Joshua is the book of Inheritance for Israel. Even though the message involves events that happened 3000 years ago, there are lessons for us in our modern 21st Century Christian Walk. Throughout the ages God has always had an inheritance for His Son in view.Psalms 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
This Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is all about the inheritance God is seeking to provide for Jesus Christ and for us as well. We share in that inheritance. Christ has done what He needed to do to see that the way is clear for us. But we must do our part. Joshua Is The HOW-TO Book Of Claiming Our Inheritance. Joshua provides the instructions for the battle we must undertake to claim our inheritance.
Joshua himself represents the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God rested upon Joshua because Moses had laid hands on him. That anointing was with the inheritance in view. Why is the Holy Spirit Necessary to Claim Your Inheritance? Because it is not gained by Your Might! As God explains in Deuteronomy 1:38 “Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Acknowledging his leadership, the people said: “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” Joshua 1:16.
This Morning Joshua stands before us. He is motioning to us to come forward. “Be Strong and of Good Courage” Joshua represents the Holy Spirit, for only in the Power of the Holy Spirit will you overcome and gain the inheritance Christ has for you. There is an inheritance for the people of God which you can miss or gain. This is a very serious matter. There is nothing more serious in the Word of God.
WHAT IS OUR INHERITANCE?
There are 350 references to inheritance and heritage in the New King James Version. To understand completely our inheritance would take several hours of study. Let me briefly paint a picture for you. The inheritance is the full purpose of our Redemption. The Nation of Israel was redeemed when they were brought forth from Egypt. Their redemption was necessary to bring them into their inheritance. Redemption is a far, far greater thing than we have ever imagined. Redemption is only the beginning of salvation. When we speak about salvation we are really thinking of people coming to the Lord. We ask them if they are saved, and many Christians will say: ‘I was saved so many years ago.’ So salvation is just a matter of coming to the Lord Jesus, being saved from our sins and receiving the gift of eternal life. But if you look into the New Testament you will see that there are three tenses of salvation. “We were saved”, which is the past tense; “we are being saved”, and that is the present tense; “we shall be saved”, and that is the future tense.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Our Inheritance Involves the Kingdom of God
The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews calls it the “so great salvation” (2:3). The Lord Jesus said to the first members of the new Israel: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He also said that the Kingdom of heaven shall be taken away from the old Israel and given to the new (Matthew 21:43). So the inheritance is the Kingdom! Our Redemption Gives us the Power to become the Sons of God. We have an inheritance that is incorruptible, reserved for us in heaven.
But remember, heaven is not in view here. The inheritance of Jesus is the main focus of the Bible. That inheritance involves a Kingdom for the Son of God. Our inheritance involves our reigning with Jesus Christ. He will reign in the Millennium. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 (NKJV) “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. and after he defeats everyone, He will turn the Kingdom over to His Father.
Our Inheritance is an incorruptible body, it is eternal life, but it also involves reigning with Him, being members of the government of the eternal kingdom; and, more than that, being members of the Royal Family that governs. That Kingdom will be for 1000 years, after which all things will pass away, and a new heaven and earth, with a New Jerusalem descending from heaven. God will then set His throne here on the new earth. There will be a new dwelling place, the New Jerusalem, a city foursquare.
This new earth will be our inheritance. This new Jerusalem that Jesus has been building will be our inheritance. It is a city 1,380 miles cubed. The walls are 214’ thick.
Rev 21:1-7: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21:22-27 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The Nations Will Be in the New Earth
There will still be the nations even in the new heaven and earth. There will still be the Kingdom of God. There will still be people living outside the city. They will still need to be governed. That is our Inheritance. To Reign with Jesus Christ! To Reign with immortal bodies for Eternity! This Inheritance is Indescribable! In the case of the old Israel, Moses had great difficulty in explaining the earthly inheritance. He was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, but he had difficulty in explaining the land into which the people were going. He said that it was “a land flowing with milk and honey… a land of hills and valleys… a land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:9,11,12), and the Bible tells us that the eyes of the Lord never rest favorably upon anything that displeases Him. Paul tried to explain the inheritance: “Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).
This inheritance involves God’s People, the Jews, and God’s People, the Church
1. Our Inheritance is Both Present and Future
Hebrews 11:8-10 (NKJV) By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
2. Our Inheritance Must Be Sought
Psalms 37:7-9 (NKJV) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 (NKJV) Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 20:25-28 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Matthew 19: 24-30 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Matthew 25:31-34 (NKJV) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Colossians 3:23-25 (NKJV) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. Hebrews 6:11-15 (NKJV) And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
3. Our Inheritance: Varies
Numbers 26:54 (NKJV) To a large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance. Each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were numbered of them.
Blessing of Ephraim against Manasseh. Genesis 48:17-20 (NKJV) Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
Unprofitable Servant Matthew 25:28-34 (NKJV) Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
4. Our Inheritance Is Affected By Unbelief.
THE CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS:
Hebrews 3:6-19 (NKJV) but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:1-11 (NKJV) Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
Everyone Must Go Through The Wilderness
Before we are ready to claim our inheritance, God wants us to go through the wilderness. He wants us to be overcomers.
- Moses was in the desert for 40 years before he could lead the children of Israel from Egypt .
- Jesus spent 40 days in the desert and then was tempted by Satan before He began His ministry. In Luke 3:22, Jesus was baptized and the Bible says “the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him” Then Jesus began His ministry and in Luke 4:1 it says: Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, There he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and afterwards was tempted directly by the Devil himself. After defeating the temptations, Luke records in verse 14: Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
- Paul spent three years in the wilderness desert before he could receive the mystery of the revelation of the church.
- I have spent time in the wilderness.
- You will spend time in the wilderness.
In your Christian walk, you will go through the wilderness. It is required if you are to have the power of the Holy Spirit. When Israel left Egypt, they expected to an easy journey into the promised land. They had their eyes on the possession, the land and all that it represented. God had His eye on eternity, and upon what this inheritance represented to Him. God knew a long preparation would be required.
A. The Wilderness Experience Reveals God.
We must discover what is in our heart.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24
It is knowing God that allows us to know our own hearts. We look into the mirror of God and he shines the beam of truth upon our hearts, revealing any wicked ways in them. It is not up to us to refine ourselves through introspection or self-discovery. We come into our inheritance not apart from God-that is death, but with God, that is life!
B. The Wilderness Experience is a Crucible of Character.
Barren Place Of Dependence.
The wilderness is a dry barren place, where you cannot see anything, or feel anything; where if your only resources were in your senses you are at an utter end. It is a barren place of utter dependence upon God, and there is nothing else to depend upon. God wants us to realize He alone is able to bring us into our inheritance. He says: “I am your inheritance” (Num. 18:20). “The Lord is my portion” (Ps. 119:57). “The Almighty will be thy treasure, and precious silver unto thee” (Job 22:24,25 A.R.V.). In Christ we have all that, “For all things are yours… the world, life and death, or things present or things to come, all are yours and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:25). God uses the wilderness times in our life to show us that He can be our life, and that we must depend upon Him for everything. This is the very essence of our Inheritance, an utter separation from everything unto God.
Bounded Place Of Separation,
You are in an appointed place, separated unto God. There is not to be the slightest imprint of Egypt (the world) in the wilderness. “not a hoof to be left behind” There had to be “three days’ journey into the wilderness” (Ex. 8:27). The Separation allows God to be our Completeness, our Fullness. There is to be nothing else we desire.
Hedged Place Of Imprisonment To God.
There is no getting out of it, you are imprisoned, given wholly to God and for Him, He is to be the sole object of your affection and desires. God shut Israel into the wilderness and there was no way out; Pharaoh saw that, see what he says about it: “Pharaoh will say… they are entangled in the land, the wilderness has shut them in” (Ex. 8:27). The Wilderness Shuts us in. Satan thinks it is a good thing to isolate Christians, to cause wilderness experiences. But God is the one who is actually doing the shutting in.
C. The Wilderness Experience Reveals the Power of God.
That is God’s Way. He imprisons us, making us see ourselves as we are. We are powerless, we are totally dependent, we cannot run away. We must depend upon His Power, or we die. You may be in the midst of fiery trials, impossible circumstances. Night and day you here Satan saying QUIT QUIT. Yet for some reason you know you cannot. Our flesh wants freedom, but God wants to bring us to the place where there is no more strength, no more self-reliance, no more flesh. He is holding you, He is with you in the wilderness. He is showing you His power sometimes moment by moment. You will be freed from the wilderness proclaiming God did it. God held you in the wilderness so that you might learn to depend upon Him. The Lord sovereignly held the children of Israel in the wilderness, while the testing and training was going on, preparing for the inheritance. And He is holding you while He does the same, you are the prisoner of the Lord, hedged in unto His Divine completeness; the Lord is sovereignly holding and getting us through, the credit is not ours, but His, it is all Grace.
D. The Wilderness Experience: Reveals Overcomers
We Overcome, Simply by our Faith in HIM! Numbers 13:30 (ESV) But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 14:1 (ESV) Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 7-8: And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.
You are either a Winner or a Whiner. A Gainer or a Complainer.
The duration of the wilderness depends upon our maturity in our knowledge of the Lord, until HE becomes and IS our “all in all,” He – HIMSELF. When He has His place we come into our large place, for our coming into a large place is on the ground of our personally knowing in a very real way the Lord – HIMSELF as our all; and conquest depends upon this knowledge of the Lord. God needed people who could overcome to claim the inheritance. The only way to overcome is to not trust in your own strength, but to trust fully in God’s Provision. When you trust in your own strength even a tiny Achan can cause death and destruction in your life. This Dependence, this desire to be an Overcomer is critical to claiming our inheritance.
5. Our Inheritance – We Must Overcome
See what Jesus had to say to the seven churches. The Key Word He Used is OVERCOME!
- Ephesus: To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘ Smyrna: He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
- Pergamos: To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
- Thyatira: And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations–
- Sardis: He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
- Philadelphia: Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Rev 3:12-13)
- Laodicea: To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who overcomes shall inherit all things (all these things), and I will be his God and he shall be My son. Rev 21:7 This Bible is All about Inheritance. It is a tremendous thing to lose, but it is a tremendous thing to be gained.
6. Our Inheritance – Meant to Be Shared
Paul Acts 26:15-18 (NKJV) So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
Do You want a Place in the New Jerusalem? Do You want to be a Pillar in the Temple of God? Do You want to Join Abraham in looking for “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Will you respong to the call of Jesus to Overcome? Listen to His Promise: Revelation 3:12-13, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
Jesus has already won the battle. He has already paved the way to our inheritance. We must simply not be sluggish, but resolve to follow Him in the power of the Holy Spirit to go in and possess the land-our inheritance!