Joshua 1:5         I Will Never Leave Thee Nor Forsake Thee                 3/27/2011        ßą   

#1.       A God for All the World (2Pet 1:1, 3:1, 1Pet 1:1, John 1:12-13)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      The God Who Wrote the Bible (2Pet 1:16-21, 1Cor 2:12-13, Rom 15:3-4, Psalm 69:9, Eph 1:3-5, 1Cor 10:11, John 5:39)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Moses and Joshua (Deut 34:7-9, 1Cor 5:7, Gal 3:24, Heb 3, Rom 7:4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Three Divine Attributes (Jos 1:3-5, Heb 4:12, Jam 5:16, 1Pet 2:5,9, Isa 55:11, Rev 11:3-5, Matt 28:19-20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Second Peter, 2Pet 1:1 (2X). The title of this sermon is, I Will Never Leave Thee Nor Forsake Thee(2X). Beginning today I would like to start a series on the Prophecy of Joshua. But at the same time I would like to start a series on the Epistle to the Hebrews. And thus I will alternate one week on Joshua, and the next week on Hebrews, and so on. But before I turn to the Prophecy of Joshua I want to erase some misconceptions concerning preaching from the Old Testament. My first point is:

#1.       A God for All the World (2Pet 1:1, 3:1, 1Pet 1:1, John 1:12-13)

A piece of wisdom I have heard for the past 40 years is this: The Old Testament is for the history of the Jews, but the New Testament is for salvation through Jesus Christ. That is a lie. Or they give the following piece of wisdom: The Gospel of salvation is the Good News unto salvation through Jesus Christ, and it is found primarily in the NT and not in the OT. That is also a lie. Today I want to put all these lies to rest, and therefore I wanted us to start this series by turning to the Second Epistle of Peter, beginning in verse 1. To whom is this Epistle addressed?

2Pe 1:1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

We read here, “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us”. And thus this seemed to be addressed to all fellow Christians who are of the same faith as the apostles were. Let us now turn to 2Pet 3:1-2 (2X).

2Pe 3:1-2  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

There are two things screaming to us from these two verses. The first is this: “We must be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets”, which is a direct command to turn to the OT Scriptures, and study the OT Scriptures, and stop that nonsense that the OT is only for the Jews. The second is this: There was a First Epistle of Peter addressed to the same people he speaks to in this Second Epistle. Who was the First Epistle of Peter addressed to? Turn to 1Pet 1:1 (2X). This must be the same group the second Epistle was addressed to.

1Pe 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

And so, the understanding that is floating around in the churches is that this First Epistle of Peter is addressed to the Jews who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. But this is nonsense, for 2Pet 1:1 says that it is addressed to all the Christians who are of the same faith as the apostles were. Can you see where I am heading? Can you see that the God who wrote the Bible is not a god primarily for the Jews? Now, this is a serious matter, for if the first three quarters of the Bible, which is the OT, was only addressed to the Jews, and not to us, then the God whom we serve has primarily His eyes upon the Jews, and the church age is only an appendage for the sake of a few Gentiles. But that is false, for it makes our God only “yea high”. Almighty God is not a tribal god; He is not a god primarily for the Jews who are descendants of Jacob. Our God is a God for all the world, and He is a God who wrote the Bible, both the OT and the NT, to all mankind, not only to the people who lived a long, long time ago in a land far, far away, but also to all the nations of our days. The fact that only some of the people listen to God’s words is their problem, but not God’s problem. And to prove the point I want us to turn first to the Gospel According to John, John 1:13 (2X). Most people remember only John 1:12, which says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” and they interpret it as if the act of believing on His name would make anyone a son of God. But that is a false conclusion, for the next verse gives the condition of the person who becomes a son of God. John 1:13 says,

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In other words, they who become sons of God were “born of God”; they were born again, or born from above, by God, and not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man. You see the first condition is, “Not of blood”, meaning not by having been born of the right bloodline, or not by having been born of good Jewish stock. In the NT time God is no longer favoring the Jews over other nations of the world, for our God is a God for all the world, not a tribal god who prefers the Jews over other nations. Most people forget this when they read Rom 11. Therefore, the Bible which God has written is a Bible for all the world, not particularly for the Jews.

Š      The God Who Wrote the Bible (2Pet 1:16-21, 1Cor 2:12-13, Rom 15:3-4, Psalm 69:9, Eph 1:3-5, 1Cor 10:11, John 5:39)

Please turn again to 2Pet 1:16, and we are going to read verses 16-21. It is a travesty that people have changed Almighty God for a god who is primarily a tribal god. That is not how we should interpret the Bible. But the fact that our God is a God for all the world also implies that He wrote the Bible for all times. We read in 2Pet 1:16-21,

2Pe 1:16-21 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

What do we read here? First of all we, the apostles, have not deceived you with cunningly devised fables about Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty on the Mount of Transfiguration. And then we heard a voice from heaven who said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” But then Peter says in verse 19 something that is even more astounding, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” He is referring to the Bible, of which he says that it is a more sure word of prophecy than the vision which Peter, James, and John saw on the Mount of Transfiguration. This Bible, which came through the hands of the prophets of old, is like as a “light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” Therefore, we cannot say about anything that was written in this Book, the Bible, that it is open for any private interpretation, for this comes from God and only God is allowed to give us the interpretation He bestowed upon it. How does God want us to interpret the Bible? God tells us to compare Scripture with Scripture, according to 1Cor 2:12-13, where God says, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” In other words, this Bible, is a word of prophecy which is more sure than the glorious vision Peter, James, and John experienced, and it may not be interpreted by our private interpretation, but must be interpreted only by other prophecies stated in the Bible No one should say, “This is what it means to me”, for God forbids it. And now the clincher: We read in 2Pet 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” In other words, all the prophecies we read in the Bible, both the OT and the NT prophecies, came in old time not by the will of man, not by the will of the prophet, not according to the culture or the morals of those days, but it came by the will of God, for holy men of God spake “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” or literally: “having been borne along by the Holy Spirit”. Special men chosen by the will of God spoke and wrote while their hands and their mouths were moved by God the Holy Spirit. God dictated these words, and that is why they were spoken and that is why they were written, because God wanted these words exactly as they were written in the Hebrew OT and in the Greek NT. These holy men of God refer to the prophets of the OT as well as to the apostles and the writers of the NT. Like the false prophet Balaam spoke the words that God wanted him to speak, against his will, so all the OT prophets and apostles and NT writers wrote the words that God wanted them to speak and to write. And so, how do we dare to decide that the OT is not for us any more but for the Jews? How do we dare to make decisions of what to read and what to skip? God said in 2Pet 1:20, “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” It means that no one may cut out the OT as unimportant, for these are words that God has spoken, and our private interpretation whether it is important or not is not permitted. If we say that we fear God, then let us give the proper respect to His words. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 15:3 (2X). If we are not able to interpret His words, then let the blame fall on us, but not on the words which God has spoken. In fact, God wants us to study and interpret the OT, for much in the OT can be understood in the light of the truths revealed in the NT. Let us look at Rom 15:3-4, and see what God says about the OT. Rom 15:3-4,

Ro 15:3-4  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Verse 4 starts with the word “For”. What is the word “For” there for? It is referring to verse 3 where the Lord Jesus Christ quoted from Psalm 69:9, which is a Messianic Psalm where the Lord Jesus speaks of His sufferings, and where He said in Psalm 69:9, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee (God) are fallen upon me (Christ)” Therefore, referring to those reproaches in Rom 15:4, “whatsoever things concerning Christ were written aforetime in the OT, were written for our learning”, and Psalm 69 is a prime example of this; so that we living in the NT time through patient study of the OT Scriptures might have hope. What hope is this? It is the hope of eternal life with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth. It is not a hope that may be, but it is a certainty for all God’s children. And who are His children? God says in Eph 1:3-5 that His children are all those whom God chose, whom God elected from before the foundation of the world. And God chose His elect out of all the nations of the world, not just the Jews. The God of the Bible is not just a god for the Jews as His elect people, but He is God for the remnants of all the nations of the world, including a remnant of the Jews. And He is the God who wrote the Bible which must go to all the nations of the world, at any moment in history, so that God can draw out His elect from all the nations of the world at any moment in history. That is why we read in 1Cor 10:11,

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Like God said it in Rom 15:4, all these things in the OT were written as examples for our learning, and for our admonition in the affairs of this life, and for increasing our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for increasing our understanding of the Gospel, the Good News, so that we might have the hope of eternal life with Christ and in Christ in the NH&NE. Who are we? God says, “Upon whom the ends of the world are come”, which means that the length of the NT period of time is very short compared with the length of the OT time. And let us not fool ourselves thinking that the OT is unimportant. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:39 (2X),

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

In other words, when we study the OT we shall find Christ there, almost on every page, if we only are willing to search for Him with NT eyes. And so, that is what we are going to do now. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 34:7 (2X).

#2.       Moses and Joshua (Deut 34:7-9, 1Cor 5:7, Gal 3:24, Heb 3, Rom 7:4)

When we read the Bible, especially when we read the OT, we should be aware that God wrote the Bible as a spiritual Book. God did not write the Bible as a history book. Why can I say this so confidently? I can say this because I have been there personally. For the first 40 years of my life I have learned from the Jesuits, and they were great instructors of the history of the Bible. I believed all the stories from the Bible, I believed even all the articles of faith of the Roman church, but I was not saved. You see, salvation is a change of heart. The Lord Jesus said, “You must be born again”. And believing all the history of the Bible does not save anyone. You must have a change of heart, you must be circumcised in your heart, and that only God can do. And so, God did not write the Bible as a history book, but as a spiritual Book, in types and figures, and prophecies illustrated in parables, and in spiritual pictures illustrating who Jesus Christ really is, and in spiritual pictures referring to the Gospel of salvation and to the NT church, and to the apostacy of the church near the end of time, which is a subject matter rarely preached about these days in the NT churches.

And so, when we read about Moses, and the exodus out of Egypt, we should be aware that all these historical events have also a spiritual meaning. God chose His words very carefully in the Bible in such a way that we can recognize types and figures. For example, God dictated to Moses the first five prophecies in the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These are called “the Law of God”. Moses was the lawgiver, and thus if we would look for types and figures then Moses represents the law of God. We read that God used Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, because the Passover Lamb was slain. In Ex 20 and in Deut 5 God tells us plainly that Egypt represents the house of bondage, and in 1Cor 5:7 we read that Christ is our Passover. And thus we see that the law of God was instrumental in leading Israel out of the house of bondage. What is that a picture of? It is a grandiose picture of salvation, for in our unsaved state we are held in the power of sin and Satan, which is to be held in the house of bondage. And we read in Gal 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The law of God showed us our sinfulness, and thus it showed us that we needed a Savior. Christ crucified, the killing of our Passover Lamb, was the act of God leading to our freedom from the house of bondage. That this is a true interpretation of the exodus out of Egypt is proven from the content of Heb 3. God showed us there that the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt is not a true deliverance of His elect people with body and soul, but only a picture of our deliverance from the house of bondage, for most of the children of Israel who were delivered out of Egypt died in the wilderness in unbelief; they were never saved. But the picture continues: The 40 years of wilderness wanderings, before they entered into the land of Canaan, are a picture of our wanderings in this world after we have been saved. Then the crossing of the Jordan was a picture of our physical death, and entering into the kingdom of God in the life hereafter. But since a portion of Israel was not saved at the time that they crossed the Jordan River, the crossing of the Jordan must also be a picture of salvation and entering into the kingdom of God here on earth. Then the battles fought against the Canaanites are pictures of the spiritual battles we face as the church militant when we are in the kingdom of God here on earth. And so, in both cases the land of Canaan is a picture of the kingdom of God. The real-estate there east of the Mediterranean is not what God had in view, but the kingdom of God is what He had promised to Abraham. And so, all these types and figures we must keep in mind when we begin to look at the crossing of the Jordan. We read in Deut 34:7-9,

D 34:7-9 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Moses died. Moses was not allowed to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Why not? It was because Moses represented the law of God. God tells us that when we enter into the kingdom of God we first must die to the law and be born again. Therefore the crossing of the Jordan is a picture of becoming born again to a new life in Christ. Spiritually in our new life in the kingdom of God we have been crucified with Christ and in Christ, we have died with Christ and were in Christ, we were buried with Christ and in Christ, and we were resurrected with Christ and in Christ. Before our salvation we were married to the law of God. Then we read in Rom 7:4, since we have died with Christ, “we have become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that we should be married to Christ who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” This is why Moses had to die, and this is why Joshua had to lead us into the Promised Land. And thus Joshua represents Christ who leads us into the kingdom of God here on earth. And so, finally, let us now look at Joshua the son of Nun.

Please turn one page in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 1:1 (2X). The name Joshua means Jehovah

Saves, or Jehovah is Salvation. The name Jesus is the Greek spelling of the same name as Joshua. And thus it stands to reason that the leadership of Joshua over the children of Israel was a picture of Christ leading His elect children into the kingdom of God. Therefore Joshua is never defeated, which means when Christ is leading us we are never defeated; the elect children of God, the Israel of God (Rom 9:6) will always persevere to the end. God promised the saints that they will always persevere to the end. Now, let us continue the symbolism of the Jordan River. Since Christ (Joshua) had to take us through the Jordan and give us a new life in the kingdom of God, it means that Christ had to be crucified for our sins, and we have been crucified with Christ while He had to endure Hell in our place when He suffered for us on the cross. And thus the symbolism of the Jordan River is that it represents the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, and since Christ had to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, the Jordan River represents Hell to us. We must go through Hell to be cleansed from all our sins before we may enter into the kingdom of God. We should keep this in mind, especially in chapter 3.  We read in Josh 1:1-9,

Jos 1:1-9 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

What is God saying in this passage? Where is the emphasis? The emphasis is this, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We see this in verse 5, where God says, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” God is saying this to Joshua, but in the spiritual realm God is saying this to Christ and to all those who are in Christ. In other words, God is also saying this to every one of us who belongs to God’s elect, for according to Eph 1:4 we were in Christ, and we still are in Christ. Look at this amazing love and mercy of Christ for each one of His children when He says, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Christ says this not to one of the righteous angels. Christ says it to us, we who still are inclined to sin, we who have desired to leave Him, to escape His loving embrace. And now, since He has endured the torments of Hell for us in our place, God makes sure that the work that Christ began on our behalf will never go to waste, and God promised that He will preserve us for all eternity, which means that God’s providence will not permit something to come upon us so that we will depart from the faith. He will make our temptations really easy, for His grace will always be sufficient for us to meet the temptation.

What is God saying in Josh 1:1-2? God said in Deut 34:9 that Moses had laid his hands on Joshua, for the purpose of commissioning him to be the next leader of Israel. That is what the ceremony of the laying on of hands is for: To commission people for a certain assignment. This is what you, the congregation receive every Sunday: You are commissioned to bring the Gospel to whosoever God brings into your path. Let us interpret God’s words:

God is saying in Josh 1:2, “Now, after the death of Moses (remember we are dead to the law), the servant of the Lord (remember the law is our schoolmaster), the Lord spoke to Joshua (spoke to Christ) saying, now therefore cross over this Jordan (remember the cross and Hell), Thou and al this people whom I have given into Thy hand from before the foundation of the world (which are all the elect), and give them the faith to understand that We (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) have forgiven them all their sins, and will give them the Promised Land (which is the kingdom of God) as a free gift, even to all those who are the Israel of God.” What have I done here? I have woven into the OT words the information that the NT provides. I have used the NT to interpret the spiritual meaning of the OT words. I have not neglected the historical meaning, but the history of the Prophecy of Joshua is straightforward and has no surprises. We all believe the historical truthfulness of this story, no one denies that, but does it change our heart? To learn of the love of Christ for His elect children is something that may touch our heart, for when we see Christ in the OT Scriptures we can see the love of God for us, undeserving sinners, whom He has changed from sinners into saints. And each OT passage teaches us the Gospel, the Good News, all over again, like the Lord Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” And that is what we are doing here.

#3.       Three Divine Attributes (Jos 1:3-5, Heb 4:12, Jam 5:16, 1Pet 2:5,9, Isa 55:11, Rev 11:3-5, Matt 28:19-20)

Jos 1:3  Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

The first Divine attribute that God bestowed upon Joshua was this: I have given you the world. Go and conquer it for the kingdom of God’s sake. How was Joshua going to do it? He was going to conquer it with a sword in his hand and with the army of the Lord following him. Let us now look at the spiritual side of this verse.

The first Divine attribute that God bestows upon Christ and everyone who is in Christ is this: I have given you the world. Go and conquer it for the kingdom of God’s sake. How are we going to do it? We are going to conquer it with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in our hand (Heb 4:12), and with the army of the Lord following us. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you.” You shall teach them the Gospel, the Good news, and you shall pray for them that they may be converted. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Jam 5:16). This is the attribute of a priest, and God has taught us in the NT that we are a priesthood of believers (1Pet 2:5,9), or better we are a priesthood of saints; God has transformed us from sinners into saints.

Jos 1:4  From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

The second Divine attribute that God bestowed upon Joshua was this: I have given you the world. It is already yours. Take possession of it. Look at the description of your territory. It is all the way from Lebanon to the great river Euphrates where Babylon is. Take all the land of the Hittites, which actually means, take all the land of Asia Minor, for that was the kingdom of the Hittites, and go as far west as the going down of the sun. Let us now look at the spiritual side of this verse.

The second Divine attribute that God bestows upon Christ and upon everyone who is in Christ is this: I have given you the world with all its inhabitants. It is already yours. I will send you as ambassadors to the farthest ends of the world, and you shall be successful in all that you do. I have decreed that My Word shall not return void unto Me, “but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it” (Isa 55:11). And so, do not fear, for you shall be 100% successful in everything that you do. This is the attribute of a king, for as the ambassadors of the King of kings we must make certain decisions every day. Do not get nervous, for God says that we shall be 100% successful in everything that we do.

Jos 1:5  There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

The third Divine attribute that God bestowed upon Joshua was this: You are invincible. I have given you the task to conquer the land of Canaan. Go and conquer it for the kingdom of God’s sake. No one shall be able to hinder you. And this attribute I have given you all the days of your life. Let us now look at the spiritual side.

The third Divine attribute that God bestows upon Christ and upon all those who are in Christ is this: I have made you invincible. Go and proclaim this Gospel to all the world. Even the Roman Empire shall not be able to stop you, and the Roman Inquisition shall withdraw in shame, and the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain shall fall, and all the world shall see that I have done that. Did I not promise your success in Rev 11:3-5,

Re 11:3-5 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

This is the attribute of a prophet. A prophet is one who tells the world of what God said. We tell the world God’s words that are in the Bible. God has commissioned us to proclaim His words to all the world. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 28:19-20,

Mt 28:19-20  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

And so, what we see in Josh 1:3-5 is that God has appointed us as prophets, priests and kings. Do we accept this honor? Are we delighted to take up these functions? The question really is, “Do we love the Lord Jesus?” If we indeed love Him, then we delight to do those things that are pleasing in His sight, and to accept this honor of filling the role of prophets, priests and kings is doing what is pleasing in His sight. Think of it. In the function of a prophet we declare and teach the world of what the Gospel of pure grace really is, and we declare what the false gospel is. We teach the world discernment between truth and falsehood. And we declare to the world what God really has said. In the function of a king we make decisions who to talk to about the Gospel and who not to talk to. We make decisions of what to say and what not to say. We make decisions who to visit and who not to visit. And so on. And whatever we decide, our chief executive officer the King of kings approves of our actions, for that authority He has given us from the beginning when He called us His ambassadors. In the function of a priest we pray for those we have visited, and for those we have introduced to the Gospel, and for ourselves that we may faithfully proclaim the true Gospel and that we may not go astray and lead others astray. And all these actions as prophets, kings and priests we do not to please ourselves, but because we love our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jos 1:6  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.     Literally: Be strong and brave, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

What is that land which God swore to their fathers that He would give to their children? You might say “the land of Canaan”. But is that really so? When we use the information provided by the NT and reinterpret the OT we arrive at an entirely different conclusion. What God promised to Abraham is found in Rom 4:13, where He said,

Ro 4:13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

O, the promise to Abraham was that he should be the heir of the world; NO, not this sin cursed earth but the new world in the new creation where we find the New Jerusalem. Abraham understood this, but many in this day and age do not understand this. Moreover, God promised Abraham a great deal more. We read in Heb 11:9-10,

Heb 11:9-10  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

And here we see that Abraham understood that there will be a New Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God. And so we see that God told Abraham a whole lot more than most people understand today. The land of Canaan was not the ultimate Promised Land, but the kingdom of God was. That is why God said in Josh 1:6, “you shall cause this people to inherit the land.” And when we look at the spiritual side of this verse we must say that God says this verse also to us. We must be the cause that other people will inherit the Land, the kingdom of God, for God delighted to arrange it that way. God delighted to give us the honor of being the cause that others may become saved, by using our words and our actions as a witness for what Christ has done. God says in Rom 10:17, “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God saves people through hearing the true Gospel and by making them able to spiritually hear the salvation message. That is how God uses our words. Pray to God that He may use our words mightily that we may be the cause of the salvation of many.

AMEN.                   Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.