A Passion for Christ Ministries: December 2002 Newsletter  

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul" Acts 4:32(a)
You Must Give Up Benjamin


The story is a great one as is recorded in Genesis, beginning with the 35th chapter. Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob. As a matter of fact, his mother lost her life giving him life.

Benjamin. You must give up Benjamin.

She called his name Benoni
And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day (Genesis 35:16-20).

God's great hand
Read this wonderful story of God's great hand of provision and protection as is recorded in the book of Genesis. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery as a result of jealousy but the Lord was with Joseph throughout his life. While in Pharaoh's prison, he became head of the prison. God looked out for Joseph, no matter what he encountered. He was being prepared to save and preserve a nation.

There is corn in Egypt
Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Governor over the land
And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food
(Genesis 42:1-7).

They lived in the land of Canaan but Canaan had become dry, unfertile and barren. The land, along with the people, was dying. They would have to leave their "comfort zone" if they were to live. Jacob's sons underestimated Jacob's grief over the loss of Joseph. They never taught in their wildest dreams that Jacob's grief would be so profound.

Benjamin. You must give up Benjamin.

And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf (Genesis 37: 5,7).

All of God's prophecies will be fulfilled. Each and every prophecy about Jesus' second return; each prophecy about the Rapture, Tribulation Period and the Battle of Armageddon, it all shall be fulfilled. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matthew 24:34).

Joseph remembered the dreams
And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither (Genesis 37:9-15).

Now was the testing time. Joseph wanted to know if they had changed.

Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. And he put them all together into ward three days. And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so (16-20).

When they had eaten up the corn
And the famine was sore in the land. And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food. And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food. But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother (Genesis 43:1-6)?

"Why did you even tell the man that you had another brother? Have you forgotten all that I went through with the death of Joseph? Benjamin is my last son from Rachel. Will ye also take him," I can hear Jacob proclaiming to his remaining sons. "Why did you tell him about Benjamin? Why? Why would you cause me to have to give up the very thing that I love the most? Remember, a wild animal took my favorite son from me. This is my only son left of my favorite wife, Rachel. Why? Why? Why did you tell him about Benjamin? Now, you want me to give up Benjamin? Why? Why?"

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil 2:8).

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Tim 4:5-8).

Benjamin. You must give up Benjamin.

Have ye another brother?
And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down? And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever (Genesis 43:7-9).

Listen to the cry of the brothers, assured that death was imminent. "If we don't take Benjamin, we are going to die. Daddy, we know that Benjamin has been your favorite, as was Joseph. You made Joseph a coat of many colors. That's has been no secret to any of us. As a matter of fact daddy, that's why we threw him in the pit--because you loved him more--more than us.

Now, the love that you had for Joseph, it appears to be even greater for Benjamin. Shall we kill him too? Shall we put him also in the pit? What shall we do? We must give up Benjamin or we will die. Our children and wives will die. We must give up Benjamin. We are going to die, daddy."

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24).

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).

"We are going to die. Rachel is dead but we must give up Benjamin. Don't you know there's a famine in the land? The cattle are dying. We are going to perish if we leave Benjamin here. We must give up Benjamin! Daddy, please give up Benjamin that we may live and not die."

Benjamin. We must give up Benjamin.

Take also your brother
For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time. And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin.

If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. Jacob, left with no other choice, gives up Benjamin.

And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house (Genesis 43:10-17).

Iniquity is found in us
And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found. And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.

Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.

And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him. And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die. And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more (Genesis 44:16-23).

My wife bare me two sons
And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons: And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since: And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life; It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever (Genesis 44:27-32).

Let thy servant abide instead of the lad
Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father (Genesis 44:33-34).

Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren (Genesis 45:1).

And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Genesis 45:7).

A newness of heart
Joseph got his answer. He wanted to know if his brothers had changed. He wanted to know if they still had a heart to kill their own. Joseph knew how difficult it would be for Jacob to give up Benjamin. Joseph wanted to see if they would really give up that thing which had meant so much to them. Because of a change of heart--a newness of heart--God was able to save a nation.

Benjamin. You must give up Benjamin.

Will you?
So, the Lord is asking you today. Will you give up everything to follow me? Will you give up that which means the most to you, for me? Will you give up all sin and backsliding? Will you? Will you give up that which has hindered you? Will you give up that which will bring eternal damnation to your soul? Will you? Will you? Will you choose life eternal life? Why will you go on your way to do what you want to do--satisfying every lust of the flesh? Your life is but a vapor and soon it will be gone. Will you listen to the enemy of your soul? Why don't you see my love? The Lord is asking each one today. This is the final hour and we too must give up all the Benjamins in our lives.

Remember they were starving in the land. The animals were dying. The people were dying. They had to give up Benjamin.

Each of us today, we must give up the Benjamin in our life.

What's that one thing? You say, "Lord I would but" What's that one thing that keeps you from giving your all in this last and final hour? What's that one thing which has held you captive? What's the one thing that keeps you from serving the Lord with all of your heart today? It is Benjamin.

What's keeping you
What's keeping you from a fervent prayer, fasting and studying life? It's Benjamin. Don't you see that there is a famine in the land? If Jacob's sons had not persuaded Jacob to give up Benjamin, there would have been no heritage for the family. There would have been nothing to look forward to. What about all of the other souls that are connected to you today? Will you sit quietly by and allow them to perish because you don't want to depart with your Benjamin that they may have life?

Maybe Benjamin is fornication today. Maybe your Benjamin is doubt, fear and frustration. Maybe Benjamin is love for this old world but you must give up Benjamin. This is the final hour and if you were ever going to do anything for God, well this is your hour. This is your great hour of revelation and visitation. Don't let such an opportunity slip out of your hands. Maybe you think you have a lot of time to get you life right with God. What a Benjamin. Maybe you are full of opinions. How dangerous a Benjamin?

Benjamin was placed on the altar
Nothing was gained until Benjamin was placed on the altar--until Benjamin was given up. Jacob had no idea if he would ever see Benjamin again. I am sure he thought often of Joseph as the other brothers took Benjamin down into Egypt.

And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land (Genesis 45:18).

praying hands

Please repeat this simple prayer with me, asking Jesus to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. He is able to restore, create, deliver, and most importantly, save you. He is willing. He is ready. He wants you, dear one. No one has ever loved you like Jesus. He does love you.

Oh, God! I have sinned against you. I am so sorry! I have come home, and I'm going to serve you, Lord, the rest of my life. I do believe. I do believe that you are able to deliver me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ can make me clean and whole. Come on into my heart and help me. Help me, Lord. I trust and believe that through the blood, I can make it. I do believe that I can make it with your help. Oh, Lord, I want your help. Save my soul. Love me, Jesus. I must have your love. Love me, Jesus. I will answer your call to salvation today. Come on into my heart, Jesus! Come in!

If you meant that prayer, He has come.

Praise Him, He is Yours!

Yours with a Passion for Souls,

Pastor, A Passion for Christ Ministries

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