THE JOSEPH GENERATION (Introduction)

THE JOSEPH GENERATION
Release of the End Time Deliverers

Anna Bryan Cropley © 2017, All rights reserved.

Absolute Grace Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas U.S.A.


All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

Other versions used are:

DR-Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (public domain)

THE MESSAGE –Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. www.tyndale.com

NIV-Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. www.Biblica.com


Dedication

I do not believe that humans become heavenly angels in the afterlife. Humans and angels are each separate, distinct creations of God. But since the literal meaning of angel is messenger and Webster* notes that an angel can be defined as “a kind and lovable person,” and “one who manifests goodness, purity, and unselfishness,” then I would have to say that my mother has been to me a Messenger of God, the Angel of my Life!

I want to dedicate this book to you, my darling mother, Mary Anna Ogden Bryan.

1951 – On her honeymoon, Gatlinburg, TN
2016 – In her garden, Lawrenceville, GA

You gave me life and unconditional love. You always listened and believed in me even when few others did. You are a model of unselfishness, self-sacrifice, generosity, kindness, gentleness, thoughtfulness, patience, diligence, and a delightful ability to see the sunny side of life! You have been my greatest encourager and deepest comforter.

With most tender affection and compassion, life-saving prayers and wise counsel, you have made my life’s journey so much sweeter. You are my heroine and one of the dearest people God has ever made! I love you with all my heart!

 

By the way, all my life you consistently encouraged me to write thank you notes – even to this day. This dedication is one of my feeble attempts to thank you, dear lady.

Your loving daughter,

Mary Anna Bryan Cropley, “Anna”

*angel, noun, definition 3., a. and b. Webster’s II, New Riverside University Dictionary, The Riverside Publishing Company, 1984.


Watcher of Men
From Places in the Spirit, © 1997, Anna Cropley. Inspired by Job 7:20 NASB

 

Verse One

Oh, watcher of men,  keeper of tears,  counter of sand.

Oh, planter of dreams, namer of stars – my heart in Your hands.

I am held in Your gaze. Watcher of men, You know my days

From beginning to end, beginning to end.

Verse Two

Oh, watcher of men, keeper of tears, counter of sand.

Oh, granter of dreams, namer of stars – my heart in Your hands.

I am held in Your gaze. Watcher of men, You know my days

From beginning to end, beginning to end.


Author’s Note

Early one evening, in the fall of 2007, I decided to walk the tree-lined streets of my neighborhood. I stooped to gather pecans as I passed beneath the heavily laden pecan trees. Cell phone in hand, I thought I’d spend the time catching up with friends. But, before I made the first call, I received a clear impression, I believe from the Lord. He wanted to take the walk with me! He wanted to speak to my heart!

As I listened with expectation, I was surprised to hear, “I want you to write a book about Joseph.” Instantly I knew He meant the Joseph whose story was chronicled in the Old Testament. I felt I almost knew that Joseph personally…

• • •

In the fall of 1978, during my junior year of college in Georgia, I sat in the Sunday School class of a gifted young Bible teacher named Clyde. As he instructed us on Joseph’s life, specifically regarding his thirteen years of suffering and testing, Clyde threw in, “By the way, would you be willing to live in obscurity for thirteen years before the Lord used you?” The question jolted me as I sensed the Lord was asking me directly. Immediately I recoiled, thinking, “No, absolutely not!”

I was a Music Major at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia, at the time. I loved to sing, act, speak, dance, debate, somersault (My P.E. teacher had really asked me to do somersaults in our first grade program…) – anything on stage. “Waiting in obscurity” was the last thing in the world I wanted to do! That prospect felt like death to my hopes and dreams!

But now, I realize when God asks questions, He is preparing our hearts to say yes to His plans for us. His journey for us involves detours to build our character which we ourselves would not have chosen. We are wise to let go of the tight hold we have on our lives and let Him lead! Jesus spoke the following just before his death:

…The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (John 12:23-26 The Message).

In less than three years following that memorable Sunday morning, I had graduated from college, married and moved to Fort Worth, Texas. From the time of the first question, “Will you wait?” to the second, “Will you write?” I had literally spent twenty-nine years in relative obscurity. By obscurity, I mean hiddenness, not doing what I felt I was born to do. I am not saying to be successful you have to have your “name up in lights”, but you know in your heart when you are living a life of frustration and seeming futility, continually having your dreams dashed and your “hope deferred.” During those years, the Lord repeatedly imparted a vision of the person I was to become and what I was to do. He wanted for me to have an impact for His Kingdom through the different communication genres with which He’d gifted me – in the future – a future that never seemed to arrive! I was serving the Lord during that time, but was always aware of a much bigger dream planted in my heart!

• • •

Later, I will write more of those intervening years which have stretched to almost thirty-nine at the writing of this manuscript. But, as I walked that night under the pecan trees, turning over in my mind God’s request to write about Joseph, the Lord continued, “There are thousands of ‘Josephs’, like you, and I want you to encourage them. Some are almost in despair. Some even want to die.” (Since then, I have realized there might be hundreds of thousands of us!)

So I answered, “Yes, Lord, I will write this book for You. But, please, I don’t want it to be long. I don’t even like reading long books and I surely don’t want to have to write one!” I was remembering the drudgery of writing college term papers. The Lord replied, “How many pecans have you gathered in your hand?” I counted. “Eight.”  “That’s how many chapters will be in your book!”

I made my way home that fall evening, eight seeds of a pecan tree in my hand, the seed of a book in my heart and a deep awareness that I was a part of THE JOSEPH GENERATION!*

• • •

Since that encounter, the Lord has written this book on my heart. I hope my words will encourage those of you to whom the Lord has given big dreams, challenging assignments, and lofty callings only to find yourselves thwarted, demoted and asked to wait and wait and wait…. You have endured severe setbacks, repeated disappointments, and some of you have even battled despair and death.

I share these pages with you that you might “get a fresh breeze in the dank dungeon air, see a message of hope scrawled on the dim dungeon wall and feel vindicated for wearing your tear-soaked prison garb and enduring the lashes on your back.” And in this darkest of dungeons, may you learn to see the Light. He is the Light who lives in your heart. He is the Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in His wings. (See Malachi 4:2)

May you gain an understanding of the strange preparation you’ve endured through Joseph’s words to his brothers during famine. “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.” (Genesis 45:7 NASB) You are His forerunners! You carry a torch of deliverance for those who live in the encroaching darkness and increasing desperation of today’s world!

6/24/2013, Seymour, Texas

 

*Generation: A group of individuals considered as sharing a common contemporaneous culture or social attributes <the beat generation>, Ibid, p.524

Is there another stream running even more deeply and hiddenly these days among the members of the Body, a scattered people who are being taken into the depths of the revelation and experience of Christ in the most extreme measures of the Holy Spirit’s dealings, emptying, crucifying… a pioneer company which the Lord will need for the opening of the way for the remainder of the Body to follow – perhaps some “eleventh hour laborers” now in the process of His producing?*

*George Moreshead, as quoted by Frank Viola in Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009), 305.

 


Introduction

In the land of ancient Egypt, circa 1897 B.C., a thirty year old man came to a position of immense power: Joseph, a Hebrew, son of Jacob, great grandson of Abraham. Joseph’s life is a foreshadowing of many of our lives. We can find encouragement by drawing parallels between Joseph’s life and our own in the areas of (1) our dreams and our callings, (2) the pain and even trauma endured in preparation for the fulfillment of those dreams and callings, (3) the process of healing from the difficulties of preparation, and (4) the final actualization of God’s promises to us.

We are in the last of the last days of this current era. Every follower of Jesus Christ will be called upon to give their all: those who are currently serving to the maximum, those who are in preparation, and those who are yet to know Christ. A great awakening among the youth has been prophesied! But no one of any age or station in life will be excluded from service. All who are willing will be used by God in the coming days!

But just as God set Joseph apart to bring deliverance to his generation during a famine of worldwide proportion, so God has set apart a company of people as deliverers in the next global drama. Even now the Lord’s faithful servants are currently laying down their lives for the kingdom of God in public and in obscure ways. This book is addressed most specifically to those who have been quietly prepared for their larger task. The season in which God is beginning to release these hidden warriors is upon us!

Joseph’s life events form the outline of the book. I did not attempt to write a comprehensive biography of Joseph, but to ask, “What does Joseph’s life say to us today?” I have attempted to share truths that transcend the historical facts while holding to the integrity of these facts.

The Lord also asked me to include my own story. I really wrestled with His request, not just because it would make my task longer, but because, as with all of us, I have had painful experiences and relationships which I would prefer to remember.

At the beginning of and sprinkled throughout each chapter, I have included poems, songs, quotes, and Scriptures which I hope will elucidate the chapter. I have also included prophetic words, dreams, and pictures which I and others have received. Most of my prophetic words came to me as short statements in the middle of the night or early morning hours when my mind was less cluttered.

What I call “prophetic” is communication received directly from God.   As Paul, the apostle, said, ”Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (I Corinthians 14:1 NASB). I believe all God’s children can learn to hear His voice and speak (prophesy) what He has told them. In the case of dreams, they are interpreted with the wisdom given by the Lord at the time of the dream and/or subsequently when deeper understanding is sought. Dreams also can be prophetic. I will share more later on hearing from God and on interpreting our dreams.

As deliverers, the Lord is employing us to prepare others for the traumatic days that precede the Second Coming of Christ Jesus. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of time until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21-22 NASB). Our mission may potentially involve preserving quality of life and even life itself! But our ultimate purpose will be that of leading others to eternal life beyond this world!

As of this writing, over 2.9 billion people have never even heard the name, “Jesus”. All who love our God will be His agents to help deliver these from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into the marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9 NASB).

 


Check back soon for Chapter One: The Heir

With Love & Blessings,

Anna

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