Josh 6:16                                The Last Trumpet                                        7/24/2011        ßą   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       Seven Trumpets of Ram’s Horns (Josh 6:4-5, Lev 25, Gen 7:4, 7:15-17, 19:23-24, 1Cor 15:51-53, John 6, 1Thess 4:16, 1Thess 4:13-18, Matt 25)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Last Trumpet Sound (Josh 6:16-21, Mark 10:45, Matt 24:31, 1Cor 15:52, 1Thess 4:16, Rev 11:15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       God’s Perfect Plan (Josh 6:24-25, 1Chron 22:14, 29:7, 1Cor 3:10-13,16, Matt 1:5, Rom 2:28-29)

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 15:16 (2X). In Genesis 15:16 the Lord prophesied to Abraham that his descendants shall be afflicted in a strange land four hundred years, and afterward they shall come back to the land of Canaan. And then He said in Gen 15:16, “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” At the time of Abraham the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 6:1 (2X). Now the children of Israel have come out of Egypt and they are ready to conquer the Promised Land and exterminate the Amorites, “for the iniquity of the Amorites is now full.” They already exterminated two Amorite kings, Sihon , king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, on the east side of the Jordan. Place a sticker here in Josh 6, for we will return here many times.

The Captain of the host of the Lord (Christ) had appeared to Joshua in Josh 5:14, and has taken charge of the operation. The first five verses of chapter 6 are the words of the Lord. We read here in Josh 6:1-5,

Jos 6:1-5 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

This was the plan of God and these were the words that the Lord Jesus Christ told to Joshua. Why did God design this cumbersome plan to conquer Jericho? Why was this battle of Jericho described so very extensively in this Prophecy of Joshua, whereas hundreds of other cities in the land of Canaan have been conquered without such elaborate detail? God is showing us types and figures of spiritual battles on the last day when Christ shall come bringing all the saints with Him, and showing us the timing of the Rapture on the last day. We will see this when we study this chapter carefully. The title of this sermon is, The Last Trumpet (2X), reminding us what the New Testament says about the Last Trumpet Call. Throughout the Prophecy of Joshua the entire conquest of the land of Canaan show us pictures of the end of the world. Jericho is a representation of the world which lives without God and without Christ, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and are without God, because they are worshiping their own cursed idol gods. In this battle of Jericho we see the picture of Christ’s second coming as the Judge of all the earth, leading His armies to the victory. In this chapter we see a picture of the armies of the Lord encircling the world which is dominated by antichrist and Satan, like we see it in Rev 19:11-21. There is absolutely no contest. When Christ shall make His appearance all the world will know that Judgment Day has come for them. This will be the day when the year of Jubilee will be announced for all the Israel of God, which are all the saints. Then we will all go home to the Promised Land of our inheritance, the New Heaven and the New Earth. All our ties to this world of sin will be cut.

#1.       Seven Trumpets of Ram’s Horns (Josh 6:4-5, Lev 25, Gen 7:4, 7:15-17, 19:23-24, 1Cor 15:51-53, John 6, 1Thess 4:16, 1Thess 4:13-18, Matt 25)

 Why would I tie this story in Joshua 6 to Last Day and to the year of Jubilee? Let us look carefully at Josh 6:4.

Jos 6:4  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets (Shophar) of rams’ horns (Yobel): and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets (Shophar).

The Hebrew word “trumpet” is the word “Shophar”, which means trumpet. The Hebrew word translated “ram’s horns” is actually one word “Yobel” which means “Jubilee”. It refers to the year of Jubilee which is mentioned in Lev 25, where the Sabbath year and the year of Jubilee are described. The year of Jubilee is announced on the Day of Atonement every 50th year by the trumpet of the Jubilee, the Yobel. This Hebrew word has been translated “ram’s horn” only here in Joshua 6. Everywhere else it has been translated “Jubilee,” which is the correct translation. That is why we should see in this ceremony of circling the city of Jericho a picture of the Last Day when we shall go to our inheritance forever after the judgment of the wicked. The trumpet Shophar is sounding the warning for seven days. Remarkably, the number seven shows up prominently in this chapter of Joshua. There are seven trumpets of Yobel; there are seven days that the city is circled; the seventh day the trumpets are blown seven times; and when the last trumpet blows the end has come. When we think of the end of the world we see that the number seven is dominant. God said to Noah in Gen 7:4, “For yet seven days and I will cause it to rain upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights.” God speaks in the Revelation of Jesus Christ about seven seals, and seven churches, and seven stars, and seven candlesticks, and seven angels, and seven trumpets, and seven vials of wrath. But the seventh day Sabbath is out of the picture, because the end of the world takes place in the New Testament period of time when the ceremonial law has ceased to exist.

And how does this event resemble the Rapture on the Last Day? Rahab the Harlot and all those who belong to her are rescued out of Jericho before the city is destroyed, but both events occur on the Last Day. And is this not indeed the timing of the Rapture? We read in Gen 7:15-17 that Noah went into the ark, the Lord shut him in, and immediately the flood was for 40 days upon the earth. Noah was rescued on the same day the flood came upon the earth. We read in Gen 19:23-24, “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” Lot was rescued the same day that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Rahab the Harlot was rescued on the same day that Jericho was destroyed. In 1Cor 15:51-53 God tells us that at the sound of the last trumpet the Rapture will occur. In John 6 the Lord tells us four times that the resurrection of the dead will occur on the last day and in 1Thess 4:14 we read that the Rapture occurs at the resurrection of the dead, and thus the Rapture occurs on the Last Day. And there are many other proofs that the Rapture of the saints occurs on the Last Day. No way in the world would we be able to design an end time scenario whereby the Rapture occurs on another day. That would be an abomination to God.

Please turn now to the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, 1Thes 4:13 (2X). When we read in Josh 6:5 that at the last trumpet all the people shall shout with a great shout, we are reminded that this great shout is also recorded in 1Thess 4:16. Let us begin reading 1Thes 4 and verse 13. The Lord says here,

1Th 4:13-18, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The term “them which are asleep in Jesus” refers to the saints who have died. Their body was laid in the grave but their soul went to live and reign with Christ in heaven. These are the souls that the Lord Jesus will bring with Him. Then the term “we which are alive and remain” refers to the saints who are still alive on this earth at the time the Lord Jesus comes again. Therefore, comfort one another with these words. Now, this is the true scenario of the Last Day. The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 is not the true scenario. It is only a parable to teach us some basic truths concerning the nature of those who have been Born Again and the nature of those who remain unsaved. But notice now verse 16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.” This is Christ shouting, and all the armies of heaven give great shout. It is a great shout of victory. The church is no longer the church militant, for while we were militant we were in fact suffering persecution, or we were suffering for the sheep who have gone astray. But now at the end of time the church has become the church triumphant.

Let us now return to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 6:6 (2X).

Jos 6:6-15 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

The ark of the Lord was with them. His armies will fight for Him. The Lord comforted them in their battle against Jericho. And who were those who marched around the city? We read in verse 9,

Josh 6:9, “And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

The “rereward” in this verse is not a noun, but it is a Hebrew verb which has been translated as “together”, and to “gather”, and to “assemble.” And thus, in Josh 6:9 the meaning of the “rereward” is the entire congregation.

Josh 6:9, “And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the entire congregation came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

Can we see the scenario that unfolded there at Jericho? The soldiers stood on the wall and watched this huge army of more than 500,000 armed men, they were followed by seven priests who blew the trumpets, they were followed by four priests who carried a golden box, the ark of the covenant, and they were followed by more than 600,000 people of the congregation, and they circled the city. No one said anything. All that the soldiers heard was the trumpets and the shuffling of more than 2 million feet. The people in Jericho saw that they were destined to die. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 21:25 (2X). This was a huge army. Just think of it. Napoleon Bonaparte was going to conquer the entire land of Russia with an army of 500,000 men. He did not succeed, but Napoleon thought that this was a distinct possibility. And here such a big army was circling around Jericho. They knew that they were going to die, but they did not know when. It was scary period in their life. And this is what people are going to experience when the end of the world is near. We read in Luke 21:25-28,

Lu 21:25-28  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Can you see the scary part of this scenario? “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” However scary it may be for the unsaved, for the saints it will be like music in their ears. They will remember these words from the Lord when He said in verse 28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” It will be an exciting time for many of us. Pray to God that He will give us repentance and faith before that Last Day arrives. But those within the city of Jericho had no way to escape, and those who wait until the scary part of the end time scenario has arrived shall have no escape either. It will be too late. God will not give them repentance and faith.

#2.       The Last Trumpet Sound (Josh 6:16-21, Mark 10:45, Matt 24:31, 1Cor 15:52, 1Thess 4:16, Rev 11:15)

Please return now to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 6:16 (2X). We should see that the focus of this chapter is not on Jericho, but on the Ark of the Covenant (Christ), and on the salvation of Rahab the Harlot and her family. The focus is not on Jericho because Jericho is a heathen society; it is a narcissistic society. It means that it is a selfish society. God did not create us as selfish beings. God created us as social beings who desire to serve others rather than self. That is why the focus of this sermon is first of all on Christ, for Christ did not come to serve Himself, but to serve others. The Lord Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Here at the circling of Jericho the Lord Jesus waited until the last trumpet sounded. The reason why God wrote it this way was because these words must harmonize with other verses in the New Testament where the last trumpet is mentioned. We read in Josh 6:16-21,

Jos 6:16-21  And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

When the last trumpet sounded the walls of the city fell down flat, but the part of the wall where the house of Rahab the Harlot was remained intact. The scarlet cord was hanging out of the window, which was a symbol of the blood of Christ that was going to be shed for her on Calvary in AD 33. The seventh time the trumpets sounded, it was a long drawn out sound and it was accompanied by a very loud shout. This shout came from the Captain of the host of the Lord and simultaneously from the army of Israel. From 1Thess 4:16 we know that on the Last Day a loud shout will come from Christ and from the armies which are the angels and all the saints that are with Him, and this shout announces that the time for the Rapture has come. Here in Josh 6:20 the loud shout indicated that Judgment Day has arrived for the city of Jericho. Therefore, on the Last Day the Rapture will occur on the same day as Judgment Day for the unsaved. Judgment Day will be for all those who believed not in the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ. Instead they are clinging to their earthly hope, the pleasures of the here and now, but this earth will be destroyed. Beautiful Jericho, the city of palm trees, what a lovely name, shall exist no more. It is an accursed city. It will be condemned to Hell, because the iniquity of the Amorites is now full. And on the Last Day this sin cursed earth, which will look beautiful in the eyes of sinful man, shall be destroyed because the iniquity of the Amorites is now full. All this is in complete harmony with the verses that we find in the New Testament about the blowing of the last trumpet. We read in Matt 24:31 about the events of the end of the world.

Mt 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The souls of al the elect shall receive their glorified bodies at the great sound of the last trumpet, and we shall be gathered, for together with Christ we shall be the judges of all the unsaved in the world. We read in 1Cor 15:52,

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

At the sound of the last trumpet, which will be the seventh trumpet, the dead in Christ shall be raised and receive their glorified bodies, and be joined with their souls which Christ shall bring with Him. This shall be a miracle in itself how these millions of bodies know how to pick out their own souls from the millions of souls that Christ shall bring with Him. But we who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and we shall be joined to the Lord at the same time as those who had to come all the way from the grave. We read in 1Thess 4:16,

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel. There are no archangels in heaven. Literally, this is the voice of the Chief Messenger, which is Christ. The dead in Christ shall rise first, because they have a longer way to go. But we will be joined with Christ at the same time, for the next verse says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds.” At the same time the unsaved are gathered before the judgment throne of Christ. Who will be standing there before the judgment throne? Only the unsaved shall be standing there, for 1Thess 4:17 says, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We must remember this for our own comfort. It is not true that we all shall stand before the judgment throne, for all the saints have already been judged at the cross. It is true that everyone must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, but not all at the same time. Then we read in Rev 11:15 about the last trumpet sound,

Re 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

At the sound of the seventh trumpet all in heaven will declare that earthly history is over. This might be a little confusing when we read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but this we have to remember that the seventh seal, and the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial of the wrath of God are all simultaneous events. We continue in Josh 6:22.

Jos 6:22-25  But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

We have already seen the promise given to Rahab in verse 17. Look there in Josh 6:17, “only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.” And they brought out Rahab and all that were with her and placed her outside the camp of Israel. God had mercy on her. Time and again we read the reason why God had mercy on her. It was because she hid the messengers that Joshua sent. Now, was Rahab the Harlot the only one in the Bible who was saved by her works? We can see that we must explain this anomaly. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 11:31 (2X). No one can be saved by obeying a law, any law, for God states this principle in Gal 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” and God states in Gal 3:21 another basic principle, “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” In other words, if there was a law given whereby someone could be saved by obeying that law, then salvation would have been ordained through that law, and Christ would not have to come to die on a cruel cross. Let us see, Heb 11:31 says, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” She perished not together with the others in Jericho who believed not. Instead she received the Israelite spies with peace. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:8 (2X). Why did she do that? She did that because she was absolutely convinced that Israel would be successful in conquering the land of Canaan. She said in Josh 2:11, “For Jehovah your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” From where did she receive this faith? She received it from Almighty God. Prior to the two spies there was no one who could have given her the Gospel story. They only brought her the war stories. And so, she received faith from God just like any other person who becomes saved receives faith from God. We read in Eph 2:8-9 this important principle:

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We are not saved by faith because faith is a work; we are saved by grace, like we also can read in Eph 2:5. And thus the faith that we have is a result of our salvation, but it is not the cause of salvation. God saves us by His grace which means His unmerited favor, for God pours His favors only on those whom He chose from before the foundation of the world. Please turn one page to your left to Eph 1:3 (2X), and there we read in Eph 1:3-8,

Eph 1:3-8  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

And thus Rahab the Harlot received the grace from God not because of her works, for she was or had been a harlot, but she received the grace from God because He had chosen her from before the foundation of the world. And God predestined her, He determined her destiny, to become adopted as a child of God through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will. All this took place to the praise of the glory of His grace. She was redeemed through the blood of Christ and received the forgiveness of sins. These are the riches of His grace which has been poured upon her with all wisdom and understanding. This explains how people are saved. First God chose us before the foundation of the world, then God imputes the guilt of our sins on the account of the Lord Jesus and He paid for the guilt of our sins, then God makes us Born Again at some point in our earthly life, and then we are guaranteed to spend eternity with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth. And so, the reason why Rahab found grace in the eyes of the Lord was not because she hid the spies that Joshua sent to her, but she hid the spies because her faith prompted her to this action. That is the nature of faith. Faith leads to action. And in her faith she was concerned for the safety of these two men with whom she now felt a bond of brotherhood. That is the nature of a true faith. When we have become saved we love Christ, but we also love the brethren in the faith, and we like to fellowship with them as much as we can.

Why was Rahab the Harlot saved with all that were with her? Now we enter into the symbolism of the church. All that were in the house with her symbolized the eternal church. First they were brought to safety outside Jericho, and then they were brought outside the camp of Israel, and they were cared for by Israel.

#3.       God’s Perfect Plan (Josh 6:24-25, 1Chron 22:14, 29:7, 1Cor 3:10-13,16, Matt 1:5, Rom 2:28-29)

Jos 6:24  And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Jos 6:25  And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

What was the reason why the vessels of silver and of gold, and of brass and of iron were put in the treasury of the Lord? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of First Chronicles, 1Chron 22:14 (2X). King David planned to build the temple of God in Jerusalem, but God sent a message to him through the Prophet Nathan that his son Solomon should build the house of the Lord, not David. But David continued to gather building materials for the temple. And then in 1Chron 22:14 David said to Solomon his son,

1Ch 22:14  Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.

Then later in 1Chron 29:7 David informed all the congregation of Israel of all these building materials that he has collected. Then the princes of Israel offered willingly for the building of the temple. We read in 1Chron 29:7,

1Ch 29:7  And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.

And thus we know that ultimately these vessels of silver and gold and brass and iron recovered from Jericho were reserved for building the temple in Jerusalem. Please turn now to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 3:10 (2X). From the New Testament we learn that the physical temple in Jerusalem was only a shadow of the real temple of God. The real temple of God consists of the souls of all the saints, for there is where God dwells. And so, we have here in 1Cor 3:10-13 a parable about temple builders. We read in 1Cor 3:10-13, and also verse 16,

1Co 3:10-13  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

What does the gold, silver and precious stones represent? They represent the pure doctrines of the Bible. When the apostle says that he has laid the foundation, we must understand that he has laid the doctrine of Christ crucified so that people can become saved. When others build on it with gold, silver, and precious stones they too are contributing to the salvation and edification of people who become saved, and they too are beautifying the spiritual temple of God, which is the real thing. The physical edifice is only a shadow of the real thing. The fire is the fire of the Day of the Lord. But those who have been taught the true Gospel of the Bible and have become saved, shall be victorious in the fire of the Day of the Lord. Those who have not been fed the true Gospel have received teachings that are like wood, hay and stubble, and they shall perish. But God’s perfect plan will be accomplished, and He will bring in all those whom He has determined to be saved. And when the entire spiritual temple will be complete and God dwells within her, we can see the analogy with the representation of the Bride of Christ.

For Rahab the Harlot God’s perfect plan was to bring her to Christ, and to have Christ dwell in her. Now she dwelt with the saints, and the Ark of the Covenant was among them. That was the reason why the Ark of the Covenant was with the saints circling the enemy city of Jericho. God gives us the victory through Christ and in Christ. That is the comfort of the message of Joshua chapter 6: God is with us. He will fight for us.

There is one more thing that we need to understand. Why did God say of Rahab the Harlot, “And she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day?” Please turn to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 1:5 (2X). We have here in the first 17 verses of this chapter a genealogy, but it is not the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but it is the genealogy of Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus. But to cover all bases, and knowing that in the Jewish culture an adopted son has equal rights with a legitimate son, God chose to include the genealogy of Joseph. Matt 1:5 reads,

Mt 1:5  And Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab; and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse.

This tells us that Rahab the Harlot did not stay outside the camp of Israel, but she married Salmon and begat a child who was called Boaz, and Boaz married Ruth the Moabitess, and Ruth begat a child who was Obed, and Obed begat a child who was Jesse, the father of David the king. The Lord Jesus Christ is a descendant of David, and since Christ is with us every day, in that sense Rahab is also with us Unto This Day.

God’s perfect plan was already in operation when the two spies visited Rahab the Harlot, and they witnessed the amazing faith of Rahab, and her determination to save them from death so that they could bring back to her the entire army of the children of Israel and rescue her from her predicament of dwelling among the heathen. Rahab was an Amorite, but in heart she was an Israelite, and it was God who performed this miracle of salvation in her heart. God had circumcised her heart. God says in Rom 2:28-29, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.