End time allegories are generally stated within the Scriptures themselves. A good example of this is the parable of the tares among the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-40). There are many good allegorical teachings concerning this parable, but when using it to minister about the end time harvest, Revelation 14:14-20 is the only way it can be interpreted. Any other application perverts the plan of God and cause believers to miss what God wants to do. Today, a host of inaccurate teachings about what the harvest is all about has churches trying to conduct a harvest that doesn't exist.
End Time Anointings
The best way to allegorically apply Scripture to any time period is to apply Scriptural principal in the lives of the people living at the time. When applied in the lives of individuals living in the last days, those principals will manifest and work themselves out as anointings (divine enablements or gifts) during the end times. There will not be an end time company of Josephs because the Scripture specifically calls for one, but because a group of individual believers will operate according to Joseph principals during the end times.
It won't be a structured network or a church organization, but anointed individuals flowing in the unity of God's Spirit under a Joseph anointing. Personally, I believe that all the anointings of God's servants of the past, (Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, etc.) are designed by God to manifest in the lives of His people during the last days. It's part of the fullness of Christ and the restoration of all things.
The Joseph Anointing
When it comes to the Joseph anointing, there are a lot of confusing allegorical interpretations being applied to the end time church. Because the Joseph anointing has to do with wealth, there seems to be a tendency that some people have to misapply Joseph's gifting in a way that best promotes their agenda (physical buildings, church programs, organizational networks, or business enterprises). This is generally cause by the love of money combined with the spirit of manipulation and control that permeates the church today.
We cannot allegorically twist the Scriptures to say whatever we want them to say in order to validate our program. Remember, this was one of the reasons why the church strayed so far from the Hebraic roots of God's word after the second century.
Literally speaking, Joseph was ordained and anointed by God to warn Pharaoh and Egypt (leaders and their governments) that a famine was coming and how they should physically prepare for it. Although he was ordained by God, he was empowered (authorized) by Pharaoh to do what he did. This was the same scenario that Daniel operated under in Babylon. God used both of them to affect the heart of the king so that God's purposes could be fulfilled. In both Joseph's and Daniel's case those plans were accomplished through the resources of Egypt and Babylon - i.e., the world system.
Some say that, because God owns everything, Pharaoh and/or Nebuchadnezzar allegorically speaks of God the Father. However, nowhere does Scripture even hint at the allegorical concept that the rulers of Egypt or Babylon could ever be referring to Jehovah. God only refers to them allegorically as sin, death, the world, or some form of judgment.
This application is generally used by church pastors, who are trying to bring Joseph's wealth into Father's storehouse of the institutional church in order to fund its programs. If the programs are from God, we should fund them as God leads. However, we don't have to misapply Scripture to do it.
Some say that Joseph's are called to set up a Christian financial system or network, which operates independent of the world system. However, Joseph's ministry didn't have a system separate from Egypt's, but clearly operated within the Egyptian (world) system.
In truth, neither Joseph nor Daniel owned very much. They were predominantly managers of the government's resources. Nor did they do what ever they wanted to with those resources. In Joseph's case, both a goal and a plan were laid out before Pharaoh, and he empowered Joseph to carry them out (Gen. 41:33-37).
Even though Joseph was given authority over all Egypt, there was no mistaking that the authority came from Pharaoh. Joseph may have manipulated Pharaoh a little, but he always understood that Pharaoh was in charge (Gen. 46:33 - 47:6).
This doesn't mean that all end time Joseph's have to work for the government, only that they must be operating within the world's system and submitted to the government's laws (Rom. 13:1-6). Every attempt by Christians to set up some type of business organization or financial network that operates outside the world system has failed. That's because it's not part of the Joseph anointing or God's plan for the last days.
Many are confused at why Joseph would make the Egyptians store up their own grain during the "years of plenty" and then force them to buy it back during the "years of famine." Most ancient Rabbis understood that Joseph bought the grain for Pharaoh's storehouses during the seven years of plenty when prices were low. When the famine came, he simply sold grain to the Egyptian people and the nations of the world as a matter of conducting state business (Gen. 41:56-57).
Sometimes Christians assume certain things that just don't make any sense in the real world. If Joseph would have forced the Egyptians to buy back their own grain, they would have cursed him, but they didn't. Even after they lost everything and became Pharaoh's slaves, they blessed Joseph for his forward thinking that delivered them from death (Gen. 47:20-26).
This principle was best expressed by Solomon when he said, "He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, but blessing will come on the head of him who sells it" (Proverbs 11:26).
Joseph was a Forerunner
Many teach that Joseph was a type of Christ, and those with his anointing will save God's people in the last days. Although Joseph possessed Christ like attributes, I believe Joseph was more of a forerunner who was sent to help preserve life during the famine. This is clearly seen in when Joseph says to his brothers, "And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here [to Egypt]; for God sent me before you to preserve life" (Gen. 45:5).
Joseph was more accurately preparing the way for Moses, who was very clearly a type of Christ. Moses would save and deliver God's people out of the Egypt (sin, death, and the world) through the blood of the Passover lamb that represented Jesus. This is an allegory that is clearly established in the Apostolic writings of the New Testament (Acts 3:22; 1 Cor. 5:7-8).
My point is that Joseph's ministry is a prophetic forerunner ministry similar to that of Elijah's and Ezekiel's. In the last days, this anointing warns the people of the coming difficulties (famines, judgments, etc.) and then helps prepare them in spirit soul and body for the day of Christ (Luke. 1:17; 1 Thess. 5:23). We are quickly approaching the end of the age, and the season of the forerunner ministries is here.
As a forerunner, the Joseph anointing provides a place that sustains the spiritual, mental and physical lives of God's people. In Egypt, this place was called Goshen. Goshen was the "best of the land," but it was also a somewhat isolated region. Joseph's purpose for putting Israel in Goshen was to sanctify them as far from Egyptian culture as possible. This way they were in Egypt (the world) without being of it. This has always been God's way (John 17:15).
Don't read more into this Scripture than is there. Some are teaching that Goshen literally means, "near to God" because of Gen. 45:10, and that today Goshen represents a network, or a system, or a geographic location were large numbers of Christians will gather to be safe in the last days. Again, this type of reading into the Scripture is generally done in order to legitimize someone's program.
Goshen is the Hebrew word #1657 in the Strong's concordance, and it's simply defined as: "Goshen, the residence of the [Israeli's] in Egypt." Goshen was given its name long before Joseph ever arrived in Egypt. It's important to note that Goshen is also called the "land of Rameses" (literally spelled Ra-ameses), which was named impart after the Egyptian sun god "Ra" (Gen. 47:6-11).
When Joseph said he wanted Israel in Goshen, it was so they would be sanctified from Egypt and geographically near to him (Joseph), not Him (God). The Lord doesn't actually set Goshen apart and protect it until He starts His judgment on Egypt through Moses' ministry (Ex. 8:22-23). During that time, God refers to Goshen as the place where Israel was already living (vs. 22).
In fact, the real division was not between the land of Goshen and the land of Egypt, but between God's people Israel and Pharaoh's people Egypt. However, because Israel was living in Goshen, the land was protected also (vs. 23). God doesn't protect programs He protects His people.
This protection was supernatural and separate from any program or project. Even Joseph's God ordained food storage was just a temporary natural project to help them survive the famine. Although Israel eventually went into enslavement, the food storage allowed them to survive as a people until Moses brought deliverance through the blood of the Passover Lamb.
Likewise, today's Joseph projects1 are temporary ministry designed to help God's people through the famine (difficult times) and prepare for the Lord's coming. Eventually, a new Pharaoh will arise as the antichrist to enslave the world (Ex. 1:8-11; Rev. 13:7-8, 16-18). I believe that God supernaturally protects His people during the early stages of antichrist's rule just before the harvest when he reaps (raptures) His people into the Kingdom of God (Rev.11:3-6; 14:14-20).
Therefore, today's Goshen is simply that place where God has individually called us to be. This pertains not only to our physically dwelling, but our job, our investments, our church, our spiritual growth, etc. In other words, God will provide a place were we can be sanctified in the world without being of the world, so we might disciple the nations (John 17:15).
1 The difference between a Joseph project and a religious program is that a Joseph project is a Spirit empowered campaign that produces the fruit of God's kingdom for a specific time and purpose, while a religious program is a work of the flesh which becomes an Icon that goes nowhere and never seems to end.
A Famine Of God's Word
A purely spiritual allegory, that is very applicable for the end time church, would be that today's Josephs are called to preserve God's people during the spiritual famine of the last days. This famine is a famine of the true Word of God that seems to come during the inflationary collapse of the world's financial system (Amos 8:4-11).
In this allegorical application, end time Josephs are called to provide the necessary resources to teach, train, activate and release God's people to fulfill the New Covenant mandate of writing God's Torah (laws) on their hearts (Jer. 31:31-33). This work is spearheaded by full time five-fold ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers). However, in the home, fathers train and activate their children, and in the business world, elder market place ministers disciple those of like calling.
Beware Of The Nimrod Spirit
Over spiritualizing Old Testament Scripture can be dangerous, because we might mistakenly believe that God will do something He has no intention of doing. However, being to literal can be almost as dangerous.
Believers who are overly aggressive about building any type of physical building, end time organization, or religious program run the risk of being seduced by the Nimrod spirit. The Nimrod spirit is always saying, "Come let us build for ourselves a city and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth" (Gen. 11:4).
This spirit always wants to build some religious program that becomes an idol it can identify with. When that happens, the builders generally find themselves manipulating people, circumstances, money, and Scripture to keep their program (city and tower) going.
The Lord has shown me that the confusion in the church surrounding all the different religious programs is coming from him. It's the same confusion that He released on Nimrod's program at the tower of Babel, when they tried to build something that was not of God (Gen. 11:7). It's also the same confusion that he allows to come on His people when they walk in rebellion to His commandments and execute a plan that is not His, and trust in Egypt (the world) for their safety (Ezra 9:7; Ps. 44:15; Is. 30:1-6 KJV).
Building the church is not about religious programs. It's about Jesus building the individual members of His body up into a temple made of living stones that are being transformed into His image (1Pet. 2:4-5).
Where Are All the Josephs?
Many times I hear rich people referred to as Josephs. However, I don't believe that this necessarily the case. Most of today's rich people are rich in debt: debt based investments, leverage stocks, mortgaged real estate, and empty paper promises called currency. They have the image of prosperity, but they are actually slaves to their lenders.
When the full shaking comes on the world's system, these will find themselves to be among the church of Laodicea who thought they were rich and wealth and had need of nothing, but they were really poor and blind and wretched and miserable and naked (Rev. 3:14-22). These are not the Josephs of the last days.
Joseph didn't even know he was a Joseph until after his brothers came to Egypt (Gen. 45:5-7). I believe that most end time Josephs are still in the pit or serving in Potiphar's house, where God's word is testing them just like it did Joseph before he came into the fullness of his ministry (Ps. 105:16-19). When they are thoroughly tested and found to be faithful to God's in the small things, God will bring them out and give them charge over much (vs. 20-22).
Some true end time Josephs are just beginning to emerge. Everyone who is working to build up the body of Christ and restore God's word in the market-place during these last days, are end time Josephs. As we are faithful to study and teach and do God's Word (Ezra 7:10), God will send us Joseph projects that will be above all we can ask, hope or think possible.
A Delicate Balance
God is working in both the natural and the spiritual. Therefore, the allegorical application of any Old Testament anointings to God's people today must be done with the utmost care. I believe that there are six basic allegorical applications of the Joseph anointing that the end time church should expect to function in.
1. End time Josephs are forerunners who are called to warn government, church and business leaders that both a physical and spiritual famine are coming on the whole earth. This is only done at the direction of the Lord as He authorizes and opens the doors.
2. Joseph's primary anointing is to extract real wealth out of the world's system and judiciously channel it into the Kingdom of God as the Lord commands them. The goal is to use the finances of the world system to deliver the message of the Gospel, which saves and sanctifies man from sin and the world.
3. Josephs, who are government officials, attempt to influence their government to legislate biblically based law. They also use their influence to persuade their legislature that it would be wise to build up the nation's food and other crisis supplies.
4. Josephs, who are pastors of churches or one of the other five-fold ministries, are actively writing God's Torah on the hearts of the people in preparation for the spiritual famine that is coming. They also work closely with market-place ministers to establish Joseph projects as the Lord commands. They teach their people the Joseph principal of having a physical storehouse in preparation for the physical famine and other crisis. As the Lord leads, they prepare food storage in preparation of the coming famine (Act 11:27-30).
5. Josephs, who are market-place ministers, actively transfer the wealth of the world into the work of the Gospel. The Gospel of the Kingdom not only wins the lost, but teaches, trains, actives and releases believers in the ways and purposes of God. In other words, they should be actively discipling others who are called as market-place ministers and end time Josephs.
6. Individually, Josephs are writing the Torah indelibly on their hearts, so they can spiritually feed their family and others during the coming spiritual famine. They aggressively seek the Holy Spirit on what Joseph projects God wants them to support. As the Lord leads and provides, they also provide a storehouse of natural food to sustain their families during the coming crisis.
Don't make more out of the Joseph anointing than it is. To do so will only lead to financial ruin.
In Messiah Jesus,