I. JOSEPH TRIED BY HIS DREAMS
NOT BEING FULFILLED
Joseph was tested by the fact that his dreams were not fulfilled. Immediately after Joseph had his dreams, he told his parents and brothers about them. Not long after that, he was sold into slavery and then cast into prison where, I believe, he stayed over ten years. In his dreams there was no indication or implication that Joseph would suffer. However, immediately after Joseph had those dreams, he had to endure suffering. Likewise, I can testify that the throne does not immediately follow the vision of Christ, the church, the cross, or the inner life. Instead, there is suffering, trial, betrayal, and imprisonment. According to our natural concept, we think that immediately after we see a vision, something glorious will happen in our life. But this is not the case. After the vision, trials will come. Young people, do not think that after you have seen the vision of Christ, the church, the cross, the inner life, or the Spirit, you will have a glorious time. No, you will suffer and be imprisoned.
If I had been Joseph, I might have had doubts about my dreams and said to myself, "These dreams are not something real. I dreamed that I was a sheaf standing up, but actually I have been made low. I saw that I was a star shining in heaven, but actually I have been cast into the dungeon. What has happened is the exact opposite of my dreams." I would certainly have doubted my interpretation of my dreams. I would have regarded them as unreal.
Those of us who have been in the church life for many years have had this experience. Perhaps some years ago you saw a wonderful vision concerning Christ and the church life. Perhaps you even sang about the glorious church life. But what has actually happened in the church life has not been that excellent or glorious. Therefore, you might have said, "I thought I was in the good land of Canaan, but I actually was in Egypt. I dreamed that I was surrounded by sheaves, but actually I am surrounded by `Egyptian scorpions.’ According to the vision I saw and according to the messages Brother Lee gave us, I expected to be in the third heaven. But now I am in a dungeon, in a pit. Instead of being in Jerusalem, I am in Egypt." Many of us can testify of experiences like this. Following the vision there came, not enthronement, but imprisonment.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 112, by Witness Lee)