Redeemed for a Purpose
Arlen L. Chitwood
Overcoming, Being Overcome
Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers,
except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the LORD.
The LORD was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, “Even you shall not go in there;
Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
But as for you, turn and take your journey into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.”
And command the people, saying, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir . . .”
And when we passed beyond our brethren, the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir, away from the road of the plain, away from Elath and Ezion Geber, we turned and passed by way of the Wilderness of Moab.
. . . the descendants of Lot . . . . (Deuteronomy 1:35-40; 2:4a, 8, 9b)
Because of the action of the people of Israel in two different spheres at Kadesh-Barnea, God, as well, brought matters to pass in two different spheres. Because of the peoples’ belief or unbelief relative to entering the land at Kadesh-Barnea, God, in the succeeding years, brought matters to pass after a fashion completely in keeping with the attitude and actions of the people.
On the one hand, there was the overthrow of an entire unbelieving generation, overthrown in a manner completely in keeping with their unbelief.
Then, on the other hand, Caleb and Joshua — the ones believing that they could go in and, under God, take the land — ultimately realized their inheritance in a manner completely in keeping with their belief.
At Kadesh-Barnea, those comprising the nation under Moses believed the false report of the ten spies. They envisioned falling at the hands of the inhabitants of Canaan if they sought to move ahead and attempt to take the land. They then turned from the land set before them and longingly looked back toward the land from which they had come, back toward Egypt. And they spoke of appointing a new leader (other than Moses), with a view to returning to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).
Once this had occurred, once the Israelites had expressed unbelief after this fashion, at this particular place, the nation found itself in a position from which there could be no return. The accountable generation had forfeited their part in the rights of the firstborn (rights to be realized by the nation as God’s firstborn son [cf. Exodus 4:22, 23; 19:5, 6]), matters could not be reversed (cf. Matthew 12:31, 32), and the only thing awaiting these Israelites was God carrying out His judgmental decree.
Note that the very next day, after hearing God’s judgment upon them because of their unbelief (along with seeing the ten spies die “by the plague before the Lord”), the unbelieving Israelites changed their minds. They even went so far as to attempt to enter the land after being warned by Moses that the Lord was no longer with them; and they were, accordingly, driven back by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. They could no longer occupy the place from which they, through unbelief, had fallen (Numbers 14:28-45).
This is what the third of the five major warnings in the book of Hebrews is about (6:4-6). Once a Christian falls away in the antitype of that which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea (Hebrews 3, 4), exactly the same thing will occur to the unbelieving Christian as occurred to the unbelieving Israelites. The Christian will have fallen away after such a fashion that he cannot be renewed “again to repentance [‘to a change of mind’]” (v. 6).
The “change of mind” is not on the part of the Christian, as it was not on the part of the Israelites in the type. It was/is on the part of God. A Christian falling away after this fashion may later change his mind, as the Israelites did after falling away. But, as in the type, God will not change His mind.
The Christian will have forfeited his part in the rights of the firstborn (rights to be realized by the Church following the adoption into sonship [cf. Romans 8:18-23; Hebrews 12:23]), with only judgment waiting; and God will not change His mind and bless that Christian also. The type has been set, and the antitype must follow the previously established type.
(For additional information on the preceding, refer to Appendixes 2, 3 in this book, “If They Shall Fall Away” and “The Wilful Sin.”)
Exactly the same thing is seen relative to these rights and a change of mind in the last of the five major warnings in Hebrews (12:14-17). Esau, after forfeiting the rights of the firstborn — selling these rights to his younger brother, Jacob — “found no place for repentance [a change of mind], though he sought it diligently with tears” (v. 17).
Esau changed his mind following the forfeiture. After realizing the value of that which he had forfeited, Esau sought to get his father to change his mind and bless him also. But it was too late. The birthright had been forfeited, it was beyond Esau’s grasp forever, and all Esau could do at this point was express grief over that which he had allowed to occur. Scripture reads, “And Esau lifted up his voice and wept” (Genesis 27:34-38).
(Note two things about the warning passages in the book of Hebrews:
1) The warnings in Hebrews become self-explanatory, self-interpretive, if they are understood in the light of the types [an interpretive method that, in reality, is true throughout the whole of Scripture, i.e., types and antitypes understood in the light of one another].
2) Very few Christians today could fall away in the antitype of Hebrews 6:4-6, for to fall away after this fashion requires an understanding of the Word of the Kingdom, something that very few Christians presently possess [reference chapters 5-8 of this book, “The Elders’ Search,” “The Elders’ Report,” and “The Peoples’ Response”].)
1. Turned About
Moses, near the end of his life and near the end of the wilderness journey, recounted to the Israelites that which had occurred at Kadesh-Barnea and throughout the thirty-eight succeeding years. He spoke of the nation’s unbelief, along with Caleb and Joshua’s belief. Then he recounted God’s promise to Caleb and Joshua, along with the account of God’s judgment falling upon the unbelieving nation (Deuteronomy 1:26ff).
Caleb and Joshua, because they believed the Lord, had been promised that they would one day realize an inheritance in the land. They would be allowed to go in with the second generation and, individually, have a part in the rights belonging to God’s firstborn son.
The remainder of the accountable generation though, because they did not believe the Lord, would die in the wilderness prior to the second generation being allowed to go into the land under Joshua. They would have no part in realizing the rights of the firstborn (Deuteronomy 1:35ff).
After Moses had recounted the Lord’s promise to Caleb and Joshua, he then turned to the account of the Lord’s judgmental decree upon the unbelieving generation. God’s decree from thirty-eight years back, given through Moses, began with the words, “But as for you . . .” (v. 40).
Then, the first thing that the unbelieving generation at Kadesh-Barnea heard after that was, “turn” (v. 40). That is, they were to turn from the land set before them. By their prior act of unbelief, they had gone too far. They had expressed unbelief concerning the Lord being able to complete His work and bring them into the land to which He had called them. They had expressed unbelief in matters surrounding the very goal of their calling — a realm that the Lord considered of supreme importance, important above everything else. And, by so doing, they went beyond the point that the Lord could allow them to go and still allow them to enter the land.
Thus, there was only one thing left. They were to be turned from the land toward which they had moved for the preceding eighteen months, with a view to their being overthrown outside this land. And the place where they were to be overthrown was clearly revealed at the beginning; and now, thirty-eight years later, God’s dealings with a rebellious people after this fashion was in the very last stages of being completed.
2. Into the Wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea
But viewing matters from the beginning once again, the Israelites were not to be overthrown just any place in the wilderness; nor could they be taken back to Egypt — a desire that they had expressed in their unbelief (Numbers 14:4). Taking them back to Egypt would portend the possibility of undoing what had occurred in both the death of the firstborn and the Red Sea passage (in reverse order), and neither could ever be undone. Thus, the Israelites had to be overthrown on the eastern side (the resurrection side) of the Red Sea, outside of Egypt (on the right side of the blood).
The Israelites were turned away from the land of Canaan and told to journey “into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea” (Deuteronomy 1:40). In other words, rather than being allowed to enter a land flowing with “milk and honey,” they were turned away and, instead, told to travel out into a desolate land. Then beyond that, specific reference is made to this land being “by the Way of the Red Sea.”
The “Sea” refers particularly to two things in Scripture. It refers to the place of the Gentile nations and to the place of death. In this respect, typically, the place that God had reserved for the unbelieving Israelites was in the sphere of death among the Gentile nations. And it was here that they were to be overthrown (ref. Chapter 2 in this book, “From the Sea to the Mountain”).
The picture is really the same as seen in the later experiences of Israel, typified by Jonah. Jonah, because of his disobedience, was cast into the Sea, and he died in the Sea. And Israel, because of the nation’s disobedience, has been scattered among the Gentile nations of the world (cast into the Sea), with Israel being looked upon as dead (spiritually dead) while out among the nations.
During Moses’ day, it was only at the end of a full forty years (referring to a complete period) that God allowed a second generation of Israelites to leave their place in “the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea” and enter the land under Joshua. And this is a type of that future day — after a complete period, at the end of two days (which will be at the end of Daniel’s full Seventy-Week prophecy) — when God will allow the present nation to leave its place among the Gentiles and be restored to the land under Jesus (cf. Daniel 9:24-27; Hosea 5:15-6:2; Jonah 1:15ff; John 11:1-44).
(Or, if the Hebrew rendering for Jesus is preferred in the antitype, it is “Joshua” [this is the reason for the incorrect rendering, “Jesus,” rather than “Joshua,” in Hebrews 4:8, KJV]. Joshua led the Israelites into the land in the past, and Joshua [Jesus] will lead the Israelites into the land in the future.
Also note that a more detailed and complete look at the overall type is seen beginning with the departure from Egypt under Moses. That which is seen beginning in Deuteronomy, chapter two is a facet of the type within the larger type — a type within a type, so to speak. This is a common occurrence in biblical typology, one thing that makes it so rich.)
3. In the Lands of Esau, Lot (Deuteronomy 2:1-12)
Note, according to the text, that the unbelieving Israelites were not to be overthrown just any place in “the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” Rather, they were to be overthrown in two areas of this wilderness land. They were to be overthrown in the land occupied by the descendants of Esau, and they were to be overthrown in the land occupied by the descendants of Lot.
a. The Land of Esau
Esau, the elder son of Isaac, “despised his birthright” and sold his rights as firstborn to his younger brother, Jacob, for a meal consisting of “bread and stew of lentils” (Genesis 25:27-34). The Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament) uses a word for the rendering “despised” (v. 34) that means that Esau regarded his birthright as practically worthless. He saw no real value to the birthright and sold it on a particular occasion to satisfy his hunger.
Esau was “a skillful hunter, a man of the field,” contrasted with Jacob who was “a mild man, dwelling in tents” (Genesis 25:27). The “field” in Scripture, as “Egypt,” typifies the world (Matthew 13:38); and “dwelling in tents” points to being a stranger and pilgrim in the field, in the world (Hebrews 11:8-16).
Thus, Esau, in Scripture, is pictured as a man of the world — a person interested in the things of the world rather than the things of God. And Esau sold his rights as firstborn at a time immediately after he had been out in “the field” and at a time when he was “weary [and hungry]” (Genesis 25:29, 30).
There was nothing in the field to reveal the value of the birthright to Esau. The birthright had to do with spiritual values, separate from the world; but Esau was interested in the world and that which could bring satisfaction to the fleshly man.
Spiritually, he could only have been completely destitute, with his rights as firstborn being something that he knew practically nothing about and, accordingly, something of little interest to him. Thus, looking upon the birthright from the vantage point of the world and seeing little value therein, he considered one meal to be of more value and sold his rights as firstborn for the meal.
And it was into Esau’s land — the land of a person of the world who considered his birthright to be of little value — that God’s firstborn son, because of the nation’s unbelief and forfeiture of the rights of the firstborn, was taken to be overthrown. The unbelieving generation was to be overthrown in the land of the descendants of a person who had looked upon the rights of the firstborn after a similar fashion to the way they had looked upon them.
b. The Land of Lot
And not only were the unbelieving Israelites to be overthrown in the land of Esau, but they were also to be overthrown in the land of Lot. They were to be overthrown in the land of a person who wanted the best of what this world had to offer.
Abraham, after strife had arisen between the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle and his own herdsmen, saw a need for the two of them to separate. Realizing this, he magnanimously offered Lot his choice of any part of the land in which to dwell. Lot lifted up his eyes, saw the well-watered Jordan plain, and chose that part of the land. Abraham though remained out in the high country.
Lot moved down into the cities of the plain, pitched his tent toward Sodom, and eventually ended up living in Sodom. Then, years later, immediately before the destruction of the cities of the plain, Lot is seen seated in the gate of Sodom (Genesis 13:10-13; 19:1).
Those who sat in the gate of a city in those days transacted business on behalf of the city. Thus, Lot, because of an attraction that a part of the land offered, left his pilgrim life with Abraham out in the high country and moved down into the low-lying country. And, over the years, little by little, his path continued to spiral down, until he eventually found himself deeply involved with the citizens of one of the most wicked cities on the face of the earth — a city in which homosexual activity, among other types of immorality, was rampant.
(Homosexual activity in Sodom had been brought to full fruition by the men of the city committing homosexual acts with angels in the kingdom of Satan [cf. Genesis 19:1-11; Jude 6, 7]. And note that the homosexual activity rampant throughout the world today will end after the same fashion. It will apparently come into full fruition during the latter part of the Great Tribulation, after Satan and his angels have been cast out of the heavens. That which is seen today is only the forerunner of that which will shortly exist [cf. Luke 17:26-31; Revelation 12:7-9].
For additional information on homosexuality in the cities of the plain during Lot’s day, refer to the author’s book, Jude, Chapter 6, “And Also After That.” For additional information on homosexuality today, particularly as it exists among Christians, refer to the author’s book, The Study of Scripture, Chapter 11, “The Goal,” pp. 195, 196, 199, and 200.)
And it was in Lot’s land, as well as in Esau’s land, that the unbelieving Israelites were taken to be overthrown. They were not only to be overthrown in the land of a person who considered his birthright to be of little value, but they were also to be overthrown in the land of a person who chose the best of what the world had to offer — a person who settled down in the world rather than dwelling in tabernacles in the high country. They were to be overthrown in the land of a person who had looked upon the world after a similar fashion to the way they had looked upon Egypt, i.e., to the way they had also looked upon the world (Numbers 14:2-4).
4. Christians in the Antitype
The whole matter of Christians in the antitype hardly needs to be stated for those who have eyes to see. There is nothing — absolutely NOTHING — more important in the Christian life than presently moving out toward and ultimately realizing the goal of one’s calling.
But, what are most Christians doing relative to the matter today? One need only look around, go into practically any church in the land…
Is this the topic of concern when Christians meet together today? Is this what is heard from the pulpit or the classroom on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and/or other times when Christians come together?
Christians cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:19-24). They cannot have the best of what this world has to offer and also expect to have the best of what God has already offered. Christians must, individually, choose; and that decision is left entirely up to them (cf. Genesis 24:58).
Christians can go the way of Esau and Lot — having any spiritual senses and perspective progressively dulled by the things of the world — resulting in their progressively being overthrown in the land of Esau and the land of Lot.
Or they can keep their eyes fixed on the goal, dwell in tabernacles with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the high country — “escape to the mountain” (Genesis 19:17), having their spiritual senses and perspective progressively strengthened — and one day realize the rights of the firstborn.
The former is the easy life, and the latter is not so easy. In fact, the latter often becomes quite difficult. But what will the end be? That’s what matters!
Note that Caleb and Joshua, at Kadesh-Barnea, didn’t have it easy at all when giving a true report relative to the land set before them (Numbers 14:6-10).
And they had to live with this unbelieving generation for the next thirty-eight and one-half years, until every single one of them had been overthrown.
And that’s where the believing Christian is today. He is out living among unbelieving Christians who are in the process of being overthrown; and he, invariably, experiences similar treatment to that which Caleb and Joshua were accorded among the unbelieving Israelites.
Persecution, in actuality, doesn't come from the world. That’s not what is found in the type, and it can’t be found after any other fashion in the antitype as well, for the antitype must follow the type. True persecution comes from unfaithful fellow-believers.
They are the ones who find themselves in the position of Esau, Lot, or the unfaithful generation during Moses’ day; and they do not understand individuals like Caleb and Joshua. They have spent their time out in the world. They understand the ways of the world but not the ways in which the spiritual man is led. They, thus, can only look at matters from a naturalistic perspective, for this is all they know; and, accordingly, they are the ones who, in various ways, find themselves moving against the spiritually minded Christian (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12).
1. Necessary Preparations
It was only near the end of the forty years that God began to once again deal with the Israelites relative to entrance into the land of Canaan. It was only at this time that God stated:
This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you. (Deuteronomy 2:25).
This was the beginning of the Lord’s preparatory work relative to bringing the second generation of Israelites, along with Caleb and Joshua, into the land. And the remainder of Deuteronomy — prior to the account of the entrance of the nation into the land in the first three chapters of the book of Joshua — concerns itself mainly with what was stated by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:1:
Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments that I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land that the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.
Then Moses’ closing words to this new generation of Israelites, given immediately before his death, near the end of the book, were almost identical to the way he began:
. . . Set your hearts on all the words that I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe-all the words of this law.
For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land that you cross over the Jordan to possess.
(Deuteronomy 32:46, 47)
At the time Moses proclaimed these final words to “all Israel” (v. 45), the Israelites were on the eastern side of Jordan, opposite Jericho. And after Moses blessed the twelve tribes, the Lord took him “to the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah,” and allowed him to look over and see the land before his death.
Then “Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab,” and the Lord “buried him in a valley” in the same land (Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1-6).
And, with the leadership falling to Joshua, this is where the five books of Moses close, with the Israelites ready to cross the Jordan and enter the land under Joshua.
2. Crossing the Jordan
Moses, at Kadesh-Barnea, had sent twelve spies into the land. Now, thirty-eight and one-half years later, Joshua, from the eastern side of Jordan, sends two individuals to spy out Jericho and the surrounding land (Joshua 2:1ff). And upon the return of the two spies “from the mountain” (v. 23), their report was very simple and straightforward:
And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.” (Joshua 2:24)
And this time there was no bad report by the spies or unbelief on the part of the people. According to the record, following the report of the two spies, the immediate matter at hand was the passage of the people across the Jordan River and the conquest of the land, beginning with Jericho (Joshua 3:1ff).
Jordan was at flood stage at this particular time of year; but, because of the river’s flow, rather than parting the waters as at the Red Sea passage forty years earlier, the Lord brought matters to pass after a different fashion. The Lord, going before the people above the ark that the priests carried and remaining above the ark in the midst of Jordan while all the people crossed (cf. Exodus 25:22), simply cut off the flow of the river coming down from the north and caused the waters to “stand as a heap”; and the Israelites, as at the Red Sea passage, went across the Jordan “on dry ground” (Joshua 3:10-17).
Once the Israelites were across and twelve stones had been taken from the midst of Jordan as a testimony for future generations, the priests brought the ark up from the midst of Jordan, and the Lord released the waters to their natural flow once again (Joshua 4:1-24).
Then note the reaction of the Gentile nations that Israel now faced to that which had occurred:
So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel. (Joshua 5:1; cf. Deuteronomy 2:25)
Then, following Joshua circumcising the new generation (in accord with the Lord’s instructions) and the manna ceasing (the people were to now eat “the fruit of the land of Canaan”), attention immediately turned to a conquest of Jericho and the land beyond (Joshua 5:1ff; 6:1ff).
(Note: As the preceding generation was required to pass through the waters of the Red Sea, with a view to subsequently entering the land at Kadesh-Barnea, the succeeding generation [which, by large, had not been through the waters of the Sea] could not enter the land at Kadesh-Barnea [on the southern side of the land]. Those comprising this generation had to travel around the southern end of the Dead Sea, up the eastern side of the Sea to the Jordan River, and then pass through the waters of the Jordan as they entered the land.
Both generations had to pass through the waters [the waters of the Sea or the Jordan] prior to entering the land. The parallel experience of passing through the water was seen by means of baptism in both the offer and reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, which is why baptism was seen throughout [cf. Matthew 3:5, 6; John 3:22-24; 4:1, 2; Acts 2:37, 38; 8:35-38]; and, as well, this parallel experience of passing through the water is seen by means of baptism in Christendom today, in connection with the same thing as seen in Israel, or in the types from Moses’ and Joshua’s day — the present offer of the kingdom to Christians [Matthew 28:19, 20; Colossians 2:12; 3:1ff].
Following the death of the firstborn and the appropriation of the blood, the dead were/are to be buried, never to rise again — whether this burial occurred following the appropriation of the blood of the paschal lambs in Egypt by the first generation under Moses, occurred following the appropriation of the blood of the paschal lambs in the wilderness by the second generation under Joshua, or occurs following the appropriation of the blood of the Paschal Lamb by Christians today — all are to pass through the water; all are to be buried [John 3:3-5]. The new man alone, following burial, is to rise from the waters. Only the new man can realize an inheritance in the land lying out ahead [cf. Genesis 21:9, 10].
[The passage through the water, of course, has nothing to do with eternal salvation, past or present — whether in the two types during Moses’ and Joshua’s day, among the Jewish people during the offer and reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, or throughout the present dispensation when the offer of the kingdom is being extended to Christians. One’s eternal salvation was/is taken care of through death and shed blood — via a vicarious death, by the death and shed blood of paschal lambs in the camp of Israel during past time, and the death and shed blood of the Paschal Lamb during time since 33 A.D.
God’s requirement — death and shed blood — was established in the opening chapters of Genesis (chapters 3, 4), and it can never change. And, for an inseparable association of death and shed blood in the Old Testament with the death and shed blood of Christ, note 1 Peter 1:19, 20; Revelation 13:8.]
In this respect, to see a clear picture of baptism during the offer and reoffer of the kingdom to Israel, or baptism during the present offer of the kingdom to the Church, one need only turn to these two types. Also note that “baptism” is associated in Scripture with the kingdom and the message pertaining to the kingdom. Israel and the Church have been brought into the picture because they have been/are [Israel, past; the Church, present] recipients of this message. Separating “baptism” from the kingdom would be like separating “signs” from the kingdom. Neither could exist apart from the kingdom and would disappear.
Thus, baptism had to do with the Jewish people in relation to the offer and reoffer of the kingdom in past time, and it has to do with Christians in relation to the offer of the kingdom during present time. Baptism is no more Christian than it is Jewish, or vice versa; nor is baptism a Church ordinance, for the Church has no ordinances per se [neither baptism nor the Lord’s table has anything to do with ordinances of the Church, though the churches throughout Christendom, in completely unscriptural endeavors, have sought to connect them with the Church in this respect].
[“The Lord’s table,” as “baptism,” has a similar connection with the kingdom as well. For a Christian to observe the Lord’s table is for that Christian to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). It is a symbolic declaration, by the observer, of that which was very real at a time in the past and will be very real at a time in the future.
Christ, establishing the Lord’s table shortly before His death, said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). The word picture of events during that future day, to which Christ referred, had been recorded by Moses over fourteen centuries earlier, in Genesis 14:18-20. This word picture, forming a type, deals with Melchizedek bringing forth bread and wine to bless Abraham.
In that coming day, in the antitype of that which is seen in Genesis 14:18-20, Christ, as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, in His “Father’s kingdom,” will come forth with bread and wine to bless the descendants of Abraham, exactly as Melchizedek blessed Abraham in the type. And, as well, as also in the type, this will occur following the battle of the kings — pointing to the destruction of Gentile power in that coming day (Genesis 14:1ff).
It is these two things — baptism and the Lord’s table — that an almost completely leavened Church, which has little to no understanding of the Word of the Kingdom, has taken and made Church ordinances, not understanding their true nature at all. And things have become so completely skewed that many church groups will not allow other Christians to partake of the Lord’s table with them unless they belong to their particular denomination. Or, one can’t join their church unless he has been baptized by one of their pastors in one of their denominational churches.
The whole thing has become completely removed from any correct biblical reality in the churches of the land. This is how complete the working of the leaven — centering its attack on the Word of the Kingdom — has wrought corruption within Christendom after almost 2,000 years, very near the end of the dispensation, when the whole will have become leavened].
Then, note facets of the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea and the Jordan River that have to do with the Jewish people yet future. In connection with the Israelites passing through the Sea [first generation] and passing through the River [second generation] there is an overthrow of Gentile powers — Pharaoh and his armed forces on the first, and Jericho [along with succeeding Gentile cities] on the second. Both relate to different facets of the same type, foreshadowing a series of events in the antitype that is seen in its correct respect only by viewing both types together.
In the antitype, Christ will have returned, re-gathered the Israelites from a worldwide dispersion [following their national conversion], made a new covenant with the house of Israel, and restored them to their land. Then, immediately following this series of events, Antichrist will lead his armies against the King and His people in Jerusalem [cf. Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 3:1-17; Zechariah 14:1-9; Revelation 14:14-20; ref. the author’s book, The Time of the End, Chapter 32, “The Great Supper of God”].
In this respect, to see a clear, overall picture of the restoration of Israel and the destruction of Gentile world power at the time of Christ’s return, the antitype must be studied in the light of both of these types — both passages of the Israelites through water prior to the destruction of Gentile power — not in the light of just one.
For I will take you from among the nations [Gentiles], gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water on you . . . . [Ezekiel 36:24, 25a])
3. Taking the Land, Realizing an Inheritance
Jericho was the first of the cities to be taken; and because of the frightened state of those in Jericho, knowing that the Lord Himself was with Israel and would act on their behalf, the city had been “securely shut up.” No one entered, and no one left. This is how complete the Lord had kept His word concerning placing the dread and fear of Israel upon the nations (Joshua 6:1; cf. Deuteronomy 2:25).
Jericho was among the cities in the land described thirty-eight and one-half years earlier by the ten spies as being “fortified [KJV: walled up] to heaven [‘to the heavens’]” (Deuteronomy 1:28). But note what the Lord did with the wall surrounding Jericho — a wall surrounding a city filled with frightened inhabitants. After the Israelites had followed the Lord’s instructions concerning taking Jericho, the wall simply “fell down flat”; and the Israelites marched across the fallen wall and “utterly destroyed all that was in the city” (save Rahab and her family), and then burned the city (Joshua 6:2-27).
And that’s the way it was to be as the Israelites marched through the land, conquered the inhabitants, and possessed the land. And that’s the way it could have been thirty-eight and one-half years earlier had the Israelites believed the true report given by Caleb and Joshua rather than the false report given by the ten.
But the way it was to be and the way it actually happened — even during the conquest under Joshua — were not the same. At the very next city that the Israelites sought to conquer — Ai — they suffered defeat. Achan, contrary to the Lord’s command, had kept some of the spoils of Jericho; and his sin was looked upon by the Lord as a sin of all Israel. Because of this, the Lord would not go before the Israelites; and, consequently, they could not “stand before their enemies” (Joshua 6:18; 7:1-22).
The matter of Achan’s sin had to be dealt with first, and the people could then (and did) move victoriously against Ai (Joshua 7:23-26; 8:1ff). And beyond that the Israelites, under Joshua, began to progressively move victoriously throughout the land, taking it “by little and little,” as the preceding generation had been instructed to do under Moses (Joshua 9:1ff; cf. Deuteronomy 7:22).
Then, after the Israelites, over time, had destroyed part of the nations in the land, the Lord instructed Joshua to divide the land for an inheritance among the different tribes (Joshua 13:1ff; cf. Joshua 21:43-45; 23:4-13). And it was within this division that Caleb and Joshua realized the inheritance that had been promised to them at Kadesh-Barnea forty-five years earlier (Joshua 14:7-14; 19:49, 50; cf. Numbers 14:24, 30; Deuteronomy 1:35-38).
4. Christians Today
Everything is identical in the antitype. There is a warfare against those dwelling in the land of the Christians’ inheritance (Satan and his angels), and the warfare can be won or it can be lost.
One primary, simple fact though remains should Christians expect to one day realize an inheritance in the land to which they have been called: They must engage themselves in the battle; the war must be fought (Ephesians 3:9-11; 6:11-18).
The battle and its outcome can be seen in the experiences of the Israelites at Jericho; or the battle and its outcome can be seen in the experiences of the Israelites at Ai. And victory (as at Jericho) or defeat (as at Ai) will occur for exactly the same reasons it occurred for the Israelites.
God’s people must do what He has told them to do. This is the reason Moses, near the end of his life, immediately before the Israelites were to enter the land under Joshua, spent his time reiterating the Lord’s commandments to the people (Deuteronomy 4:1ff); and this is also the reason that Joshua did exactly the same thing immediately following the Israelites’ defeat and subsequent victory at Ai (Joshua 8:34, 35).
Moses, by reiterating the Lord’s commandments to the people prior to the conquest, sought to prevent events such as those that had occurred at Ai; and Joshua, going back over the Lord’s commandments after matters surrounding Ai had been taken care of — something that formed a conclusion to previous instructions left by Moses — sought to prevent a repeat of such events (cf. Deuteronomy 27:1-8; Joshua 8:30-35).
Jesus is “the Author of eternal salvation [‘salvation for the age’] to all those who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9; cf. Genesis 42:55, 56; Matthew 7:24-29; John 15:1-15). A Christian must follow that which the Lord has commanded (which will result in his keeping himself unspotted by the world [rather than following Achan’s path]) as he goes forth to battle the inhabitants of the land.
Sin is disobedience to that which the Lord has commanded. And though Christians — presently in a body of flesh, housing the old sin nature — may fall, cleansing is available. That’s why Christ is presently exercising the office of High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary (cf. John 13:8-10; Hebrews 10:19-22; 1 John 1:6-2:2).
Sin must be dealt with prior to the battle (as at Ai). Then, believing that the Lord will do exactly what He has promised, victory after victory can ensue as the person moves forward, keeping his eyes fixed on the goal. There can be no such thing as defeat if one moves in accord with the Lord’s instructions.