Theme: Spiritual glorification (Part 11)
Key Verses: Gen 45:1-28
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
All men of all time since the first man Adam will be brought to repentance by the goodness of God to be in a position to receive the “age-during” judgment of God which is “according to truth” (Isa 26:9; 1Co 3:13-15; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11-15):
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But we all first “treasurest up unto [our]self wrath” according to “the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph 2:2-3). But no one is appointed to eternal wrath, whether we are the children of light or those who walk in spiritual darkness at this point in time (1Th 5:5-11):
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our temporary existence and deeds in the flesh are what death and sin symbolize, and this is the “experience of evil” as part of the “one event” which “comes alike to all” (Mat 4:4; 1Co 3:21-22; Rev 1:1-3). We all will be brought to spiritual glorification eventually, but we first need to endure this humbling process before we are raised from this earthly death to be judged and given God’s righteousness (Rom 8:1-8; Ecc 1:13; 1Co 15:22-28):
Ecc 9:1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; andhe that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Ecc 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
Those who are given spiritual understanding and the life of Christ in this age also receive the knowledge of the futility of this death experience in flesh, and that there is no eternal reward for flesh or carnality:
Ecc 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
This resurrection from this death realm is given to a few who now experience an “earnest” or downpayment” of the resurrected life of Christ “until the redemption of the purchased possession” is fulfilled in its full splendour in the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6):
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
In our discussion on the theme of spiritual glorification, Joseph is used in the book of Genesis as a type of those who have gone through this whole process, as even he was finally brought out of slavery and the earthly Egyptian prison to be given rulership over Egypt. This all typifies the rulership over the flesh and also all earthly strongholds of deception and lies:
Gen 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
Gen 41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Gen 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
The seven years of great plenty which Joseph informed the Pharaoh about according to his two dreams, is a symbol of the period of physical rule of God’s elect on the earth which precedes the second resurrection:
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The second resurrection will be for the second group which will be raised up, and they will have their carnality and earthiness still ruling them. They will be in spiritual bodies which differ from that of the elect at that stage. Those who are raised in spirit in the second resurrection will still have “the glory of the terrestrial”:
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
Here is how John describes Jesus in spiritual glory when Jesus revealed the glory of the Father (the “one glory of the Sun”) to John on the isle of Patmos (“place of my killing” or “place of my dying”):
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Rev 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Rev 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
John was in his time of judgment (“on the Lord’s day”), and he “fell at [Jesus’] feet as dead”. Jesus had to raise John in order to introduce Him and reveal His works in John (Rev 1:10; Luk 17:20-21):
Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Joseph’s brothers also fell before him on the ground when they could not recognize him or see what he was busy doing to them (Gen 42:7-9). This again typifies the flesh’s inability to recognize or understand spiritual things, even the judgment of God (1Co 2:14; Gal 5:17):
Gen 44:14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.
Joseph also had to wait for the right moment to reveal himself to his brothers and his whole family eventually. Joseph is a type of Christ whom God will use to bring all together, which is the reconciliatory role the elect of God is playing in this whole process of uniting all in the Christ in order to bring all to the Father (1Co 15:22-28):
Eph 1:9 (YLT) having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself,
Eph 1:10 (YLT) in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth–in him.
But the “bring[ing] into one the whole in the Christ” is not a quick thing, even as Joseph’s brothers will also find out after this time of initial torment before revealing himself. For approximately twenty-two years Joseph’s whereabouts were unknown to these brothers, and they could not even bother. To their father Jacob, Joseph was dead, which also emphasizes how the brothers felt about Joseph when they hated him and sold him into slavery (Gen 37:4-5; 1Jn 3:15). Joseph’s revealing himself to them is therefore a resurrection from the dead, and they indeed were “troubled at his presence”:
Gen 45:1 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.
Gen 45:2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
Gen 45:3 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 at his presence.
Gen 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I amJoseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shallneither be earing [ploughing] nor harvest.
Gen 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
God has indeed, through His elect, “preserved…a posterity in the earth” whereby He will bring His salvation to all in the generation of the first Adam. This posterity supplies the ploughing and the planting of seeds for the harvest of the new spiritual generation of God. The elect cannot be seen until their time of glorification is fulfilled. Even when the world wants to ‘see’ Jesus, this was His answer:
Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
God sends His elect before the rest of humanity to be this posterity to prepare the earth and to be the “corn of wheat…in the earth” – to die to self and bring forth “much fruit”. Joseph’s words to his brothers bring this calling of God’s elect to the fore even in the book of Genesis:
Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
For the brothers who sold Joseph into slavery the words “be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither” will take a long time to find their fulfillment because humanity was given a false spirit to convince them that they are responsible for things that they do according to their fabled “free” will. Seventeen years later, at the death of their old man, typified by the death of their father, Jacob, Joseph had to repeat the purpose of God with him and their role in all of this, as designed by God:
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
It is only through the merciful process of judgment that we can eventually submit to the truth that God is the only Creator of all good and all evil, and that He works all things after the counsel of His own will to eventually bring spiritual perfection, even all in Adam (1Co 15:22-28):
Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
But we all know how hard it is for mankind to give up on its earthly and carnal concepts (like “free” will or “free moral agency”). It is only through severe judgment and the scourging judgment of God that we learn how evil and silly our carnal mind is (Isa 26:9). It is only through much tribulation that we enter into the righteous temple of God and are united with the family of God (Act 14:22; Heb 12:6; Rev 15:8). This is what Joseph’s brothers are learning the hard way:
Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
But there are still several years ahead of these brothers of Joseph and all God’s carnal-minded creatures while they all come to terms with these truths. They will learn, as with the rest of the family, that God is the sole provider of all creatures, and He controls all thoughts and actions, even as all the provisions Joseph prepared for his family typify:
Gen 45:9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
Gen 45:10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
Gen 45:11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
Gen 45:12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.
Gen 45:13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
Gen 45:14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
Gen 45:15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
The Pharaoh was also informed about this reunification of the family of Joseph:
Gen 45:16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
Gen 45:17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;
Gen 45:18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.
Gen 45:19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
Gen 45:20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
Gen 45:21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
The Pharaoh also confirmed the words of Joseph to his brothers, even as the Father gives Jesus the spiritual words and life to share with His creation (Joh 6:63):
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
To confirm his words of forgiveness and reconciliation, Joseph gave his brothers changes of raiment, but Benjamin is favoured once again:
Gen 45:22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.
Although God indeed forgives all in Christ as typified here also by the giving of new raiment to all Joseph’s brothers, Benjamin is shown favour above the rest as he typifies the elect who are first taken through a process (indicated by the number three) of redemption (silver) and being given grace through faith (the number five) before the rest of creation. God’s elect is given this position because of the role they will play in “the restitution of all things” through Jesus Christ (Act 3:20-21):
Gen 45:23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.
Gen 45:24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
We are redeemed and reconciled by the good things of God’s spiritual provisions in Christ (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14):
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
When the sons told Jacob about Joseph and his position, he initially did not have the faith to receive the good news:
Gen 45:25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,
Gen 45:26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.
Like Jacob, who was first told the lies about Joseph when the ten brothers sold him as a slave, we are all first told the lies about Jesus, and we are first presented with the false gospel. This reminds of the words of apostle Paul to the carnal Corinthian brethren for whom the preaching of “another Jesus” and “another gospel” were much more popular to believe, even as this is the same today when we naturally submit to “another spirit” than to the spirit of truth (2Th 2:10-12):
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
But the provisions of Joseph restored his faith, even as the real Jesus’ spiritual provisions for His whole creation will eventually be accepted by all when the life-giving spirit of God is given to them as well:
Gen 45:27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:
Gen 45:28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.