In the beginning of Genesis we see that God created man in His image and according to His likeness, and He intended that man would express Him and represent Him (Gen. 1:26-28). Then, at the end of Genesis, we see Jacob who expressed God in His image and, through Joseph, represented God with His dominion (Gen. 48:14-16; 41:40-44, 57).
At least in on a small-scale, God has obtained what He was after. This man, Jacob, was transformed and matured, and He became God’s expression, the Israel of God, no longer an individual person but a nation to express God and represent Him on earth. And through Joseph, Jacob reigned over all Egypt.
In God’s eyes and in the record in Genesis, Jacob and Joseph are not considered as two different persons; rather, their history is intertwined, and in Jacob we see God’s image while in Joseph we see God’s dominion.
Joseph lived a life under the heavenly vision that he saw when he was young, and his life was a life of the kingdom of the heavens described later by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 5-7.
The key to Joseph practicing the kingdom life was his self-denial: he didn’t care for himself, he didn’t stay in his feelings, he didn’t revenge, and he didn’t live according to how he felt. He simply lived a life under God’s restriction, and through him the kingdom of God could be brought in.
Today in the age of the church, the age of grace, God wants to gain a group of people who, like Joseph, deny themselves, live under the divine restriction in their spirit and allow God to do whatever He wants to do in them and with them so that His kingdom would come in.
God is looking for a group of people who would remove the limitation God voluntarily put on Himself due to man’s free will and will allow God to move, do, speak, and operate in full in them and through them on earth for God’s purpose.
May we be those who give Him such a way. When God gains such a group of people, the Joseph’s of today, the age of the church will be turned to the age of the kingdom, and the millennium kingdom can be brought in (as it happened in the case of Joseph).
Genesis Concludes with the Expression of God’s Image (Jacob) and the Exercise of God’s Dominion (Joseph)
God’s purpose in creating man is fulfilled, on a small-scale, in Jacob with Joseph at the end of Genesis, where we see that God is expressed with His image through Jacob and He is represented with His dominion through Joseph.
Jacob reached maturity in life and he lived in the reality of his new name, Israel. He experienced God’s dealing and breaking, he was transformed, built up, and matured, and he became God’s overcomer, God’s prince. Jacob expressed God in His image, and all he did at the end of his life was to overflow with blessing to all those around him.
Jacob became a corporate person: he became Israel, the mature and corporate expression of God (Gen. 35:10). He was broken down and reconstituted by God to the extent that, in his maturity in life he was no longer an individualistic, independent, self-seeking man, but fully immersed in living for God’s desire to have a people to express Him and represent Him.
With Joseph, the reigning aspect of Jacob’s mature life, we see the exercise of God’s dominion over all things. Joseph is not separate from Jacob, and when Jacob died, there’s no more record of what Joseph continued to do. What is found in Joseph’s life can be called the reigning aspect of the matured Israel.
Joseph’s life was under the heavenly vision; it was a life of the kingdom of the heavens as described in Matt. 5-7. Joseph lived under the vision of the sheaves of life and the heavenly bodies full of life. This vision ruled him, directed him, governed him, restricted him, and produced in him a very rich, deep, and thorough cultivation of the divine life.
Because he lived under the heavenly vision and practice to deny himself all the time, by the time Joseph was released from prison and put on the throne he was selfless, having no self-interest. He never used the power he had for his own purpose, gain, or benefit.
Today the Lord is looking for persons who are thoroughly, absolutely, and decisively dealt with inwardly until they are poor in spirit, pure in heart, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, mourning over the sad situation, and not living in their feelings or lust but denying themselves and living for God’s purpose.
The more significant the function the Lord wants to give us in His Body, the more severe and thorough our preparation will be. With Joseph it took 20 years or so, and in our case it may not be short since we aspire to be the overcomers and the co-kings with Christ for one thousand years, and for this we need a preparation and dealing with our inner being.
May we give ourselves to the Lord for Him to work Himself into us, grow in us, save us in life, and mature us so that we may pay the price to live a self-denying life under the heavenly vision and be qualified to reign with Him for a thousand years!
Lord Jesus, prepare our inner being and deal with us today so that we may be qualified to rule and reign with You in the millennial kingdom. Grow in us and save us in Your life much more so that, at whatever cost, we would be those who are matured and qualified to exercise Your authority as co-kings in the millennium. May the heavenly vision govern us, restrict us, direct us, and rule in us so that a rich, thorough, and deep cultivation of the divine life would be produced in us for You to have a way to fulfill Your purpose through us!
Living a Self-Denying Life under the Heavenly Vision to End this Age and Bring in God’s Kingdom
The key to Joseph’s practicing the kingdom life was his constant self-denial (see Gen. 45:4-8; 50:15-21). We need to see a vision of the self and deny the satanic self so that we would have no self-interest, no self-enjoyment, no self-feeling, and live a life not governed by our disposition but by our mingled spirit.
Because Joseph lived under God’s restriction, the kingdom could be brought in through him. If we live a life under God’s restriction inwardly, the kingdom of God can be brought in through us (Matt. 16:24-28).
Our disposition needs to be dealt with, our feelings and our anger needs to be subdued, and our lust needs to be conquered. The key to having a pleasant church life is being under the divine restriction inwardly and by denying our self constantly.
Because Joseph denied himself and accepted God’s sovereign hand restricting him, he could practice the kingdom life, reign for God, and fulfill God’s purpose. Through Joseph God could reign over the whole earth.
Today in the age of the church, the age of grace, God has one goal: to end this age and bring in the age of the kingdom. For this, He wants to gain a dispensational instrument who would fully cooperate with Him to end this age.
It is in God’s heart to end this age and bring about the greatest dispensational change the earth has ever seen, but He must do this through someone. God is longing for some people who would be so one with Him that they would no longer limit Him but voluntarily cooperate with Him.
We are being transformed and matured not only for our sake but even more for God’s need: God needs transformed and matured people through whom He can move without limitation and through whom He can turn this age.
We may be “in the dungeon” right now, but the dream is still with us, the heavenly vision is still governing us, and we are learning to deny the self and live under God’s restriction.
God gives us the heavenly vision, and then He arranges circumstances that apparently contradict the dream absolutely, and there’s nothing we can do to get out of there or stop these situations.
If in those situations we allow God to work Himself into us, deal with us, break us, and transform us, He can use us not as “spiritual heroes” but as a part of a corporate group of people that would turn this age and bring in God’s kingdom.
Don’t you want to be a part of God’s greatest move throughout the ages? Don’t you want to be one whom He can use to turn this age?
In Joseph’s case, his reigning in Egypt was the kingdom of God for the fulfillment of God’s purpose, and Egypt under Joseph was a picture of the millennium kingdom.
Under Joseph’s rule, all people were on the same level, with no distinctions (in the millennium, all will be under Christ, none greater or lesser), and everyone was full of enjoyment on the same level (everything will be under the Lord’s hand, and we all will enjoy Christ for one thousand years, see Psa. 24:1).
Today God yearns to bring in His kingdom, the realm in which He can do whatever He wants. We need to be brought to the point that we will tell Him,
Lord, we are willing to do whatever You want. Even though we may react to what You want to do, deep within we say AMEN! to Your working. Make us willing to allow You to do whatever You want in us and through us. Cherish us, love us, save us more in Your life, grow in us more, show us more of Yourself in Your splendor and majesty, and shine on us in Your glory and beauty! Lord, make us one with You to bring Your kingdom in. Make us part of the dispensational instrument You need to change this age and bring in the age of the kingdom!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Genesis (msgs. 110-111), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (3), week 12 / msg 12, Image and Dominion – the Heart of Genesis (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- More ministry quotes on this topic via, Matthew 16:27 on Christian Pictures Blog.
- Hymns on this topic:
# With a life strict to self we must righteousness hold, / Kind to others in peace, and with God joyful, bold; / In the Kingdom’s reality e’er to remain, / For its manifestation prepared thus to reign. (Hymns #947)
# Train us up today, / Full of vision, seeking You, / We’d await Your timing, fully subject to Your will, / Treasuring Your face, / Staying in Your presence, Lord; / E’en the very index of Your eye would we obey. / Raise up some to meet Your need, some Nazarites, / To bring in Your kingdom on earth today, / Taking You as King that You might return / To usher in the end of the age. (Song on being a dispensational instrument)
# Build up Thy corporate Body / In each locality; / Prepare Thy Bride made ready, / And host to fight for Thee; / Raise up Thy corporate beachheads / And stepping-stones in them / To usher in Thy kingdom; / The New Jerusalem. (Song on being prepared to bring in God’s kingdom)
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