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The Revelation of Joshua

“Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods” (Joshua 24:2)

The Book of Joshua is listed as the first book of history in the Bible following the first five books of Moses. Joshua is the history of the Israelite conquest of the Promised Land that was promised to the descendants of Abraham. “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8) I also see in the Book of Joshua a precursor of the travel of the Church of Jesus Christ to the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God.

Therefore, the Book of Joshua is not only history it is also prophetic. In verses 2 of Chapter 24 Joshua begins with the words, “Thus says the Lord.” A clear indication that Joshua is speaking on the Lord’s behalf that the Lord is speaking through him. Joshua goes on to give a brief history of what the Lord had done for the Israelite people. Bringing them out of the land of bondage of slavery in Egypt. Parting the Red Sea that they would escape the Egyptian armies. How they were fed and watered in the wilderness and the parting of the Jordan River that they might cross into the Promised Land. And how the Lord had defeated their Canaanite enemies so that they could possess the land.

In my own mind I see distinction between the Book of Joshua and the Revelation of the Apostle John. Revelation the end time prophecy of when the Lord will defeat the evil forces of the world and usher in the millennial reign of Christ for a thousand years and then the eternal home of the saints. Between the two books there are similarities which we will look at here.

First I must mention the name of Joshua and Jesus translate to the same name, “Jehoshu.” In the context of this discussion they both share the same mission. Joshua was a military commander that was commissioned to dispossess the Canaanites from the Promised Land. Just as Jesus will wage battle against Satan and his minions to dispossess them from the world. The similarity is clear in that the Joshua consulted Jesus and He fought the battle for the Israelite nation. “The captain of the LORD’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:15) Joshua clearly states throughout the Book of Joshua to the people what the Lord has done for them.

Joshua was the leader of a nomadic army that was from the wilderness and had no military capabilities in comparison to the forces of the Kings in Canaan. Yet there is no report of casualties in the conquest except for the first failed attempt against Ai, due to the result of sin in the Israel camp. The Captain of the Lord’s Host, Jesus was fighting the battles and giving the Israelites the victory. Joshua was a great man of faith as exampled by the fall of Jericho. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30)

This the example that we should follow in that the leader of our spiritual battles is the Captain of the Lord’s Host, Jesus. We follow and abide in Him through our faith in Him and with Him all things are possible. It is by our true fellowship with our Captain that we will gain the victory. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Joshua sent our two spies to recon the forces and people against them at Jericho. As a recon mission it did not produce much military information that Joshua could make use of. But the spies did gain an insight into the mental state of the people of Jericho. The spies became witnesses for the Lord and as a result Rehab the harlot proved to be a woman of faith and chose to give her aid to the God of the Israelites. “So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there.” (Joshua 2:1) As a result she was taken in to the Israelite nation and was also included in the bloodline of Jesus. (Matthew 1:5) Our God of love, who wishes that none should perish, will go to great lengths to bring a repentant soul into His arms.

During the first three and a half years of the Tribulation God will send two witnesses to testify on His behalf. “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3) These two, whom we know one to be Elisha and the other is most likely Moses, will have great supernatural powers to witness for God in Jerusalem. They will remain faithful to their calling and plead with the people to repent and come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Eventually the beast will dispose of them and for three days their bodies will lie in the street. Then they will arise again and return to their home in Heaven.

Even in the time of great trial and tribulation the gospel message will be made available to anyone who will accept the gift of God’s salvation. Again we see the great length that God will go to save a repentant soul. I give this warning that it will not be as easy as it is now in the Church age. I believe that all Christians during the Tribulation will be martyred for the faith. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)

We all know the story of how the Israelite people marched around the walls of Jericho for six days and on the seventh day they marched around Jericho seven times. The Priest were carrying the Ark of the Covenant and blowing their trumpets as the people marched with them. All the while the people were to remain silent as they marched. “But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” (Joshua 6:10) On the seventh day after the seventh march around the city the people were commanded to shout. It was then that the walls of Jericho fell to the ground and the Israelite army went into the city and slew the inhabitants. It most certainly was the quite before the raging storm.

Today when we are faced with the trials of life we are to make our petitions known unto the Lord and then be still and know that He is God, and that He is in control, and He is faithful and true to His children. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

We see also that before the judgments of God unfold upon man there will be silence in Heaven. “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Revelation 8:1) As there was silence before the walls of Jericho fell so in Heaven there will be silence before the unthinkable wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world. It is then when the seven trumpets shall sound.

For seven years the conquest of Canaan went on until the Promise Land was subdued for the Israelite nation to possess it. Joshua and the Israelites had driven out most of all the opposition and the promise of the Lord had been fulfilled. “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.” (Joshua 11:23)

At the end of the seven years of great Tribulation Christ and His Church will come and He will give them the victory. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.” (Revelation 19:11-14)

There will be those few who remain on earth that have survived the seven years of tribulation but now a new world order will be in place and the King of kings and Lord of lords will reign. The evil that has ruled this world since the fall in the Garden of Eden will be disposed of. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1-2) In one thousand years there will yet be another battle to be fought. It will be even more futile as the previous battles of the ages past. For all power, all authority belong to the Lord and none can overcome Him. Jesus will rule upon the throne of David in the Holy City of Jerusalem and there will finally be peace in the Promised Land “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick, Durant Bible College

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