Series: Angels; Taking the Land of Promise; The Finishing Generation
Sun am 3 February 2019 – Pastor Kobus Swart
1 Cor. 10:1-11 (NASB & TPT); Acts 7:38; Ex. 23:23, 27; Num. 13:25-33; Gen. 6:4; Num. 14:5-38; Jude 5-6; Josh. 1:1-3; (John 19:30); Josh. 5:13-14; (Josh. 11:21-23); Heb. 4:8-9; Josh. 13:1, 13; Josh. 14:6-7,10-15; Eph. 6:12; (Heb. 1:14); 1 Cor. 6:3; Heb. 12:1-14, 22; Matt. 5:9; Rev. 7:11; Matt. 13:41-42
You will find the New Testament hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament explained in the New Testament. …. Now these things happened to them (=Israel in the wilderness) as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (1 Cor. 10:1-11). The Exodus from Egypt, the journey through the wilderness and taking possession of the land of promise is extremely relevant for us. All the tests they endured on their way through the wilderness are a symbolic picture, an example that provides us with a warning so that we can learn through what they experienced. For we live in a time when the purpose of all the ages past is now completing its goal within us (1 Cor. 10:11 TPT). We are living in the ends of the ages. We must pay attention to what the Bible says; all this history of Israel is relevant to us in a spiritual sense. Acts 7:38 talks about Israel as the congregation (=Church) in the wilderness.
This is what happened to Israel as they were to take possession of Canaan:
For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them (Ex. 23:23). These ‘ites’ in the spiritual sense are the troublemakers we face as we take possession of our land of promise. The beautiful promise here is: For My angel will go before you. The whole Exodus was guided and there was angelic involvement. The same is true for us! On our journey, there are angels involved, but we cannot see them because of various reasons. I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you (Ex. 23:27). The different angels in the Bible have very interesting names. Let this be clear in your mind: God did not send them into the wilderness unprotected.
The 12 spies came back from spying out the land and 10 of them only had a negative report in spite of seeing that the land was a land of milk and honey as was promised (Num. 13:28-32). There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight (Num. 13:33). The Nephilim were first mentioned in Genesis 6:4. When the sons of God came in to the daughters of men (adam) and giants were born from them – and these giants were found in the land of promise! (I would like to refer you to a teaching that I have given, titled, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man’; On our website). We can see that they faced these giants. I want you to see the spiritual significance of this as we proceed on our own spiritual journey.
The Bible says that Caleb had a different spirit, and God is calling a people with a different spirit, a different view of situations in the world. We can become super negative with all that is happening in the world, but God is looking for a people with a spirit like that of Caleb. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces and Joshua and Caleb spoke to the congregation (Num. 14:5-8). Moses pleaded to God to have mercy (Num. 14:11-19). So the Lord said, “I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it” (Num. 14:20-24).
There are many teachings about the Joshua generation, but sadly, so often we omit Caleb. It was Joshua and Caleb, the only two spies that came back with positive reports in spite of what they saw. We can see that while the majority was negative, a remnant was positive – represented by two men (Num. 14:26-38).
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day (Jude 5-6). Those two verses belong together.
Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses (Josh. 1:1-3). At this point, a whole generation had died. In the wilderness God destroyed all those who did not believe. Now He is talking to their descendants. Behind these verses one can read the finished works of Jesus – when He said on the cross “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
What He says here – written in the Old Testament, but explained in the New Testament – is: “On every place where the sole of your foot treads, I have given you the land” – past tense! Do you believe that the land of promise for the Church, for the congregation of God, has already been given to us? The Lord says, “Do you know that you have it?” Do you know that most of the things we ask for, we already have? We still beg and cry and we do not know why God does not answer. God requires us to take steps of faith into the “unknown” – the land of Promise! Yes, there are the enemies (all the ‘ites’) in the spirit realm. They will try to resist us, but we have the guardian angel, we have the Word of God, we have the promise, “If you take a step, where you put your foot down, that land is yours. I have given it.” Read it through spiritual eyes – we must get the squatters off the land. There are squatters possessing the promised land that belongs to the people of God.
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face (Josh. 5:13-14). There was the angel standing. Even in our time there is angelic involvement on our journey. May the Lord open our eyes to see behind the veil, to see behind the obstacles, to see behind the challenges that so many of us face, to see that those that are for us are greater than those that are against us!
Joshua was quite advanced in age and we read that the Lord gave the land “rest” from war (Josh. 11:21-23). The truth is, the Bible says, if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that… (Heb. 4:8). So God has promised and that promise still stands! It is a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Heb. 4:9). It says Joshua had not given them rest. There is a difference between Joshua and Caleb. Although some verses say that the land had rest from war, there are also verses that say that they did not destroy all the ‘ites’. Although their commissioning was to destroy the ‘ites’ and clear the land out, they did not clear out the land (Josh. 13:1, 13). This is what we are facing as we take possession of our land of promise.
Listen to what Caleb says to Joshua. “Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me” (Josh. 14:10-11). We are still as strong today as the day when the Lord called us! “Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken” (Josh. 14:12). The Anakim were relatives of the Nephilim (giants). So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully. Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war (Josh 14:13-15). He destroyed the Nephilim; he drove them out! Those giants were destroyed and then the land had rest from war.
The name Caleb comes from the Hebrew word ‘kaleb’ which means ‘forcible’, taken from the root word which means ‘to yelp, to attack’ – it means ‘a dog’. Sometimes we look for the big fancy names in history but here is this man who had a different spirit and he says, “Out with the Nephilim! Out with the squatters! Out with those who possess the high places in the land of promise!”
Where are we today?
Our warfare is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12). Paul also said: Do you not know that we will judge angels? (1 Cor. 6:3). We will judge angels! It is interesting what Jude said about angels that did not keep their abode. Fallen angels seek the worship of man. However, our sonship in God brings us into the company of real, heavenly angels.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses – we are surrounded, encircled by a cloud of witnesses – let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Heb. 12:1). Hebrews 12 is loaded and interconnected. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons (Heb. 12:4-5). He is talking to us in the process of taking the land of promise. Please, take this to heart! We are not just called to be Christians going to church and living a nice life. We are possessing the promised land because of the finished works of Jesus! But there are squatters in the land that must be displaced; principalities and powers, fallen angels.
So, when you go through tests, or that the Lord is chastising you, then it is a confirmation of your sonship (Heb. 12:5b-7). Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). Jesus said: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9). Be a peacemaker – God loves peacemakers.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels (Heb. 12:22). Myriad means thousands upon thousands. Nobody knows how many angels are in the universe. Angels are worshipers. They worship God, not people. Our focus is on the Lord and when we worship, angels want to worship with us. That is their function and what they desire as we see that in the book of Revelation (Rev. 7:11).
Angels minister to God’s people (Heb. 1:14). In the Bible we see Elijah, Daniel in the lions’ den, Moses in the wilderness, the stirring of the waters at the pool of Bethesda and Peter in prison. Jesus said, He will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness (Matt. 13:41-42). Many of us have grown up with the rapture teaching – that the Church will be taken out – but here we see just the opposite: they will remove all stumbling blocks. Where is the Church today? Are we taking possession of our land? Are we winning? Or are we seeing problems and obstacles and giants? “Wherever the soles of your foot shall tread, behold I have given you the land.” That is past tense. Think about it, change your prayers. When we come to God in prayer, come with thanksgiving because He has done it – He said it is finished. Let us have the spirit of Caleb in our hearts, saying: “Give me the mountain even though I know the giants and some evil forces are trying to intimidate the Church.”