Noah's family, on the other hand, was not saved FROM the flood, but THROUGH the flood. So, they are a picture of the remnant of Jews who will be saved through the Tribulation (Rev. 12).
Jesus said that the time leading up to His Second Coming will be as it was in the days of LOT. We usually associate this with the widespread sinfulness of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah and that is TRUE! But Lot is a picture of the Church because he was taken out of Sodom BEFORE God's judgment fell.
And, there are many other such picture types that symbolically represent the pretribulation Rapture in the OT. But, even more significant, there is one particular OT man whose WHOLE LIFE seems to be a symbolic representation of the life of Jesus. And that man is
1. Joseph was greatly loved by his father. God, the Father, said of Jesus,
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17)
2. Joseph had some special revelations from God that he shared with his brothers, but they did not believe him and hated him.
3. Joseph's brothers rejected his right to rule over them, just as the Jews rejected Jesus as "King of the Jews" (John 19:15)
4. Joseph's brothers conspired against him. Matt. 27:1 says that the Jewish religious leaders
"took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death."
5. Joseph was stripped of his garments just as Jesus was.
6. Joseph was sold for silver like Jesus.
7. Joseph was tempted by Potiphar's wife, but did not sin. Jesus was tempted in all things, yet was without sin (Heb. 4:15).
8. Joseph was condemned with two criminals just as Jesus was. One of them was condemned to death and the other was given life and freedom, just like those who were crucified with Jesus were given in the afterlife.
Important! Joseph took a Gentile bride BEFORE the famine came (a picture of the Tribulation). Today, Jesus is taking a Gentile Bride that He will literally take away before the Tribulation.
10. Joseph's own brothers did not recognize him when they came to Egypt. Jesus' Jewish brethren did not recognize Him (as the Son of God, their Messiah).
11. God planned the suffering of Joseph in advance to save many people.
"For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
12. Joseph's brothers eventually fell at his feet, begging for forgiveness for what they had done. The Jews will one day
"look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son..." (Zech. 12:10)
And there are many other similarities between Joseph and of Jesus. But now, let's look a little closer at item number 9.
In Joseph's day, there were seven years of PLENTY followed by seven years of famine. Is it an accident that the famine was for seven years, just like the Tribulation will be for seven years? And that Joseph took his Gentile bride BEFORE the famine came? I don't think so. It's just another interesting parallel showing that Jesus will take HIS Gentile bride (the Church) BEFORE the seven year Tribulation begins.
But if that IS an accurate picture type, what about the SEVEN YEARS OF PLENTY that precedes the seven years of famine? What does THAT represent?
Well, this revelation of seven plentiful years followed by seven lean years came from Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams in which he saw (1) seven fat cows come up from the river which were then eaten by seven skinny cows that came up after them, and (2) seven full ears of corn that were eaten by seven skinny ears of corn that came up after them. Joseph said,
"... there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall CONSUME the land; And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous." (Gen. 41:30-31) In other words, the famine years will be so bad they will completely overshadow the seven preceding good years...
"for it shall be very grievous."
This reminds me of what Jesus said about the Tribulation...
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matt. 24:21) All of this adds support to the idea that the seven years of famine in Joseph's time is a good picture of the seven years of Tribulation that is yet to come!
But here's the big question...
Does this mean that there will be seven years of PLENTY (a time of prosperity) that will precede the Tribulation? And secondly, are we in that time of prosperity now?
No doubt, some will say that it represents a time of
spiritual prosperity followed by a time of
spiritual drought. But the Bible says in 2 Thess. 2:3 that the days just before the Tribulation will be a time of
apostasy... a time when people will "fall away" from the truth of God, not a time of spiritual prosperity! This make sense because people generally tend to fall away from God in times of material prosperity.
There are other scriptures that indicate that the last days of the Church Age, just before Jesus comes for His people, will be days of prosperity:
1. Jesus said that
"as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be... they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage... and knew not until the flood came [judgment]
and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." I.e., people were living well and having a grand ole time before the judgment suddenly came upon them.
2. Paul describes the Rapture in 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and then says right after that in 5:3,
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them..." This seems to say that just before the Lord comes, people will be living in relative peace and safety. Is this also a time of prosperity? If less of man's energy and efforts are directed toward weapons and war, and are devoted to agriculture and industry, then certainly it will make society much more materially prosperous.
3. In 2 Tim. 3, Paul describes the "perilous" last days leading up to the Rapture with 19 characteristics of the people of that time, including people being
"lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God". I recognize that this is not a specific reference to material prosperity, but it would, no doubt go along with a prosperous society. We see this even today!
So, if there WILL be seven years of prosperity (or, at least a time of prosperity) that will precede the seven years of Tribulation, are we in that time NOW? Here in America, I think it could be argued that we are living in a time of prosperity, even for our great country.
1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone up over 50% during the last three years of the Trump administration.
2. Over six million jobs have been added in that time and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in nearly fifty years.
Much more could be said about how our economy is prospering, but I think you get the idea. And, generally speaking, when the economy of the US is doing well, it causes a ripple effect to other nations of the world. It appears the nations of the world (generally) are doing well economically also. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but I'm referring to the world economy in general.
As I said in the beginning, I wouldn't build a doctrinal belief on this picture type. But the Scriptures seem to align with the idea that the days preceding the Tribulation (and Rapture) will be prosperous, materialistic, hedonistic, and apostate... perhaps more so than any other time in history.
Are we living in those prosperous days before the Rapture and the subsequent Tribulation?