I so love the way the Holy Spirit brings words from the past to remembrance. This morning, I received a prophetic word forwarded from a friend which spoke into the difference between the prophecies of the butler and the baker. immediately the Spirit reminded me of an article I had sent out in August 2007. Usually, when the Lord does this, the word He is referring to is very relevant to what He is doing at the time. So I fished it out of my archives and was amazed at the contents! Because many of my subscribers have not been with me that long, I am going to post it as a reminder that the voice of the baker in us must be silenced for good. And not only that, but those who persist in being bakers rather than cup-bearers will find themselves removed from the microphone as God’s cleansing judgments sweep through the organizations which declare they represent His Name and know His voice:
From August 2007
I would like to put the spotlight on Joseph in his prison of preparation. The Holy Spirit ‘switched the light on’ in a manner of speaking last time I read the passage and I pray that by sharing, some may glean a deeper understanding of just what the Lord is accomplishing in them at this juncture.
In Genesis 40:4, we are told that the butler and the baker are imprisoned as well and placed under Joseph’s care and that ‘he served them’. Both of these men had been leaders in their field and yet came to a place of needing ministry themselves. Many of the Lord’s bond-servants have also been serving others during their own prison term, ministering to their needs and sharing revelation with them concerning God’s dealings in their lives. Here too we find Joseph is told one morning that both these men have had dreams in the night. The chief butler or cupbearer shares first:
Gen 40:9 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; Gen 40:10 And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: Gen 40:11 And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
Joseph gives him the interpretation that there is release and full restoration coming in three days. The baker is greatly encouraged by this and shares his dream but Joseph does not have good news for him. In three days, he is to be released from prison and hanged.
On the third day, Joseph’s interpretations are fulfilled and he waits eagerly in prison for his own release, having asked the butler to put in a good word for him. Days drag by but nothing happens until two full years have gone past. These must have been Joseph’s hardest years in that prison of preparation. Previously he had no-one on the outside who ‘owed him a favor’ so to speak and yet now, when he had influence in a place where it counted, the palace, even this didn’t ensure his quick release. Why was it necessary for Joseph to spend another two long years being tested and tried? God was obviously still forging something within the man He was preparing for a place of rule and influence.
I believe that the request that Joseph made of the butler showed that he was still depending on the arm of flesh to get him where he was destined to go. God had given him the prophetic dreams years before and then had begun shaping the vessel so that he was fit to be a part of the fulfillment of that plan. The arrival of the butler and the baker into Joseph’s care was a pivotal part of this preparation. Let me explain why.
There is a very interesting verse in Proverbs which shows us that God uses other people to speak into our lives:
Pro 27:19 As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man answers to man.
In other words, when you look at someone else and see things in their life, it is like looking in a mirror. God is trying to show you something in yourself. This links up with the passage about not removing a splinter from your brother’s eye because you have a much larger piece of the same material blocking your own vision.
When God divinely positioned these two men in front of Joseph, He was trying to show Joseph different areas in himself and what He intended to do in dealing with them. When Joseph interpreted these two dreams, he was not only sharing understanding with the butler and baker; he was also prophesying over himself!
Let me explain; the butler represents the part of Joseph which is connected to the fruit of the vine. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches” and explained in John 15 that abiding in Him was a prerequisite of bearing much fruit. As the butler takes hold of the grapes and presses them into the cup, it is a picture of preparing the ‘blood of grapes’ or the wine of heavenly revelation, received from the Vine, Jesus Christ. It is this heavenly revelation, the revelation of Christ, that the cup or vessel is filled with on the third day. The time in the prison of preparation is filled with the budding, blossoming and ripening of the grapes of understanding and knowledge of Christ and then ultimately the extraction through pressing of this blood-red elixir which will bring gladness to the heart of man.
There is a prophecy which Jacob speaks over Judah on his deathbed which refers to this heavenly revelation:
Gen 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes
Ultimately this refers to Christ as Judah was in His earthly lineage. So we see that Jesus’ garments were soaked in heavenly revelation and the cup of blessing which we bless is the cup full of heavenly revelation, the blood of grapes. The life is in the blood according to the Word and it is the Spirit-quickened Word which is to be dispensed to bring life. It is time for us to all soak our garments (representing our callings and giftings) in the blood of grapes. Then we become cups or vessels brimful of heavenly revelation, dispensing Life wherever we go.
Joseph prophesied through his interpretation that on the third day, the cup-bearer would be lifted up and restored to the place appointed him; where he would dispense wine into the cup of Pharaoh. Joseph was finally released from prison when he was thirty years old (Genesis 41:36), which is the third ten-year period of his life or the third day. Jesus was also released from the tomb on the third day in resurrection power as the Son of God:
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead
The sons of God are lifted up from the prison/tomb of preparation on the Third Day as cupbearers to the King. They are vessels brimful with the wine of heavenly revelation.
However, there is also the baker to consider. This is the content of the baker’s dream:
Gen 40:16 … behold, I had three white baskets on my head: And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
The Message Bible translates the word ‘bakemeats’ as ‘assorted pastries’. The Hebrew actually consists of three words which carry the connotation of business, labor and pursuits or products made by man and presented as food. The baker is one who takes the flour of the Word and adds sugar and fillings and forms fancy shapes to produce assorted pastries which will appeal to the taste-buds. In other words, his own hands are very involved in the process. The baker represents the effort of the flesh to produce something pleasing to God. The fact that the three baskets were white brings to mind the instance where Jesus called the Pharisees ‘whitewashed tombs’. They had the appearance of purity on the outside but within, there was the stench of religion and death.
Although the pastries were intended for the king, the birds of the air were feasting on them. Our religious fleshly efforts are actually food for the demonic realm. This is why Joseph had to remain in prison two years longer. The baker in him needed to be put to death. He had to stop depending upon the saccharine-filled pastries of earthly soulish revelation and allow every pharisaical tendency in him to be lifted up to the surface and taken to the cross – just as the baker was lifted up and hanged on the tree.
The baskets were upon the baker’s head. This demonstrates that these assorted pastries were held up by religious mindsets and this is why the interpretation said that the baker’s head had to be removed (Gen 40:19). Joseph felt he was innocent as his plea to the butler shows. His mindset was pharisaical and self-righteous. He was unaware of the baker who was alive and well on the inside of him, leaning on the arm of flesh and human influence!
This is why God brings certain people across our paths during our time of testing and trying. We need to look into the mirror of other people’s faces in order for God to show us the planks resident in our own hearts. If we are still looking to man to elevate us to our appointed position or to open a door for us to fulfill the ministry God has for us, then there is a baker that must be hanged on this Third Day. This is the day when God is releasing His sons to rule as never before but unless we are free from the inclination to shape assorted pastries that appeal to the taste-buds of our hearers, we can never be used to rule in righteousness and justice. This is because we will be influenced by the need for others approval of what we serve up – in essence, we will be snared by the fear of man.
Joseph spent two long years in that prison, serving faithfully and finally on his third day, he was lifted up and given the opportunity to serve the wine of heavenly revelation to Pharaoh. This was accomplished when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream. If he had any vestige of the baker within him, he would have been unable to tell Pharaoh about the years of famine as this would certainly not have been a palatable pastry for the monarch.
The shaping and the sifting you are undergoing, and the rising to the surface of the baker within at this present time, is in order to complete the final preparation before release. Don’t turn away from the mirror in denial; you will just prolong the process. The fleshly ways must be dealt with as they mar the image of Christ within you which the world needs to see. We are called to be wine-stewards serving the intoxicating heavenly revelation of Christ in the earth. The world and the church are sick of earthly fleshly revelation which does not bring forth life.
Pharaoh gave Joseph a new name when he instituted him as his second-in-command. It was Zaphnath-paaneah, which means ‘one who discovers hidden things’. We are called to be a revealer of the hidden things, the mysteries of God, which we have been shown in the secret place. The Third Day is not a day for assorted pastries but a season for the release of well-matured wine from the storehouses of heaven.
It was said of Joseph:
Psa 105:21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: Psa 105:22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his elders wisdom.
There is coming a release of the wisdom of God as never before as the sons of God emerge to a place of rule. Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom from God. Let us allow those grapes to be pressed and the wisdom of God, the revelation of Christ to fill us within and as far as that old baker is concerned… Off with his head!