The Emmaus Walk Presents:

"The Joseph Company"

by David Wilkerson

"Had I Been Joseph's Mother,"

by Ruth Bell Graham

Had I been Joseph's mother

I'd have prayed

protection from his brothers

"God, keep him safe.

He's so young,

so different from

the others."


she never knew

there would be slavery

and prison too.

Had I been Moses' mother

I'd have wept

to keep my little son:

praying she might forget

the babe drawn from the


of the Nile.

Had I not kept

him for her

nursing him the while.

was he not mine?

--and she

but Pharaoh's daughter?

Had I been Daniel's mother

I should have pled

"Give victory!

--this Babylonian horde

godless and cruel--

Don't let him be a captive

--better dead,

Almighty Lord!"

Had I been Mary,

Oh, had I been she,

I would have cried

as never mother cried,

"Anything, O God,


--but crucified."

With such prayers imnportunate

muy finite wisdom would assail

Infinite Wisdom.

God, how fortunate

Infinite Wisdom

should prevail.

Most Americans would recognize the term "company" used here is a military one, not a social one. It is in the same category as "brigade" or "unit" or "battalion." The Church of Jesus Christ is described in Scripture as an army, so this term is most appropriate. The Church of Jesus Christ is not, however, a club or a social, community-minded fraternity of some kind like the Elks or Rotarians--it is a body of believers who are soldiers for the truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all aiming at the taking of Satan's kingdom and seizing his booty, the souls of men and women he has captured and bound in sin. We are an offensive military organization, not organized in the usual worldly way, but in a spiritual way by Christ our Commander-in-Chief.

Joseph too was God's soldier, but he had to undergo extensive basic training so that he would be fitted ultimately to command the resources of Egypt for the preservation of the Jewish nation and people and the line of Judah that led to Jesus Christ himself.

Basic training is not, for those who know it or have experienced it as I have, not meant to be pleasant. It is mean to strip away the prior, soft, civilian life and replace that with a disciplined, fighting soldier trained to obey orders without question and to endure any hardship or danger involved in the unit's mission and field of battle. Joseph had to be wrenched from his privileged life as a favorite son of Jacob and suffer the loss of everything so that he could be made everything God wanted him to be.

Joseph became a blessing not only to the Jews and to us (through the line of Judah that led to Jesus Christ our Savior) but to the whole world. But first he had to undergo basic training. If it hadn't been for his enduring it, we would never have heard of him--he would have lived and died unknown to us. But he is now a name that will be renowned forever, because he is forever linked with Jesus, whom he most closely resembled in all he suffered and endured for God's sake.

This chapter is not merely to exalt Joseph, but to show us how God trains and equips a soldier in his army. How about it? Are you ready for basic training? It is absolutely necessary, if you or I are ever to be of real use to God in conquering Satan's strongholds and rescuing the souls imprisoned there.

This chapter will inspire us to endure basic training until we come out a superb soldier of God like Joseph did. Do you want to join the Joseph Company? David Wilkerson says it is a small body of last-day believers wholly given to God. That is the qualification or entry conditions. You can't be part of it with half a heart, or part-commitment. This role demands all you have, all you are, but gives you incomparably more in return if you persevere through the training.--Ed.

Is Your Greatest Trial God's Word to You?

I know of one Bible scholar who has discovered more than a hundred ways in which Joseph was a type of Jesus Christ. Yet, as much as I believe Joseph was a type of Christ, I also believe He was a type of last-day remnant--a people whom God is raising up right now to show His church how to break out of its spiritual famine.

Let me show you the Joseph Company--a small body of last-day believers wholly given to the Lord. They commune with God daily. They are led by the Spirit in every detail of their lives. And at this moment they are coming out of great trials and testings to enter a place of revelation, wisdom and fruitfulness. God is working in them, giving them His truth and knowledge. And the time is coming soon when He is going to call upon them as He did Joseph!

Right now, the cnhurch of Jesus Christ is growing increasingly worldly, sensual, wicked and cold. Our ministry receives literally thousands of letters from pastors and laypeople who are burdened by the conditions of their church. People complain that they don't heart convicting, life-changing sermons. Pastors complain that few want to hear the truth.

Yes, there are some powerful "lamp-stick" churches in America--full of light and glory and the hioliness of God. The pastors are on fire, preaching righteousness, and God is experiencing widespread spiritual famine: shallow sermons, dead hearers, "lively" worship that is not backed up by righteous living. A Laodicean blindness has fallen like a cloud over the eyes of multitudes who once were on fire for God.

Many true ministers of God are becoming disheartened. One pastor wrote recently: "A great number of godly pastors are being fired or found out by their churches. I resigned from my church last December 31. A colleague just ten miles away also left his church under a cloud. A third pastor sixty miles away submitted his resignation under duress. A fourth was fired by his church in October.

In my region, churches are not growing by making new converts, but from Christians moving around, shopping with a consumer mentality. It's a revolving door....Please find out for yourself how many men of God are heartbroken, defeated, discouraged--yet also slaying, 'Even so, come, Lord Jesus'!"

What is God's Solution to Such Backsliding and Famine?

God has always been at work far in advance of every spiritual famine in His church. In every generation He has moved ahead to prepare a way out for His people!

The seventy-five members of Joseph's clan would have died in the great worldwide famine (and the promise of Israel would have been destroyed) had not God been working ahead of it all. In fact, some twenty years before the famine hit, God was already setting in motion a plan to save His people from destruction: He sent Joseph ahead to Egypt! For twenty years God worked on this man--isolating him, trying him, preparing him for a place of authority--because Joseph was to become the life-saver of God's chosen. He kept Joseph from the limelight--to be discipled for a coming day of chaos and death.

Beloved, just as surely as God isolated Joseph, He has a Joseph Company today that is hidden from all eyes. These are in the furnace of affliction, prisons of testing, battlegrounds of trials and temptation. They are dying to this world, wanting nothing of its fame, honor, money or pleasure. And they are growing hungry to become more intimate with Christ--to know His heart and His voice.

You maynot understand all the mysterious testings, trials and troubles in your life. Buf if your heart is fully set on following Christ, you can rest assured God has purpose in it all: He is wanting to bring you into His Joseph Company!

There are three things that went into the making of Joseph as a tried and tested servant [and soldier of God]. And you too will experience these things if you are part of this last-day company:

1. Joseph Responded to the Spirit's Call to a Holy, Separated Life.

God's Spirit has always been calling mankind to Himself--to holiness, purity of heart and a separated life [see the connection with our own "Tobias Invasion" remarks on the Home page!--Ed].

Tragically, few ever respond--but in every generation God has a small remnant who do ansswer His call. They separate themselves, purify their lives and give themselves wholly to Him.

Joseph responded to God's call at a very early age [I responded relatively late, beginning at age 15, but actually continuing in my mid thirties after years of backsliding and much sin--Ed.]. And he had older brothers who received the same call to surrender, walk righteously and separate themselves. But they chose to remain in the world--and their walk with God was half-hearted.

There were at least two occasions when all of Jacob's sons received the Spirit's call very clearly. The first was at Shalem, in Shechem, when Jocob built an altar to THE GOD OF ISRAEL. Jacob called his son to the altar to become worshipers with him--to kneel before the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly. But Joseph's brothers instead turned to revenge and bloodshed. Whenh a Sheckemite defiled their sister Dinah, they rushed into the city, burning it down and killing every man, woman, and child (see Genesis 34). These ten brothers hadn't given themselves wholly to trust and serve God. No--their violence made Jacob a stench among the Canaanites!

Yet, God called out to them clearly once more, this time at Bethel Jacob knew his sons were bound with idolatry and were rejecting God's call to purity and righteousness. So he warned them: "...Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God..." (Genesis 35:2-3)

Beloved, this is one of the clearest calls in all of God's Word! The phrase "change your garments" in Hebrew means a moral and spiritual purification of the mind and heart. Outwardly, Jacob's sons surrendered: "And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings..." (verse 4). But their repentance was only on the surface; they never had a true heart change. They went right back to their rebellion, becoming full of hate, envy and strife!

There was something different about Joseph; his repentance had been from the heart. He had responded to the Spirit's call--and from the age of seventeen, he was wholly set on following the Lord. In the midst of a wicked, evil environment, Joseph maintained clean hands and a pure heart.

Now, Jacob had other sons who were born to Bilhah and Zilpah, his maid and concubine. These sons cared for the family flocks, and Joseph was sent out to work among them. But he was soon grieved, because his brothers spoke and lived like heathen. His pure heart was crushed by the wickedness in his own family. "...and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report (37:2). Joseph revealed his heart to his father: "You wouldn't believe the way they live, Father. They speak against your God and mine. They're grieving Him!"

Beloved, this is a mark of the Joseph's Company: they have a grief for sin! They have forsaken all idols and are in love with Jesus. Their hearts are aflame with His holiness. They see the sin in the land, but they are grieved most of all by the sin in the church. They cry out from their souls, "Oh, Father--look at what is happening among Your children!"

If you are a part of this last-day company, you can't overlook sin. Rather, something has to rise up in you that says, "Oh God, I can't stand what they're doing to Your name!" You begin to pray,--not against people, but against the inroads of demonic powers into the church of Jesus Christ.

Joseph's Father Favored Him, Clothing HIm With a Special Garment That Made Him Stand Out Among His Brethren.

Does our heavenly Father favor certain of His children? Or doesn't the Bible say God is no respecter of persons? When it comes to eternal salvation and His wonderful covenant promises, God treats all alike. But God also responds to all who respond wholeheartedly to His calling. He puts His special favor on those who yield their lives entirely to Him.

Job said: "Thou granted me life and favour..." (Job 10:12). And David said: "For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous, with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield" (Psalm 5:12). "Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong..." (30:7). Scripture also tells us: "And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord and also with men" (I Samuel 2:26).

The fact is, our heavenly Father puts a special garment on those who seek after Him and give Him their heart completely: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness..." (Isaiah 61:10).

Joseph responded to the Spirit's call, surrendering all,--and he received favor from his father. He was given a robe that set him apart. But that favor of his father was costly! It cost Joseph every relationship. It brought rejection, misunderstanding, mockery: "All his brethren hated him" (Genesis 37:4).

Why did Joseph's brothers turn on him? The key is in verse 11: "His brethren envied him. "When they saw the robe Joseph wore, they knew it spoke of favor, righteousness. And they hated it--because it reminded them of the Spirit's call they had rejected. Joseph was a reproach to their half-hearted lifestyle!

You see, Joseph's brothers sat around trading in petty gossip and self-centered talk. Their hearts were occupied with land, possessions, their future. But Joseph's mind was elsewhere. He spoke fo the things of God, of supernatural dealings. God had given him dreams, which in that day was synomymous with hearing the voice of God. Joseph was of a different cloth--and that difference made him hated and envied among his brothers. And, beloved, the same thing will happen to you if you are sold out to Jesus!

Lukewarm believers around you will want to talk about their houses and jobs--but you'd rather talk about eternal things, about what God is saying to you. Soon you'll become a reproach to their half-heartedness. They'll envy you--because you represent the call of the Holy Ghost they turned down.

Indeed, those of the Joseph Company remnant know all about rejection. They know the pain of being tagged a fanatic, a spiritual kook, an "unbalanced" believer" [people like to say of them that they are "so heavenly minded they are no earthly good"{--Ed.]. They tell their congregation, "This one is too far out. God does not expect such fanaticism!"

2. Joseph's Greatest Trial Was the Word of God He so Loved and Trusted.

" "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant, whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him" (Psalm 105: 17-19). Joseph was tested and tried in many ways--but his greatest trial was the word he had received!

Consider everything Joseph endured: At only seventeen, he was stirpped down and cast into a pit to starve to death. His cold-hearted brothers laughed at his pleas for mercy. He was sold to Ishmaelite traders, taken by caravan to an Egyptian slave market and then sold as a common sloave. Yet Joseph's greatest trial wasn't his rejection by his brothers. It wasn't the human indiginity of being made into a slave or being cast into prison. No--Joseph was confused and tried in spirit by the clear word he had heard from God! [His misfortunes seemed to run so contrary to the word he had received, his dreams from God that showed him being exalted above everyone!--Ed.].

God had revealed to Joseph through dreams that he would be given gtreat authority, and that he would use it for God's glory. His brothers would bow before him; even the sun, moon and stars would bow! He would be a great deliverer of many people.

I believe none of this was an ego trip to Joseph. His heart was so set on God that this word instead gave him a humble sense of destiny: "Lord, You have put Your hand on me to have a part in Your great, eternal plan. Oh God--why choose me?" Joseph was blessed just by knowing he would play an important role in bringing God's will to pass.

But all the circumstances in Joseph's life were just the opposite of what God had put in his heart. He was the servant--and he had to bow! How could he hold to such a word from God, that he would one day deliver multitudes, when he was a slave himself? He must have thought, "This doesn't make sense. How could God be "ordering my steps" into prison--into oblivion? He said I was going to blessed. He didn't tell me this was going to happen!"

For ten years, Joseph served in Potiphar's house faithfully--but in the end he was misjudged and lied about. His victory over temptation with Potiphar's wife only landed him in jail. During such times he must have pondered the awful questions: "Did I hear correctly? Or did my pride invent these dreams? Could my brothers have been right--that I'm too given over to this word? Maybe all these things are happening to me as discipline for some kind of selfish desire..."

Beloved, there have been times when God has shown me things He has wanted for me--ministlry, service, usefulness,--yet my every circumstance was the very opposite of that word. At such times I thought, "Oh God, this can't be You sapeaking--it has to be my flesh." I was being tried by God's word to me! Consider, too, the following:

+I know a dear pastor who is being tried by God's Word. He believes what the Bible says about healing--yet, for the past five years he has watched his wife deteriorate with a rare disease. He prays for the sick at his church--and then he come home to feed, dress and baathe his wife. He believes God for her healing, yet she grows worse every day. I see revealed in this man the grace and patience of Christ. He is one of the most loving, caring men of God I have ever met. And the tenderness he shows his wife now comes out in his ministry to his congregation.

+A dear sister wrote recently that over a year ago she finally determined to go all the way with Jesus. God began to reveal Christ in her--yet soon afterward, she discovered her husband was seeing prostitutes. He was staying out every night in bars and brothels. This woman was forced to leave her home and get a job to support her three children. The more devoted she became to Christ, the more her husband turned away from God. She coldn't understand why, when she set her heart on Christ, such an awful tragedy wold happen. But I sensed in her letter a power, a heavenly strength. She, too, is being tried by the Word. God has given her His promises--yet her circumstances are the exact opposite!

Even in the Midst of Every Trial and Hard Place, God Prospers His Joseph Company!

Even while Joseph was a servant in Potiphar's house, he was blsssed by God. And soon after he landed in prison, he prospered there as well. How did God prosper him? It wasn't with money or possessions; it wasn't with position. No--all along, God was prospering Joseph's spirit, speaking to his heart, giving him dreams and interpretations.

This is what kept Joseph going on with God. He had faith that, in spite of all his hardships and situations beyond his control, God was with him. Joseph was never for a moment without the manifest presence of the Lord--and that constant, abiding presence produced a peace within him.

I believe God must have longed to show Joseph the end of the story--to whisper to him, "Don't worry, Joseph. This is how it's going to end..." But he dared not--because Joseph was still in school!

You see, Joseph didn't know that one day he was going to "teach (Pharaoh's) senators wisdom" (Psalm 105:22). Yet how could he teach God's wisdom to Egypt's leaders unless he first had learned it himself? God's children learn such lessons only by faith. We get God's wisdom through trials, tribulations, hardships and testing. We don't pray--we live it out!

If you are in God's last-day Joseph Company, then you are learning to lean on Him in your trials. You're learning to trust and not complain--to rest in Him completely. You may not comprehend all the mysterious weays God has led you. In fact, everything aro0und may seem the very opposite of the word God has given you. But you're learning that in all things, Christ is your resource. And God is keeping you in school for the day when He willc all upon you!

3. The Day Came When It All Made Sense to Joseph! God Brought Everything Together--And Every Word and Promise Was Fulfilled to the Letter.

I believe it happened during Joseph's daarkest hour--when he was lonely, downcast, about to give up his dreams, quesitoning his place in God. Suddenly, the call came from one of the king's guards: "Joseph! Get cleaned up. Pharaoh is calling for you!"

In that moment, the Spirit of God must have come upon Joseph mightily. I believe his heart leapt--an excitement grew within him: He was about to understand what it was all ab out! As Joseph shaved and trimmed his hair, he probably thought, "This is the beginning of what God promised me. Now I know I heard from Him! The devil was not in control--my life hasn't been wasted. God has been directing everything the entire time!"

In a matter of minutes, Joseph was standing before Pharaoh, listening to his dream. He gave the interpretation of the coming famine and told Pharaoh he had to gather and store the nation's grain: "Someone must be in charge of the storehouses. You have to find a man who's full of wisdom to oversee it all!" (see Genesis 41). Pharaoh looked around--and then he turned to Joseph: "You, Joseph! I appoint you second ruler. Only I will have more power in the kingdom than you. You will oversee it all!"

How quickly things had changed! Within an hour, Joseph had gone from being a forsaken, unknown prisoner to the second most powerful man in Egypt. As he rode a royal chariot through the streets, the people were bowing before him--and suddenly he realized, his dream was being lived out.

I can just see Joseph riding along in deep but joyful contemplation. He must have relived every hard time of the past twenty years. He thought of all the trials and tests--of his brothers' rejection, and of being sold by them into slavery.

But now a joy came into his heart--because everything was coming together! He said, " Now I can see it. A famine is coming--and God is wanting to save my father and my brothers. He sent me ahead of them. This was His plan all along!"

The day came when Joseph stood before his brothers and was able to say: "But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20). "God sent me before you to preserve a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and keeper of all his house, and aruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (45:7-8). Joseph was saying, "God was behind this, every step of the way! Every hardship the devil brought upon me--even the harm you meant to me--God turned to good and made a part of His eternal plan!"

Dear saint, if you are part of this Joseph Company, very soon you're going to understand your present fiery trials. God is going to bring you into the promise He gave you--and suddenly it's all going to make sense. You'll see that He has never forsaken you. He had to take you this way--for He has been training you, preparing you, teaching you to trust Him in everything. He has planned a time for you to be used-- and that time is just ahead!

The Last-Day Evangelists Will Not Be Primarily in Pulpits--They Will be in the Congregation--Avoiding Attention, But Mightily Used!

A time is coming soon when there will be a spiritual famine such as the world has never seen. People are going to be starving spiritually on all sides. Yet the broken and famine-stricken will be taken one by one and told, "Come with me--I know someone full of Jesus. They've been tested, they've been through the fire, and they're full of the Holy Spirit. They will have a true word of deliverance for you!"

Beloved, already I see this happening! I know a number of the Joseph Company by name, because I've talked to them. They are able to give one the Bread of Life to the starving--because they have the keys to God's storehouse. They know the ways of the Lord, because they have come through their tests and trials with a grip on God. Something powerful is being revealed in them--and that is a heart fully persuaded that God ansswers prayer!

How are you responding to God's mysterious dealings with you? Are you fully persuaded that God is at work in all things, fulfilling His promises to you? Can you say, "It's enough right nbow that I know Jesus is with me--and He's prospering my spirit"?

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