Israel in Egypt

Scripture: Genesis 47:27
Date: 06/25/2022 
Lesson: 13
Though God intimately knows the future, we are still free in the choices we make. How do we reconcile these two ideas?

Culture and the Christian - Paper or PDF Download

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Doug Batchelor: Hi, friends. Pastor Doug Batchelor. I have a very important announcement I'd like to share with you. About 25 years ago, even more than that, Amazing Facts began broadcasting our Sabbath School Study Hour programs. Now, we initially did this as a service for the church because, well, there were very few churches back then that were media-ready to do programs like that. In the intervening years, hundreds of churches and ministries have been able to start recording and producing Sabbath School Study programs.

Well, right now, we'd like to put our energy into doing things that are more evangelistic and so, beginning July, this year, 2022, we're only going to be providing our Sabbath School program on our streaming sites, social media, like Facebook and YouTube, as well as the Granite Bay Hilltop website. We've got some new things planned during the regular slot where we've been airing the Sabbath School Study times on Hope Channel, 3ABN, and AFTV, and we want to do all we can to be as innovative and fresh as we can, to be evangelistic and reach as many as we can.

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Shawn Brummund: Hello, and welcome to the Sabbath School Study Hour right here in the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Greater Sacramento area of California. My name is Pastor Shawn Brummund and it is my privilege both to host and--both to host as well as to be able to teach our lesson here today. We are coming to the very last lesson of this particular quarter of the year. And we are finishing up our study in the book of Genesis. So I hope you have your Bibles with you because this is a Bible study, as well as your Quarterly, if you have a copy of that as well.

Just want to give a special welcome to everybody that is watching as far as our online members across the country, different people around the world, and also those who are friends of our church here, in different parts of the world as well. It is just such a privilege to be able to come together on this particular morning as we continue to study God's Word.

Before we invite our musicians out to lead us out in song and worship, I just want to invite you to take advantage of a free gift offer that we have for you here today. It's entitled, "The Culture and Christian," "The Culture and the Christian," and it's written by Joe Crews, the founder of Amazing Facts Ministries, and all you have to do is dial 1-866-788-3966. Now, that's mailed out to all those who are in the US, or US--North America, I should say, as well as the US Territories, and you just ask for Free Offer Number 143. And again, that's 1-866-788-3966.

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Very good read, very important, especially today, as the culture is deteriorating at a rate that I think anybody in my lifetime has ever seen and so we want to be able to see how can we stay faithful to the Lord, what does the Lord have for us in that counsel. And so, nice to see you, good morning. Nice to have you with us here this morning as we study the book of Genesis. We're going to ask the Lord to be with us in prayer, first thing.

Father in heaven, we want to thank You so much for the opportunity to be able to study Your Word. I thank You so much for Your church. I thank You so much that I can count myself a member and family member of Your Church, Lord. And God, I want to thank You for the privilege of being able to serve Your Church and each and every person and interested friend that might be watching here today. I want to pray that Your Holy Spirit will do its special work that I could never do. And God, I want to pray that You will teach us, that You fulfill Your promise that when Your Spirit comes to all the sincere in heart, that You will guide us and lead us into all truth. And so we ask for that again, even right now. In Jesus's name we pray these things, God, amen.

All right, friends, I want to invite you to go with me, not to the book of Genesis, but to the book of Hebrews. We're going to start our lesson study here by reviewing a little bit of the highlights of one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, which is Hebrews chapter 11. And in the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul is inspired and led by God to do a little bit of review of a family tree that we have been studying in detail for the last couple of months now, and it's the most important family tree that we can find in, not only all the Bible, but in all of history, all of mankind. There is no more important family tree than the family tree of Abraham and Isaac and then finally, Jacob and his 12 sons.

And so let's go to Hebrews chapter 12. We're going to pick it up with verse 8 through 10 as our first spot that we'll look at here together. That is Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 8. It says, "By faith," this is the great faith chapter. Some call it the Hall of Faith. "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise, as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

I just want to invite you to park that in your mind here as we move on to verse 13 now in this chapter and also into the following chapters in Genesis. And where Abraham's mind was, first and foremost, throughout his lifetime.

We're going to go to verse 13 now and read through to verse 16. In Hebrews 11, verse 13 it says, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

Now, it's reflecting on the same city again that God had revealed to Abraham, and the heavenly country that God had revealed to that whole family line. Then we go to verse 22 and verse 20--verse 21 and verse 22. In verse 21, there's that word again, "By faith Abraham--sorry, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff."

So as we look at the Genesis record shortly after this, I just want us to picture Jacob in his dying hours and his last breath that he's taking, and he's giving these deep prophecies of the future to his sons. And he's sitting on the edge of his bed, and even sitting on the edge of his bed, he needs to lean on the top of that staff. "By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones," his burial.

And now that we've reviewed this Hall of Faith and reviewed this great family and family tree, come with me now to Genesis chapter 50 and verse 24. So we're going to go back to the book of Genesis that we've been studying, and today we're looking at the last five chapters, but we're going to start our study by looking at the very last verses of the last chapter of Genesis. So we're going to verse 24 and it says, "And Joseph said to his brethren, 'I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.' And then Jacob took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, 'God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.' And so Joseph died, being 110 years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt."

Now, Joseph was the second oldest of all the 12 sons of Jacob, was he not? There's only one younger than him, and his name was Benjamin. Okay, many of you know the story. All right, so Joseph was, by far, one of the youngest brothers and one of the youngest sons of Jacob. And so, when we read those last verses of Genesis and we find there those last dying words of Joseph before he gives up the ghost, as we say, we find there that he is almost for certain one of the last ones, if not the last one to die. Now, Benjamin may be alive still, we don't have that record, but we know that Joseph's older brothers most likely had already passed away. His father certainly had passed away 50-something years before that, and so there's a very high chance that he was the last one, if not very close to being the last of this great family tree to pass away and go to their rest.

The ending--and so when we come to the close of Genesis, it's really the ending of the fourth generation. The four great generations that are found first in Abraham, and then in Isaac, then in Jacob, and then in Jacob's 12 sons. Now, those 12 sons, of course, as many if not all of us know, were eventually to become the 12 tribes of God's country, the country of Israel that was named after that new name of Jacob himself. Now, I think it's important for us to understand that long before Jacob and Joseph's death ever came to be, God had already let them in on the fact that it would be several hundred years before their descendants would inherit the Promised Land of Canaan.

I want to bring us back to Genesis chapter 15 because in Genesis chapter 15, verses 13 to 15, we find there that there is recorded one of those prophetic encounters that the first of his family tree encountered with God, and that is Abraham. His name was Abram originally, and as God was speaking to him in one of those very first prophetic encounters, God had made and cut a very deep covenant with Abraham. And as He was doing that, He told Abraham some information that must have been very overwhelming for Abraham, and not only for him but I would say also for his later descendants. God says to him, "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them 400 years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out," and there's that promise.

God says, "Listen, it's going to be a long haul. As your descendants multiply and become more than just a large family," as it was, 70 of them entered into Egypt as we read the last chapters of Genesis, "but they will become 2 to 3 million, and then after that, find themselves in the millions upon millions." And so God confirms His promise again. He says, "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; and afterward they shall come out with great possession. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age."

And so God reveals a couple of important pieces of information with Abraham early on in his ministry and in his pilgrimage. And that is, number one, that he won't live to see the full inheritance of the Promised Land in this world. Thus we find as we read in Hebrews that Abraham's mind was, yes, on the Promised Land and the descendants and the nation that would develop called Israel in this world, but even bigger than that, he was looking forward to a heavenly country. He was looking forward to a city that was built without hands, a city that the Lord Himself would be a builder of.

God had revealed to Abraham that indeed this world would be something that is temporary and that he would not actually witness the fulfillment of the Promised Land being fully owned by him and his descendants. Not only that, but his descendants's descendants and his descendants's descendants's descendants would not see that as well. It would be 400 years as they multiplied before they inherited the Promised Land, before they developed this earthly country that was to be the light to the world of all nations.

What are the odds that Abraham shared that truth with his son Isaac? Pretty great, isn't it? I would say it's very high. In fact, I would put my money on 100% that Abraham would have shared with his prophetic, and isn't it interesting, you know, as I reflected upon this again this morning, as I've been poring over these chapters over this week, is that what a lineage. I mean, you have Abraham, a prophet, prophet of God, multiple visions. Then you have his son Isaac, prophet of God, multiple visions. Then you have his son Jacob, prophet of God, multiple visions. And even Joseph was a prophet and received information directly from God, interpretations of dreams and so on. And so we have this deep, spiritual, prophetic family tree and family of God.

Now, were they perfect in any--by any means? No. Did they grow as they learned through their disobedience at different times? Yes, they did. And so we find all kinds of important lessons that we've picked up on that. But you know, coming back to Abraham, after he received that information and then Isaac grew old enough to be able to comprehend the great privilege and responsibility and place that God had told him that he would be holding in history, that Abraham certainly would have shared with Isaac at some point in his maturing years that, indeed, that their descendants, the descendants of Isaac, would find themselves in another land, serving them and being afflicted even for a time for 400 years before they became a nation large enough, populated enough, to become a nation of their own in the Promised Land.

And what are the odds of Isaac sharing that with his son Jacob? Pretty high. I would say probably 100%. And so Jacob in his maturing years, whatever year that Isaac believed that Jacob was able to be able to comprehend and be able to come to grips with the fact that there's a great lineage and future ahead of them, but it would be a long and difficult haul before they actually owned the Promised Land of Canaan. What are the odds of Jacob sharing that with his sons? Well, that's pretty high as well, isn't it?

And so Jacob's sons including Joseph would have understood that as well. And so I think it's easy for us and certainly I think until I park in Genesis as long as I have over the last three months, that I haven't quite picked up on the fact that they were all conscious of the bigger picture all the way through their lives, through their prophecies, through their struggles in life. And thus when we come to Hebrews chapter 11 I think that explains again why when we see that review and reflection upon the lives of this great family and family tree, that we find that their focus is revealed not to be only or even foremost on the land of Canaan but beyond that, the heavenly country.

Beyond that, the city that is made with--by God Himself. The eternal kingdom that God has in store beyond the land of Canaan and beyond this earth. And therefore they're described and understood themselves as pilgrims, foreigners, not only in the land of Canaan but upon the whole earth. And so this is certainly something that has helped me as I've reflected upon this truth.

Now, of course, they understood in this life, in this world, that their place and their role is one that was going to usher in a very special country that would make up-- be made up of their descendants. That country was designed to be a light to all nations. God had revealed that through his first revelations to the prophet Abraham, the grandfather of all this family tree and certainly God had said, "And you shall be-- your descendants shall be a light to the world. They shall be a blessing to all nations."

And so there's a messianic, prophetic, large, international picture that God began to reveal to Abraham as well as to his son Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's 12 sons. They understood that that country was not to be an ordinary country but it was to be a country that was to be a light to all nations to introduce and to help all nations to be able to understand there is only one true God, and that one true God loves you with an unending love. And that one true God is going to send His Son, His only begotten eternal Son, that whoever should believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. And so they understood the bigger picture in this world but also beyond this world as well. And we're going to see more of that as we look at chapter 50 in a few minutes as we review Jacob's prophecies that he had shared with his children there.

Now this would also--this truth, this context that I've been spending a few moments now looking at for us here together is a context that also, I think, would best explain God's message to Jacob that implied that Jacob obviously had some kind of anxiety. He was being--he was being challenged with some level of fear about moving his whole camp, his entire family, and every family member into that foreign country south, out of the Promised Land, out of the place in which his father, his grandfather had been buried, his mother, his grandmother had been buried. We find there that Jacob was struggling.

Let's go to Genesis chapter 46 which is the first chapter that we looked at this week. And we're going to look at verses 3 through 4. Genesis chapter 46, and we're going to look at verses 3 through 4. In 3 it says, "And He said, 'I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation. And I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hands on your eyes.'"

Now, we have to remember that God gave this vision after Jacob had already learned very clearly that the son, his favorite son, in whom he thought had been devoured and killed by wild predators in the wilderness many years before that, some 20 years before that, is now alive. And not only is he alive and living in Egypt and doing well, but he is the second-most powerful leader and person--positioned person in the land of Egypt. Now that was no small thing because Egypt was the most powerful nation in the entire known world. And so this is a huge thing.

So Joseph is beside himself, you know? He's just--he's pinching himself. He can't believe that this could hardly come to be. And so was he excited to see his son? For certain he was excited to see his son. He was also learning that he was going to be put up, and his family would be put up, in some of the best, most fertile, richest land in all of Egypt, to be able to prosper, to feed their flocks and their livestock as they were shepherds. And so this was important.

They had also--he also had learned now that they weren't going to starve because the famine, even though it is also revealed to him is going to extend for several more years down the road, that he need not worry about him and his family. God was going to feed him and his family for the next several years of the famine. This is all good news. And so one would think that Jacob was nothing but excited and full of faith and comfort and reassurance, and yet God shows up and says, "Jacob, don't fear. Don't be afraid." Now, God doesn't tell you and I not to be afraid unless we're afraid, right, okay? I've never said to my daughter, you know, "Rachel or Ashley, don't be afraid," when they're not afraid. I always say it when they're afraid. And so God is saying to Jacob, "Listen, don't be afraid. Go ahead, you can do it. Just go down south."

Now Jacob understood that they were to become a nation and another nation in which they would be afflicted for 400 years. Now, friends, I don't know about you but I wouldn't be all that excited about leaving the Promised Land and knowing that you're kind of walking into the lion's mouth in one way and so, yes, the reception was good, but God had already prophesied to that family but it's not always going to stay good. And so Jacob must have been a little bit apprehensive about that, knowing that information. And therefore, God comes in His grace and His graciousness as He always does, and He says, "Do not be afraid. It's going to be okay, and I'm going to reassure once again that your people, your descendants, will come back out of Egypt and inherit the Promised Land."

Now this also may be the reason why God brought a famine so severe in the first place. It may be that part of the reason--and God also always does so many things for multiple reasons because he's such a sophisticated and complex, all-knowing, sovereign God, that one of the other reasons that He likely brought that famine upon the family and upon the land of Canaan and not Egypt was because this was kind of a little bit of a boost, you know. It's almost like God got behind Jacob's back and kind of pushed him a little bit and said, "Listen, I know you're going to hesitate and the last thing you want to do is leave the Promised Land and know what the future holds from you because I've already told you, starting with your grandfather, Abraham. But I want you to know that you need to go anyway. And just in case you hesitate and you decide otherwise."

God being sovereign over all the circumstances of things that take place upon the earth, He kind of got behind Jacob and pushed him and said--Jacob basically knew that if he doesn't take his whole family to Egypt, they're literally going to starve to death. And so it was a matter of survival for them to go to the land of Egypt. God sometimes pushes us, doesn't He? He kind of gets behind us and He kind of pushes behind our back, just lightly. He doesn't push us over, He doesn't kick us, but He sometimes gets behind our back and He just kind of nudges us a little bit and says, you know, "I know you're hesitating. You're not sure if you should go this way. You may even be scared to go in that direction. But I'm going to break some circumstances and so on in your life that's going to just help you in that direction.

And certainly I can look back and God has called me to do a number of things that came with a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear, you know? It's like, "Oh, God, this is not me. I can't do this," including standing up before an audience like this and preaching and teaching. I was terrified. I was terrified. I mean, the first time I was asked to do a scripture reading, maybe I've shared this before, you know. First time I was asked to do scripture reading was the first time I ever did public speaking. I stood in front of the church. You know, I could hide behind the pulpit and my knees were knocking, literally, but you couldn't tell that part. But I couldn't hide my voice, and my voice was literally shaking like this... I'm not-- I'm barely exaggerating that. Barely exaggerating. You could hear the shaking and the quivering of my voice as I was speaking.

God calls us sometimes to do things and go in directions that can be very intimidating, and very apprehension--cause us to be very apprehensive. And I think this is one of those instances. When Jacob arrived with his family, the Bible goes out of its way to point out that there was a total of 70 biological members. We find that in the same chapter. In verse 27 it says, "And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons." So there's three biological descendants and sons of Jacob already in Egypt that preceded the rest of the family. And verse 26 told us that there are 66 that were still on their way, including Jacob himself. And therefore, when we come to the end of verse 27, it can rightly say, "All the persons of the house of Jacob who went into Egypt were 70."

Now, 70 is something that many of us, you know, that kind of attracts our attention. Seventy is not a small number because seven is one of God's key biblical numbers that He has revealed. It is kind of the ultimate divine number. Seven and twelve are the two biggest numbers, twelve representing the kingdom of God and then we have seven representing God's perfection, completeness, His wholeness. When we go to the very first chapter of Genesis we find there that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, but He didn't stop there, did He? Then He blessed and rested and made holy the seventh day and said, "Okay, from now on, there is a seven-day weekly cycle." And all of mankind has somehow found themselves still operating under that perfect weekly cycle of seven.

So right from the get-go, God has revealed there is a completeness. There is a fullness, a perfection, found in the number seven. And so when we find the number 70 we find that reflection of the number 7 and as the Quarterly points out, I think there's some useful and some legitimate suggestion there by God that in Genesis chapter 10 there were 70 nations that were listed that represented all of mankind in those first generations after the flood.

And so there's a strong suggestion there that Abraham and his family arriving in Egypt, every single biological family member of his family. It even points out and says his daughters-in-law weren't included because they weren't his biological descendants. But the fact that there are 70 biological descendants that are found in the land of Egypt by Jacob, Israel, that this represents the fact that their journey and the implications of Jacob, this budding infant of a nation arriving in Egypt, represents and has implication that affects all the nations of the world.

And that's why us, in the year 2022 in the United States of North America, which they didn't even know existed back then as far as a continent and certainly weren't existed as a country yet, is also included in the implications. The implications and the results of Jacob's life and his son's life directly reflect your life and mine. And so there's some deep symbolism there in the numbers that are being thrown around here in the book of Genesis, and I think this is certainly one of them.

When we come to chapter 47, that chapter's highlight there is when the 5 brothers of Joseph and, of course, the father of those 12 brothers, including Joseph-- Jacob have a personal meeting with Pharaoh. Now, the Bible doesn't explain why. It's probably a matter of logistics and so on, but Joseph chose five men from among his brothers to come in. So we have five brothers plus Joseph, so there's six. Half of the brothers. I don't know, maybe Joseph didn't want to overwhelm the Pharaoh or--I'm not sure. It doesn't explain why. But Joseph first introduces half of his--there's five of his brothers, Joseph being the sixth, and introduces them and asks for an official blessing and confirmation that they can dwell in the land of Egypt, his country, Pharaoh's country, in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh, very graciously, offers it to him.

This is a much different pharaoh than the pharaoh that is introduced in Exodus which is two or three pharaohs later when we come to the next book of the Bible. This one is a very gracious king. He is obviously one that is very open to the God of Joseph. We don't know if he died a saved man. There is a high chance that he would have. He had experienced a prophetic dream from the true God of heaven. The land of the goats--I mean, no, not the land of them but he had the corn and the cows, the two dreams that he had received, you know, that represented the seven years of plenty in the land of Egypt, which would be followed by seven years of severe famine. Joseph didn't make that up, and certainly the Pharaoh didn't, but the Pharaoh received it, just very much like Nebuchadnezzar who eventually gave his heart to the Lord.

And so here we have the Pharaoh. He's obviously a very gracious king. He's one that is very open to the God of Joseph because of his experiences with God, and also revealed because of his very amiable relationship with Joseph who is a very faithful, devout, exclusive worshiper of the God of Israel and the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob alone. And so, Joseph was faithful all of those years, and Pharaoh was okay with that.

And so Pharaoh was--it's not surprising to find here that the king had graciously offered them the best of the land in regards to feeding their livestock and then also asked them and said to Joseph, "Oh, and by the way, the most competent among your brothers, can you please assign them even to be the chief herdsmen of my herds, of the royal herds." And it doesn't give us the details of how many actually took him up on that, but certainly the Pharaoh wanted to plug in on that as well.

And then, of course, Dad comes in. So Joseph then goes ahead and ushers his dad, Jacob, in. Now Jacob is 130 years old at this point. He's only 13 years away for--17 years away from the end of his life, and so he's a senior. And as he makes his way into the room, Pharaoh asks, "How old are you?" And Jacob responds and in a short answer he says, "I'm 137--" no, 100 and, no, what is it? It's 130, 130 years. Yeah, because he died at 147. So he's 130 years old.

And so then it tells us, as we read--let's go ahead and read those verses, verses 5 through 9. In verse 5 it says, "Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, 'Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Have your fathers and brothers dwell in the land--the best of the land; and let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you have any competent men among them, make them the chief herdsmen among my livestock.' And then Joseph brought his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Jacob, 'How old are you?' And Jacob said to Pharaoh, 'The days of the years of my pilgrimage are 130 years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.'"

And so Jacob, as he comes to 130 years old, knows that he's not going to approach the later years as Abraham, his grandfather, and his father had reached several decades older than Jacob was able to achieve. And that's probably most likely because Jacob went through a lot of years of suffering. Those 20 years aged him prematurely, almost for certainly, very greatly because when he was serving his Uncle Laban, because when we come to the last conversation that is recorded between Jacob and Laban, we find that Jacob went through a lot of hard times and those hard times probably took their toll.

Many people ask themselves, "Well, how in the world would a pagan heathen king, the pharaoh of Egypt, open himself up and be receptive to a blessing from this Hebrew man that he had never met before, this stranger, this shepherd, the father of Joseph?" And that's not an unusual question. I can remember asking myself the same thing, questioning, scratching my head and say, "Wait a minute. Pharaoh's not a worshiper of God. He's the--in fact, he's recognized as one of the gods of Egypt in the false religions that were existing there."

But again, as I shared earlier, we have to remember the history that is taking place with this pharaoh. He's very open and receptive. Doesn't say that he's fully converted, but he's certainly not antagonistic against the true God. In fact, I'm sure that he believes in the existence, at minimum, the existence and the power that is found in the God of Joseph, because remember, it was God's--Joseph's God, it was Jacob's God, that had saved his country.

Pharaoh knows that he would be destitute and starving with the rest of Egypt and like all the nations around him, if it weren't for the God of Jacob. And so, Pharaoh would very naturally, in fact, it would make more sense to be--for him to be open to the blessing of Jacob because of all that Jacob represents. Pharaoh recognizes that Joseph is a prophet of the true God of Israel, and we also can see that Pharaoh would recognize that Jacob is also a prophet, as Joseph probably would have shared with him, of God as well.

And so for Pharaoh to receive a blessing, a religious blessing, from this elderly man that has so much deep experience with the true God of heaven, would be something that I think Pharaoh would be very--found himself very honored to be able to receive. And so I think the context helps us to be able to understand that just a little bit clearer for us as we look at that.

Now we go on to chapter 48. In chapter 48, God leads Jacob to spiritually adopt both of Joseph's sons, and thus the two become two tribes of Israel and not just the tribe named Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim are the sons of Joseph. So when we come to the 48th chapter, we find there again that the key, the highlight there, is this conversation that Jacob has, first with Joseph, and then with Joseph's sons. And as we come to verse 5 and as we come to verse 6, we find there that Jacob is declaring that he's basically spiritually adopting both of Joseph's sons. So again, in chapter 58 and verse 5, we have the two sons that are being declared as actual sons of Jacob.

Now, are they the literal sons of Jacob? No, they're the grandsons of Jacob, to be certain they're his biological grandsons, but certainly they are not--certainly they're not the direct sons. But nevertheless, he declares them as his. Now, Jacob and Joseph apparently understood that this was a declaration that would exclude now Joseph from being named as one of the 12 tribes and descendants of Jacob and his 2 sons that came from the loins of Jacob--I mean, of Joseph, would find themselves inheriting the two tribes that would be named after them, which is Ephraim and Manasseh.

And we can find that being picked up in verse 15. In verse 15, he said, "And he blessed Joseph, and said: 'God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who fed me all the days of my life, the Angel has redeemed me from all evil, and bless the lads; and let my name be upon them, and the name of their fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.'" And so we find something very special there and that's also why it also tells us at the end of chapter 49 or towards the end of chapter 49 in verse--note there, verse 28 says, "All these are the 12 tribes of Israel."

Now, that can be confusing if you just read 49 in its own isolated chapter, and the reason being is that if you go back and actually count the brothers that Jacob actually prophesied over, there's only 11, and Joseph being one of them. And then--yet in verse 28, it says that they're the 12 brothers and tribes of Israel. Well, how could that be? There's only 11. Well, that's because Joseph is representing two brothers and that's the two sons of Joseph which is Ephraim and Manasseh. And so that helps explain that mystery just a little bit as well. All right, so let's go to chapter 49.

Now we're running out of time fast as we always do, and so we're just going to jump ahead and skip Reuben and Simeon and Levi. If we have time, we're going to come back to them because there is some important insights that we can find there. But we want to go to the most important of all the 12 sons which become the 12 tribes of Israel. Now when we come to chapter 49, in verse 1 it says, "And Jacob called his sons and said, 'Gather together, that I may tell them what may befall you in the last days.'"

And so, this is a prophecy of the future. Is it reflecting some of the current events and characters of those 12 sons of Jacob? Yes, but at the same time, we find that--at the same time we find that they are also talking about the future, and so this is a prophecy, one of the deepest prophetic chapters that we have in all of the Bible. And Judah is the most important. In chapter 8--or verse 8, I should say, it says, "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your neck shall be on the neck of your enemies; and your father's children shall bow down before you."

Now, essentially, what God here is saying through His--through this father, through this dad named Jacob, is that the right of the firstborn has been removed from Reuben who is the literal firstborn. It's been removed from the second and third oldest of the brothers, who would naturally have received the birthright if the oldest was removed from that birthright. But God actually skips all of the three oldest brothers and gives the different reasons why. And then He declares that Judah, that he would receive the birthright, that ultimately his brothers would praise him, and his neck would be on--his hand would be on the neck of his enemies, representing power and dominance over the other enemy nations around Judah, and that of Israel, and your father's children.

That is all the other brothers, found as sons of Jacob, would bow down before Judah. In other words, Judah would be the most dominant, most powerful, most important tribe of all the 12 tribes of Israel. And of course, the rest of history as revealed in the New Testament--Old Testament record tells us that is exactly what came to be. Verse 9, it says, "Judah is the lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him?"

Now, friends, if I was to ask you, who's the king of the jungle in regards to the animal kingdom? Who is it? It's the lion, isn't it? Okay, so all of us here in our culture when we're growing up and this is obviously not new because it was also part of the culture way back then in Jacob's time as well, and Joseph's time. And that is that the lion is recognized as the king of the jungle. If there's a lion that is living in whatever part of whatever country in the world it's kind of almost always, if not always, the most dominant, most powerful animal there is. And so, rightly, it is a representation of Judah.

Now, a lion, of course, is also representative of royalty and many nations have adopted, and kings have adopted, for that reason the lion as a symbol of--and sometimes found on their flag or their seal and so on. Revelation chapter 5 and verse 5 tells us that Jesus is declared the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and also the root of David. And so Judah would be the one, this person named Judah, because you remember, he's a person originally, the son of Jacob would originally give birth to descendants that would eventually usher in the most powerful, the most successful and important kingdom of all of Israel's history as far as earthly kings goes, and that's David.

And then the root of David would come, which is Shiloh himself, the one who would bring shalom, the one who would bring peace, or as most scholars, interpreters, understand Shiloh to be interpreted as which is rest-giver. And that is Jesus Christ, the great Messiah and Savior of the world Himself. And we read that in verse 10. In verse 10, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people." And scepter was the staff, very royal and important staff that was representation of the authority and the kingship of the king of whatever nation, in this case, that of Israel and Judah. And it says that "the scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet."

Indeed, Judah would be the most prominent tribe throughout all of Israel's history, even in Jesus's time. The only part of Israel that was remaining that was even named after any of the tribes of Israel was that of Judea. And that was where Jerusalem was located, where Jesus was crucified, and it was where the most prominent and predominant population of religious Jews was still living at the time as well. And so, Judah continued to fulfill that all the way to the time of Christ.

Christ Himself is recognized by almost all Christians as Shiloh, and Shiloh comes, of course, as a descendant of Judah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. "And to Him shall be the obedience of all people." Now, we can interpret that in two different ways. First of all, "all people," and a lot of times the Bible writers would use the term "all." In Revelation 13 it says that the dragon would give his authority and power to the beast and all the world would wonder and worship after the beast. Then the very next chapter says there's going to be 144,000-plus people that will be faithful and refuse to worship the beast.

And so, sometimes when the Bible writers say "all," they don't mean literally to the very final end, but as a whole there would be a whole lot of people that would obey Jesus. And of course, in Philippians as the Quarterly points out, it also points there, I think it's in chapter 2, that there would be a time in history when all will bow down and worship Jesus as Lord. And so that could be pointing to that as well.

And of course, that won't take place until after Jesus comes. There's a judgment that takes place. All of the lost, all the unfaithful, will find themselves bowing down. Not because they're now converted or repentant, but because they recognize and are compelled to acknowledge that Jesus is indeed the truth that they had been rejecting all their life, and indeed, that He is fair and just in spite of their own unfaithful choices.

Well, friends, we've run out of time here today. I'm glad that we were able to look at the most important part which is that prophecy of Jacob here in chapter 49. And again, if you've never gone through all those chapters as a whole, as you never had time, this week I want to very strongly encourage you, go ahead and read those five chapters. I've given you some insights and interpretation and information. Now you can go ahead and read that and comprehend it in its whole context there as well.

For those of you who are watching, I want to again invite you to take advantage of our free gift offer which is "Culture and the Christian," written by Joe Crews. You just have to dial 1-866-788-3966, ask for Free Offer number 143, and we'll be happy to send that out to you if you live in North America or any of the US territories.

If you live in the US, you can also use your phone to text the code "SH020," and you want to dial that to 40544 and we'll be happy to be able to get that out to you. And again, you can see the website which is and you can find that on the Internet as a free digital download anywhere in the world.

Until next week, God bless you, God keep you, and may you continue to look to Him.

Doug: Hi, friends. Pastor Doug Batchelor. I have a very important announcement I'd like to share with you. About 25 years ago, even more than that, Amazing Facts began broadcasting our Sabbath School Study Hour programs. Now, we initially did this as a service for the church because, well, there were very few churches back then that were media-ready to do programs like that. In the intervening years, hundreds of churches and ministries have been able to start recording and producing Sabbath School Study programs.

Well, right now, we'd like to put our energy into doing things that are more evangelistic and so, beginning July, this year, 2022, we're only going to be providing our Sabbath School program on our streaming sites, social media, like Facebook and YouTube, as well as the Granite Bay Hilltop website. We've got some new things planned during the regular slot where we've been airing the Sabbath School Study times on Hope Channel, 3ABN, and AFTV, and we want to do all we can to be as innovative and fresh as we can, to be evangelistic and reach as many as we can.

And so, once again, if you want to see the Sabbath School Study Hour, it will be broadcasting on the Granite Bay Hilltop website, but on our stations, our partner stations, like Hope Channel and 3ABN, we're going to be having some new programs for you. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support of Amazing Facts, as we move forward together in sharing the good news.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want. And most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: "Amazing Facts" Changed Lives.

Gary: Early 1980s all the baby boomers were turning 21 and the nightclub scenes were exploding and I started a entertainment lighting company.

Female: I was the president and there were six divisions. Doing the raves in the '80s and '90s, you know, in some warehouse where you're setting up lighting and fog and, you know, who knows what's going on in there and nightclub--nightclub installations. I loved it and it was who I was.

Gary: Bought a new house out of town and we moved about two or three times. But we were always going into different churches. We were in a Lutheran church and then we were in a Methodist church. I think we were in three different Baptist churches. My wife was raised Catholic. I was raised Methodist. Currently, I've been reading all the Hal Lindsey books and watching all the "Left Behind" movies and so I really wanted to understand what the book of Revelation was all about. But nothing really ever made sense to me.

Female: One day, Pastor Lloyd Logan came knocking and he had that NET '99 flyer. Lloyd Logan: We were preparing for an evangelistic series and different people were going different directions with handbills to invite people to the meetings. female: I saw that coming at me, you know, all the colors and I thought, "Oh no, this is some kind of cult thing."

Lloyd: And she said, "Thank you very much and I'm not much interested myself but my husband likes that kind of thing." female: And Lloyd said, "Would you give it to him please?" And I said, "Okay, I will." So I took the pamphlet and I put it on the counter. Gary came home and he walked by it.

Gary: Ran through the kitchen to quickly eat and take a shower and go back out and work a show.

Female: Two or three days went by like this and I moved that brochure from the counter, put it on the dining room table, put it back on the counter. And I actually threw it in the garbage. As I threw it in that garbage can, I could hear him and see his face saying, "Would you give it to him please?" And I actually took the garbage out. Then--and that night, lying in bed, I kept seeing his face and hearing his voice and thinking, "Oh boy, I've got to get that brochure out of the garbage." And I took that and I put it right underneath the remote control. Bright colors, he'll see it.

Gary: I finally sat down in my living room and I picked up the remote and I saw that angel holding out that scroll.

Female: "Whoa, cool. What is this?" And I was in the kitchen, cooking, and I thought, "Oh no."

Gary: And I looked at it and I turned it over and then I saw a little building, a little church building, and it wasn't too far away. It was about six houses down and it said, "Friday night."

Female: And I certainly wasn't going. I mean, it wasn't my intention to go.

Gary: I didn't have any shows going on that night and so I thought it was a one-night deal. I went and as I heard about the Millennium, man, I was just blown away. I didn't want it to end. I knew what I was hearing was all from the scripture and it wasn't based on Hollywood movies or other books that were written. They said, "Come again tomorrow night," and I thought, "Wow, great, two nights." So I tried to tell my wife about it and she still wasn't interested and then she decided to come.

Female: I started to hear the truth, you know, and I started to get fed.

Gary: Every night after the seminar, they would hand us an Amazing Facts study guide. I couldn't do those fast enough.

female: The business kept us going seven days a week and it was night and day.

Gary: Crews working all around the clock and so when we finally heard the Sabbath message, you know, so far everything's been true, right from the Bible.

female: Church on Saturday, no work. Anyway, it all clicked.

Gary: Both our heads turned at each other, our jaws dropped open.

female: I said, "We can't do that."

Gary: And the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "We have to."

female: I knew that it would be a sacrifice and I was in fear about it.

Gary: We didn't know how we were going to do it but we talked to the pastor about it and the pastor said, "Well, just pray about it and God will open doors."

female: I didn't want to give up all the connections I had made, all the networking, all the money, all the investment.

Gary: We went to the board and asked them if they would consider closing on Saturday and they agreed to. So we closed the storefront on Saturday but we were still doing productions and that kind of bothered us. So a couple of months later, God opened a door for my wife. She exited the company. I prayed about it and God opened a door for me too.

female: Gary, shortly after, was offered a job being paid more money than he made as an owner of the company. Gary: He said, "I'll give you a $1000 raise and you will never work another weekend." female: And we were able to keep the Sabbath and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God had for us on the Sabbath day.

Gary: My kids never again had to say, "Quit talking about work." After the seminar was over, my wife and I and my children were all baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Even if I gave up everything, I knew that God would have something better.

female: I have much more understanding and there's much more depth in my Christian walk with the Lord.

Gary: We started an Amazing Facts Bible School at our church. It allows anybody to understand the scriptures and to understand the end-times. Church changed my life dramatically, and I'm very happy and excited to be a part of it.

Announcer: Amazing Facts Changed Lives.

female: Well, my conversion story is when I was in the Philippines, I just graduated as a nurse and afterwards I did not have any religion and one time I found myself inside a small church, Catholic church, in Manila, and before a big cross. And I was kneeling before and I could hear Jesus telling me to enter the convent, save myself and also my family. And I said, "Lord, I would like to follow You all the way."

At that point, I seemed to be happy externally, but because inside the convent we don't read the Bible, we don't study about the Word of God. We prayed the rosaries, we also at the same time studied the lives of the saints and also our founders, and the encyclicals of the Pope and the Virgin Mary. And so I do not know the truth and I had this torture of conscience, the guilty feelings that cannot be resolved. So I would confess to the priest in the confessional box, saying, "Father, forgive me. Since my last confession was last week. Since then I have committed the following sin including the root cause, why am I falling and falling in that same sin over and over again."

And still for 21 long years, I struggle and I struggle and I struggle. I realized that I was totally empty, I was totally helpless and hopeless. And so depressed and so desperate that I would like already to end my life. I was working for five years as dean of the University of San Agustin College of Nursing in Iloilo City, one of the islands in the Philippines.

After five years I received a commission from my parents to help my sister who is being a battered woman. This is one of the reasons why I came over to United States. It is because my sister needs my help.

As I was working in the hospital in New York, my boss, Serafin, he was so gracious enough to give me an invitation to the Millennium Prophecy. As I was listening to Pastor Doug Batchelor's presentation, my heart really was beating so fast, and my mind, I'm able to grasp the truth, that this is the truth that I've been longing to hear all my life, that I have been seeking for so long. My personal relationship with Jesus, I can see Jesus as my personal Savior. He is not only the Savior of the whole world, but He is my personal Savior. He was the one who delivered me mightily from the depths of sin, from the mirey clay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor has been used by the Lord in my conversion. The Amazing Facts, I owe to them. The Lord really blessed this ministry and I'm so proud I was able to attend this Millennium Prophecy. My life has never been the same. It has given me the peace, the joy, that never--I have never tasted in my life, and now I am set free to be able to work for Him and to follow Him.

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