Moses is Dead – Joshua 1:1-9

 

Summary:

Joshua was Moses’ “minister” (v.1), the man he picked to defeat the first enemy Israel encountered (Ex.17:9-13). That made him the natural choice to succeed Moses, for Israel’s next leader would have to be a warrior to rid the Promised Land of the seven Canaanite nations (Deut.7:1). From the beginning, Moses associated himself with Joshua (Ex.24:12, 13) to prepare the Jews to accept his leadership later.

Joshua was one of the 12 men Moses sent to spy out the land, and one of only two who remembered God said they could conquer the Canaanites if they obeyed Him (Lev.26:8; Num. 13:1—14:8). So only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to live to enter Canaan (Num.32:11,12), and of them God picked Joshua to lead Israel, and Moses ordained him in Numbers 27:18-20. Then Moses charged him to lead Israel into Canaan (Deut.31:7,8), and the Jews accepted him (Deut.34:9).

Joshua and Moses were types of Christ. Moses was a type of Christ in His earthly life. He is called God’s servant (Josh. 1:1,2), as was Christ (Isa.42:1-3). Innocent Hebrew boys were slaughtered when both Moses & Christ were born. Both were meek, and both left riches behind to enrich their people. But Joshua became a type of Christ in His resurrection life when he vanquished the seven Canaanite nations, a type of how Christ in His resurrection life will vanquish the seven nations aligned with Antichrist (Rev.17:1-10).

Joshua’s name even means Jesus (cf.Heb.4:8), because both names mean “Jehovah Savior.” But Christ couldn’t be Israel’s Savior till he died for their sins, just as Joshua could not save Israel from the Canaanites until Moses died for his.

But to bring Israel into Canaan, they’d have to cross Jordan (Josh.1:2). When God parted it, as He had the Red Sea (Josh.3:17), both partings typify how the Lord will someday part them again to lead Israel into their kingdom (Isa.11:15).

In Joshua 1:3,4, God quotes what He said to Moses (Deut.11: 24) to describe a land nearly 50,000 square miles bigger than the current state of Israel. It’s the land God promised Abram (Gen.15:18), and Israel will fully possess it in the kingdom.

God knew Joshua knew the giants lived in Canaan, because he’d seen them (Num.13:33), so he told him that “not any man” could resist him (Josh.1:5), as He told Moses (Deut.7: 24). God vowed to be with Joshua (1:5), just as He promises Tribulation saints (Heb.13:5) so they won’t fear men (v.6).

Moses told Joshua to “be strong” (Deut.31:7), and God quotes that to Joshua (Josh.1:6). He meant strong in the law (Josh.1:7). Physical strength couldn’t topple the walls of Jericho, but being strong in the law would enable God to do it! Remember, He promised He would conquer Israel’s enemies “if” they obeyed Him (Lev.26:3,8; Deut.11:8).

That’s how God promised to “prosper” Joshua if he obeyed (Josh.1:7,8), by beating the Canaanites. Not letting the law depart out of his mouth (1:8) meant reading it aloud so people could hear and learn to obey it (cf.Deut.31:11,12).

God doesn’t promise to prosper us if we obey Him, but obedience is the only proper response to grace. Meditating on the Word (Josh.1:8) will help us obey, and be a good testimony to others (ITim.4:14). It will also give us the “good success” God promised Joshua (Josh.1:8). “Success” just means a termination, whether good or bad. We think of all success as good, but then to say “good success” would be redundant. If you want to come to the termination of your life and be able to say you enjoyed good success in your life, meditate on God’s Word and obey it in every area of life.

The word “dismayed” (Josh.1:9) means to lose courage (1:9 cf.10:25; IChron.22:13; 28:20; IIChron.32:7). When Paul lost his courage, he got it from the brethren (Acts 28:15). When you find you are losing yours, come to church!

A Fair Show in the Flesh – Galatians 6:12-18

 

Summary:

The Galatian legalizers wanted them circumcised (v.12) to obligate them to keep the law (cf.5:3), “to make a fair show in the flesh” (v.12)—a fair religious show, like the “shew” of the law (Col.2:20-23), a show Paul calls one of humility. If you get enough people in your religious show, you can make a “fair” show in the flesh. “Fair” in this context means attractive (cf.Gen.6:2). People are attracted to religious shows with lots of people. The legalizers in Galatia did it to avoid persecution (v.12) by unsaved Jews (cf.IThes.2:14). But there’s always a lot of hypocrisy in religion, and Paul says there was among the legalizers too, who didn’t keep the law (Gal.5:13). They were just like the Pharisees whom the Lord lambasted (Mt.23:1-3). Paul did too (Rom.2:17,21,23).

The legalizers also wanted to circumcise the Galatians to “glory” or boast about how many followers they had. Paul says God doesn’t just dislike this, He “forbids” it (Gal.6:14). So Paul gloried in the cross instead, by whom the world was crucified to him. The world didn’t want Christ, so they crucified Him, and once Paul got saved he no longer wanted the world. In the context, he meant the religious world. He called the law worldly in Colossians 2:20,21 as well. We usually think of carnality when we think of worldliness (Tit.2:12), but there’s also a religious kind. It’s crucified to us when we are crucified with Christ (Rom.6:1-6), along with “the flesh” of carnal sins (Gal.5:24) and the “fleshly mind” of religion (Col.2:16-19). The law is called a humility there too, a “voluntary” one, i.e., one God doesn’t ask us for.

Paul adds that he was crucified to the world (Gal.6:14). He was just as dead to the world of religion as it was to him. If you asked the law’s unsaved leaders what they thought about Paul, they would have said, “Paul is dead to us.”

Circumcision doesn’t avail (v.15) or profit (cf.5:2,6) any-thing. It used to, back when Jews had the Scriptures the Gentiles didn’t have (Rom.3:1,2). But now Paul was writing Scripture to Gentiles! And “uncircumcision” didn’t profit either (Gal.6:15), for Paul’s epistles were written to Jews too (Rom.1:5), so Gentiles didn’t have anything they didn’t have. All that matters is the “new creature” God makes you when you get saved (Gal.6:15 cf. IICor.5:17). It was a rule you had to be circumcised to please God, but Paul made a new rule that you don’t (Gal.6: 15), and expects all men to “walk” by it (v.16). He talked about it more when he said he was part of the religious world of the law, but now counted it dung, and asks us to walk by this rule (Phil.3:5-16).

Paul extended “peace” to those who did (Gal.6:16), because the legalizers were troubling them (1:7), and trouble is the opposite of peace (Jer.8:15). He offers them “mercy” because they were being persecuted, and persecution is the opposite of mercy (Ps.109:16). Some say “The Israel of God” (Gal.6:16) is the Body of Christ. They say God cut ties with Israel when they killed His Son and made us “spiritual Israel.” But it’s not spiritual to imply God broke the promise of Jeremiah 31:37. Remember, “they’re not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Rom.9:6). So only saved Jews are true Israel (Rom.2:28,29). That means the Israel of God consisted of leftover kingdom saints. They were still around, circumcising and teaching the law, so Paul extends peace to them so they’d know he wasn’t condemning those things in them, only in the Body of Christ. And he extended them “mercy” for they were still being persecuted too (Acts 8:1).

It troubled Paul that the legalizers were troubling the Galatians (Gal.6:17). They wanted to “mark” the bodies of believers with circumcision, so Paul cited the persecution “marks” he’d incurred in his body trying to prevent that. He calls them the Lord’s marks because He’d be bearing them in His body if he were still here. Finally, the cure to legalism and carnality is grace, so Paul closes this epistle by offering it (6:18) as well as his epistles to the carnal Corinthians (ICor. 16:23).

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate – Galatians 6:6-11

 

Summary:

The Galatians were “taught in the word” by their teachers (6:6), but weren’t communicating any money to them (cf. Phil.4:15) to repay them. God always wanted the spiritual leaders who teach the Word paid (Deut.24:8 cf.12:19), with money and other “good things” (Gal.6:6); i.e., other things of value (cf.Gen.45:22,23).

If a church can’t afford a fulltime pastor, Paul encouraged spiritual leaders to work an outside job (Acts 20:17,18,34). That differs from under the law. When God gave the Levites no land to farm or raise animals on (Deut.14:27), that showed He didn’t want them working outside the ministry.

But the Galatians lost their “blessedness” (Gal.4:15), i.e., their thankfulness, when they fell for the law, so they went from wanting to repay Paul with their eyes for introducing them to grace, to not wanting to repay teachers anything for teaching them more about grace.

If Paul was still addressing the “spiritual” Galatians here (cf. 6:1), they too may not have wanted to pay their teachers, for they were teaching the law! But Paul’s advice to them as well would be to pay their pastor, but to also communicate the “good thing” of the grace message to him (IITim.1:13, 14). To threaten to not pay him until he taught grace would be legalism!

The legalizers were saying, “If you tell a Christian he’s not under the law, he’ll mock God and sin.” Paul says, “God is not mocked” when we sin under grace, for we still have to reap what we sow (Gal.6:7). For instance, Paul says not to get drunk (Eph.5:18). If you get drunk every day, you’ll die of liver disease. But that won’t be God judging your disobedience, like He did under the law. That will be you reaping what you sowed, i.e., reaping the natural consequences of your sin. Under the law, God judged Miriam with something that was not the natural consequences of her sinful rebellion (Num.12:1,10).

“The flesh” (Gal.6:8) is the part of you that desires to sin (cf.Eph.2:3). Fulfilling those desires is to “sow” to the flesh (Gal.6:8). If you do, you’ll reap “corruption,” which means the decomposition of your body by natural means (cf.Mt.6:19). You’ll also reap the natural corruption of your Christian testimony and your service for the Lord. But you’ll reap all that “of the flesh” (Gal.6:8), not of God.

Sowing to the Spirit means not sowing to the flesh. It involves sowing godliness and service for the Lord instead. Reaping “life everlasting” means reaping the benefits of the everlasting life you already have. I Timothy 4:8 promises that you’ll reap a blessed life in this present life, just as sowing to the flesh reaps corruption in this life.

If you’re not reaping a blessed life, just wait. Reaping takes time, so Paul says to keep sowing to the Spirit (Gal.6:9). You won’t reap a great life by worldly standards, but plenty of unbelievers have miserable lives—and they don’t have the Lord to see them through it. Verse 9 is the flip side of verse 7. There Paul says that just because God’s not punishing us as He did the Jews under the law doesn’t mean you won’t reap the evil that you sow. Here he’s saying that just because God’s not rewarding obedience like He did under the law doesn’t mean you won’t reap the good that you sow.

If you do good to “all” men (Gal.6:10) and not just your teachers, even unsaved men, you’ll be like God (Mt.5:44, 45). God did that as a “witness” (Acts 14:15-17), and so should we, when we have “opportunity.” We should do good to the household of believers too, to thank them when they bless us, as the Galatians wanted to do for Paul (Gal.4: 15)—but not just when others bless us (cf.Lu.6:33). We should be proactive in doing good to other believers and do good to them before they can do good to us.

Will Jesus be in Heaven and in the New Jerusalem at the Same Time?

“We know that that, as Gentiles, we will be in heaven with our Savior, but our Lord and Savior will also reign in the new Jerusalem. Will He be in both places at the same time?”

In the eternal state, the Lamb will have a throne on the new earth and will reign from the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-3; 22:1-3). At the same time, Christ’s throne in heaven will remain forever (Rev. 4:1-11). But Christ won’t physically sit on either of those thrones at all times. Christ’s thrones in both heaven and earth teach that He reigns over all things in the eternal state. The Body of Christ will reign in Christ from our eternal position in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6), while believing Israel will reign in Christ from their eternal position on the new earth in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 22:5).

Part of Christ’s loving sacrifice for us is that He is the God-man for eternity, the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). As God, Christ is omnipresent, but as a man, like us, He is in one place at a time. The Lord will not be confined to the earth in the eternal state. But when Christ is on the new earth with Israel, we will still experience the fullness of His indwelling presence as we reign in Christ in the heavenly places (and vice versa for Israel when He is with us in heaven). Our apostle reminds us Gentiles in the Body of Christ that we have the blessing of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). We are in Christ and Christ is in us for all eternity.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


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The Depiction of Daniel’s Prediction

Did you hear about the man who said that his grandfather predicted the sinking of the Titanic? He said he tried to tell everyone, from the people in charge, right on down to the people who bought tickets. But they all told him to just shut up. This went on until finally he had to be asked to leave the movie theater.

Well, if any man had been able to predict the sinking of the Titanic, he would have been considered an amazing prophet, for it was a ship that was said to be unsinkable. But here in our text in Daniel 2:31-35, Daniel makes a pretty amazing prediction of his own. In the first part of Daniel 2, God gave King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon a dream that troubled him so sorely that he asked his sorcerers and astrologers to tell him two things. First, what he dreamt; and second, what his dream meant. None of his spiritual advisers could do that, of course.

But Daniel could! He began by telling the king that his dream was a prediction about the future (2:29), and now he’s ready to tell him what he had actually seen in his dream. He began by saying,

“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible” (Dan. 2:31).

Now to begin with, when it says that this image “stood” before the king in his dream, that’s our first hint that this was the image of a man—but not the walking, talking variety of men. He saw the kind of statue-like image of a man that he was used to worshipping, the idols made of gold and silver that made up his idolatrous religion, as we see when Daniel goes on to say that the image he saw was made of silver and gold:

“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay” (Daniel 2:32,33).

 

The Original Metal Man

Now if you know anything about metallurgy—and as a former tool and die maker, I’m probably smarter than the average bear about metallurgy—you know two things about the metals of this image.

First, you know that these metals are getting stronger as you view the image from top to bottom, starting with this head of gold. Gold is one of the softest of metals. The reason jewelers have always valued and treasured it is that it is soft enough to easily form into rings, chains, and other pieces of jewelry. That makes it what we in the world of metallurgy call malleable. You didn’t know your editor knew big words like malleable and metallurgy, did ya?

Now silver is a little harder and stronger than gold, and brass and iron are stronger yet. So the metals of this image provide an excellent representation of the dream’s interpretation that Daniel is about to give. He is going to explain how they depict the coming of some kingdoms that would rise and fall and dominate the world for the next 600 years. The metals keep getting stronger because the nations they represent would have to be stronger in order to be able to conquer the nation that came before them. In Daniel 8, the prophet is going to explain that these metals depict the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome—and ultimately the kingdom of the antichrist.

It’s All Downhill From Here

But you don’t have to know much about metallurgy to know that these metals are also getting cheaper as you go down. Gold is the most expensive of the metals, silver is a little less costly, and iron is the least expensive of them all. That tells you that these future kingdoms may be getting stronger as the prophecy unfolds, but they are also becoming less and less valuable, at least in the eyes of God. This is God’s way of telling us that civilization is going downhill. That certainly flies in the face of what evolutionists would have us believe. They hold that man is evolving and getting better and better!

It also flies in the face of something called post-millennial theology. That’s the thinking that says that Christians like us are going to keep making things better and better in the world until we finally bring in the thousand-year millennial kingdom that the Bible says is coming. After that, the Lord will see how well we’ve fixed things down here and feel comfortable enough to come back to live among us! But as Pastor J. C. O’Hair used to say, if Christians are going to bring in the kingdom, they are going to have to back it in, for the world is certainly not heading in that direction!

Daniel’s image rather predicts that the world is going to get worse and worse, culminating in the Tribulation that will follow the Rapture, and then the Lord will return before the millennium to set up His kingdom, after defeating the antichrist at Armageddon, and all the kingdoms of men who will follow the beast.

And Daniel sees the Lord’s return and defeat of those kingdoms depicted in the next verse of our text when he continues to tell the king what he dreamed:

“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces” (Dan. 2:34).

The Rock of Ages

Now the stone here is the same one that Paul says the Jews drank from in the wilderness, when he wrote,

“…they drank of that spiritual Rock…and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4).

That’s Paul’s way of saying that the stone represented Christ, the way the bread represented His body when He said, “this is My body” (1 Cor. 11:24). The stone in the king’s dream represented Him as well.

If you’re thinking, “How come it says Christ was a stone cut ‘without hands’?” it’s because that expression “without hands” means without human instrumentality. It’s the opposite of what we read about in Acts 7:48, where Stephen declared,

“…the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”

Temples are made with human hands, but some things are made without them, as we see when Paul tells believers,

“…ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands…” (Col. 2:11).

That’s talking about our spiritual circumcision in Christ, the one that was made without human instrumentality.

But why would Daniel call the Lord a stone cut without hands? Well, when a stone is cut, that’s when it becomes a stone of its own. Up until then, it’s just part of a larger stone. And the Lord Jesus Christ was cut out of a really large stone, as Daniel went on to tell the king later in this chapter:

“…thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands…” (Dan. 2:45).

 

The Original Mountain Man

A “mountain” in the Bible is a symbol of a kingdom, as we see when Isaiah describes the kingdom of heaven on earth by predicting,

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock….They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord” (Isa. 65:25).

And the “stone” of the Lord was part of the mountain of God’s kingdom in heaven before He became a man. But He was cut out of that mountain and came to earth, where he was conceived in a human body without human instrumentality, through a little miracle known as the virgin birth. Joseph had nothing to do with the Lord’s conception.

When He came to earth, the Lord was given a body much like the one you and I will have in heaven someday, one that Paul described in 2 Corinthians 5:1 by saying:

“…if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

The body that you’ll have in heaven someday will be built by God so it can be eternal. But it will also be the same body your mother built in her womb so it can be recognizable—just like the Lord’s resurrection body was both eternal in that it was made by God, and recognizable by His disciples in that it was made by Mary.

Okay, now that we’ve identified the stone here as the Lord, what’s verse 34 mean when it says that the stone “smote” the image? Well, if these metals represent future nations, that means what you’re seeing depicted here is something we read about in will represent all the evil nations of the past, so in smashing it, the Lord will be smashing them as well.

And when Daniel says that the nations became like “chaff,” it helps to know that chaff is the light husk that envelops a grain of wheat. I’m told that in Bible days, farmers separated the chaff from the wheat by throwing it into the air on a breezy day. The heavier grain would fall at the farmer’s feet, while the light and airy husks would be gone with the wind. That’s how God wants us to picture the future of the kingdoms of men, as a civilization gone with the wind.

And when Daniel says the Lord will break those nations to “pieces,” now you know how small those pieces will be! In fact, when the Lord talked about Himself as a stone, He said,

“The stone which the builders rejected…on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. 21:42,44).

—powder that will be blown away by the fiery Second Coming of Christ (2 Thes. 1:7,8).

Fiends in High Places

And when verse 35 says that “no place was found for them,” that word place often refers to places or positions in government, as when people talk about having “friends in high places.” The Bible uses the word that way as well. In describing something that happened during the Lord’s ministry in Israel, John wrote:

“Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47,48).

Israel’s unsaved rulers there were worried about losing their “place” in the government of Israel. The Romans had conquered Israel, but they allowed the Jews to retain some semblance of self-government. But if the Lord became too popular, the Romans would consider Israel a threat and take away the nation, and the places in her government held by those fiendish rulers.

We see this definition of “place” again when Paul wrote,

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

That’s talking about the fallen angels who currently occupy positions of government in heaven— and will continue to occupy them until the Lord boots them out, as we read in Revelation 12:7,8:

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.”

As you can imagine, there’s no place for fallen angels in the government of heaven in eternity to come! So midway through the Tribulation, Michael is going to give them the left foot of fellowship and kick them to the curb of the earth.

And that’s what the Lord will do with the nations of the earth at His second coming! Verse 35 says that after He smites the nations, “no place was found for them” in the government of the earth. You see, the kingdom that the Lord will set up after them is not going to be the culmination of all the kingdoms that came before, like Antichrist’s kingdom. Verse 35 says that the stone will become a great mountain, it doesn’t say that the obliterated powdery pieces of the nations will become the mountain of the kingdom. The Lord is going to make a kingdom out of Himself, not out of them.

In closing, how would you like to try to predict what nation will conquer the United States, the current most powerful nation in the world, and what nation will conquer that nation, and what nation will conquer that conquering nation, over the course of the next 600 years? You couldn’t do that if you tried, but God could! And when He did it here in Daniel 2, it not only proved He exists, it proved that the God of the Bible is the one true God, and worthy of all the worshipful service you can give Him.


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Berean Searchlight – January 2022


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