Archive for the ‘God Wars’ Category


Walls Came tumbling down“Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho Jericho; Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.”

walls came tumbling down2Do a Google search on “the walls came tumbling down” and you get everything from Martin Luther King and the fall of racial barriers, the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism, Madonna dumping the Record Industry for a 120 Million dollar deal with Live Nation, to the song by Def Leppard. Evidently God doesn’t know how to make His miracles pop up first in the Google search engine. No matter, regardless of popularity on search engines, GOD IS IN THE DEMOLITION BUSINESS. WHEN YOU NEEDS WALLS AND STRONGHOLDS TORN DOWN, CALL 1-800-WALLFALL

Jericho AncientJericho was a massive walled city for 1400 BC. Considered impenetrable, unbridgeable. They had a spring inside the walls for water. They had just completed the barley harvest so food was plentiful. Joshua 6:1 says the city was shut up inside and outside. They were anticipating a long siege. Then the Lord says something astounding to Joshua in verse 2: “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” The walls had already come tumbling down in the mind of God! Joshua couldn’t see it! That is Faith-seeing the invisible, seeing the impossible!

GOD CHALLENGES US TO BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE!

God challenge believe impossibleIn order to Claim our Inheritance and Rest in God, we have to tear down Walled Strongholds! Have you ever looked at something in your life and wondered how you were going to get through it? Have you ever encountered a wall in a relationship, in your family, at work, in church, in life? Walls are Strongholds.

WALLS  CAN STOP US.

Job 19:8 (ESV) He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths.

Numbers 22:24-26 (ESV) Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.

Walls are dangerousWALLS CAN HURT US

1 Samuel 18:10-11 (ESV) The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

WALLS CAN SHAME US

1 Samuel 31:8-10 (ESV) The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.

WALLS CAN LEAD US TO SIN

2 Kings 3:27 (ESV) Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel. And they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.

WALLS CAN HIDE SIN & ABOMINATIONS

Ezekiel 8:7-13 (ESV) And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig in the wall.” So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ” He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”

WALLS CAN LEAD TO IMPRISONMENT

Lamentations 3:7 (ESV) He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy;

WALLS CAN DESTROY FRIENDSHIPS & FAMILIES

Proverbs 18:19 (NLT) An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

WE BUILD STRONGHOLDS BY PRIDE

Amos 6:8 (ESV) The Lord God has sworn by himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

HOW DO WE REACT TO WALLS & STRONGHOLDS:

IGNORE OR WHITEWASH IT

React to StrongholdsEzekiel 13:10-16 (ESV) Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.

TRY TO GO AROUND IT

The enemy, the problem is still there. They are always strategically placed. They will trip you up in the future. If it is a stronghold of hidden sin, it will be revealed. Your Sin will come to Light

TRY TO DEAL WITH IT YOUR IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH

Look at what happened at AI. Look at what happens when you try in your own strength to kick a habit, or struggle with a problem sin. Even Paul discovered that self effort is futile (Romans 7)

TO CLAIM GOD’S INHERITANCE, WE MUST DEAL WITH THE STRONGHOLDS.

Strongholds rob inheritanceStrongholds will rob us of our inheritance. One of the greatest example of generational strongholds was conducted in 1900.  A.E. Winship tracked down fourteen hundred of the descendants of Jonathan Edwards a pastor and university president and Max Jukes, he published his study of the Edwards children in contrast to the Jukes children. (From a Study JUKES-EDWARDS: A STUDY IN EDUCATION AND HEREDITY BY A.E. WINSHIP, LITT.D. HARRISBURG, PA.: R.L. Myers & Co.1900.)

Jonathan Edwards:  Born 1703

A man of God and married to a woman of like character. He was 24 and she was 17. On their wedding night they committed their marriage to the Lord. Their descendants included: 300 clergymen – some missionaries and theological professors. 100 professors. 100 attorneys. 30 judges, 1 dean of a law school. 60 physicians, 1 dean of a medical school. 3 mayors of large cities. 60 authors of fine classics. 14 presidents of universities. 3 State Governors. 1 Controller of the US Treasury. 1 Vice-President of the USA.

Max Jukes:  Born 1700

A non-believer, who married a woman of like character. She lacked principle, among other indecencies, including the occult. Of their 1200 descendants –  310 were professional vagrants. 440 wrecked their lives through debauchery. 130 went to jail – 7 for murder, average sentence: 13 years. More than 600 became alcoholics. 60 were habitual thieves. 190 became public prostitutes. 20 became tradesmen, 10 of whom learned their trade in prison. That descendancy cost the state of New York $1,250,000. 

TO CLAIM THEIR INHERITANCE: THESE MEN HAD TO TEAR DOWN STRONGHOLDS

  • Jacob: Had to meet Esau
  • Jesus: Went to Samaria, Healed Gentiles, had to go to the Cross.
  • The disciples Fear was met head on by the Holy Spirit. In the face of persecution they said “we must obey God rather than man.

Tear down StrongholdsStrongholds of quarrels, pride, and selfishness will rob the church of God’s inheritance if not MET HEAD ON!

Paul: Euodia & Syntyche: Philippians 4:2-3 (NLT) Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Apostle John: Going to confront Diotrephes. 3 John 1:9-10 (NLT) I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.

HOW GOD DEALS WITH WALLS: DIVINE POWER

  • Power to Go Over the Wall

Divine Power strongholds2 Samuel 22:30 (ESV) For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. Psalms 18:28-29 (ESV) For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

  • Power to Destroy the Stronghold

Jeremiah 51:58 (ESV) “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

God doesn’t want us to avoid or run away from problems. He wants us to know His Divine Power to tear down walls. Psalms 89:40 (ESV) You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins. God wants these stronghold torn down because He wants to be our stronghold. God will not share affections. He is a Jealous God. He desires to be the one we depend upon.

God Must Be Our Only Stronghold

Psalm 94_22 StrongholdGOD WANTS TO BE OUR ONLY STRONGHOLD. ANY STRONGHOLD THAT IS NOT OF GOD IS A CHALLENGE TO HIS AUTHORITY, HIS INHERITANCE, HIS REST FOR OUR LIFE. Psalms 27:1 (ESV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? God COMMANDED JOSHUA TO DESTROY THE STRONGHOLDS OF CANAAN. JERICHO WAS FIRST. Isaiah 23:11 (ESV) He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms; the Lord has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its strongholds. God knew that if these Canaanite strongholds were not destroyed, they would HINDER the Hebrews from gaining ALL of their inheritance, then they would ROB the Hebrews of future inheritance, and finally they would STEAL the Hebrew’s away from total devotion to Jehovah God.

Need To Battle Strategy2In order to tear down and destroy strongholds, God has a “Need To” Battle Strategy. But it does not work if you don’t see your “NEED TO”

God presented Joshua with His Need To Strategy, one which He presents to us. But very few Christians walk in Victory, free from strongholds that are robbing our inheritance. Christians are very boisterous about their great lives (look at facebook) but plain facts reveal another story. Divorce is as prevalent in the church as without. Drugs and Prescription Drugs are as common place among Christians as the world. Christians have strained family relationships just like the world. Christians have just as bad a problem with money and debt as the world. Christians struggle with depression, despair, defeat just like the world.

Jericho stands for all those things we can’t get victory over on our own but will hurt others and destroy our walk and our inheritance if we don’t.

These are the things that we hide in our lives: our fears, defeats, anxieties, petty envying and outright deceit. God knows there is only one solution: lead them into battle against them. We live in a pretend age. And so marriages are falling apart but we pretend things are normal such as marriages falling apart. They pretend their families are fine when in fact the parents and children are in a constant state of war.

We live by ignoring our failures. We hope that they will never get big enough to erupt the normalcy of life. God knows better. If crossing the Red Sea or Jordan River stand for salvation, taking over the land of Israel represent sanctification: the process where God’s people are freed from their sins and find the fullness of life in living God’s way.

The Israelites had been in the wilderness for so long that they NEEDED TO EXPERIENCE THE MILK AND HONEY OF CANAAN! GOD WANTS YOU TO GET TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT CONTENT WITH A MEDIOCRE WALK, A MEDIOCRE WITNESS, A MEDIOCRE LOVE FOR Him. HE WANTS YOU TO DESIRE HIM TO BE YOUR ONLY STRONGHOLD, YOUR ONLY GOD.

GOD is out for victory and success. He desires both to show His power and bring grace to our lives. He leads them straight into the hard battles and will do it in our lives too. When a person becomes a Christian, he will often face some big sudden challenges. He should not fear. God is with you to show Himself great. If they are not rightly dealt with at the beginning when our faith is strong, then it takes a long time to work them through.

Many of us do not understand how deceit, lies, fears, anxieties, lusts and anxieties are chains about our lives. We have grown so used to them that we just get use to them. God wants to give us genuine freedom from their influence in our lives.

The world boasts of freedom and choice, but are they not enslaved by their very desires? This is what Peter the apostle saw in the world around him, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:18, 19, NASB).

DO YOU HAVE A “NEED TO” IN YOUR LIFE?

Need to Battle StrategyHow Did God Give Joshua Victory over this Stronghold? Joshua and His people followed God’s “NEED TO” Battle Strategy!

1.  Need to Depend Upon the Lord

Joshua 5:15 (ESV) And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

  • No Room for Pride
  • No Allowance for your ability
  • Nothing of the flesh allowed
  • He is Holy, He is without compare
  • We Must Sacrifice our will – make ourselves Holy by doing as He desires.
  • The Lord Must be Central in ALL our undertakings. Look at the position of the Ark

2.  Need to Obey

Joshua 6:3-5 (NKJV) You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

Imagine you are a mighty soldier. You have experienced some mighty battles against some mighty kings on the other side of the Jordan. You are a man of action, a man of battle skills. Joshua tells you to get in column and start marching around the city. And you cannot speak, you simply march. The city was only about 11 acres. The march of 600,000 men would have taken only about 45 minutes to an hour at the most. The march to Jericho and back took longer. The first couple of days were OK, everyone was obedient. But by the sixth day, I can just imagine the guys were getting antsy. They were having a hard time figuring out what was going on.

Strongholds are not destroyed all at once. There is the behind the scenes work of God! We must obey God even when it seems crazy.

  • Going to church
  • Tithing
  • Going to someone you have wronged.
  • Showing Honor even when they don’t deserve it.

There are things we need to do in order for God to work His timing and His power to tear down strongholds in our lives.

In Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala tells of amazing transformations in the lives of people with horrible strongholds. One of those stories (page 40 and following) contains a letter from Roberta, who tells of her terrible battle with drugs and depression.  When she “finally hit bottom,” (HIV Positive) she drove to the Brooklyn Tabernacle and cried to God to save her.  Her experience with God has had its ups and downs, including a relapse. Sometimes the strongholds need more “need to”. She persevered in obedience, despite being near death more than once.

Cymbala tells of the time that Roberta was asked to give her testimony before the church.  Her father was present that night.  The story that this young woman had to share, Cymbala says, was not a pretty one, and certainly not one that a father would smile in pride to hear coming from his daughter’s lips.  As she came to the most disturbing parts of her story, Roberta stopped, looked at her father, and said with tears in her eyes, “Daddy, I know this is hard for you to hear.  But I have to say it, because it shows how Jesus can forgive the worst in a person’s life.”

3.  Need to Quietly Wait

1 Thessalonians 1:8 (NASB77) For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

Americans are not very patient. God is the God of eternity. He sees things that you and I can not even imagine. Strongholds are not built in a day. Some are built up over years. God will take us through many things before He believes we are ready to tear down a stronghold. Always Give God one more day to show His Power. Never never put time restraints on God. Never lose heart at the trials and afflictions that God allows to tear down strongholds. You’re learning to patiently wait upon God will be taken with you into eternity, for Paul says afflictions work an eternal weight of glory! Focus on that which you cannot see, on eternity!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Patient waiting displays FAITH, which is more precious than gold! 1 Peter 1:6-9 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

4.  Need to Believe

Jim Cymbala and ChrissyDo you even believe God can do mighty things in your life. Have you given in to Satan’s lies and stopped looking for miracles from God? Are their situations you have stopped praying for because you figure God doesn’t care? Is God asking you to march around a few more times and you are giving up, tired of this nonsense?

From an Interview with Jim Cymbala:

Q: You also experienced some times of real personal crisis as the church matured, didn’t you?

A: My oldest daughter, Chrissy, drifted away from God when she was a teenager, and a wall went up. We lived through a 30-month nightmare. We tried everything—begging, crying, yelling, trying to use money to manipulate her, sending her away to a better environment. Nothing worked. At one point she was away from home for about three months, and we weren’t sure where she was. The Lord impressed on me not to seek any more contact with her but to give myself to prayer. This was just before Thanksgiving. We had a very difficult Christmas, but we learned things about prayer and trusting God that I had never learned before.

When February came, I was in the prayer meeting on Tuesday night talking about the Book of Acts and how the Holy Spirit alone can produce boldness in us. You can’t teach boldness; it’s something the Holy Spirit produces. As we were praying for one another, a girl in the church sent up a note to me saying that she believed we were supposed to pray for my daughter. I called one of my associates to the pulpit, and he prayed. The whole church began to pray. It was like being in a labor room with a woman giving birth. I can’t describe it any other way. I had not made a big thing about it in church because I felt that people had their own problems. I couldn’t make myself the center of attention. But this night, we really prayed! The intensity was overwhelming.

The next morning when I was shaving, Carol came into the room and said that Chrissy was there. She was on her knees weeping, and she said, “Daddy, I’m so sorry. I’ve sinned against God, myself and you.” She drew herself up to me, put her head on my chest and asked, “Who was praying for me last night? God woke me up in the middle of the night with a dream where I saw myself heading toward this pit that had no bottom. I was racing toward it, and at the last second He stopped me. And instead of yelling at me, He put His arms around me, and I knew He loved me!”

Chrissy is now in her 30s and married. She and her husband have three beautiful children. God totally transformed her, and it was through the power of believing prayer.

5.  Need to be Enthused

When the Priests were blowing the Rams Horn, they were doing it with all their might. When the People Shouted they did it with all their might. They loved the Lord. He ENTHUSED them He energized them!

Two pastors’ wives sat mending their husbands’ pants. One of them said to the other, “My poor John, he is so discouraged in his church work. He said just the other day he was considering resigning. It seems nothing goes right for him.”

The other replied, “Why, my husband was saying just the opposite. He is so enthused, it seems like the Lord is closer to him than ever before.”

A hushed silence fell as they continued to mend the trousers; one patching the seat and the other the knees. —Illustrations Unlimited

6.  Need to be Fearless Warriors

They had to go in and destroy the people. There were children, but God said destroy them. We Need to be Like Billy Sunday:

I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!” –  Billy Sunday

7.  Need to Guard the Stuff

Joshua 6:9 (ESV) The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually.

Rear Guard Follows the ArkThe tribe of Dan guarded the stuff in the Wilderness Wanderings: NUMBERS 10:25 Then the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies,  which formed the rear guard for all the camps, set out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai over its army,

Basically, ʾāsap refers to “bringing objects to a common point.” Gathering Food as at harvest time, Gathering all the supplies. The rear guard is not an exciting job, but you must do it, or you run the risk of having all your supplies stolen and plundered. Then how could you keep on fighting?

God is our Rear GuardIsaiah 58:8 says God will be your rear guard. He will guard your stuff, if you keep true to the battle. But I also like to thank that there is always a place in the Lord’s Army. No matter how old you are, how achy you may feel, you can be a guard –guarding the stuff. As we’ve seen in Ephesians, a Warriors weak point is always his back. Roman soldiers would usually have a buddy who would cover his back. Infantrymen are always molded into a unit with the credo to watch each others back. The rear guard is usually your prayer warriors, your people who have faith in an awesome God to protect the stuff. Front line warrior need someone praying for them, watching their back.

God Calls us to See our Victory

The Holy Spirit is speaking to our heart (if we are His) and He wants us to see the VICTORY we have in Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians we learn: We are His Sons, we are accepted in the Beloved, in Christ we have obtained an inheritance, in Christ we have Mighty Power-the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. In Christ we share in the Dominion He has over all things!

This is why Paul prays for us:

Ephesians 3:16-21 (ESV) that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Do You want to be filled with ALL the FULLNESS of GOD?!, Then knock down these foreign worldly strongholds that ROB God of His place in your Life. GOD Must be our Stronghold. God Must be our Rear Guard.

TO MAKE GOD OUR STRONGHOLD,

Light the Fuse God Stronghold1. REFUSE – WE MUST REFUSE THE WORLD, WE MUST REFUSE THE FLESH

Ephesians 4:17-24 (ESV) Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

2. INFUSE – Then we infuse our heart & minds with GOD

Ephe 4:23 -and  to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

Put on the New Life – new heart attitude, new speech, new honor for authorities, honor for family relationships, honor for your employer.

Whole Armor or Holey armor3. ENTHUSE – GET THE BATTLE GEAR ON!

The Whole Armor, not just part. Make sure it passes inspection by the Captain of the Host! Some of us have nice looking helmets, but we don’t have the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, our swords are looking real bad, our shields of faith are looking like swiss cheese, our sandals of the gospel of peace are falling apart.

A well dressed and well equipped army is an enthusiastic army. INFUSED WITH GOD SHOWS IN ENTHUSIAM FOR GOD AND HIS CAUSE!

ARE YOU READY TO SHOUT?

Shout for VictoryGod wants us to believe He can do the Impossible!

WE NEED TO GO AFTER GOD AND HIS INHERITANCE FOR US! The VICTORY is OURS! DO we see our “NEED TO” remove worldly strongholds? Are we willing to make God our Stronghold?

“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ. If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch. Billy Sunday


Joshu Lets Go Across the JordanIt is time to cross the Jordan River.

Reminds me of a couple of gals at their 40th High School Reunion. This was the first time they had seen each other in 40 years. The one gal asked the other, “You were always so organized in school, Did you manage to live a well planned life?” “Yes,” said her friend. “My first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; my third marriage was to a preacher; and now I’m married to an undertaker.” Her friend asked, “What do those marriages have to do with a well planned life?”

“One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

Well, it’s time to go. Let’s look at Joshua one this morning and we will find three important things from God’s Word:Challenge Confidence Conduct

  1. T he Challenge God Presents
  2. The Confidence God Provides
  3. The Conduct God Presumes

The Challenge God Presents

1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them–the children of Israel.

Crossing the River JordanIt is time to go through the Jordan River. The Israelites could not build a bridge. They could not go around. They had to go through the Jordan. The reason is because the Jordan River represents death. As we learned last week the entire purpose of the wilderness wanderings was to teach them that they had to put off the old man, the old flesh, and live by the power of God. Joshua in particular had to align himself with the Captain of the Hosts, He had to die to what he thought was best, and follow what God wanted to do. In that respect Joshua represents a man who has joined himself with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Challenge God Presents

Now it was time for the entire nation of Israel to claim the inheritance God was giving them. In order to do so they must die to the flesh, and their fleshly desires, and live according to God and His Word.

The Jordan River always represents Death in the Bible.

  • It feeds into the dead sea.
  • Lot spied the Jordan Valley and thought it was a Valley of Life. But actually it was the way of death.
  • (There is a way which seems right to man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death)
  • Elisha had to cross over the Jordan to get Elijah’s power
  • Elisha told Naaman to go to the Jordan and dip himself seven times in order to be cleansed of the Leprosy.
  • The axe head fell into the Jordan River and Elisha made it float with the tree.
  • John the Baptist baptized those who brought forth works meet for repentance in the Jordan.
  • Jesus was baptized in the Jordan.
  • Baptism is a picture of death to self and rising to new life.

In order to live in the promised land, in order to enter into God’s rest, in order to be born again and put on the new man, we all must cross over the Jordan River. We must die to self and sin and what we want and then rise to walk in newness of life, in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Victory over the FleshThe challenge that God presents is that this inheritance, this rest can only be claimed by dying to the flesh, dying to what you want, and by living in the power of the Holy Spirit! The Jordan is a picture of the Cross. You always have to die by passing through Jordan to get to Canaan. The only way to be born again is to experience the Cross. When you are willing to die, then you are in the place where God raise you up and use you.

Joshua Is The Man United With The Holy Spirit

Joshua a man united with the Holy SpiritYou Must Be Willing to Die to the Flesh in order for God to Raise You Up and Use You to Claim the Inheritance.

  • Romans 8:8-9 “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.
  • Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

The Mark of a Christian: No Confidence in the FleshNo Confidence in the Flesh

  • Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh”
  • James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.”
  • “When all the nation were clean passed over Jordan” God Spoke (Joshua 4:1)

The Confidence God Provides

Confidence God ProvidesWhen God presents a challenge to us, a challenge to die to what we want, and to live in His power, He always gives us the confidence of a promised victory! God provides us three-fold ammunition to assure us of victory:Promises, Presence, Past Performance

God’s Promises

  • Verse 2 I am going to give this land to you.
  • Verse 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot.
  • Verse 5 No one will be able to stand up against you.
  • Verse 6 You will lead these people to inherit the land.

The outcome was promised. They would be victorious over the enemy. They would claim the land that God had given them for an inheritance. No matter how long it took and no matter how many casualties were sustained the outcome was guaranteed – God promised. The full extent  of the inheritance was not realized until David and Solomon. But in God’s mind it had already been secured. God had promised this to Abraham (Gen 12) God had promised this to Moses (Deut 34:4) There was going to be no repetition of what happened at Kadesh Barnea (Num 13) Joshua 14:9 (ESV) And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 1 Kings 8:56 (NKJV) “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.

In God, Joshua Can’t Fail, Because GOD CAN’T FAIL..

God Can't FailGod has given us a mission that can’t fail because he won’t. God had already given them the land; it was their responsibility now to step out by faith and claim it. Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” You Have An Inheritance That Is SURE. All that we need is in Christ. We are seated with Him and Blessed in Him in the heavenlies. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He has made us to be more than conquerors. He is the author and perfector of our faith. What more do you need to know that you can live a victorious, joyful life, regardless of the circumstances.

You Have No Enemies That Can Defeat You.

No one can stand against you if you are claiming Christ’s Inheritance. We normally think of Satan when we think of enemies. Or maybe terrorists with masks and bombs. But for most of us the enemies that can defeat us are friends, family, gossip, money problems, discouragement, sickness, disease, circumstances. These are the enemies we encounter everyday. The saddest thing in God’s mind is a Christian who has let their heart be overcome by hatred for a fellow Christian or family member, or overcome with discouragement because of a financial setback, or become depressed because of a sickness or even the loss of a loved one. I guarantee you that even though most everyone in this church claims that Christ lives in your heart by faith, that there are some here who are living in defeat because of some situation that has defeated you either emotionally, physically, or psychologically. If Jesus Christ is in your heart, there is no such thing as living a defeated life. He reigns over every situation.

The only way to claim this confidence that God wants us to live in is by seeing Him who is invisible. There are rooms in our lives that we tend to block Jesus out of. We don’t let the Holy Spirit in. He stands at the door of that room and knocks. He says let me come in and show you the victory I have for your life. In 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (NIV) we are told: For the Son of God, Jesus Christ…in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” The promises of God are completed in Jesus Christ. He is the YES to all God has promised. When we live our lives in Jesus Christ, we are the AMEN to God’s promises. Our testimony shouts to the folks around us “AMEN to Jesus Christ!”

“O God, you promised, and I believe in your promise.  Please do what you have promised.”  That is praying according to the will of God.

God’s Presence

God's PresenceJoshua 1:5 “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” What a promise God gave to Joshua! “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you” (Josh 1:5, NIV). God had given a similar promise to Jacob (Gen. 28:15), and Moses had repeated God’s promise to Joshua (Deut. 31:1-8). God has given this promise to His people today! The Gospel of Matthew opens with “Emmanuel…God with us” (1:23) and closes with Jesus saying, “Lo, I am with you always” (28:20 NKJV).

The writer of Hebrews 13:5 quotes Joshua 1:5 and applies it further. Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” to Christians today: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (NKJV).

Covetousness and Confidence in God’s Presence

Jesus cant come where there is covetousnessHe relates confidence in God’s presence to lack of covetousness or fondness for money. Christians have come a long way since that moment when Joshua led the people across the Jordan. Our confidence is too often in our money our possessions. If you want God’s presence in your life, you confidence must be in Him alone. Many Christians have a real fondness for their possessions, their money. They watch it all the time. Here God was bringing Israel into a place where money was not going to do the job. It was an impossible task. God offered Joshua the promise of His presence, and in so doing, there can be no confidence in anything else!

Romans 8:31 says if God be for us, who can be against us? But if we be not for God, why should He battle for us. In fact, if our confidence is in our money, God says He will vomit us from His presence

Revelations 3:17 mentions this Laodicean church. The people were saying: ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. When our confidence is in our money, our things, when that is what we delight in, God withdraws from us, or at very best lies grieving in a basement closet of our life. We think we are blessed, but God says Here, Look in My Mirror-you are wretched, inwardly miserable, poor, blind and naked. Here, God was promising His presence to a scared insecure band of runaway slaves. They had nothing in which to be confident. All the Gold the Egyptians gave them was useless in the fight against the Giants of Canaan.

JESUS is with us NOW! But We Can Shut Him out of our Lives

That is the promise of Jesus to us that many of us ignore – And ignoring it is not so much a sin as it is sad. At the end of the letters to the churches in Revelation 3:20 (NLT) “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Even though we are Christians, and the Holy Spirit indwells us, IT IS POSSIBLE TO SHUT JESUS OUT OF YOUR LIFE, AND NOT FEAST WITH HIM ON HIS WORD. We must repent of our fleshly confidence in our wealth and things and talents. These things make us indifferent to the Cause of Jesus Christ. Repent and open the door!

God’s Past Performance

Joshua 1:5 – Just  as I was with Moses, so  I will be with you.

Gods past performanceJoshua knew the history of God’s faithfulness to his people. He had heard how God had steadfastly worked in Abraham’s, Isaac’s, Jacob’s and Joseph’s lives.  He had heard the stories over and over again of God’s protection, God’s provision and God’s power on behalf of his people. As a very young man he had witnessed the miracles of the plagues in Egypt, the saving of the first-born Israelites from the angel of death, the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, and the manna from the skies. God had proven himself faithful.

“Living victoriously is not your responsibility – it’s your response to God’s  ability!”

Those stories and countless others like them are our stories too. Yes you can be cynical and say that the good things of life are just coincidental. But if you believe in God and believe that he sent his Son Jesus for us, then it is illogical not to accept that “every good and perfect gift is from above” as James said it, and not to take courage that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joshua is the same God who is faithful to me today.

Confidence in God comes from trust in His promises, His Presence and His Past performance.

God Gives Us The Challenge To Claim Something He Has Secured, God Gives Us The Confidence Of Victory Based Upon Unbeatable Ammunition, God Assumes We Will Abide By His Rules.

The Conduct that God Presumes

Joshua 1:6-9 (KJV) Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Before God could fulfill His promises, however, Joshua had to exercise faith and “be strong and of good courage” (1:6).

Promises of God no pillowTHE PROMISES ARE NOT A PILLOW BUT A PROD

Divine sovereignty is not a substitute for human responsibility. God’s sovereign Word is an encouragement to God’s servants to believe God and obey His commands.

As Charles Spurgeon put it, Joshua “was not to use the promise as a couch upon which his indolence might luxuriate, but as a girdle wherewith to gird up his loins for future activity” (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 14, p. 97).

Real trust involves action – God says if you trust me you will obey me.

  • Be Strong & Of Good Courage
  • Focus On Your Responsibility (You Affect The Others Inheritance)
  • Be Strong & Very Courageous.
  • Build Your Life Around The Word And Instructions Of God
  • Be Purposeful Obedience Will Bring GOOD Success.
  • He Mentioned It Twice – Emphasizing Keeping It In Your Mouth.
  • Be Strong And Of A Good Courage; Be Not Afraid, Neither Be Thou Dismayed
  • I Am With You Always.

God says if you are going to live a worthwhile life, if you are going to accomplish the mission I have given you then this is what you must do – know and obey my Word, make it YOUR LIFE!

Covenant RelationshipOUR COVENANT RELATIONSHIP

God was reminding Joshua of the foundational strategy of living a worthwhile life – live an intimate relationship with God in his Word. God doesn’t give Joshua military instructions at this point. Wouldn’t that have been what you would have wanted? God give me the military intelligence I need on the armies we must fight, give me the battle plan, give me the names of the men I should put in charge. But God says if you want success in your mission, here is what I am telling you to do – meditate on my Word so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.

Meditate on God’s Word.

  • When are we going to learn that there is LIFE in this Word. There is Healing Power in this word. You want strong bones – meditate on the Word. You want a Strong Heart – meditate on the Word. You want to know how to Battle enemies – meditate on the Word.
  • It’s one thing to say to a leader, “Be strong! Be very courageous!” and quite something else to enable him to do it. Joshua’s strength and courage would come from meditating on the Word of God, believing its promises, and obeying its precepts.
  • It isn’t enough to have the Bible on your coffee table or in your car or next to you at church. Take time to read it daily and make it a part of his inner person by meditating on it (Ps. 1:2);. The Hebrew word translated “meditate” means “to mutter.” It was the practice of the Jews to read Scripture aloud (Acts 8:26-40) and talk about it to themselves and to one another (Deut. 6:6-9). This explains why God warned Joshua that the Book of the Law was not to depart out of his mouth (Josh. 1:8).

“If you don’t talk to your Bible, your Bible isn’t likely to talk to you!”

The Word is Like the Covenant Feast

Word is our covenant feastThe modern ideal is individualism, self-interest, and self-centeredness. We glory in the philosophy that says, “I will do what I want to do, when and how I want to do it, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” But the moment we are converted, such life must come to an end, for as Christians we are called to live in covenant relationship with God and with each other. A covenant is an agreement between two or more persons; therefore, covenant life is community life, and a covenant person will seek, not his own interest, but that of the entire community. So a husband will look after the interests of his wife; parents will look after the interests of their children; and a believer in Christ will look after the interest of the whole community of believers of which he is a part.

Many who enter into a covenant-based life fail to live up to their promises and commitments to others. They become self-seekers instead. But the Bible detests such people. Instead, it praises those who keep their oaths even when it hurts (Psalm 15:4). Take, for example, Joshua’s agreement with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). As inhabitants of Canaan, the Gibeonites were slated to be destroyed by the Israelites. But they deceived Joshua and the leaders into making a covenant of peace with them, and Joshua kept that covenant, even though it hurt him. Jesus Christ calls us all to live a covenant life, putting the interests of God and our fellow believers before our own.

WHERE ARE YOU IN YOUR JOURNEY?

Where Are You ChristianEach of us is on our own spiritual journey that will ultimately end in either Rest and Reward, or Punishment and Pain. I wish it were that easy. Good and Bad, Life or Death, Heaven or Hell, Black or White. But life is far from easy. In this life on earth we are usually in one of four places:

  • In Egypt, still in slavery to sin, and you need to be saved.
  • In the wilderness, redeemed, but going nowhere other than in circles.  Time of testing, dealing with the flesh, a time where the Holy Spirit is dealing with fleshly habits that keep you wandering. Been saved for years but you still aren’t really digging into your Bible, still not really praying, still not tithing consistently, still not making commitments to be faithful and to serve.  Been saved for years but never led a soul to Christ!  You’re not much closer to God than you were the day you got saved.
    • After leaving Egypt, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years due to their own unbelief and rebellion. An entire generation murmured against the covenant God had made with them and, as a result, they died in the desert. They did not enter into their inheritance of rest because of their disobedience.
  • In Canaan, excited, growing, having the joy of the Lord.  They’re not a wilderness wanderer, but a giant conqueror! You struggle with enemies, with the flesh, but you are in the Word, living your life and home in Jesus Christ. You are feasting on the Covenant Feast – the Word.
    • Enjoying Covenant Relationship
    • Marriage Relationship as the Bride of Christ
  • An “EASTSIDER” living on the dead side of Jordan. You are saved, but in the world, living for the flesh, for what you think is right. Occasionally you eat some of the milk and honey from the Lord. You cattle are well fed. You probably have money. But your family is falling apart, there is sin at the door. Satan is having a heyday stealing your inheritance.

Heb 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 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. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest.

Now the second generation were east of the Jordan River, ready to enter the land. They had already defeated Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 1:4), thus gaining possession of the territories of these two Amorite kings on the east side of the Jordan River, stretching from the Arnon River in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, beyond the Sea of Galilee. They controlled hundreds of cities of the Amorites, including such fertile lands as Bashan and Gilead. The Bible speaks about “the cows of Bashan,” meaning cows that are healthy and well-fed because of the fertile land. Numbers 32:1 and Deuteronomy 3:19 tell us that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh possessed large numbers of livestock. So they approached Moses and the other leaders with this request: “Please do not make us cross the Jordan, but let us possess these fertile lands on the east side of Jordan” (Numbers 32:5). In this request, we can see their sinful rejection of the covenant obligations of community life. They were rejecting God’s plan and not living by faith. They were placing their own interests and that of their cattle over the interests of all the other tribes.

lot chooses Jordan ValleyJUST LIKE LOT: many centuries before. Genesis 13:10-11 tells us that “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt . . . So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan.” Lot made his choice based on one reason – he owned many cattle. Lot based his decision on sight, not on faith.

Like Lot, these two and a half tribes were making their decision based, not on faith, but on selfish, material interests. They were refusing to cross over the Jordan, to die to their self and selfish wants. Jesus once warned his followers, “The pagans run after all these things” (Matthew 6:32). “These things” there means money, or material possessions. Pagans live for money, making decisions based on the possibility of making more money.

Moses was mad at their request. In anger he called them a “brood of sinners” (Numbers 32:14) and asked, “Shall your brothers go to war while you sit here?” (v. 6).

You see, they were not thinking about being brothers and part of the twelve-tribe community. They were only thinking about themselves. They did not want to cross the mighty Jordan to endanger themselves by fighting wars against the Canaanites. They wanted to enjoy the good life while the others fought on their behalf. In effect, they were saying, “Let the others cross the Jordan and fight the wars of the Lord. We just want to rest and take care of our livestock. We are sick and tired of wandering. We have no more stomach for battles.”

Just as these tribes rejected covenant community life in favor of a self-centered life, so there are believers who confess Jesus as Lord and take upon themselves covenant responsibilities, only to reject them. They refuse to cross over the Jordan, to die to self, to the flesh.

They Repented and Agreed to Fight

Numbers 32:16-19 tells us that these two and a half tribes repented of their sins and renewed their covenant. They entered into an agreement with Moses, Joshua, Eleazar, and other leaders which included these three promises:

  1. Their armed men would cross over the Jordan with their brothers;
  2. They would go ahead of everybody else as the vanguard to face the greatest danger of fighting; and
  3. They would not return to their homes until every Israelite had received his inheritance.

IN OUR COVENANT RELATIONSHIP, GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

Yes, when God makes a promise, we can rely on it, for God is not a man that he should lie, nor does he ever change. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ’Yes’ in Christ’” (2 Corinthians 1:20). He promised rest to all the tribes and he would keep that promise. But would the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh fulfill what they had promised?

Consequences to not crossing the Jordan

Although these tribes ultimately repented, there were some consequences to their decision to obtain land on the east of the Jordan. The wives and children they left behind were deprived of the privilege of witnessing divine miracles – the parting of the Jordan River, the destruction of the walls of Jericho, and the many battles fought and won. And in later years, due to their great distance from the temple, these tribes came more and more under pagan influence, and were the first to go into captivity.

We Must Agree to Obey & Join the Battle

  • This is exactly what we mean when we say, “Jesus is Lord.” We are telling the greater Joshua: “Whatever you command, we will do, and wherever you send, we will go. If we do not do it, put us to death.” That is covenant language. Joshua was so pleased with these people that he gave them this certification in Joshua 22:2: “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded.”

Some people live under the mistaken notion that Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you: Love yourself.” But is that what he said? No, he said, “Love one another” (John 13:34). That is covenant life. In fact, Jesus said we must love one another “as I have loved you.” We do not even have the right to love the way we want to love. How did Jesus love us? By dying on the cross for our sins! Therefore, we too must lay down our lives for our brothers. This is serious community life. I hope we will not say, “Who is that person? I don’t have anything to do with him!” No, you have everything to do with that person because he has been saved by Christ and brought into the family of God. Jesus then said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (v. 35).

East-siders’ settle for less than God’s best.  They may have marched the football all the way down the field, but they allow the devil’s goal line stand to keep them out.  With the promised land in sight, they give up and are shut down, just inches away from victory!

It’s easy for Christians to get into a ‘comfort zone’, and never reach the ‘end zone.’  They’re better off than they were in Egypt or the wilderness, and that’s good enough for them.  God’s best for their life is just a step away, but they don’t take that step, and cross the Jordan River.

“I may not be on fire for God but I’m not exactly living in sin, either!”

Ready to Join the Battle

The peril is that having begun in the Spirit, you might turn aside to make some compromise with Amalek, because of the hardness of the way, the greatness of the cost, by reason of the conflict and forgetting God’s word – “utterly destroy Amalek” (1 Samuel 15:3). “Walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

We settle for a peaceful coexistence with the flesh. God says to destroy Amalek.

People, it’s time to Roll. It’s time to Go.

Hebrews 6:1 (NLT) So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.


Truly the Study of Joshua begins in the Book of Revelation.

revelation-1_7In 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.

revelation-reveals-the-god-warsIn 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

inheritance-promisedRevelations 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)

JOINT-HEIRS

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”

they-sang-a-new-songJohn 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.”

lamb-that-was_slainThe 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

vinedressers-oppose-the-masterSatan 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:they-killed-the-son

“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!

Land Flowing With Milk and HoneyJoshua 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

we-must-overcome-to-share-in-the-inheritanceThe 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

churched-is-birthed-and-battle-is-onThe 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

inheritance-must-be-securedThis 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

joshua-instructs-us-how-to-battleWe 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.

claiming-our-inheritanceTake 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:

  1. God is God Alone. He is Holy Righteous Just
  2. To have a relationship with Him, we must acknowledge His holiness and our Sinfulness
  3. To have a relationship with Him we must be willing to Obey His Law
  4. 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.
  5. God is not a part time God. He wants all of us.

give-god-his-rightsAnd 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.