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Chorus Sung Before the Sermon: “I Will Make You Fishers of Men” (by Harry D. Clarke, 1888-1957).


by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, May 24, 2020

“As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30; p. 1100 Scofield).

Jesus told us that the people of Noah’s day were not ready for the judgment of the Great Flood. They were too busy with their own lives to prepare for judgment.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.” They also were too busy with their own lives to prepare for judgment.

Whatever else these verses mean, they certainly speak to the new-evangelicals living in America today! A Baptist pastor in Fresno, California wrote an article titled, “Seven ways Christians made church non-essential long before this quarantine.”

Then the pastor gave seven ways Christians make church non-essential. I am not going to give his list because all of the points show that the people who discount attending church are basically self-centered. The pastor ended by saying, “As we pray for our political leaders to make church essential in our nation, let’s all decide to make church essential in our personal lives.” What a weak statement!

Please stand and sing, “I Will Make You Fishers of Men.”

I will make you fishers of men, Fishers of men, fishers of men.
I will make you fishers of men, If you follow Me.
If you follow Me, If you follow Me,
I will make you fishers of men, If you follow Me.
     (“I Will Make You Fishers of Men” by Harry D. Clarke, 1888-1957).

You may be seated. Please turn to Acts 7:6-14 (p. 1157).

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“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 four hundred 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. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls” (Acts 7:6-14; p. 1157).

Two men named Joseph are prominent in the Bible. Joseph in the New Testament was the step-father of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Joseph of the Old Testament was the son of Jacob. I speak this afternoon of the Joseph of the Old Testament. Joseph was the last of the seven great saints spoken of in the Book of Genesis. The seven were Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. More chapters of Genesis speak of Joseph than any of the others. Arthur W. Pink said,

It is Joseph’s life which explains the remarkable [growth] of the Hebrews from a mere handful of wandering shepherds to a [large] colony in Egypt. But no doubt the [main] reason why the life of Joseph is described with such fulness of detail is because almost everything [in his life] typified something in connection with Christ...between [Joseph’s] history and that of Christ we may trace fully a hundred points of analogy! (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Press, 1981 reprint, pp. 342, 343).

Joseph is clearly a type, or picture of the coming Christ. Some have said that there is no antitype of Joseph in the New Testament. The Scofield Bible note on Genesis 37:2 says “It is nowhere asserted that Joseph was a type of Christ.” That is wrong. The four Gospels in the New Testament show that Joseph’s life in many ways is a type, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the antitype, the fulfillment of the type. As the Scofield note goes on to say, “the analogies are too numerous to be accidental.” Arthur W. Pink gave “a hundred points of analogy” – comparisons between Joseph and Jesus the Son of God. I will certainly not be able to give all 100 of them in this sermon. But I will give you several of the more important ones.

1. First, the birth of Joseph and the birth of Jesus were both miracles.

Joseph’s mother was Rachel, the wife of Jacob. She was not able to have a child. She cried to her husband, “Give me children, or else I die” (Genesis 30:1; p. 44). He rebuked her and said, “Am I in God’s stead?” – am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children? But several years later, we read, “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son... And she called his name Joseph” (Genesis 30:22-24; p. 44). Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “The birth of Joseph was miraculous in that it was by the intervention of God as an answer to prayer. The Lord Jesus is virgin born. His birth was certainly miraculous!” (Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981, vol. 1, p. 150). The angel said to the Virgin Mary,

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”
(Luke 1:35; p. 1071).

2. Second, both Joseph and Jesus were special objects of their father’s love.

Genesis 37:3 says, “Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age” (p. 53). When Jesus was baptized, as He came up from the water the voice of God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; p. 997).

3. Third, both Joseph and Jesus began their earthly ministry at the age of thirty.

Genesis 41:46 says, “Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (p. 59). That is when Joseph began the main work of his life. The New Testament tells us, “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age” when He began the main work of His life on earth (Luke 3:23; p. 1075).

4. Fourth, both Joseph and Jesus were hated by their brethren.

We are told in Genesis 37:8,

“And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words”
(Genesis 37:8; p. 54).

Joseph’s brothers hated him because his father loved him so much, “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him” (Genesis 37:4). They hated Joseph and said, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us?” (Genesis 37:8). In the New Testament, Jesus said, “His citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14; p. 1102). And Jesus said, “They hated me without a cause” (John 15:25; p. 1137). Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “Joseph is approaching his brothers, and they are plotting against him. He is wearing that coat of many colors...which was a mark of position. We must remember that Joseph was younger than his brothers yet he was in a position above them. So there is all this hatred and jealousy – to the point of murder!” (McGee, ibid.; note on Genesis 37:18-20).

5. Fifth, both Joseph and Jesus were conspired against by their brethren.

Genesis 37:18 says,

“And when they saw [Joseph] afar off...they conspired against him to slay him” (p. 54).

In the New Testament we read,

“Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him” (Matthew 26:3, 4; p. 1036).

6. Sixth, both Joseph and Jesus were sold for several pieces of silver.

Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit. When some Arab tradesmen passed by, they “sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver” (Genesis 37:28; p. 54).

When Judas betrayed Jesus, he went to the chief priests, “and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver [Jesus] unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15; p. 1037).

7. Seventh, both Joseph and Jesus had bloody coats.

After Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Arabs “they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood” (Genesis 37:31; p. 54). They took the coat of the Lord Jesus and gambled for it as He died on the Cross.

“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout” (John 19:23; p. 1142).

8. Eighth, both Joseph and Jesus were separated from their brethren for a long time.

Dr. McGee said,

“After Joseph was sold into Egypt, he was lost sight of for many years. Christ ascended up into heaven. He told His disciples that they should see Him no more until His return” – at His Second Coming.

9. Ninth, both Joseph and Jesus went down into darkness.

Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt, a type of darkness and death. Jesus’ dead body was sealed in the darkness of a tomb.

Dr. M. R. DeHaan said, “Joseph was stripped of his raiment and cast into the pit to die, but he came out of the place of death alive” – just as Jesus arose from the tomb on Easter Sunday morning (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., Portraits of Christ in Genesis, Zondervan Publishing House, 1966, p. 171). David said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10; p. 605). The Apostle Peter, in Acts 2:31, said this spoke of Christ. Thus, both Joseph and Jesus went down into darkness, and came up, as from the dead.

10. Tenth, both Joseph and Jesus became saviours of the world.

After Joseph was sold to the Arabs for 20 pieces of silver he was sent to Egypt. There in Egypt the typology of him and Jesus became very rich. Dr. DeHaan said,

“Joseph...was sent into Egypt [a picture of the world. He] became a servant [as did Jesus]. He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and cast into prison. He attempted no defence, and in prison he was numbered with the transgressors [as was Jesus, on the Cross]. While in the prison of rejection, he became the saviour of the king’s butler but the judge of the king’s baker [typifying the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus]. The butler was set free, and [later] mentioned Joseph’s name to the king who had a terrifying, mysterious dream. Joseph was called and interpreted the dream for Pharaoh [‘Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine...and the famine shall consume the land,’ Genesis 41:29, 30; p. 58]. Joseph was exalted on high” (DeHaan, ibid., p. 171).

Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he called him “a man in whom the Spirit of God is” (Genesis 41:38; p. 59). Then the Pharaoh made Joseph his prime minister, second only to the Pharaoh himself. Joseph had the people of Egypt store up food during the seven plenteous years. Then the next seven years of famine began.

“And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands” (Genesis 41:55-57; p. 59).

Thus Joseph became the saviour of the world. Dr. McGee said, “I call your attention to the fact that Joseph is the one who had the bread. There is another parallel here. Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger’” (John 6:35; p. 1123), McGee, ibid., p. 168; note on Genesis 41:54, 55.

“And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn [or grain]; because that the famine was so sore in all lands”
(Genesis 41:57; p. 59).

The people of the world came to Joseph to get bread. And Jesus said He is the bread of life – “he that cometh to me shall never hunger.” As people throughout the world came to Joseph for bread, so you must come to Jesus to be saved. Joseph saved people throughout the world, who came to him. Jesus saves people throughout the world who come to Him by faith.

Joseph’s brothers heard there was corn in Egypt. So they went to Joseph to buy what they needed. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Joseph had been in Egypt for a long time. He was dressed as an Egyptian. They did not recognize him. When they came the second time, Joseph was ready to reveal himself to them.

Now I want you to open your Bible to Genesis 45:1 (p. 63). Joseph was now alone with the brothers who figuratively killed him, casting him in a pit, to be sold as a slave in Egypt. Now they stand before him, as the prime minister of all Egypt. They do not yet know who he is, but he knows them. I am going to read the first five verses of Genesis 45. This is one of the most emotionally moving passages in all the Bible. Look at it with me.

“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:1-5; p. 63).

Look up, please. Listen to Dr. McGee’s comments,

[Joseph] breaks down and begins to weep. No one knows why except Joseph. His own brethren at this time do not know... the day is coming when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to make Himself known to His brethren, the Jews. When He came the first time, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). In fact, they delivered Him up to be crucified. But when He comes the second time, He will make Himself known to His own people. “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6). Christ will make Himself known to His brethren. And “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1). It will be a family affair between the Lord Jesus and His brethren. This episode of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers gives us a little [hint] of how wonderful that day of Christ’s revelation will be (McGee, ibid., p. 179; note on Genesis 45:1, 2).

I have been studying the prophetic Scriptures for well over sixty years. The Bible plainly teaches the salvation of all the Jewish people throughout the world on that wonderful day. Please turn to Romans 11:25, 26 (p. 1205).

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:25, 26; p. 1205).

It is a mystery (musterion), something we cannot understand, that “blindness in part is happened to Israel – until the fulness [full number] of the Gentiles [non-Jewish Christians] be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [Zion] the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:25, 26).

“And so all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26). I once read these words to a Baptist pastor trained in a liberal seminary. He said, “That’s not what it means!” I said, “I didn’t tell you what it means. I just read those words to you.” “And so all Israel shall be saved.” Let the words stand as they were written! Like Joseph, the Lord Jesus will come, weeping with love and sorrow, to embrace His own deeply-loved people, the Jews. “And so all Israel shall be saved.” It is the Word of God! Let it stand as written!

And Jesus loves lost Gentiles as well. Joseph provided life-giving food to the whole world, “And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn” (Genesis 41:57; p. 59). Jesus is our Joseph. Come to Him. He will cleanse you from all sin with His precious Blood. He will give you eternal life by His resurrection from the dead. I plead with you to repent and come to Jesus. Trust Jesus. Only trust Him now. He will save you from your sin.

On the day that Jesus ascended back to Heaven He spoke to His Disciples. Turn to Acts 1:8 and stand as I read it.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:8, 9; p. 1148).

Jesus left the salvation of the world in our hands. Jesus said,

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19; p. 1044).

As Joseph in Genesis became a saviour of the world in his day – so we are commanded by Jesus to save people in our day! I will speak on this again soon.

Soul-winning is not an option. It is a command of Christ to us. Please stand and sing, “I Will Make You Fishers of Men.”

I will make you fishers of men, Fishers of men, fishers of men.
I will make you fishers of men, If you follow Me.
If you follow Me, If you follow Me,
I will make you fishers of men, If you follow Me.
    (“I Will Make You Fishers of Men” by Harry D. Clarke, 1888-1957).