Genesis


Genesis 45:24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

Don’t fall out by the way. There will be plenty of reasons to quit. Hurt feelings, misunderstandings, persecutions, family problems, lack of money, discouragement, believers that fall, children that hurt you.  Make up your mind now to not take your hand off the plow and look back.


Gen 45:20-21 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.  And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

Provision for the way is provided, amazingly if you but forget your stuff He will give you His and provision for the way.

Will you hear?

Genesis 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

I. Guilty brothers! The story of Joseph

a. They saw his anguish

b. They heard his cry

c. They refused to help

II. A helpless lost world!

a. Blinded and deafened

II Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

b. No one to help them Psalm 142:4I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

c. They are condemned already John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

III. Our responsibility! Some great questions of the Bible!

a. Am I my brother’s keeper? Genesis 4:9-10 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

b. Will their blood be required at our hands? Ezequiel 33:6

c. Will you hear?

i. His call? Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

ii. Their plea for help? Acts 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

iii. Aldo Asto’s story about Abimael Guzman and the terrorist–the following is the story

The Communist Terrorist that became a Baptist Preacher

The Juan Miguel Story

The names of our dear Christian brother and his family have been changed so that no harm or repercussions could come to him. The story is true.

He woke up to machine gun barrels staring him in the face even before the early dawn. It was the end of a very long part of Peruvian history “for him” and it would be the beginning of the road that would lead him to a new life. Juan Miguel was born and raised in Ayacucho, Peru (city of 500,000 with no Bible believing churches). The same city that became known as the birth place of Peru’s Shining Path Terrorist organization.

In Juan’s own words: “Peru was searching. She was hungry for some answers. There was a great emptiness inside. Many were suffering from deep poverty, hunger, and injustice. They needed an answer. Surely God was calling forth men to come and give the message just as He did when the Macedonian man ask for help in Paul’s vision but very few answered the call. If God’s people won’t answer the call then often times Satan will answer and send one of his “preachers”. Satan did just that. Abimael Guzman, from Arequipa, was a communist terrorist trained in the ways of Mao Se Tung.”

Guzman arrived and began in Ayacucho teaching his false communist doctrine. Hundreds began to believe and to follow him. Juan still remembers that when he was 6 or 7 years old the militants of MIR (Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria or Movement of the Revolutionary Left) would hold their meetings in his house. As a little boy they gave him literature to read. They taught him materialism and communism. God was never mentioned. The only church they knew about was the Catholic church and it was very despised for all the wrong it had committed. Juan studied and learned how the rich imperialist and the Americans were taking advantage of everyone. He learned that to form a new and just society in Peru that they would have to destroy the one that now existed. Guzman had said when a shoe is old and no good you don’t try to fix it. You just throw it away and buy another.

By the age of 12 Juan was actively involved in riots, strikes, and marches. He became an active member of the Peruvian Communist Party and the Shining Path. Soon he became a worker winning new folks for the party. He got his friends and neighbors involved.

Juan was trained in military maneuvers from the Old Testament book of Joshua. Juan was trained in how to “share his new faith”. He was trained in how to agitate the people so that they too would desire a new government and society. Guzman had given a challenge to the young people of Peru. They could change their country. Their lives could make a difference. It wouldn’t be easy and it wouldn’t come fast but it was worth giving your life for. For several years violence was not a real part of their lives. First came the indoctrination or theory and later they would learn how to put it into practice. Juan studied great philosophers and talked into the night with “political leaders”. He began to understand the problems that were facing Peru, or at least that is what he thought. He would give his life to do something about that.

Juan’s dedication to the “cause” began to create problems in his family. He was always coming home so late due to the meetings and the activities that the party had planned. The “just cause” was so important to him that he soon moved out of his home. Juan thought that the cause was worth losing his family. He now says how wrong he was. If only someone had been there to tell him about Jesus. The party sent him off to “preach” their doctrine.

Sacrifice was not something new or nor was it too much to give for Juan. He began traveling in the villages up in the high Andes mountains of Peru, many times over 12,000 feet above sea level. He would go from town to town and stand on the street corners and tell the people how bad the Peruvian government was and what must be done. He would “agitate” in Spanish and Quechua (the old Inca language that is still spoken in Peru).

Soon the armed conflict began. Violence became an active part of his life. He was totally sold out to violence and communism. It was at this time in his life that he took a solemn oath before the busts of Marx, Lenin, and Mao which were called the three swords of communism. He swore that he would never betray the communist doctrine.

Word got out to the government about what he was doing. Early that morning the soldiers had arrived at his house. They climbed across the traditional outer wall of the family property and before he knew it they were in the house and he was looking down the muzzle of several Uzzi machine guns.

Soon Juan was off to the local prison where he would spend the next 6 months of his life. He was suffering for the cause that he thought was so worthy. He was just doing his part. Later through the efforts of his family and other well placed Shining Path folks he was gotten out of prison. Since he was underage he did not yet have the Peruvian identification document. His documents were fixed (doctored). He was free once again.

After getting out of jail he became even more involved in the party and was soon one of the elite of the “Red Army”. First he was made a political leader in one of the platoons and then later the political leader of an entire company.

Once again Juan was a wanted man. He was hemmed up between the police and the army. He had no where to go. He was going through the most horrible hours, days, months and years of his life. He states speaking of this time: “Oh how much I needed the Lord, but no one told me about Him.” He couldn’t take it anymore. He knew that communism was not the answer. There had to be a better way.

At about the age of 18 Juan became involved with a young lady in Ayacucho. Her name was Juana. He quickly fell in love. Soon he began to live with her. Love began to change the way he felt about “the cause”. He began to see that the ideology was different from the new practice of the movement. He wanted out.

Juana also had a hard time coping with all the violence. By now things had really gotten bad in Ayacucho. Often times they had to throw themselves on the floor as bullets literally flew over head. You never knew who to fear. The people were caught between the government forces, (both policemen and soldiers) and the guerrillas. Even after having accepted Christ Juana suffered emotionally for the trauma she had endured as a teenager in Ayacucho. Juana’s dad was a judge in Ayacucho. Many times the terrorist had entered their home to harass the family, go through their things, steal them, etc. They knew what it was to live under the very threat of death.

He and Juana left Ayacucho with the help of a pastor of the Peruvian Evangelical Church. This pastor had witnessed to him. He did not understand what was said but he never got away from one passage the pastor had read to him. That passage was Romans 3:10-11. “As it is written there is none righteous no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeks the Lord.” The pastor helped him move to Cuzco where he stayed in the Assemblies of God church. He couldn’t square what he was taught with what he knew from before. Soon he left the church and moved on. They moved from place to place in Peru. Often asking for lodging in the different churches in Peru.

Guzman had taught them to fear “real Christians”. He had told them that the Christians were dangerous and were the only ones who could not be convinced. They must be left alone or killed. You should never get involved in a conversation with them. Never try to convince them. As Juan moved from place to place and stayed in different churches he looked for answers. He knew what real dedication was. He knew a real believer when he saw him. They were hard to find, even in the churches.

Years passed. He arrived finally in the city of Arequipa. (Arequipa is a city of over 1,000,000 and is known as the “Rome of South America” due to the fact that it is so strongly and traditionally Catholic). He was able to get a building lot in one of the shanty towns on the outside of the city and build a small “shack” for his family. He still wasn’t married but he and Juana had been living together now for 6 or 7 years. They had 2 small children, Juanita and Juancito. Living together in Peru is not at all uncommon, due to the high cost of the government paperwork and then the Catholic church wedding. Juan was working for one of the local bus lines that travels all over Peru. Juana’s family members had helped him to get the job.

Often Juan would receive visits from his brother and other family members who were Pentecostals. They would tell him what they believed. For some reason it just didn’t add up for Juan. He wanted to see their pastor so that he could really understand. Three different times they made appointments. Each time the pastor failed to arrive. Juan was discouraged.

One day someone left a gospel tract on the counter where he worked. He read and reread the tract. He wanted to know more. The tract had the address of a “Baptist” church on it. Juan wanted someone to explain the tract to him but where would he go. His daughter was studying in the Seventh Day Adventist school. She kept pushing him to go to church because the teachers wanted them to bring their parents. Juan said well if I go I am going to go to one of those baptist churches and learn more about that tract.

Each day as Juan took the bus home from work he passed the Hunter Baptist Church. That big blue sign said Baptist church and also said “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. He wanted to know about that. Since Juanita was pushing so much for him to go to church he mentioned it to his wife, Juana. She said she was not interested and was never going to go. To get Juanita off of his back Juan decided to go to church. He took Juanita and went to the Hunter Baptist church. He was embarrassed and did not want to go in. When he got to church the young men at the door tried to get him to go on in. He said no that he would just listen from the door. He liked what he heard. He decided to tell Juana and see what she would say. He went back the next Sunday. The pastor was preaching through the book of Joshua. He understood the book very well from a military point of view. After all it was the book that they had used to learn how to attack cities and how to do ambushes etc. He was very interested. Soon he made a decision to accept Christ. He invited Juana who had said she would never go. Juana was fed up with religion. She had seen the Catholics, the Pentecostals, the seventh day adventist and they didn’t have the answers for her. When Juan returned from church he found that Juana had the Bible in her hand but it was only so that she could argue with the Jehovah’s Witnesses that had come to her house. Something had happened. That night Juana accepted Christ as her personal savior. Now when he didn’t feel like going Juana wanted to go. They began attending faithfully but no one knew their story.

Soon Juan became very impressed that people were willing to give their all for the cause. They wanted to change the world by taking Jesus to them. There was hope. There were answers to all of his questions. He finally saw what he had wanted so long. He asked if he could study in the Bible school to learn more. The answer was no. He was not married but living in adultery. He also had lots of weird ideas and Pentecostal theology that he had learned from his brother and the books he had been given to read.

Juan insisted that he be given the chance to study. He would do whatever it took. He had to know more. Soon he was married at city hall. He began studying the Bible.

God took his job from him. He didn’t know what to do. He enrolled in the Bible school and dedicated all of his morning hours to the study of Gods word. How would his family eat. He was hungry and discouraged. He decided to give it all up and go get a good job and forget preaching. It wasn’t worth it. As he prayed and thought God impressed him to pay the price. He did.

Here are his own words from a letter he wrote to his pastor:

“Three years ago when the Lord was calling me to preach we were going through some very difficult times in my family. My wife became sick. My children also got sick. Juancito even got to the point that he had convulsions along with a high fever for a few minutes. I feared the worst. I had no money because I had been laid off from my job. I began to sell jams and jellies from door to door after getting out of Bible classes. Usually I could only sell one or two a day. Some of the folks that went to the church when they saw what was happening they wanted to encourage me and said “why do you want to get into the ministry, what is going to happen to your family.” One afternoon after having gone out to sell the jam and jelly, my daughter, Juanita and I had gone block after block and not sold anything. I sat down in a park and began to cry uncontrollably because of such a difficult time that I was going through. While I was in the middle of these problems my sister in law arrived and offered to help me get a job in the city hall of Arequipa. Since my wife was so sick I decided to accept this offer. When I decided this my heart began to burn. I felt in the deepest part of my heart every message and preaching by which God had spoken to me specially through you. The message that was on my heart was Bloody Hands from Ezekiel 3 and 33. This message and other rang out in my ears, my heart and the deepest part of my being. One Thursday night in 1992 when I heard that message it made me let go because it broke me and crushed my heart so deeply so that the only choice for my life was to preach His word in spite of my tragic past. Because once I began attending the church I could not feel peace. My conscience accused me. The Holy Spirit convicted me and showed me that my hands were full of the blood of many people, boys, girls, young people that because of my sin were suffering. I decided to preach the Word of God no matter what happened. God had used you to start a fire in my being and the depths of my soul that I still can’t put out. An unquenchable flame that can never go out. For this reason I could not go back to the world. It was the word of God so pure the Bible so fresh that filled all of my being. The Holy Spirit that would not allow that I go back even one step. They were difficult moments but still sweet. Because I felt the presence of God in my life. A God in whom before I did not believe but this God so merciful had transformed my being using an American pastor called Austin Gardner. His love for that God and Jesus Christ was contagious. A pastor that came to this country full of hate, murder, terrorism, political instability, and problems. But he decided in his heart to stand on the word of God and destroy this myth. This fable that was called Peru a failing country. He called out a group of young men, discipled them and saw God do great things in this country. A God that heard prayers. The prayers of this pastor and this God brought terrorism to its knees and the economic problems etc also.

Soon Octavio Paredes felt God call him to be a missionary to Africa. To do that he was told that he should finish his studies, get experience in the ministry and prove himself. He felt that God was leading him to start a church and God directed him to the area where Juan lived. Octavio looked and looked for a place to rent. There were none. Juan began to help him look. They couldn’t find anywhere and so Juan talked with his wife and together they decided to fix up a part of their place for the church. Octavio like the idea. Juan the terrorist now had a church in his house.

God began to bless. The church grew and so Octavio was instructed to find a place that could be bought and so they could establish the church in a stable manner. When Octavio told Juan and Juana what his plan was they were hurt. Can’t you use our house. What have we done wrong. Octavio explained that they were doing great and that there was no problem but a church needed property of its own. Juana was deeply hurt. She wanted the church to be in their home. She suggested that they give their house to the church.

Octavio communicated the message to his pastor. His pastor being a North American was afraid that folks would think that they had taken his house. He told them no. They insisted. He instructed them to pray for three months and if they still wanted to give their house it would be accepted but it had to be their decision. There would be no pressure from the missionary, the pastor nor the church.

Three months passed and they were still convinced. Juan said

“I have taken much from my country. This is my opportunity to give something back. I sacrificed a lot more than this for terrorism and to destroy. How can I not give even more to my God who has saved me and given me life and hope.”

Today the Baptist Church of Alto Alianza is the proud owner of what was once Juan and Juana’s home.

God is so good the story doesn’t end there. God had called Juan to preach. His wife had been very sick due to all the dust where they lived. God opened the door for Juan to pastor a church. The missionary built a pastorium that was far better than the house that Juan had once had. He had given to God but God had given him back more than ever before.

Today Juan is a real blessing. He pastors the Baptist Church in Ampliacion Paucarpata. He is the president of the Macedonia International Baptist Mission which was formed by the pastors in Arequipa. God has now allowed Juan to preach in the mountains again and in Quechua to tell the “truth” this time. As president of the missionary organization Juan warns the folks.

If we do not send out missionaries of the truth Satan will. Jesus said to lift up your eyes to the harvest. Hear the cry of the Macedonian man, the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, the Peruvians, and millions around the world. If we don’t hear their cry and answer them. Satan will. He has many Abimael Guzmans waiting to pervert and destroy.

Open your hearts. Give them to the Lord Jesus to carry his message. We have the answer that they so desperately need. What will you do?

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 9:36-38

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. Acts 16:9

I am just now reading in Genesis 14:14 and I see something that I have seen many times but I think that we can apply to what we do as missionaries.  Abram is able to go to war against several worldly kings that have taken his people and goods captive.  He is able to win the war and bring Lot home.  He does all of this with 318 armed, trained, warriors, that were born in his home.  Too often we look out to others and other places to get our army when Abram got his right in his own back yard. 

Several thoughts that you could turn into a message:

  1. The enemy has taken God’s people captive at his will
  2. Abram is able to get the victory over several kings and get back all that was lost
  3. He does so with men born, raised and trained in his home–if we will build soul winning churches that will disciple men we should be able to go out and take back what Satan has stolen and bring them back to the house with our own men.

Well it is at least something for a missionary to consider.

Genesis 45:20 Quit worrying about your stuff. He has so much more for you if you will just decide to put him first and honor him with what you have. He will give provision for your way as you follow him. Your stuff is of little value compared to what He has for you!

Gen_37:20 The thing that most aggravated Joseph’s brothers was not that he was their father’s favorite or that he had ratted on them but that he had a dream. People have problems with folks that have dreams and look for more in life than they have. They decided to kill him and then lie about what happened but look at the reason they give. Their thoughts were that if they killed him that they could see what would become of his dreams. They weren’t killing their brother they were killing the dreamer. They weren’t killing the dreamer they wanted to kill the dream. I wonder how many “men of God” feel inadequate to fulfill the Great Commission and for that reason must kill the dreamer and the dream of world evangelism so as not to feel that they have failed. Don’t kill the dream–learn how to live the dream.

Gen_37:19 Joseph had gotten a dream from the Lord. He expected more from his life than others expected from their lives. They had settled in to live life like “any other man” but Joseph seemed to think that God had something special for him in his future. He talked about his dream. He shared it though maybe not in the wisest ways but he still talked about what he believed that God was going to do with him. Some of his dream wasn’t too clear and maybe a little off in some ways. After all his mother didn’t bow down to him except figuratively. But he dreamed something great. He was willing to do what it took to accomplish his dream also. His dream gave him hope everyday. When he was a slave, then falsely accused, and then a prisoner he never had a bad attitude because he believed that God was going to do something special in his life.I hope that you too are dreaming. God wants to do something special with you. He wants to take you places that you could only dream about. He wants to see you take his dream, his vision of getting the gospel to the world and put it into practice. Do you dream of glorifying His name in all the world? Do you dream of obeying Him to His maximum glory. Just such a dream will cause you to do and be and go where no man has gone before.

Gen_33:14 In leadership and discipleship training the shepherd teaches us many principles that we must practice. First you must know the condition of your flock. Jacob knew that they were tender, had their young with them. He knew where they lived. He knew how their lives were. How can you truly train a man or woman if you do not know them personally? Jesus spent time with his men. It was not a classroom environment. It was not instruction but inspiration. Not only did he give them principles but he showed them how to put it into practice. He lived with his men. It was life on life discipleship. True discipleship is the teacher investing his life in his disciple. You can not descend from the heavenlys and deliver your message and ascend back to the heavenlis if you truly want to impact the world. Obviously you have to spend your time with the right people but you must spend and be spent if you truly desire to have a world impact.Not only does Jacob know the condition of his flock but he is careful in how he treats them. He will not allow himself nor others to overdrive them. How often have we tried to make the external man conform to what we believe he should be without investing in the inward man? How often have we tried to change a man from the outside in instead of the inside out? How often have we preached messages or given lessons that asked more than the tender were able to bear. So often we have a revolving door in our churches. Somehow we must stop this mistreatment or overdriving of our sheep.

Jacob as a shepherd knew that he had to lead on softly. He had to do what the children and the flock could endure. He knew that he would arrive at the desired destination but only if he moved at the right speed.

I am sure that no man of God has ever meant to hurt his people but so many times in our eagerness to be all that we can be we use our people to build our work rather than our work to build our people. As a young pastor I wanted my people to be good Christians. I wanted them to look the part and act it as well. I am sure that I had no idea how much I wanted these things for how it would make me look more than the good of my people but I proceeded to hurt people in more ways than I can explain.

I preached hard messages. I dictated how they were to dress, how they were to give, how they were to carry on every aspect of their lives. I didn’t lead on tenderly. I did overdrive them. Finally when the men came to see me in a group to tell me how I should be a little kinder and preach more than my few favorite pet topics I proceeded to tell them that I was God’s man and that I would preach what God told me to preach. There only concern was not that what I was preaching was wrong, but maybe the spirit I preached it in and the speed at which I wanted them to change. They didn’t ask me to change my convictions, they asked me to consider preaching more than just my pet topics. I was young, I heard the big boys talk to so I was right and they were wrong. I basically told them it was either my way or the high way. They took the high way. In my eagerness to have a product I could show off as a young dedicated pastor, I soon found myself without a salary and with a clean but empty church. I had asked a pastor friend what he thought and he simply said you’re obnoxious. His comment hurt so deeply that I couldn’t quit crying, but maybe that comment put me on the road to changing my philosophy of ministry. I still believe the same things but I know now the flock is tender and with young and I have learned to not try to over drive them. I once heard a great man of God say whenever you preach against sin, make sure there’s a tear in the corner of your eye, because your not against them but rather trying to deliver them from the pain that comes from the sin they are about to commit. Pastor, disciple, spiritual leader, please remember that they are but children and must be treated as such. We must only teach them what they are able to bare today. No one expects a six month old child to feed himself, dress himself, or even use the bathroom on his own. In our wisdom we understand where he is, and therefore have patience and tenderness as we watch them grow up. Pastor could I venture an opinion about what we preach. I know I am treading on dangerous waters but discipleship in my opinion is the place you say so many things that apply directly. Many of us are afraid of personal confrontation so we use a bully pulpit to beat on our people. What we would be afraid to say face to face we say to a crowd and hurt many people, and by the way we lose standing with our people, because many of them figure out what you are saying and to who you are saying it. The people side with the under dog and since you are publicly attacking a weaker brother or a brother who gets no pulpit time you may lose the confidence of your people. Why not develop discipleship in your church. A one on one relationship. Life on Life that changes people. How many times do we preach messages that are true and important but not applicable to the spiritual level of our people?

Gen_30:1

This must be our attitude as Christians; Give me souls or I die. How can we be satisfied taking care of those who are already saved, those that are the children of others? We must be at it. We must have a passion. We must pray, work, and go to do all in our power to reach souls with the gospel message.

Gen_11:6 If you can dream it you can do it, what are you imagining for God? God separated man and destroyed his work because whatever he thought about he could do. How much do we think about world evangelism and doing all in our power to get the gospel to every creature. What do you spend your time dreaming about or planning? When was the last time you spent time thinking about doing something big to bring honor and glory to God by evangelizing the world.

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