Come Out, That You May Hold Fast

Brothers and sisters:

If you will stand for holiness and separate yourselves from this world and its demands upon God, then those who keep trying to preserve that which God shall soon destroy will call your behavior heartless and unchristian in their lack of understanding.

So be it. Those whose great concern is supposedly not to judge others have hated you and judged you unrighteously; for you are a holy temple of the Living God, who is jealous for that temple. And He will defend those who hold fast; but He will take no pleasure in the one who draws back in faithlessness. It is only the consecrated who enter His rest. It is only the obedient and steadfast in whom His word is proven.

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

(Psalm 18:30)

Jesus’ call to not judge lest we be judged is a warning against unrighteous judgement, stressing that “with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured again to you.” But if our eye is single, and if that in which we do judge is free of hypocrisy (which is actually possible, as we are in fact called to this), then we being full of light do indeed see clearly to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. “For the spiritual man judges all things, yet is himself discerned by no one.”

But the one who judges those in whom God’s law is truly being fulfilled by the Spirit of life is speaking against the Law and judging the Law. And as long as such do not repent, they have sided themselves with the accuser and serve the purposes of Mystery Babylon, which we must remove ourselves from in order to remain in all the abundant mercies Christ. You cannot partake of two spirits. For Jesus has condemned us to righteousness and holiness, to remain unspotted from this world of iniquity.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up by your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to everlasting life.
(Jude 1:20-21, LITV)

There is no true functioning body of Christ where each member is not first able to stand alone with HIM. Unity in God is predicated upon separation unto God by the whole of the body. That which is not comprised of consecrated parts cannot be a functioning body.
We do not comfort men in the world, nor do we condescend the gospel of Christ into human terms; rather we call men out unto God who provides spiritual comfort to those whom the truth has first slain and regenerated into a kingdom that is not of this world. For those who belong to His kingdom are free to have confidence before Him, as nothing else need hold mastery over their soul.

And, indeed, all desiring to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and pretenders will go forward to worse, leading astray and being lead astray. But you keep on in what you have learned and were assured of, knowing from whom you learned, and that from a babe you know the holy scriptures, those being able to make you wise to salvation through belief in Jesus Christ.
(2 Timothy 3:12-15, LITV)

The tares are becoming manifest to the ones being awakened; and they hope diligently for the coming harvest of separation. The slandered and misrepresented sheep of Christ’s fold who are grounded in the unchanging truth of His word are not ashamed even before His coming; for they know whom they have believed, and are persuaded that He is able to keep what they have committed unto Him until that Day (2Tim 1:12).

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
(Daniel 12:10)

Whoever Exalts Himself…

In a day when the message of man’s church is to “rise up,” we truly need more than ever to humble ourselves before the Lord.
The working out of our salvation with fear and trembling is sustained by humbly yielding ourselves to God who desires to work IN us according to HIS good will and pleasure.

The second beast of Revelation 13 is one which looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. It is the very same voice of self-ascension “rising up out of the earth” (Rev 13:11) which beguiled Eve long ago.
If YOU are rising up of YOUR own volition, it is only the dragon who empowers you in any success. But those who humble themselves under the mighty hand of God will be exalted IN DUE TIME (1Pet 5:6).

The earth that the meek will inherit is the new one after HIS return – and He does not return for a self-asserting bride that has conquered the earth; but rather for a humble people who have at last allowed Him to fully conquer them!

We conquer the enemy by Christ’s victory in us, not by our own victory outside of us.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they loved not their lives even unto death.
(Revelation 12:11 ESV)

This is the only true victory, and the only way that God’s people shall endure in the day of their greatest trial.

Wisdom: Fear & Discretion

Fear Jehovah, His holy ones, for they who fear Him lack nothing. The young lions have lacked and been hungry; but they who seek Jehovah shall not lack any good thing.
Come, listen to me, my sons, I will teach you the fear of Jehovah.
Who is the man who desires life, who loves days in order to see good?
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile; depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous; and His ears are open to their cry. The face of Jehovah is against those who do evil, to cut off their memory from the earth.
(Psalm 34:9-15, LITV)

The proud cannot be reasoned with in the things of God; but the righteous receive the Word of the Lord with humility and joy.

The many words of the man not fearing the Lord are unworthy of heeding. He is ensnared by the empty wagging of his own tongue; through the publishing of his foolishness are the subtleties of his crooked ways uncovered before the eyes of the discerning.

Discretion is the secret of the wise, and the fear of the Lord is the foundation of their peace.
His hand is a terror upon the rebellious; but His heaviness is the beloved dwelling place of the pure and humble.

Let the redeemed find no other resting place, for in Him no darkness can remain in them.

My son, if you will receive My words, and treasure up My commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding.
For if you cry for discernment, lifting up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, then you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find knowledge of God.

For Jehovah gives wisdom; out of His mouth are knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to the ones who walk in integrity, to guard the paths of judgment, and He protects the way of His saints. Then you shall understand righteousness and judgment and honesty, yea, every good path.

When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasing to your soul, discretion shall keep you, understanding shall watch over you; to deliver you from the evil way, from the man who speaks perverse things; those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil; they delight in the perversities of the wicked; whose paths are crooked, who are devious in their tracks.

(Proverbs 2:1-15, LITV)

Readiness & Fruitfulness

And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf,
He went to see if He could find anything on it.
When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves,
for it was not the season for figs.
And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
And his disciples heard it.
…As they passed by in the morning,
they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
(Mark 11:13-14, 20)

The season of the world does not determine the fruit of the Spirit.
True fruit borne unto God is that which HIS call and HIS Life at work within us produces. The working out of our salvation with fear and trembling is the yielding to HE who works within us to will and to do according to HIS good pleasure. The fruit which God recognizes and is pleased to savor is the fruit of HIS Spirit. It is in view of His abundant mercies that we offer ourselves living sacrifices upon the altar of our death; that HIS Life might be manifested in us, who by faith and patience inherit the promise of the word of Life which renews our mind and restores our soul day by day.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…
(Psalm 1:1-3)

The Living God is not interested in what human metrics or men’s traditions regard as fruitful or useful; but rather the hidden man of the heart, which bursts forth in springs of Living Water from beyond what the vessel itself could ever provide. Our ability to bear fruit depends not upon busying ourselves with what men commonly perceive as “spiritual activities;” but depends rather upon the readiness of a heart that is single towards God and His manifold purposes.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word; be READY in season and out of season…
(2 Timothy 4:1-2)

The fig tree which Jesus cursed was required by Him to be ready even out of season in order for it to bear fruit in HIS season. The seasons of the Lord’s trees are determined by the calling of the Lord Himself. They do not conform to the patterns of this world’s seasons; for they wait upon the Shepherds voice alone, being driven by the wind of His Spirit, which “blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8) Trees that only bear fruit in accordance to the wisdom of this age are not bearing God’s fruit. True Life begins in and is sustained by the Word of Life. True fruit is borne only by the means of the Fruit Bearer Himself, whose kingdom is not of this world, but is rather found within whomever His Spirit finds a conduit to flow.

As men go to and fro throughout the earth, looking to bolster “my ministry,” “my calling,” “my inheritance;” the eyes of the LORD meanwhile go to and fro throughout the whole earth looking to strengthen the heart that is pure before HIM, so that HE might minister through those to whom He has first ministered.

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of HIS calling, and what the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of HIS power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of HIS mighty strength…”
(Ephesians 1:17-19)

The key to fruitfulness in His season is readiness both “in and out of season” – and what we are ready for is determined by what our hearts are set to meditate upon. “Readiness” is the descriptor of the gospel of peace being manifest in our footsteps (Eph 6:15) – therefore our peace with God in His gospel must be our innermost meditation should our steps become truly stable and ready to bear His fruit in His season. We wait upon the Lord with all diligence, even as one waits upon the command of a king eho loves them. We as a royal priesthood minister unto Him as He ministers unto us; for a sweet savor before His throne is the object of true ministry. To wait upon the Lord is most simply to be in constant communion with Him – this is why those who wait upon the Lord are renewed in strength. It is by abiding faith in His power that we as the branches of His vine bear fruit.

– Brendan

Joshua 6 – Part 1: The Kingdom Unsealed

And Jericho was closed, and was shut in from the face of the sons of Israel;
no one going out, and no one coming in.
And Jehovah said to Joshua, “See I have given Jericho and its king,
and mighty warriors, into your hand.”
(Joshua 6:1-2)

The strongholds of our spiritual enemy are as seals which must be broken that the kingdom of God might be opened to those whom He is calling: both His found and His yet lost. The picture here is of things which will at last appear in fullness when all of creation’s expectant groaning is at last answered upon the manifestation of the Sons of God. “For when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” The seeing of Jesus produces a work of being conformed to His image: a holy union in HIS body which is hastened by its members building itself up in His love, so that He might at last appear to harvest the full-grown fruit of the travail of His soul. I see the battle instructions given to Joshua for the destruction of Jericho having great parallels to the coming of God’s kingdom in the Revelation delivered to John. I see seven seals being opened to the undoing of the devil’s works as God’s people follow the Captain of the Lord’s host round about outside its formidable walls; and I see seven trumpets signaling the destruction of the kingdom of this present world BY GOD for the ushering in of the Christ’s rule and reign. For we know that there is only One Man in whom the battle is won, even the Captain of the Lord’s host (Joshua ch 5).

And one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
Behold, the Lion being of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, overcame
so as to open the scroll, and to loose its seven seals.”
(Revelation 5:5)

Yes, He is worthy! He holds the keys of hell and death, for He was the Lamb who was slain and was raised an indestructible Life, that through death He might cause to cease the one having the power of death, that is, the devil… (Heb 2:14)
…For this the Son of God was revealed: that He undo the works of the devil. (1Jn 3:8)

We have seen up to this point in Joshua that all of the fruits of the kingdom of God are brought forth in a people who walk obediently by faith. So it is the Lord who fights for us, and the degree to which we partake of His victory is in proportion to our surrender to His will for every facet of its outworking. Obedience ushers us into the flow of what God Himself is doing. Jesus has overcome the world and judged its ruler; therefore let us be found abiding in He who overcame, and He abiding in us. “Greater is HE that is IN YOU, than he (the devil) that is in the world.” (1Jn 4:4) The divine nature of which we are to partake is not only for tomorrow, but for today; for TODAY we are called to enter into His REST, which is the end of our fleshy laboring and a submitting to the Spirit’s labor, so that what Jesus has declared finished on His part may become manifest in the body of His people for the showing forth of His wisdom before all the principalities and powers.

“And you shall go around the city, all the men of battle, going around the city once;
so you shall do six days.”
(Joshua 6:3)

“And YOU shall go…” – It is not with natural eyes that they saw their Captain march before them; rather, these people walked, stood, and shouted in faith, for they were convinced that His Word not only was, but in fact IS Truth. Likewise, we also are responsible for what measure of His finished work we allow into our lives and into His body through obedient faith. The warfare we wage cannot be comprehended by the natural mind, as it is spiritual; yet none shall walk by anything except the natural mind unless they have begun to wage war by actually putting aside the self-life for obedience to the will of God. For there is no power provided where there is no active faith required. The armory of the Lord is for those whose who actually require armor because they are engaged in warfare, and not as mere victims of the darkness. The belt, the breastplate, the shoes, the shield, the helmet, and the sword are for actual use in our wrestle against principalities and powers – not to be adored in a display case of apathy. Defeat is not an option in the kingdom of God; for the Lord Himself will return wearing a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies, and He will identify His army by those whose armor is dipped in the same. May our garments of righteousness be kept white and our armor bloody! Or does not the scripture say of those who are even young in the faith, “I write to you, young men, because you HAVE overcome the evil one”? And the spirit of antichrist, the very spirit of this age, is overcome by the “little children” (1Jn 4:4)!

For the rest, my brothers, be made powerful in the LORD and in the might of HIS strength. Put on all the armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil; because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenlies. Because of this, take up all of the armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand.
Then stand firm, having girded your loins about with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod the feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the darts of the evil one, having been made fiery. Also, take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
(Ephesians 6:10-17, LITV)

The implements of our warfare as listed in Ephesians 6 should not be considered a thing for the so-called “advanced” christian, for they are the very foundational aspects of our daily walk! The basics of what ought to be normal for every child of God – and by extension for His people as a whole – is described in this scripture as the things by which our enemy is resisted and overcome. Where victory over the works of the enemy is not seen, we are not truly walking in all of these things: the belt of Truth which holds all things together, the breastplate of righteousness for the guarding of our hearts, the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace for the reaping of what HE has already sown (Joshua 2, John 4), the shield of faith for the quenching of the enemy’s intimidations, the helmet of salvation which is to have the mind of Christ, and the sword of the Spirit which is the living word of God.

And having this armory, we have no excuse not to fulfill the sufferings of our warfare, which we must endure should we be found as a bride without spot or blemish before Him in the end. There is no testimony in a people through whom the blood of the Lamb does not flow freely unto purification, nor whose armor is not bathed in the blood of the enemy. The testimony of Jesus, the first overcomer, is to become the very testimony of His body and its members; for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy, since His appearing was prophetic of His body the church, and His eternal Life now dwells in them so that they may grow into the fullness of the measure of His stature. “And they overcame him (the devil) because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of THEIR testimony. And they did not love their soul even until death.” (Rev 12:11) It is in joyous and freeing surrender to our Captain’s Lordship that the people of God quite literally walk circles around the enemy, for it becomes “NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME.” For if we become simply His vessels to be animated by His power as a conduit of His Light and Life, every step around Jericho contains the thunder of HIS feet to the weakening of its walls.

“…going around the city once; so you shall do six days.” – I am convinced that this account is also a prophecy of the warfare of His true body in the last days; and that with each pass around Jericho walking in His footsteps, a seal is broken. For our Lord is returning when He sees a HOLY bride who has ravished His heart in the pursuit of HIM at all costs, a living sacrifice purged by the fire of the Father’s heart. The breaking of the first four seals provoke the enemy to bring forth earthly tribulations through conquest, war, scarcity, and pestilence; the fifth seal breaks by the prayers of the martyrs being remembered in heaven for the avenging of their blood – and their blood shall indeed be avenged of this world; and the sixth seal is to the bringing of that very vengeance by God upon the earth-dwellers who are offended by the Lamb and persecute His own – but He has sealed the faithful (Rev 6-7). For with each pass around Jericho they are completing their obedience in the pulling down of strongholds through Him so that He may at last usher in His kingdom, in which they are finally made ready to rule and reign with Him, to revenge the disobedience of Jericho. “See, I have given Jericho and its king, mighty warriors, into your hand.” (v2) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty THROUGH GOD to the pulling down of strongholds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when YOUR obedience is fulfilled.
(2 Corinthians 10:4-6)

“And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram’s horns before the ark.
And on the seventh day you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall be, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, all the people shall shout with a great shout. And the wall of the city shall fall down flat; and the people shall go up, each man in front of him.”
(Joshua 6:4-5)

The breaking of the seventh seal is to a silence in heaven (Rev 8:1): it is selah for the cry of the contrite and humble, and the promise of continued rest in God for the faithful who endure, who are making their calling and election sure. For on that seventh day of rest they compassed the city seven times; and such labor on the seventh day was made possible and was indeed seen as righteous because it was wrought in God, for the people had entered into the land of rest, the very labors of the Spirit: for the Lord Himself IS our rest, and even our brother if we are lead by His Spirit (Rom 8:11-14). And during that silence in heaven, all the prayers of the saints are offered before God, and in that prayer is a shout – the voice and thunder of many waters by which the Lord Himself shakes all things (Micah 7-15-17). Now, in the book of Joshua we see the people shout when they hear the seventh trumpet; whereas in the Revelation given to John, the trumpets sound after the seventh seal is opened. This is because the account of John is the revelation OF Jesus which God showed HIM, so that it speaks from heaven’s perspective beyond time; whereas the account of Joshua is of His people and speaks from their perspective within time. The Lord’s faithful on earth hear the trumpets even before they sound, being quickened by His Spirit that they may hasten the Day of the Lord. For He has saved the best wine until last, by which the six earthen vessels become as ONE seventh vessel, being filled with all the fullness of HIM, ready for the Day of His marriage supper. For that Day shall break when the Spirit AND the bride say in unison, “Come.”

And the seventh angel trumpeted. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of the world became our Lord’s, even of His Christ;
and He shall reign forever and ever.”
(Revelation 11:15)

– Brendan

Joshua 3 – Part 1: Consecrate Yourselves

And Joshua rose up early in the morning. And they pulled up stakes from Shittim and came to the Jordan, he and all the sons of Israel. And they stayed there before they crossed over. And it happened, at the end of three days, the officers passed into the midst of the camp.
And they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests, and the Levites bearing it, then you shall pull up stakes from your place and shall go after it. Only, keep a distance between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. You shall not come near it, so that you may know the way in which you are to go. For you have not crossed over this way yesterday and the day before.”
And Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow Jehovah will do wonders among you.”
(Joshua 3:1-5)

The disciples had been with Jesus and seen many works of power through His hand, they had received from Him the teaching of the mystery of the kingdom, and they had just been commanded to “go therefore into all the world;” but they had need of a vital thing if they would succeed: a new Baptism, which only the Son of God having all things under His feet could baptize them with – and this they could not invoke by the flesh, but were to set themselves apart in humility for it. And just as the disciples had need to wait in Jerusalem, here the children of Israel “stayed there (by the Jordan) before they crossed over.” They needed to wait upon God, who orders everything according to HIS wisdom. To wait upon the Lord is to settle for no other method than HIS anointing.

“The one not entering through the door into the sheepfold, but going up by another way, that one is a thief and a plunderer.” And so we see in our own day the spiritual falsehood of those who lead many astray under the anointing of a different spirit: sowing to the earthly, fleshly, and demonic to the reaping of much destruction. These are the ones who “savor not the things that are of God, but rather those that are of men.” Although Peter sought for Jesus a more carnally glorious way than through death, Jesus had a death to die and suffering to endure in order to bring many sons to glory. And we also, as the ones becoming those sons, must take care that we are always passing over in Him through death which is the way of true deliverance, the narrow way of the cross. For those who enter the banquet not wearing the clean garments found only at the cross will be thrown from the King’s banquet into outer darkness; and those who have soiled their garments or traded them back for the old garments of earthly mixture (which in God’s eye is nakedness), are counted unworthy to walk with He who is able to blot their names out of the book of life.

“But when the King came in to look at the guests, He saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the King said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
(Matthew 22:11-14)

“Then remember how you received and heard, and keep, and repent. If, then, you do not watch, I will come upon you like a thief and you will not at all know what hour I come upon you. You also have a few names in Sardis which did not defile their robes, and they shall walk with Me in white because they are worthy. The one overcoming, THIS one shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not at all blot his name out of the Book of Life; and I will acknowledge his name before My Father, and before His angels.”
(Revelation 3:3-5)

“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is the one watching and KEEPING his garments, that he does not walk naked, and they may see his shame.”
(Revelation 16:15)

Now this new generation of Israelites had come to edge of the wilderness, having passed beyond where their fathers had fallen; yet they still required their own experience of crossing over, having need of entering into His rest. It is not enough that they should look upon and admire the promise from far away. The works of inheriting the kingdom begin upon entering into His rest; where we may find rest from our labors and walk from faith to faith in the labors of the Holy Spirit. It is by HIS power that our life can become a revelation of God’s righteousness, a life after His own design, in which “the righteous demand of the Law might be fulfilled in us, those walking not according to flesh, but according to Spirit.” (Rom 8:4) The baptism of repentance is meant to be one of the death of the old man so that we might be raised to the newness of this true life in the Spirit!

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
(Matthew 3:13-17)

“But the ones waiting for Jehovah shall renew power; they shall go up with wings as the eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint!” (Isa 40:31) The wind upon which the sons of God will mount as eagles is that of the Holy Spirit, who “breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice; but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone having been generated from the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8)… “Because everything having been generated of God overcomes the world” (1 Jn 5:4)… So let us also, having seen and heard the pattern of things in His teaching, likewise come before the river Jordan; consecrating ourselves for usefulness in the hands of He who desires to lead His people in the true form of that life in the Spirit in which Jesus Himself walked, and so be given the power to ever more become the sons of God.

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow Jehovah will do wonders among you.”
To consecrate something is to separate or set it apart for a specific use, to surrender all of its possible functions to one purpose or to the disposal of one master. A separation must be made from the former things for the children to move into the coming things. The degree to which we do not cast aside every weight and the entanglements of sin is the degree to which we find the Spirit of God unable to lead us further into the land. The dove which Noah sent from the ark would not place its clean feet for very long on the decaying rafts of filth that the ravens were happy to feed upon; but it always returned to the same dry abode until it could find another. How appropriate I find it therefore, that the children will cross over Jordan into His rest upon dry ground – this is the way of the Spirit! He will remain in power upon those who give themselves over to His purposes according to the call of His voice.

The time just before this crossing was surely a time for the testing of the people’s trust, just as it was for those who crossed the Red Sea in dismay, and afterwards fell in the disobedience of unbelief still coveting this present world, the riches of Egypt. But these children were now to cross into the land of rest having hope beforehand, trusting in the Faithful One who was very present to lead them. Those who throw themselves obediently upon His gracious provision by faith are those who will be found walking by the Spirit; since they know that they desperately need His hand to move should anything He requires of them ever be truly accomplished. And if we have been made a kingdom of priests, even the very temple of the living God (and we have), then we each also carry with us the ark of the covenant – the implanted Word within it, and the seat of His glory upon it: so that His glory in us might become manifest through us as we learn to walk after the Spirit of Christ, whose blood was sprinkled upon it to consecrate this dwelling place of God (Lev 16:14-15). For the implanted Word is a Seed which requires the constant input of the living waters of the Holy Spirit so that it might grow into a great tree. By this the presence of the Lord in His people’s midst will be made known.

And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and go before the people.” And they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. And Jehovah said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to make you great in the eyes of all Israel, so that they shall know that as I was with Moses, so I am with you.”
(Joshua 3:6-7)

– Brendan

Joshua 1 – Part 1: The Obedience of Faith

“…But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed…”
– Hebrews 10:39

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
(Joshua 1:1-5)

The land was indeed promised to the children of Israel, and God always spoke of it as being their inheritance; but the children had to actually enter into His rest that they might tread upon its soil and so truly inherit the things therein.

They were promised that no man would stand before them – but only if they moved in obedience after HE who went before them to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies, who would not otherwise have feared them. What they hoped for in the promise needed to become substance; and that which was yet unseen had to be known in essence. And this is only possible by faith: that heavenly currency which the hearers of the Word find is all they truly have when they see that every other means is worthless in God’s kingdom. And by faith we have need to enter into His rest even while here on earth; for it is the place of resting from our own labors and from striving in the flesh, walking obediently instead in the fruitful labors of the very Spirit of God. For whatever we are found obeying, to that we are truly enslaved (Rom 6). Many suppose that because they have been promised something, they have therefore already entered into its substance – but didn’t Jesus say to us, “to whom much is given, much more will be required”? And since He has provided ALL that is needed for life and Godliness, what excuse will anyone have who does not obey the upward call, empowered by the Spirit who gives the power for His righteousness to be revealed in them? “He became sin who knew no sin that we might BECOME the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” So where is the becoming? Or where is the obedience of faith, in which is discovered the Holy Spirit’s unction unto this becoming? That which we do not enter into now, we will not enter into at His return; and that which we have not begun to inherit now, we will not inherit more of in the coming kingdom.

For we have become partakers of Christ, if truly we hold the beginning of the assurance firm to the end; as in the saying, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation.” For hearing, some provoked Him, but not all those coming out of Egypt through Moses. But with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with the ones sinning (present tense), whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did “He swear” “they would not enter into His rest,” except to those not obeying? And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
(Hebrews 3:14-19)

To obey the conviction and words of the Spirit is to submit to the will and power of He who gives more grace, by which we may abide in Him. It was to no avail for the previous generation that they had escaped Egypt, since they were still afterward destroyed for their hard hearts of unbelief in disobeying His voice (Jude 1:5).
So if the children will become grown sons, then they must continue to walk in submission to the same Spirit which bare them: not only by whom they can know all truth and 
delight in the law of the Lord which He has written upon their hearts; but also by whose power the righteous requirement of that law might be fulfilled in them! (Romans 7-8)

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.
(Joshua 1:6-8)

In the keeping of His word we see at work the power of God unto salvation. But many will say, “I have already known this power of God, because I have been saved and forgiven.” That is very well; but from what and to what are you saved, and are you even now being kept by the power of God? Is there any sin which still entangles, or hindrance that still weighs? God would have you free! For Paul speaks of the gospel of Christ not only as that which you once received; but also as that in which you ought now to be standing and by which you are continually to be being saved” (1 Cor 15:1-2). The writer of Hebrews speaks of Jesus our intercessor as desiring and being able to save us to the uttermost!
This is the language of inheriting the reward of what has been promised, even by the power of the One who promised it.

Peter wrote that we are saved
“TO an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

And have these final fruits of this salvation yet been revealed? Certainly not! But that for which we hope, we wait for with patience – yet not as ones falling asleep and missing the appearing of the bridegroom; but rather as those having kept their lamps full of Oil, having walked obediently by His divine power through faith. For the gospel is not merely a declaration over us, but is actually in substance the very power of God unto the inheritance of this full salvation to them that believe! And to believe is always a continuing thing which produces the fruit of faith unto God. We have not been reconciled to linger in inactivity regarding that which is promised, falling short of the command for which He empowers obedience – that is truly to deny God’s grace through faithlessness! We have been called to go and inherit that which has been entrusted to us – which is absolutely possible through the Spirit whom He gives to those that obey Him (Acts 5:38)!

To enter into the “rest” of God is to enter into the labors of that Spirit of life, having crossed over from the wilderness land which is dominated by the law of sin and death because of the weakness of the flesh. And as speaking to this crossing over into rest and inheritance, the account of Joshua was only a type and shadow; but through Christ Jesus we have the truest form by the power of the Holy Spirit to enter into the and inherit the kingdom of God.

The true gospel of Christ is the very power of God by which His righteousness may be revealed in those who live from faith to faith. This means that there are always greater depths of faith yet to be walked in for further progression into His land of promise: which He indeed expects of us, and for which He will enable us if we are faithful in that with which we have already been entrusted. He WILL perform it if we will walk in the part which He has given us. He who promised is faithful! As He said, “so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

“This is the work of God, that you believe…”

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
(Jude 1:5)

“Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”

“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.”
(Joshua 1:9)

– Brendan