If the first generation of Israel was saved, then what is shown by their not being permitted to enter the Promised Land?
In brief, the first generation of Israel that came out of Egypt was saved from the bondage under which they toiled in Egypt. It was indeed their deliverance from this bondage by death and shed blood of the paschal lamb (Exodus 12) and its proper application, which insured their protection from God’s hand-of-death on all of the firstborn of Egypt (Exodus 11:5), and which was the crucial and decisive action that influenced Pharaoh to let them go — a determination that none of the prior plagues could facilitate.
The significance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is as a type of deliverance from man’s state of spiritual death “in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and its eternal consequence in the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15) — the antitype, which is based solely upon the death and shed blood (signifying the vicarious spiritual death) of the Paschal Lamb — Jesus Christ — on the cross of Calvary, a grace-gift provided for man, and the “proper application” of which can only be a willful act of non-meritorious faith of accepting it on the part of man. This deliverance is eternal in duration and is otherwise known in Scripture as spirit-salvation.
And just as the deliverance of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, based upon death and shed blood of the paschal lamb is a type of a Christian’s spirit-salvation based upon the spiritual death of the Paschal Lamb on the Cross; so is their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land a type of a Christian’s progression, or lack of it, in the process of sanctification (spiritual growth) — otherwise known in Scripture as soul-salvation.
What is shown by the first generation of Israel not being able to enter into the Promised Land, excepting only two individuals (Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun [Numbers 14:30]), is a type of the consequences that awaits a Christian should he fail in becoming an “overcomer” in his quest for the salvation of his soul. Yet it should be noted that whereas spirit-salvation is eternal in duration, soul-salvation is only millennial in duration; that is, it only relates to a Christian’s life during the coming Messianic Era, the coming thousand year reign of Christ on earth.
The following is detailed commentary regarding the matter by Chitwood:
The Primary, Fundamental Type
A Christian’s disapproval for the crown referred to in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 has its contextual parallel in the verses immediately following (1 Corinthians 10:1-11), which record Israel’s disapproval for entrance into the land of Canaan. These eleven verses reiterate certain experiences of the Israelites under Moses following the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt. Israel’s experiences (within the scope of the type) begin in Egypt, move through the Red Sea passage, and terminate in the wilderness wanderings.
The verses outlining these experiences are divided into two sections (vv. 1-6 and vv. 7-11). The first section outlines in general terms the experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and this section is concluded in verse six with the statement:
Now these things became our examples [literally: these things happened as types for us], to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
(1 Corinthians 10:6)
Then, the second section outlines in more specific terms four sins of the people that characterized the wilderness journey, and this section is concluded in verse eleven with the statement:
Now all these things happened to them as examples [literally: ‘as types’]: and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.
(1 Corinthians 10:11)
Thus, there is a type-antitype treatment of Israelites under the leadership of Moses with Christians under the leadership of Christ. This same type-antitype treatment of Israelites with Christians also forms the basis for the first four of the five major warnings in the book of Hebrews (1:14-2:5; 3:1-4:16; 6:1-12; 10:19-39), apart from which these warnings cannot be properly understood.
Just as a proper understanding of the first four of the five major warnings in Hebrews is built around a type-antitype treatment of the Israelites under Moses with Christians under Christ, a proper understanding of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 is built around this same type-antitype treatment. These verses logically lead into chapter ten, and this chapter forms the basis for explaining what is meant by being approved or disapproved at the conclusion of the race.
Scripture is to be interpreted in the light of Scripture, and the approval or disapproval of an individual at the judgment seat of Christ must be understood in the light of Old Testament typology — namely the experiences of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses following the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt. This is the primary, fundamental type that God uses in His Word to teach Christians great spiritual truths concerning dangers strewn along their present pilgrim pathway as they, under the leadership of Christ, traverse the only route that will culminate in the realization of the salvation to be revealed — the salvation of their souls.
Type — Israel in the Wilderness
On the night of the Passover in the land of Egypt, God established a distinction “between the Egyptians and Israel.” This distinction was established on the basis of death and shed blood — the death and shed blood of the paschal lambs — and involved the birth and adoption of a nation (Exodus 4:22, 23; 6:6, 7; 11:4-7; 12:1-13; Hosea 2:15). Israel’s birth and adoption were for definite, specific purposes — namely the establishment of God’s firstborn son in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at the head of the nations, within a theocracy.
Not only was the “Feast of the Passover” instituted at this time but the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” was also instituted at the very beginning of Israel’s national existence. Immediately following the Passover, Israel — the newly established nation, God’s firstborn son — was to eat “unleavened bread” for a period of seven days. All leaven was to be put out of the house (house of Israel) during this period.
“Leaven,” in Scripture, always, without exception, portrays that which is evil, corrupt. “Seven” is the number of perfection, indicating the completeness of that which is in view. And regardless of the time or place — in Egypt before the Red Sea passage, in the wilderness after the Red Sea passage, or in the land of Canaan realizing the purpose for the nation’s calling — “evil,” typified by leaven, was to be put out of the house of Israel. The penalty for not so doing was spelled out in no uncertain terms:
For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15b).
Thus, God’s dual truth concerning “blood” and “leaven” was established at the very beginning of Israel’s existence as a nation. The appropriation of the “blood” of slain lambs placed those who had come out of Egypt, forming the nation of Israel, in a particular relationship with God from which they could never be removed. This, however, was only the beginning.
The entire purpose for Israel’s existence lay ahead; and after the appropriation of the blood of these slain lambs, everything associated with leaven was then to be put out of the house for the period specified. Only in this manner could the nation realize the purpose for her removal from Egypt, the very purpose of her calling.
What though did Israel do relative to the Feast of Unleavened Bread following the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lambs? Israel kept the feast in the sense of the seven literal days required by Exodus 12:15 (cf. Exodus 12:34, 39; 13:1-10). But did Israel keep the feast in the sense of that which it portrays must be done in the camp beyond this time? Did Israel put sin out of the house during her pilgrim journey in the wilderness?
The answer of course, according to Scripture, is “No.” Israel committed trespass after trespass against the Lord, climaxing the leavening process at Kadesh-Barnea.
Had Israel put leaven out of the house and followed the leadership of the Lord, the nation would have realized the purpose for her calling. Israel would have exhibited faithfulness and entered into the land at Kadesh-Barnea, overthrown the inhabitants, and ruled over all the Gentile nations as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy, with the nations being blessed through Israel.
However, instead of exhibiting faithfulness, the Israelites exhibited unfaithfulness. The entire accountable generation (save Caleb and Joshua, who possessed a different spirit) was overthrown in the wilderness. Of the 600,000 fighting men who came out of Egypt, all but two were overthrown in the wilderness. They were cut off from the house of Israel. They were overthrown on the right side of the blood — cut off from Israel, not from God — and they fell short of the goal of their calling.
In this respect, according to the account of the wilderness journey of the Israelites in Hebrews chapter three, because of “unbelief [‘unfaithfulness’],” the nation failed to enter into the land at Kadesh-Barnea (v. 19).
The Israelites under Moses rejected that which God had to say concerning entrance into the land set before them. They believed the false report of the ten spies rather than the true report of Caleb and Joshua. At this point they fell away; and, as set forth in the antitype of Hebrews 6:4-6, it was then impossible “to renew them again unto repentance.”
(In the type, it was impossible for God to change His mind concerning that which He had previously stated would occur if the Israelites did not obey His voice; and, in the antitype, in like manner, it will be impossible for God to change His mind concerning that which He has previously stated will occur if Christians do not obey His voice.)
Why did the Israelites “fall away”? What brought about such unbelief, unfaithfulness, on their part? The answer can be found by comparing their attitude in two realms: (1) their attitude toward both “the food” (the manna) that God had provided and “the land” (the land of Canaan) that lay before them with (2) their attitude toward both “the food” (fish, etc.) that they had previously enjoyed in Egypt and “the land” (the land of Egypt) that they had left.
According to Numbers chapter eleven, they had rejected “the manna” and had longingly looked back to the food that they remembered in Egypt; and, almost immediately following, in Numbers chapters thirteen and fourteen, they had rejected “the land of Canaan” and had longingly looked back to the land of Egypt.
In each instance, their look was away from the things of God and the land set before them and back to the things of the world and the god of this present world system (cf. Luke 9:62) — back to the things associated with the leavening process that had been working for almost eighteen months in the camp (“Egypt” in Scripture is always a type of the world, with its fleshly allures; and “Satan” is the god of this present world system).
Israel’s attitude concerning the manna preceded the nation’s attitude concerning the land. Their refusal to go in and take the land could have been anticipated by their previous reaction to and rejection of the manna.
That is, because they had previously preferred the food in Egypt to the manna that God had provided, at Kadesh-Barnea they could only be expected to prefer the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan. This fact can be clearly seen in the antitype.
Antitype — Christians in the Wilderness
As a distinction was established “between the Egyptians and Israel” in the land of Egypt the night of the Passover, a distinction has been established between the world and Christians during the present day. As the distinction during Moses’ day was established on the basis of death and shed blood, so has the distinction during the present day been established on the basis of death and shed blood. Almost thirty-five hundred years ago in Egypt the distinguishing factor was the blood of the slain paschal lambs, and today the distinguishing factor is the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb. Since Adam’s sin in Eden, the distinguishing factor has always been death and shed blood — something which never changes in Scripture (cf. Genesis 3:21; Hebrews 9:22).
As Israel was called into existence for definite and specific purposes, so has the Church been called into existence for definite and specific purposes. Israel (“a prince” possessing “power with God and with men” [Genesis 32:28]) was called into existence to rule as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy, and the Church has also been called into existence to rule as God’s firstborn son within a theocracy. Israel was called into existence to rule on the earth at the head of the Gentile nations with God dwelling in Israel’s midst; and the Church has been called into existence to rule from the heavens over the Gentile nations with God’s firstborn Son, Jesus.
As Israel was commanded to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days immediately following the Passover, so have Christians been commanded to keep this feast for the same length of time immediately following that to which events of the Passover point (the birth from above, a passing “from death unto life”):
Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6b-8)
The feast is to be kept for a period of “seven days,” indicating the completeness of that which is in view. The entire Christian life from the point of salvation forward is in view. During the present dispensation Christians reside in bodies of death, possessing the old sin nature; but during the coming dispensation (the Messianic Era) Christians will reside in sinless, deathless bodies like unto the body of Christ (cf. Romans 7:24; 1 John 1:8; 3:2).
During the coming dispensation the removal of leaven from the house will no longer be an issue, for it will have been put out once and for all. Thus, the issue of Christians keeping the feast (in accordance with 1 Corinthians 5:6ff) and the dangers inherent in not keeping the feast are for the present dispensation alone, as it was for the Israelites during the past dispensation.
Israelites who failed to keep the feast were cut off from the house of Moses; and Christians who fail to keep the feast will fare no better, for they will be cut off from the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:1ff).
Thus, God’s dual truth concerning “blood” and “leaven, “ established at the very beginning of Israel’s existence as a nation, is the same dual truth presently seen in Christendom today. Through the appropriation of the blood of the slain Paschal Lamb — allowing for the immersion in the Spirit, forming the one new man “in Christ” — Christians form “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). Christians occupy a positional standing “in Christ,” from which they can never be removed.
This, however, as in Israel’s case, is only the beginning. The entire purpose for the Christians’ very existence lies ahead. After the appropriation of the blood, everything associated with leaven is then to be put out of their lives for the period specified. Only in this manner will Christians realize the purpose for their present positional standing “in Christ,” the very purpose for their calling.
Keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, outlined for Christians in 1 Corinthians chapter five, is not synonymous with Christians living sinless lives, living above sin. Nor was this the case for those in Israel in the type. This is by no means what is being taught in this passage, for since “sin entered into the world” through Adam (Romans 5:12), it has always been impossible for saved individuals to live apart from sin in such a manner, residing in bodies of death with the old sin nature.
The fact that the Israelites could and did sin following events surrounding the death of the firstborn was the reason for Aaron’s past high priestly ministry in the earthly tabernacle. And the fact that Christians can and do sin is the reason for Christ’s present high priestly ministry in the heavenly tabernacle.
Christ is ministering today in the antitype of Aaron, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat, on behalf of Christians who sin. The sins committed by Christians are forgiven through confession of these sins on the basis of the shed blood of Christ that “cleanses [‘keeps on cleansing’] us from all sin.”
In this respect, Christians keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread today in a twofold manner; abstention from every appearance of evil on the one hand, and confession of sins when overtaken by evil on the other hand (1 Corinthians 5:6b-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 John 1:7-10). All leaven is to either be put out or kept out of one’s life in this twofold manner; and Christians conducting their lives in this fashion, correspondingly, keep the feast.
However, as Israel failed to keep the feast in the type (in the preceding twofold manner), so are Christians failing to keep the feast in the antitype (in the same twofold manner).
The Israelites committed trespass after trespass against the Lord, disregarding that which God had commanded; and they climaxed their sins by rejecting the manna and rejecting the land of Canaan. They looked back to the things of Egypt in both instances.
And Christians are doing exactly the same thing. The Church has become so enmeshed in the things of the world that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell where the world ends and the Church begins. The sins of Christians, as the sins of Israel — disregarding, as well, that which God has commanded — have led them down a path where they are rejecting the things typified by both the manna and the land of Canaan.
The manna was that bread from heaven that God had provided to sustain the Israelites while on their pilgrim journey. This bread contained everything necessary for the sustenance and health of the physical body throughout the wilderness journey, as the Israelites looked ahead to an inheritance in the land set before them (an earthly inheritance and land).
And the counterpart for Christians today is the Bread from heaven, “the Word of God.” This Word contains everything necessary for the sustenance and health of the spiritual man throughout the pilgrim journey (cf. John 6:30-58; Luke 4:4), as Christians look ahead to an inheritance in the land set before them (a heavenly inheritance and land).
The Israelites, remembering the food that they had while in Egypt and tried to change the manna. They “ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it.” Through this process they ruined the manna, for the taste was like “fresh oil [a bland taste, made with olive oil]” (Numbers 11:4-8).
Christians today have done exactly the same thing with the Word of God; and, according to the type, it is because of their carnal desires for the food served in Egypt, i.e., it is because of their carnal desires for the nourishment that the world provides. Christians have tried to change the Word of God to conform to the things of the world, seeking to make this Word palatable to both the world and themselves.
And emanating out of this process are such things as the paraphrased versions of the Bible that are supposed to help us better understand the Scriptures, and the shortened, compressed versions that are for individuals who don’t have time to read the Word as given through Moses and the prophets. Or, the Word is often interpreted in a manner that allows worldly palatability for carnally minded Christians.
God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes to man in “pure words, likes silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”; and God has magnified His Word above His name (Psalm 12:6; 138:2). Beyond that, God has made this revelation known after a certain fashion (history, prophecy, types interwoven within history, antitypes, metaphors, parables, etc.). And for finite man to make changes after any fashion, which would include refusing to recognize the manner in which God has made this revelation known, can result in only one thing, seen in the type: Changing the manna during Moses’ day ruined that which God had provided for the people, and changing the Manna today serves only to accomplish this same destructive end.
The importance of recognizing this whole thing for what it really is, no matter what form it may take — a Satanic attack upon the Word of God — becomes evident when one understands the proper place that the Word occupies in the life of a Christian. God has breathed life (the Neshamah [initial work of the Spirit]) into man, effecting the birth from above (cf. Genesis 1:1-3; 2:7; John 3:3).
He then continues this life through the indwelling presence of His Breath (the Neshamah [indwelling of the Spirit; 1 Corinthians 6:19]), and nourishes and sustains this life through a continued breathing in (the Neshamah/Theopneustos [the God-Breathed, Living Word; 2 Timothy 3:16; James 1:21]). The indwelling Holy Spirit (the Neshamah), in this manner, takes the Word of God (the Neshamah) received into man’s saved human spirit and effects spiritual growth to maturity (reference: chapters 3 & 4 of this book).
That which God delivered to man through Moses and the prophets constitutes the Neshamah — the God-Breathed Oracles — not that which carnal man has changed by seeking to make it palatable to himself and the world. And the Holy Spirit (the Neshamah) uses the God-Breathed Oracles (the Neshamah) alone to effect a Christian’s spiritual growth unto maturity. That which is not the Word of God (not the Neshamah) substituted for the Word of God (the Neshamah) can only produce spiritually anemic, sick Christians, for the Holy Spirit cannot use that which is not the Breath of God to effect spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit cannot use that which is lifeless to nourish and sustain life, which He (through the Neshamah) brought into existence.
In this respect, that which man has changed today approximates the living Word of God to the same degree that the manna that the Israelites changed approximated the manna that God delivered to them from heaven. The Israelites, through changes, ruined the manna; and Christians (also the unsaved in certain instances, for monetary gain), through changes, have ruined the Word of God.
Thus, it is easy to understand why the Israelites under Moses preferred the things of Egypt to the things of the land set before them (their earthly inheritance [cf. Numbers 14:12; Hebrews 11:8]), and why innumerable Christians today prefer the things of the world to the things of the land set before them (their heavenly inheritance [cf. Hebrews 1:14; 3:1; 1 Peter 1:4]). The Israelites desired to feast on the things of Egypt rather than the manna that God had provided, and Christians today are exhibiting exactly the same attitude and are doing exactly the same thing relative to the things of the world and the Word of God.
The spirituality of the Israelites, brought about through their association with Egypt, was at such a low ebb that they didn’t believe it was possible for them to go in and conquer the inhabitants of the land. Thus, they sought to appoint a new leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4) — completely overcome by the enemy before ever engaging the enemy in battle. The spirituality of many Christians today, brought about through their association with the world, is at such a low ebb that they, in like manner, refuse to believe it is possible for them to go in and conquer the inhabitants of the land (cf. Ephesians 6:10-17). Thus, they, as the Israelites under Moses, seek their place in the world, under the sun — completely overcome by the enemy before ever engaging the enemy in battle.
The importance of feasting on the Manna from heaven cannot be overemphasized. A Christian must receive “the implanted Word [Neshamah]” or he cannot realize the salvation of his soul. The reason is very simple: Apart from the reception of this Word there can be no spiritual growth to maturity. And without spiritual growth, wrought through a continued inbreathing of “life” into man, there can be no movement of the spiritual man, producing “works” emanating from “a living” faith.
The race will have been run in no certain manner, with no fixed goal, as one beating the air. And, as revealed in 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:11, a race run in this manner will result in the individual being disapproved, for he will have been overcome and thus overthrown in the wilderness.
Accordingly, such an individual at the judgment seat of Christ will have his works tried, with a view to approval; but these works will be shown to be “dead [barren]” works, emanating from unfaithfulness, producing nothing but “wood, hay, and straw.” These will all be burned in the fire, leaving the individual in the position, “saved [salvation of his spirit]; yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
His works will be disapproved; and works of this nature will have failed to bring faith to its proper goal. Consequently, the individual’s faith will also be disapproved, and he will “suffer loss” — the loss of his soul.
 Salvation of the Soul by Arlen L. Chitwood, The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., 2003, pages 98-108