention of the “tree of life” in the Book of Proverbs is in connection with righteousness and soulwinning. This is the identical connection one will find in the New Testament when studying the Christians’ association with the tree of life.
The “righteous” in Prov. 11: 30 are the ones who will be allowed to partake of the tree of life. With respect to Christians, such a righteousness cannot be looked upon as synonymous with the imputed righteousness of Christ, for every Christian possesses this righteousness. But, as is plainly revealed in Rev. 2: 7, not every Christian will be allowed to partake of the tree of life. The righteousness in this verse can only have to do with “the righteous acts of the saints,” which form the wedding garment. The “righteous” are those Christians who will be properly clothed at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19: 7-9, ASV). These are the Christians who will comprise the Church consisting of firstborn sons (Heb. 12: 23) and subsequently enter into the [millennial] kingdom in positions of power and authority with Christ (Matt. 24: 45-47; cf. vv. 48-51).
Soul winning in the New Testament is largely misunderstood in Christian circles today. The common terminology, which is not correct at all, is to equate soul-winning with carrying the message of [eternal] salvation by grace to the unsaved. In fact, equating soul-winning with the message of [eternal] salvation by grace serves only to obscure both issues, leaving one hopelessly mired in a sea of misinterpretation. Soul-winning is one thing, and proclaiming the message of salvation by grace is another. The former has to do with the saved, and the latter has to do with the unsaved. The messages involved in both issues MUST be kept separate and distinct, which necessitates Christians understanding proper distinctions in these two realms.
Salvation by grace, carried to the unsaved, is the presentation of the simple gospel message. The unsaved are to be told “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 2: 1, 2; 15: 3). Christ has paid the [full] penalty for sin. The work of redemption has been accomplished on man’s behalf, and God is satisfied. Provision has been made for unredeemed man to be saved through receiving that which Christ has done on his behalf. And he does this through simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16: 31).
Redeemed man, on the other hand, is to hear an entirely different message. He is to be taught the reason for his salvation. He is to be told that Christ has gone away “to receive for himself a kingdom”; he is to be told that during the time of his Lord’s absence he is to be busy with the talents and pounds which the Lord delivered to and left in charge of His servants (Christians); he is to be told that a day of reckoning is coming; he is to be told that the Lord will return to judge His servants on the basis of their faithfulness in carrying out His business during His time of absence; and he is to be told that the outcome of this judgment will determine every Christians’ [entrance and] position in the coming [millennial] kingdom (Matt. 25: 14-30; Luke 19: 11-27). It is within this overall message to the saved that one finds the salvation of the soul taught in Scripture, not within the message of salvation by grace, proclaimed to the unsaved.
“Soul-winning” has to do with winning those who are already saved to a life of faithfulness to the Lord. “Soul-winning” is winning one’s life. This involves winning Christians to be occupied with the Lord’s business during His time of absence, anticipating His return. And more specifically, this involves winning Christians to be occupied in this manner with that portion of the Lord’s business delivered to them personally.
Illustrated in the parables of the talents and the pounds, one servant was responsible only for bringing forth an increase in the talents or the pounds which had been placed in his possession, not in those which had been placed in another servant’s possession. Issues and determinations resulting from the judgment seat will be based strictly on the evaluation of works performed by Christians in complete keeping with that set forth in these two parables.
Direct references to the salvation of the soul are found in New Testament passages such as Matt. 16: 24-27; Heb. 10: 38, 39; James 1: 21; 5: 19, 20; 1 Peter 1: 9-11 and are always spoken of in a future sense within a context dealing with those who are already saved. Soul-winning is associated with the righteous acts of the saints, with overcoming, and with one day being extended the privilege of partaking of the tree of life. This is the reason that soul-winning is found within a context of this nature in Prov. 11: 30. It is the wise who win souls (lives).
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12: 3).
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Prov. 13: 12).
The third mention of the “tree of life” in the Book of Proverbs is in connection with hope that is realized. There is no tree of life as long as one’s hope is deferred. Only when “the desire cometh [hope is realized]” does the tree of life come into view.
This thought from the Book of Proverbs is in perfect accord with the Christians’ present hope in the light of the two previous references to the tree of life in this book. Christians have been “begotten” from above unto a “living hope” through the “resurrection of Jesus Christ [out] from the dead.” Christ lives, and Christians will live with Him. But this fact is not the object of one’s hope. Hope is described as “living” because of [the ‘first’ of ‘better’] resurrection, but hope itself lies in things beyond resurrection. These things are revealed as an “inheritance” and a [future] “salvation [of the soul]” (1 Peter 1: 3-5).
“Hope,” “inheritance,” and “salvation” are inseparably linked in Scripture. It is only because we are saved (passive, salvation of the spirit) that we can possess a “hope.” And the hope which Christians possess looks ahead to the reception of a [millennial] inheritance within a salvation (future, salvation of the soul) to be revealed.
The “blessed hope” in Titus 2: 13 is one of the more familiar passages written to Christians in this respect. This hope is often said to be the return of Christ, but that’s not what this or any other passage in the New Testament dealing with the Christians’ hope teaches at all. Hope, as in Titus 2: 13, is associated with the “appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (ASV [and R.V.]). The construction of the Greek text actually makes hope synonymous with the appearing of this [future] glory. Christians are the ones who possess this hope, as they are [some of] the ones who will be partakers of Christ’s glory when it is revealed. In this respect, participation in the coming glory of Christ will be the realization of one’s present hope, for one cannot be separated from the other.
Christians realizing [the purpose of] their present hope, and the overcomers in Rev. 2: 7 who will be allowed to partake of the tree of life, are [from] one and the same [family of the redeemed]. This is the reason Prov. 13: 12 teaches that hope realized is “a tree of life.” Those Christians one day coming into a realization of their present hope will be the ones who constitute the rulers in the [millennial] kingdom, the ones allowed to partake of the tree of life to equip them for service in their respective capacities in the kingdom.
A WHOLESOME TONGUE
“A wholesome [‘tranquil’] tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Prov. 15: 4).
The Epistle of James in the New Testament forms the commentary for the fourth and last mention of the “tree of life” in the Book of Proverbs, demonstrating a number of things about the use of the tongue and showing the connection between Prov. 15: 4 and the three previous references to the tree of life in this book. James is an epistle dealing strictly with the salvation of the soul, providing certain indispensable information necessary for a proper understanding of this all-important subject. The tree of life, on the other hand, is reserved for those Christians realizing the salvation of their souls; and a proper understanding of the tree of life is integrally related to a proper understanding of this [future] salvation.
James mentions the tongue in chapter one (vv. 26, 27) and then goes into a lengthy discourse in chapter three concerning this small member of the body and what it is capable of doing (vv. 1ff):
“The tongue ... boasteth great things ... is a fire, a world of iniquity ... it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell [gehenna] ... the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (3: 5-8).
A Christian’s spirituality can be seen through the control of his tongue, for the tongue can be properly controlled only through the use of that wisdom and knowledge which comes from above (James 3: 13-18). This thought from the Epistle of James takes one back to Prov. 3: 13-18, where wisdom and knowledge are associated with the tree of life. And it is in this same respect that “a wholesome tongue” also finds its association with the tree of life. A wholesome (tranquil) tongue results from the proper use of Divinely imparted wisdom and knowledge.
Man’s rule over the earth must await the time when Rev. 2: 7 will be brought to pass. He that “overcometh” will realize [at the time of the ‘first’ or ‘better’ resurrection] the salvation of his soul (life), realize that blessed hope, come into possession of the required wisdom and knowledge necessary to rule as a co-regent with Christ in the [millennial] kingdom, and be shown to have a wholesome tongue [a tranquil tongue] in this rule.
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