“When Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, ‘Why do you look at one another?’ And he said, ‘Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.’ So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, ‘Lest some calamity befall him.’ And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.”
Joseph Prepared for the Years of Famine during the Years of Prosperity
The passage of Scripture we just read is taken from the Book of Genesis chapter 42. This account occurred during the time of great famine in the land of Egypt and the surrounding countries. During this time of famine, there was also a severe famine in the land of Canaan where Jacob and his sons were living. And so, the sons of Jacob had to go to the land of Egypt to obtain grain.
At that time, their brother Joseph was the governor of Egypt who was sold by them into slavery a long time ago. Joseph was living in the land of Egypt with the status of a criminal when he interpreted the dream of the king of Egypt, and through this he became the governor of Egypt. It is written in the Bible that Joseph stored a lot of grain throughout the land of Egypt and thus was able to deliver many people who were starving to death. It was due to his wisdom that the government was able to prepare sufficient food during the years of abundance with the eyes of looking far ahead. During the time that Joseph was ruling Egypt as its governor, there were great harvests of grain in the land for seven years, and an enormous amount of grain was stored up in the storage houses. During these seven years, the harvest was so great, it is said that the amount that was brought in was immeasurable.
At that time, there probably were some foolish people who questioned Joseph’s decision making. It is natural for people who are prone to enjoy their comfortable and gay lives during the years of abundance. But Joseph ordered his servants to build large storage houses in order to ensure that the grain would not be spoiled. He made use of his God-given wisdom to store the crops in those dry storage houses during the seven years so that he could sustain the lives of the people.
While Joseph was governing Egypt, after the seven years of great harvests of grain, there came the seven years of terrible famine. Dear fellow believers, imagine what it would be like if this country had a terrible famine for just six months. You would hear from here and there that people would be dying from lack of water and food. In Joseph’s time, the people of Egypt went to their king and asked for food that would allow them to survive. The people of Egypt mortgaged their lands and purchased grain, and so were able to survive that time of great famine.
Let’s go back to the time when Joseph was in jail. One day he went before the king of Egypt to interpret the king’s dream. Joseph interpreted the dream of the Pharaoh and the interpretation was that there would be seven years of great harvests of grain followed by seven years of terrible famine. And so, he told the Pharaoh that they must store up the food when there was plenty of it, so that they could survive the seven years of severe famine. Wisdom was needed at a time like this, and Joseph was a man who possessed such wisdom.
The situation at that time was such that not only in the land of Egypt was there a terrible famine but in the land of Canaan as well. There was no choice for Jacob, his sons, and their families who lived in the land of Canaan but to go purchase grain because they had run out of food. Jacob heard from others that there was abundant grain in the land of Egypt and he sent them to obtain food saying, “My sons, I have heard that there is plenty of grain in the land of Egypt. Let’s not starve to death sitting here. I will give you money, so go buy some grain for us.”
There were many things that developed into the account in today’s passage of Scripture. But what I am telling you repeatedly here is that we must store the bread of life beforehand in preparation. There will come a time when the bread of life which we have diligently prepared will be essential to everyone across the whole world. When this time comes, the whole world will request this bread of life from us. At that time, by the grace of God, people all over the world will eat of the bread of life which we have stored up. Right now, we are proclaiming the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the entire world, but we must always store up and save this bread of life. Dear fellow believers, are we storing up the bread of life right now? I am asking you, “Do you carry out this responsibility by faith, or not?”
Even during These Times, the Righteous Are Preparing the Bread of Life
Now is the time when we are entering the door to the Age of Sorrows (Matthew 24:8). As the Book of Revelation reveals, the Age of the Black Horse is approaching us. In this world as we are experiencing it, famine is beginning to take over the earth. I am speaking in terms of the Church of God and the world. Nevertheless, God Himself will protect and keep His Church. God will protect the righteous even during the age of famine so that they will live comfortably both spiritually and physically and He will allow us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit well. However, we must know that the Age of the Pale Horse, the Age of the Antichrist is approaching fast. When the Antichrist appears, even though we may desire to do the work of God, we will not be able to do any spiritual work. And so, we must prepare our mission books that will be used during the times of spiritual famine that is drawing close to us. And the Church of God must fulfill its responsibility through faith.
As the servants of God, we must fulfill this ministry which has been entrusted to us as well as various other spiritual tasks. As for myself, as I do much work, I personally drive myself the hardest to press on for the gospel. This is because it will become much more difficult to proclaim the gospel. There are some fellow workers who think that we can just do the work as it comes to us. People of the flesh think only of their welfare. But we must not be people who are influenced by the environment around us, but we must be those who overcome our circumstances by faith. Also, human beings are prone to rationalize themselves so that even if they do not act by faith they don’t care about themselves. Nevertheless, the righteous must not rationalize their unfaithfulness but must stand up boldly and work by faith.
When I think about the things to come, I become more determined in my heart to work with a renewed mind and faith. From here on out, my fellow workers whoever will work together with me must fulfill the work that has been entrusted to them, and we must help many more people to enter into the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that they receive salvation from their sins. And we must nurture the born-again to have spiritual strength in the tender love of the Lord so that they can argue with the wicked people and prevail against them by faith. In today’s Scripture passage, because Joseph wisely stored up grain, it resulted in the deliverance of many people. I am sure that if your parents or family is to experience a terrible famine both in body and in spirit, God will save them through your faith. I am saying that during the time of famine, your family will be able to eat of the spiritual food because of you.
We invested a lot of money in building this Discipleship Training Center. I am reminded of what I told you when we first began the construction on this training center. When we purchased this land, I said that we would build a Church and other buildings here and would hold discipleship training camps every year so that we could bring our families and proclaim the Word of God to them so that they could receive the remission of their sins. This dream will come true when we face the Age of Antichrist. This is all possible because we have been preparing the spiritual bread that will be used during the time of famine.
We are going to continue to widen our sphere in preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit as much as God allows us so that we can accomplish His work. Truly, if people do not have spiritual and physical food they will listen to what we will be saying and some of them who are attentive will believe what we have told them. At that time, we will accommodate our family members into this center and proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them and feed the bread of life to them. While feeding them on physical food, we will offer them the opportunity to hear the Word of the Spirit. And only if they hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit and respond positively they will receive the remission of their sins. This is why we invested so much money in this center like this from the beginning.
Have you been cold during this Winter Discipleship Training Camp? I heard that we used six months worth of firewood during this winter period. I think you probably are enjoying the warm heating system that has been installed. We must not do this just during the training camp but during the whole winter. We have installed new firewood boilers and they work very well. And so, if we run these boilers, we can live in comfort not to mention using hot water to our hearts’ content.
We Must Feed the Word of God’s Righteousness to All the People by Faith
We are people who have the responsibility to deliver the lives of all the people in this world during the last times by preparing our books in bulk that contain the Word of life, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones that are responsible for this ministry. Simply put, we are the storage houses of the bread of life for humankind. We must live as the servants of God who store up this bread of life and then later hand it out. Currently we are not large in number but we are the people who have the heavy duty to live for the people of this world.
Now is the time when it is hard for people to obtain new life. We the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are experiencing much hardship as well. Nevertheless, the religious people who are within “worldly” Christianity say optimistic words such as “Don’t worry. In a little while, things will get better.” But the reality is that this world will absolutely never become a better place. The longer we live on this earth, the more difficult it becomes to live here. It will definitely not get better. In order for us to survive in this world, we have no other option but to rely on the righteousness of God and trust in it by faith. If we are not prepared to carry out our God-given tasks by faith in the righteousness of God, then many will perish because of our disloyalty. There is no guarantee that this world will improve spiritually or physically. Those who say that this world is going to get better are all liars and spiritual deceivers. These false teachers lie to others and rob them of their money. In this manner, they attempt to receive the honor of others, but in the end they will also be ruined.
Dear fellow believers, if we look ahead into the future and not simply at the present, it becomes clear that this world is going to wear out like the setting sun. And the end of the world is not far away. When I gave sermons to you on the Book of Revelation, I told you a lot about the impending destruction of the world. And I’m sure there were some even among the righteous who did not like what I was saying and mumbled, “Why doesn’t he speak of positive things and always mentions negative things?” Of course, I’m sure most of you accepted my teachings by faith and rejoiced in them.
Nevertheless, regardless of what we think, this world is not going to get better. We must clearly understand this fact. I want to make a statement to all the false teachers, “Let’s not deceive others with empty hope. This world is not going to get better.” Prior to when the Lord returns to this earth, the Antichrist will appear. And prior to the appearance of the Antichrist famine and tribulation will definitely take place, and along with the appearance of the Antichrist this world will come to an end. We must therefore help people to prepare for the end of the world. And this is achieved by people coming to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receiving salvation from the judgment of God. However, there must not be any instances of us giving empty hope for the improvement of the world to people who are going to perish because of their sins.
Let Us Prepare the Kingdom of God by Faith in the Righteousness of God
One must say the truth rather than give people false hope when things are not going well. Put differently, in regards to the Lord’s return, we must teach people to lead a proper spiritual life so that they can wait for Him with their hearts. Even for us we absolutely need to be equipped with weaponry along with mental armament when the enemy invades us. We are then able to defend ourselves if we were prepared for this invasion, but we will be defeated if we have to face the enemy without any preparation at all. Do you think a soldier fights only with his gun and his sword? He must be prepared to fight with his heart also. Mental armament is essential. Only then can a soldier fight with the weapons that are provided for him. It is not possible to fight with the enemy with just a gun and a sword.
Therefore, we must first recognize what state we are in and what it is that we must do. And we must enter into this spiritual war considering what we must do in order to help those who are dying. All of our preparation and our actions must be done with the faith which believes in the Word of God. Also, we must not wage spiritual war with our flesh. A person who engages in spiritual warfare relying on his or her strength of the flesh is a very foolish person. Such a person only commits sin before God. If we wage spiritual war without believing in the righteousness of God, we will end up being defeated. Whatever task is assigned to us, we must believe that it is God’s command for us to fulfill it and we must perform the works of the righteousness of God and of the salvation of souls by faith. The saints must sell things in the marketplace by faith. You must do business by faith. You must proclaim the gospel by faith. You must live by faith and your goal in life must be established by faith. We must live with the faith which believes in the righteousness of God.
Dear fellow believers, I am a person who is weak and lacking in many areas. I am not an extraordinary person. But I can do the work of God because I believe in the Word of the righteousness of God. Because I believe in the righteousness of God which is revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I press on in projects which are pleasing to God by faith. We are running some businesses to serve the gospel vigorously. The boss of a business must think creatively and take care of various matters in detail. We must do this also with our faith which believes in the righteousness of the Lord. If our purpose is aimed to proclaim the righteousness of the Lord, He will give us wisdom and help us. If we do not aim to preach this genuine gospel, the Lord will not provide us with wisdom. He will not give us foresight into what will transpire in the world from here on out.
In today’s passage of Scripture from Genesis 42, we see that Joseph was a man who feared God, and because of this, God accomplished His will of delivering the descendants of Jacob through him. In order to save the nation of Israel, God had set a plan of salvation. He had Joseph to be sold by his brothers and had Joseph interpret the dream of the king of Egypt. And finally, God had Joseph to become the governor of Egypt. And through this, God had crops to be stored by Joseph and He delivered all of the people of the surrounding countries not to mention all the Egyptians.
What happened to the nation of Egypt because of Joseph? They accumulated an excess of wealth. Because Joseph trusted in God and was led by Him, his grain policy was successful because the grain became more expensive during the time of famine. Even if the normal cost for a sack of wheat sold for $100, if Joseph had asked for $1,000, they would have still bought up all his stored grain. If we look at the Bible, we can see that the Egyptians sold their houses, land and whatever they had in order to purchase food to sustain themselves. Because the crops were found only in the grain storages of the Pharaoh in the entire land, the people of Egypt had to come to the king in order to purchase food. And because the country became powerful at that time, even after the death of Joseph, the Kingdom of Egypt experienced the peak of its existence. Joseph became the governor of Egypt, and under his political leadership, the Kingdom of Egypt did not stop at becoming a wealthy country but became the most powerful country in the known world. If there had been a country that annoyed this Egypt this country would have been destroyed.
Although Jacob and his descendants went into the land of Egypt and engaged in pastoral work, did they not grow into an enormous nation of people? It is safe to say they grew to form the entity of a nation. In short, the descendants of Abraham, Jacob and his family, entered into the land of Egypt through Joseph, and they were formed into the nation of Israel, which was the matrix of today’s Israel. God thus worked through the life of Joseph in order to accomplish His Will. God allowed all of these things to occur in history so that He could save us from all our sins and also save all of the lost souls of the entire world through us. And He will ultimately make His Kingdom come to pass. God made the gospel to be proclaimed so that people of all nations will believe in the righteousness of God and enter into the Kingdom of God and live joyously ever after.
Let’s Live by Faith with the Eyes That Look Far Ahead
As we consider these things, we must move forward step by step by looking a little farther ahead by faith as we proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we must create a system for the proclamation of the gospel. We must not simply start any project in haste with a hasty heart, but in order to proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole world, each department of our mission organization must do the work that is entrusted to each of us systematically. We must cast away the attitude that “nothing will work without me,” and we must be faithful to the cause of the proclamation of the gospel. We were able to accomplish a lot out of nothing, so what will keep us from doing even more work? And we must always train and prepare God’s workers by faith to do His work. Anyone among us must not take care of everything on his own; but we must train our fellow workers to share the workload that is entrusted to us. We must pass on the present work of God to those who come behind us, and we must pioneer new areas of God’s work by faith. In this way, we can fulfill the calling of the proclamation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole world in a proper manner. Let’s establish an organized system for proclaiming the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There is a lot that we can learn by considering the faith of Joseph. We must store up spiritual food like Joseph did and, when the spiritual famine comes, we must share this bread of life with people who are starving and help them to receive new life. We must have this faith as we do the work of God, and with this faith, we must go before the Lord step by step. We must not hurry, but we must establish an adequate system as we do the work of God. And as the servants of God, we must be the salt of this earth and serve God faithfully.