One of the best trees in my orchard was shipped to me not only pre-pruned but also stripped. I was disappointed by its appearance, knowing the price! It actually looked like I was planting a stick, and for quite a while it was merely a stick. Then the day came when there was an explosion on the inside, it was now a stick loaded with spurs! Tree growers know the value of spurs, we want as many as possible. Today because of its shape and beauty, it is one of my favorites!

     The patriarch Jacob also had a favorite, his name was Joseph. "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:"(Gen.49:22) Joseph like my apple tree, was not only pruned but "stript". He is a perfect example of a stick growing into a fruitful bough. The Hebrew meaning of the name Joseph; is "God will increase"! "And it came to pass when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him;"(Gen. 37:23). It's obvious to me that "half brothers of religion" will strip full brothers out of true relationships! Here's the revelation; this first stripping of the coat of many colors signifies favor, sonship and birthright! To know the value and power of fruitfulness, we must understand stripping and pruning! The elect of God have experienced a coat dipped in our own blood just like Joseph and especially like Jesus!

     "And Potiphar's wife caught him (Joseph) by his garment, saying , Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled,"(Gen39:12). This second stripping in the house of Potiphar, was designed to cloud the mind of Joseph into forgetting his "royal identity" experiencing himself as a slave in prison! One of the hardest things to overcome is the "role of a scapegoat", to be blamed for something you never done. It is necessary to implant the nature of Jesus ( number one scapegoat) into overcomers! As we go through this experience, we really do allow the stick to become a fruitful bough! Joseph maintained his integrity, no integrity is now common place, in business, in education and in religion. Here's the norm; watch for "hackers", watch for "scamers" try not to get "cheated" when you need something!

     The time came when Joseph was called out of the dungeon; "...and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment..." (Gen.41:14). Joseph the dreamer who kept his honor above all, kept favor with his God. Here's the revelation; Joseph had gained wisdom and grew into maturity. Here shaving and changing raiment goes beyond the natural into the spiritual. In the midst of prison hardships, Joseph kept his soundness of mind! In going before Pharoah, he will look presentable and maintain integrity.At 30 years of age Joseph begins to reign! Pharoah re-names Joseph; he is called Zaphnath-paaneah, being interpreted Savior of the Age (Gen. 41:45).

In-Christ Always Elmer Hart


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