Joseph – A Type of Christ
Finally, we must consider Joseph, who was one of the greatest types of Christ in the Bible. As a young man, Joseph had a dream in which he reigned over his brothers, although they were all, with the exception of Benjamin, older than he (see Genesis 37:5-8). Because of his dream, Joseph, beloved by his father Jacob, was hated by his brothers. So intense was their jealous anger toward their blameless younger brother that they plotted to kill him and throw his body into a pit. It was only because of Reuben, the eldest brother that Joseph’s life was spared. But even so, the brothers sold Joseph as a slave to a band of Egypt-bound traders for a few pieces of silver.
Although he was mistreated, misunderstood, and falsely accused, Joseph, unbeknownst to his brothers, was chosen by God to rescue them in their time of need. Through an amazing turn of events, Joseph became the acting king of Egypt during a drought and famine that extended throughout Egypt and into Joseph’s homeland. When the drought became unbearable for Jacob and his remaining sons, his sons journeyed to Egypt, where they sought food at Pharaoh’s court. As God arranged things, they found themselves pleading their case before Joseph, the acting king, not realizing that he was their own brother. Although he remembered the wrongful way his brothers had treated him, Joseph loved them, secretly cared for them, and met their need. Ironically, the Egyptians had given Joseph the name “Zaphenath-paneah,” which means “the savior of the world, the sustainer of life” (see Gen. 41:45). The name given to Joseph by the Egyptians has the same connotation as the name “Jesus”, which means literally, “Jehovah our Savior”. Do you think this is a coincidence? Joseph gave his brothers, and indeed the whole known world, food during a time of famine. Similarly, in His day, Jesus presented Himself as the bread of life to the people around Him. Even today, He is still presenting Himself as the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever (see John 6:48,51).
When Joseph finally revealed himself to his brothers, they were filled with regret and repentance. How the tears flowed as it dawned on them that the one on the throne before them was their brother, the one whom they had sold and betrayed so many years before!
Even while on earth, Jesus tried to reveal himself to His people, His brothers.
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus questioned them, saying, “What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose son is He? They said to Him, David’s. He said to them, How then does David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies underneath Your feet? If then David calls Him Lord, how is He his son? And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone from that day dare to question Him anymore” (Matthew 22:41-46).
The passage that Jesus was referring to was one of King David’s psalms (110:1): “Jehovah declares to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” A footnote written by Lee in the Recovery Version of the New Testament expounds these verses (Psalm. 110:1, see Matt: 22:45 footnote 1).
Christ is God; in His divinity He is the Lord of David. He is also a man; in His humanity He is the Son of David. The Pharisees had only half the scriptural knowledge concerning Christ’s person, i.e., that He was the Son of David according to His humanity. They did not have the other half, i.e., that He was the Son of God according to His divinity.
Although the intention of the Pharisees in asking Jesus many questions, (e.g. “Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar?”), was to ensnare Him, Jesus tried to help them see the revelation of who He was. He was their Messiah, the Anointed One of God, who was sent to them, His own people. The very God in the flesh was standing before their eyes, yet they were not able to recognize Him.
One day soon, the real Joseph, Jesus the Savior, will return to reveal Himself again to His own brothers, who rejected Him when He came to them the first time. As the prophet Zechariah stated: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplications; and they will look upon Me, whom they have pierced; and they will wail over Him with wailing as for an only son and cry bitterly over Him with bitter crying as for a firstborn son” (12:10 RcV). Zechariah continues concerning that day: “And someone shall say to Him, What are those wounds between Your arms? And He will say, Those with which I was wounded in the house of those who loved Me” (13:6, RcV).
Jesus, the real Joseph and David’s Lord, is the unique Savior of the world. He is the One foretold by the Scriptures throughout the ages and the One who longs to save His brothers today. His name, Jesus, is the unique name under heaven, “For there is salvation in no other, for neither is there another name under heaven given among men in which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). “For whoever calls upon His name shall be saved” (Rom: 10:13).
In Ezekiel 36:26, God earnestly desires to give all men a new heart and a new spirit—a new heart to love God and a new spirit to receive and know Him.
I have a deep for love my Jewish “brothers.” I hope that you choose to believe God’s Word, the Bible, more than the opinions and thoughts of men. I encourage you to get to know the Word of God for yourself. You may be reluctant to read the Bible because of what your family and friends may think or say. However, their opinions should not dissuade you. In the record concerning the early believers in Christ, there were two Jewish believers who were speaking and teaching people concerning Jesus (Acts 4:17-18). Some who opposed them were listening and threatening them, demanded of them not to speak in the name of Jesus (see Acts 4:17-18). The believers’ response was straightforward: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you judge; for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19b-20). Like these believers, we need to fear what God thinks, not what others think, say, or do. Unlike man’s traditions, God’s Word is sure and trustworthy. If anything can be believed, it is God’s Word, and if anything must be regarded, it must be the Scriptures. It may not be traditional to believe in Jesus, but it is certainly Scriptural!
The name Jesus—Joshua in Hebrew—means “Jehovah the Savior” or “the salvation of Jehovah.” The title Christ is translated “the Messiah” in Hebrew. It is my fervent prayer and earnest desire that you would receive the One who was anointed by God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for your sins. Jesus is the One who can forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. Based upon such a righteous foundation, God will enter into you, thus giving you the free gift of eternal life.
To receive the eternal life of God right now, please repeat this short prayer aloud:
Dear God, I believe that Jesus, is the Savior of the world, the One who died for my sins and resurrected from the dead. I believe that You have come to give me the life of God. I receive You right now as the Messiah, my Savior. Fill me with the life of God. I commit myself into Your hands. Amen.
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Some Questions and Answers
A Rabbi once said to me that : “When the Messiah comes, He will bring world peace.”
A view held by many rabbis is that world peace will be brought in by the coming of the Messiah. I will address this question in a detailed way.
There are four main dispensations that God has arranged in order to accomplish His eternal plan. The first was the Age of the Patriarchs. The Patriarchs included Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, up to Moses.
The second dispensation was the Age of the Law, which lasts from Moses to the first coming of Christ. If you lived in this age, you had to obey the Law. If you broke the law, one on your behalf, i.e., (the Jewish priests) had to bring a sacrifice which was to be offered in order for your sins to be forgiven. Your relationship with God was through the Law and the sacrifices offered in the temple in Jerusalem. These sacrifices were only types, or symbols, of the coming Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. These sacrifices were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
The third dispensation will be from the first coming of Christ to His second coming. During this time period, redemption was accomplished through His sacrificial offering. Something very interesting happened at the time of Jesus’ death. The veil of the temple dividing the Holy place from the most holy place (called the Holy of Holies) was rent from top to bottom. This signifies that God tore down the separating veil between God and man due to the death of Christ. The barrier of sin that separates God from man has been removed. Now, the way is open for man to come to God.
In addition, during this time period, the real temple, a spiritual temple, is being built. This temple is the enlarged Body of Christ. As quoted previously, the Lord said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up, But He spoke of the temple of His body” (John 2:19,21). And in I Corinthians 6:19 Paul said: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” By putting these two thoughts together, you can see that in this current time period, or dispensation, God desires to live within us. In this age, the temple of God is not made of wood or stone but is composed of divinity dwelling within humanity! How wonderful and awesome is the fact that God can now live within human beings made in His image and likeness! God does not live in that which is made by human hands; He desires to live within you!
We are now living in the third dispensation. In this dispensation, we have God Himself, not just what He gives us or does for us. As a father, I can testify that if my daughter loved the things I gave her more than me; I would be hurt and unhappy. Do you realize that God feels the same way? Some may love the Law, the festivals, the special days of the year, but God wants you to open your heart to allow Him to come in and live within you, fulfilling the reason for your existence—you, who are made in God’s image (see Gen 1:26).
The fourth dispensation, and the last one before eternity begins, will be the age of the Kingdom. This will be the age of peace and righteousness, which will last for 1,000 years. This time period will commence upon the Lord’s return, as stated in Zechariah 13:6 (Rcv): “And someone will say to Him, What are these wounds between Your arms? And He will say, Those with which I was wounded in the house of those who loved Me.” Zechariah 14:4a: ”And His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” At that time in the age of the kingdom, “nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4b). In addition, “The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the lion will lie down with the lamb,” will be fulfilled (see Isaiah 11:6). Many of the outward changes that people are looking for will take place during the age of the kingdom. These changes will take place mainly because human government will finally be terminated (see Daniel 2:44-45) and Christ will exercise His Kingship over all the earth (see Zech. 14:4,9).
Today, we are in the third dispensation, where God requires us to believe in and receive Christ. If we do, we will receive many blessings that God has prepared for us, namely His full salvation. This salvation includes the regeneration of our spirit, the transformation of our soul, and the eventual glorification of our body. This process begins upon our receiving the divine life of God.
The question is: Which dispensation are you really living in? I hope you are living in the reality, the third dispensation. There are some that are physically living in the third, but are worshipping God according to the second dispensation. The end of this age draws near, and the age of the Kingdom is at hand. God will judge a person according to the requirements He placed upon men in the particular dispensation that person lived in. In this age—the one in which you live—He will judge, whether you believed in Christ and received Him into your heart. This is the unique requirement for you in this age, at this time.
As you come to end of this article, I wonder if my purpose in writing this has gotten across clearly. If you feel that my purpose is to bring you from one religion to another, then final clarification is needed, for this is not my intention. My desire is for you to realize that God’s intention is to live within you, to make His Home in your heart, that you would be the temple of God. Only you can open your own heart and choose life. John 14:6a says, “Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life.” This means that God cannot be real to you outside of Christ. He is knocking on the door of your heart, knocking even now.
John 10:10b says, “I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.” This verse reveals the intention of the Lord Jesus. It is not to present a new religion, new festival days, or a new teaching to improve your behavior. He wants to give life to you! In John 10:10b, the Greek word for life is zoe. Zoe refers not to the physical life, which is bios, (from which we get the word biology). Nor does zoe refer to thepsychological life, which is psyche, (from where we get the word psychology). Instead, zoe refers to the eternal life of God. God wants to give life to you. He wants you to have His life, the eternal life, and to have it more abundantly!
Please take this opportunity to receive Him into your heart and spirit right now, Amen!