Monday, August 19, 2013

The Blessing Of Grace Given To Isaac, Jacob, And Joseph

     For this week's bible study, Brother Bob wants to show my friends everywhere that Jesus blesses us all by grace as we believe Jesus is our Lord, and not by any good works, birthrights, or man's desires. Just think how in the old testament, younger children by grace received the firstborn birthright blessings of the families instead of their older brothers. Jesus did this to prove that anyone can receive the mercy and blessings of Jesus when they repent of their sinful life irregardless of what any birthright or person says. Pictured above we see that the younger child Isaac received the promised blessing instead of his older brother Ishmael. Initially, Abraham wanted to bless his firstborn Ishmael, but God gave the promised blessing to the younger son Isaac seen above with his mother Sarah as Abraham sends away Hagar and her son Ishmael. Also note that by grace Jacob the younger son was blessed instead of the firstborn son Esau. Furthermore, also by grace the younger son Joseph was blessed with the double portion blessing instead of the firstborn son Reuben.

     Friend, be encouraged and know that Jesus can bless you anytime by grace and ignore any person's wishes that denies a blessing by any law, person's wish, or birthright. The world separates people into classes and makes the rich better than the middle class and the poor. But Jesus sees us all on the same level as sinners and no one is better than another person. This allows all the praise to go to Jesus who blesses any sinner who gets saved by grace as that person confesses Jesus as God and believes in his heart that Jesus died for them and rose again. (Friend reading this anywhere get saved and confess Jesus as God believing in your heart that Jesus died for you and rose again and by grace receive the promised blessing of Jesus).

     The bible says at Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. John 1:11 says He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Notice our blessings are not determined by birthrights, will of the flesh, or the will of man. Jesus will bless any person that by faith confesses Jesus as God and believes Jesus died for them on the cross and rose again. Revelation 22:17 tells us And the Spirit and the bride say Come. And let him that heareth say Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will (this refers to you friend reading this anywhere in any country), let him take the water of life freely.

     The scripture that discusses the picture above of younger Isaac being blessed instead of his older brother Ishmael is at Genesis 17:18 and says And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for any everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. Sometimes, as believers in Jesus we have the same experience as Isaac where our parents under their laws and decisions determine to bless their chosen favorite child. But as Abraham experienced, God can rebuke a parent and by grace have that parent change their mind and  bless God's chosen child to be blessed.

     Another example in the bible where the younger child by grace was blessed instead of the older brother occurred when Jesus blessed younger Jacob instead of his older brother Esau. Romans 9:10 tells us And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works, but of Him that calleth; It was said unto her; the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

     For my final example pictured above where the younger child by grace was blessed instead of the older brother occurred when Jacob blessed Joseph's children Ephraim and Manasseh with a double portion blessing instead of firstborn Reuben. Reuben lost his double portion blessing for having sex with his stepmother Bilhah while Joseph denied the same sin and refused to have sex with an older woman who was the wife of Potiphar. As a result, Joseph instead of Reuben received Jacob's double portion blessing and Reuben bowed down to Joseph with his other brothers and his dad Jacob in Egypt. God fulfilled and caused to occur Joseph's dream where his 11 brothers and father would bow down to him. According to Joseph's dream at Genesis 37:6 his father, mother, and brothers were represented by the sun, moon, and 11 stars all bowing down to Joseph. God confirmed this promise by a second dream to Joseph where his family as sheaves bowed down to his sheaf.

     According to the law, the double portion blessing had to be given to the firstborn child of a hated wife (this would be Reuben, the son of Leah, the wife hated by Jacob) before the firstborn child of a loved wife (this would be Joseph, the son of Rachel, the wife loved by Jacob). But Jacob by grace blessed Joseph instead of Reuben with the double portion blessing, setting Joseph free from the curse of the law. The law about the double portion blessing is stated at Deuteronomy 21:15 and says If a man have two wives; one beloved (Rachel by Jacob), and another hated, (Leah, mother of Reuben, by Jacob) and they have born him children; both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated; Then it shall be when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath; that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn; But, he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

     Jesus took it even a step further and had Jacob pictured above give the greater blessing to younger Ephraim instead of his older brother Manasseh. Again, Joseph's wish to bless the firstborn Manasseh was ignored and by grace the younger child Ephraim received the promised blessing. Genesis 48:17 says And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father for this is the firstborn, put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he; and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh, and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

     Genesis 48:21 further states And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die, but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. (note that Jacob also known as Israel believed the promise stated to Abraham that after 400 years, the Jews would leave Egypt discussed in the next portion of this bible study). Moreover, I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren (note that Joseph and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were given the double portion blessing instead of Reuben), which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

     For my next thought, I want to prove to my friends everywhere that the promises of God are true and will eventually occur by God's timetable. Pictured above we see Joseph's tomb which currently houses Joseph's bones in Shechem Israel. You might say how do Joseph's bones prove that the promises of God are true? To answer this question we must first study a promise given by God to Abram at Genesis 15:13 that says And He (God) said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them 400 years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge, and afterward shall they come out with great substance. Stephen restated this promise at Acts 7:6 and said And God spake on this wise, that His seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil 400 years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God. And after that shall they come forth and serve me in this place. God was telling Abram a promise that the children of Israel would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years and then come out of Egypt with great substance.

     God performed his promise and after 400 years the children of Israel left Egypt proven by Exodus 12:40 that says Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was 430 years. And it came to pass at the end of the 430 years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. Moses per Joseph's request took the bones of Joseph to Israel when the children of  Israel left Egypt after 400 years with great substance. This is proven by Exodus 13:19 that says And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

      Finally Joshua buried Joseph's bones in a tomb at Shechem in Israel. This is proven by Joshua 24:32 that says And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for 100 pieces of silver; and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Joseph's bones currently exist today at Shechem in the tomb pictured above and are evidence that God's promises are true and that Israel left Egypt 400 years ago with great substance. The muslims in 2011 tried to burn down Joseph's tomb and say God's word and promises are not true. What's interesting is that in 2011 Joseph's tomb was burned but Joseph's bones were not destroyed and remain to this day proving that God's promises are true.

     Joseph's greatest act of faith occurred at his death when he requested his bones to be carried out of Egypt to Israel as he believed God's promise to Abram that after 400 years the children of Israel would leave Egypt. This was a great act of faith by Joseph because Joseph was a powerful ruler, comfortable, and happy in Egypt at the time of his death. But Joseph feared God and believed the promise of God and knew that his descendants would leave Egypt after 400 years.

     Look at Joseph's faithful words which he stated at his death believing God's promise given to Abram many years earlier. Genesis 50:24 says And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being 110 years old; and they embalmed him; and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. Joseph's greatest act of faith recorded at Hebrews 11:22 did not occur as a powerful leader of Egypt, but was the above faithful statement he made at his death concerning his bones. Hebrews 11:22 tells us By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

     Pictured above we see Joseph's bones in his tomb at Shechem and some of the many Jews that visit the tomb to pray on a regular basis. Joseph's bones are evidence that God's promise that after 400 years the children of Israel would leave Egypt and return to Israel with great substance is true. Friend reading this anywhere, remember that all the promises of God are true. Keep waiting for the promises of God and I pray in Jesus name for all my friends the blessing of Psalm 27:14 that says Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord. The children of Israel waited 400 years for God's promise, and exactly after 400 years, God performed his promise and freed all the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Remember when God makes a promise God will perform and do his promise. Romans 3:4 says Let God be true, but every man a liar.

     Take time to read the following scriptures that prove that the promises of God are true and will occur. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 1 Kings 8:56 says Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that He promised; there hath not failed one word of all His good promise; which He promised by the hand of Moses his servant. Titus 1:2 says In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. I pray in Jesus name anyone who forevermore reads this can have the same faith as Abraham who believed the promise of God stated at Romans 4:20 that says He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And 400 years later God was faithful and performed his promise. The people of the world might say seeing is believing but as saints of God let's all say believing is seeing.

     For my final thought today take time to look at the chart above of how the 12 tribes are listed in Genesis, Numbers, and Revelation. First, in Genesis the 12 tribes whose names all refer to Jesus are listed as Reuben (Behold A Son), Simeon (God hears), Levi (Joined), Judah (Praise), Dan (Judge), Gad (Troop), Asher (Happy), Zebulun (Exalted), Issachar (Reward), Naphtali (Wrestling), Joseph (Jehovah Has Added), and Benjamin (Son Of The Right Hand).

     Next, note that in the book of Numbers the tribes of Levi and Joseph are replaced by the tribes of Manasseh (Defined as Causing To Forget) and Ephraim (Defined as Doubly Fruitful). Levi was removed from the list to be priests that served the Lord stated at Numbers 1:49 that says Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel; But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it; they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it,and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.  Joseph was removed from the list because Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim received the double portion blessing discussed earlier in this bible study.

     OK, now let's move on to the final Revelation 7:4 listing of the 12 tribes of Israel which I believe are the 12 tribes listed on the gates of the kingdom of God. Notice that the Revelation 7:4 listing above of the 12 tribes removes Dan and Ephraim from the list and Joseph and Levi reappear in the list of the 12 tribes of Israel. Also, note that Manasseh remains in the Revelation 7:4 list of the 12 tribes of Israel. You might ask what is the reasoning behind the Revelation 7:4 listing of the 12 tribes of Israel. Why was Dan and Ephraim removed from the list and Joseph and Levi reinstated? Also, why does Manasseh remain in the Revelation list of the 12 tribes of Israel?

     First, I believe Levi reappeared in the Revelation list as a tribe because their role as priests outside of the tribes under the law ceased once Jesus put His own blood on the mercy seat in heaven and became our High priest forevermore. Dan and Ephraim were removed from the Revelation tribe listing because Dan and Ephraim sinned and worshipped idols, but Dan and Ephraim are still hidden as a part of the tribe of Joseph for the following reasons. Ephraim as mentioned earlier in this bible study was blessed instead of Manasseh with the birthright blessing of Joseph. Therefore Ephraim is hidden in the tribe of Joseph but Manasseh had to remain as a listed tribe because Manasseh did not receive Joseph's birthright blessing. Since Dan lived in Ephraim, Dan is also hidden in the tribe of Joseph and shares Ephraim's blessing. Therefore in reality the Revelation 7:4 list of tribes includes all the 14 tribes stated in the bible.

     Below are scriptures that back up my reasoning about Dan and Ephraim stated above. The following scriptures prove that Dan and Ephraim worshipped idols which caused their names to be removed from the Revelation listing of the 12 tribes. Hosea 4:17 says Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone. Judges 18:30 says And the children of Dan set up the graven image. The punishment for Ephraim's sin is stated at Psalm 78:9 and says The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle; They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law; And forgat His works, and His wonders that He had shewed them. Psalm 78:67 further states Moreover, He refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim.

     Hosea 5:9 also states why Ephraim was punished and says Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be; Hosea 5:11 further states Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment because he willingly walked after the commandment (defined as mocked the prophet Isaiah's words). Finally, the scripture that proves that Dan lived in Ephraim and shared in the birthright blessing of Ephraim to be hidden among the tribe of Joseph is at Judges 18:2 that says And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land; who, when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.

     As always it is a blessing to write these bible studies. Feel free to contact Brother Bob anytime by email by sending a message to or write to Brother Bob Malkin, 2233 Pinetree Lane, Apt. N., Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068. (614) 604-7133. Till we all meet again soon to lift up our Lord Jesus, everyone have a blessed day in Jesus name.

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