Joshua and the Promised Land


Table of Contents

Title Page


Entering the Fullness of
Our Inheritance in Christ



Russell M. Stendal





Joshua and the Promised Land – Russell M. Stendal
Copyright © 2017, 2019
Second edition published 2019

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Jubilee Bible, copyright ©
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From Glory to Glory.
Following the Ark of the Unveiled Presence of God .
Circumcision of the Heart and the Impending Battle .
The Battle of Jericho.
The Sin of Achan and the Valley of Trouble.
We Must Choose Between the Blessing and the Curse .
Beware of End Time Deception.
When the Sun Stands Still.
The Last Battle.
Meet the Author.
Other Similar Titles.


We know that the Lord desires to prosper his people (Israel and the church), and because we live in the world, we naturally enjoy prosperity. Yet it’s also evident from history that the dangers facing the people of God are much greater under prosperity than under adversity. God has expertly used the trials and tribulations of affliction, as well as prosperity, during the past six thousand years of human history to deal with the hearts of those whom he will select in the first resurrection to reign and rule with Christ for “a thousand years.”

Many of God’s people tell me that they can sense by the Spirit that Christ’s return is imminent, yet none of us knows the exact timing of the prophetic events that are about to unfold. God will manage time and events as he sees fit, and it will be in perfect accord with what is written in the Scriptures.

Up until now, we’ve been able to serve God in our own lives with ministries and natural and spiritual gifts from him. In order to enter fully into the opportunities that are looming on the horizon with remarkable speed, however, we’ll need to make some fundamental changes. We must now abide in the very life of God and in the nature and mind of Christ, leaving the nature of fallen Adam completely behind.

Jesus operated in this realm. He was beyond gifts, beyond ministries, beyond Pentecost. Jesus was the temple where the Father tabernacled. His heart was completely bonded with the heart of his Father, and thus he did not rely on his gifts or on the ministries of others for guidance. He lived in a realm of unlimited anointing, without limitations, according to the will of the Father. Jesus told us, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in the heavens is perfect (Matthew 5:48). In Greek, the word perfect is the same as the word for maturity. Our Father yearns for the body of Christ to come to maturity and receive the fullness of the inheritance, the fullness of the Spirit of God.

When this happens, the bride of Christ (which is equivalent to the body of Christ) will corporately have the same witness as the Spirit, with no discrepancy (Revelation 22:17). Then our enemies will fall in a single day, a time referred to by the prophets as the day of the Lord. The story of Joshua (whose name is the Hebrew equivalent of Jesus in Greek) and the conquest of the Promised Land is really a prophetic picture of how the people of God, in our time at the end of the church age (also known as the age of Pentecost), will enter into the fullness of our inheritance in Christ.

Chap 1. From Glory to Glory.

Joshua 1

1:1a Now after the death of Moses, the slave of the LORD, it came to pass

Hired servants are paid for their work and can choose to resign. Slaves, by contrast, have an owner. Moses was the slave of the Lord and belonged to him completely.

1:1b that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

Up until this point, the calling of God upon Joshua had been to minister to (that is, to serve) Moses, who was God’s slave. Similarly, Jesus was sent to minister to, or to serve, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, who were in bondage as slaves to sin under the law of Moses. However, the Israelites had not entered slavery voluntarily, and their owners treated them harshly, whereas Moses was God’s very willing slave and knew that he was precious in his owner’s sight.

The apostle Paul similarly referred to himself as a slave of Christ. You will recall, of course, that when Jesus invited Simon and Andrew to follow him, he told them that he would make them fishers of men. Joshua’s father was named Nun, which means “fish,” and Joshua himself represents those of the body of Christ who have come to maturity under the headship of Jesus after having been “fished” for the Kingdom of God.

1:2 Moses, my slave, is dead; now, therefore, arise, pass this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I give to the sons of Israel.

Note that the sons of Israel were still in the wilderness (or desert) when the leadership was transferred from Moses to Joshua. The wilderness is a type of the age of the church (Feast of Pentecost), and the Promised Land is a type of the age of the kingdom (Feast of Tabernacles).

Under the leadership of Moses, there had been a very interesting progression. God had delivered his people from bondage in Egypt with a mighty hand and had instituted the Feast of Passover. We know that the real fulfillment of Passover is the sacrifice of Jesus as our Passover Lamb, a sacrifice that took place once and for all. We have been delivered from the bondage of sin, the world, and the Devil by the blood of Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection have accomplished our redemption. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled with God by the death of his Son, much more, now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).

The children of Israel (like many in the church) had trouble learning to walk in victory. An entire generation of those who were stiff-necked and rebellious died off in the wilderness and never entered the Promised Land even though they were miraculously fed by manna, received water from the rock, and were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Their first battles in the wilderness were defensive as they went from camp to camp, traveling round and round the same mountain. By the time they got to camp thirty-eight or so, the Lord began to send them to take the battle to their enemies on offense, culminating in a spectacular victory without losing a single person. After Moses died, Joshua led the people into camp number forty-one at the edge of the Jordan River (if you count the wilderness camps as beginning at Marah after they passed through the Red Sea). The next camp, number forty-two, would be inside the Promised Land at Gilgal.1

1 See Russell Stendal, The Correction Factor (Aneko Press, 2014)

The river Jordan (which means “flowing down”) is a symbol of death in that it flows into the Dead Sea. This reminds us that we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God in our own life. Instead, we must learn to die to our own way, the way of the flesh, and live in Christ, led by the Spirit, because only through him can we receive the fullness of our inheritance.

1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Jesus is the head of the body of Christ, and if we are members of that body, then this promise is for us.

1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your borders.

Lebanon means “white mountain” (Mount Hermon) and is a symbol of the heavenly Sion (Deuteronomy 4:48). Euphrates means “double fruitfulness.” Hittites means “sons of Heth,” a name which means “terror.” We, as Christians, are to inherit all the land of the “terrorists.” The great sea toward the going down of the sun (that is, toward the west) refers to the Mediterranean Sea. In prophetic Scripture, the sea is a symbol of lost humanity.

1:5 No one shall be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

Though these words are directed at Joshua, they apply to all the members of the body of Christ. The eternal life of Jesus, and his never-ending love for us, means that not only is he alive forevermore, but he will stand with us through all eternity.

1:6 Be strong and of a good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land as an inheritance, which I swore unto their fathers to give them.

Notice this: it is Joshua (Jesus at the head of the body of Christ) who shall cause this people to inherit the promises of God. This is not something that we can accomplish on our own, even with the gifts and ministries that God has given us in the realm of the “wilderness” of the church age.

1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous that thou mayest keep and do according to all the law, which Moses my slave commanded thee; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou may be prospered in all the things that thou doest.

On the one hand is legalism and on the other is licentiousness. The only way to stay on the right path is to have the law of the Lord written on the tablets of our hearts and to walk in the law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12), for where that Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty to do the will of God (2 Corinthians 3:17).

It is one thing to have an individual or two, here or there, walk in the right path. It is quite another thing to move the entire people of God into a higher realm of corporate victory and rest. This is why God dealt with all the disobedient, rebellious Israelites, and they died off in the wilderness. If we enter into the life of Christ, if he removes that which he does not like from our lives and from our hearts, if he passes us over this Jordan that requires the death of the old man, if his life in us is no longer in competition with our old life, if we are flowing in harmony with other believers whom God is moving in the same direction, then we may be prospered in all that we do.

1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou may keep and do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way to prosper, and then thou shalt understand everything.

The only one who has ever been able to keep and do according to all that is written in the book of the law is Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of the law. He under[1]stands everything. If we have him, we have everything; if we don’t have him, we don’t really have anything at all. The only way to truly prosper and to understand everything is to have Jesus Christ at the very center of our existence.

1:9 See that I command thee to be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for I, the LORD thy God, am with thee wherever thou goest.

Those who continue to struggle to implement the letter of the law in their own strength will always be afraid and dismayed because they know, in their heart, that they’re just not strong enough. But the promises of companionship, fidelity, and guardianship that God made to Joshua are available to us in Christ. It is very important to have the victory over fear and depression. In the book of Revelation, the fearful and unbelieving are among those who will have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). In order for us to have the victory, we cannot rely on our paltry human strength; rather, our sufficiency must be of God, who also has made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

But if the ministry of death in the letter engraved in stones was glorious, so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance which glory was to fade away, How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be for greater glory? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, much more shall the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For even that which was so glorious had no glory in this respect, in comparison with the glory that excels. For if that which fades away was glorious, much more shall that which remains be glorious (2 Corinthians 3:6-11).

The fullness of the inheritance that God has placed before us will remain and not fade away: Seeing then that we have such hope, we speak with great confidence, And not as Moses, who put a veil over his face, that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that glory which was to fade away: (And thus their senses became hardened, for until this day remains the same veil not uncovered in the reading of the old testament, which veil is taken away in Christ. But even unto this day when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when they convert to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away) (2 Corinthians 3:12-16).

The book of Joshua (and many other Scriptures) will not make sense to us if a veil covers our heart so that the meaning of the words cannot reach our heart’s core. Within the church, many attempts have been made to treat the New Testament as law instead of grace, and many of those attempts are still ongoing. We should never forget, however, that while earthly law may bring us our earthly inheritance, only the Spirit of God can bring us into our inheritance in Christ. For the Lord is the Spirit, and where that Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Therefore we all, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord with uncovered face, are transformed from glory to glory into the same likeness, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Many of those born again into the priesthood of all believers in the church have remained in the realm represented by the Holy Place, where a veil separates them from the presence of God, represented by the Holy of Holies. In this realm, they are illuminated by the light of a lampstand, which symbolizes the Scriptures illuminated by the oil of the Holy Spirit. They feed from a table of showbread, which represents the broken body of Christ that nourishes all the members of the body. The priests of the Holy Place may also tend the golden altar of incense (which represents access by prayer to the throne of God) by reaching their hand through the veil.

Something essential is lacking in this picture, however, for it is only as we behold the glory of God with uncovered face that we will be transformed from glory to glory, into the same likeness as Jesus Christ.

1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

1:11 Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare food; for within three days ye shall pass this Jordan, to enter in to inherit the land, which the LORD your God gives you to inherit.

The gifts and ministries of Pentecost that were poured out on the church, starting at the upper room, are described by the apostle Paul as the earnest, or down payment, of the Spirit. They are not the fullness of our inheritance. According to prophecy, we will come into our full spiritual inheritance on the third day. Two prophetic days, consisting of a thousand years each, have passed since Jesus sent us the comforter (the Holy Spirit) as he promised to do. We are now very near the beginning of the third prophetic day, which is also described in Scripture as the day of the Lord. What should we be doing to prepare for this?

Consider how Joshua prepared: he commanded the officers of the people to instruct their people to prepare food. Jesus gave a similar command to his apostles. He told Peter in particular, “Feed my sheep.” The apostles who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament were responding to Jesus’ command to pre[1]pare food to nurture the people of God. In this way, they were to make the people ready to be nourished directly by God and to enter in and receive the fullness of their inheritance in Christ at the proper time. The disciples understood that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).

1:12 Also to the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to half the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua spoke, saying,

1:13 Remember the word which Moses, the slave of the LORD, commanded you, saying, The LORD your God has given you rest and has given you this land.

To Moses’ dismay, the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had asked to receive their inheritance on this side of the Jordan of death. God granted their request through Moses with one condition: they had to be willing to cross the Jordan with their brethren and help them with the conquest of the Promised Land.

1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your beasts shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan; but ye, all the mighty men of valour, shall pass before your brethren armed and help them

1:15 until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as he has given you and they also inherit the land which the LORD your God gives them; then ye shall return unto the land of your inheritance and inherit it, which Moses the LORD’s slave has given you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrising.

They had insisted on having their inheritance on this side of the Jordan, that is, on this side of death to the old man and the old nature. Many others have made this choice during the church age. They have great flocks and large institutions and many other things that are so important to them that they have chosen to have their inheritance here and now, instead of waiting for its fullness. Their wives (congregations), their little ones (those who are immature in the faith), and their beasts (those walking in the carnal nature of the natural man) have had to remain on this side of the Jordan. All the mighty men of valor, however, were ordered to cross the Jordan and help their brethren who chose to go with Joshua and conquer the land on the far side of the Jordan.

1:16 Then they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou hast commanded us we will do, and wherever thou dost send us, we will go.

1:17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee; only let the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.

1:18 Whoever rebels against thy commandment and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou doest command him, let him die; only be strong and of a good courage.

Joshua 2

2:1a And Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly

Forty years before, Moses had sent twelve spies into the Promised Land beyond the Jordan. They found that the land was excellent and came back with wonderful samples of its fruit. However, ten of the spies took a negative view of the chances of settling in this desirable country. They argued that the giants and other powerful enemies were too strong and that the people of God would be defeated and perish if they attempted to conquer it. Only two spies, Joshua and Caleb, took a positive view and expressed faith that God could give Israel the Promised Land. The majority did not share their faith, with the result that unbelief and disobedience caused that generation to wander in the wilderness for forty years, until only Joshua and Caleb were left.

Now, prior to crossing the Jordan into their promised inheritance (which was still filled with powerful enemies), Joshua did not have each of the twelve tribes send one spy. He personally selected just two spies and sent them out from Shittim (a word meaning “cedar” or “acasia,” which is the wood that God chose to use for the furniture of the tabernacle). Joshua knew that these two young spies were choice raw material and that God would be able to use them for his sovereign purposes.

2:1 And Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went and came into a harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

Jericho means “her own moon.” The moon is a symbol of the people of God, and “her own moon” signifies that this is a congregation who appear to be people of God but do not reflect his light. The two spies managed to get into Jericho, and then, seeking refuge, they entered the house of a harlot. Perhaps they chose her home because they felt she would be accustomed to receiving strange men, or perhaps this was the only house they could find that would take them in. In any case, this is where they lodged.

2:2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, men of the sons of Israel have come here this night to spy out the land.

2:3 Then the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that have come unto thee, who have entered thy house; for they are come to spy out all the land.

2:4 And the woman had taken the two men and hidden them and said thus, It is true that some men came unto me, but I did not know where they came from.

2:5 And at the time of shutting the gate, when it was dark, these men went out, and I do not know where the men went; pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

The heart of Rahab begins to be revealed. Her instinctive reaction to the king’s messengers was to hide the spies and cover for them.

2:6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them among the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.

Regarding the bride of Christ, Scripture states: And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright: for the fine linen is the righteousness [or justice] of the saints (Revelation 19:8). In ancient times, pagan religious practice involved harlotry. Rahab the harlot was not walking in righteousness when the two spies entered her home, but she had stalks of flax laid in order upon the roof of her house, indicating that some prior soul-searching according to her conscience had been taking place. (Linen is made from flax.)

Hiding Joshua’s spies was definitely a righteous act inspired by God.

2:7 And the men pursued after them along the way to Jordan unto the fords; and as soon as those who pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

After the gate was shut, the spies were apparently trapped in the enemy city of Jericho.

2:8 And before they went to sleep, she came up unto them upon the roof;

2:9 and she said unto the men, I know that the LORD has given you this land because the fear of you has fallen upon us and all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you when ye came out of Egypt and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

It is clear that Rahab not only heard but believed the stories of God’s deliverance of his people, and as a result she demonstrated an authentic fear of God, symbolized by the stalks of flax laid in order upon her roof. (In order to be clothed in the fine linen that represents righteousness, the stalks of flax would have to be spun and the thread woven and the cloth tailored, but laying the stalks of flax in order upon the roof or highest place in her house was a very important first step. It meant that something was going on in her conscience that God could and would work with.)

Sihon means “great” or “bold,” and Og means “long neck.” These kings of the Amorites were known as mountaineers, descendants of Amori (“talker”). They were ruthless kings of the mountain strongholds of the people of the world, yet they were utterly destroyed by the army of God under Moses.

2:11 Hearing this has melted our heart, neither has there remained any more spirit in any man because of you, for the LORD your God is God above in the heavens and in the earth beneath.

Hearing about the great things that God had done for them had melted the heart of the people of Jericho, and yet a harlot was the only person who took righteous action when given the opportunity. Despite her occupation, she had a profound understanding of the sovereignty and power of God. Scripture states that Jesus had a wonderful ministry among the harlots, the publicans, and the sinners, for these were the people who knew that they were in serious trouble and needed his help to break the power of sin.

2:12 Now, therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD since I have showed you mercy that ye will also do the same unto my father’s house, of which thou shalt give me a true sign,

2:13 and that ye will save alive my father and my mother and my brethren and my sisters and all that they have and deliver our lives from death.

Jesus said, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7). Rahab had already showed mercy to Joshua’s spies, and now she asked them for a true sign that they would show mercy to her and her family in return.

2:14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours if ye do not declare this our business. And it shall be when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal with thee according to mercy and truth.

We are to temper truth with mercy (Psalm 85:10). The spies recognized that if Rahab saved their lives, then the Lord should save her life and the lives of her family. They entered into a covenant with her that God later honored supernaturally.

2:15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

2:16 And she said unto them, Go to the mountain lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned; and afterwards ye may go your way.

Here we see another reference to three days. Over the past two prophetic days (that is, over the past two thousand years), Jesus (Joshua) has undoubtedly sent many spies into the city of man-made religion. On the third day (which is now), his “spies” will be able to go their way without opposition.

2:17 And the men said unto her, We will be exempted of this thine oath which thou has made us swear in the following manner.

2:18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shall have bound this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by, and thou shall have brought thy father and thy mother and thy brethren and all thy father’s household home unto thee.

In a similar situation, the apostle Paul told the Philippian jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved along with his house (household). The true sign that the spies gave to Rahab was a line of scarlet thread that she should bind in the window from which she let them down so that they could escape. This would identify her home as the one where the inhabitants were to be kept safe when the Israelite army took Jericho, just as the sign of the Passover was the blood of the lamb that was applied to the doorposts of each house so that the destroyer would pass over and not kill the firstborn. The scarlet line represents the plan of redemption that God holds out to all those who receive his messengers and representatives.

2:19 And it shall be that whoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his own head, and we will be guiltless; and whoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head if any hand touches him.

Friendship with the world is enmity with God. In order for Rahab’s extended family to be saved, they had to be in her “house” and not wandering around outside.

2:20 And if thou should declare this our business, then we will be exempted of thine oath which thou hast made us swear.

The covenant that the spies made with Rahab was conditional, as are all of God’s covenants and promises.

2:21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed; and she bound the scarlet line in the window.

Rahab did not wait until Joshua’s army surrounded Jericho, but immediately bound the scarlet line in the window. This was an act of faith.

2:22 And they went and came unto the mountain and abode there three days until their pursuers had returned; and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way but did not find them.

2:23 So the two men returned and descended from the mountain and crossed over and came to Joshua, the son of Nun, and told him all the things that had befallen them.

2:24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands; and also all the inhabitants of the land are faint before us.

The two spies not only came back with a good report that encouraged the people of God, their mission also set the stage for the salvation of a key family in Jericho, for Rahab eventually married one of the spies and became one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray.

Lord, may we be faithful in whatever mission you give. May we have the courage to storm the gates of the Enemy, seeking the lost wherever you send us. May we have the faith to see by the Spirit and recognize the potential of what you can do with a lost soul. Amen.

Chap 2. Following the Ark of the Unveiled Presence of God .

Joshua 3

3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim and came to the Jordan, he and all the sons of Israel and lodged there before they passed over.

The sons of Israel lodged at the Jordan under the leadership of Joshua. This was camp number forty-one on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The original Hebrew states that they “rested” at the Jordan. God had told the disobedient generation that they would never enter into his rest, and as he had foretold, they all died in the wilderness. Under the leadership of Joshua, however, the mature sons of Israel (the text does not say children of Israel) were brought into rest at the Jordan before they actually crossed the river.

3:2 And after three days, the officers went through the camp,

Here we have another reference to the third day.

3:3 and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place and go after it.

In their long trek through the wilderness, the Israelites had been following the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Now their officers went through the camp telling the people that they were to follow the ark of the covenant, which is a symbol of the direct presence of God. Only in the life of Jesus may we enter the presence of God. This is the realm of the Holy of Holies.

3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure; do not come near unto it that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way before now.

God is about to take his people into a new realm. We have not passed this way before, but Jesus Christ (with the fullness of the presence of the Father dwelling inside of him) went through death ahead of us about two thousand years ago, and we can safely follow him.

3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

Sanctification does not refer to religious dress or ritual. It means the act of being set apart for the exclusive use of the Lord.

3:6 And Joshua spoke unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant and pass before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.

The ark of the covenant is linked to the glory of God in the realm of the Holy of Holies, which is the realm beyond the veil. God is about to remove the veil that has been upon the hearts of so many of his people, and with its removal, we may enter into the fullness of his life. In Jesus’ life, we may be joined to the Father, for this is our inheritance. It is the will of God to move his people into the realm of the Holy of Holies. This is the realm of seeing and following the ark of the covenant that had previously been hidden beyond the veil. When this is accomplished, God will move his people forward into the realm of the Promised Land. Up until now, this inheritance has been usurped by Satan and his minions, but now it will be conquered by the power and presence of God.

The ark had to be borne on the shoulders of sanctified priests. We form part of the priesthood of all believers, and now the word is going forth that all the people of God are to be sanctified (that is, our hearts are to be clean).

The Levites were a symbol of what God really wants to do with all of his people. Although his original plan was that the priesthood would be made up of the firstborn of every tribe, the Israelites, like humanity in general, were so stubborn and rebellious that God had to start with the tribe of Levi instead, drawing the priesthood from every member of that tribe and exchanging them for the firstborn of all the tribes. (Remember that if it had not been for the Passover, not only all the firstborn Egyptians but all the firstborn children of Israel would have died on the last night they were in Egypt.) The Levitical priests could serve God at the Tabernacle and instruct the nation of Israel in the law of God, but the only way to become a Levite was to be born into the tribe. Just as the only way to become a priest was to be born into the family of Aaron, so the only way to become part of the priesthood of all believers is to be born again into the life of Jesus. This, of course, can only be done by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior in response to the gospel. The only way for us to be transformed from glory to glory is for us to be exposed to the direct presence of Jesus Christ, without a veil in the way.

3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, From this day I will begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.

From what day?

Notice that this day begins on this side of the Jordan when God begins to expose his people directly to his presence, as symbolized by Joshua having the sanctified priests pass the ark before the people so that all of God’s people would be sanctified prior to crossing over into their inheritance (which was still full of enemies).

Even now, even as I write these words, the Lord is bringing about a change in leadership among his people. Instead of using great men (and women) of God with exceptional gifts and ministries, the fullness of his presence will now operate in and through those whom he has chosen. He desires to lead his corporate people through the Jordan of complete death to the old man and the old nature. It took forty years in the wilderness for God to deal with fear and unbelief (the primary causes of disobedience) among the Israelites. Fear and unbelief are now, and always have been, primary factors in holding back God’s people from entering into the realm of total victory over sin, the world, and the Devil.

3:8 Therefore, thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are entered into the brink of the water of the Jordan, ye shall stand still in the Jordan.

In order for God to act, the priests bearing the glory of God had to actually enter into the brink of the water of the Jordan and then stand still. They could not just stand dry shod on the bank.

3:9 And Joshua said unto the sons of Israel, Draw near and hear the words of the LORD your God.

God will have leaders like Joshua (representing the body of Jesus Christ) who will clearly speak the words of the Lord unto the people without any additional fluff. The role of the people is to draw near and hear, and this is what the disobedient children of Israel refused to do at Mount Sinai. They thought that if they heard the voice of God any longer, they would die. Instead, they sent Moses up the mountain to listen to God and then report back to them. The result was that instead of God’s commandments being engraved on the tablets of their hearts and in their minds, they were merely engraved on tablets of stone and hidden within the ark of the covenant located in the Holy of Holies, way beyond the reach of the people attempting to follow the law of God in their own strength. This is why a new covenant became necessary.

What place are God’s people to draw near to, in order to hear the words of the LORD? To the Jordan River of death.

3:10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Hivite and the Perizzite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Jebusite.

These are the seven enemy nations. The number seven can mean all the enemy nations. They include the Canaanite (the buyers and sellers of the things and people of God); the Hittite (the terrorists who manipulate and dominate the people with fear of man); the Hivite (those who congregate the people in “villages” unto themselves); the Perizzite (those who belong to a “village” or congregation not ordained by God); the Girgashite (meaning “clay dwellers” or those who dwell in a “clayey soil,” that is, humanists who worship the carnal Adamic nature); the Amorite (derived from the root word amar, meaning “speech” or “talk,” these were a war-like people living in the mountain regions, which represent strongholds of man, the world, or the Devil); and the Jebusite (from the root word bus, meaning “tread” or “trample”; these are people who would tread on God’s harvest or thresh it under their feet).

How can we know that God will, without fail, do for us what he did for the Israelites and drive out all the enemies who ruthlessly dominate the land of our inheritance? They control the land with commerce, fear, lies, rumors, ungodly congregations, humanism, demonic mountain strongholds, and slavery. They commit every kind of abomination that is incompatible with the presence of God.

What is the sign that the Lord shall give us?

3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes the Jordan before you.

3:12 Now, therefore, take twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of each tribe a man.

3:13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests that shall bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off; for the waters that come down from above shall stand in a heap.

The waters of the Jordan threatened them with death, but Jesus overcame death by resurrection. His resurrection is the sign that we may also overcome and that God will drive out all of our enemies from before us. He is not only the Lord of heaven but the Lord of all the earth. When we are in the life of Christ, we may pass through death unscathed.

The mention of twelve men in verse twelve signifies those who are walking in divine order, with their steps ordered by the Lord. God desires his people to walk in harmony as one man (therefore, one man represents each “tribe”). Only when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark rest in the waters of the Jordan will the waters of the Jordan be cut off. Death can only affect flesh and blood. It can only affect the natural man. The Jordan of death can do nothing to the life of Christ. He has already overcome, and he desires for all of us to share in his victory.

3:14 And it came to pass when the people removed from their tents to pass the Jordan and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,

3:15 when those that bore the ark entered into the Jordan, as soon as the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brim of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the time of the harvest),

3:16 that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far from the city of Adam, that is beside Zaretan; and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed and were cut off; and the people passed over right against Jericho.

3:17 But the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan until all the people finished passing the Jordan; and all Israel passed on dry ground.

The Lord cut off the effects of death and opened the way for his people to cross, and he did so very far from the city of Adam, because God’s plan is to cut off the waters that flow from the city of Adam into the Dead Sea of lost humanity.

Joshua 4

4:1 And it came to pass when all the people were finished passing the Jordan, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, saying,

4:2 Take twelve men out of the people, out of each tribe a man,

4:3 and command them, saying, Take from here of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

The lodging place where they would lodge this night was very different from anywhere they had camped before. This is camp number forty-two and is symbolic of the generation of Christ. They arrived at this place with twelve stones taken from the bottom of the Jordan River so that they and their children would never forget how they passed over the Jordan on dry ground. This event parallels the book of Revelation, which describes “that great city, the holy Jerusalem,” as having twelve foundation stones, one for each of the twelve apostles (Revelation 21:14).

4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the sons of Israel, out of each tribe a man;

4:5 and Joshua said unto them, Pass before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan and take ye up each one of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel,

4:6 that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean unto you?

4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off; and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the sons of Israel for ever.

The ark of the covenant (a symbol of the glory of God) had been covered up (or veiled) during the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel. Once those children had become the mature “sons” of Israel, the ark was unveiled and led the way into the Promised Land. God’s people had not passed this way before.

Something similar is about to happen in our day. Jesus Christ is about to be revealed from heaven, and the fullness of this coming revelation will bring his people together from the ends of the heavens to the ends of the earth. The return of Jesus Christ will usher the people of God into a new dimension to receive our promised inheritance. The crossing of the Jordan by Joshua and the sons of Israel typifies the events leading up to the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6).2

2 See Russell Stendal, Revelation Unveiled (Aneko Press, 2015)

4:8 And the sons of Israel did so as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD spoke unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged and laid them down there.

4:9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there unto this day.

The ark of the covenant made by Moses in the wilderness has faded into oblivion in the sense that today, no one knows where it is or even if it still exists (Jeremiah 3:14-20). The real ark, however, is perfectly safe and is about to be revealed. The book of Revelation discusses this, first in terms of conditions very similar to those that prevailed when Joshua and the sons of Israel crossed the Jordan, and then in terms of the revelation of “the ark of his testament,” that is, the revelation of Jesus Christ.

And the Gentiles were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou should give the reward unto thy slaves the prophets and to the saints and those that fear thy name, to the small and to the great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple: and there were lightnings and voices and thunderings and earthquakes and great hail (Revelation 11:18-19).

The scene in Revelation is foreshadowed in Joshua.

4:10 For the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people made haste and passed.

This is where the veil will be lifted from many hearts. At present, many do not understand certain parts of the writings of Moses (and the rest of the Scripture), yet at the beginning of the day of the Lord, those seemingly arcane words will make sense as the people listen to what he has commanded “Joshua” to speak unto them as they stand still in the “Jordan” of death to the old man and the old nature.

4:11 And when all the people were finished passing, the ark of the LORD passed, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

4:12 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh passed armed before the sons of Israel, as Moses had said unto them.

4:13 About forty thousand men prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, towards the plains of Jericho.

Only the mature men of war among the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh (the rest of whom had insisted on having their inheritance on this side of the Jordan) passed over into the new realm. Their women (congregations), their flocks, and their little ones (that is, those who are immature in Christ) remained behind; the men of war would return to them later.

4:14 On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.

4:15 And the LORD spoke unto Joshua, saying,

4:16 Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of the Jordan.

4:17 Joshua, therefore, commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of the Jordan.

4:18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD came up out of the midst of the Jordan and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned unto their place, flowing as before over all its banks.

The special provision to cross the Jordan on dry ground was valid only for a certain length of time. Once the command went forth and the priests who bore the ark of the covenant came up out of the Jordan, that provision ended. The book of Revelation has a parallel passage that covers this from a different angle: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those that had been slain because of the word of God and for the testimony which they held (Revelation 6:9).

These souls are the “priests” who bear the ark of the testimony and who stand still in the Jordan of death to their own lives and ambitions, while Joshua speaks the words of the Lord to the congregation. Their souls under the heavenly altar are covered by the blood (that is, by the life) of Christ. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell in the earth? And white robes were given unto each one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little while until their fellow servants and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Revelation 6:10-11).

When the last martyr is killed, when the last person gives up their own life so that Jesus can work in and through them, when the number of overcomers is complete, then God will give the order to move forward into the fullness of our inheritance in Christ, and the Jordan will resume its normal flow.

4:19 And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped in Gilgal, on the east side of Jericho.

4:20 And Joshua raised up in Gilgal the twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan.

4:21 And he spoke unto the sons of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean unto you?

4:22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you until ye had passed, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us until we had passed,

The passage through the Red Sea typifies baptism into the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest or down payment of our inheritance. Before we can receive that inheritance, however, we must be willing to allow God to deal with our old nature. The passage through the Jordan River is symbolic of the entrance into the fullness of our inheritance in Christ, which requires the actual death of the old man (the old nature).

4:24 that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that is mighty; that ye might fear the LORD your God all the days.

In prophecy, the earth refers to the inheritance of the people of God. Jesus said, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The meek are those who submit to the master (to Jesus Christ).

The true priests that God will use in this hour are those who are standing still in the Jordan, bearing the ark of the glory of God on their shoulders, and waiting for all the people to pass through the dried-up waters of the River of Death. These priests are not using the things of this world for personal benefit; they are not building private kingdoms. The only thing they are building is a monument to what the Lord has done and is doing.

Those who are still seeking the earthly things below instead of the heavenly things above will not be useful in the coming battle, for they will never be able to overcome death, fear, and terror. When we no longer care about the things of this world, however, when we no longer care about our natural life, our enemies can no longer manipulate us with fear and terror because it is impossible to terrorize a person who already con[1]siders himself or herself to be dead. The key to victory is to hear directly from the Lord. Those who do so have no fear, for it is not possible to consistently hear his voice and still continue to cling to our own life. So then faith comes by hearing, and the ear to hear by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

It really is this simple. There is no need to go on mentally calculating everything. If we love the Lord above all else, if our earnest desire is to hear his voice, then he will begin to speak to us. He will cleanse our heart and make it pure, and the pure in heart shall see God.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for what you have done with us and for the great and terrible day that is near. We ask that this day be a great one for us, even if it is terrible for others. In this present time, which many feel are the last days or end times, let us catch the vision for the beginning of what you have ahead for us.

We ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chap 3. Circumcision of the Heart and the Impending Battle .

The crossing of the Jordan River symbolizes a transition to another realm in God. It marks the end of the dealings and preparations in the desert and the beginning of a time when the people of God may receive the fullness of their inheritance. It marks an exit from a realm where a limited portion of the Spirit has been poured out and an entrance into the realm of the fullness of the Spirit.

The priests who were involved in this transition were not seeking anything for themselves. They were not even carrying any of their own possessions as they stood still in the riverbed of the Jordan, bearing the ark of the covenant upon their shoulders. They were simply following God’s instructions, as relayed to them by Joshua (Jesus). As soon as they stepped into the river, the waters were cut off, as God had promised.

The Lord Jesus passed through death ahead of us, and the purpose of the ministry that he has raised up is that we will follow in his footsteps instead of doing things on our own. He desires for us to be dead to sin and alive in him so that we may be led by the Spirit of God within us.

Sin is anything that God is not ordaining for us at any given time, for whatsoever is not out of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). What God did ordain was that twelve stones were to be taken from the bottom of the Jordan and carried to the site of the first camp within the Promised Land. This was camp number forty-two of the journey from Egypt, and we know that forty-two is a very significant number throughout the Bible. In synthesis, it has to do with a “correction factor” that symbolizes the magnitude of our error and what God must therefore do with us in order to straighten us out.3

3 See Russell Stendal, The Correction Factor (Aneko Press, 2014)

Forty-two is six times seven. Six is identified with us, and seven with what God desires to do. We need the fullness of the presence of God if we are to be straightened out, for it is beyond our power to come forth in the fullness of what he desires for us without the correction factor. When he corrects us, he does not add; he multiplies. Therefore the correction factor is not six plus one (ourselves plus God) but six times seven (ourselves multiplied by his fullness).

The twelve stones taken from the depths of the Jordan symbolize that God will build anew, and that he will do it his way, according to divine order. He did not ask for twelve man-made bricks; he wanted twelve stones that had been formed by the flowing water, the Word of God, which does away with everything that is not of him.

Following God’s instructions, the Israelites put another twelve stones at the place on the riverbed where the priests had stood with the ark. Thus twelve stones remained at the bottom of the Jordan, and twelve were taken for a memorial at the new camp within the Promised Land.

The symbol is this: if we enter into the death of Christ, we will also enter into the victory of his resurrection (2 Timothy 2:11-13). Then he will build things his way, instead of us implementing in his name what we think are good ideas.

 Joshua 5

5:1 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites, who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the sons of Israel until we had passed, that their heart melted, and there was no more spirit in them before the sons of Israel.

This description was written in the first person by someone who actually passed over the dried-up Jordan. All the Amorite kings of the enemy mountain fortresses and all the Canaanite kings of the buyers and sellers by the sea were terrified when they heard what God had done. When the first resurrection takes place, the reaction among unbelievers will be much the same (Revelation 20:4-6).

5:2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.

The second circumcision for us is the circumcision of the heart, also known as the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11).

5:3 And Joshua made himself sharp knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

5:4 And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: All the people that had come out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, had died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.

5:5 Now all the people that had come out were circumcised; but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way, after they came forth out of Egypt, were not circumcised.

The circumcised Jewish life represents life according to the law, where man in his own strength attempts to fulfill the Law of God. Those who were born in the wilderness and had grown up learning the ways of God were still uncircumcised (like the Gentiles that Paul ministered to). God did not choose to have Joshua’s army circumcised in the desert. Instead, he had Joshua (Jesus) circumcise them when they were at the door of their enemies, an act that left them incapacitated as they healed right under their enemies’ nose. What protected them was the fact that God had instilled fear of the army of God into the heart of the enemies, who, up until then, had been known as terrorists.

There are many among the people of God who have been through the wilderness wanderings of the church yet have not been circumcised in their heart. This circumcision, while necessary, can be very painful and debilitating. What the Lord desires to do with us, as he brings his people into a higher realm, may turn out to be quite a bit different from what many have been expecting.

5:6 For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness until all the people that were men of war, who had come out of Egypt, were consumed because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD; therefore, the LORD swore unto them that he would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that flows with milk and honey.

5:7 But their sons, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised by the way.

5:8 And when they had finished circumcising all the people, they abode in the same place in the camp until they were whole

5:9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Therefore, the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

The reproach of Egypt is the control of the flesh, while the sign of the new covenant is circumcision of the heart. The physical circumcision of the old covenant only applied to males, but in Christ there is neither male nor female. The circumcision of the heart thus applies to everyone, and as God moves his people forward into the day of the Lord, he will soon stop and circumcise the hearts of all those who need it.

5:10 And the sons of Israel encamped in Gilgal and celebrated the passover on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, in the plains of Jericho.

5:11 And they ate of the fruit of the land, unleavened cakes, on the next day after the passover and parched new ears of grain in the same day.

5:12 And the manna ceased on the next day after they had begun to eat of the fruit of the land; and the sons of Israel never had manna again; but they ate of the fruits of the land of Canaan that year.

So the sons of Israel arrived at Gilgal on the eve of the Passover in the forty-second year after their fathers left Egypt. In very short order, they were circumcised, they celebrated the Passover, they ate of the fruit of the land, and the manna ceased to appear.

Gilgal means “a wheel or circle; a revolution.” The Israelites had now come full circle, and were about to have a new beginning. Similarly, many who call themselves Christians have found themselves wandering around in the wilderness of their own “good” intentions while God has been using time, events, and circumstances to kill off their old nature. Many of the older saints have been circumcised in their hearts, but somehow many of their “children” have not. God is about to give his people a new opportunity. This time things will start out right.

There will even be a change of diet. Instead of ministers of the gospel having to spend much of their time gathering “manna” each day for their family (congregation), the manna will now cease, and God will feed his people with the abundant “fruits of the land,” the fruits of the fullness of our inheritance in Christ. What used to be rites, rituals, and symbols will now become reality. What was impossible to accomplish in the Holy Place of the church realm, due to the limitations imposed by the veil that separated the Holy Place from the direct presence of God in the Holy of Holies, will now be possible. The veil is linked to our flesh. The control of flesh will now be circumcised in the hearts of all of those who are among the true people of God. The direct presence of the glorious, resurrected Jesus Christ will be revealed and applied. This is the correction factor.

5:13 And Joshua, being near Jericho, lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went unto him and said unto him, Art thou one of us or one of our adversaries?

5:14 And he said, No, but I am the Prince of the host of the LORD; now I am come. Then Joshua falling upon his face in the earth worshipped him and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his slave?

5:15 And the Prince of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place on which thou dost stand is holy. And Joshua did so.

The Lord Jesus is about to return. Here we have a direct encounter between Joshua (representing the body of Christ) and the prince of the Lord’s host, who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in person. (A parallel passage is found in Revelation 10.)

After identifying himself, this prince’s first words concern Joshua’s shoes. Shoes were, of course, indispensable to people who had to walk through a hot desert strewn with razor-sharp rocks, but there is a symbolic meaning as well. Prior to a journey through the wilderness, each person was responsible for preparing their own footgear. There were no local shoe stores in the desert. For Moses at the burning bush, shoes had a special meaning. When he was told to take them off, this symbolized that all of his previous training and formation in the house of Pharaoh must now be discarded and reformed directly by God so that Moses would be able to lead God’s people out of Egypt.

In this passage from Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ is requiring Joshua (the body of Christ) to do something quite similar. We must lose all of our formation and training that we have acquired during the church age and let Jesus reform our thinking and even our theology as he sees fit. All through the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings, their shoes never wore out! And so, as we approach the time of the fullness of our inheritance in Christ, we must voluntarily loose the shoes from our feet if we intend to stand on the holy ground of the direct presence of Jesus Christ as he is revealed.

Moses had a direct encounter with the fire of the presence of God at the burning bush. It was supernatural, but with a flame that was difficult to discern. Joshua had a direct encounter with the Lord, face to face. The Lord returned and was present in the Promised Land even before the battle of Jericho. In this case, the Lord had a drawn sword in his hand, and it was his motive that Joshua found difficult to discern. His first concern was whether the armed man was one of us or one of our adversaries. For us, the question isn’t whether or not the Lord is on our side or on the side of our particular group. Rather, the question is whether or not we are on his.

(Note that in the presence of the Prince of the Lord’s host, Joshua fell upon his face; he did not fall over backwards. This is in keeping with all the true prophets of old who encountered the presence of God.)

After the burning bush, Moses had another direct encounter with the Lord, this time resulting in the circumcision of his second son, Eliezer. Apparently his first son (Gershon, meaning “stranger”) had already been circumcised, but Moses’ wife, Zipporah, had resisted circumcising her little darling Eliezer because she didn’t like the sight of blood. And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him [Moses] and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp flint and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at his feet, saying, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision (Exodus 4:24-26).

And so it is with many of us. We readily allow the Lord to circumcise us of the “strange” sins of our past, because everything having to do with “Egypt” (with our past in the world) is so serious that we realize it must be circumcised at the beginning of our Christian walk. However, the religious idiosyncrasies that we have picked up in the wilderness are much more difficult to let go of, perhaps because we look on them as innocent, like little Eliezer, and so do not take them seriously. However, rites and rituals can turn into a religious smokescreen to cover up hidden sin or ambitions for personal gain. Some of those who have a God-given gift or ministry may drift into using it to control or to manipulate people or to take up a large offering. Strong resistance against circumcising darling little Eliezer (meaning “my God is help”) soon builds among the people of God.

All of this must be circumcised, or we may find ourselves facing the Lord with a sword in his hand, for he will not allow those with uncircumcised hearts to enter into the inheritance. If we desire to step upon the “holy ground” of the fullness of our inheritance in Christ, we must also loose and remove the “shoes” of formation and preparation that have served us well on our journey through the wilderness. Our entire way of doing things, and even some of our pet doctrine, must now be refined. We will soon find that the realm of the Holy of Holies of the fullness of our inheritance in Christ is very different from the realm of the Holy Place that we have become accustomed to over the past two thousand years of the church age.

Over those years, the faith of Jesus Christ has been mixed with idiosyncrasies that have then been multiplied throughout Christendom. Now it is the will of God for all of this to be circumcised from his people, even though it will leave us temporarily sore and incapacitated right in the midst of our enemies.

When God has a clean corporate people, we will be able to sing a new song of victory:

Psalm 149

1 Halelu-JAH. Sing unto the LORD a new song, let his praise be in the congregation of the merciful.

2 Let Israel rejoice with his Maker; let the sons of Zion be joyful with their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he will beautify the humble with saving health.

5 The merciful shall be joyful with glory; they shall sing aloud upon their beds.

6 The high praises of God shall be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand,

7 to execute vengeance upon the Gentiles and punishments upon the peoples,

8 to imprison their kings with fetters and their nobles with chains of iron,

9 to execute upon them the judgment writ[1]ten: this shall be glory for all his merciful ones. Halelu-JAH.

Let us pray.

Lord, we ask that you might examine by your Spirit every aspect of our lives. May you revise our conscience and our heart and circumcise whatever you desire to remove from us. Place the high praises of your new song in our mouth and your two-edged sword in our hand. May we be among your merciful ones who shall execute the judgment that is written. Amen.

Chap 4. The Battle of Jericho.

There are many things for which we should be thankful. Sometimes our human tendency is to dwell on our problems or spend time thinking about what we don’t have or what we’d like to have, but this is the wrong focus. If we are thankful unto the Lord for what we do have, then we will also be satisfied with what God has given us in the expectation of what he will continue to do with us.

People who seek more and more material things will never be satisfied, no matter what they obtain. If we cannot be content with what we have now, in material terms, there is no guarantee that we will ever be satisfied in the future. God has a magnificent inheritance in store for us, an inheritance that is spiritual, for he desires to give us the fullness of his own life. In order to obtain this, we must be willing to turn our back on our own life.

It’s true that the Lord may prosper us in the material things of life in the world that surrounds us if he decides to do so, but the things of this world are only a shadow of the reality that is to come.

Here in the book of Joshua, we have an example of how God gave his people their inheritance. Instead of doing it one individual at a time, he brought all of his people as a nation into the Promised Land. In the previous chapter, we spoke of the need for a second circumcision, that is, the direct dealings of God necessary to remove all the human idiosyncrasies that have accumulated among the people of God over history (over the era of Israel and the church) and to prepare his people for the fullness of their inheritance in Christ. Since the time of Pentecost, every individual among God’s people has had access to the down payment, or earnest, of the Spirit. Many have misused this, seeking personal or corporate human gain instead of putting to death the deeds of the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit, but this practice must now end.

Joshua 6

6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the sons of Israel; no one went out, and no one came in.

Jericho means “her own moon.”

The moon’s purpose is to reflect the glory of the sun, yet Jericho was not reflecting the glory of God. The people of the city were instead reflecting the glory of the sun of this world. They were living inside the boundaries of the land promised to the sons of God, but they had made their own city. Now it was tightly shut up: no one could come in or go out.


Because everyone in the city of the religion of man was terrified of the true sons of God.

Some people have built their own religious king[1]doms using gifts and ministries that may have started out in the Spirit. Some have congregated their people around concepts that may have originated from God when they themselves are no longer under the direct government of the Lord. Instead, they operate accord[1]ing to doctrine or principles and values. All of these types of people, when threatened by the true Word of the Lord that is coming forth, will close and lock the door to their religious institutions so that no one may come in or go out. They do not want anyone to enter their religious enclave with the true Word of the Lord, nor do they want any of those who are captive to their religious system to be able to escape into liberty. Such was the case in the city of Jericho.

6:2 But the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given Jericho and its king into thy hand, with its mighty men of valour.

Note that this is different from what happened to Egypt.

The people of God were slaves in Egypt, and God heard their cry, even though it seemed to take a long time for him to respond. At last he sent Moses to deliver God’s people, and the judgment of God fell upon the firstborn heirs of the Egyptians. It fell upon the rulers, the ones who were directly responsible for enslaving everyone, including the people of God.

The judgment upon Jericho was different. It fell upon the entire city: men, women, children, and even animals. Only one household was saved, that of Rahab the harlot, with all her family, because she had hidden God’s spies. Everything else was destroyed.

When the children of Israel departed from Egypt, the Egyptians gave them gifts, and each Israelite received as much as he or she could carry from their former patrons. Scripture states that the Israelites spoiled the Egyptians. To “spoil” in this sense does not mean pampering and indulging, as in spoiling a child. Rather, it means “taking the spoils,” just as conquerors take the spoils of the enemies they have subdued. God had subdued the Egyptians to the point where they were willing to pay the Israelites to depart, in the hope that the plagues would then cease. The Israelites were justified in taking this tribute. In addition to enforcing all the slave labor extracted from the children of Israel, Pharaoh had defied God, and all that he had was forfeited as a result.

In Jericho, however, everything was anathema and belonged to the Lord, and the people were forbidden from taking it for themselves. God considered the work and possessions of the inhabitants of Jericho to be an abomination. If anyone from Israel were to take any of the spoils of Jericho for himself, it would bring dire consequences upon the entire nation.

In the wilderness, if people caused a problem, they could pay the penalty by losing their own life or getting lost in the desert, but inside the Promised Land, inside the spiritual realm of the Holy of Holies, if an individual among God’s people causes a problem, it will affect the entire nation. God’s people must be completely clean. This is a strict requirement.

6:3 Therefore, ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, going round about the city once; and thou shalt do this six days.

In a certain sense, the Lord has had his heavenly armies circling the “city” of the religion contaminated by man for the past six thousand years (six prophetic days). The prophet Elisha, for example, was able to see the fiery chariots and horsemen of the heavenly host surround the city, and he prayed for his young servant so that the Lord would open his eyes (2 Kings 6:8-23).

In the day of the Lord, the spiritual heavenly realm will be revealed and will once again merge with the realm of the earth (of the church and Israel). Not only will Jesus Christ and his heavenly hosts be revealed for what they are, but the principalities and powers of wickedness in high places will also be revealed, cast down, and destroyed.

6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven shofarot of jubilee; and the seventh day ye shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the shofarot.

6:5 And when they make a long sound of jubilee with the horn so that ye hear the voice of the shofar, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat; then the people shall ascend up each man straight before him.

Why did the walls of Jericho collapse and fall down flat? Because the city of humanistic religion is built on the wrong foundation (Matthew 7:24-27).

The book of Revelation states that in the day of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished (10:7).

We are rapidly approaching the day of the voice of the seventh angel. On the seventh day, all seven trumpets will be blown in very close succession. Look at the scene at the time of the sixth trumpet, and compare this with the sixth day of marching around the “Jericho” of modern life. And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons and the images of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which neither can see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders nor of their witchcraft nor of their fornication nor of their thefts (Revelation 9:20- 21). Does this passage not describe the world today? This is where we are now on God’s prophetic time line. Very soon, all seven of God’s trumpets will be blown on the same day, the day of the Lord.

The book of Joshua describes a scene where the troupe that is compassing the city includes seven priests who shall bear before the ark seven shofarot of jubilee. Shofarot is the plural of shofar, which is a ram’s horn trumpet, a symbol of the power of the death and resurrection and victory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a symbol of his mighty voice. The seventh trumpet is linked to his triumphant second coming. Seven trumpets means all the trumpets. Seven sanctified priests means all the sanctified priests. We are now in the time of the priesthood of all believers.

Why shofarot of jubilee?

Jubilee is the year of liberty, which was to take place every fiftieth year (Leviticus 25:10). This is when all slaves were to be freed, all debts forgiven, and all land returned to its rightful original owner. The year of Jubilee began with the sound of the trumpet on the Day of Reconciliation (or Day of Atonement). This was the day when the high priest could go behind the veil into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. Jesus Christ is our new high priest, and after his victory and ascension, he is seated at the right hand of the Father with all power and authority. The historic fulfillment of the Day of Reconciliation for the people of God has yet to take place, but it is the next thing on God’s prophetic agenda. The book of Joshua contains a type, or shadow, of this event.

6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven shofarot of jubilee before the ark of the LORD.

The ark of the Lord represents the direct, unveiled presence of God. The realm of the Holy of Holies is now being unveiled. Those who walk upon the earth and have been born again of the heavenly Jerusalem, who is the mother of us all, will be overjoyed. Those who claim to be the people of God yet remain focused on the things of this earth, and refuse to repent of their murders and their witchcraft and their fornication and their thefts, will be terrified. The book of Revelation gives us another view of the scene that is about to transpire: And I saw when he had opened the sixth seal, and, behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell upon the earth, even as a fig tree casts her figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places (Revelation 6:12-14).

When Joshua and the army of God crossed the Jordan (symbol of death) on dry ground, all the evil corrupt powers that had become entrenched in the Promised Land were violently shaken, causing a great earthquake. All of a sudden, the sun of this world became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon of false religion became as blood (they all began to fear for their lives). The stars of heaven fell upon the earth (evil demonic principalities were cast down, and the heavenly hosts followed them to join forces with God’s people here upon the earth and finish them off). Then the entire heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. This exposed the dwellers of this earth to the direct presence of God, shaking every humanistic stronghold (every mountain) and every private kingdom (every island).

The scene promptly became one of terror. And the kings of the earth and the princes and the rich and the captains and the strong and every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him that is seated upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand before him? (Revelation 6:15-17).

All those whose hearts are in the things of this world yet who build their religious city within the boundaries of what is supposed to belong to the people of the Lord will be in serious trouble. Prophetically, their religious kingdoms are called mountains, and another name for the Devil is the King of Tyre, meaning rock. In that day, their religious “mountain” will no longer be able to cover them, and their “rock” will be of no use to them. The Devil will not be able to protect them or hide them from the face of him that is seated upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Here the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus) is embodied in Joshua, whom we now find exhorting his people.

6:7 And he said unto the people, Pass on and compass the city and let those that are armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

6:8 And when Joshua had spoken unto the people, the seven priests bearing the seven shofarot of jubilee passed on before the LORD and blew with the shofarot; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.

In God’s prophetic language, seven priests means all the priests and seven shofarot of jubilee means all the trumpets. God is going to put his people through a second circumcision and a second preparation (after we loose our shoes and remove them) until all of his priests speak with a clear and uncontaminated word of the Lord. This will lead the way for the direct, blinding glory of the presence of God to devastate everything represented by the metaphorical city of “Jericho.”

We know that the weapon, the two-edged sword that has been given us, is nothing less than the Truth, and in the highest sense, Jesus is the truth. This is why nothing was able to stand before Joshua, who represents the Word of God. In the highest sense, Joshua represents the entire body of Christ (of which Jesus is the head).

6:9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the shofarot, and the congregation came after the ark, the priests going on and blowing with the shofarot.

It wasn’t just men who marched around Jericho; it was the entire congregation, including women and children.

6:10 And Joshua commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, Shout; then ye shall shout.

6:11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once; and they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.

6:12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.

6:13 And the seven priests bearing the seven shofarot of jubilee before the ark of the LORD walked continually, and blew with the shofarot; and the armed men went before them; but the congregation came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on and blowing with the shofarot.

6:14 Likewise the second day they compassed the city once and returned into the camp; so they did for six days.

They had just come out of some very intense dealings of God, including a very painful circumcision that had left the men of war sore and virtually incapacitated right in sight of their enemies. The Lord had caused Joshua to circumcise what was left of the reproach of Egypt so that his people would consolidate his new way of doing things: God’s way. Now God caused them to go to war in a way that included all of their women and little ones marching around Jericho, following the ark of the presence of God.

What were the men of this army thinking as they marched? Were they pondering what they would do if the armed enemy came pouring out of Jericho? Were they trying to devise a plan to protect the children and the women and the congregation in general?

That was the mentality of Jericho. For this reason, they had their entire congregation locked behind strong gates set into immense walls that had been built up over a long period of time.

In this new realm, the battle is of the Lord and takes place in the presence of our enemies. The Lord prepares a table before us, laden with the provisions that are his gift to us.

Many Christians have thought that they must remove themselves from the world, that their children must never be exposed to the perversion of the world around them, and that they are in constant danger of being engulfed by their adversaries. The Lord turned this self-centered thinking on its head. Even the smallest Israelite in the congregation followed the priests with the ark as they marched around dangerous Jericho, obeying Joshua’s orders and listening to the thundering blasts of the shofarot, representing a clean message straight from the throne of God. No one was to utter a single word until ordered by Joshua to do so (for we shall all give account of every idle word).

Joshua in Hebrew is the same name as Jesus in Greek. It means “savior” or “salvation” and is linked to redemption. Jesus said that we are to watch for certain signs, and when we see them, we are to lift up our heads, for our redemption is nigh (Luke 21:28).

On an earlier day when the children of Israel were congregated around Mount Sinai, they had refused to continue hearing the voice of God and had drawn back from his presence. They thought that if the trumpet blasts and the thunder of God’s voice continued, they would surely die (Exodus 20:19). Instead, they sent Moses up the mountain to hear from God and report to them. This is how they got God’s commandments written on tablets of stone instead of inscribed on the tablets of their hearts. By the time Moses got back from his encounter with God, the Israelites had already broken virtually all of the commandments. When the original tablets, which Moses broke in response to the rebellion of the people, were replaced, God ordered them placed in the ark of the covenant within the Holy of Holies and out of the reach of the people who refused to hear his voice.

The generation that did this, however, died off in the wilderness. They died eating supernatural manna, receiving water from the rock, being led by a pillar of fire or cloud, and wearing shoes and clothes that never wore out. Yet although God cared for them with a neverending stream of miracles, the unbelieving generation never made it into the Promised Land because they had settled for receiving a second-hand word from the Lord. What could have been an eleven-day journey turned into forty years of wandering in the wilderness of their own “good” intentions (Deuteronomy 1:1-3). Something very similar has happened to large sectors of the church today.

Now, some important training of the new generation takes place under the very nose of the enemy. Even the smallest and least significant members of the people of God must learn to hear the voice of God directly for themselves. Now the ark of the presence of God is no longer in the tabernacle with a veil safely shielding the priests, while the common people can only come to the outer court outside of the Holy Place.

No, the people of God are not about to be secretly raptured off to some heavenly never-never land. Jesus is about to return, bringing reinforcements. He will gather his armies from the ends of the heavens to the ends of the earth. His armed men of war will go first, and the seven priests, that is, all the priests, will follow, blowing all the trumpets of the seven shofarot. Next will come the ark of the Lord, and all the congregation will meet up with him and follow.

The Israelites got into the realm of the Promised Land by following the ark, which started out about two thousand cubits ahead of the people (Jesus won his great victory over sin, the flesh, the world, and the Devil about two thousand years ago, when he resurrected from the dead). Now the first resurrection of the dead is taking place, and those who have come under his headship will reign with Christ a thousand years. This is the dawn of the seventh prophetic day, after six thousand years of the history of the fall of mankind.

6:15 And on the seventh day they rose early about the dawning of the day and compassed the city after the same manner seven times; only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

6:16 And when the priests had blown the shofarot the seventh time, Joshua said unto the people, Shout, for the LORD has given you the city.

For the past six thousand years, the true people of God have been outside the city of religion, just as Jesus was crucified outside the city. For six thousand years, the heavenly hosts have been compassing the city. Jesus never said a word in his own defense, and millions of martyrs have died in a similar fashion over the past six prophetic days.

Jesus told his followers not to pray with vain repetitious words as the worldly do, yet inside the religious “Jericho” of today, the meetings are filled with vain repetitious prayers and words. God is now teaching his people to be quiet and to listen to him. He will have a people who will seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and who will repent of their obsession with taking the knowledge of good and evil unto themselves instead of leaving it up to God to declare what is good and what is evil.

The time has come to compass the city seven times on the seventh day, meaning that the enemy city will be completely surrounded. Seven trumpets signify that the Word of God will be delivered pure, clear, and complete by those who have learned through long and careful training not to say anything on their own. Soon we will all receive orders to shout, for the Lord has given us the city.

6:17 And the city shall be anathema unto the LORD, even it, and all the things that are in it; only Rahab, the harlot, shall live, she and all that are with her in the house because she hid the messengers that we sent.

6:18 But keep yourselves from the anathema, that ye not touch nor take any thing of the anathema so that ye not make the camp of Israel anathema and trouble it.

6:19 For all the silver and gold and vessels of brass and iron are consecrated unto the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

Rahab means “a violent catching up” (or “rapture”). Rahab and her household represent all the useful vessels in Jericho that are consecrated unto the Lord. When Jesus sent forth his disciples with the Gospel, he said that anyone who receives them receives him and that anyone who receives him receives his Father, who sent him. Jesus even said that anyone who so much as receives a little child in his name receives him. Joshua declared that Rahab and her entire household were to be spared (“raptured”) because she hid the messengers that “we” sent. It is interesting that Joshua refers to the “spies” as “messengers.”

6:20 Then the people shouted when the priests blew with the shofarot, and it came to pass when the people heard the voice of the shofar, that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, each man straight before him and they took the city.

The people marched thirteen times around the city before the walls fell down flat. Some say that thirteen is the number of rebellion (and maybe there are some applications of this), but when the Lord Jesus walked in Israel with his twelve disciples, how many were they? Thirteen!

The Lord had everyone participate in the marching and in the final shout: men, women, children, and babies. When has this ever happened in a war?

6:21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and ass, with the edge of the sword.

The men of Jericho represent those in ministry, the women represent the congregations, the young are those who are spiritually immature, and the old are those who came to maturity bearing evil fruit. The oxen are those who ploughed and planted and then threshed the grain of unrighteousness, the sheep are those who did not respond to the voice of the good shepherd, and the asses are those who continued to operate in the flesh.

6:22 But Joshua said unto the two men that had spied out the land, Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman out of there with all that she has, as ye swore unto her.

6:23 And the young men that were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brethren and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred and put them outside in the camp of Israel.

So Rahab and her entire family, all those who were in her “house,” were raptured out of the evil religious city of Jericho. This brings to mind the admonition of Paul to the Thessalonians. Thessalonica means “the victory of that which is false” and is comparable to Jericho. In this example, Paul and his companions were like the “spies” or messengers sent by Joshua (Jesus), and the Thessalonians were like Rahab and her family. This is what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

The New Testament is not law that applies equally to everyone and is administered by our human understanding; rather, it is grace. Suppose that when Paul wrote of we who are alive and remain, he was referring to those who, like Rahab in Jericho, live behind enemy lines. In fact, any of us living and operating in this present world (the world that is under the government of Satan) are really living behind enemy lines. What if Paul was referring to those who live behind enemy lines like Rahab in Jericho? Clouds, in biblical prophetic language, can refer to the nature of God, and in Hebrew the word for air and spirit is the same.4

4 See Russell Stendal, Preparing for the End of the World: Writings from the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians Regarding the End Times (Aneko Press, 2015)

The disciples saw Jesus ascend into the clouds with their natural eyes, but they never saw him seated at the right hand of the Father because the spiritual realm was veiled to them. If (as appears to be the case) the New Testament writers were thinking in Hebrew (which has a spiritual trajectory to the key terminology) and writing in Greek (which does not), many modern prophecy experts could be making a huge mistake with their generalized doctrine of a “secret” rapture.

In another example of a Scripture that was obviously not intended to be generalized, Paul wrote to Timothy and to Titus and said that women were to be silent in the congregation. If we look closely at the context, we find that Timothy and Titus were still ministering in a Jewish synagogue in Corinth. We know this because, according to the book of Acts, Crespus, the prince of the synagogue, had been converted to Christianity, and the early Christian believers had not been expelled from the Jewish place of worship. Although Paul’s words are often taken as being misogynistic, in fact he was, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, advising Timothy and Titus to respect Jewish order in Corinth. Later, in another letter to those who were congregating outside the Jewish system, Paul wrote (in contrast to that earlier remark about women) that in Christ there is neither male nor female; this is because the circumcision of the heart, the sign of the New Covenant, is equally applicable to men or women in Christ, meaning there is no limitation of age, race, or gender regarding whom God may choose to use. The requirement is a clean, circumcised heart.5 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy … (Acts 2:17). To prophesy is to speak God’s words instead of our own. When God speaks, through whomever he chooses, we will all be wise to listen.

5 Note: While there is truly no difference between men and women in Christ, there is still a reality in scripture that this needs to be reconciled with. 1 Timothy 2:13-15 and 1 Corinthians 11:3 indicate that it is better for women to work closely with godly, Holy Spirit-led men, whether that is their husband, father, or brothers in Christ. But in the proper order and under the leading of the Holy Spirit, women are as capable of being messengers from God as any man.

Joshua demonstrated this unprejudiced attitude toward Rahab. Not only were she and her family taken to the camp of Israel, but Scripture tells us that she married one of the “spies” and became part of the genealogy of King David and ultimately of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5).

For those who were destroyed, the young men that Joshua sent were “spies” of a dangerous foe. For those of the house of Rahab who were saved, these same young men were messengers of God.

6:24 And they burnt the city with fire and all that was in it; only the silver and the gold and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

6:25 And Joshua gave Rahab, the harlot, her life and also her father’s household and to all that she had; and she dwells in Israel even unto this day because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

The foundations of the walls of Jericho failed and collapsed under the combination of the shout of the people of God and the sound of the shofarot in the day of the Lord. Everyone shouted, from the least to the greatest. And this will all happen again when the Lord decides. He is preparing his true people and circumcising their hearts, almost in the very presence of their enemies. He is teaching them to walk after the presence of God, following the “ark of the Lord,” according to the example of God’s true people of war, listening to the voice of the shofarot, which is the voice of Jesus Christ.

Joshua didn’t say, “Look, this is the battle plan that God gave me. I’m going to explain it to the elders or to the pastors, and they’ll explain it to the men of the families, who will explain it to their wives and to their children.”

That is how it was out in the wilderness of man’s “good” intentions with “Moses,” during the church age, but this is not how it works inside the “Promised Land,” when the meek are about to inherit the earth at the return of Jesus Christ.

6:26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD that rises up and builds this city Jericho. He shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.

Tragically, this prophecy came true during the reign of wicked King Ahab. It has also been reflected throughout the church age, as those who continue to build the city of religion have had a sad penchant for losing their children to the flesh, the world, and the Devil.

6:27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame went throughout all the land.

Let us pray.

Lord, may we be firm in the coming battle. Please allow us to become part of your army and learn to fight according to your ways. May we hold our tongue until you give the order for us to shout. May the walls of the city of humanistic religion come down. Amen.

Chap 5. The Sin of Achan and the Valley of Trouble.

In order to enter into the fullness of the inheritance that God desires to give us, it’s not enough just to accept his plan or just to accept the Lord. It’s not even enough to receive the down payment or earnest of the Spirit. What is necessary is that we actually fulfill God’s plan. And the only one who can fulfill the plan of God in us is the Lord. A disobedient generation of his children spent more than forty years wandering in circles, as they gradually died off, because they refused to hear and obey God.

In Scripture, unbelief and disobedience are linked. Many who claim to believe in God nevertheless refuse to actually believe God and follow his commands, but true believers hear and obey the Lord. As James reminds us, faith without works is dead (James 2:20; 2:26).

Joshua and the sons of Israel entered the Promised Land by following the presence of God as represented by the ark of the covenant (instead of trekking after a pillar of cloud or a pillar of fire as they had done during their wilderness wanderings under the leadership of Moses). The men of war had learned how to use the two-edged sword (which represents the Word of God). They all knew that they were to keep silent until the Lord gave them orders.

They had all participated in a spectacular victory over the city of Jericho after blowing seven trumpets seven times as they all marched seven times around the city on the seventh day. It had been a battle in which not just the men but the women and even the smallest children (the entire congregation) played their part. The walls of the seemingly impregnable city had crumbled before their teamwork as the people obeyed the Lord.

Yet in the midst of such a stunning victory, a serious problem soon developed.

Joshua 7

7:1 But the sons of Israel committed a trespass in the anathema; for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the anathema; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the sons of Israel.

Note that this verse is not referring to the immature children of Israel but to the mature sons of Israel. One man sinned, and it went down in Scripture as a trespass that was committed by all the sons and was to severely affect the entire nation.

Achan, meaning “trouble,” was the son of Carmi, meaning “noble born.” Carmi was the son of Zabdi, meaning “God is endower,” and Zabdi was the son of Zerah, meaning “dawn.” The family was of the tribe of Judah, meaning “praise.” Despite his impressive pedigree, however, Achan clearly continued to think and act according to the fallen nature of Adam instead of the new nature of Jesus Christ. Those who have continued to do this throughout the church age have not been immediately judged (nor has the entire congregation) because we have been veiled off from the direct presence of God, which will not tolerate anything that is unclean. Now, entering into the realm of the Holy of Holies, the protective veil is no longer present. Therefore, there are direct and immediate consequences upon the entire nation.

7:2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which was beside Bethavan, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke unto them, saying, Go up and spy out the land. And the men went up and spied out Ai.

Ai means “heap of ruins.” Bethavan means “house of vanity or iniquity.” (Iniquity is hidden sin.) Bethel means “the house of God.”

7:3 And they returned to Joshua and said unto him, Let not all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; do not make all the people to labour there; for they are but few.

7:4 So about three thousand men of the people went up there; and they fled before the men of Ai.

7:5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty-six men; for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down; therefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

When the walls of protection of Jericho were supernaturally destroyed and the people of God were victorious, everyone was elated. Expecting another dramatic victory at Ai, they were caught completely off guard when the enemy came out of the ruins of that city and chased them all the way to Shebarim (meaning “breaches”). Bethavan, the house of vanity, idolatry, and iniquity, was nearby and remained intact even though it was on the east side of Bethel, the house of God. Due to sin in the Israelite camp, there were now breaches between the people and God, causing him to withdraw his hand of protection.

7:6 Then Joshua rent his clothes and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel, putting dust upon their heads.

7:7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, why hast thou caused this people to pass the Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? We should have been content and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!

7:8 O Lord, what shall I say now that Israel has turned their backs before their enemies!

7:9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it and shall compass us around and cut off our name from upon the earth; then what wilt thou do unto thy great name?

Joshua and the elders of Israel knew that the consequences of this defeat were extremely serious. It could lead to the extermination of all of the people of God. Even before they knew the details of the debacle, their spontaneous reaction was to fall on their faces before the ark of the Lord in repentance.

7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get up; why dost thou lie thus upon thy face?

7:11 Israel has sinned and has even transgressed my covenant which I commanded them; for they have even taken of the anathema and have also stolen and lied also, and they have even put it in their own vessels.

7:12 Therefore, the sons of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but shall turn their backs before their enemies because they have been in the anathema; neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the anathema from among you.

7:13 Get up, sanctify the people and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is anathema in the midst of thee, O Israel; thou canst not stand before thy enemies until ye take away the anathema from among you.

When Achan took of the anathema for himself, his action began an extremely dangerous chain of events. The realm of the Holy of Holies, symbolized here by the direct presence of the ark of the Lord, functions quite differently from the realm of the Holy Place, which was shielded by a veil. Any high-handed, premeditated iniquity that takes place in the realm of the fullness of the inheritance (which is the same as the fullness of the presence of God) will cause immediate and disastrous consequences for anyone even remotely associated with the breach.

When Adam sinned and rebelled in the Garden of Eden, the same conditions applied. The Garden of Eden is the same as the realm of the Holy of Holies in that any preplanned iniquity in this realm is fatal. When Adam lost his spiritual connection with God as the result of his direct disobedience, not only was he cast out of the garden, but the entire earth was cursed. He was not given a second chance.

When the Kingdom of God was still being offered to the Jewish nation immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, lied to the Holy Spirit about a property they had sold. They claimed to have given all the proceeds to the apostles when in fact they had secretly held some back. When confronted by Peter about their deceitful[1]ness, both of them fell over dead (Acts 5:1-10). Here, too, there was no second chance. As a result, great fear came upon all the congregation and upon as many as heard these things (Acts 5:11). The early church had a healthy fear of and respect for God’s power.

Achan seemed to believe that he could get away with his act of rebellion against God’s rules regarding the anathema. Perhaps he had forgotten that when Satan and his demons (one-third of the heavenly host that stood before the presence of God) committed iniquity and rebellion, they fell and were not granted repentance (Jude 6).

7:14 In the morning, therefore, ye shall come near according to your tribes, and it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come forward according to the families thereof, and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households, and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.

7:15 And it shall be that he that is taken in the anathema shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has because he has broken the covenant of the LORD and because he has wrought folly in Israel.

God declared all the spoil of Jericho to be anathema unto the Lord to test the hearts of all of his people. In subsequent battles, the people were allowed to take of the spoils freely. Everyone in the congregation participated in the battle of Jericho, and this is why the entire family of Achan was judged. They were all there at the time and were complicit in the iniquity. If even one of them had confronted Achan at the time, he may have taken a different course of action and done the right thing.

7:16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken;

7:17 and bringing near the tribe of Judah, the family of the Zarhites was taken; and bringing near the family of the Zarhites man by man, Zabdi was taken;

7:18 and he caused his household to come near, man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.

7:19 Then Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory now to the LORD God of Israel and give him praise; and tell me now what thou hast done; do not hide it from me.

7:20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.

7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

A goodly Babylonish garment speaks of coming back under the covering of Babylon (humanistic confusion). Two hundred has to do with gifts and gifting, and silver has to do with redemption. Stealing two hundred shekels of silver speaks of subverting God’s covenant of redemption. A wedge of gold of fifty shekels means self-righteousness according to the bygone era of Pentecost. These elements made up a very deadly combination.

The “goodly” garment from Babylon could not cover Achan and his family in the realm of the Holy of Holies before the ark of the Lord. In fact, this reveals something about the heart of Achan. If he had truly repented instead of simply being caught red-handed, he would never have continued to think that the Babylonian covering was good.

7:22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent and the silver under it.

7:23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent and brought them unto Joshua and unto all the sons of Israel and laid them out before the LORD.

7:24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan, the son of Zerah, and the silver and the garment and the wedge of gold and his sons and his daughters and his oxen and his asses and his sheep and his tent and all that he had, and they brought them unto the valley of Achor [which means trouble].

7:25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? The LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones and burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

7:26 And they raised over them a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Therefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.

In the battle of Jericho, one family of Jericho was saved and one family in Israel was lost. The household of Rahab was “raptured,” and the family of Achan was first stoned and then set on fire (reminiscent of the second death). Rahab later married into the line of Jesus Christ, but the Lord told Joshua that if Israel did not deal with the family of Achan and remove the anathema from their midst, he would not be with them any longer.

The prophetic implications of all of this are mind-boggling and directly imply that some very serious tests for the people of God will come after the return of Jesus Christ.

Those in Jericho who received the “spies” or messengers that Joshua and the Lord sent into the city entered into covenant with God and were saved. Those in Israel who broke their covenant with God were lost. The battle of Jericho separated out those of the family of Adam who were camouflaged within the family of Christ. Those who selfishly desire to use God to get what they want will be permanently separated from those who sacrificially desire to carry God’s wishes, regardless of the cost.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, I ask that we may be able to have understanding regarding the prophetic hour in which we are currently living. May we be able to understand when we are to stand firm and not take even a step backwards.

Please allow us to walk together with those who have passed all of the tests, those who have demonstrated that they have not sought God for personal gain.

Please allow us to join ranks with your great army that will overcome the city of the religion of men that has lasted for so long.

We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chap 6. We Must Choose Between the Blessing and the Curse .

Joshua 8

8:1 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed; take all the people of war with thee and arise; go up to Ai. See, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai and his people and his city and his land.

Notice that the Lord said to take all the people of war. He didn’t ask just for the “men of war.” The people of war would include men, women, and children.

8:2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king; only the spoil thereof and the cattle thereof, ye shall take for yourselves. Lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.

They were to do the same to Ai as they had done to Jericho, where God had required the entire congregation to join in the march of the army of Israel around the city.

8:3 So Joshua arose and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour and sent them away by night.

The first time, they were overconfident and only sent three thousand men. Even though the root cause of their failure had been dealt with, Joshua chose to use overwhelming force.

8:4 And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city; do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.

8:5 And I and all the people that are with me, will approach the city; and when they come out against us, as at the first, we will flee before them

8:6 (for they will come out after us) until we have raptured them out of the city; for they will say, They flee before us as at the first. Therefore, we will flee before them.

8:7 Then ye shall rise up from the ambush and take possession of the city; for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.

8:8 And when ye have taken the city, ye shall set the city on fire. Ye shall do according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.

8:9 Then Joshua sent them forth, and they went to lie in ambush and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; and Joshua lodged that night in the midst of the people.

The thirty thousand mighty men of valor went to the exact place where, more than five hundred years earlier, Abraham had entered into the Promised Land, even before God changed his name from Abram (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of many Gentiles”). On that earlier occasion, the LORD appeared unto Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land, and there he built an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he went from there unto a mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west and Hai [same as Ai] on the east; and there he built an altar unto the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD (Genesis 12:7-8).

As we know from the book of Genesis, Abram went down to Egypt to escape from a severe famine and got into some difficulty with Pharaoh over Sarai, his beautiful wife, whom Pharaoh desired. Abram was afraid that if Pharaoh knew Abram was her husband, he would kill him so as to leave Sarai unencumbered, so he lied and said that Sarai was his sister. This lie put Abram in good with Pharaoh (who, believing that Sarai was single, attempted to woo her), and he gave Abram sheep and oxen and he-asses and men-slaves and maid-slaves and she-asses and camels. In the end, to stop him from taking Sarai to wife, God had to intervene with great plagues upon Pharaoh and his house.

We can assume from their actions that neither Abram nor Sarai was completely converted at that time, and indeed they were only fully converted quite a bit later, at which point God changed both of their names to reflect their new status. After the near-catastrophe in Egypt (which could not be allowed to proceed because it was God’s plan for Sarai to be the mother of Isaac and the grandmother of Israel, not the mother of Pharaoh’s children), Abram had to backtrack both figuratively and literally, retracing his steps and returning to the place of his earlier commitment. And he retraced his journeys from the side of the Negev even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai, unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD (Genesis 13:3-4).

When Abram got back on track with God, it almost immediately led to his separation from his nephew Lot, who chose to dwell in all the cities of the plain and pitched his tents toward Sodom. (We all know what eventually happened to Lot and to Lot’s wife.)

Similarly, now that Achan and his family had been separated from the rest of the sons of Israel, the first thing God did was to lead them back to Ai, the place of their former defeat.

8:10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning and numbered the people and went up he and the elders of Israel, before the people against Ai.

This is very significant. On another occasion, David had numbered the people without the redemption money having been paid, and it resulted in a terrible disaster (2 Samuel 24). The fact that Joshua could now number the people (without them having to each pay a silver coin symbolizing their redemption) meant that they were all redeemed (or ransomed). They were no longer a mixed multitude but one people.

It will not be long before the victorious people of God find that the Scripture will be fulfilled which declares that the bride of Christ will soon have no spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27). Then, as symbolized by Joshua and the sons of Israel, she will be able to possess the fullness of her inheritance. Therefore the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Isaiah 51:11).

8:11 And all the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew near and came before the city and pitched camp on the north side of Ai; now there was a valley between them and Ai.

8:12 And he took about five thousand men and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.

8:13 And the people, all the camp that was on the side of the north came near to the city, and their ambush on the west of the city. And Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley.

It appears that now there were two ambush groups in place around Ai, made up of thirty thousand men behind the city and five thousand to the west. In addition, there was the main camp of Joshua on the north, which began to advance that night into the midst of the valley separating them from the city.

8:14 When the king of Ai saw it, he rose up early in the morning and made haste with the men of the city to go out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he did not know there was an ambush against him behind the city.

It is clear throughout Scripture that the judgments of God fall at a time appointed.

8:15 Then Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them and fled by the way of the wilderness.

The world and the Devil have made countless inroads upon the people of God during the church age, which can also be called the way of the wilderness. The earthly king of Ai, not realizing that times had changed, thought that he could continue to defeat the people of God. The different battles that were fought as Joshua and the sons of Israel took possession of the Promised Land are also prophetic snapshots of the end-time judgments of God, not only upon the world, but upon the apostates who claim to belong to the people of God.

8:16 And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them; and they pursued after Joshua and were raptured from the city.

There will be a “rapture” of the wicked out from among the righteous. The verb “rapture” carries no connotations of joy here but simply means to be seized and carried off. At the time of the harvest (at the end of the growing season), the tares will be removed from among the wheat (Matthew 13:37-43).

8:17 And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel that did not go out after Israel; and because they pursued after Israel, they left the city open.

Daniel wrote that when the scattering of the power of the holy people shall be finished, all these things shall be fulfilled (Daniel 12:7). This is when God’s people will be clean and know that they are redeemed and that they can do nothing of value apart from God. This is when the Devil and all his people will fall into a trap. Even the people of Bethel, the house of God that had become completely contaminated, were completely drawn into this trap. This is a prophetic view of what is soon to happen at the end of the age. Bethel was much larger than Ai, and this may be why Joshua placed two ambushes, one with thirty thousand men and the other with five thousand.

8:18 Then the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thy hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.

Joshua had been in another battle, years before, against a foe named Amalek. In that battle, Joshua and the army of Israel prevailed as long as Moses, standing on top of a hill, held his rod aloft. When Moses got tired, Aaron and Hur supported his hands in position while Joshua disabled Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Amalek (“stranger”) was a symbol of the natural, carnal man. When the Lord told Joshua to stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai, Joshua obediently followed this instruction until the victory of God’s people was complete.

Moses was known for his shepherd’s staff (or shepherd’s crook), which was necessary for taking care of sheep and goats. The opposite end could also be used as a defensive weapon against predators that might endanger the sheep. A spear is quite a different instrument, being a true weapon of war. This is the first instance of its use in Scripture, but we can be sure that when Jesus returns, he will wield something much more impressive than a simple shepherd’s staff.

8:19 And those of the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand; and they entered into the city and took it and made haste to set the city on fire.

8:20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way; and the people that were fleeing into the wilderness turned back upon their pursuers.

8:21 Then Joshua and all Israel, seeing that those of the ambush had taken the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned and slew the men of Ai.

8:22 And the others issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they smote them so that they let none of them remain or escape.

8:23 And they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

8:24 And when Israel had finished slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword until they were consumed, all the Israelites returned to Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.

Since all the Israelites returned to Ai, it is clear that there were no Israelite casualties in this battle.

8:25 And so it was that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

The inhabitants of Ai were Amorites, known as mountain dwellers. They were the descendants of Amori (“talker”), the fourth son of Canaan, the son of Ham. Through history, one of the key enemy tactics that Satan and his followers have successfully used against the people of God is lies and rumors, but now the talkers of Ai were dead, even the women, and their king was captured and taken to Joshua for judgment. The New Testament states that all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). God desires his people to live in the truth.

8:26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the spear until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

8:27 But the Israelites took the beasts and the spoil of the city for themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he had commanded Joshua.

Not one of the twelve thousand “talkers” of Ai escaped. Their mountain strongholds (representing their false doctrines) were unable to save them. Twelve thousand is a number that symbolizes the perfection of divine order. The Amorites thought that they had it all together, and they even had a close relationship with the inhabitants of Bethel, a place that had started out as a house of God but had become perverted over the years. In the end, however, Joshua judged them with the sword of the Word of the Lord, and the real implementation of divine order wiped them out.

8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a perpetual heap, desolate unto this day.

8:29 And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening, and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city and raise a great heap of stones upon it, that remains unto this day.

This is the judgment that can be expected to come upon the carnal, natural man. This is why the Lord Jesus “became sin” and died upon a tree in our place, so that we might be made the righteousness of Christ. One of these days, sometime soon, the Devil will be cast out of the heavens and into the earth, and he will face a situation very similar to the one into which he attempted to force the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture indicates that the Devil will die as a man and will be held prisoner by death in the abyss (Hades) for a thousand years.

8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in Mount Ebal,

8:31 as Moses, the slave of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no one lifted up any iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings upon it unto the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings.

8:32 He also wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written in the presence of the sons of Israel.

The altar is the Old Testament equivalent of the gospel in the New Testament. Man must not use any “iron tool” to modify the “stones,” or the conditions under which God will receive our sacrifice. This means that man is not to modify or change the righteous decrees of God in any way. Once the “altar,” which has been modified and profaned by religious men under the control of the Devil, has been restored, the way is prepared for the fullness of the blessing of God to be restored upon his people.

The “burnt offerings” refer to us offering our sin and guilt until we are clean and the heavens are opened unto us. Many Christians have dealt with wrongdoing in God’s way by admitting their sin and offering it upon the altar of God. Jesus, our new high priest, will help us bleed the sacrifice to death (until it has no more power over us) and burn it in the “fire” of God until it is reduced to a pile of ashes. The guilt of the past, however, continues to trouble many of God’s people and limits their potential in Christ. Guilt must be dealt with in the same manner as sin and reduced to ashes. When we are free from sin and guilt, then we are free to offer ourselves voluntarily in the service of our king as a “peace offering.” The sweet aroma of such a peace offering will ascend to heaven and open the way into the presence of the Father (Leviticus 6:24-7:13).

The Ten Commandments were written by the very finger of God in the future tense as a prophecy (thou shalt not) because he knew that his people under law would never be able to keep his commandments in their own strength. Up until that point, in the wilderness wandering of the sons of Israel, the Ten Commandments had been carefully hidden within the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, beyond the reach of the people. The ark of the Lord replaced the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, and the army of Israel (which now included women and children as well as men) began following the direct presence of God, as the Holy of Holies was to encompass the entire inheritance of the people of God. Now is the time when the people of God will be able to please him and keep his rights and statutes by the fullness of the indwelling presence and nature of God. The book of Joshua gives a prophecy and shadow examples (from different angles) of what God is about to accomplish in fullness as the day of the Lord continues to dawn.

8:33 And all Israel and their elders and officers and their judges stood on one side and on the other near the ark, before the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the strangers, as well as the natural born among them, half of them over against Mount Gerizim and half of them over against Mount Ebal, as Moses, the slave of the LORD, had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.

Soon after the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, as he leads all of his people (“natural born” from Israel and “strangers,” or Gentiles, from the church) into the fullness of our inheritance, a similar ceremony will take place (Romans 11:15). Gerizim means “to cut a covenant” and is linked to the blessing. Ebal means “bare or bald” and is symbolic of having no glory. It is linked to the curse. The fact that we, as individuals, have chosen to offer ourselves in service to God is not sufficient. God’s corporate people must make a public commitment if the fullness of the blessing of God is to be restored and the curse is to be broken. This is part of God’s plan to lift the curse from all creation. In order to obtain and maintain the blessing, God must be publicly and corporately given the right to “cut” and to remove anything that he does not like from among his people. This is essential if he is to restore his people (Israel and the church) completely.

8:34 After this he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.

Even though God’s people under Joshua made a public commitment, this was only a shadow fulfillment because the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and the second coming were still in the future. Most of the church was diluted by man into legalistic institutions that turned grace back into law as human theologians attempted to distill from the Scriptures “principles and values” that people could apply on their own. This has caused the curse to linger throughout the past two thousand years. In the imminent day of the Lord, we will all be given another opportunity to individually and corporately choose the blessings. It is only in the life of Jesus Christ that the fullness of the blessing will flow, and it is only if we submit individually and corporately to the discipline and dealings of Father God that the blessing may be sustained.

8:35 There was not a word of all the things that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers that walked among them.

Only Jesus Christ can fulfill the law. Only he can free us from the effects of sin and guilt and from the curse. Paul wrote that most Jews could not perceive Jesus Christ when the law of Moses was read because they still had a veil over their hearts. Only Jesus can cut into our hearts with the circumcision of Christ so that we will no longer be under the control of the flesh. Scripture is clear: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The veil that is still upon the hearts of many religious Jews and Christians is about to be removed as we enter into the day of the Lord. When this happens, they must choose between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, between the blessing and the curse.

Let us pray.

Lord, we desire to leave the wilderness of our own good intentions and enter into the fullness of what you have for us. May we understand the importance of allowing you to circumcise our hearts so that we will be able to reliably do your work your way. May the Devil and all the religious contamination that he has caused be dealt with so that your altar may be restored in a manner that is pleasing to you. Amen.

Chap 7. Beware of End Time Deception.

Joshua 9

9:1 And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the mountains and in the valleys and in all the coast of the great sea over against Lebanon, heard these things, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites

9:2 gathered themselves together with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel.

This is yet another prophetic snapshot portraying what will happen at the time of the end. Compare this to the picture in Isaiah: The noise of a multitude in the mountains like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of kingdoms, of Gentiles gathered together: the LORD of the hosts orders the host of the battle (Isaiah 13:4). Consider, too, its similarity to the vision seen by John on Patmos: And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him that was seated upon the horse and against his army (Revelation 19:19).

In the great end-time battle on the day of the Lord, some of God’s enemies may attempt to make peace instead of joining the frontal assault on the people of God. The Devil has been very successful with a strategy of “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Look at what happened next, when the Israelites encountered a group of inhabitants who were not among those preparing openly for battle:

9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,

9:4 they worked with prudence and went and made as if they had been ambassadors and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old and rent and bound up,

9:5 and old patched shoes upon their feet, and old garments upon them, and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.

9:6 Thus they came unto Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said unto him and to the men of Israel, We are come from a far country; now, therefore, make ye a covenant with us.

9:7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us, and how shall we make a covenant with you?

The Hivites (meaning those who congregate the people in “villages” unto themselves) were one of the seven wicked nations that God vowed to exterminate from the Promised Land. They worked with prudence when they began to fear for their lives. Prudence is a virtue, but even the serpent can adopt a virtue to save its own life.

God had forewarned Moses about these seven nations, and Moses in turn had warned the sons of Israel regarding how they must deal with them: When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land into which thou must enter to inherit it and has cast out many Gentiles before thee, the Hittite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them nor show mercy unto them. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me that they may serve other gods; and the anger of the LORD will be kindled upon you and destroy thee suddenly (Deuteronomy 7:1-4).

Despite the words of Moses, the Israelites disobeyed and reaped tragic consequences, right in the middle of the conquest of the Promised Land and in the midst of such great victory. Joshua and all the elders of Israel were fooled by some of the very people they had been warned against. It was not a rogue Achan and his family that connived this one. Even Joshua and all the elders of Israel were fooled. This is written for our admonition, and we should all take great care in the days to come that the bride of Christ not take part in any such foolishness. The end time deception will be so great as to deceive the very elect.

9:8 And they said unto Joshua, We are thy slaves. And Joshua said unto them, Who are you and where do you come from?

9:9 And they said unto him, From very far lands thy slaves are come because of the name of the LORD thy God, for we have heard the fame of him and all that he did in Egypt

9:10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of the Jordan, and to Sihon, king of Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.

This all sounded very flattering to Joshua and the elders of Israel, and indeed, most of us are susceptible to praise, particularly when we have just been successful in some kind of battle or endeavor for the Lord. When we are used to head-on confrontation, the enemy can catch us off guard simply by quietly switching gears.

9:11 Therefore, our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take provision with you for the journey and go to meet them and say unto them, We are your slaves; therefore, now make ye a covenant with us.

9:12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to come unto you, but now, behold, it is dry and mouldy.

9:13 These bottles of wine, we also filled new, and, behold, they are rent, and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

9:14 And the men of Israel took of their provision and did not ask counsel at the mouth of the LORD.

9:15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; also the princes of the congregation swore unto them.

The leaders of Israel were so impressed with the “testimony” of the Hivites from Gibeon that they didn’t even bother to consult the Lord. Jesus has told us that we shall know others by their “fruit” and not necessarily by their “testimony,” but the Israelite leaders took the words of these strangers entirely at face value. While it is true that bread and wine are the symbols of the covenant dating back to the days of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18), no one in Israel discerned that the old wine skins of the men of Gibeon were not capable of containing new wine (new life) and that their bread (their word) was contaminated with mold.

9:16 At the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, they heard how they were their neighbors and that they dwelt among them.

Three days is a prophetic reference to the day of the Lord when everything will be revealed for what it is. There may be many “covenants” that the people of God have made over the past three thousand years that will not stand the test because they were made under false pretenses. Take very careful note of this: the only man who cannot be deceived is the Lord Jesus Christ. Unless we remain very close to Jesus and in unbroken communion with him and with the Father, we, like Joshua and the Israelites, will most certainly be deceived, for the end-time deception will be so great as to deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22).

9:17 And the sons of Israel journeyed and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kirjathjearim.

Gibeon means “pertaining to a hill or high place.” Chephirah means “village.” Beeroth means “wells,” and Kirjathjearim means “city of groves.” The groves had to do with pagan worship that included sexual impurity and even child sacrifice. The high places were also linked to the occult. Later Solomon did untold damage by multiplying high places all over Israel to please his many pagan wives, at least some of whom may have been Hivites.

9:18 And the sons of Israel did not smite them because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.

Now all the congregation suddenly realized that this was not a good situation. The confounded princes of God’s people sought to pacify the congregation and thus compounded the previous error. And still no one thought to consult the Lord.

9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel; therefore, now we may not touch them.

9:20 This we will do to them; we will let them live lest wrath come upon us because of the oath which we swore unto them.

Jesus had a few things to tell us regarding the swearing of oaths: Again, ye have heard that it was said to the ancients, Thou shalt not perjure thyself, but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths; but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is God’s throne, nor by the earth, for it is his footstool, neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no; for whatsoever is more than this comes of evil (Matthew 5:33-37).

There will be many times when we will be pressured to make promises in the name of the Lord that we should not make. These mistakes will always prove to be very costly, as the Israelites were to learn. A mistake that may prove even more costly would be to blindly follow the religious traditions and “oaths” of those who, in decades or centuries past, have disregarded Jesus’ advice.

9:21 And the princes said unto them, Let them live but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had said unto them.

9:22 And Joshua called for them, and spoke unto them saying, Why have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you, when ye dwell among us?

9:23 Now, therefore, ye are cursed, and ye shall always be slaves and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.

The Hivites came under a curse for causing Joshua and the princes of Israel to swear an oath unto the Lord after they represented themselves under false pretenses. The consequences of this were that the Hivites, later known as the Nethanims (meaning “the appointed”), were incorporated into the ministry, or service, of hewing wood and drawing water for the house of God. These had previously been duties of the Levites.

9:24 And they answered Joshua and said, Because it was certainly told thy slaves how the LORD thy God commanded his slave Moses that he was to give you the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore, we feared greatly of our lives because of you and have done this thing.

9:25 And now, behold, we are in thy hand; as it seems good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.

9:26 And so did he unto them; he delivered them out of the hand of the sons of Israel so that they did not slay them.

9:27 And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, in the place which he should choose; which they are even unto this day.

This is how the Enemy was able to infiltrate Israel and begin to replace the ministry of the hard work of clean Levites with unclean Nethanims, who were now under a curse. Slave laborers are not the same as willing, clean, free ministers of the Lord. In fact, hundreds of years later, it has been clear at several times in the history of Israel that the fire of God has become extinguished upon his altar. If man were to relight the fire (as is the temptation), it would be strange fire and not the real fire of God. Could the Nethanims have failed to supply the necessary firewood under critical circumstances? Could the cleanness of the “water” that they provided always have been trusted?

Soon after the death of Joshua, things began to deteriorate in Israel until, within a generation or two, the entire nation turned away from the Lord, exactly as Scripture foretold would happen if the Hivites were not completely destroyed.

There is no mention of the Lord being consulted at any stage of these developments and no record of the Lord even giving an opinion regarding any of this.


God’s people have been given free will. If he were to take this away, there could be no true demonstration of the love and trust and intimate friendship that God fervently desires to have from his people. The choice between blessing and cursing offered before Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal is not just a one-time event but an eternal possibility placed before us.

God is not willing that any should perish, and if the repentance of the Hivites was genuine and if the Lord had been consulted at any stage of this unpleasant odyssey, he could have provided a better solution. Instead, using their God-given responsibility, the people of God walked blindly into a trap that put an unclean nation right into the midst of the most sacred area of their society. All of the dealings of God with his people in the wilderness, preparing them to enter the Promised Land, and all of his dealings with them as they entered the land of his inheritance so that there would be no leaven in their midst, soon became very subtly subverted. This is written in Scripture so that we can learn from their mistake and not let it happen to us. In how many modern congregations has critical ministry regarding the “fire” and the “water” been delegated to appointed “Nethanims” instead of the true “Levites” of God?

The ever-present possibility of things like this creeping in may be one reason that God’s people will be tested to rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years before the institution of the eternal new heavens and the new earth. When Jesus returns and the thousand-year kingdom age begins, all of us will be faced with some of our greatest tests. God’s people have done fairly well over history when faced with adversity. Prosperity is much harder to handle.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, may we keep our eyes upon Jesus so that we will not be deceived. May we not hesitate to consult you about even the smallest details regarding those who would enter into covenant with us. May we have sharp discernment so that no one will be able to fool us with the wrong fruit. May we have a healthy respect for the clean fire of your dealings and for the pure water of your word. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chap 8. When the Sun Stands Still.

Joshua 10

10:1 Now it came to pass when Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had taken Ai and that he had utterly destroyed it (as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king) and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them;

Adonizedek means “lord of justice.” Satan, as the accuser of the brethren, considers himself lord of justice and self-styled king of Jerusalem (king of the city of peace). Now, after the inhabitants of Gibeon had managed to deceive Israel into making a covenant with them against the word of the Lord, Adonizedek began to think that he might be able to take them on in open battle and win.

10:2 they feared greatly because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

10:3 Therefore Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, sent unto Hoham, king of Hebron, and unto Piram, king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia, king of Lachish, and unto Debir, king of Eglon, saying,

10:4 Come up unto me and help me that we may smite Gibeon; for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.

We do not know with any degree of certainty the meaning of some of the names of these pagan kings, but Piram means “like a wild ass” and Jarmuth means “height.” Scripture tells us that our fight is not really against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the lords of this age, rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in the heavens (Ephesians 6:12).

We know that Joshua and the leaders of Israel made a mistake in entering into a covenant with the inhabit[1]ants of Gibeon without consulting the Lord. However, unlike the trespass of Achan, this was an honest mistake. They had looked at the ragged clothes, rotten bread, and old wineskins and really believed that the Hivites had come from quite a distance away. Had they consulted the Lord, we do not know what he would have replied. We do know, however, that Scripture states that God will not despise those who have a broken and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).

10:5 Therefore, the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together and went up, they and all their hosts and encamped before Gibeon and made war against it.

10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy slaves; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.

We know that Israel made a serious but honest mistake that now had the additional unintended consequence of triggering a major all-out war against strong enemy forces that possibly outnumbered them. They were now battling all five kings of the mountain-dwelling Amorites at once.

10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the mighty men of valour.

Joshua and all Israel went to the aid of Gibeon, courageously putting their lives on the line to keep the word that they had unwisely sworn in the name of the Lord, and they were about to find out something very important about the character and nature of God: he covers honest mistakes. (Yes, these mistakes will cause pain and even long-term undesirable consequences, but God will not allow our enemies to sink us when we make honest errors.)

10:8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Do not fear them; for I have delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.

It reminds me of what Paul wrote to Timothy: This is a faithful word: That if we are dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are unfaithful, yet he remains faithful; he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

The faithful response from the Lord encouraged Joshua to launch into the battle immediately. God didn’t say to Joshua, “You made a covenant in my name without consulting me. Let’s see what you can do now because you’re on your own.” No! The Lord kept his promise to Joshua that no one would be able to stand before him all the days of his life.

10:9 Joshua, therefore, came unto them suddenly, for he went up from Gilgal all night.

In some passages, Joshua represents the body of Christ, and in others, he is a clear representation of Jesus. (Of course, the plan of God is for the head to be joined to the body.)

Consider the words of this parallel Scripture: For ye know well that the day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).

The theme is repeated in one of John’s visions: Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into the place which in Hebrew is called, Armageddon (Revelation 16:15-16).

In spite of his mistake, Joshua was not abandoned to fight the battle on his own. God kept his word to him, in the face of the enemy.

10:10 And the LORD discomfited them before Israel and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon and chased them along the way that goes up to Bethhoron and smote them to Azekah and unto Makkedah.

Gibeon has to do with a “hill” or “high place.” Bethhoron means “house of the hollow,” and Azekah means “breach.” Makkedah means “place of shepherds.”

10:11 And when they were fleeing from before Israel in the descent to Bethhoron, the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel slew with the sword.

This is symbolic of what will happen on the day of the Lord when the spiritual powers of wickedness in “high places” in the heavens will be cast down into the “hollow” of the earth, making a “breach,” so that they can never return to their previous sphere.

John paints a similar picture: And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great (Revelation 16:21).

The gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29). Those who receive gifts and ministry from God will be allowed to continue to operate in their gifts and calling even if they are unrepentant and use them for the wrong purpose. There will come a time, however, when judgment will fall at the end of the season, based on the works (fruit) of each individual. Jesus equated gifts and a calling with “talents.” In the year of liberty (a special year of Jubilee), the gifts given to servants will return to the prince, and only the gifts given to the true sons of God will remain as a perpetual inheritance (Ezekiel 46:17). In the day of the Lord, the God-given “talents” that had been bestowed at an earlier time upon “all flesh,” and that are sustained from heaven, will be cut loose (when the anointing returns unto God who gave it), and the weight of the “talents” will fall upon those who continue to serve the flesh, the world, and the Devil (and who are producing evil fruit) at the time of the day of the Lord.

When Joshua saw God send down the hail upon his enemies, he was filled with faith.

10:12 Then Joshua spoke unto the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the nation had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is this not written in the book of righteousness? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and hastened not to go down about a whole day.

10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.

Scripture states that for the Lord, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). God’s intervention on Joshua’s behalf was an example unlike any other, in that the laws of physics that apply to the entire universe were affected. Joshua wanted a complete victory over the Amorites, and when he saw that he would not have enough time to accomplish this before nightfall, out of the fullness of his faith in God, he commanded the sun and the moon to stand still. We know that from the perspective of Joshua at that time, they obeyed him. He did not command time to stop. He simply commanded those two heavenly bodies to stop, and they stayed still until the end of the battle. From our modern perspective, the sun, the moon, and the earth all froze in their rotation and their orbit, maintaining a fixed position in relation to each other. The space-time continuum came to a complete halt while the battle upon the earth continued. Whichever way we look at it, there was no day like that before it or after it. Yet, even this is only an example of what is about to happen.

We know that we are entering into the seventh millennium since Adam, that is, the seventh prophetic day, which is the day of the Lord. Many think that the millennium will be a thousand literal years, and it is possible that this will be the case. It is also possible that since for the Lord a thousand years is as a day, this special day will last as long as is necessary to defeat the accuser of the brethren and all his “talkers.” The sun, representing the light of this world, stopped over Gibeon (which means a “hill” or “high place”). God will bring the system of this world to a stop while Joshua (Jesus and the body of Christ) deals with the principalities and powers that have been our real enemies all along.

Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun, and in Scripture the sun represents the light of the world that surrounds us. We live in a fallen world. In many parts of Scripture, the moon is linked to the woman and represents Israel (and the church that has returned to legalism). Instead of reflecting the light of the Sun of righteousness, Israel and the church have all too often reflected the light of the sun of this world. Instead of being led by the voice and presence of the Lord, they have been doing things according to the ways of the world around them, which is at enmity with God. Therefore, under the sun of this world, there is indeed nothing new. The same old lies, the same corruption, and the same persecution of the true people of God still go on.

It is my belief that we are about to reach a time when God will again stop the “sun” of this world and the “moon” of the false, contaminated church at a most critical juncture. I believe that this is what the Scripture means when it says that before the day of the Lord, the sun will be darkened and the moon will turn to blood (Joel 2:31). God is about to bring the same old activities of the fallen world and of the unclean church to a screeching halt until the clean nation under the direct command of Jesus avenges herself upon her enemies as God cleans house. The moon comes to a halt over the valley of Ajalon (meaning “place of gazelles or hinds or deer”). This is when those who belong to God and have been trapped in the dead religious system of men will be able to escape and flee like deer over any spiritual obstacle that has been placed in their way.

In fact, unless judgment begins with the house of the Lord and unless Israel and the church are purged and cleansed, it is very difficult to see how revival can be sustained. When a person who has recently been deeply touched by God attempts to find a church for fellowship and communion, the quality of what is readily available leaves very much to be desired. In fact, it is growing more and more difficult (if not impossible) to be able to recommend a good church to a new convert who is searching in any given part of the country or even the world. Conversely, if people have had a good experience with a local congregation affiliated with a particular denomination and they move to another city, they can be completely blindsided when they walk into another church with the same denominational name, only to find that it is unbearably corrupt and unclean.

We are in a time similar to when Jesus and his apostles walked upon the land of Israel. The blinding light of Jesus and his ministry (for the most part rejected by the Jews) exposed the need for a complete overhaul of the religious system run by the scribes and Pharisees and priests, whom Jesus exposed as sons of their father, the Devil (John 8:44).

The church is now in need of a similar overhaul. What good does it do to baptize people in water (a beautiful symbol of death to the old man and the old nature, and new life in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ) if all that happens is that the people come out of the water wet (and possibly even contaminated by the false religiosity of an unclean pastor)? Many such rituals are a sham. The real baptism is into the Holy Spirit of the nature of Christ. If Jesus does not immerse us into the genuine Spirit of God, we are simply fooling ourselves and deceiving the new converts.

What good does it do to participate in a solemn Communion ceremony, with a cracker crumb and a few drops of grape juice, if we never enter into true communion and fellowship with Jesus and with his Father? Is this not the basis for our communion with one another? What good can all this do if we never even begin to understand that the wine of the Communion cup is a symbol of the life of Jesus Christ, that we are saved by his life (Romans 5:10), that the bread is a symbol of the persecuted body of Christ (now of many members) broken for us, and that the true body of Christ is nourished and brought to maturity by the operation of each member (Ephesians 4:16)?

On the day when the “talents” of many shall fall, and the sun of this world system shall become black like sackcloth of hair, and the moon of the contaminated church shall come to a sudden halt, the hail of those falling talents shall be a great sign unto us. As Isaiah describes it, Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goes forth, it shall take you: for it shall come suddenly, by day and by night: and it shall be that the terror only causes one to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the LORD shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore do not be mockers lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of the hosts that consumption and destruction are determined upon the whole earth (Isaiah 28:17-22).

The victory of King David over the Philistines on Mount Perazim is also a prophetic symbol of this very same battle on the day of the Lord (2 Samuel 5:17-25; 1 Chronicles 14:8-17), the reality of which is imminent.

When we see the “hail,” this will be the sign that like Joshua, as members of the body of Christ, we will be able to command the sun to stand still upon Gibeon (the “high place”) and the moon in the valley of Ajalon (“place of gazelles or hinds”) until the “strange” work or act of the Lord is accomplished and many slaves are freed. This is when God will give his people “hinds’ feet” to walk upon “high places” and to “escape” from the destruction coming upon the world and the apostate church.

The picture is described in Habakkuk: The sun and the moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went and at the shining of thy glittering spear. Thou didst tread upon the land in wrath; thou didst thresh the Gentiles in anger. Thou didst go forth to save thy people, to save with thine anointed; thou didst shatter the head of the house of the wicked by uncovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in my seat, that I might rest in the day of trouble when he comes up unto the people to destroy them. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and upon my high places he will cause me to walk victorious in my instruments of music (Habakkuk 3:11-13, 16, 19).

And since it is so clear that the consumption and destruction of the whole earth (the entire realm of Israel and of the church) is determined, it behooves all of us to make sure that the Jerusalem of above is really our mother, that our heavenly citizenship is up to date and in good standing (Revelation 12:12), and that the Lord has really placed his new song in our mouth. Otherwise we could run out of oil for our lamps, as happened to the five foolish virgins who trusted in their gifts and talents instead of obtaining and maintaining a heavenly connection with the source of the oil (Matthew 25:1-13). Unlike them, we should strive for a faith like Joshua’s and a relationship with God that empowers us to even halt heavenly bodies in their tracks in his name.

10:15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

10:16 But the five kings fled and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.

10:17 And it was told unto Joshua that the five kings had been found hidden in a cave at Makkedah.

Makkedah means “place of shepherds.” Scripture states that the time will come when all the false shepherds will be judged until there will only be one shepherd and one sheep-fold (John 10:16). We all know who the true shepherd is.

10:18 Then Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave and set men by it to guard them;

10:19 and do not stop, but pursue after your enemies and smite their rearguard without allowing them to enter into their cities; for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand.

10:20 And it came to pass when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished slaying them with a very great slaughter until they were consumed, that those who remained of them entered into strong cities.

10:21 And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace; there was no one to move his tongue against any of the sons of Israel.

The five kings represent the Devil and his principalities and powers of wickedness. Now Adonizedek, the so-called “king of justice,” along with all his fellow principalities and powers that accused the brethren day and night, is unable to continue “talking,” for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10b). The same thing is about to happen to the Devil and his followers (Revelation 20:2-3). Note that all of God’s people returned safely to their camp after the last battle.

10:22 Then Joshua said, Open the mouth of the cave and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.

10:23 And they did so and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.

10:24 And when they had brought those kings out unto Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel and said unto the captains of the men of war who went with him, Come near; put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near and put their feet upon the necks of them.

10:25 And Joshua said unto them, Do not fear, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage; for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

The fate of the five kings is the embodiment of Paul’s words to the Corinthians: For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). If the body of Christ is of many members under Jesus, our head, then some of us will qualify to be part of his “feet.”

10:26 And afterward Joshua smote them and slew them and caused them to be hanged on five trees; and they hung upon the trees until the evening.

10:27 And at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded that they take them down off the trees and cast them into the cave in which they had been hid, and they laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

Once the kings were dead, then Joshua went after the towns and cities of their kingdoms.

10:28 In that same day Joshua took Makkedah and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them and all the souls that were therein; he let no one remain; and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.

Scripture continues to mention the phrase in that same day because these different scenes are snapshots, taken from different angles, of what will happen in the upcoming day of the Lord.

10:29 Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him unto Libnah and fought against Libnah;

10:30 and the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hands of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword and all the souls that were therein; he let no one remain in it, but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.

Libnah means “whiteness.” Remember that the Pharisees were whitewashed on the outside yet rotten inside.

10:31 And Joshua passed from Libnah and all Israel with him unto Lachish and encamped against it and fought against it;

10:32 and the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, who took it on the second day and smote it with the edge of the sword and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

This city was taken by Joshua on the second day. This means that on the day of the Lord, there will be a battle that will continue into the next prophetic day.

Lachish means “impregnable.”

10:33 Then Horam, king of Gezer, came up to help Lachish, and Joshua smote him and his people until none of them were left.

Horam means “high,” and Gezer means “precipice.”

10:34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon and all Israel with him, and they encamped against it and fought against it;

10:35 and they took it that same day and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were in it he utterly destroyed that same day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

Eglon means “vitulene” (having to do with a calf). One of the principle deities of Egypt was worshipped as a calf, which is a symbol of the natural man in the flesh. This is worship of the “beast.” God wants to break the rule of the flesh, and for this reason, the sons of Israel were to sacrifice calves or bullocks instead of worshipping golden calves (that is, instead of deifying fallen man). Eglon, therefore, has to do with a major component of humanism, which is the worship of fallen man instead of the worship of God. Eglon was utterly destroyed that same day.

10:36 And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it;

10:37 and they took it and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof and all the cities thereof and all the souls that were in it; he left no one remaining, according to all that he had done in Eglon, but destroyed it utterly and all the souls that were therein.

10:38 And Joshua returned and all Israel with him to Debir and fought against it;

10:39 and he took it and the king thereof and all the cities thereof, and they smote them with the edge of the sword and utterly destroyed all the souls that were in it; he left no one remaining; as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and to the king thereof, as he had done also to Libnah and to her king.

10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills and of the Negev and of the vale and of the springs and all their kings; he left no one remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded.

The Negev is the southern desert.

10:41 And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza and all the country of Goshen even unto Gibeon.

10:42 All these kings and their lands Joshua took at one time because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

10:43 And Joshua returned and all Israel with him unto the camp to Gilgal.

Kadeshbarnea means “consecrated wilderness,” and it is located eleven days’ journey from Egypt (Deuteronomy 1:2). This is near the place where Moses died and Joshua took over the leadership of Israel. Gaza means “the strong place.” The meaning of Goshen is unknown. It is the same word as that used to describe the province where the children of Israel lived in Egypt, and it is also the name of a town and region inside the Promised Land.

Therefore this great war that is figurative of a single prophetic day, the day of the Lord, began at the hill or “high place” of Gibeon, against principalities and powers represented by the five kings, and then raged throughout a great part of the promised inheritance of the people of God. It then continued all the way to the “strong place” of Gaza and the “consecrated wilderness” of Kadesh-barnea, even including all the country of Goshen (symbolic of where the exodus began), until all those operating as false prophets and all those deifying man instead of God were utterly destroyed. (Revelation 19:11-21 is a parallel passage.)

There has also been a great spiritual “exodus” over the past four thousand years, starting with the call of Abraham to leave the unclean realm of Ur of the Chaldees and journey towards the fulfillment of the promises of God. The people of God spent quite a bit of time in “Egypt,” in the special province of “Goshen” (symbolic in some ways of the natural land of Israel during the age of law), while still in bondage to “Pharaoh.”

The journey through the wilderness is a picture of the church age, when many of the people of God have tragically refused to hear the voice of God and have insisted on having “Moses” (or some other wonderful leader) as an intermediary between them and God. Thus they received the Ten Commandments written on tablets of stone instead of engraved upon their hearts and in their minds. As a result, many theologians and religious institutions have insisted on turning the New Testament into law as they distill values and precepts that they proceed to apply with their human understanding rather than the indwelling guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. This practice has kept much of the church and Israel in bondage and immaturity instead of walking in the glorious liberty of the (mature) sons of God. God, all the while, has refused to override the free will of man and has waited patiently until the end of the harvest season to judge every individual and every kingdom according to their works: For it is time that the judgment begins from the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). This judgment happened to the Jews shortly after Peter wrote this at the end of the age of the law, and it is about to happen to the church at the end of the age of grace.

There is a relationship between the heavens and the earth that will be unveiled (Revelation 6:12-17) as the day of the Lord unfolds. The unclean people who occupy the land of the inheritance of the heavenly people of God will be soundly defeated and removed. The Devil will be cast out of the heavenly, spiritual realm and locked into the “cave” of the abyss with all his henchmen until there is no one to move his tongue against any of the sons of Israel. Remember that in Christ there is no difference between Jew or Gentile and that therefore, in the eyes of God, Israel and the church are essentially the same and are both part of the people of God.

In addition to the wicked principalities and powers in high places, how many “talkers” do we have mixed in with the people of God who operate in ministries and utilize their gifts? How many of them prophesy and cause the people to depend upon them instead of upon the Lord? How many arrogantly give orders to the people of God when they have not heard those orders directly from God? How many have told the people that they are cursed if they do not tithe God’s money to them?

We are coming closer and closer to a great confrontation: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in the heavens. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23).

We’re coming closer and closer to the day of confrontation between God and the Amorite “talkers.” When the army of the Lord is ready, God is the one who is most interested in causing the battle to happen at the “appointed time.”

The five kings who hid in the cave were sealed in there until the end of the battles, symbolizing the day of the Lord. Then the Devil and his cohorts will be brought out so that the true sons of God may put their feet upon their necks.

Why will God bring them out of their prison in the abyss after the end of the “thousand years”? First, God will reveal in a very practical manner that their refuge of lies does not function. After being locked up in what used to be their own jail while the overcoming sons (and daughters) of God reign and rule with Christ for a thousand years, during which no one will be able to blame the Devil for stirring up trouble, there will be one last opportunity to see who will side with the forces of evil. This last battle is described in Joshua 11 and in Revelation 20.

God knows how to use the Devil to help us discover our weaknesses and to separate those who love righteousness from those who are evil so as to make sure that in the new heavens and the new earth there will be only those who love righteousness.

My father always taught me that life begets life. If we do not have the life of the Lord within us, we can accomplish nothing of eternal value. If we have the life of Jesus Christ, we will be able to reach out and touch others with his life.

It’s that simple.

If the Lord has placed his life in us by the Holy Spirit, he has done so in the hope that his life will move us to touch others, and in this way the gift that he gave us will be duplicated.

Many people seek gifts, and in the highest sense the true gift that came from heaven is Jesus, for the Father gave his only son (John 3:16). Those who seek something other than Jesus may talk and brag for a time and a season, if God should grant them gifts or “talents” (even gifts of the Spirit and ministry), but none of this will last if they continue to serve the flesh, the world, and the Devil because they fail to put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). And any gifts given by the “prince” to “servants” will return to the “prince” in the year of liberty (Ezekiel 46:17). Joshua 10 gives a vivid description of what will soon happen when Jesus returns and we all celebrate the real year of liberty.

The people of Gibeon made a very late yet prudent decision (after having sinned away their day of grace) and wound up as slaves belonging to the people of God; what God really desires is sons.

What God did for Joshua and the sons of Israel as they entered their inheritance in the Promised Land is nothing compared with what he has in store for us now. God will bring about the complete and utter defeat of all the “talkers” and “terrorists” and “controllers” living in what ought to be the inheritance of the People of God, along with all the wicked principalities and powers in the heavens that control them.

He will bring about a day of victory that will not end until the victory is complete. What man has not been able to accomplish in six thousand years will happen in one “day” (the day of the Lord) that will last however long the Lord Jesus desires for it to last. He will directly intervene, but he also calls on us to be strong and of good courage, as he puts all of our enemies under our feet.

The conquest of the Promised Land begins with the “second circumcision” of removing any residue of the old man or old nature from our hearts. It continues with trumpets (a pure message according to the voice of the Lord) until the walls of Jericho come down as the people of God, men and women, old and young, all raise their voices when Joshua (Jesus) gives the order. Joshua and the sons of Israel learned the painful lesson that even one corrupt family in their camp could cause the defeat of all Israel. They also learned that God covers honest mistakes and does not easily remove his blessing when his people are in a proper covenant relationship with him.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we ask that we may learn your ways and obtain the fullness of your blessing. We know that we are of the earth and that the earth is under a curse. May you bring forth the life of Jesus Christ in us until we are truly blessed, until we are good ground that may multiply your life thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold. May we submit to your discipline and direction until you bring us to maturity, so that we may inherit the fullness of your Spirit and of your promises.

We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chap 9. The Last Battle.

Joshua 11

11:1 Hearing of this, Jabin, king of Hazor, sent a message unto Jobab, king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron and to the king of Achshaph

11:2 and to the kings that were on the north of the mountains and in the plain south-ward of Chinneroth and in the valley and in the borders of Dor to the west

11:3 and to the Canaanite on the east and on the west and to the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite in the mountains and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

Jabin, meaning “whom he considered,” is king of Hazor, meaning “enclosed.” Jabin could be another symbolic representation of Satan, who will spend a thousand years as a prisoner enclosed in the abyss and then, after the thousand years (after the prophetic day of the Lord), will be released for a short time (Revelation 20:3). Remember that this is the portrayal of a future battle in which the natural and spiritual realms merge.

Jobab means “a howling desert,” and Madon means “place of contention.” Shimron means “watchman” or “guard,” while Achshaph means “enchantment” or “fascination.” At the end of the millennium, when the Devil is released for a short while, the people of the Devil will be reduced to a howling desert because they have lost the inheritance. Their land will be a place of contention. (Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.) Nevertheless, their “watchmen” are looking for an opportunity to regain the high places that they had before, and the enemy will work his deception upon the Gentiles by means of “enchantment” and “fascination.”

There used to be seven enemy nations, but for quite some time now, the Girgashite, the dwellers in a “clayey soil,” the humanists who cling to and worship the Adamic nature, have been missing from the lineup. This scenario may parallel what will happen to the “beast” and the “false prophet” (Revelation 19:20; 20:10).

The six remaining nations include the Canaanite (the buyers and sellers of the things and people of God), the Hittite (the terrorists who manipulate and dominate the people with fear of man), the Hivite (those who congregate the people in “villages” unto themselves), the Perizzite (those who belong to a “village” or congregation not ordained by God), the Amorite (those “talkers” who dwell in the “mountains” or strongholds of man, the world, or the Devil), and the Jebusite (those who would tread or thresh God’s harvest under their feet).

11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, many people even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with a great multitude of horses and chariots.

11:5 All these kings united, and as they came they gathered together the camps near the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. (Merom means a high place.)

Compare this to the following Scripture and note the reference to a multitude like the sand that is upon the sea shore in both Joshua and Revelation: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and shall go out to deceive the Gentiles which are upon the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:7-8).

Abraham was promised two types of descendants: some would be like the sand of the sea and some would be like the stars of the heavens (Genesis 22:17). In other words, he would have both natural, earthly, legalistic descendants of the flesh, and spiritual, heavenly descendants of faith.

Gog means “lofty” or “pride” and is symbolic of Satan. Magog means “multitude of Gog.” They are similar to Jabin, king of Hazor, and all his hordes. If we study the book of Ezekiel, it is clear that there is a battle with Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39) before the fullness of God enters into the “millennial” temple, which is his people that measure up to his standards, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Ezekiel 43:1-5 Ephesians 5:27). Gog and Magog (Satan and his minions) are first represented by Adonizedek and his allies in a war that Joshua (Jesus) wins in one day (one prophetic day).

They are trapped by death for a thousand years in the abyss (Hades, the first death). The five kings trapped in the cave were also symbolic of this. Then, after the “thousand years” (for unto the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day), when Satan is loosed out of his prison, the war with Gog and Magog will continue until Satan and all of his followers (represented by Jabin, king of Hazor, and his allies) are cast into the lake of fire (or hell), which is the second death (Matthew 10:28; Revelation 20).

11:6 But the LORD said unto Joshua, Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this hour I will deliver them up all slain before Israel; thou shalt hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.

11:7 So Joshua came against them with all the people of war and fell upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom.

Merom means “a high place.” Symbolically, this shows that the Devil and his followers will attempt to regain their former place in the heavenly realm. They will fail, however, and this time the consequences of their defeat will be much more severe.

11:8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them and chased them unto great Zidon and unto the hot springs and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them no one remaining.

11:9 And Joshua did unto them as the LORD had commanded him; he hamstrung their horses and burnt their chariots with fire.

Joshua (Jesus) hamstrung their horses (destroyed the ability of people operating in the flesh to assist them) and burnt their chariots with fire (annihilated their humanistic religious and secular machinery). This is reminiscent of Revelation 20:9, in which those whom Satan has amassed for battle went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

11:10 And Joshua at that time returned and took Hazor and smote the king thereof with the sword because Hazor had been the head of all those kingdoms before.

11:11 And they smote all the souls that were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was not any left to breathe; and he burnt Hazor with fire.

All the souls remaining in “Hazor,” the kingdom of the Devil, will perish if they do not flee when given the opportunity (Revelation 18:4). And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brim[1]stone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne and him that was seated upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and their place was not found. And I saw the dead, great and small, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened; which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:10-12).

Salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), yet the final judgment is according to works. Of course, our own works cannot save us or anyone else. If, how[1]ever, our heart has been transformed by the grace of God and if, by faith, Jesus rules and reigns from the throne of our heart, then there will be ample evidence of the work that he has accomplished in and through us. This is the fruit of the Spirit. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled with God by the death of his Son, much more, now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).

One way or another, all will be judged for what they have done. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hades delivered up the dead which were in them; and the judgment of each one was according to their works (Revelation 20:13).

The sea is the realm of lost humanity that is not in covenant with God. Hades is the first death, where the Devil once trapped the souls of almost everyone, prior to the work of redemption of Jesus Christ. At his death, Jesus descended into Hades and took the keys of death and of Hades from the Devil and ascended on high with those who were his (Ephesians 4:8-10; Revelation 1:18). Jesus now has the keys to Hades, and Satan is about to be imprisoned there for a thousand years, after which time he will be released for a short while and then will be judged and cast into the lake of fire.

And Hades and death were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20:14).

Joshua’s burning of Hazor is a symbol of this.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

All this, however, was far in the future while Joshua was fighting his battles.

11:12 Likewise, Joshua took all the cities of those kings and all their kings and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them as Moses the slave of the LORD had commanded him.

11:13 But of all the cities that stood on their hills, Israel burned none of them, excepting Hazor only, which Joshua burned.

11:14 And all the spoil of these cities and the beasts, the sons of Israel took for themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, without leaving any that breathed.

11:15 As the LORD had commanded Moses his slave, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

Moses is a wonderful example of a man of God being moved, inspired, and directed by the Spirit of God. This is how he wrote the first five books of the Bible. After Moses, a succession of holy men and women (Esther 9:29-32) of God continued to write under the inspiration of the Spirit until the sixty-six books of Scripture were complete. Jesus frequently quoted Scripture, to the consternation of those who would attack him. He quoted it to the Devil, who did not succeed when tempting him, and he quoted it to the scribes and Pharisees, who were unable to respond to him. Rest assured that in the day of the Lord and its aftermath, all that the Spirit of God has commanded his slaves like Moses to write in the Scripture will be fulfilled and accomplished by Jesus and the body of Christ (of which Joshua and the sons of Israel are examples). Nothing will be left undone.

11:16 So Joshua took all that land, the mountains and all the region of the Negev and all the land of Goshen and the valleys and the plains and the mountain of Israel and its valleys.

11:17 Even from Mount Halak that goes up unto Seir unto Baalgad in the plains of Lebanon at the roots of mount Hermon; likewise he took all their kings and smote them and slew them.

Halak means “smooth.” Seir means “hairy or rough.” Baalgad means “lord of fortune” (or “lord of inheritance”). Lebanon means “white mountain,” and Hermon (the white mountain) means “sublime” or “sanctuary” and is a symbol of blessing and eternal life (Psalm 133:3). Joshua and the sons of Israel figuratively overcame and conquered everything. The real fulfillment of this is yet ahead, and Scripture is clear that the last enemy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). When the people of God have conquered death, we will have obtained everything represented by Mount Hermon.

11:18 Joshua made war many days with all those kings.

11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; they took all the others in battle.

11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly and that they might have no mercy, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Joshua 12 contains the list of all thirty-one kings whom the sons of Israel under Joshua smote and possessed their land on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun from the river Arnon unto Mount Hermon and all the plain on the east (v. 1). If the inhabitants of Gibeon had not made peace with Israel, there would have been thirty-two kings deposed (Even so the land of the Gibeonites was also conquered, making a grand total of thirty-two kingdoms deposed). There happen to be thirty-two references in Scripture to the day of the Lord, and the use of this number (thirty-two) flags a given passage as having prophetic significance regarding this important day.

All of the prophetic types and shadows break down at some point, and in order to understand clearly, we must rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). This can only be accomplished in the light of the Spirit of God. For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light (Psalm 36:9).

11:21 Also at the same time Joshua came and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

11:22 There were none of the Anakims left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

The Anakims were the long-necked giants that Joshua and Caleb overcame.

Almost five hundred years later, King David fought battles with the descendants of the giants that remained in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, in the land of the Philistines. These battles also contain prophetic types and shadows of the same end-time events portrayed in the book of Joshua.

11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

The priests and Levites did not receive land as an inheritance because the Lord is their inheritance, as he has been since the tribe of Levi was first set aside to serve him. The other tribes, however, had at last gained their inheritance in the Promised Land, and all the tribes were in a right relationship with God.

In closing this book, I invite you to consider a passage in Isaiah that has many parallels with the message of Joshua.

Isaiah 66

66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire.

66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be multiplied.

Those two verses are also parallel to Revelation 20:9 and Joshua 11:7-9.

 66:17 Those that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens, one behind another; those that eat swine’s flesh and abomination, and the mouse shall be cut off together, saith the LORD.

It takes the direct dealings of God (along with our cooperation, of course) for us to be sanctified. No amount of human effort or submission to human authority will suffice. The gardens were the setting for immoral pagan worship, and much spiritual perversion in Israel and in the church is still practiced in houses of spiritual immorality by those who feed on unclean doctrines that are an abomination unto the Lord.

66:18 For I understand their works and their thoughts. The time shall come to gather all the Gentiles and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory.

66:19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the Gentiles, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles far off, that have never heard my name, nor seen my glory; they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

At the time of the judgment, there will be some who escape by the skin of their teeth, even though all their works were burnt up in the fire of judgment. Like Jonah, they may become successful evangelists unto those who have never heard of the name (nature) of God or seen his glory among the Gentiles. Their message will be the words that Philip spoke to Nathanael: Come and see (John 1:39, 46).

Tarshish can mean either “fortress” or “yellow jasper.” Pul means “savage beast,” and Lud means “strife” or “contention.” When the glory of God shines in full[1]ness from his clean and mature people, the gospel will penetrate the enemy fortress and produce the spiritual equivalent of “yellow jasper” out of what used to be “savage beasts” engaged in “strife and contention.” Tubal means “production” or “to hammer,” and Javan means “effervescing.” God will soon launch the arrows of his truth into the enemy camp, and this will “produce” righteousness and “hammer out” justice until many of the former enemies of God are “effervescing” on fire for God, just like the Philistines who became part of David’s mighty men or like Saul of Tarsus who became the Apostle Paul.

66:20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD from among all the Gentiles, upon horses and in chariots and in litters and upon mules and upon camels to my holy mountain of Jerusalem, saith the LORD, so that the sons of Israel bring the offering in clean vessels to the house of the LORD.

God is not trying to see how many he can destroy but rather how many he can save. Once the obstacles are dealt with, there will be a great end-time harvest of souls. The Lord has already prepared their dwelling place. And I saw no temple in her; for the Lord God Almighty is her temple, and the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in her, for the clarity of God has illuminated it, and the Lamb is its lamp. And the Gentiles that have been saved shall walk in the light of her; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into her. And her gates shall never be shut by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the Gentiles into it (Revelation 21:22-26).

Who are the they mentioned in that last sentence? Are they the people referred to as them in the following verse from Isaiah?

66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.

If they are to dwell in the city, they must meet certain criteria. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean or that works abomination or makes a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).

And the relationship they have with the Lord is promised to be a long-term one.

66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

But what seed? And what name (nature)? Adam or Christ?

The new heavens and the new earth mentioned in the above verse are described in detail in Revelation 21 and 22. Other chapters in the book of Revelation focus on the fate of rebels and unbelievers, and Isaiah 66 has some parallels with this as well:

66:23 And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one sabbath to another all flesh shall come to worship before me, said the LORD.

66:24 And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

I hear you exclaim, “But Jesus’ words and actions in the Bible are so loving, so forgiving! How could he condone this?”

In answer, I refer you to his words in the book of Mark.

Mark 9

9:40 For he that is not against us is for us. Many religious people do not presently grasp this concept.

9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name because ye are of the Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Could giving someone, in the name of Jesus, something as trivial as a cup of water to drink because they are of the Christ be enough to get the giver written up in God’s book of life? We shall find out in the times that are rapidly approaching.

9:42 And whosoever shall be a stumbling block to one of these little ones that believe in me, it would be better for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

I can think of few greater stumbling blocks than clergy pedophiles. What will happen to them? We can deduce the answer from the following verses:

9:43 And if thy hand causes thee to fall, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that can never be quenched,

9:44 where their worm does not die, and the fire is never quenched.

9:45 And if thy foot causes thee to fall, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter halt into life than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that can never be quenched,

9:46 where their worm does not die, and the fire is never quenched.

9:47 And if thine eye causes thee to fall, pluck it out; it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hell,

9:48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is never quenched.

“But surely,” you say, “Jesus couldn’t have meant this literally.” Nevertheless, I tell you that his words are literally true.

Could these words also have a spiritual application to the body of Christ? Ask Achan and his family! Jesus wouldn’t have stated three times in succession that for those who are cast into hell their worm does not die and the fire is never quenched if he did not intend to give a serious warning to all of us.

The worm is a symbol of corruption that breeds and multiplies and stinks (Exodus 16:20). Could those who are cast into hell be locked for all eternity into the insatiable corrupt appetites of the flesh by the righteous judgment of God? Does this have anything to do with the fire that is never quenched? Is this why the eternally lost are therefore described as “carcasses” that shall be an abhorring unto all flesh forever? Let us, in a contrite and broken spirit, wholeheartedly invite the Holy Spirit to take full control of our lives and remove from us, by whatever means necessary, any element that might condemn us to this fate.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, may we have the wisdom, understanding, and discernment to rightly divide your word of truth. We ask that we may be able to understand clearly and to obey. Please keep us from being deceived by the Enemy, no matter what must be cut off or removed from our lives and from among the people of God. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Meet the Author.

At the age of four, while his family was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Russell Stendal prayed and asked God to call his parents, Chad and Pat, to be missionaries. God answered that prayer and within just a few years the whole family was on the mission field in Colombia, South America. He became an accomplished jungle pilot and married a beautiful Colombian lady named Marina. They have four children, Lisa, Alethia, Russell Jr., and Dylan, plus six grandchildren.

When Russell was 27 years old, Marxist guerrillas of the FARC kidnapped him for 142 days. The story of his kidnapping is told in the book he wrote titled Rescue the Captors. His reason for the title is because he realized that his captors were more captive than he was. There was a possibility he would be released, but most of his kidnappers were young people who had been taken from their families, given a weapon, and taught to kill. They had little hope of survival.

To reach all the actors of the armed conflict, including his former captors, Russell established a radio ministry to air programs into the dangerous war stricken areas of Colombia with messages of peace and hope. He has also written more than 50 books in English and Spanish.

In 2017, he was awarded the Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award, (given to Pope Francis the year before) for his tireless efforts towards spreading peace and reconciliation in Colombia (in the context of promoting religious freedom). Russell travels extensively as a guest speaker in conventions around the world. His speaking is unique in that he is very sensitive to the Lord’s voice and does not hesitate to deliver the message imparted to him, no matter how uncomfortable that may be to him or to others. Most of the books he has published were transcribed directly from the radio messages he has preached in Spanish and beamed into virtually all of the war torn areas of the countryside.

Russell is the editor of the Jubilee Bible translation that has been published in English and in Spanish. Well over a million copies of this Bible have been donated and distributed into the most needy areas of Colombia and Venezuela.  

Other Similar Titles.

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Other Titles by
Russell M. Stendal

Elijah & Elisha – Russell M. Stendal

The kings of Israel and Judah were in serious trouble with the Lord. Twelve years of worshiping Baal and golden calves, listening to Jezebel, and killing the prophets was catching up to them. Their earthly kingdoms were coming to an end, and the Lord would move quickly when he moved. What appeared to be harmless details to them was in fact rebellion in the sight of God.

 While the kings served the gods of this world, Elijah and Elisha did not. They were dedicated only to the Word of the Lord, and if the Lord didn’t speak directly to them, they didn’t move at all. And when they did move, it was with the authority of the Lord, resulting in dramatic calling down of fire from heaven, a three-year drought, people raised from the dead, and many other miraculous events. But did Elijah and Elisha take any glory? No, Elisha didn’t even accept Naaman’s token of appreciate – so completely was he relying only on the Lord’s provision.

The lives of Elijah and Elisha, as well as the corrupt lives of the kings, serve as important lessons for us today. In addition, there are many prophecies in 1 and 2 Kings that are now being fulfilled. Your own life will be changed forever if you apply even one truth that the Lord reveals to you in this book.

Available where books are sold.

Revelation Unveiled – Russell M. Stendal

Sadly, many commentaries on Revelation ignore the need to have a clean heart in order to survive what’s coming. In this edition, we dig deep into the signs, the wonders, and the genuine Christian’s role in the soon-to-be-fulfilled book of Revelation. We even go back to the prophets to help clarify what is the most important message to Christians today.

The book of Revelation should be of intense interest to today’s Christian. It describes not only the persecution that originates from Satan, but also announces the day when God will intervene and cleanse the earth. This is definitely something to look forward to if we are right with him. Not so much for those living for themselves.

Available where books are sold.

Wisdom for the End Times – Russell M. Stendal

Blessed is the man that has found wisdom… Proverbs 3:13a

Wisdom for the End Times is a commentary on the first twelve chapters of the book of Proverbs, and may be used in a group study, or read by oneself. For easier study, the scriptures are included inline with the commentary.

The book of Proverbs has to do with acquiring the understanding and wisdom to interpret parables and the words and enigmas of the wise (many of which are prophetic). It especially uses contrast as a method of making its point on multiple levels.

There is a smooth way that seems right to the natural man, but in reality this is the road to perdition. There’s another way where it seems that we’ll lose not only the things of this world – things that we worked hard for and valued – but possibly even our own life. This way is uphill and against all natural odds. Yet this is the way to life. This is the way to the blessing. This is wisdom.

Available where books are sold.

Rescue the captors – Russell M. Stendal

American bush pilot Russell Stendal, on routine business, landed his plane in a remote Colombian village. Gunfire exploded throughout the town, and within minutes Russell’s 142-day ordeal had begun. The Colombian cartel explained that this was a kidnapping for ransom and that he would be held until payment was made.

Held at gunpoint deep in the jungle and with little else to occupy his time, Russell asked for some paper and began to write. He told the story of his life and kept a record of his experience in the guerrilla camp. His “book” became a bridge to the men who held him hostage and now serves as the basis for this incredible true story of how God’s love penetrated a physical and ideological jungle.

How did this incredible true story affect Russell? “At first my mind went wild with thoughts of revenge and violence. Then, after a while, I was able to see through their attempt to break me down and brainwash me. I started making a determined effort to throw all their stories and dramas out of my mind and not to let my thoughts dwell on them at all. I would trust God that He would take care of my wife and I would close my mind to my captors’ input. I decided to think about positive values instead.”

Available where books are sold.