Truly the Study of Joshua begins in the Book of Revelation.
In Revelation we see the exciting climax and conclusion of what Joshua begins. Rev 1:5-6 gives credit to our Savior who has made us to be a Kingdom and Priests in order to serve his God and Father. In verse 7 it proclaims that He is coming in the clouds and everyone shall see Him. All the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. Why will they mourn? They will mourn because that which is precious to them will be taken away. The kings and the rich merchants mourned at the fall of Babylon, because they are no longer rich. Rev 18:14 says “all your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.”
Why do we usually see people crying on the Television News. They have suffered loss. Their home has been destroyed, they have lost a loved one in a shooting or explosion. There has been the loss of something they considered permanent.
In the Book of Revelation we find the God Wars Revealed. There is a War going on for the Inheritance of Jesus Christ.
PROMISE OF AN INHERITANCE
Revelations is the book of Restoration of the Inheritance that God promised His Son.
Psalms 2:8 God says “ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
Not only are the nations and all of the earth his inheritance, but also the heavens for Jesus said in Mt 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” There is one more thing that Jesus is heir to and that is His church.
“the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
The church, the believers in Him, are His inheritance. But the amazing thing is we are not only His inheritance, we are “joint-heirs”; “and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:17 (NKJV)
We have a personal stake in this inheritance.
Now what makes us so special that when Jesus told His Father that He wanted the nations, He wanted the ends of the earth, He wanted the heavens, it meant that we get all that too. We get all those riches too. In fact, Jesus cannot claim them without us, the church, the body of believers by His side? Man is the reason that God lost the earth. Man is the reason that the nations rebel against the Christ. Man is the reason there is the prince of the power of the air. In order for Jesus to gain this inheritance, the nations, the earth, the heavens, He had to do something to build His church.
Revelation 4:1 allows us to look inside an open door, a door that opens into heaven. Through that door we see a throne, and someone sitting upon it. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. God’s throne is actively at work. Before the throne is a sea of glass, all of humanity. In Revelation 5 we see the one sitting on the throne holding a scroll. This scroll is written on both sides. Both before and after the Messiah came. It has seven seals. A mighty angel proclaims “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll”
John weeps and weeps, for it seems that no one is worthy. But then John beholds a lamb, look as if it had been slain. The lamb comes and takes the scroll, and then a new song is sung:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
The Lamb that was slain is the one who made the inheritance possible. In dying, to purchase the inheritance, He also purchased men and women for God. He purchased them to be a kingdom and priests to serve God, and to reign with Him on earth. The Lamb is Jesus Christ. He has purchased with His blood a permanent inheritance. That permanent inheritance is this world, the nations, all who will believe, and the heavens around us. It is all His, and because our bodily purchase seals the deal, we are joint-heirs. His victory is not complete until this mortality puts on immortality. We cannot share the inheritance until our total redemption is realized.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 1 Corinthians 15:22-25 (NIV) I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50 (NIV)
Now this world is the Lamb’s, Satan has been rendered powerless, the sting of death is no more to all those who believe by faith. But in the meantime, Christ is building His inheritance. He is building His church. And the Church is working with Him to claim His inheritance.
OPPOSITION TO THE INHERITANCE
Satan is vigorously opposed to any inheritance for the Son. He comes to KILL STEAL AND DESTROY as John 10 says. In fact, the parable in Matthew 21:38 bears this out. The wicked husbandmen (vinedressers) had stoned the servants, and seeing the coming of the Son of the landowner said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ Satan doesn’t want Christ receiving any of His inheritance. Satan wants to ROB Christ of His inheritance, and He wants to get Christians to help him do that. He already got Israel to rob God of His inheritance:
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” Matthew 21:43-44 (NIV)
Satan stole the inheritance away from the Jews, and now it is up to the Church. We have the God Wars going on, and the church is the army, the church was God’s plan from the beginning to claim the inheritance of His Son. Christ is wanting His inheritance, and He is wanting the church to secure it, and Satan is doing whatever He can to Steal Kill and Destroy the church and any believer who wants to fight to secure the inheritance of the LAMB. It is all about producing fruit, producing an inheritance for the King!
Joshua was to lead the people into a land flowing with milk and honey-fruitful land. The Jews failed to deliver, Satan had his way, so the Kingdom was given to another group, the church, to bear fruit, the fruit of the spirit. It is all about the inheritance. Now this Inheritance has been the Supreme Purpose of God from the very beginning. Redeeming Man was important, but this inheritance for His Son was more important. The redemption was a benfit of achieving the inheritance.
So to you and me, this inheritance must be our main consideration in living the Christian life. Our walk with Christ matters. Every decision, every act of walking in the flesh, every selfish act will affect your inheritance, and if it affects your inheritance, it affects Jesus Christ’s!
OUR PART IN THE INHERITANCE
Let’s look at how God places importance on our inheritance:
- “…to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).
- “…giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).
- “…knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance” (Colossians 2:24).
- “And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place of the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15).
- “…unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:4).
- “And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
WE MUST JOIN THE BATTLE
The importance of our Life and our faithfulness to Jesus in securing this inheritance is underscored in Revelation 21:7 but let’s start at verse one:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. Revelation 21:1-7 (NKJV)
If we are to share in Christ’s Inheritance, we must OVERCOME. We MUST join the Battle.
The Church is Birthed and the Battle is On
The Church has to be brought into that inheritance for which it has been eternally predestined by God; and the Spirit came – in type in Joshua, in reality in Acts – for that one purpose. And this is going to be a conflict which will not end, until the Lamb has overcome in finality.
In the book of the Acts, then, the Holy Spirit does take over in the matter of the inheritance; and He takes over for the conflict of the inheritance. We do not move far into that book before we find the conflict is on. In Jerusalem – whether from Jewish leaders, who kill Stephen; or from the rulers of the pagan world, who kill James and imprison Peter – there it is; the conflict is on. But the mighty Spirit is with the Church in the conflict. He has linked Himself up with that instrument for the great purpose of God. And, when you consider the incidents, and what seem like the tragedies, and look through them, there is a sense in which it can be said, concerning this union of the Holy Spirit with a vessel here on this earth, that ‘no man hath been able to stand before it all the days of its life’ (Josh. 1:5). There is a sense in which that is true. There has been a withstanding from men and from demons, awful withstanding: but the Church has gone on; the testimony has never ceased in the earth. Even when sometimes it seems to have been driven underground, it comes up and goes on again. Acts, then, sees the Holy Spirit coming, uniting Himself with the instrument, the vessel, and the conflict arising.
When you pass over to the Letter to the Hebrews, you find yourself once more in this battle. For here it is all about the inheritance, spiritually. The Spirit is here, urging the Church, urging the believers to go on, to go on; not to go back, not to stand still, but to go on. The writer points out that Joshua did not bring the people into God’s rest (Heb. 4:8). It was type, it was figure, but that final fullness of Christ was never entered into under Joshua. But Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – they are going to bring the Church into the final fullness.
When we come to the book of the Revelation, we find that the whole issue of the inheritance has now resolved itself into a matter of ‘overcomers‘. However we interpret the book of the Revelation – whether as applying to the whole dispensation or to the end of the dispensation – the situation that we find is that the Church as a whole has not gone on.
A very large proportion of the Church has either declined, fallen back or away, or has stood still in this matter. Perhaps the conflict has been too fierce, the cost too great, the world too attractive, sin too subtle; but there it is. As we find at the end of the book of Joshua, that the enemy was not finally cast out (for we have the tragedy of the book of Judges): so, in the last book of the Bible, in the Revelation, we find that the enemy has not been fully and finally worsted. He still has territory amidst the people of God. And so, there arises the whole question of the ‘overcomer’s’. The ‘overcomer’s’ are those who have passed all tests (think the wilderness journey) and will share in the inheritance promised to the Son.
The Inheritance Must Be Secured
This inheritance governs everything in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament; all that is in the Old Testament and in the New Testament is governed by the inheritance. It is the inheritance that justifies and explains redemption. That was true in the redemption of Israel from Egypt, and it is true regarding the redemption of the Church from this world.
All that is governed by the inheritance. Redemption was never just something in itself. The redemption of Israel out of Egypt was a mighty thing, and we have seen that it was a demonstration of the ‘exceeding great’ power of God; yet all that was not just to have Israel out of Egypt.
It was the inheritance that explained the tragedy of Israel, and it was a terrible tragedy! Six hundred thousand men (aged 20 and above) came out of Egypt, but only two went into the inheritance. All the rest of the six hundred thousand men died in the wilderness. The New Testament makes a very great deal of that as a matter of warning to the new Israel, that is, the Church. We must read our New Testament in the light of the inheritance, for that is what governs it in all its aspect. The inheritance is the interpretation and explanation of our very existence. It is the positive factor in our new birth.
What is our Inheritance?
- “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
- “Wherefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” In giving us His Son, He gives us all things; they are ours. The Apostle says, “All things are yours”; they are yours, they belong to you. And yet we find him in this state, caught up in this sense of tremendous prospect and possibility, of the greatness of what is yet for the Lord’s people beyond all his own vast apprehension and attainment; giving him this sense, that, though he had come into such wealth and such fullness, it was nothing compared with what he knew was his in Christ, and which was yet to become his in experience. So we have already secured unto us a great inheritance.
We have inherited with and in Christ; not by earning or by working – it is the inheritance of faith in Christ Jesus and goes far, far beyond anything that we have yet imagined. Ephesians 1-3 but touches on all that we have in Christ. But after Ephesians 1-3 comes 4-6. We must WALK and we must WAR!
There is a huge difference between having an inheritance and enjoying it; having wealth secured unto you as yours, and experiencing all that it can bring and all that it means. “Know ye not that Ramoth-Gilead is ours, and we are still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?” (1 Kings 22:3). The word for still means dormant, or CLUELESS in our modern terminology. The inheritance is ours, it belongs to us, but we are CLUELESS and do not claim it.
So in coming to Jesus Christ and receiving Him as our Savior, we are then part of an inheritance that spans all of creation, all of time. It is an inheritance far beyond our finite mind and limited experience. It is not only meant to be entered into in eternity, but Jesus Christ wants us to claim it for the here and now! If our Christian lives are not characterized by a continuous apprehension of greater fullness’s in Christ, there is something very seriously wrong with us. The inheritance is to be known now.
JOSHUA: THE BATTLE FOR THE INHERITANCE COMPLETE WITH INSTRUCTIONS
We have an inheritance to gain in the New Heaven and Earth. We have an inheritance when we reign with Christ during the millennium. What does all this have to do with the Book of Joshua? I’m glad you asked. Joshua is the book of INHERITANCE. It is the book that will reveal to us how to live the Christian Life so that we can overcome, so that we can engage in the God Wars and not be overcome by the wicked One. Joshua is the book in which we learn our lessons on how to engage in the God Wars to claim our inheritance.
The Bible is about bringing the people of God into their full inheritance. The Old Testament was their inheritance in God with the Messiah in view. The New Testament their inheritance in Christ with the Cross in View. The New Testament is concerned with that in a spiritual way. Those are but aspects of this one great truth: that God, from eternity, has had in mind an elect people, to bring into the fullness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
In the first chapter of Joshua we see things are very positive, definite, strong. There is nothing weak here. It is all emphatic and imperative. It is essential that the people come into their inheritance. They must prepare for BATTLE. Make no mistake, we do not drift into God’s Will. The walk in the Spirit is no cake walk. It is achieved by a very conditioned life, a very planned life, a very disciplined life. It takes one who is determined follow God and follow His Will.
Notice, before taking the plunge so to speak, before stepping into the waters, Joshua told the people to wait three days. They had to go home and think about it. Do they really want this inheritance? Do they really want to engage in this Battle that is ahead of them? Do they have hearts for the fight? God is so amazing. He is accomplishing His will with me and you. He doesn’t seek unfaithful, unwilling, scaredy cats to do His will. He wants only those who have considered the cost, who are willing to put everything they have on the line. People with a firm foundation. No Sunday Christians here! NO NO NO! Only those willing to LIVE for God every moment of their lives need apply for this river crossing. The inheritance is not for the double minded, the scaredy cats. No Felix’s are welcome for this crossing.
Preachers are quick to speak of the glory of heaven, the reward of following Jesus, after all His burden is light. But the truth is, there is a battle going on for that which is in God’s Heart-the inheritance for His Son. And God is needing us to secure that inheritance, for we are part and parcel with the inheritance. We MUST purpose to join the battle.
It is time for preachers to declare the whole Gospel, and that is that there is a cost. There must be a deliberate decision to live your life for God’s Purpose.
Take time to face the whole thing. Lay a sound foundation, so that you will be able to say, when the difficulties come afterward, and the enemy comes in like a flood: ‘Yes, but I counted the cost! I knew what I was getting into. I am not where I am because of an impulse, an emotional appeal. Mine is a soundly considered position; I know why I am where I am.’ It is very important, before you engage in the Battle for Our Inheritance, that you pause for three days before you make your advance. Now, that need not be taken literally; but it does represent a state of the heart, a facing of things with God, a reckoning of the Cost of Following Him.
Joshua is all about gaining our Inheritance.
- Leviticus (inheritance 1x) Deals with God’s rights. It is the book of approach and access to God, where God’s rights are recognized. Secured by the cross. (God must have his rights before we can have our inheritance. )
- Numbers (inheritance 35x) is the book of the ordering of the hosts with the inheritance in view.
- Deuteronomy (inheritance 18x) is the book of the establishing the basis for possessing the inheritance.
- Joshua (inheritance 44x)-book of the inheritance
In Leviticus the word “inheritance” occurs but once. Leviticus does not deal with inheritance, but with God’s rights, and how God must have those rights in every aspect of our lives; Our worship, our work, our play, our treatment of others, our marriage, our family, even what we eat. It is the book of God’s place in our lives, His Altar, and the access and approach we must take to get to God. God’s Rights were secured by sacrifice, one which we offer to Him. Now, His rights are Secured by the perfect Sacrifice, and our faith and belief in the power of that Cross.
God must have His rights before we can get our inheritance, as Leviticus teaches. Then when you come to the Book of Joshua you find the whole subject of the inheritance dealt with, and the entering into possession.
What are the Rights of God?
From a quick look at Leviticus we find the following:
- God is God Alone. He is Holy Righteous Just
- To have a relationship with Him, we must acknowledge His holiness and our Sinfulness
- To have a relationship with Him we must be willing to Obey His Law
- God’s Law God’s Presence is to touch every aspect of our life-our worship, our work, our play, our relationships, our eating, our drinking, our marriage, our family.
- God is not a part time God. He wants all of us.
And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace. Leviticus 10:3
Three days they had time to consider before stepping into the Jordan. Three days they had to think about what they were doing.
God is perfectly content to let you do your thing. He does not force you into a relationship with Him. He does not dictate your love for Him.
God has promised an inheritance to His Son. If you want to share in that inheritance, you must give every part of your heart soul and body to God as your God. This is not a job for undecided, for the faint of heart.
To share in the inheritance, to join the battle, you must first give God His Rights, and lay aside your own.