John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Psalms 119:160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
What is it that you believe, and is what you believe in line with the word of God? How can you tell? 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
We must not take for granted that what we think we know to be true, is really the truth. God wants us to know for sure, and his word will teach us that truth if we are willing to invest time in studying His word. There are many who will quote scripture but will have no foundational understanding of what it means, and take it out of context. We must let God give us the understanding we need, for with out Him we will not understand the deeper things of God. We must read, study, investigate, pray and study some more. My purpose in writing articles is not to prove that I am right and that you must believe me, but rather I hope that what I present on this site will challenge your thinking, rather than taking in what some ministers claim to be Gods word. In Philippians 2:12 we are be taught "Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
We are to study Gods word with prayer, and allow Him to lead us to the truth.
The more effort one puts towards the studying of the word of God the greater is the reward.
1 John 4:1 tells us "Do not believe ever spirit, but test the spirit to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Let us not fall into the trap of thinking that because, "I am a Christian" it does not happen to me and can't happen to me, if you hold that view than it may already be happening.
Let me give an example: We have all been taught that God is a trinity, but a careful study of God's word will reveal that that teaching is a lie. Now we many chose to just except it as truth without questioning it, or we may take the time to investigate what the word of God has to say on this matter. Many today believe that Jesus is equal in nature with our Father, and has always been with the Father, this is a teaching we have come to take as truth and do not question it. But! is that the teaching of God's word? The simple picture the scriptures present to us of Jesus Christ is that: He was born a baby Luke 2:7, He increased in wisdom Luke 2:52, He learned obedience by the things that he suffered Hebrews 5:8 He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared Hebrews 5:7
When we try to harmonize these verses from God's word, with the Trinitarian teaching of omnipotent, omniscient co-equality and co-eternity, it just does not fit and cannot fit. So the question that we need to ask in any study of God's word is, When faced with a conflict of facts, which fact is the truth? God's word, or man's interpretation?
This also applies to the teaching of having an immortal soul, Does God's word support this. Here is a challenge to you. To find the answer read the first three chapters of Genesis and you will learn the truth. The studying of the word of God to gain a better understanding on these and any other issue takes time.
As Christians we must always be diligent and on guard. 1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be of sober spirit be on the alert. your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." This is why it is so important that we get a true and accurate understanding of what the word of God teaches. The studying of God's word is your responsibility, so that your beliefs are derived from and founded upon God's word, not man's speculations. Let us learn a valuable lesson from Christ in Luke 22:42 "Not my will, but Thine will be done" Let us humbly submit ourselves to the truth, and God will bless you.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
A study of God's word will reveal
That God is not a trinity.
Man does not have an immortal soul, only God does .
Salvation is not something we receive because of our works, we do the works because we believe. This is called faith.
Believers do not go to heaven when they die, they await a ressurrection.
My not including to quote a proof scripture is in the hope that you will yourself take the time to read and study God's word to find these answers.
Non-believers do not spend eternity suffer in hell
#1 What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior.
One of the many scriptures that have come to be misunderstood is the verses that speak about the fall of Adam and Eve. The misunderstanding of these passages that focus on the fall of Adam and Eve has resulted in confusion and misdirection in many other areas of scripture. It is important that we have a clear understanding of what really happened when Adam and Eve sinned, because if we don’t than we will not have a good solid understanding of what Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior.
Many understand that Jesus Christ redeemed us from what Adam did, but do we really know what happened when Adam and Eve sinned? Many also know that after we believe on Him, we receive the gift of the holy spirit. This opens for us two important questions, (1) What do we need the holy spirit for? (2) Why was it not available to everyone before the day of Pentecost? The answer to these questions is too first have a clear understanding of what is really being said in the first three chapters of Genesis.
Let’s start by looking at the subject of death. Genesis 2:17 “In the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.” We read here that in the beginning when God created man He imposed a restriction upon him, and at the same time made known to man the penalty for violating this restriction, “death”.
We read in Genesis 2:16-17 what that restriction was that was imposed on Adam, not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The violation penalty was “in the day (note: in the very same day) that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surly die” so the penalty was death immediately. This death was going to happen in the very same day that Adam ate of the fruit. The difficulty that individuals have in understanding this event is that after Adam ate he continued to have life in his body, it was this life that the serpent in Genesis 3:1-6 told Adam about when he said “1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
We read in Genesis 5:5-6 tells us that Adam continued to have life in is body for many years to come, yet God said if he ate from the tree he would die. So did Adam and Eve die that day or not?
Since God cannot lie as is recorded in Numbers 23:19 Adam and Eve did indeed die that day. It was the serpent that said “you shall not surly die” when he deceived Eve Genesis 3:4. So, if they did not die that day, as God said, then the serpent was right and God was wrong, which is an impossibility. But is that what many teach today when they say “actually” when God said that they would surly die, He only meant that it was the sperm of death that was planted and the process of dying would begin. God said that they would surly die that very day, and that is what happened, they died that day. Death (absence of a form of life) Gods word reveals to us how man was created and what were the parts of his being. Knowledge of what composed the life of the first man will help us understand what was lost on the day.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior.#1-4
See Articles on What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior will be touching on this topic
God said that Adam and Eve would surly die that very day, and that is what happened, they died that day. Death (absence of a form of life). God’s word reveals to us how man was created and what were the parts of his being. Knowledge of what composed the life of the first man will help us understand what was lost on the day. So let us focus on the above statement. Since we know that God said they would surly die in that day, yet we read in God’s word that they lived on for many more years and even had children, it would seem to make perfect sense (without having to read into scripture what is not there) that there must have been another form of life in addition to their physical life. Let’s us search the scriptures to gain understanding.
Let’s read what Genesis 3:19 teaches: “in the sweat of thy face shalt you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for dust you are, and unto dust you will return” God the Father tells us that we were created of dust and a time will come when we will return to that dust (not heaven or hell) Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: We die because we are made of dust, Not because of sin. So the Body is made of the dust of the ground, and all physical things will eventually decay.
Genesis 2:7 “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” So again (without reading into scripture what is not there) One part of man is the body. But what else does Gen 2:7 teach, God formed man, but man at this time still has no life, it was not until God breathed into his nostrils “the breath of life” that man became a living soul. It is the lack of understanding of this event in the creation of man that has caused much confusion. If the breath of life is removed from man’s body there will be no life, God combined the breath of life with the body, and it was at that time that man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 clearly teaches that the breath from Him is what gave life to the body, without the soul the body is dead. Let’s take a look at Leviticus 17:11-14 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore, I have said to the people of Israel, no person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore, I have said to the people of Israel, you shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.” The word for “life” is the Hebrew word “nephesh” which is translated as “soul” in Genesis 2:7. So according to Genesis 2:7 the soul is what gives life to the body; according to Leviticus 17:11-14 it is in the blood. That is why Acts 17:26 tell us “And He has made from one blood every nation of man on all the face of the earth” This one blood of this passage is the blood of Adam, which as been passed down from generation to generation. So all living things have a soul which is in the blood, so even animals have a soul. This is what Genesis 1:20-30 teaches. This is then not hard to understand, if we understand that “soul” is what gives life to the body. Though scripture clearly teaches us what soul is, a difficulty comes about when one makes a preconceived idea that soul is immortal. Soul is not something that is immortal it just gives life to the body. James 19-20 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
As James clearly bring to light, If a soul could not die, then there would be no need to “save a soul from death”
Scripture nowhere refers to the soul as being immortal or undying, this is a false teaching that as crept in and being taught as truth. On the contrary we found that the scripture teaches clearly that (1) God alone possesses immortality, 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16 (2) that man should be seekers for it, Romans 2:5-7
(3) that immortality can be found in the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10 (4) that man “puts on” immortality, it will be conferred upon him at the last trump 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
# 2 What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior.
In the following passage, the focus will be on the word “natural man” (psuchikos), which in greek means “a soul man” in other words ( a man with a body and a soul) also translated “natural” in 1 Corinthians 2:14 and as “sensual” in James 3:15 and Jude 19 .
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
So according to 1 Cor 2:14, a man who is content with living life with only being body and soul, will not receive the things of the Spirit of God. As the above scripture teaches us, in order for man to receive the things of the Spirit of God, “to communicate with God, to fellowship and walk in His ways, a person needs the appropriate receiver” which is Spirit. That is why the passage says: “neither can he (the man of body and soul) know the things of God, because they are “spiritually discerned” this passage teaches that it is impossible for the man of body and soul to know the things of God for the simple reason that such things have to do with the spirit, since he lacks spirit he cannot know them. So Adam had “body” because he was formed from the dust of the ground, he had “soul” because he was given “life” to the body by the breath of God, and “spirit” to communicate with God. Adam was at creation body soul and spirit. So what happened on that day that Adam and Eve ate from the tree. God told them that they would die that very day if they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and understanding that death means the absence of life, we can now understand what died that day. Adam was body soul and spirit, and his body died many years after the day he ate. So what permits the body to live is soul, Adam kept living after he ate because he had body and soul, the thing that was lost in Adam was the “spirit that God had given him. The result of his actions caused Adam to lose “spirit” and that was a death to him. The spirit in him was a form of life that he had before he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that was no longer there. James 2: 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Nowhere in scripture can you find that the flesh was to live forever. The natural man was taken from the ground (dust) Genesis 2:7: 3:19 “and undo dust you shall return” so the flesh was to go back from which it came, and the breath of life ”spirit” was to return to the one who gave it. Genesis 6:17; 7:22. Ecclesiastes 12: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it. Psalm 104:29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When God “takes away their breath they (men) die, and return to dust. It was not until the day of Pentecost that the loss of the spirit was restored, when the holy spirit was made available, so that today, after believing on Jesus Christ, a person again becomes body, soul, and spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. David himself was aware of the possibility of losing the spirit from his life, and prayed to God the Father in Psalm 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. The spirit is something that God and only God can take away from someone.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
#3 What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior
We know by the word of God that God is spirit and for anyone to communicate with Him, they must have received His spirit. We read earlier that the thing that God took away from Adam that he that day would surly die was the spirit of God. Genesis 2:17 “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The spirit of God was not made available after the fall of Adam, but God did put His spirit only on those that He wanted to communicate with, and give revelation. It is for this reason,(the fall of Adam) that we read of no record from Geneses to Acts, of any instruction as to how to receive His spirit, because the holy spirit was not yet available to all, John 7:38-39 To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” He was speaking about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. We are being told the holy spirit was not yet made available at the time that Jesus Christ walk with His apostles, and neither before that time, so during the time period of Adam’s fall till the time of Pentecost, if God wanted to communicate with someone, He had to put His spirit upon him. We read this in Numbers 11:16-17 The LORD therefore said to Moses, "Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. "Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. This is the situation before the day Pentecost, so what happened after Pentecost? Lets read John 3:1-6 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him. Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?” Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. This scripture is prove enough to resolve any argument as well as guesses as to how one can enter the kingdom of God. One must be born from above. John 3:6 speaks of two births, flesh is born of flesh, this is the birth received from our parents which is (flesh) our second birth is what we receive from God (spirit). For anyone to receive the second birth, one must believe that Jesus is the Christ (the messiah, the Anointed One, our Saviuor, there is no other way.
The point in time where the spirit was again made available was on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, the believers were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of a fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. The spirit is again made available, because of what Christ accomplished. We can again become, body, soul and spirit. What happens when that takes place. We read in 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. The spirit of God dwells in YOU, not a church or denomination, these are not nor ever have been the temple of God. God say “you are the temple of God” why because the spirit of God dwells IN YOU, not just upon you.
The end. I hope that you have all been benefited from reading these articles.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
#4 What Jesus Christ accomplished as Savior.
Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity."
As Christians, we come face to face daily with many unjust acts, whether these acts are committed verbally, physically or due to inaction such as neglect, or we encounter a person or company knowing what they are doing is wrong, but unwilling to acknowledge any wrong doing. This ideology is a worldly one, and is in total contrast to a godly one, this worldly ideology is rooted in greed, and self-centeredness. This unwillingness to live by just and righteous laws created by our creator for our good is not because they do not know good, but rather their desire to choose evil over good.
Each of these situations mentioned require a different approach when and if one gets involved.
The question that we may at times ask when we see or know of an injustice taking place is how much involvement should I put towards righting this injustice, or should I even get involved.
That can be a very challenging question for us, because we as followers of Christ do not want to embrace the worldly ideology as Ephesians 4 teaches us ( do not sin), some of us may have grown up in an environment where we were thought not to get involved, or were taught the wrong way to get involved, some may want to get involved but do not feel they are qualified.
It is my hope that this article will shed some light on this. We already know from the above verse that it is not wrong to get involved in righting some form of injustice that is taking place (Be angry). It is very hard for me personally to see in this verse that it only involves an injustice that has been committed towards me or someone and that the only response is to keep quiet. Yes, we are thought to turn the other cheek as in Matthew 5:39. But does this verse to turn the other cheek contradict Ephesians 4:26-27 which clearly tell us that we can be angry? I believe that there is a clear balance that can be accomplished between these two teachings of God’s word.
There are certain scriptures that do give us a direct command, such as “thou shall not”
But in the case of the above verse, God in his wisdom as given us some freedom as to how we interact with the world around us, “Be angry” but also gives us a warning “sin not”. So we can indeed get involved with things around us but in a right way, what is that way? Colossians 2:7 Gives us some instruction on this matter. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” So, one important lesson that we can learn form Colossian 2:7 is, How you deal with things in life will be based on where your values are rooted. There are rally only two ways in life, good or evil, or said another way, Gods way or the worlds way.
Ephesians 5:11-12 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,( don’t respond or act as they do) but rather expose them. (we must take a stand for truth) It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret..
Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity? (there is a time to speak up against an injustice and defend or point out what is true)
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance,(worldly views) but judge righteous judgment. ( Godly standards)
Whenever we stand up in righteous indignation (be angry but sin not) remember Jesus words in John 8:12 “I am the Light of the World”
But what about the teaching in Matthew 5:39 of turning the other cheek; “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” How would this apply to getting involved in an unjust action?
Should David have “turned the other cheek” to Goliath? Should Moses have chosen not to resist Pharaoh? Should Queen Esther have refrained from defending her people against Haman?
Some interpret this verse to support the idea of absolute nonviolence but that is not what it teaches.
To "turn the other cheek," does in no way imply pacifism, nor does it mean we are to place ourselves or others in mortal danger, Turning the other cheek means not to return insult for insult in retaliation, which is what most people expect and how worldly people act. We as followers of Christ are to standup for truth, and to point out to others from God’s prospective, the injustice of their action.
May we grow in grace and understanding in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
May the word of God richly bless your life
Ethical Question of War
Many readers of Joshua as well as other books of the Old Testament are deeply troubled by the role that warfare plays in the account of God's dealings with his people. Hence the main thread of the narrative line of Joshua is an offense to them. The reason for this offence is that many do not see the work of God being performed. They see that the Christian, in the light of Christ's teaching, must repudiate and transcend, this war mentality.
But it must be remembered, that the book of Joshua is not addressing itself to the abstract ethical question of war as a means for gaining human ends, but can only be understood in the context of the history of redemption unfolding in the Pentateuch, with divine grace and judgment.
We should not read the book of Joshua as an epic account of Israel's heroic generation or as the story of Israel's conquest of Canaan with the aid of her national deity. Rather we should read the story in view of how God, to whom the whole world belongs, at a stage in the history of redemption where God is reconquering a portion of the earth from the powers of this world that have claimed it for themselves, defending their claims by force of arms and reliance on their false gods. The book of Joshua tells the story of how God commissioned his people to serve as his army under the leadership of his servant Joshua, to take Canaan in his name out of the hands of the idolatrous and dissolute Canaanites (whose measure of sin was now full; Genesis 15:16 ). It further tells us how God aided them in the enterprise and gave them conditional tenancy in His land, to fulfill the ancient pledge He had made to Israel's ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Joshua is the story of the kingdom of God breaking into the world of nations at a time when national and political entities were viewing themselves as the creators of gods and living proofs of their power. The triumph over the Canaanites is a testimony to the world, that the God of Israel is the one true and living God, whose claim on the world is absolute. It was also a warning to the nations that the irresistible advance of the kingdom of God would ultimately disinherit all those who opposed it, giving place in the earth only to those who acknowledge and serve the Lord. At once an act of redemption and judgment, it gave notice of the outcome of history and anticipated the final destiny of humankind and the creation.
The battles for Canaan were therefore God,s war, undertaken at a particular time in the program of redemption. God gave his people under Joshua no commission or license to conquer the world with the sword, but this particular limited mission. The conquered land itself would not become Israel's national possession by right of conquest, but it belonged to God, so the land had to be cleansed of all remnants of paganism. Its people and their wealth were not for Israel to seize as the booty of war from which to enrich themselves as Achan tried to do, ch. 7, but were placed under God's ban, to be devoted to God and dispensed with as He pleased. On the land Israel was to establish a commonwealth, faithful to the righteous rule of God and thus be a witness and a blessing to the nations. If Israel became unfaithful and conformed to Canaanite culture and practice, it would in turn lose its place in God’s land -- as Israel almost did in the days of the judges, and as it eventually did in the exile.
War is a terrible curse that the human race brings on itself as it seeks to possess the earth by its own unrighteous ways. But it pales before the curse that awaits all those who do not heed God's testimony to Himself or his warnings -- those who oppose the rule of God and reject his offer of grace. Although now, for a time he reaches out to the whole world with the gospel and commissions his people urgently to carry his offer of peace to all nations, the sword of his judgment waits in the wings -- and his second Joshua will wield it Rev 19:11-16 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and Lord of lords.”
Joshua is a story of conquest and fulfillment for the people of God. After many years of slavery in Egypt and 40 years in the desert, the Israelites were finally allowed to enter the land promised to their fathers. Abraham, always a migrant, never possessed the country to which he was sent, but he left to his children the legacy of God's covenant that made them the eventual heirs of all of Canaan. Joshua was destined to turn that promise into reality.
Where Deuteronomy ends, the book of Joshua begins: The tribes of Israel are still camped on the east side of the Jordan River. The narrative opens with God's command to move forward and pass through the river on dry land. Then it relates the series of victories in central, southern and northern Canaan that gave the Israelites control of all the hill country and the Negev. It continues with a description of the tribal allotments and ends with Joshua's final addresses to the people. The theme of the book, therefore, is the establishment of God's people Israel in the Lord's land, the land he had promised to give them as their place of "rest" in the earth 1:13,15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1;. So the Great King's promise to the partriarchs and Moses to give the land of Canaan to the chosen people of his kingdom is now historically fulfilled 1:1-6; 21:43-45.
In this story of redemption the book shows us three primary actors, "the Lord" (as Israel's God), his servant Joshua, and his people Israel (the last a collective "character" in the story). We meet all three immediately in ch. 1, where all three are clearly presented in the distinctive roles they will play in the story that follows. Ch. 1 also introduces the reader to the main concern of the book as a whole.
The role of the central human actor in the events narrated here is reinforced by the name he bears. Earlier in his life Joshua was called simply Hoshea (Nu 13:8,16), meaning "salvation." But later Moses changed his name to Joshua, meaning "The Lord saves" (or "The Lord gives victory"). When this same name (the Greek form of which is Jesus; was given to Mary's firstborn son, it identified him as the servant of God who would complete what God did for Israel in a preliminary way through the first Joshua, namely, overcome all powers of evil in the world and bring God's people into their eternal "rest"
In the Hebrew Bible the book of Joshua initiates a division called the Former Prophets, including also Judges, Samuel and Kings. These are all historical in content but are written from a prophetic standpoint. They do more than merely record the nation's history from Moses to the fall of Judah in 586 b.c. They prophetically interpret God's covenant ways with Israel in history -- how he fulfills and remains true to his promises (especially through his servants such as Joshua, the judges, Samuel and David) and how he deals with the waywardness of the Israelites. In Joshua it was the Lord who won the victories and "gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers" Joshua 21:43. “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.”
Joshua's remarkable life was filled with excitement, variety, success and honor. He was known for his deep trust in God and as "a man in whom is the spirit" Numbers 27:18. “So the Lord said to Moses, "Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him.” As a youth he lived through the bitter realities of slavery in Egypt, but he also witnessed the supernatural plagues and the miracle of Israel's escape from the army of the Egyptians when the waters of the sea opened before them. In the Sinai peninsula it was Joshua who led the troops of Israel to victory over the Amalekites Exodus 17:8-13. “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up-one on one side, one on the other-so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
He alone was allowed to accompany Moses up the holy mountain where the tablets of the law were received Exodus 24:13-14. “Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them."
Joshua was elected to represent his own tribe of Ephraim when the 12 spies were sent into Canaan to look over the land. Only Joshua and Caleb, representing the tribe of Judah, were ready to follow God's will and take immediate possession of the land Numbers 14:26-34. “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall-every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. For forty years-one year for each of the forty days you explored the land-you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you”
The rest of the Israelites of that generation were condemned to die in the desert. Even Moses died short of the goal and was told to turn everything over to Joshua. God promised to guide and strengthen Joshua, just as he had Moses. Deuteronomy 31:23 “The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you."
Joshua was God's chosen servant to bring Moses' work to completion and establish Israel in the promised land. To that special divine appointment he was faithful -- as the leader of God's army, as the administrator of God's division of the land and as God's spokesman for promoting Israel's covenant faithfulness. In all this he was a striking Old Testament type (foreshadowing) of Christ, Hebrews 4:1-8. “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "On the seventh day God rested from all his works." And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." (pay close attention to the following scripture) Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it "Today." This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.” Speaking of Jesus.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
Understanding the Book of Joshua
When you Pray, you must believe and more
Prayer is something that is personal, but yet many don’t know how to pray, or what to pray for. Many pray for things that concern themselves, which is not wrong, but their prayers do not go beyond themselves.
The word of God tells us that we are not just to pray, but rather when we pray we must do it with belief. Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you". The reason we are instructed to believe is because many who pray lack the belief, they need to have their prayers answered. I confess, I do at times fall into this category. If we are specifically told to believe when we pray, then it must be possible to pray and not believe. Not all prayer brings results. Only believing prayer moves God
James 1:6-7 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” All of the world’s religions exhort men to pray, but it is only the Bible that requires men to believe what they pray, the requirement of actually trusting God. The absolute necessity for one to believe is the foundation to answered prayer. The religious systems are content with the motions of prayer, but the true Living God requires that we maintain a relationship with Him and that we trust Him, this trust is belief.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore, I say unto you, whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”
What has believing to do with prayer? It takes the emphasis off of prayer itself and puts the emphasis entirely on God Himself. It is all about Him and His faithfulness. The word of God does not teach us to rely on prayer alone, it teaches us however to rely on Him, and Him only. Only when we can fully rely on Him can we fully pray believing. We are to believe Him first, and then express that belief in prayer. The faith must be in the heart before the prayer comes out of the mouth. Hear in lays the problem, we expect our prayer’s to be answered, yet we truly lack a believing heart, but trust that we do.
What does the word of God say? But what does it say? Rom 10:8-10 “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming” that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation”
Is there a correct posture for Prayer?
There is no correct or certain posture for prayer. In the word of God people prayed on their knees 1 Kings 8:54 “When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.”
bowed on their faces before God Exodus 4:31 “and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.”
2 Chronicles 20:18 “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.”
Matthew 26:39 “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
1 Kings 8:22. standing “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven”
You may pray with your eyes opened or closed, quietly or out loud in whatever way you are most comfortable and least distracted.
Are there requirements for successful prayer? The word of God establishes a few requirements for successful prayer:
A person must have a humble heart 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Someone with Wholeheartedness Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
One who has Faith Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”
Righteousness James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Obedience 1 John 3:22 “And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him.”
So why are some prayers not answered? The word of God gives several reasons or causes for failure in prayer:
Disobedience: Deuteronomy 1:45; 1 Samuel 14:37 Failure or refusal to obey rules or someone in authority.
Secret Sin: Psalm 66:18 Not hidden from God There is no such thing as a sin hidden from God. It is impossible to hide anything from him.
Indifference: Proverbs 1:28 Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.
Neglect of mercy: Proverbs 21:13 "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard."
Despising the Law: Proverbs 28:9 Judah's despising of God's law and revelation of Himself was internal—from the heart
Bloodguiltiness: Isaiah 1:15 seems to indicate that the phrase does not necessarily signify bloodshed, but any grievous sin which, if it remains, will block God's favor to His land and people
Iniquity : Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4 immoral or grossly unfair behavior.
Stubbornness: Zechariah 7:13 hard, tough, or stiff, as stone or wood; difficult to shape or work. “When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the Lord Almighty.”
Instability or Doubt: James 1:6-7 Lack of determination of fixedness
Self-indulgence: James 4:3 Excessive or unrestrained gratification of one's own appetites, desires, or whims
Sometimes our prayers are refused. Prayer must be in accord with God's divine will:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14.
Many we grow in the knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
The increasing number of natural disasters and terrible storms have many people wondering, who controls the weather, God or Satan?
It is God, not Satan, who controls the weather Exodus 9:29; Psalm 135:6-7; Jeremiah 10:13.
God controls the skies and the rain Psalm 77:16-19 God controls the wind Mark 4:35-41; Jeremiah 51:16
God upholds and sustains the universe Hebrews 1:3. God has power over the clouds Job 37:11-12, 16.
God has power over lightning Psalm 18:14. God has power over all nature Job 26
Some will point to the descriptions of Satan as the “prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2 and the “god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4 as evidence for Satan having control over weather.
But close examination of Scripture will reveal that whatever influence Satan and his demonic angels have over the weather, is restricted by God's ultimate sovereignty.
The Devil, our "adversary," must be taken seriously; we should acknowledge his existence and his limited power over the secular world. Satan, is a defeated fallen angel, having only the power that God ultimately allows him to have. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-11. “And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie”
Satan impact on the weather, is only by God's permission, and restraint , as in the case of Job. Job 1:16-19 Satan was allowed by God to torment Job in order to test him, and this included “the fire of God” (lightning) which "fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants" This was followed by a "mighty wind" (tornado) that destroyed his eldest son’s home and killed Job’s children. So if the fire from heaven and the tornado were somehow caused by Satan, they were still under the ultimate control of God for His purposes.
God is in control of all things, Geneses 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” including the weather. Through His providence, God provides for and protects His children, but He also permits Satan, demons, and mankind to exercise their limited will to commit acts of sin, evil, and wickedness. These same beings are fully responsible for any and all man-made disasters and tragedies they cause. We know that God has ordained whatsoever comes to pass Ephesians 1:11; “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”
Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” and therefore His invisible hand is in our pain, even though He cannot sin or be the perpetrator of evil James 1:13-17. “When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
There can be no meaningless suffering for the believer, whether the suffering is caused by mankind or by a natural event. We may not always know why evil acts or natural disasters happen, but we can be assured that in all our trials and tribulations God is working all things together for His glory and for our everlasting good Romans 8:18-28. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
What does the Bible say about hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters? Does the Bible give an answer to why the world is in such a mess if God is really in control? How could a God of love let masses of people die from killer hurricanes, catastrophic earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks and disease?
Is God responsible for natural disasters?
Although God is often viewed as the One causing these terrible catastrophes, He is not responsible. God is not in the business of causing natural disasters and calamities. On the contrary, He is the giver of life. The word of God says in Isaiah 51:6. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but My salvation shall be for ever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished" This text declares a dramatic difference between natural calamities and the work of God.
When Adam and Eve sinned it brought a natural consequence to the earth. Geneses 3:17. "And unto Adam He said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, `Thou shalt not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” The descendants of Adam became so violent and corrupt that God allowed the world to be destroyed by a global flood Genesis 6:5,11. The fountains of the deep were broken up Genesis 7:11. There was great volcanic activity. The layers of the earth's crust were formed and nature was turned out of its God-given course. The stage was set for earthquakes, and killer storms. As the consequences of sin have progressed from that day to this, the natural world is nearing its end; the results of our first parents’ disobedience is becoming more and more evident as this world is wearing out. But God is still in the business of rescuing, helping, and healing. He holds out salvation and everlasting life to all who will receive Him. The sad thins today is that many people do not believe in a real devil, do you? the word of God is very clear on this point, Satan exists, and he is the destroyer. Jesus said, Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”. Satan was once a holy angel at the right hand of God in heaven Isaiah 14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
and Ezekiel 28. “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” He rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. Revelation 12:9. “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Jesus said, John 8:44 "the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies". The word of God says that the devil attempts to deceive the whole world, and one way he tries to do this is by spreading the idea that there is no real devil. Fewer and fewer people in America believe the devil really exists. The existence of a real devil is the only thing that can explain the existence of evil in a world. Revelation 12:12 “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time”,
The Old Testament story of Job is a classic example of how God sometimes allows Satan to bring calamities. Job lost his cattle, his crops, and his family to vicious attacks, a killer hurricane, and firestorm. Job’s friends said these disasters came from God, but a careful reading of the book of Job reveals that it was Satan who brought these evils Job 1:6-12. One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
So why does God give Satan permission to destroy?
Satan deceived Eve, and through her he led Adam to sin. Because he had tempted the first humans—the head of the human race—into sin, Satan claimed that they had chosen him as the god of this world 2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. “ He claims to be the rightful ruler of this world Matthew 4:8- 9 “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me.". Through the ages, Satan has been fighting against God, trying to establish his claim to this world. He points to all those who have chosen to follow him as proof that he is the rightful ruler of this world. Romans 6:16 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”, God has given His Ten Commandments as eternal rules for living, for determining what is right and wrong. He offers to write these laws in our hearts and minds. Many, however, choose to neglect His offer of a new life and choose to live outside God’s will. By so doing they support Satan’s claim against God.
The word of God says that this situation will only get worse as time goes on. 2 Timothy 3:13 In the last days, “evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” As men and women remove themselves from God’s protection, they are subject to Satan’s destroying hatred.
God is love, and His character is perfectly unselfish, and just. Therefore, His own character prevents Him from doing anything that is unfair. He will not interfere with man’s free choice. Those who choose to follow Satan are free to do so. And God will allow Satan to demonstrate to the universe what the consequences of sin really are. In the calamities and disasters that befall the earth and destroy lives, we can see what sin is like, what life is like when Satan has his own way.
Speaking of those who choose to follow Satan, God says, Deuteronomy 31:17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?'
This is the message that we may learn from calamities and natural disasters. They can lead us to seek the Lord.
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
Who controls the weather?