“And the name of the second called he Ephraim: for God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Gen. 41:52)
The naive, yet arrogant boy, Joseph, had indeed been brought low by the events which the perfect will of Yehovah God had appointed for him. The path which he ignorantly walked brought him into a disgraceful embarrassment which humbled him. Eventually, in the fullness of time, that same path exonerated him and, through no power of his own, exalted him so his later end was greater than his beginning. This ‘roller coaster ride’ of time and chance in his life is no different from that which occurs in the life of every descendant of Adam (Ecc. 9:11). Each child of the dust has an appointed purpose, place and time in which his station in life is occupied for the experiences allotted to the time of his habitation. Herein as he takes each step as ordained of old and directed by the will of God, each of the labours given to him, are performed. Every second of that time has been carefully measured so as to allow for that which has been ordained to come to pass during which every thought, word and deed is thoroughly experienced and ever labour endured. These elements compose the threads which are intrinsically incorporated and specifically interwoven into the fabric of the existence of every being from the beginning. They are the manifestation of the power, the sovereign authority and the beauty of God. His creation manifests His glory and proclaims His majesty over all as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The actors upon this stage of time have been properly outfitted with all things necessary for the devotion to, engagement in and fulfillment of that which the Almighty has commanded should come to pass. These essential elements of life are not by the will of man. They have neither been contrived by the thoughts and imagination of the creature nor are they controlled by the strength of the arm of the flesh. They are obsequiously under the decree of God and come to pass as points along the line of time by the power of His will. They are revealed as line upon line and precept upon precept because of the progression of these events in time and the inability of man to recognize and comprehend the ways and mind of his Creator (Is. 28:9f).
Man is a passive participant in the magnificent performance of the production which God has called creation. He is indeed the paragon of His creation for God has “made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with honour and glory” (Heb. 2:7). He lives, moves and has his very being by the good pleasure of God whose irresistible Will has ordained each and every partaker of flesh and blood as essential to His purpose. Every child of man perfectly completes that which he or she has been ordained unto as all of the wonder of God’s creation manifests His handiwork. There is, therefore, no adulation due unto the creature for the obedient dispatching of their duties nor is there gratitude on the part of the Master for the conduct of the servant of His will. The praise, glory, honour and thanksgiving of all of His magnificent work is unto the King who is seated upon His throne. He rules over the kingdoms of this world and accounts all the inhabitants of the earth as nothing. He is, and ever shall be, in perfect command and complete control of every second of time and every aspect of existence. This is the predestination of all things by the Sovereign Ruler of the universe who is constantly “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure: calling the ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes My counsel from a far country. Truly I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it” (Is. 46:10).
Joseph now, according to the time in which the station of his life should be changed from the plush accommodations of the dungeon to the tedious squallier of the palace, was given a second son by his Egyptian wife, Asenath. He was given to name his second son after the circumstances of his situation in life just as he was given to do with Manasseh. He had not been influenced by any superstitions or ‘old wives tales’ that speculate about the meaning of the name of a child having an impact upon the life he should lead. He was not anticipating an abundant life for this child nor was he attempting to procure fruitfulness for himself or his son; God had revealed His power and had made him fruitful in the very land where he was afflicted. He had been translated from an impoverished slave with no hope of deliverance to a man of wealth and influence, therefore he called his son, ‘the double ash-heap’ or ‘doubly fruitful’. The sons of Adam react to the work by the hand of God as it is revealed in their lives. They do not cause God to show His hand by what the creature does, is doing or might do in the future.
Many self-proclaimed theologians with erudite degrees and certifications from the cemeteries of Mt. Nebo dismiss the notion of the sovereignty of God over all things as being unjust and unfair. Where is the accountability of man if God has already decreed that which should come to pass and His will is irresistible? How, they ask, can an all loving God condemn a person without giving them the opportunity to manifest whether they be good or evil? Where is the justice of concluding all under sin (inability to hit the mark) before they perform that which demonstrates this inability? And how fair is it to hold all accountable to the single action of Adam? These and many other seemingly perplexing questions serve to reveal the limited nature of the carnal mind of the natural man. There is great truth proclaimed when Adam announces that these matters are ‘inconceivable’ to the mind and wisdom of Adam. The things of God are as indiscernible as the wind, indescribable as eternity, unspeakable, for Adam cannot frame the words, and as incoherent as the rumbling of thunder and the sound of many waters (Rev. 19:6).
The work which God has done from the beginning is a manifestation of His power and wisdom. He has created everything and called it exceedingly good for it all conforms to the design of His purpose. He has created the light and the darkness and placed them in their appropriate stations of time and space to perform their assigned duties and the whole of His mastery follows suite. He accomplished peace before the foundation of the world in the shedding of the blood of the Lamb in the acceptable sacrifice for sin; by this He justified His people, “being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls” (Rms. 9:11).
He established, directed and contains that which is disagreeable to His nature and contrary to His Law; this He called evil and wickedness (Is. 45:7). He perfectly fashioned Adam from the dust of the ground being devoid of understanding, incapable of obedience and completely unable to hit the mark; this He called the motions of sin. He did not have to wait and see what man might do for Adam was created commensurate to the design which God had decreed for him. Accordingly, he could not have been obedient to the commandment of obedience for Almighty God had afore ordained that by the act of this one man, sin would enter into the world and death by sin. Nothing was out of sorts and Satan had not ‘upset the apple cart’ causing the earth to become ‘without form and void’.
Time and events may appear to the untrained eye to be disjointed and incongruent but that is because God created the world full of labours that cannot satisfy and has impaired the vision of the children of the dust so that seeing, they see not and having ears to hear they hear not, neither do they have understanding (Matt. 13:13) . The children of grace became partakers of the flesh and blood of Adam with all of these ‘excellent’ qualities and attributes and thusly the daily events and occurrences in their lives in the flesh are not observed by the eyes of man as being the harmonious symphony that God is conducting. Joseph indeed saw no harmony between the vision which God gave him and his new vacation home in the prisons of Egypt. His children could not conceive the serene flow of the river of life as they were one day living in an affluent and influential house and the next crowded into the ghettos of Goshen. And there was certainly no logical reasoning for the youngest of the whole family of Jacob to suddenly be exalted to the status of firstborn. These are a few of the many examples of the marvelous wonders that the Almighty God performs for His people during the brief time of their habitation in the flesh: “for since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived with the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God besides You, what He has prepared for him who waits for Him” (Is. 64:4).
“And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard” (Gen. 35:22)
After the death of his beloved wife Rachel, Jacob separated himself from the flocks on an ‘elevated plain’ (tower of Edar). There is no indication as to why he was sent to this location or how long he was there but it could properly be concluded that this was a time of grieving and sorrow. This separation may have been a time of isolation for his love for his beloved Rachel and his grief could not be replaced by family, friends or concubines. The sum of all his possessions could not take the place of the emptiness that was now in the seat where once his first love sat. Even the birth of Benjamin could not compare with the many years that these two had been together and while this may be called conjecture since the scriptures are silent as to the details, yet Jacob is not to be found when his oldest son becomes embroiled in evil concupiscence for Bilhah. Nor is Bilhah guiltless in the matter either for she entertains the passions of this man who about forty years of age and about 20 years younger than Bilhah. And what is to be said for the reaction of Jacob upon hearing the news or discovering the act? Nothing is recorded other than he heard of the matter yet this act, so remote and seemingly isolated, is essential to the nation of Israel and the child Ephraim, who was not scheduled to be born for about another fifty years.
When in the fullness of time, God brought Israel to the land prepared for him to save and protect him, Joseph, who was feared dead, was indeed alive and prospering. The brothers were amazed to find their hated brother exalted and Jacob rejoiced to receive his son from the dead. Yehovah God had preserved this child of the covenant whom He sent before Israel into Egypt to prepare a place for His people (Gen. 45:7). He removed the house of Jacob from the land of Canaan by means of a severe drought and famine and relocated them for many years, “for the sin of the Amorites was not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). He prepared the principalities and powers of Egypt to receive this nomadic people and to give “them a possession in the best of the land, the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh commanded” (47:11), which is Goshen, for their comfort and prosperity.
Yehovah God also orchestrated an amazing situation in the land. As a result of the drought and the people paying for their food with the varying animals of their herds, there was an over abundance of sheep, bovines and goats in Egypt and an enormous demand for skilled herdsmen in the labour force. The skills necessary to the management of this influx was severely lacking in Egypt and the handling of the animals was offensive to the Egyptian way but this was the common way of life for Jacob and his family. So! Who made them different? And by whose might and perfect will did these two elements of life come into the simple fulfillment of basic economics; supply and demand? (Oh how the foolish heart of man is revealed when, in his ignorance, he utters the phrase, ‘God is not interested in the little things in life’!)
Then, after being re-united with his son, who “presented himself unto him and he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while; and Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen your face because you yet live” (46:29), this old man Jacob is introduced to his grandsons. A seventeen year old boy had vanished from his home and was presumed dead and now a full grown man stood before his father with a family of his own. Sorrow and despair were overcome with unspeakable joy as the windows of heaven were opened and the shower of blessing had come in his season for the comfort of the child of promise.
“And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years so that the whole age of Jacob was an hundred and forty seven years” (Gen. 47:28).
“And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold your father is sick and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim” (Gen. 48:1)
This child of promise was now one hundred and thirty years old. His path had led him away from his father, mother and vengeful brother, Esau, unto his wife and deceitful uncle. There he rested for a few years as his family and wealth grew until the appointed time when the wife of his youth should bare him a son. Tensions, strife and mistrust grew along with this flourishing family until the appointed hour when he should once again leave familiar surroundings and venture into the unknown. He wandered in a land that was not his own wherein was found heartache and pain as his son was taken from him, presumably slain by a wild animal. Yet his anguish was replaced with joy as his beloved Rachel awaited the birth to the son of his old age. This was sorely augmented in her death yet Yehovah God appeared unto him and gave him a promise of inheritance.
Many years later, a most unimaginable scenario became reality as his dead son was re-united with his father in the midst of a most severe drought. This catastrophic event drove Israel once again to leave his home and walk his assigned path into a foreign land. The joy of seeing his long lost son caused Israel to say; “Now let me die, since I have seen your face because you are yet alive” (Gen. 46:30). This most splendid moment was accentuated by the King of Egypt who commanded the house of Jacob to be given the choicest of the land where “Joseph nourished his father and his brethren and all his father’s household with bread, according to families” (Gen. 47:12).
During this time, which began with five years still remaining in the famine caused by the drought, Joseph was busied in the affairs of state as he was instrumental by the hand of God in the establishment of Egypt as a world power. There is no record of Joseph ever bringing his sons to meet their grandfather or the cousins and speculation as to why this meeting never took place would be imprudent. Yet now, in the final days of his habitation upon this mortal globe, the introductions are made and Jacob meets his grandsons at the ripe old age of one hundred forty seven years; “And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons and said Whose are these?” (48:8).
Joseph presented his sons unto Jacob in a most reverent manner as “Joseph brought them out from between his knees and he bowed himself with his face to the earth”. These were not little toddlers that were hiding behind their father, they came forth from Joseph ‘upon his knees’, indicating that they did obeisance unto their grandfather. “Now the eyes of Israel were dim of age (he could not see) and he brought them near him and he kissed and embraced them”. What a tender moment this must have been for all parties involved and as Joseph brought his sons unto his father, Israel stretched forth his hands to bless the lads.
There is no indication as to what blessing was intended for grandchildren and there is no record of any such blessing being made in this manner. However, the blessing of Isaac upon Jacob is an indication of a father’s blessing upon his heir (Gen. 27:23). Though the ‘supplanter’ had been given to obtain the blessing through a fraudulent representation and though the rightful heir had been deprived of this honour yet there remained the blessing of the legitimate inheritance. Jacob should have given this unto his first-born, Reuben, who was born of Leah. He could have given it unto Dan the first-born of Jacob and Bilhah; or even unto Gad, the first-born of Jacob and Zilpah; or maybe unto Joseph, first-born of Jacob and Rachel or even unto Benjamin the first-born of Israel. These all had what could be concluded as a rightful claim to the birthright but the purpose of God was that Jacob should give the blessing unto another.
This other son, upon whom Yehovah had placed the right of inheritance, is not qualified after genealogy. He is the son of a man presumed to be dead and a foreign mother. He is born in a foreign land, raised in an heathen society and tainted with pagan religious practices. He is the son of a wealthy man and he is not even the first-born of Joseph, yet the blessings of Yehovah are not according to the understandings of man. The sons of Joseph were exalted by the words of Jacob who said; “The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless these lads (young men) and let my name be named of them and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Gen. 48:16). When Joseph objected because Jacob had ‘wittingly’ placed his right hand upon Ephraim and his left hand upon Manasseh, Israel proclaimed “I know my son, I know. He (Manasseh) shall become a people and he shall be great but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he said unto them that day, saying, God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh and he set Ephraim before Manasseh” (19f).
This event may have been and, no doubt was, very confusing and a bit disturbing to Joseph, his brothers and especially, Reuben. Jacob was now one hundred and forty-seven years old which would have made Reuben about one hundred and seven years of age. His most heinous act of those many years ago was manifested as Israel blessed Ephraim and established the last born child as the first-born of the family. It is very conceivable that everyone had forgotten about that episode and even that Reuben may have been already dead (nothing is indicated one way or the other) yet Yehovah God had ordained, not only that Jacob remember this and call it to mind upon his death bed but that he would also be given complete recall of many other things. These various events throughout the lives of these people all served unto the proper conclusion for they are all part and parcel to the eternal purpose of God. Reuben was disqualified for his lechery as he is “unstable as water, you shall not excel because you went up to your father’s bed, then defiled it; (there he) spread out on my bed” (49:4). He then excluded Simeon and Levi for their being “instruments of cruelty” against the men of Shechem as their conduct “troubled me and made me stink among the inhabitants of the land” (Gen. 34:30). He then sets forth Judah as the ruler over his brethren, the same Judah who was more concerned with profit than the safety of his brother Joseph (37:26), and as the tribe from whence the Peace of Messiah should come. He dismisses Dan as a “serpent by the way and an adder in the path that bites the horse heels so that his rider shall fall backward” (49:17) and abases Gad as simply a group of people who shall eventually “overcome at the last” (19). Joseph is indeed blessed of Yehovah and “the blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren” (26) but Benjamin is set apart as a “raven and a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey and at night he shall divide the spoil” (27). Yet even in light of all these announcements, Ephraim still has no right to the blessing of the inheritance for Manasseh is the first-born of Joseph.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts neither your ways My ways, said Yehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8).
The eternal purpose of God is commensurate to His immutable will for He is One. The events which transpire in time come to pass by the power of that will. Nothing is above or contrary to His will therefore nothing can diminish or intensify, impede or advance any event ordained to come to pass; hence, there is an absolute necessity for the existence and consummation of everything that is, was or ever shall be. The philosophy of Adam is for each person to chart his own course and make his mark in the timeline of life but the Preacher has said; “I have seen the labour which God has assigned to the sons of man to be occupied in it” (Ecc. 3:10).
This labour encompasses every aspect of man but it is not dictated by man. The Sovereign ruler of the universe has created time and space and has decreed that everything should work in harmony of precision, one with the other, from generation to generation. The sons of Adam are the actors, the labour is the script and time is the stage wherein Yehovah God manifests His purpose, which He purposed in Himself. Abram was given a promise of God concerning his children but he had no heir. He was not given to consider the course of his actions because he had not the mind of God, when he, in attempt to facilitate the word of God according to inheritance, took Hagar to wife. The animosity, strife and contention between these two people could not have been anticipated yet the method, the means and the order of the arrival of Ishmael and Isaac was in complete accord with the intentions of the heart of the King. Esau could have never imagined that while he was in the field that his gifts would fail him and he would denounce his birth-right. He was oblivious to the deceit and subterfuge of his mother in the obtaining of the blessing from his father yet this was necessary for Yehovah God loved Jacob and hated Esau. Joseph may have never opened his mouth if he had the slightest inclination of his up-coming world tour and the disconsolate excursion into a foreign land, yet his brother’s hatred and greed were essential for the salvation of Israel almost 20 years later. Now the licentious actions of Reuben have come to light some 60 years later as Ephraim is vaulted to the status of the first-born of Israel.
These are but a few examples of the way ‘time and chance happen’ to the creatures as the purpose of God is performed in heaven and in earth. God has given seed unto every son of Adam and has assigned the necessary labours to plant that seed in an appointed location during the time of his life. This seed is fertilized in the ground that has been prepared for it and each brings forth, after his kind, the increase which the Master demands. NO MAN can refuse to plant the seed, either in time, method or location, for NO MAN can stay the hand of the Will of God and each is assured that whatsoever is sown shall be reaped in its appointed time. That which is sown in the flesh brings forth fruit that is of this world; that which is sown in the complete inability to measure up to the mark of the perfect holiness of God brings forth the same. God does seek retribution upon His creatures for their inabilities or their failures, rather He holds each accountable to that which has been assigned unto them and each and every seed is dependent upon that which came before; “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. He that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption but he that sows to the Spirit shall reap of the Spirit eternal life” (Gal. 6:7). If the well be clean the water is pure; if the tree be fruitful then the fruit is eatable; if the seed is limited and temporal then the plant is, ‘after its kind’, earthly but and if the seed be eternal, then the labour is unto the Spirit which brings forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. This is the manner in which God unfolds the majestic display of His creation; line upon line and precept upon precept in a beautifully harmonious chorus of time.
Is God then unjust for causing Jacob to remember the conduct of Reuben and Bilhah after those many years? Is He unfair for assigning this episode in Reuben’s life and ordaining it for good? Not at all! Every event in the lives of the sons of Adam (every thought, word and deed) is contingent upon those actions which came before, in full cooperation with that which is now and are essential building elements for those yet to come; “that which has been is now and that which is to be has already been and God requires that which is past” (Ecc. 3:15).
The invisible things of the works of the Godhead are clearly seen in the types and shadows of creation as events happen within the advancement of time. God never intended Reuben to stand as the head of the house of Jacob, according to birth-right. Before he was even born, His purpose was that “the genealogy not be reckoned after the birth-right” (I Chr. 5:1) that the blessing should not be according to the flesh. If this were not so then God changed His mind, His purpose and His will when this heinous act was perpetrated; but if that be so, then He is not God for God is immutable.
The eternal will of God is that the inheritance is unto those “which were born not of flesh, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). The revelation that Joseph was alive was a miracle of God unto Jacob and Joseph’s children were the sons of a dead man; these then, both Ephraim and Manasseh, represent a people that were not born of the will of man. God had purposed, in Himself, Ephraim as the first-born before Joseph was a child, before He gave him his dream and before he was assumed slain by a wild beast; “that the purpose off God according to election might stand not of works but of Him that calls” (Rms. 9:11).
God did not instruct Adam in the garden to build an house (Reuben) for shelter or dwelling. He fashioned him from the dust of the earth and made him a living soul. Life must precede all things for without life there can be no activities. Therefore God first gave man form without function; then He made him alive. He then instructed him to BE fruitful. There is no exercise of self-discipline, no elixirs or potions or any spell or incantation that can make something fruitful. The seed in the barn without life remains dead even though the sower plants it in fertile ground and the seed having life may spring forth even before the planting is begun. Thus life is essential for the harvest of the increase of the seed. God did not instruct Adam and Eve to become fruitful but rather to BE fruitful for He had created all things, having his seed in them, and all brought forth ‘after its kind’.
This fruitfulness (Ephraim) made it possible to ‘multiply’ and, as the abundance became evident (for all seed was in Adam and Eve), the earth was ‘filled’ and ‘brought into the bondage’ of the rapid increase of man. The earth was made for the man who was given to till it so that it should produce ample sustenance for the flesh. He was created above the whole of creation and given to “have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over everything that moved upon the earth”. God ordained life for His subjects Adam and Eve and made them to “be fruitful” before they began to build an house (Reuben) and thus Ephraim (fruitful) was established, before Reuben, as the first-born, from the foundation of the world as a principle of nature.
“For they are not all Israel which are of Israel” (Rms. 9:6)
Ephraim has no right to the inheritance or the blessing. He is not the first-born of Jacob, he is not a son of Jacob and he is not even the first-born of Joseph. He is a people in the place where it could be said there was no people. Had he journeyed into Canaan to visit Jacob and upon greeting him announced that he was the son of Joseph and therefore his grandson, Jacob would have laughed him to scorn, or worse. Jacob had accepted that Joseph was dead and therefore this young man could be nothing less than an impostor. But when according to His marvelous grace, Jacob sees Joseph and knows that he lives, then the introduction of his grandchildren is plausible and welcomed with great rejoicing. Once again, life preceded fruitfulness, but this still does not give Ephraim any right or portion or memorial in the esteemed position of first-born yet this ‘wild branch’ is not only grafted in but exalted and blessed.
The blessing of the inheritance of God is not according to natural pedigree, ancestral acclaim or affiliation with an ethic group. When the ‘distinguished’ and ‘righteous’ came unto John at the Jordan to be baptized, he rebuked them and said; “And think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to father’: for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matt. 3:9). They returned unto Jesus with the same argument and claim when; “They answered Him, We be Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man”. He sternly rebukes and confuses them as He gives a clear demonstration of the two seed of man in the land of Shinar when He said; “I know that you are Abraham’s seed” and “If you were Abraham’s children you would do the works of Abraham”. Nor is it conditional upon a membership or identification with a group or the observance of some ritual that will enable one to ‘inherit eternal life’ (John 8:33ff).
That which is of this world is temporal and fades away. The glory of the Law of Moses, given in types and shadows, was so glorious that the people could not steadfastly look upon it but it vanished away to show that the glory was not of Moses. The glory of the nation of Israel was spectacular and it reached its natural zenith when “Yehovah had given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant” (I Kings. 8:56). The entire world came to see the beauty of the buildings of the kingdom, especially Solomon’s Temple, and to hear the Wisdom of Solomon. Yet Solomon’s heart was drawn away from following after God in that he loved many women, he made affinities with the kings of the world and his soul was vexed by the vanity of this world. The man had a limited time of habitation and, when he died, that glory faded away. Rebellion from without came first, then from within as the kingdom divided over taxation and government spending and finally in the “pollution of the inheritance” of the entire nation of Israel. This is then a representation of the natural man; “For all flesh is grass and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower thereof falls away” (I Pt. 1:24).
And so the glory of every earthly type has withered and fallen away, like the fig tree (Matt. 21:19), since the light of the glory of Yehovah has been revealed in this “the acceptable time of Yehovah” (Is. 61:2). The nation of Israel stands as a definitive demonstration of the vileness and corruption of the nature of Adam, which is the abomination which makes desolate. Therefore as Jesus proclaims the house of Israel is left desolate so is the earthen vessel of Edom formed from the dust of the earth.
But the incorruptible seed, born of God, is adorned in the righteousness of the saint; “Awake, awake; put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem the Holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and unclean. Shake yourself from the dust, arise, sit down, O Jerusalem: loose yourself from the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion” (Is. 52:1). This glory cannot fade away for it is the same glory of the Godhead. The blessings of Yehovah God are upon His children as “the general assembly and the church of the first-born (the entire called out assembly gathering in celebration), which are written in heaven” (Heb. 12:23). These are the eternal seed, which are “born of God”. They ‘do not commit sin because His seed remains in them and they cannot sin because they are born of God’ (I John 3:9); these therefore are the generation of Jesus Christ. They have life in Him and are fruitful because of that life. They are complete in Him, who is the beginning and the end, and they “as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (I Pt. 2:5). Life is the cause of fruitfulness which manifested the finished Tabernacle of God, Immanuel.
“On the west side that standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies:” (Numb. 2:18)
Ephraim was taken from his native home in Egypt and identified with his family in captivity. His father had been blessed with fruitfulness in the land of his affliction and Ephraim was blessed with the same in bondage. Once again there is no record of the activities of this young man as he matured into manhood and assumed his rightful place in Israel but at the end of the 450 years of captivity, his family was delivered forth out of Egypt.
There were six hundred thousand people of the house of Israel who departed as a nation from the ‘great house’. The mighty hand of God had hardened the heart of the evil king so that He might shew forth His power in Pharaoh and that His great name might be proclaimed in all the earth (Rms. 9:17). He did not use a military campaign, public sentiments or a political coup to bring forth His people. He demonstrated, in the elements of nature, His sovereign rule over the forces and elements of this world; the very things which the sons of Adam worshiped as gods. Yet with each demonstration, He gave a resolve to the stubbornness of the king that he would not give his permission for these people to leave. He refused to acknowledge Yehovah God as supreme and he could not be convinced that he should relinquish his labour force. It was not until the time when the first-born of every house of Egypt was sacrificed by the Messenger of God that his hardened heart was changed and his stubborn mind was corrected. He went from the defiant blasphemer of Yehovah to an earnest plea as he urgently protested the presence of the children of Israel and begged them to go. The first-born of ‘the great house’ (Pharaoh), the heir of this self-proclaimed deity, lay dead as the house of the first-born of Israel, Ephraim, marched triumphantly away having never raised a hand against Pharaoh or Egypt. The nation of Israel was now wealthy in the gold and riches of the Egyptian people as they began their forty year trek into the wilderness. Egypt, who themselves had been made prosperous by the hand of God through His servant Joseph, were now impoverished and destitute. The house of Joseph, the welcomed guests of those many years past, was now an undesired infestation and an uncontrollable plague. This is the way of God which man cannot imagine through logic nor comprehend through knowledge and understanding.
The tribe of Ephraim comprised less than three quarters of one percent of this armada as they journeyed into the wilderness. They were present when the edict was given and rejoiced with their brethren as they abandoned their huts and shanties and departed from Goshen. They saw the pillar of fire which went before them and the cloud overshadowed them yet when they were seemingly trapped between Migdol and the sea they were also those who were “sore afraid”. They witnessed the testimony of the presence of God as the pillar of fire move to the rear to separate them from the pursuing army of Pharaoh. They were made to “stand still and see the salvation of Yehovah, which He shall shew to you today, for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever” (Ex. 14:13). The hand of God parted the sea and they were made willing in the day of His power to walk down upon the dry floor of the river. When they came forth on the other side, they gave testimony as eye witnesses to the drowning of Pharaoh’s men. These signs and wonders were insufficient to cause them to walk by faith or to trust God because having eyes to see, they saw not.
Three days after crossing the sea bed ‘dry-shod’ these ‘faithful witnesses’ murmured against Moses for they found no water yet when God shewed them the tree which when cast into the water made it drinkable, they was no conversion of the flesh. They, along with the whole congregation, “on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt” murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sin saying, “Would to God we had died by the hand of Yehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, when we did eat bread to full; for you have brought us forth into the wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger” (Ex. 16:3). Yehovah God had provided ‘angels food’ (Ps. 78:4) and water to sustain them and still it did not induce obedience or contentment in Adam. The sons of the house of the first-born of Israel were not exempt from the fears and anxieties of the natural man any more than any other child of Jacob and even though they saw with open eyes the long-suffering and mercy of God, yet they could not repent from their obstinate and rebellious nature.
The eyes of man even today still search the heavens above, the earth beneath and the depth of the seas for a sign. The instincts of Adam desire that tangible proof that he can hold on to and claim as his assurance in every area of his life, but no more so than in his religion and superstitions. Every time someone cries, ‘lo here and lo there’ the curiosity of Adam desires to see for himself so that he may exercise his discretion and draw his own conclusions. Religious relics draw the eyes and the itching ears are bathed with the great swelling words of the Amorites (sayers). The libraries are full of the latest and oldest of mans opinions on every subject imaginable because Adam is “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7). Man is cast out of the garden of God and cannot stand in the presence of Holy God. He is forbidden to climb Mt. Sinai (though many boast that they have ascended that summit and conquered the mountain) for no flesh can survive in the consuming fire of His presence. He was not shown the Law of God until the tablets were shattered in his presence as a demonstration that it could never be continually kept by the sons of man. Calvary and the shed blood are foolishness to the natural mind who knows not sin, let alone the wages thereof. Man cannot fathom the empty tomb and the resurrection and the life are the subjects of legions and fables around which holidays and celebrations are built.
Adam fashioned his own covering in the garden and demanded that it be accepted by God. His children strategically plan and enjoy many an expedition to the zenith of Mt. Nebo where they learn from this Babylonian deity how to manage and cunningly use learning and knowledge. Here they may bask in the glow of the sunlight of knowledge and soothe their seared consciences as they “spend their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21 – The Athenians worshiped the goddess Athena; the goddess of wisdom). The natural mind calls the blood of the covenant, which is sufficient in quantity and quality for the redeemed of the Lord, to be common and available to ‘who-so-ever wants it’. They are even so bold as to stand before the throne of God and cry; “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful things?” (Matt. 7:22). This arrogant nature of man will even boast unto God; “All these have I kept from my youth up” (Luke 18:22), like his father in the garden, as he attempts to commend his righteous worth in His presence. These are but workers of iniquity whom the Father knows not as His children. They have no part in the resurrection and the life and they have no memorial or inheritance in Him.
Yehovah God has blinded the eyes of man to His wonder and glory. He has given a testimony of His power and Godhead in His creation as the heavens declare the glory of Yehovah and the firmament shews forth His handiwork. This assertion, coupled together with the filling of the natural mind with the things of this world and the insatiable appetite which sustains and pleasures the flesh, comprises the three fold witness to the rebellion, guilt and corruption of man. He is without excuse for “when they knew God they glorified Him not as God neither were they thankful: but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the image of corruptible man and birds and fourfooted beasts and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Rms. 1:21ff).
There will never be a single element in creation, imagination of the mind or intent of the heart that shall ever convince a person of the Lordship of Almighty God. There is no power in the universe that could ever change wheat into tare or tare into wheat; never shall sheep become goat or a son of perdition raise himself up to the status of a child of grace. The eternal Father has loved His children with an eternal love wherewith He has provided all things unto them necessary for their habitation in this world and the labours and tribulations they must endure. He does not call Adam His Beloved nor has He made His salvation possible to all mankind. He is the Lamb of God who stands as He had been slain from before the foundation of the world; the blood has been shed and the atonement is applied; therefore there remains no more sacrifice for sin. At the appointed hour He reveals Himself in His children and His Spirit teaches them to know the Lord. The more they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will the more He shows them the vanity of this world, the futility of man and the blind ignorance of his ways. This is how He teaches the remnant according to grace that they are few in number (even though NO MAN can number them), they are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land and they live move and have their being in Him.
“and the captain of the sons of Ephraim, Eli-shama the son of Ammi-hud” (Num 2:18).
This minute tribe also was counted among those who trembled at the base of Mt. Sinai and told Moses to be their emissary with the God of the mountain. They saw the face of Moses shine as testimony that he had spoken with Yehovah and yet as that glory faded away their eyes were blinded to the truth. They were numbered among the people who “did eat and drink and rose up to play” (Ex. 32:6) and they were of the portion of those who caused the sound of war to proceed from the camp because God had detained Moses upon the mount as He gave Him the tablets of stone, wherein He had written His Law. They, as part of the whole, demonstrate all the characteristics, weaknesses and frailties of Adam yet there was one who stood as their head; the Captain of the host. His name was Eli-shama the son of Ammi-hud.
The man who stood as the chief of the tribe of Ephraim, was numbered of them “from twenty years old upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel” (Num. 1:3). He was the champion of the host who stood for the house of Ephraim. His name Eli-shama (my God hears) indicates his understanding of the sovereignty of God and the ever present nature of the God of the universe. Without a single account of anything this young man did, his name bore witness that the God of heaven listens to His people. Not that He does not hear everything that is within His creation for, “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye shall He not see?” (Ps. 94:9). The testimony is that He personally hears the cries of His people. He has ordained those things which cause the creature to groan within and the trials and tribulations, engineered for the good of His little ones and when they cry out unto Him, Yehovah God hears them. He is attentive to the sigh and the groan and has ordained even the thoughts and intents of the heart for the good of His Beloved.
The Creator has ordained everything without exception. He observes with intent and watches with perfect regard over the minutest of details in His creation, masterfully orchestrating all things in compete harmony, one with the other, so that His will is done “in earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). His attentiveness to accuracy and precision is exclusive to His nature for “He works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11) without the interference or cooperation of the creature. As He has purposed in Himself to do, so it comes to pass in the fullness of time. This is the God who was called “my God” by this young man.
The personal connotation of this name gives a more subjective view of a relationship with God. The nation of Israel called Him their God in a corporate application; but this man spoke of Yehovah God as his God who is the “glory of My people” (Ammi-hud). He was intimately aware of the power, majesty and love of his God and the unity of God and His people. There is nothing in Adam wherein he may glory before the throne of the Ancient of days. His vessel is frail, his life is but a vapor and his worth is no greater than the grass of the field; “for all flesh is grass and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers and the flower fades away” (I Pt. 1:24). Well then is the question of the Psalmist who asked; “What is man that You are mindful of him? And the son of man that You visit him?” (Ps. 8:4) and when, by the grace of God, His Spirit shows His children their own evil ways and their doings that were not good (Ezek. 36:31) then is magnified the wisdom and spiritual understanding of “seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?” (Ecc. 6:11).
This captain of the host of the house of the first-born of Israel, though just a man, stands as a type of the captain of the salvation of his people. His name was first called forth as a testimony to Yehovah God (Eli-shama) but he was then called Oshea (salvation), for God heard their cry and delivered them out of Egypt. When the ambassador of the Law of God observed him, Moses called his name Yehoshua (Yehovah’s salvation) which is Joshua. This man was given as a pattern of heavenly reality of He who’s name is “Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin” (Matt. 1:21). This man was the greatest in all of Israel as the foreshadow of He who name is Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) who should be “great and shall be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32).
“Behold I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared for you” (Ex. 23:20).
The children of Israel stood at the base of Mt. Sinai and swore that they would obey every word which God spoke and keep his commandments (Ex. 19:8). He knew otherwise because He created them incapable of such perfection; “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29). He had sent them into the bondage of Egypt, in fulfillment of His promise to Abram, to protect them and mold them into a mighty nation. They could not deliver themselves for they abode in the house of a man stronger that they, so He sent for the one ‘saved’ and ‘preserved’ being ‘drawn out’; Moses. This servant of God had to spend forty years in the solitude of the wilderness, tending the sheep of his father-in-law until he was properly prepared to do the work he was appointed unto. He delivered Israel out of the ‘great house’ (Pharaoh), delivered them from the army that pursued them and into the wilderness. He led them for forty years as they traveled their allotted path through the desert being directed by the visual representation of the majesty of God; “For Yehovah has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand stronger than he” (Jer. 31:11).
God then gave unto Moses a young man out of the house of Ephraim who bore a faithful witness that ‘my God hears’ His people. This messenger of God, the son of ‘prosperity’ (Nun) “was full of the spirit of wisdom” which was openly demonstrated when Moses laid hands upon him as a testimony of that which truly can only come from God. This ‘messenger’ fought the battle against the ‘dwellers in the valley’ (Amalekites) as Aaron and Hur held up the weary hands of Moses and Yehovah God “utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (Ex. 17:14). Joshua utterly destroyed the ‘dwellers of the valley’ but the children of Israel could not drive out the Canaanites for they had ‘chariots of iron’ (Josh. 17:16). Joshua was with Moses in the mount, he saw the tablets of stone wherein the finger of God had written, he told Moses there was a noise of war in the camp and he watched as Moses shattered them upon the ground. He was in the Tabernacle of Israel when the glory of Yehovah descended upon it and spoke with Moses “face to face as a man speaks to his friend. No other man, save the high priest of the Lord was permitted into the Tabernacle when the glory of God was upon it, yet the salvation of Yehovah remains as the types and foreshadows of the law retreated from His presence; “And when he (Moses) turned again into the camp, Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart out of the Tabernacle”. (Ex. 33:10f).
This was a chosen vessel of God who bore a true witness when the spies went into the land. He and Caleb (dog) came forth and proclaimed “unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, the land which we passed through to search out is an exceedingly good land: If Yehovah delights in us, then He will bring us into the land and give it us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against Yehovah neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense is departed from them and Yehovah is with us; do not fear them” (Num. 14:7ff). This was the ‘messenger’ (Angel) of Yehovah who was given not to be ashamed to preach the gospel of the Salvation of Yehovah for it is the power of God unto deliverance. This man is the type of the fulfillment; Jesus Christ the righteous.
“If Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day” (Heb. 4:8).
Joshua was given of God to subdue the land and give Israel their inheritance. He rehearsed the story of the ages that had past as a faithful witness to the long-suffering and grace of God. He reminded them of the mighty hand of God in their deliverance, their survival and their conquests; “now therefore fear Yehovah and serve Him in sincerity and in truth and put away the gods which your father’s served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt and serve Yehovah” but lest someone conclude that Joshua was giving these sons of Adam the option to serve God or not; “and Joshua said unto the people, You cannot serve Yehovah for He is an Holy God and a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression nor your sins”. He proclaimed the truth about the two natures in a child of grace as demonstrated by the nation of Israel.
There were those who served Yehovah God with all their hearts, with all their minds and with all their strength. These were born from above. They could not fall short of the glory of God because the eternal seed of God remains in them. They have the testimony of His salvation in them, they have been sealed with their Father’s name in their foreheads and they keep the commandments of God. This is the remnant according to grace, a peculiar people reserved unto God who do not bow the knee to Baal; His sheep which hear His voice and another’s voice they shall not hear; “for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5). These serve Him day and night without fail as they perform the good works they have been created in Christ Jesus unto; giving all praise and glory to the Lamb that was slain.
Joshua also bore witness to the inability of Adam. There is nothing that can be done by the power or the will of the flesh which is acceptable in the presence of God. Every son of the dust “walks according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). His heart is desperately wicked, his logic is seriously flawed and the eyes of his understanding are blind, therefore, as he does that which is right in his own eyes, he falls short of the glory of God. God has no respect for his person, no regard for his accomplishment and no reason to hear him or listen to his petitions. “Thus said Yehovah unto this people, “Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore Yehovah does not accept them; He will now remember their iniquity and visit their sins”. Then said Yehovah unto me, “Do not pray for this people for good. When they fast I will not hear their cry and when they offer burnt offerings and an oblation, I will not accept them but I will consume them by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence” (Jer. 14:10ff).
These two natures are well represented in the nation of Israel as a picture of the experience of the child of grace in the habitation of this dwelling. The inner man delights after the law of God and desires the perfection of Holiness in the Beloved. This seed is eternal but it has been made to be a partaker of the flesh and blood of the first Adam. It has also been made subject to the vanity of this dwelling but, at the appointed hour, when the Lord shall return for them that wait for Him (every man in his order), His children shall see Him as He is and they shall be like Him. Then shall they put off the tabernacle of this dwelling which shall be swallowed up and covered over with the immortality of eternal life.
The outward man, this covering of skin, is perishing. He comes forth from the womb on a journey that leads directly back to the dust. He is sensual having his mind occupied with the needs of the flesh. His eyes are quickly distracted after the sights and sounds of this world and although he is devout in many things yet he has no propensity for faith, which is evidenced in that which cannot be seen or proven. This creature, with his carnal mind, is enmity against God for he, “does not savour the things that be of God but the things that be of men” (Mk. 8:33). He is born of man and not of God (even though it is God which causes the bone to come together in the womb yet is the seed after the kind of man not of God) therefore he has not the Spirit of God. His ears tingle with the sound of the philosophies and theologies of man but the Word of God is foolishness in his ears. The only hope this creature has is in his natural environment and when the time of his habitation is over; “and it came to pass after these things that Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of Yehovah, died, an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Tim-nath-se-rah, which is in Mt. Ephraim on the north side of the hill of Gaash” (Josh. 24:29).
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation, and kindred and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment his come and worship Him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6).
Joshua, the man, lived and died many years ago but he was given as a type of He that should come in the manifestation of the reality of heaven. The true Angel of Yehovah is He who is ‘He who is like God’ (Michael), “the great prince which stands for the children of Your people” (Dan. 12:1). He knows ‘my God hears’ for He and the Father are one. He has heard of the Father all things and He spake that Word as it was given unto Him. He stands along side His children as their advocate with the Father. They hear His voice, He hears the voice of the Father and the Father hears the voice of His children; the circle is complete as a “wheel in the middle of a wheel…This the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yehovah” (Ezek. 1:16 & 28).
This Messenger came to the virgin Mary and told her what things must shortly come to pass for she was made willing in the day of His power as a vessel afore prepared unto glory. She was told that the name of the child was to be called “Jesus, for He shall deliver His people from their sin”. This is the same Word of the mouth of God who revealed that this child was already given more than five hundred years before His advent (Is. 9:6). He bore a faithful witness to His natural lineage, the work that was set before Him, the power and authority that He had and the conclusion of all these things in the fullness of time. He gave Abram to know that “God will provide Himself a Lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8) as he was proven in the land of ‘chosen of Yehovah’ (Moriah) where ‘Yehovah sees’. And He is the Messenger who gave the promise unto Abraham, “in blessing I shall bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is upon the shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of your enemies and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice” (Gen. 22:17). And so the Messenger of Yehovah, which came before the messenger in the wilderness, proclaimed the Word of Yehovah which stated that fruitfulness was unto the house of the first-born; the generation of Jesus Christ. He is Alpha and in Him were all things made that were made and without Him was nothing made that was fashioned.
The messenger of the Lord in the wilderness was the salvation of Yehovah. The Messenger of Yehovah from generation to generation is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, Joshua the Messiah; Jesus Christ. He is the Tabernacle of His people and the glory of the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily. When the Law departed (Moses) from the Tabernacle to deliver the ministration of death unto the children of the nation of Israel, the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah remained in the Tabernacle having fulfilled the Law in all righteousness. He alone is worthy to stand before the door of the dwelling place of God for He is the door of His sheep (John 10:7). He is the curtains which surround the court-yard for He is the height and depth and length and breadth of His body which is complete in Him. There is no other way into this dwelling place for any who are not hewn from that Rock for, unless they be the sons of God, they have “no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem” (Neh. 2:20).
The walls around the habitation of our God are salvation and the gates are praise unto His Holy name. Violence shall no more be heard in Your land, wasting nor destruction within Your borders (Is. 60:18) “and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither works abomination or makes a lie: but those which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27). Moses had to leave the tabernacle to show the fading glory of the type in his face so that Adam would all his life live in fear; but the Son of Righteousness has arisen with healing in His wings and the glory of His beauty can never fade away. Moses left because by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified but the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah remained as the propitiation for the sin of His people in Adam for by His blood they are healed. He is the eternal High Priest of our profession who is seated at the right hand of the Father for He saw the travail of His soul and was well pleased.
This Messenger came forth from the Father and did not return unto Him empty. He accomplished all that He was given to do and all that the Father gave Him, He lost none; and He raised them up in Him in the last day to be seated together with Him in the heavenly places. It is He who now preaches His gospel of deliverance to His people as they dwell here upon the earth. It is not a gospel of offering or opportunity but rather it is the power of Almighty God to redeem His people, whom He has loved with an eternal love. It is the purpose, power and will of God which delivered them from the bondage of the handwriting of ordinances; that “our old man which is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rms. 6:6). Therefore His children are no more under the tutelage of the school-master which brings them unto the Anointing at the time when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself to His children (Gal. 3:24). “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together in Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and to it out of the way nailing it to His cross” (Col. 2:13f).
“For you are not unto the mount that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of trumpets, and the voice of words (which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken unto them any more for they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain it shall be stones or thrust through with a dart and so terrible was the sight, Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake) But you are come unto the mount of Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to the innumerable company of messengers; to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all ad to the spirits of just men made perfect and to Joshua the mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than Abel” (Heb. 12:18f)
Messiah Joshua has given His children their inheritance for it is the good pleasure of the Father to give them His Kingdom (Luke 12:32). He came forth with His work before Him and His reward with Him which is the joy that was set before Him. He has subdued all the land and placed the enemies of our God under His feet. He has done all for His Beloved because His desire is upon Her, therefore, He made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant in the likeness of sinful man. He has endured the righteous judgment of God for His people who are justified by His faith, having drunk full well the cup of the fury of His wrath.
Joshua, the man, gave a true testimony of the promise of God but Messiah Joshua is the Way the Truth and the Life of His people. Joshua was faithful before God but Messiah is He whose name is Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11). The man was subject to the demands of the law as he came not unto the tabernacle without blood; Messiah has come forth, riding the white horse, conquering and to conquer and His vesture was dipped in blood as He trampled the wine-press of the fierce anger of Yehovah. Joshua was the son of man and when his days were completed he dies; Messiah was manifestly declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead (Rms. 1:4). Joshua gave the nation of Israel rest in the land of their inheritance; Messiah has entered into His rest, having put all His enemies beneath His feet and overcoming the wicked one by the power of His blood. The children of Israel sang the song of Moses while the redeemed of the Lamb; “they sung as it were a new song before the throne and before the four beasts and the elders and NO MAN could learn that song but the hundred forty four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Rev. 14:3).
During the habitation in the clay pots fashioned by the hands of the Master, the children are engaged in warfare with the people of the land. They cannot make any leagues, alliances or covenants with them for they are of the earth, earthly, but the natural man of Adam is constantly in league with the things of this world. Yehovah God has made His seed to be subject to the worthlessness of this habitation and the limitations of the vessels, but He has not made them subservient to them. The Canaanites, Perizzites, Amorites, Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites (and all the other ‘ites’), like Esau, are left in the land as tributaries to serve the eternal seed as it travels through the barren wilderness wherein there is no water. The natural man is not effected by the famine that is in the land, “a famine not of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of Yehovah” (Amos 8:11), and the feasts of this world cannot satisfy the perfect seed within. Therefore the Word of God by His Messenger which He has sent before His people to keep them in their way and bring them to the place prepared for them, speaks peaceably to His people and comforts them as they behold their God; “In My Fathers house are many dwelling places: if not I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
These subjects of the Kingdom, not of this world, and heirs of God, joint heirs with Messiah, live and move and have their being in Him. They are fed with every word which proceeds from the mouth of God, they have drunk of that living water and thirst no more and they have eaten of the tree of life, never to be hungry again. They are not enjoined by God to rid the land of the Canaanites for that is the work of Joshua. He has utterly destroyed them as He has all the inhabitants of the land. The Spirit mortifies the deeds of the flesh and by the faith of the Son of God, who loved His Beloved and gave His life for Her, the Israel of our God has overcome the world.
They are ambassadors of Messiah and citizens of another country, Jerusalem which is from above, for heaven and earth have passed away and behold all things are new. They dwell, from year to year, in booths in this foreign land as strangers and sojourners, as they keep the feast of Tabernacles (Zech.14:16), mindful that they have tabernacles not made with hands eternal in the heavens. They are given to see the darkness of sin in this earthen tent yet they walk in the light of Yehovah having the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, keeping His commandments. They wrestle against principalities and power and spiritual wickedness in high places yet their warfare is accomplished.
Let the world ramble on about what is literal and what if figurative; the prisoners of hope are given the testimony of the Spirit to know what is the reality of eternal life as they see the types and foreshadows in the habitation of this dwelling and the glory of God in His wondrous works.
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you fathers, because you have known Him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known Him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong and the Word of God abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one. Do not love the world, neither the things in the world” (I John 2:12f).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
Banner of Hope
Volume 10, No. 1