Sermon #978                                      Miscellaneous Sermons:

          Title:            The Second Time

          Text:            Acts 7:13 - “And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren.”

          Reading:      Genesis 42:1-8; 45:1-15

          Subject:       The way Christ reveals himself to some of his elect.

          Date:            Sunday Morning - June 9, 1001

          Tape #        




          You know the story of Joseph and his brothers. Because of their envy and malice Joseph’s brothers sold him into bondage. Joseph was despised and rejected by his own kinsmen. But God was with him. And, in due time, the Lord exalted Joseph to the throne of Egypt. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, make Joseph his prime minister, entrusting everything to his care. All the riches of Egypt were in Joseph’s hands. All power was given to Joseph.


          In all of this, Joseph was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Joseph was brought by the hand of God’s providence, through the malice of wicked men, to be ruler in Egypt, to save the lives of God’s elect nation, Israel, so the Lord Jesus Christ has, by his crucifixion at the hands of wicked men, been exalted to the right hand of the majesty on High to give eternal life to as many as God the Father has given him. Christ is King over all things to give eternal life to God’s elect (John 17:2).


          As Joseph was a type of Christ, so also his dealings with his brothers were typical, in many ways, of our Lord’s gracious dealings with his people in saving mercy. In our text, Stephen tells us, “And the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren.” This did not happen, you will remember, the first time Joseph’s brothers came before him. Joseph knew them then, but they did not recognize Joseph. He hid himself from them. He filled their sacks with corn, gave them provision for their journey, and sent them home with great care. But the first time his brothers came before him in Egypt, Joseph did not make himself known to them.


          This is, I am sure, clear picture of the way the Lord Jesus Christ frequently deals with sinners. This is the way our Savior has dealt with many of us. Many of God’s saints did not find Christ the first time they sought him. It is not true of all, but for many of us, seeking the lord and obtaining mercy for our souls was a painful and difficult struggle. The path to mercy is often a rough road. Perhaps there are some here today like Joseph’s brothers. In some way or other, you have sought Christ. But you have not found him. I urge you to seek him again, in the way he has prescribed. It may be that at the second time the Lord Jesus will make himself known to you.


          “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Salvation really is that simple and that profound. To believe on Christ is simply to trust him. It is to trust his great sin-atoning sacrifice. It is to trust him who stood in the place of sinners before the holy Lord God and died under the wrath of God as the sinners’ Substitute. Christ died, bearing the sins of his people in his own body on the tree, satisfying the righteousness and justice of almighty God so that we might never die. We tend to think that anyone who has heard the gospel message often readily understands it. But that is not the case. There are some of you here today who are yet in darkness. The light shines upon you. But you are blind. You have heard with the hearing of the ear for many years. But you have never yet heard the gospel. God has not yet spoken peace to your hearts. Perhaps you have come here today seeking Christ. Maybe you have been seeking him for some time. It may be that others look upon you as a model of real faith. But in your heart you know that, though you seek him, you have not found him. May this be the hour when the lord Jesus will make himself known to you. May God now be pleased to reveal his Son in you by the power of his spirit.




          I know this: All who seek Christ with all their hearts shall find him. But I know this also: You will not likely find him as soon as you begin to seek him (Jer. 29:10-13).




          I want to show you four things this morning about Joseph and his brothers, which will help us to understand the way Christ reveals himself to his own elect.


1. Though Joseph’s brothers did not know him, he knew them.

2. There were reasons why Joseph did not make himself known to his brothers the first time they came to him.

3. The only hope these men had of life was Joseph, so they came to him a second time.

4. When Joseph’s brothers came to him the second time, Joseph made himself known to them.


I. .Though Joseph’s brothers did not know him, he knew them (Gen. 42:8).


          This is the first thing I want you to see. Joseph knew his brothers, though they were totally ignorant of him. He knew who they were. He knew all that they had done. He knew the dreadful condition they were in. He knew what they needed. And he knew how to best supply their needs. They looked only to the present. He looked to the future. They only knew that the man before whom they stood had their lives in his hands. But he knew what he had in his heart for them.


          A. Joseph loved his brothers, though they had no love for him.


·        He supplied their needs.

·        He devised a plan by which he would bring them all to himself.

·        The plan involved great pain; but it was the best things possible for his brothers.


          B. There is an unmistakable parallel between Joseph and Christ in this regard.


          Though we knew him not, our Lord Jesus Christ knew us. Though we loved him not, he loved us. And because of his great love for us, the Son of God devised a great plan by which he would secure our everlasting good. He redeemed us with his own precious blood. And he rules the world according to his wise and gracious plan of redemption on our behalf.


·        All the days of our lives, he protected us.

·        Throughout the days of our rebellion against him, he provided for us.

·        Our great Lord graciously and wisely arranged all the affairs of providence to bring us to himself.


II. There were reasons why Joseph did not make himself known to his brothers the first time they came to him.


          NOTE: In his wise, adorable providence, our Lord uses all things to bring his elect to himself in saving faith. But salvation does not come until Christ is revealed in a sinner’s heart by the gospel. The question is often asked, “When is a person saved?” I know that in a sense all of God’s elect were saved in eternity, in the purpose of God (Rom. 8:29-30). And we were saved at Calvary, when Christ obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12). But, experimentally, a sinner is saved when...


·        It pleases God to save him (Gal. 1:15).

·        He hears and believes the gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 1:21).

·        He is called, born again by the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24).

·        He begins to seek the Lord with all his heart (Jer. 24:7).

·        Christ is revealed in his heart by the Spirit of God through the gospel (Gal. 1:16; Col. 1:27).


          Many of you, in fact, most of you have had some experience in false religion. God has graciously brought you out of free-willism, fundamentalism, decisionism, and easy-believism. You once hoped for salvation and acceptance with God on the basis of something you had done, felt, or experienced. Your hope was your decision, or your works. You honestly sought the Lord. You knew something of your need of him. And you walked in the light God had given you at that time. Like Joseph’s brothers, you did the only thing you knew to do. But just as those men did not know Joseph, you did not know Christ until he revealed himself to you in his true character. I stress this point because it is needful for you to see false, free-will, works religion for what it is, and renounce it.


          Illustrations: The Apostle Paul          Doug & Karen Weaver

                                Bobbie Estes                Mark Henson

                                Merle Hart          Ken Wimer

                                Henry Mahan


          Those men who went down into Egypt did not know their brother, Joseph, in his exalted position. But “at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren.” Why did Joseph not reveal himself to his brothers the first time they came to him? Why does Christ not reveal himself to every sinner the first time he comes to him seeking mercy? Why is it that some of you do not yet have Christ revealed in your hearts, though you pray to him, though you read his Word, though you believe the doctrine of the gospel? Listen carefully.


          A. Joseph did not reveal himself to his brothers because they were ignorant of him. They did not know who he was.


          My friends, as long as a sinner remains ignorant of Christ, he cannot have saving faith in Christ. You cannot trust an unknown Savior, anymore than the Athenians could worship an unknown god (Acts 17:22-23; Rom. 10:9-17).


          Knowledge is essential to saving faith! Knowledge is not faith. And you can have knowledge without faith. But you cannot have faith without knowledge. You must know Christ! How can you trust him whom you do not know?


1.     You must know his Person - The God-man.

2.     You must know his performance - Redemption.

3.     You must know his position - Sovereign Lord.

4.     You must know his power - He is able to save (Heb. 7:25; John 17:4).


          B. Joseph’s brothers did not know him the first time they came to him because they really did not want to know him.


          They were not interested in Joseph. They were only interested in corn. They did not want to die. They came to Joseph, not because they wanted him, but because they wanted what he alone could give them. That is just the reason why many of you have not yet found Christ. You are only interested in what Christ has, what Christ can give, and what Christ can do.


          NOTE: Most people, though they may not be in agreement with the preachers of our day, have the religion of our day. Theirs is a religion based upon health, wealth, and happiness.


·        You want peace, but not the Prince.

·        You want forgiveness, but not the Forgiver.

·        You want mercy, but not the Master.

·        You want salvation, but not the Savior.

·        You want the sacrifice that will bring you to God in grace, but not the Sovereign to rule over you for God’s glory.

·        You want cleansing, but not Christ.


          My friend, Christ will never be revealed in you until you are made to cry from your heart,


“Thou, O Christ, art all I want,

More than all in Thee I find.”


It is true, I want all the blessings of salvation; but I want the blessed knowledge of my Savior more.


          Illustration: The relationship of a husband and his wife is built not upon what they can do for each other, but upon their love for one another.


“Gracious Lord, incline Thine ear,

My request vouchsafe to hear;

Hear my never ceasing cry -

‘Give me Christ, or else I die!’


Wealth and honor I disdain,

Earthly comforts all are vain:

These can never satisfy,

‘Give me Christ, or else I die.’”


          C. Joseph did not reveal himself to his brothers the first time they came because they came without any real conviction and confession of their guilt.


          Before  Joseph would reveal himself to his brothers, he has determined to make them know, feel, and confess their guilt (Gen. 42:21-24).


          Christ will not reveal himself to a sinner until the sinner is made to know, feel, and confess his guilt and sin. Conviction and repentance are necessary before there can be any comforting knowledge and assurance of God’s saving grace in Christ (Ps. 32:1-5; 1 John 1:9).


          D. Joseph did not make himself known to his brothers the first time they came to him because they did not all come to him.


          You remember, they left Benjamin at home. And Joseph would not reveal himself to them until they brought Benjamin to him.


          And there are many who seek Christ, but never find him, because they are not willing to bring their Benjamin to him. They do not seek him with their whole heart. You will never obtain mercy until you bring your darling Benjamin to the throne of King Jesus, and give him up (Lk. 14:23-33).


          E. Joseph did not reveal himself to his brothers the first time they came because he would have them to know that they were entirely at his disposal.


          It was entirely up to Joseph whether these men lived or died. Their lives were in his hands. And he wanted them to know it. They must be brought to acknowledge his lordship.


          Before the Lord Jesus Christ reveals himself to any sinner’s heart in saving grace, he fist requires that person to acknowledge his sovereign Lordship. Mercy’s Gate is his gate!


·        He opens it to whom he will.

·        He opens it when he will.

·        He opens it only to those who seek him earnestly.


          NOTE: Unbelief goes away with no answer from God. Unbelief can be spurned. But faith cannot be silenced. Faith will not let go. Faith will not quit. Faith will not cease to cry after Christ. Faith is always importunate, imploring, because it arises from necessity (Lk. 11:5-10).


1.     David, the man after God’s own heart, had to cry unto the Lord continually (Ps. 22:2).

2.     Jeremiah, God’s faithful prophet, had to wait before the Lord in prayer without an answer (Lam.3:8).

3.     our dear Savior himself cried three times, “O my Father!”


Faith must have Christ, and will not be satisfied without him!


III. The only hope these men had of life was Joseph, so they went to him the second time.


          We read the account in Genesis 42-45. The corn which Joseph had given to his brothers had run out. Only when they were brought to the point of utter starvation did they return to Joseph. They came to him only when they had to have him. Finally, in desperation for their lives, they went to Joseph the second time, “And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren.”


          I want, by the Spirit of God, to persuade you to go to Christ (1 Cor. 5:11). O Spirit of God, come, and make my words to be the very words of God to the hearts of these who hear. Graciously compel those who hear my voice to come to Christ.


          A. You must go to Christ, or you must perish (Gen. 42:1-2).


          There is only one Door of salvation. And that Door is Christ. Though that Door remains shut hard before you, you will be a fool if you do not knock until it opens. Unless the Door is opened to you, you will perish! Do you want Christ? Then knock until he open to you!


“I’ll go to Jesus, though my sin

Hath like a mountain rose;

I know his courts I’ll enter in,

Whatever may oppose.


Perhaps he will admit my plea,

Perhaps will hear my prayer;

But if I perish, I will pray

And perish only there!


I can but perish if I go;

I am resolved to try;

For if I stay away, I know

I must forever die!


But if I die with mercy sought,

When I the Lord have tried,

This were to die (Delightful thought!)

As sinner never died!”


          B. Go to Christ in hope, because there are many who, having come to him, have found life everlasting.


          “Who can tell if God will turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?” (Jon. 3:9).


          C. I implore you, by the mercy of God, that you come to Christ, because he is able, willing, and anxious to save all who come to God by him.


          Yes, I said, “The Lord Jesus Christ is anxious to save every sinner who comes to him.“He delighteth in mercy!” Joseph wanted his brothers badly. He was anxious to reveal himself to them. Even so, Christ Jesus wants his people badly. His heart longs to be gracious and merciful to his elect. He longs to reveal himself to those sinners he has purchased with his blood. And at the appointed time he will. His heart of mercy and grace will burst itself open upon those who seek him!


IV. When Joseph’s brothers came to him the second time, Joseph made himself known to them.


          When he could no longer restrain himself, “Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph.” Read the story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 45) carefully, and you will find in it a prophetic picture of what happens when a sinner comes to Christ.


          If the Spirit of God is now at work in your heart, showing you that everything needed for your salvation has been done by Christ, if he enables you now to trust Christ, you will be saved by the grace of God, saved immediately, and saved forever! And I suspect that your experience will be very much like that of Joseph’s brothers, when he revealed himself to them.


          A. When Christ makes himself known to you, you will tremble in his presence .(Gen. 45:3).


          Illustration: John (Rev. 1).; Isaiah (Isa. 6).


          B. Then the Lord will bid you draw near to him (Gen. 45:4).


          Illustration: Thomas (John 20:26-28).


          C. Next, the Lord Jesus Christ, like Joseph, will fall on your neck and smother you with kisses (Gen. 45:14-15; Lk. 15:20).


          Those kisses meant:


·        “Welcome!”

·        “All is forgiven!”

·        “We are reconciled!”

·        “I love you!” - A kiss is a symbol of much love, deeply felt.


          D. And Christ will, little by little, explain to you the mind, will, and purpose of God, for the comfort of your heart (Gen. 45:5, 7; 50:19-20).


          Joseph seemed not to be able to tell his brothers often enough that everything was alright, that they were forgiven, that God’s will was accomplished, and that he had been glorified. Is that not just like our Redeemer?




          Seek the Lord while he may be found, Call ye upon him while he is near.”


1.     Those who seek Christ feel their need of him.

2.     Those who seek Christ believe him.

3.     Those who seek Christ seek him earnestly.

4.     Those who seek Christ seek him continually.

5.     Those who seek Christ shall find him.


          Illustration: The farmer who lost his wallet in the barn.

                             Moody’s Great Error - Farwell Hall, the night of the great fire in Chicago - As the fire bell rang - “What shall I do with Jesus?” Take that question home with you. Think it over. Next Sunday come back and give me your answer.” But, for many, next Sunday never came!


          Do not wait until next Sunday. Do not wait until tonight. Seek the lord now, with all your heart. Seek him, and you will find him. Bring your Benjamin to Christ now. Do not delay. “Behold, today is the day of salvation!” Today the Savior calls, Sinner, for refuge fly: the storm of God’s strict justice falls, eternal death is night!