God's Ace For Satan - The Benjamin Generation
By Dennis Lindsay (President of Christ For the Nations, Dallas, TX)
Part Three: What Is Holding Back Revival in the Church
Recap of Parts One and Two
In Part One, we began with a quick overview of our present world condition. The dark ominous clouds on the horizon seem to signal a world spiraling out of control. Yet God has an “ace up His sleeve” and He is ready to reveal a “secret weapon” that will positively affect the end-time with a spiritual awakening. God has done it in the past, and He can do it again. There will be plenty of “spiritual bread” for the peoples of the world, both Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian. By looking at Jesus in the life of Joseph, we can discern the “Ace” that God has saved for a latter-day revival. God revealed an end-time revival in Genesis that will occur just before the return of the Messiah—Christ Jesus.
In Part Two, we took a look at who the Benjamin Generation represents: the youth of the Church. For revival to occur throughout the world in the last days, the youth of the Church must be encouraged and released to go to the nations. In Part Three we will now consider what has led to the blindness of the Jewish people to their Messiah—legalism. This same blindness is occurring within the Church today. We will see that God’s Ace, the Benjamin Generation, born of Grace, will break the powers of legalism.
Egypt’s Famine and Israel’s Blindness
The famine that occurred in the land of Egypt symbolizes the suffering of the Jews by the Gentiles over the last 2,000 years. Dozens of passages in Scripture reveal that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people, and His promised blessings and favor to them are irreversible. They have become the object of hate by Satan and his followers for this. Anti-Semitism is satanically-influenced. It is supernatural. The love of Israel by believers is also supernatural.
The Jewish people are special to God and this is why they are objects of prejudice and hate. There must never be anti-Semitism in the heart of a child of Grace. Even if the nation of Israel is presently blinded, believers must not boast or feel superior about their place of adoption (Rom. 11:17-22). Christians must pray that the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened, and they will be opened when the Benjamin Generation is released to step forward. In the meantime, what has kept the Jewish people from recognizing their Messiah? It is legalism. Just as it was in Jesus’ day, so it is within the Church. Legalism and the law will prevent revival and the move of His Spirit within a congregation.
Although they failed to recognize him, Joseph’s brothers, on their first trip to Egypt to buy grain, were brought to stand before him. Likewise, Jesus cried over the Jews—Jerusalem—because they failed to recognize Him. Jesus described His love for them as that of a mother hen who wants to gather her chicks, but they would not come. (Matt. 23:37)
The Jews have been left on their own for 2,000 years. Jesus wept because he foresaw days of famine for the Jewish people from the time of the Roman invasion to the tragedy of the Holocaust during World War II. Now there is terrorism in the land. Although His ultimate plan for Israel will be fulfilled, still God will not force His shelter of protection on us. We must seek it; otherwise we are open to satanic attacks. Satan is like a roaring lion that is out to devour whoever he can (I Peter 5:8). The Jews are special people, covenant people, recipients of God’s love, favor and grace. Like Jacob who loved Joseph and Benjamin, so it is with God and the nation of Israel.
God has a special place in His heart for the Jewish people today. Because of legalism the favored nation of God has rejected the Messiah and His covering, and has been exposed to satanic assaults as a result. But deliverance is on the way, as the Benjamin Generation is about to come forth and be recognized. When Joseph and his brother Benjamin were reunited, there was plenty of bread for his family, even in a time of famine. Soon Jesus and the Benjamin Generation will be united, and there will be bread (spiritual awakening) for the family of God. The Benjamin Generation will take spiritual bread to the hungry, to the nation of Israel and to the world.
When Will the Jewish People’s Eyes Be Opened?
Joseph’s brothers failed to recognize him when they stood before him the first time they came to Egypt for food; Joseph told them, “There will be no more bread until I see Benjamin.” Likewise, the first time Jesus, the Bread of Life, came and offered Himself to the Jewish people, He left with these words ringing in the people’s ears: “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Matt. 23:39 NIV). Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold as a slave into Egypt. Like Jesus, Joseph went from the pit to the palace. God had sovereignly arranged for Joseph to become the second most powerful and influential man in Egypt as Pharaoh’s right hand. Yet Joseph said, “No more bread until Benjamin stands before me.”
The Church is a powerful instrument in the hand of God. But if Church fathers refuse to release the Benjamin Generation to go to the world (brothers who live in darkness) there will not be the spiritual awakening that is needed. Legalism will cause God’s people to forfeit His blessings. Church leaders today will miss the great opportunity to be a part of the end-time revival coming to the world, just as the leaders of Judaism in Jesus’ day missed being a part of the greatest revelation in Jewish history—the coming of the Messiah.
When Benjamin’s father released him, God’s Spirit was able to move and soon after the eyes of Joseph’s brothers were opened. They finally recognized their brother, whom they had rejected and sold into slavery. If Israel’s eyes are to be opened today, Israel’s brothers, the Church, must release the Benjamin Generation so that God’s Spirit can begin to move in a new wave of His grace. Church fathers around the world will have a wonderful part in fulfilling prophecy and promoting the “End-Time Harvest.” Who is the Benjamin Generation today? They are those who are born of the Lamb of Grace.
The Bread of Heaven (Jesus) Is About to Be Released
Joseph’s father, Jacob, had already felt that the whole world was against him after the loss of Joseph. Now, his sons wanted to take Benjamin away to Egypt as the requirement for purchasing the food they needed to survive the famine. The brothers had conveyed Joseph’s words to their father: “There will be no more bread until I see Benjamin.” Today, leaders of the Church must release the Benjamin Generation to go to the peoples of the world to bring them the “Bread of Life.” If they fail to release their youth, they will withhold the Living Bread that God wants to give to those who are hungry.
If Church fathers fear that their youth are too immature, prone to mistakes, or might bring reproach to the Name of Christ, there will not be the spiritual awakening the Church longs for, and they could also forfeit being a part of God’s sovereign plan for world evangelization. Youth ministries such as Youth For Christ, Organization Mobilization, Masters Commission and Youth with A Mission are among the greatest armies God has raised up in modern times. My wife Ginger and I served a number of years with YWAWAM when it was a fledgling group of nobodies like the misfits who served David while he was fleeing from King Saul. As immature as we were, God still sovereignly used and matured us to help build His Kingdom. Today, YWAWAM is a mighty movement, numbering in the tens of thousands around the world.
In the days of Joseph, God was working out His plans and purposes for the salvation of His chosen people as well as for those who lived in darkness—the Egyptians, who symbolized the Gentile nations of the world. It was about time for the true Bread of Life to be released to the house of Israel and the brothers of Joseph. Once again, God is about to release His bread (salvation) on the house of Israel today.
Israel Is Mute: Unable to Hear with Understanding
Before they left for home after their first trip to Egypt, Joseph bound one of his brothers, Simeon, and put him in prison. Simeon’s name is derived from the Hebrew word shema, which means “to hear,” (Gen. 29:33) and also represents the Law. Then as now, Israel’s hearing is without understanding; the nation of Israel has neither ears that hear nor eyes that see (John 8:43; Rom. 11:8). Ironically, the Jews are required to pray this famous prayer from the Torah twice a day:
“Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is One Lord” (Deut. 6:4).
We are told in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the end of the law for those who believe, as He brings righteousness and power to fulfill the law. Believers have ears that can hear so they are able to understand what the Spirit is saying.
When the infant Jesus was brought to the temple to be dedicated, an elderly man named Simeon (representing the Law) was there. Simeon was glad when he saw the baby Jesus and said, “Let me now depart in peace.” In other words, we can say that the Law rejoiced to see Jesus. Then Anna, whose name means “grace-favored one,” came into the Temple to announce that this baby was the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
The Changing of the Guard: Law and Grace Generations
When Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, the Law had been fulfilled. Its time was over, and the age of grace was ushered in. The age of grace does not mean that believers are free to do as they please, but rather that they now have the power to live a holy and righteous life. The grace and power of the Holy Spirit helps them to love and obey the will of the Father. It is not Jesus and the Law; it is Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Christians must understand they will not be blessed or saved by keeping the Law. It is Jesus alone Who heals, saves and blesses people to prosper and makes them to be righteous before God. And it is the work of the Holy Spirit that enables them to walk in holiness and righteousness before Him. My point is that keeping the law is not the answer to winning the lost in evangelism. Winning the lost to Christ will be accomplished by the Holy Spirit, and Grace will be His method for leading people to salvation.
When Benjamin was brought before Joseph, his brother Simeon (representing the Law) was released, enabling the eyes of Joseph’s brothers to be opened so they could recognize Joseph as the one they had rejected. The law of works was over, Simeon was free and Joseph’s brothers feasted on plenty of bread. Likewise, when today’s Benjamin generation (the youngest believers in the Church) comes before Jesus and humbly bows in submission as Benjamin bowed before Joseph, the time of Law will be finished. When law is
replaced with grace, revival will envelop the family of God. It will be just like the reunion celebration between Joseph and his brothers.
Part Four: Next Month—The Conclusion
As amazing as the similarities are between the stories of Joseph and the Messiah, there is one exciting factor that relates to our day: the part of Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin. It is with Benjamin that we discover an amazing revelation for world evangelization. This revelation will be revealed in part four of next month’s issue, The Grace Generation and the Ensuing Spiritual Awakening.