Archive for the ‘Joshua’ Category

Exodus.  God had used Joseph to preserve His chosen people, the Jews, in Egypt during a seven year famine that covered the whole world (Genesis 50:20).  Isolated by themselves in the land of Goshen, the Jews multiplied greatly.  A new Pharaoh feared them and wanted to keep them from siding with Egypt’s enemies in the event of a war.  So he ordered the Jewish baby boys to be killed so the remaining Jewish girls would be forced to marry Egyptians and thus lose their unique identity as Jews (Exodus 1).

Moses.  After spending many years as slaves in Egypt, God used Moses to deliver His people from bondage.  The ten plagues brought the Egyptians to their knees and Jehovah God demonstrated to them that He alone was/is the true and living God (Exodus 5-12).

Sinai.  Moses led the Jews through the Red Sea to Mount Sinai where they received the Ten Commandments from God (Exodus 20).  Even before they knew what would be required of them, the Jews presumptuously said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8).  History records for us that they didn’t keep God’s commandments which led to their being dispersed among the nations (Deuteronomy 28).  But God will bring them back to the land that He promised to give to them as an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:18-20).  His initial rule over them will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; Zechariah 14) after they have gone through “The time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27) known also as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 6-19).

Spies.  Moses then led the Jews to a place called Kadesh Barnea and sent twelve men to spy out the land in which the wicked Canaanites lived. When the spies came back they reported that it was a land flowing with milk and honey.  But they informed the people that their cities were fortified and that there were giants in the land. Two of the spies said, “We can take the land.”  Ten said, “No we can’t.” So they had a congregational meeting, to determine whether or not to posses the land. The people voted, and said, “No, we won’t go.”  God said, “Because you voted no, all those twenty years old and upward will die in the wilderness” (Numbers 13, 14).

Wilderness.  So, for forty years the Jews wandered around until all those twenty years old and older died in the wilderness.  This meant that one person died about every twenty minutes for the next 38 years.  Then Moses led them to Mt. Pisgah where he also died (Deuteronomy 34:5).  Do you know why he didn’t enter the Promised Land at that time (Numbers 20:7-13)?

Joshua.  He was appointed by God to lead the people of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, where he divided the land among the twelve tribes.  It was time for the wicked people living in Canaan to be displaced by the Jews (Genesis 15:16).  Rahab, the harlot, and her family were spared because they believed in the God of the Jews (Joshua 2).  She became an ancestress of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

Judges. After this, the nation of Israel went through a period of seven social, spiritual, and economic ups-and-downs under the Judges. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes and things really got ugly and very bad toward the end of this period (Judges 19-21).

King. Then the children of Israel said, “We don’t want any more judges. We want a king like the nations around us” (1 Samuel 8:5).  There were three kings that ruled over all Israel: Saul, David, and Solomon. Because of the sin of Solomon, the kingdom was divided. There were ten tribes in the north known as “Israel.” Their capital was Samaria. Two tribes were in the south. They were known as “Judah.”  Their capital was at Jerusalem.

722 B.C.  This is when Shalmaneser, the King of Assyria, took the ten tribes of the north into captivity (2 Kings 18:9-11). They were dispersed among the provinces of Assyria and never heard from again.  Although they have been called “The lost tribes,” God knows where all of them are and will bring them back to the Promised Land some day (Ezekiel 36, 37).

605 B.C. Then Nebuchadnezzar came from Babylon and took the two tribes from the south into captivity. They were there for seventy years. After this period of time, Ezra and Nehemiah led about 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem with the approval of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:1).  They rebuilt the city walls, their houses, the temple, and re-established the worship of Jehovah.  And this is the chronological end of the Old Testament.

Silence.  There were no messages from God for the next 400 years until the angel Gabriel announced to a Jewish priest by the name of Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth would have a son who would be the forerunner of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:5-25) as predicted by the prophet Malachi (3:1).  Six months later Gabriel was sent to the virgin Mary to announce to her that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38) as predicted by the prophet Isaiah (7:14; 9:6, 7; Matthew 1:23).

To be continued.

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“Whether Christian or non-Christian, we’re called upon to make choices which will have significant results.” – Francis Schaeffer. “We make decisions, and then our decisions make us.” We make them daily, hourly, and moment by moment. They all have a part in our development as a person.

Bucket List.  Recently while watching “The Bucket List” with our son, Bill, who came to visit us from Japan, I was thinking about the inevitability of death (Hebrews 9:27). There is an exception to it. Do you know what it is (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)? Have you ever thought about what people might say about you at your funeral? What would you want to have put on your tombstone?

Morbid?  I know – you don’t want to think about dying any more than I do. But stay with me. Tucked away in one of the Minor Prophetic books there is a brief statement that expresses what God expects of His people. I have shared it with our children on a number of occasions. “…What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Let’s think about this for a few minutes. We have the following choices to make:

Right/Wrong.  Many people do what is right in their own eyes and can’t figure why things are going so terribly wrong for them (Proverbs 14:12). For some 1,600 years people on earth lived according to their conscience until things got so bad that God had to bring on a universal flood to destroy all of them with the exception of Noah and his family (Genesis 6-8; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5). Yes, Jesus Himself believed in the universal flood that occurred in Noah’s day (Matthew 24:37-39). Later in Israel’s history, the people did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). If the events of those days were to be made into a movie, it would have to be rated with at least an “R” rating. If you doubt that statement, read Judges chapters 19-21. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing good enough to be acceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-23; John 15:5). None of our good works can earn for us an entrance into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Merciful/Cruel.  Mercy, as I understand it, involves showing compassion for those who are suffering whether it be due to their own fault or the fault of others. To some Christians God gives the spiritual gift of showing mercy, and to others He gives the gift of exhortation (Romans 12:8). These people can come along side a person and help the hurting person get out of the pit of despair (Galatians 6:2). The Scriptures remind Christians to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Have you been forgiven? Do you forgive others or do you try to get even with those who have wronged you (Romans 12:19)?

Humility/Pride.  We live in a day when we’re encouraged to love ourselves (2 Timothy 3:2) and be proud of our accomplishments in life. But “who makes you to differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it (1 Corinthians 4:7)? There are seven things that are an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19). Among them is a proud look. Pride of race, place, and face. How much did you have to do with these things? “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Tombstone.  I’d be happy if these words were put on my tombstone: “Having been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, and with God’s help, he tried to do what was right in God’s sight, to be compassionate toward those who were suffering, and to walk humbly before God.”

Heaven.  Doing these things won’t gain a place for us in heaven (Titus 3:5). We must acknowledge that we are sinners who can’t save ourselves (Romans 3:10). We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8) if we want to be saved from hell (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and spend eternity with God in heaven (John 14:1-3). Have you done this yet? If not, why not make the most important decision in life right now? It’s your call!

             Any Olympic athlete knows the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  Years are spent in training just for a moment to shine in the sunshine and be admired by the world.  But most of the athletes go away without any medals.  Some return to their homeland in shame for not having won a medal.

            Wandering Jews.  After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the Jews finally crossed the Jordan River on their journey to take the land that God had promised to give to them (Genesis 15:18-21).  God used some strange military tactics to bring down the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6).  Furthermore the Jews were forbidden from taking any of the treasures of the city for themselves.

            Covetousness.  This green eyed monster stuck a man and his family and they gave in to temptation and took some silver and gold and a fashionable Babylonian garment for themselves. “Covetousness is not the exclusive [trespass] of the poor who envy those who have what they lack, any more than it is the exclusive [trespass] of the rich who continue to increase their fortunes at the expense of those who have no recourse against them.” – George Syme.  Trespasses can lead to sin (Ephesians 2:1; James 1:13-15).

            Defeat.  After such a great success at the city of Jericho, the Jews never expected to see defeat.  But, as in sports, when just one person on a team breaks the rules, a penalty is imposed on the whole group.  Many athletic events have been lost because of one person’s mistake or failure.

            Steps.  The steps that led to Achan’s disaster included: He saw; He coveted; He took what he wasn’t supposed to take (Joshua 6:19; 7:21; 1 John 2:15-17).  This happens daily as married spouses have longing eyes for someone other than their own marriage partner.  Single people look lustfully at others with evil intent and flatter and charm their way into their lives.  The 10th Commandment may not be familiar to you.  It says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house…his wife…his male or female servants…his [vehicles] or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). It can lead to murder (1 Kings 21).

            Idolatry.  Strangely, covetousness is associated with idolatry in the Scriptures (Colossians 3:5).  Rather than accepting the true and living God of the Bible, man wants to create a god that is more like a Jeanie who is at his beck and call. “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” – A. W. Tozer

            Consequences.  Because of one man’s sin, 36 soldiers died and widows and children were left behind (Joshua 7:5).  A soldier who falls asleep while he is on guard duty can lead to great casualties in a company of soldiers. The death penalty was imposed on some guards who fell asleep while Peter was in their custody (Acts 12:19).  Strangely, the guards who guarded the dead body of Jesus were told to lie and say that His disciples stole His body while all of them slept (Matthew 28:13-15).  This is a most unlikely story but it is still accepted in many circles even to this day.

            Stoned.  The penalty exacted on Achan was death by stoning.  Then everything he had was burned with him and a pile of stones heaped on top of him.  This was to serve as a reminder to everyone that rebellion against God brings terrible consequences (Joshua 7:24-26; Romans 6:23).

            Grace.  God [the Father] loved the people of this world who were caught in the devil’s trap and headed for hell.  Not wanting them to perish with the devil forever, He sent God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth.  He came through the virgin, Mary and lived a sinless life for 33 years.  Then He volunteered to go to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins.  After His outraged holiness against our sin nature and our personal sins had been satisfied, God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Romans 4:25).

            Salvation.  It is extended to all mankind but not to the fallen angels (1 John 2:2; James 2:19).  Deliverance from hell to heaven is offered to all who will put their faith and trust in Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 16:31).  Anyone who tries to add his/her good works to God’s free gift of salvation nullifies God’s offer (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

            Omniscient.  Nothing can be hidden from God.  He knows everything (Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 139).  That is scary if you’re doing the wrong things, but it is also comforting to those who suffer for doing what’s right and yet suffer at the hands of evil doers.  God will make it up to us someday (Romans 8:18).

            Relationship.  What kind of a relationship do you have with God?  Are you a child of the devil or a true child of God (1 John 3:10; John 8:44).  Are you sure that you have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13)?  Why should God let you into heaven?  If you think you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?

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     Even though the great leader Moses was dead (Joshua 1:1), God wasn’t and isn’t dead.   With the presence of the Lord, the law of the LORD, and the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites should have been successful wherever they went.  But history proves otherwise.  For the Jews, the worst (Jeremiah 30:7) and then the best is yet to come to the believers (Zechariah 12, 14). 

     “Leaders don’t lead forever, even godly leaders like Moses. There comes a time in every ministry when God calls for a new beginning with a new generation and new leadership.”   – Warren Wiersbe

     Death – Why Does It Happen? (Joshua 1:1) “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Even the great man Moses died prematurely because he violated a clear command of the Lord (Numbers 20:7-13; Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:7).  We too can hasten our death by committing a “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16).  Do you know what it is?  Although death is a general rule, there is an exception to it (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:51).  Do you know when it will take place?  Are you prepared for it?

     Leaders – Who Needs Them? (Joshua 1:1) Throughout human history there have been good and bad leaders.  “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when the wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).  There is only one man, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ who will be able to rule with absolute righteousness toward all His subjects.  One day (perhaps sooner than most people think) He will return to this earth to rule as the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).  Do you know what must happen before He does this?  Will you reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12)? 

     Land – Who Owns It? (Joshua 1:2)  Perhaps the most contested piece of real estate on earth is found on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea.  Jews, Muslims, and some Christians claim that it belongs to them.  But what do the Scriptures teach?  God made an everlasting, one sided covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants (Genesis 15:18-21).  Although the Jews have been expelled from the land on several occasions because of their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28), the believing Jews must eventually get all of it from the River in Egypt to the Euphrates River.  This, we believe, will happen during Christ’s millennial reign on this earth (Isaiah 2:4, 9:7; 35:1ff; Daniel 2:44, 45; Revelation 20:1-7). 

     Encouragement – Who Needs It? (Joshua 1:6, 7)  After Moses died General Joshua, no doubt, was filled with a lot of fear and trepidation. He needed to hear God reassuring him that He would continue to be with him as He had been with Moses.  Being a leader can be very lonely.  God’s Word, whether given orally as it was to Joshua or in written promises in the Bible, can/should be a source of great encouragement to every Christian.  Believers should assemble together regularly to stimulate each other to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24, 25).  If you’re a Christian, are you doing this?  The early, persecuted Christians asked God for boldness to proclaim the Gospel that included the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:29).  Some believers, like Barnabas (Acts 4:36) are very good at encouraging others (1 Corinthians 12:8).  

     Meditation – What Do You Think About? (Joshua 1:8).  Human beings think, but not all people think correctly or as God does (Isaiah 55:8, 9).  Upon what do you think during your discretionary time?  Some people get involved in the wrong kind of meditation and allow demons to control their minds, perhaps without their even knowing about it (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 2:11).  Some people even attempt to communicate with the spirit world as King Saul did (1 Samuel 28:7).  Although the devil and demons know much more then we do, they aren’t omniscient like God is.  They can convey some limited and accurate information to people through someone who is yielded to them.  The devil and demons know and can quote the Scriptures well (Matthew 4:1-11).  They know that judgment day is coming to them but they don’t know exactly when that will happen (Matthew 8:29). True Christians will be involved in judging fallen angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).  Need some good things to think about?  Try these things (Philippians 4:8).

     Following Orders – Who Needs To Do This? (Joshua 1:10).  Any form of government is better than anarchy.  Although some false teachers suggest that Christians don’t need or aren’t under any sort of rules, the Scriptures teach otherwise.  Each country has its set of rules to govern its people.  They must be obeyed unless God’s rules supersede them (Acts 5:29).  Christians have “House Rules” too.  Those who try to live according to the rules of another house or time period will encounter problems with the Lord.  Do you know which rules are to be applied to believers today:  The Mosaic Law, Grace Principles, or Kingdom principles?  If you need help, ask for one of our FREE “Dispensational Charts.”

     Rest – How Can One Get Some? (Joshua 1:13).  Thankfully, the God who made man out of the dust of the ground also wants him to have a day of rest.  Most people take more than one day a week.  The Jews, living under the Mosaic Law, had to observe Saturday as a day of rest.  Those who violated it were to be stoned as was one man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32ff).  Those who traveled more than a Sabbath’s days journey on Saturday violated the Law too (Acts 1:12).  That’s less than a mile.  Today, Christians aren’t under the Mosaic Law as their rule for living but are governed by Grace principles.  Do you know where they are found?  As the body needs periodic rest for it to be rejuvenated (Mark 6:31), so do the soul (Matthew 11:28, 29) and spirit (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).  Are you getting any of it?

     Promises And Vows – What Precautions Should Be Taken? (Joshua 1:16).  Many entrepreneurs are self motivated and enthusiastic about making money and getting ahead in life.  They have a lot of self confidence that pushes them on to bigger, better, and more expensive toys.  Some words of caution are in order.  Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:4).  James, the Lord’s half brother reminds us that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then is gone (James 4:14).  He tells us to use the words “Deo Volente” on a regular basis.  Do you know what that means?

     Faith – What Should We Pass On?  Each generation of believers must pass on to the next generation the truth about God and how they can be saved (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18).  Forgetting God leads to dire consequences (Romans 1:18-32; 6:23; Revelation 21:8).  Remembering and obeying God will bring true success and lasting rewards to Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1-15).  Let us be strong in the Lord and victorious over the devil and his solicitations to sin (Ephesians 6:10-17).  As believers who will overcome, let us be of good courage “because [God] who is in us is greater than [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).   

     Until He Returns – What Should Christians Do?  “…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). 

     Questions?  If you have questions or comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at  Our web logs “Blogs” are usually a summary of our talks on Sundays that sometimes can be heard on the Internet.

“War And Peace”

Posted: February 8, 2013 in Dispensations, Israel, Joshua, Promises

     The history of the world is primarily the story of humanity’s cycle of failure, the rise and fall of one empire after another, one civilization after another.  Some people are wondering if our form of government is going by the way side.  Do you find it interesting that the United States is not specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy as are other countries and nations?

     Utopia.  Man is trying his best to create a “Paradise” here on earth but he can’t seem to bring it to pass.  The proud, natural man wants to do all this without God’s help.  But Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  The Prince of Peace was rejected about 2,000 years ago and He will be opposed again by the nations of this world when He returns to take them by force (Psalm 2; Zechariah 12, 14).

     Dispensations.  They are periods of time in which God tests some or all of mankind with different rules to regulate their lives.  Contrary to what some people believe, they aren’t different ways to be saved and get to heaven.  There is only one way (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8, 9), one Savior (Acts16:31), and one message to believe today if we want to be saved from hell and enter heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  When the Bible is interpreted normally we discover that there are seven distinct sets of rules: Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Mosaic Law, Grace, and Kingdom. (Ask how you can secure our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”)

     War And Peace.  The book of Joshua in the Bible is a story of the Jewish people entering the land that God had promised to give to Abraham, Isaac,  Jacob, and their descendants (Genesis 15:13-21).  It’s a land from which they have been expelled several times because of their disobedience to God (Deuteronomy 28:15ff).  But all of it will be restored to the believing Jewish remnant when Jesus Christ returns to rule over this earth for 1,000 years as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16; 20:1-7).  Their land will extend from the River in Egypt to the River Euphrates.  God will keep this and all other covenants (promises) that He has made to the Jews and to Christians.  If the Jews don’t get all this land, then God is a liar and unworthy of our trust.

     Timing.  When the iniquity of the Amorites was full (about 400 years after God made the promise to Abraham), God sent the Jews into the land to destroy those who refused to turn to God and believe in Him.  The people in Canaan (Palestine) knew about the true and living God and the miracles He had performed in Egypt and at the Red Sea (Joshua 2:9-11).  But they continued to live in sin and became morally depraved and physically infected from sexually transmitted diseases (Romans 1:18-32).  God couldn’t/wouldn’t allow their rebellion to go on forever. 

     Longsuffering.  God is very longsuffering and not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  Judgment day is coming (Hebrews 9:27).  Now is the time to make peace with God (Romans 5:1).  Do you know how to do this correctly?  If not, ask us for help.

     Encouragement.  Imagine going to war against some ten feet tall giants such as Goliath (Numbers 13:3; Joshua 12:4; 1 Samuel 17:4).  How could desert nomads conquer them and a fortified city?  The Jewish General Joshua knew that the job seemed impossible but he had confidence in the true and living God who had performed many miracles for the Jews in Egypt (10 plagues) and in the wilderness (water, manna, and quails). God assured Joshua of His continued presence with him just as He had been with Moses (Joshua 1:5).  With God on our side we can/will win the battle. 

     Foolish Plan.  Any military general today would consider the plan that God had given to Joshua to be utter nonsense.  They were to march silently around the city of Jericho one time each day for six days.  On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times and then shout.  When they did this God brought down the walls of that well fortified city and the Jews went in and took it (Joshua 6).  God got the glory.

     Travel.  If you would like to go back in time and travel with us and learn some valuable lessons from our study in the Book of Joshua, call us at 805-238-3549 to find out when and where we will be meeting.  There is no sense in our making the same mistakes that others have made and suffering the consequences of inappropriate conduct (1 Corinthians 10:11).  Christians can/do commit the “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16).  Do you know what it is?

     Blogs.  Our “Web logs” are usually a summary of our Sunday talks.  We also try to have corresponding audio messages on the Internet. Visit our web site at