Cut off from Adam
Baptised into death
And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it… And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you. And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. And the LORD said unto Joshua,…… Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
In entering the Land the children of Israel had to do so ‘according to pattern’, that is they had to follow exactly God’s instructions. We shall follow what happened and see the lessons for us.
The people had to go after the ark of the Covenant. This speaks of Christ, and for us to enter into God’s rest we must go after Christ. The priests, who carried the ark led the way into the Jordan. They were the only ones who got their feet wet! No one else did, they ‘tasted’ the waters for everyone. Christ tasted death for everyone Heb.2:9. He was baptised into His baptism so that we may be baptised with it too.
As the children walked over the Jordan they would have passed those priests and the Ark, which would have had the blood of past sacrifices on it (albeit covered by the curtains). Our entering into God’s rest is based solely on the passed eternal sacrifice of Christ.
Twenty four stones
And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night. Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over. And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people…. And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before. And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
Two extra-ordinary events took place before the waters returned. Twelve men had to take a stone each from the river bed, and then set them up as a memorial at the place of their lodgings. Joshua then put twelve stones in the river bed itself where the priests stood.
As born again believers we are living stones I Pet.2:5. We note that the stones in the river bed were submerged when the waters returned. They were baptised in the Jordan, the river running into the Dead Sea. The scripture also notes that it was far from the city of Adam!
This speaks of our baptism into Christ’s death. To take us out of from the old Adam and place us into Christ, the Last Adam from above. The stones at the lodgings, speak of us being raised up with Christ in newness of life, into the heavenlies with Christ- that is where we now live in the Spirit. Col.2:12; Eph.2:4-8.
The picture is consistent with all the other types and NT teaching. On our baptism into Christ we are buried with Him, baptised into death, and raised in newness of life and are seated in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus. The old life has gone! We have been cut off from the old wilderness way, and have come to a new life in Christ.
And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
After the Jordan crossing, and before the children of Israel went to conquer the land, we see that several things happened. But first we note that the scripture says that all the hearts of the kings of the Canaanites melted, and there was no more spirit in them. Before a spear was thrown in anger Israel already had the victory. The Canaanites had seen and heard what God had done, and knew they were defeated. Rahab said the same to the two spies Joshua sent out Josh.2:4-11.
This is a lesson for us all. God has already defeated the powers and principalities of darkness; they have both heard and seen what God has done at the cross and are dispirited! They are afraid of the believer who is in Christ. We are more than more than conquerors in Christ, as we saw in a previous article.
At the place where they stayed, Gilgal, two events took place: circumcision and the Passover. Why significant since these were already established in Israel? It will be noted that the new generation had not been circumcised, this important sign of the covenant had been neglected. God insists on everything being done correctly and in order. Just compare what happened to Moses when he had neglected it Ex.4:24-26. The Passover was eaten.
To come into the rest of God, it still means having the circumcision of the heart and a keeping our Passover, who is Christ. We simply can not enter this rest unless we know the circumcision of the heart and know Christ as our Passover as we have already discussed in section II.
After the circumcision and Passover, events with which we are familiar, we see that they ate the old corn of the land and the wilderness manna ceased; they also ate the fruit of the promised land. For this old corn of the land and fruit they did not work for it! Just as Adam entered the finished work of God in Eden so the children of Israel entered and enjoyed the bounty of Canaan without working for it!
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Following the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, there was a discourse where the Jews challenged Jesus. Jesus reminded them that the manna in the wilderness was send down from God, and is a picture of Jesus Himself in the days of His flesh. He then says that He is the living bread, and we must eat of Him so that we can have eternal life. His flesh He gives for the for the life of the world, a clear reference to Calvary and His redeeming work.
By eating His flesh and drinking his blood He will dwell in us and we in Him. That this is not literally physical is self evident; Jesus was speaking spiritually, because of His finished work at the cross His life is available for us to partake of. We need to eat of Him and drink of Him in the Spirit.
The Jesus of the days of His earthly life are over, He is now seated at the right hand of His Father. The wilderness food is gone, if the manna represents Jesus’ earthly life so the old corn represents Jesus glorified and seated in the heavenlies; He sends forth the Spirit so that His life is now available to all who call upon His name.
Finally, Joshua meets a man who turns out to be the Lord, who calls Himself – the Captain of the Lord of Host. He assumes control of the Israelite armies. Joshua was to be under His command as The Captain of the host. It is worthy of note that the only time Joshua moved out under his own steam (that is with regards to Ai) Israel lost and suffered casualties!
If we are to be more than conquerors in the battles we face, we must be under the submission of the Lord of Host, or to put it in NT terms, we must walk in the Spirit.
It would be good to see what the rest was that Israel entered into. There are several references regarding Israel’s rest in Joshua, but without going into every reference here, we see that there was a progressive enjoyment of that rest. The following scripture is a summary.
And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
Because they were in submission to the Captain of Host the Lord gave them victory. Their enemies could not stand before them, they had been all delivered into their hand. God’s promises never failed, they all came to pass. And as long as they were obedient that state of affairs remained.
What a lesson for us! As long as we walking in the Spirit we can know this rest of God, entering into His finished work. We can know constant victory over the enemy in our lives, whether that be attack from the outside or whether it be the temptations within. We can know victory over the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes.
So how we do we summarise all this in NT terms? In our original text from Hebrews we read
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief
The entry into Canaan typifies us entering into the rest of God; that is we cease from our own works of the flesh and rest in the finished work of God. According to Rom.13:11-14 we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ making no provision for the flesh. In Gal.6:16-25 we see that those that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh. We are to put off our former way of behaviour, to put off the old man and out on the new Eph.4:21-27; Col.3:5-11 and crucify the flesh, putting off the old man (the wilderness way), and putting on the new. This we do by mixing the word we receive by faith.