Theme: Restitution (Part 1)
(Key Verses: Gen 46:1-30)
The book of Genesis provides a beautiful foundation for the whole process through which God will bring all in the first man Adam to spiritual maturity. This all starts off with the establishment of a physical six day creation which also reflects the spiritual work of God within this first Adam in each person which is all completed on the seventh day (Gen 1:1-31; Gen 2:1-3). Through the creation of heaven and earth two opposing dimensions were also established by God which replicates the two generational lines through Adam:
Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
These two opposing generations run throughout all of the scriptures which reflect our own road to spiritual maturity. These generations are the contrary natures of the fleshly “first man” with its worldly spirit as symbolised by the earth, and the spirit of God in the generation of the “second man”, Christ, the Lord from heaven (Gen 2:4; Joh 3:31; Rom 8:5-8; 1Jn 2:16):
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The line of Christ, which is the seed of the woman, is typified in the scriptures by a small group of people through which God will bring the whole salvation process to fulfilment (Mat 22:14). The generations which reflect the fleshly line were always an enemy of the line which reflects the spirit of God, even right from the beginning:
1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God [the seed of the woman] are manifest, and the children of the devil [the seed of the serpent]: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1Jn 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1Jn 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
It is by our works that our hidden heart (our mind) is made manifest:
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The flesh and its carnal heart are only capable of producing evil works as this is what is happening “under the heavens”, even on the earth:
Ecc 1:13 (CLV) I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
After Cain killed Abel, the generational line of the seed of the woman was continued through Seth who was “instead of Abel” (Gen 5:3-32):
Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
But even in this generational line through Seth most were defiled by the pollutions of flesh. All the sons of God, even His elect, first live “according to the course of this world”, and will fornicate with the spirit of the world with its pride and lusts in the form of the “daughters of man” in the days of Noah (Eph 2:2-3; 1Jn 2:16):
Gen 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
But one man in the generational line of Seth, namely Noah, found grace in God’s eyes and was kept undefiled within his generation by God (Tit 2:11-12):
Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Disobedience and all flesh with its inherent defilements will be judged and totally destroyed by God as typified in the global flood through which only eight souls were saved:
1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The number eight spiritually points to the new man coming forth from the total destruction of the old man (Rev 17:11). After the flood, the generational line of the new man was typified through the lives of men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who were born in the line of Noah’s son, Shem. God gave all these men the promise of a great nation and of a land of their own. This line of those who were faithful in their obedience to God is finally brought to a zenith in the life of Joseph, the favourite son of Jacob. After a twenty two year absence from his family, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers when he was ruler over Egypt under the Pharaoh:
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.
They were indeed troubled at his presence as he was like one raised from the dead. This revelation initiated a process of restitution after ten of his brothers sold him into slavery, and he had to spend thirteen years in Egypt going through several trials:
Gen 45:4 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 Egypt.
After revealing the Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph was given rulership over Egypt and for the first seven years it was a time of “great plenty” in which Joseph gathered enough food to feed the whole world, even now help his own family not only with food, but also with their feelings of guilt and grief:
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 shall neither be earing 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.
Before this revelation, the brothers of Joseph were already slowly taken through their time of judgment by Joseph, which typified the period of judgment in the lake of fire. This judgment is taking place after the symbolic thousand years under the rulership of God’s elect on the earth, symbolised by the seven years of “great plenty” in Egypt under Joseph’s rulership (Rev 20:3-15). The time of physical prosperity for the world is also a preparation period in which God is seeking an occasion against the flesh to bring it all to destruction, even our own fleshly wicked man of sin (Jdg 14:4; 1Ch 29:18; Psa 10:17; Psa 44:22; Isa 14:4-27; Isa 53:7; Act 8:32; Joh 6; Rom 8:36):
Jer 12:1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Jer 12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
Jer 12:3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
There were still several years ahead in which these internal torments in the brothers will take their ordained course. This again reveals to us that salvation and entry into the kingdom of God is only fully achieved when all the trials ordained for us are completed (Act 14:22):
Rev 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
Joseph is used by God as a type of Christ and His work though His elect to usher in the end of the age in our own lives as it also points to the final stages of God’s plan of salvation for the whole world at the appointed time:
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.
In our time of being given dominion over our flesh, we still have an old man to deal with (Rom 6:1-23). While Joseph typifies the new spirit man in us who is being established in this rulership over flesh, Jacob, the father of Joseph is still alive (“doth my father yet live?”). In this sense Jacob typifies the old man in us who was pushed to the background when the life of Joseph was brought into focus in the book of Genesis. As the new man in us increases, the old man indeed is decreasing (Joh 3:30). But in the last five chapters of Genesis God brings Jacob back into focus for a different purpose, even at the command of Joseph to his brothers:
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.
The theme of restitution helps us to see how God is bringing together all things in and through the Christ, and this theme is central to the function and purpose of the elect of God (Act 3:20-21; 1Co 15:22-28):
Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
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 [His elect] 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.
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.
Although the details of God’s salvation are captured through “the sum” of God’s Word by which we all must live in our own time, the book of Genesis provides us with a synopsis of the whole process (Psa 119:160; Mat 4:4). In Genesis God declared important aspects through the lives of the five main characters, namely Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (Isa 46:10). But through Jacob (also called “Israel”) and his family’s lives, especially the experience of Joseph, we see how God will indeed bring it all together in the end. Jacob and his twelve sons are those from whom the physical Israel stems, but it is God’s spiritual Israel who is indeed the “sealed” elect of God as they were given the “advantage…much [in] every way… because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Rom 2:28-29; Rom 3:1-2):
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
The spiritual “Israel of God” can be numbered or measured as the true temple of God in heaven, meaning they are able to receive the Word of God in their hearts and do them faithfully (Exo 15:26; Deu 6:6-8; 2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13; Eph 4:30):
Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Twelve is the number which spiritually indicates our foundation, whether in the flesh or in the spirit. Our spiritual foundations can only be established when the fleshly foundations are exposed and destroyed. The twelve sons of Jacob and their offspring is a shadow of the spiritual twelve tribes which are the foundations of the new spiritual creation of God. These spiritual tribes are those who “were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Rom 8:23; Jas 1:1; Jas 1:18):
Rev 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
It is the spiritual Israel who is given His spirit of wisdom to know how His redeemed church is built on the true spiritual foundation, which is Christ, and they are “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Rom 8:23; Gal 6:15-16; Jas 1:18):
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
After Joseph revealed himself to his brothers he gave instructions for his whole family to join him in Egypt. Jacob is now on his way to Egypt to be reunited with Joseph, but he first established what God wanted in this move to Egypt as he sacrificed to God at Beersheba:
Gen 46:1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba [meaning “well of the oath”], and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
Abraham and the king of the Philistines (Abimelech) made an oath here and the number seven is also linked to this place:
Gen 21:30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
Gen 21:31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
The number seven spiritually points to the completion of a process. It is in this time of sacrifice here at Beersheba that Jacob received the assurance from God that this is all of Him:
Gen 46:2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
Gen 46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
Gen 46:4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
It is through the elect, God’s church, that all eyes will be opened or closed, even as Joseph is used by God to bring conclusion to the life of Jacob (Oba 1:21; Rev 5:1-14):
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The last chapters of Genesis refocus our attention on the spiritual promises of God of the salvation of all (“a great nation”) and the promise of a land (“bring thee up again”). Although Jacob was buried in Canaan after his death in Egypt, and his descendants returned later to Canaan in a great multitude, these promises of a “great nation” and a land can never be truly fulfilled in the physical as only in Christ, the one seed are all the promises of God truly fulfilled in spirit (Gen 50:5-13; Lev 26:11-12; Joh 6:63; Rom 9:8; 2Co 6:16; Php 3:7-8):
Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted [those that are numbered and sealed spiritually in the symbolic 144 000 – Rev 7:4; Rev 14:1-5] for the seed.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
2Co 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by [Greek: “dia” – through] us.
All the promises of God are concluded in and through the Christ, the Head and the body – Amen! And we know that it is only through judgment that these promises are spiritually fulfilled, and God indeed brings comfort in that sense as all our trouble in this world is indeed purposeful (Isa 52:6-10; 2Co 1:3-5). Jacob was comforted by God at Beersheba as he brought all he had to be reunited with Joseph:
Gen 46:5 And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
Gen 46:6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him.
All Jacob’s physical offspring at this point in time were seventy in number:
Exo 1:1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
Exo 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
Exo 1:3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
Exo 1:4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
Exo 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
Here we see that the number seven in one of its multiples (7 X 10) is emphasizing the completion of God’s work in the flesh, which is represented by the number ten. This is typifying the rest of God in us when we know that He was the One who worked it all from beginning to end through Jesus (Gen 2:1-3; Rom 11:33-36; Heb 4:1):
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
All Jacob’s offspring are brought together as one family. Jesus will bring all His physical family to spiritual completion, even as Joseph wanted all his family with him as no exceptions were made. Jacob’s offspring through Leah were altogether thirty and three and were all included even though they were all born outside Canaan: Reuben and his four sons, Simeon and his six sons, Levi and his three sons, Judah and his three sons and two grandsons, Issachar and his four sons, Zebulun and his three sons, and also Dinah (Gen 46:8-15). Jacob’s offspring through his concubine Zilpah were also brought to live with Joseph, and they were altogether sixteen: Gad and his seven sons, Asher and his four sons, one daughter, and two grandchildren (Gen 46:16-18). Jacob’s offspring through the concubine Bilhah were altogether seven in number: Dan and his one son, Naphtali and his four sons (Gen 46:23-25). Jacob’s offspring through his beloved Rachel were altogether fourteen: Joseph and his two sons, Benjamin and his ten children (Gen 46:19-22). All of them settled in a fertile region called Goshen:
Gen 46:28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
The land of Goshen is also called “the land of Rameses” in the Scripture, and this word “Goshen” means “drawing near” according to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions (Gen 47:11). Goshen was the place where Joseph drew his family nearer to him, even as God draws everyone in Adam to Him through the Christ at the appointed time (Joh 6:44; 1Co 15:22-28):
Gen 46:29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
Gen 46:30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.