Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to the record of one of the most interesting people in the book of GenesisJacob. Genesis gives us the record of nine great persons. The first fiveAdam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, and Noahare considered as five separate people. Although there was some spiritual relationship between them, strictly speaking, Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, and Noah have nothing to do with each other. However, when we come to the last fourAbraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Josephwe see that, as far as the experience of life is concerned, they should not be considered as four separate individuals. As we have pointed out, with Abraham we do not have the matter of selection. The first item in Abraham's record is calling. But according to the New Testament revelation, the experience of God does not begin with God's calling but with His selection. Firstly, God selected us; secondly, He predestinated us; and thirdly, He called us. After God's calling, we have forgiveness, redemption, justification, regeneration, and God's full salvation. In this we can see that with Abraham we do not have the beginning of the experience of God. The beginning is with Jacob, for in him we see God's selection. In Jacob's record, however, we do not find God's calling. Therefore, we say once again that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob plus Joseph are not four separate persons; they are four aspects of one complete experience in life. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with Joseph each represent an aspect of the experience of life. As we shall see, Jacob stands for the transformed life and Joseph represents the ruling aspect, the kingly aspect, of this transformed life.
According to the New Testament revelation, the believers were firstly chosen by God in eternity past before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). Secondly, the believers were predestinated according to God's selection. This also took place in eternity past. Then, in time, God called us. In God's calling, which follows His predestination, we receive forgiveness, redemption, justification, regeneration, and full salvation. In addition to all this, we must be transformed. Day by day we are under the process of God's transformation to be brought not only into the full sonship but also into the kingship. We were born sons of God, the royal sons, and we are undergoing the process of God's transformation that in the future we might be kings.
We do not see the kingship with either Abraham or Isaac. The kingship is with Joseph, who was a part of Jacob. When Jacob was welcomed in Egypt, apparently Pharaoh was the king over the world. Actually, the true reigning one was Joseph, not Pharaoh. But Joseph did not stand for himself; he stood for his father. Thus, at that time, the world was ruled by Jacob through Joseph.
All the saints are under the process of transformation in order to become kings. Hence, the proper, adequate, and complete experience of God goes from God's selection to our kingship. Selection was accomplished in eternity past, and the kingship will be for eternity future. Kingship is our destiny. In eternity past, God selected and predestinated us to be kings in eternity future. With Abraham we see neither the selection in eternity past nor the kingship in eternity future. In other words, Abraham's record has neither the beginning nor the ending of the experience of God, both of which are with Jacob. In Jacob's record, we have a very good beginning and also an adequate ending. Jacob, the heel-holder, the supplanter, was transformed into a prince of God. Eventually, he became Israel and was no longer Jacob. If we read the New Testament carefully, we shall see that the name of Israel ultimately appears in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:12). Although Israel is in the New Jerusalem, the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not found there.
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