The story of Joseph in Genesis can give us remarkable revelations about Last Days
prophecy that may be more obscure in other passages of Scripture. As the most complete
prophetic type of the life of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Scriptures, of both His
first coming and second coming, we may be able to glean details of coming future
events that other prophetic passages only hint at. We can also attain an understanding
of the deeper meaning and purpose of these events that are about to unfold in the
The story of Joseph is a prophetic type of the life of Christ
As a prophetic type, or a foreshadowing event for the life of Christ, the story of
Joseph foretells the rejection, death, resurrection, and second coming of the Lord.
It delves deep into the relationship of Jesus to his Jewish kinsmen. Even though
rejected and sentenced to death, Joseph is raised from the pit to be sold as a slave
in Egypt, where he is falsely accused and imprisoned. His divine gift of foreseeing
the future by interpreting dreams brings him to Pharaoh’s attention where he successfully
interprets the king’s disturbing dreams and so is made the ruler of Egypt, second
only to Pharaoh himself.
Pharaoh’s dream of abundance and famine
The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream told of a seven year famine that was about
to come upon the whole world. It also told of a seven year period of abundance and
prosperity that would immediately precede the famine. Joseph was given the responsibility
to gather grain during this seven year agricultural boom as a savings account against
the prophesied seven years of severe famine.
In the end, Joseph was used to not only enrich the house of Pharaoh, but to save
his own family as well. The story ends with Joseph reconciled with his brothers and
father in Egypt where they prosper and grow to become the nation of Israel.
Famine in the Hebrew Scriptures is symbolic of the Tribulation
Famine, especially a seven year famine is a prophetic type of the seven year Tribulation
period that will immediately precede the coming of Christ. But Pharaoh’s dream has
another aspect that is not precisely detailed in any other biblical description of
the Tribulation: seven years of abundant harvest. But will there be seven years of
abundance that will precede the Tribulation period of the Last Days? I say yes.
The seven years of good harvest in Pharaoh’s dream allowed Joseph to save and prepare
for the seven years of famine. If there is to be seven years of abundance just before
the Tribulation, it is obviously to be a time of preparation, a period of grace to
prepare the saints for the terrible events to come.
Seven years of economic and spiritual abundance
But is this time of abundance to be a spiritual period of abundance, a great opportunity
for evangelism, discipleship, and church growth, or primarily an economic boom? The
answer may be both. Today the world is more open to preaching of the Good News of
Christ than at any other time in history. There is also a broad prosperity and a
cultural similarity around the world that is unprecedented in history. Radio, TV,
Internet and cell phones have made communicating the Gospel almost ubiquitous. Advanced,
mechanized agricultural techniques have created an abundance of food in most countries
of the world. Even China, which many academic “experts” predicted could not possibly
feed their billion plus population, can easily feed their growing numbers under capitalism,
even though millions starved to death there under socialism just decades before.
We can probably expect that the seven year economic boom prophesied in Pharaoh’s
dream may include both an unprecedented numbers of people coming to Christ as well
as an opportunity to strategically prepare for the famine and other dangerous aspects
of the Tribulation. It may be a seven year period of grace that the Lord will give
the Church and Israel to prepare, while the carnal world remains oblivious to, “the
hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those
who dwell on the earth.”Revelation 3:10.
Food will be the currency of the Tribulation
Some may save millions of dollars in banks and investments or hoard millions in gold,
but they will be worth little if food cannot be bought at any price. “A quart of
wheat for a day’s wage… and do not damage the oil and the wine,” is declared at the
opening of the third seal in Revelation 6:6.
The average day’s wage in a western country is about $150 a say. A single farm truck
full of some 200 bushels of wheat will be worth about a million dollars during the
Tribulation. The average person will work all day just to make enough to have something
to eat that day; the bare subsistence of a socialist economy. Like Stalin did in
the Ukraine, the world will be starved into submission.
Walk into any supermarket today and it is hard to imagine with all the shelves stuffed
with every conceivable type and variety of food product, a world where just the bare
essentials: bread, wine, and oil will be hard to come by. But the third seal of famine
comes on heels of the second seal of war. The devastating war at the beginning of
the Tribulation will destroy much of the manufacturing, agricultural, and distribution
infrastructures in the world. America will be no exception. Our isolation as a land
mass will not protect us this time. Either a civil war, the takeover by a socialist
tyranny, or an outright defeat in a world war will ruin our ability to produce food
for the third most populous nation in the world. Even today, radical governments
like Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea are making evil alliances against the U.S.
and Israel, working to bring about our destruction just as the Nazis, Fascists and
Japanese did during World War II, and the Marxists did during the cold war. Our enemies
within are also endlessly scheming to criminalize Christianity and replace our democratic
government with an anti-Christian totalitarian socialist regime.
Biblical principals of obedient preparation
Joseph was given 7 years of plenty to prepare for the 7 year famine. He stored up
20% of all of Egypt’s abundant harvest for 7 years against the 7 years of prophesied
Noah was warned to prepare food and enter the ark 7 days before the flood began.
Rahab was warned 7 days before the 7 day battle of Jericho to make plans to save
The Shunnamite woman was warned by Elisha of an immanent 7 year famine.
Israel was promised abundant crops before the land was rested on the Sabbatical Year.
By instruction only
These types of preparation were to be made only at specific times and only under
specific instruction by the Lord. Hoarding food and wealth in normal times as a substitute
for trusting God is clearly condemned in the Scriptures.
Using the seven years of prosperity to prepare for the Tribulation
We can look back in American history and see other boom times: the roaring twenties,
the post-war boom of the fifties, and the tech boom of the nineties. Many people
used these prosperous times to borrow money and buy things they didn’t really need
like big houses and expensive cars, as if the prosperity would last forever. The
world will likely do much the same thing as this last period of economic good times
occurs. But the believer who is familiar with the prophetic Scriptures should use
it to prepare for the world-shattering events predicted to take place during the
seven year Tribulation.
Basic preparation in the seven years before the Tribulation
1. Receive Christ through faith, become born-again, and have assurance of salvation
2. Continue in Bible study, prayer, evangelism and fellowship with other believers
3. Set aside at least 20% of your income and/or resources each of the seven years
4. Strive for financial independence, favor commodities (gold, silver, land, grain)
over paper money
5. Make plans to cache food and supplies against the day when the store shelves are
6. Become skilled at self-sustained living: grow your own food, make your own electricity
7. Buy vehicles that get extremely good gas mileage, or can also run on alternative
8. Become knowledgeable about first aid, medical emergencies, and disease control
9. Be prepared for disasters, wars, famines, pestilences, persecution and rampant
10. Make contingency plans for moving quickly to another location if your family
is in danger
Preparing for the Tribulation strategically may be even more important than preparing
food and supplies. What would the Jews of Europe had done if they had known what
Hitler and the Nazis were planning? First they would have warned each other, then
they would have probably left the countries the Nazis took over. During the Tribulation
there will undoubtedly be places that will be safer than others. Understanding that
the political powers of the world will weave a web of lies and deceit in order to
destroy all opposition will be important to staying out of situations that will mean
certain death. Don’t let yourself be manipulated, fooled, or led into vulnerable
situations where you have no control over what happens to you and your family.
Being born again, having a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, having
assurance of salvation; and developing a strong faith, an effective prayer life,
involvement in evangelism, and a good grasp of the Scriptures, will be essential
to endurance and fruitfulness during the challenging years of the Tribulation. It
will be a time of great deception, with intense pressure to capitulate to the apostasy
that so many churches will succumb to. Many Christians today are being led astray
by the false teaching of an invisible, pre-Tribulation Coming. There are two clear
warning in the Scripture about this: Matthew 24:25-27 and II Thessalonians 2:1-4.
The Lord gave us a very comprehensive description of the Last Days with specific
instructions to follow, to help us stay strong in faith and resist the deceptions
and dangers we will encounter. Knowing and heeding His prophetic Word will prove
to be the key to prospering spiritually in the darkest days of history.
Instructions to the Tribulation Church, “Behold, I have forewarned you.”
We can list specific verses of Scripture to instruct us during the Tribulation
1. “See to it that no one misleads you.” Many false prophets will come in His name
to mislead many. Matthew 24:4
2. Understand that wars, famines, and earthquakes will come first as birth pains.
3. Understand that first, “They will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you,
and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” Matthew 24:9
4. Understand that, “Many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.”
5. Understand that, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13.
6. Jews in Israel should flee to the mountains when they see the Abomination of Desolation
set up. Matthew 24:15-22.
7. Reject those who tell you that the Lord will come secretly or invisibly. Matthew
8. Understand that the coming of the Son of Man will be like the lightning that flashes
in the east and is seen in the west and “every eye will see Him.” Matthew 24: 27,
9. Learn all you need to know to recognize when He is near. Matthew 24:32-33.
10. Be on the alert at all times for no one knows the exact the day or hour of His
coming. Matthew 24:32,33,42
11. Never doubt His promise that He will bring the prepared, alert and prayerful
believer safely through the Tribulation: “But keep on the alert at all times, praying
that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36.
Caution about getting involved with Apocalyptic groups
There are a lot of Post-Tribulation and End of Days groups who claim to be Christian
or Evangelical but many push some very erroneous teachings and practices. Some of
them are even dangerous. When dealing with any ministry, group, or individual who
claims to be Christian, make sure to get a clear statement of their teachings and
beliefs and make sure it spells out sound Evangelical doctrine. Groups that push
legalism and denial of eternal security seem to be common among Post-Tribulation
adherents. Avoid all racist, authoritarian and para-military type organizations,
especially those that condone violence or criminal activity. Avoid any person or
group that claims to have some exclusive insight, authority, anointing, prophetic
office or only true Church claim. Some groups that check out doctrinally can still
have some very harmful personalities or practices among them. For an good example
of a statement of faith see Shared Beliefs.
Most likely dates for the Tribulation and Second Coming:
There is good Biblical reason to believe that the Tribulation will be preceded by
a seven year period economic prosperity. The seven years of plenty that preceded
the seven years of famine in the story of Joseph, as well as other instances of instructions
to prepare for impending tribulation type events in the Hebrew Scriptures all establish
a biblical principal of a period of preparation according to Divine Instruction.
The Lord Jesus pointedly stated “Behold, I have forewarned you,” so the Church, as
well as every believer, should consider themselves under His clear instruction to
be alert, informed, prepared and prayerful about exactly that which will transpire
during the Tribulation so, “...that you may have strength to escape all these things
that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36.