GIANTS IN THE LAND
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
"And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance." Genesis 15:13-14
God kept His promise to Abraham. Israel was delivered from the land of Egypt and their Egyptian bondage. Jesus is our deliverer. He has promised to deliver His people from their land of bondage also. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16
Jesus prepared the way for man to be delivered from their land of bondage. The bondage on God's people is sin and death. Jesus has gone on before and entered into our promise land, the Kingdom of God which flows with milk and honey. He proclaimed:
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2
The word mansion is the Greek word MONE and means "dwelling place." The Father's house is His Spiritual Kingdom. Jesus has gone before us to show us the way and prepare our place in the Father's Spiritual Kingdom. This is where we will dwell with Him for all eternity. Jesus continued:
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3
Jesus has promised to come again and receive us unto Himself, so that where He is, there we may be also. He spoke nothing of going anywhere when He returned to receive His chosen unto Himself. He is returning to set up His Spiritual Kingdom on the earth. His chosen will rule and reign with Him for one thousand years. This is when the meek, as Jesus promised, shall inherit the earth, Matthew 5:5.
The word meek means "gentleness of spirit." It is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. The meek are not occupied with self at all. Those whom God has called out of their land of bondage will enter into their promise land, the Kingdom of God, because they have totally dealt with self, self-interest, and self-rule.
In the second year of Israel's wanderings they came to Kadesh-barnea. The word Kadesh means "set apart for a purpose." The word Barnea is made up of two Hebrew syllables: BAR which means "son of" and NEA which means "wandering." Kadesh-barnea therefore means "son of wandering set apart for a purpose."
Kadesh-barnea was where Israel was to enter into their promise land. Many scholars believe Kadesh-barnea was only about a two to six week journey from where Israel came out of Egypt. It is evident that God never intended a long journey for the children of Israel. While encamped at Kadesh-barnea, God told Moses to pick one man from each tribe to go in and spy out the land:
"And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes." Numbers 13:18-20
The spies were to cross the River Jordan to enter into the land God had promised them. God promised it would be a land flowing with milk and honey. The Jordan is symbolic of the river of death. All those crossing Jordan must overcome death that they may enter into life on the other side.
Sending out the spies was a test for Israel in faith and obedience. God knew what they would find in the land. But would Israel have faith to act upon God's Word in blind obedience, or would they be plagued with doubt and fear?
"And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak were." Numbers 13:22
When the spies came to Hebron they found the children of Anak. Anak and his children were a family of giants, men of great stature and strength. God had promised Israel from the beginning that their land would be a land flowing with milk and honey. Now they were in the land, and one of the first things they discovered was giants in their land. On returning, the spies could only exclaim in fear, "We were as grasshoppers in their sight", Numbers 13:33.
From Hebron, the spies came to the valley of Eschol. There they cut down one cluster of grapes which was so heavy laden with fruit that it took two men to carry them on a pole. They also brought back figs and pomegranates. Israel's spies were in the land forty days. When they returned they did not speak of the fertile soil that could produce such abundant crops. Neither did they see the rivers that would water their land or the beautiful trees with which they could build their homes. All they could see were the giants in their promise land. The spies admitted the land was truly a land flowing with milk and honey, but their faith in the promises of God fell short. Their report continued:
"Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan." Numbers 13:28-29
The spies of Israel were like the church system today. They speak little about the promises of God, His glory, or His power. All they want to talk about is the devil and his power, how every trial in their lives come from the devil. Every failure in their walk is blamed on the devil.
The devil was only one of the giants in their land. The spies that returned were filled with fear. The church system is plagued with fear and unbelief. Fear is the inevitable result of disobedience. Anyone who fears is walking in disobedience to God's Word. There were two of the spies that returned who were not walking in fear. They were Caleb and Joshua. Caleb stepped forward:
"And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." Numbers 13:30
Caleb was ready to go and possess the land because he knew the promises of God. Caleb believed fully that God would destroy all those nations that possessed their land. Because Caleb fully followed the Lord with no fear, God made him a promise:
"But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it." Numbers 14:24
Caleb had another Spirit with him. He had the Spirit of overcoming. No matter the price he did not operate in the spirit of fear. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul declared:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7
Fear is a spirit that does not come from God. Therefore we can deal with fear. It need not control our lives anymore. Caleb saw the giants, but he knew the promise of God, and was ready to act upon it because he had another Spirit.
Caleb was a voice that was crying in the wilderness of confusion and fear. The people did not heed Caleb because they did not want to hear. They closed their ears, and believed the wrong spirit.
As the Lord spoke of Caleb, "He followed Me fully", Numbers 14:24. Those who have dealt with the giants in their land believe God's promises and follow Him fully. These will enter into their promise land, the Kingdom of God, by overcoming fear and becoming totally obedient to the Word of God.
The name Caleb means "dog." This is the name the Israelites called the Gentiles. Caleb was of the tribe of Judah. The name JUDAH means "he shall be praised." There was another spy who, as Caleb, brought back a good report of the land. His name was Joshua. The name Joshua means "Jehovah is our salvation." The Greek rendering of Joshua is Jesus. Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim which means "double fruitfulness." Those who will enter into their promise land are those Gentile nations who have entered into God's complete plan of salvation through Christ Jesus. They are those who have received the Double Portion Anointing and have become a praise unto their God. [see "The Greater Works Anointing" by George Kirkpatrick]
Moses sent out twelve spies. Ten of the spies refused to enter in to possess the land. These ten spies were as many today who have a vision of their promise land, but refuse to enter in and take it. These, as the ten spies, will die in the wilderness. Because of their fear and unbelief, the ten spies convinced the whole congregation to rebel against God and His promises to His nation, Israel:
"And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt? or would God we had died in this wilderness." Numbers 14:1-2
This sounds very familiar. Today as soon as any mention is made of trouble, hardship, or tribulation the people begin to mourn, weep, and murmur. They begin to cry, "O Lord, come quickly and take me home. Get me out of this mess!" Teachings promising such things have become very popular because the people do not want to face the giants in their land. Overcoming is the furthest thing from their mind. Being in slavery to sin is better than facing the giants of fear, doubt, and unbelief in their lives. It is easier to blame their failure upon the devil, then to allow the overcoming Spirit to rule and reign in their lives. Many try to hide the giants in their land, but they can't hide them. They are evident to everyone except those who won't face them.
Israel wanted to appoint leaders to lead them back to Egypt and the mud pits. They were willing to return as government slaves rather than to enter their place that God had promised Abraham from the beginning. Today many Christians choose to accept government hand-outs instead of taking their proper place in God and believing he will meet all their needs according to His riches in glory, Philippians 4:19.
When Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb tried to convince the people to go in and possess their land, the people wanted to stone them. Today when the message proclaimed says we must change to be acceptable unto our God, the answer is, "Nay, God accepts us exactly as we are." That is true, God does accept us as we are, but only so He can change us to bring us into His image and likeness, so that we may be acceptable in His sight. Like Israel, many today will not move. As He did with Israel, God must pronounce judgment on those who will not move:
"Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against Me," Numbers 14:29
"And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness." Numbers 14:33
God's judgment was two fold: first, they would wander in the wilderness for forty years, a year for every day the spies were in the land; and secondly, all those over twenty years of age would die in the wilderness. This was a dear price to pay for those who failed to deal with their fear, doubt, unbelief, and disobedience. God dealt with the ten spies that brought fear upon the people immediately:
"Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord." Numbers 14:37
There are those today teaching God's people a message of peace and prosperity. They proclaim that God's people will enter into the Kingdom with their pockets full, and without any problems or change. God will deal with these false prophets as He dealt with the spies whose fears, doubt, and unbelief kept the children of Israel from entering into their land. When Moses told the people the judgment that God had pronounced, the people decided to enter in on their own:
"And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised: for we have sinned." Numbers 14:40
Israel could not believe God's promises, but they did believe His judgment. They had learned what Paul wrote to the church at Rome,
"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin," Romans 14:23.
Like many today, Israel tried to enter in by their own strength. They believed confessing their sin was all that was necessary to become pleasing again in the sight of God. But there was no change in their thinking. They simply feared the wilderness more than they feared the giants in their land.
God's people continually forget that God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. God does not listen to our mouth. He checks our thoughts. Our mouths or actions do not fool God. We can only be pleasing in His sight when we have a change of heart. Our thinking process must change.
When Israel declared they would go in and possess the land, they were just as rebellious as they were when they wanted to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb. Israel failed to heed Moses' warning of trying to enter into the land by their own strength. Because of this God's judgment began on Israel that day:
"Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah." Numbers 14:45
Many Israelites died that day because of their rebellious hearts. All who were over twenty years of age died in the wilderness. Only their children entered into the promise land:
"And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them." Deuteronomy 2:14
That whole generation had to perish before God would bring the people again to Kadesh-barnea. During that thirty-eight years Miriam and Aaron died. Moses died in perfect health. Moses could not enter in because he, too, had rebelled against God. God told Moses to speak to the rock that it might bring forth water for the people, but Moses struck the rock. Because of this disobedience God's judgment was upon Moses. He would not be permitted to enter into the promise land.
In all the tribes of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb were over sixty years of age when it came time to enter in as God had promised. He had raised up a new people to enter into His promise land. His original people were not worthy because of fear, doubt, and unbelief which always led to their rebellion.
God brought His people again to Kadesh-barnea. They had wandered for thirty-eight years south of Kadesh-barnea in what is referred to as the "Iron Furnace." During this time God dealt with the rebellion that was in His people. Korah rebelled against God's leadership, and because of this two hundred and fifty people died. Miriam and Aaron questioned Moses' leadership, and Miriam was set without the camp seven days to be cleansed of leprosy. When the whole congregation rebelled against Moses and Aaron, God sent a plague that killed fourteen thousand and seven hundred. The people rebelled again, and God sent poisonous serpents among them. Much of Israel died at this time because of snake bites. God spoke through Moses:
"Because all those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice;" Numbers 14:22
Israel rebelled against God and His leadership ten times, which caused the death of tens of thousands of those whom God had delivered from their slavery in Egypt. Now, God again had brought His people to Kadesh-barnea to enter into their promise land. These, too, had to be prepared to cross Jordan, the river of death. Everyone who will enter into the Kingdom of God must overcome the river of death in their life.
There was yet one more separation that would take place before Israel could enter into their promise land. Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh did not desire to cross the river of death to enter into their promise land. They desired their inheritance in the land of Gilead and Bashan. Like so many today, they were willing to settle for what they could see. The lust of their eyes was fulfilled, and that lust was too great for them to enter into God's promise.
Today many who are called by God's name are satisfied with the things of this life. They want nothing to change. Like Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh, they are willing to settle on this side of Jordan, not desiring to partake of God's promise land, the Kingdom of God. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I Corinthians 15:19
Those who refuse to deal with the river of death have refused to die to self. They have refused to put off the old man. Because of this, the new man created in righteousness and true holiness, cannot come forth. Those who have developed this mind set in their walk with God must be separated out before the waters of the river of death can be parted. Only then can we cross the river of death and be changed. No longer will the grave be necessary to consume the body and turn it to dust. Only then will mortality become immortality. Only then will this corruptible body inherit incorruption.
Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh had forsaken their hope in God. Again they failed to enter in, and as a people they were eventually wasted out of the land and consumed by the heathen. In order for Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh to receive their inheritance it was necessary for them to help their brothers rid their land. Only when Israel's promise land was cleared and safe to inhabit, were these tribes permitted to return to Gilead to their families to develop their inheritance.
Israel was camped at Kadesh-barnea for some time. This new generation had to be taught God's law and His ways. It was explained again what was expected of them when they entered into their promise land. All the males that had not been circumcised had to be circumcised. Those who had been circumcised had to be circumcised again. As we view this Spiritually, God is referring to the removing of all flesh from our thinking. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29
God's circumcision takes place in the heart (mind) and spirit. He continues to cut away the flesh until the headship of Christ is exposed in our lives. When this preparation was completed, Israel was ready to cross Jordan, the river of death. Again Israel sent spies into the land. This time Joshua sent two spies, instead of twelve. These two, again, had to cross the Jordan. These were men who had overcome fear, doubt, and unbelief in their lives.
We must consider what these men had to face. Had the giants died out? Had the enemy they feared forty years earlier been diminished? No! They had multiplied. They were better armed, and better prepared. But God intervened in Israel's behalf and sent fear into the heart of the enemy. This was the report the two spies brought, as fearfully reported by Rahab:
"And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed."
And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." Joshua 2:9-11
Rahab informed Israel that God had prepared their way of entering in. Israel had been prepared. The rebellion in their midst had been dealt with. The fear upon Israel was placed upon the enemy. Time had turned Israel's unbelief into faith and courage to do as the Lord directed.
"And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore." Joshua 3:1-4
There was a three day waiting period before Israel could enter into their promise land. Israel was to follow the Ark of the Covenant about two thousand cubits. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos that a cubit is the measure of a man. As we view Spiritually what God spoke to Joshua, we know that man measures time in hours, days, months, and years. So we will follow our Ark of the Covenant about two thousand cubits, or about two thousand years. Who is our Ark of the Covenant? The Father revealed unto John:
"And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." I John 2:2
The word translated propitiation is the Greek word HILASTERION and means "mercy seat." The Mercy Seat was the covering on the Ark of the Covenant. Christ Jesus is our Mercy Seat, our Ark of the Covenant. As God revealed unto Joshua, those who are prepared on the third day will enter into their promise land. God has made the same promise to Spiritual Israel. Those who have their eyes on the Ark of the Covenant, Christ Jesus, will enter into the promise land, the Kingdom of God in the third day.
Jesus has preceded us about two thousand years, or two days. As Peter stated: "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day, II Peter 3:8. Our third day is directly ahead of us. Joshua informed Israel, " . . .ye have not passed this way heretofore", Joshua 3:4. Paul revealed to the church at Corinth:
"But as it was written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him," I Corinthians 2:9
Man's mind cannot imagine what God has planned for those who love Him - - - those who have dealt with self, doubt, fear, and unbelief - - - those who have been circumcised in their heart (mind) and spirit - - - those to whom the headship of Christ has been uncovered in their lives.
God informed Israel to not only have their eyes on the ark, but they were to have their eyes on the priests that bear the ark. God still has those priests whom He has ordained to bear His ark. Those priests bear the truth of the Word of God. They proclaim His prophetic, life-changing Word that will prepare a people who will enter in to possess the Kingdom. God told Israel, "Keep your eyes on these priests."
It has been about two thousand cubits (years) since our ark entered into the river of death and overcame death for all mankind. Paul informed the church at Corinth:
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." I Corinthians 15:26
Death is the enemy of all mankind. Yet many Christians put all their hope in dying to be with the Lord. What is wrong with being in His presence while we live? This is what He promised. He said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5. Jesus stated:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
If the church is gathered together in God's name, why is He not in their midst? Mostly it is because He is not welcome. Their precepts and doctrines do not allow Him to move freely in their midst. The writer of Hebrews addressed death when he wrote:
"And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:15
It is the fear of death that has held God's people in bondage all their lifetime. It is because they have not dealt with that river of death that runs through their life. God spoke to Joshua and stated, "Ye have never passed this way before."
Thomas asked Jesus, "How can we know the way?" Jesus made the way clear to Thomas and all mankind:
"Jesus saith unto Him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6
Jesus is the way. We have never gone this way before, because we have not followed the example that He left. We must follow His example if we are going to get to where the Father is, and return to our created place in God. Most Christians will say, "I could never be like Jesus." If this is true in their lives, then they have not found the way.
There came a day when Israel was to cross the Jordan. They were going the way man had never gone before. There is coming a day when God will again take His people a way they have not gone before. God spoke through Isaiah:
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19
God is preparing a way for us in the wilderness to overcome all the disobedience, rebellion, fear, unbelief, and religious confusion. Our wilderness journey can begin today if we will only read, hear, and heed God's Word. Isaiah further proclaimed:
"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." Isaiah 35:8
The way is called the "way of holiness", and the unclean shall not pass over it. Those who have not been washed by the water of the Word are unclean. They have not been cleansed from all their unrighteousness. They are still dwelling in their filthy garments. These will not be part of the new thing that God is doing in the earth. Circumcision must be complete in our lives, and the headship of Christ must be evident.
God has promised to make rivers in the desert. The desert is our dry place. When we are in a dry place we can partake of the river of life by simply opening His Word.
When it came time for Israel to cross the Jordan there was no murmuring, complaining, or unbelief. They were a people prepared to face any enemy because they, too, had another Spirit. They had come into the overcoming Spirit of God. Joshua informed the people:
"And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap." Joshua 3:13
This would be the second time that God had parted the waters for Israel. The waters would stand up in a heap, just as they did at the Red Sea:
"And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest)," Joshua 3:15
As we view God's Word we must always look for the Spiritual meaning and apply it to our lives and allow it to wash us clean. Israel crossed the Jordan in the time of harvest. Jesus revealed the harvest is the end of the world, Matthew 13:39. The word world is the Greek word AION and should have been translated "age." Therefore the harvest time is the end of the age. We are nearing the end of the Age of Grace. The Kingdom Age is about to begin.
The Jordan (the river of death) was overflowing all its banks. As we come to the end of the age, we see death raging in every area of the world. Today new incurable diseases kill tens of thousands before man finds the cause. New diseases are discovered that do not even have names. Old diseases, such as the bubonic plague are reappearing. Many fever diseases are again plaguing mankind. These are causing fear and multiplied deaths. Science is discovering new strains of cancer. One in three will get some form of cancer. Because of the stress of life, heart attacks and strokes are increasing every year. It was Jesus who spoke of the end of the age, and proclaimed:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth..." Luke 21:26
Heart attacks and strokes kill and cripple thousands, perhaps millions, each year. What is termed "accidental death" is on the rise. The numbers from these deaths cannot be counted. Many are not even reported. Violent crimes cause many deaths, killing thousands, perhaps millions each year. Drug related murders increase each year. Warfare; one third of the earth is at war in one way or another. Civil wars, drug wars, tribal wars, nation again nation, kill only God knows how many.
Suicides are happening at an unheard of rate by teenagers and pre-teens who are victims of broken homes and abusive parents. These have no hope. Deaths instigated by Rock and Roll music of every sort, including what is called "Christian rock" are killing thousands of our young. Many of our old are neglected, and those who are just tired of living find suicide an easy way out. Many of those in the prime of life are committing suicide because of stress. Unable to cope with the lifestyles they have created for themselves and their families, these find that ending their life seems an easy solution. The river of death is truly raging.
Here, at the end of the age, death from causes that did not exist fifty years ago are raging because man has turned their backs on God. Their children are not being taught His ways. Every generation becomes more degenerate. The Psalmist declared:
"The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:2-3
God is crying out to His people to turn back to Him. In writing to Timothy, Paul proclaimed the condition of the people as we come to the end of the age:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." II Timothy 3:13
As we witness the Word of God being fulfilled in these areas of man's existence, we begin to understand what God is showing us in the types and shadows of Israel entering into their promise land. When Israel crossed the Jordan, the river of death, the waters of death stood in an heap:
"That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho." Joshua 3:16
The word city here does not refer to a large group of people dwelling together. It means "a guarded place, an entrenchment, or encampment." Sin is entrenched in the heart of many people. This entrenchment has become their guarded place. No one is allowed to touch that place. It is out of bounds because man enjoys his sin. Death continues to rage in their lives.
The waters of Jordan stood in an heap all the way back to the city of Adam that is beside Zaretan. The word Zaretan means "distress, a feeling of hopelessness." The name Adam means "man." Where does the river of death flow from? It flows from Adam, from man's original sin. God told Adam that in the day he partook of the mixed fruit of good and evil, he would surely die, Genesis 2:17. Man remains in his hopeless state because he has not applied the life of Christ to his life. In his letter to Rome, Paul proclaimed:
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Romans 5:12
The river of death is raging because of the sinful nature of man which he has refused to deal with.
When the priests, those who were chosen to bear the ark, touched the water, the water parted and Israel crossed on dry land. Paul reminded the Corinthians about the circumstances surrounding Israel when they crossed the Red Sea:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." I Corinthians 10:1-2
The waters of the Red Sea had stood in an heap on both sides of Israel. When they passed through the sea, they were baptized unto Moses and the law. This time Joshua would lead them through the Jordan, the river of death. This represents our baptism in Jesus Christ. Paul related:
"Know ye not, that so many of as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?" Romans 6:3
When we are baptized, we are baptized into His death. At this time we begin dealing with the river of death in our life which is one of the giants in our land. Paul continued:
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6
We go through baptism to crucify the old man. Baptism is, or should be, a continuing process in our life to crucify the flesh. Peter gave us another reason why baptism is so important in our lives:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
God has promised when we repent and are baptized, we shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. God gave Israel specific instructions when they crossed the Jordan:
"And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:" Joshua 4:5
As Israel was crossing the Jordan, a man from each tribe was to take up a stone out of the Jordan; not a pebble but a stone, which they were to carry on their shoulders, one stone for each tribe: twelve stones. Also as the people were passing over Jordan...
"And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day." Joshua 4:9
Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan where the priests that bear the ark stood. God reveals that those twelve stones are there unto this day. Joshua built a memorial to those things we must leave in the river of death and not take into our promise land, the Kingdom of God. Paul addressed the twelve things in his letter to Colosse:
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" Colossians 3:5
The word mortify means "to kill off." Paul gave a list of the giants in our land that must be killed off in our lives.
1 Kill off our earthly members or earthly desires
2 Kill off fornication
3 Kill off uncleanness
4 Kill off inordinate affection (depraved passion)
5 Kill off evil concupiscence (evil desires and cravings)
6 Kill off covetousness which is idolatry
These six things must be killed off in our lives. Paul revealed:
"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:" Colossians 3:6
Those who fail to kill off these in their lives are children of disobedience, and can expect to partake of the wrath of God when it comes. Paul continued with what must be put off in our lives:
"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds." Colossians 3:8-9
1 Put off anger
2 Put off wrath
3 Put off malice
4 Put off blasphemy
5 Put off filthy communication
6 Put off lying
When these six are added to the things we must kill off, then we have the twelve things that must be left in the Jordan, the river of death. These are the giants in our land that cannot be taken into our promise land. Joshua's memorial is still there to remind us...
". . . that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:5
As Paul related, "We must put off the old man with his deeds, Colossians 3:9.
Israel was to leave these twelve stones in the Jordan. They were to also collect and carry twelve stones out of the Jordan to their camp. These too were laid up as a memorial. When the time came and their children would ask, "What do these stones mean?", they were to answer them. . .
". . . the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." Joshua 4:7
This memorial was to be there for the children of Israel forever. Some twenty-four hundred years later, Jesus was to go down into that same river. When He came out the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove, and He became the Christ, the anointed of the Father.
Peter informed all who would hear and read, "Repent and be baptized and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost", Acts 2:38.
Paul revealed to the church at Colosse the things that had to be added to their life through the Holy Spirit anointing:
". . .Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:" Colossians 3:10
Our promise land, the Kingdom of God, is for those who have put on the new man. The old man must be destroyed in the wilderness, the iron furnace of affliction. Paul continued that we must:
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:12-15
Paul gave a partial list to the church at Colosse of the twelve things that will be added to in our life when we come out of the river of death in baptism. These things must be put on through the Holy Spirit anointing in our life:
1 We must have bowels of mercy (compassion)
3 Humbleness of mind
6 We must have forbearance and forgiveness
7 Charity (agape love)
To the list Paul gave to the Colossians, we can add:
These are the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Joshua informed Israel these would be a memorial to Israel forever. These are the eternal gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those who enter into the Kingdom of God will possess these for all eternity. These twelve gifts are the possessions of the new man who is created after righteousness and true holiness.
God had prepared Israel in the iron furnace to enter in and possess the land. Their rebellion had been dealt with. All rebellion died in the wilderness. The circumcision had been completed. God's ways had been re-established in those who would possess the land. Today God is preparing a people to go in and possess His Kingdom. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who will possess the promises of God:
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10
Those whom God has chosen to possess His land are in the furnace of affliction being refined as pure gold. God has brought them into His circumcision where the flesh is being removed from their thinking. Their flesh no longer hinders the move of His Spirit. These, who as Paul, will proclaim:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Until the crucifixion of the old man is complete, the baptism of water is not complete in our lives, because the river of death has not been totally dealt with and the man of sin has not been destroyed. The man of sin in each of us only serves self. God is forced to settle for second best in our lives. The flesh does not want us to deal with the giants in the land. We know that God is our victor, but we would rather coexist with the giants, than cast them out of our land.
It was said of Caleb, that he had another Spirit, Numbers 14:24. Caleb had an overcoming spirit. Caleb had viewed the land. He had seen the giants. Now he was the oldest man in Israel. What was his proclamation when it was time to enter into the promise land?
"Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims (giants) were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said." Joshua 14:12
Caleb believed God. Caleb acted upon His Word. He proclaimed, "...as the Lord said. . ." He knew his flesh was weak. He knew he was old. But none of these things deterred him from the God's promises and the Word of God. His vision of the land flowing with milk and honey never dimmed.
We need to check our vision of God's promises today as we journey to our promise land, the Kingdom of God. Are we destined to die in the wilderness because we will not deal with the rebellion, unbelief, and fear in our life? Will we be as Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Mannaseh who chose to dwell in Gilead and Bashan, rather then to have our possession in the Kingdom of God? Or will we be like Caleb who declare, "Bring on the giants, and give me my mountain, the Kingdom of God, which He has promised from the beginning?"
Are you ready to face the giant of change, or are you willing to dwell peacefully with the giants and never know the victory God has already performed in your life? God is trying to get His people's attention. What will it take for God to get your attention? Are His promises, His Word, and His testimony enough, or will it take His judgment on the rebellious, the faithless, and the fearful before we are ready to face the giants?
Joshua was the second oldest man in Israel. His mind was also set. Nothing would deter him from entering into God's promises to possess the land. Joshua led God's people to victory and the people were given a charge. This charge is for God's people today:
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
All God's people have the same choice to make today. Ancient Israel was given the choice to serve the Lord or to serve the gods which their fathers served on the other side of the flood; or, they could serve the god of the Amorites. We need to know that every false god that was ever worshipped by man is on the earth today. We also need to know that God destroyed those who worshipped those gods with the flood. The Amorites were also destroyed out of their land by the Israelites. God gave them the land of the Amorites because the Amorites worshipped the same false gods their fathers worshipped on the other side of the flood. God's testimony is that He will destroy those today who worship these same false gods.
This was not for Joshua. He declared that not only was he going to serve the Lord, but all of his house. No giants would be allowed to raise up in his house to occupy the place reserved for God alone.
Are there any giants dwelling in your land whom you refuse to face? Will you allow these giants to keep you out of your promise land, the Kingdom of God? The Lord is returning to inhabit a land that is without spot or wrinkle, one that is holy and without blemish.
It is time to spy out the land and deal with the giants that inhabit our land. We are the generation God has ordained to enter in and possess His promise land, the Kingdom of God.
Spiritual Growth II
What Do I Need To Put Off
Alphabetical Titles Link Page
Separate Us From God?
Man Of Sin
The Two Nations of the Mind
The Enemy of God
Pulling the Lion's Teeth
Blessings and Cursings
Harden Not Your Heart
Thorns and Thistles
Sowing and Reaping
Kill Off, Put Off, and Put On
Revile Not Again
Do No Violence
Purged With Hyssop
The Unfulfilled, Unhappy Life of Solomon
Weighed in the Balances
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Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give