Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We all need to learn how to study the Bible. In studying the Bible, we should not understand it merely according to letters nor according to the natural way by the natural mind. The Bible has its spirit, reality, and center. Therefore, we need to learn how to know the center, reality, lines, and principles of the Word of God. We should keep this in mind as we come to Joshua 10 through 12. My burden in this message is that we would see the intrinsic significance of these chapters.
Joshua 10 through 12 show Joshua’s destruction of all the rest of the nations in the hill country and the lowland west of the Jordan and on all the shore of the great sea. The strongest people in Canaan were in a strip of land from Lebanon in the north to Egypt in the south and from the Mediterranean Sea to the river Jordan. These people included the Anakim, a race of giants. According to Numbers 13:33, the sons of Anak were from the Nephilim. Genesis 6 reveals that the Nephilim were the issue of the evil union between the daughters of men and fallen angels. Because of the Nephilim, God charged His elect to slaughter everyone in the land. God is kind, loving, and merciful, but He is also severe because He has an enemy on earth.
God made the earth in His economy, and He purposely created a strip of land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. God promised this land to Abraham and his descendants. Eventually, this land became the land of Christ, the land of Immanuel (Isa. 8:8). But when Israel was ready to take possession of Canaan, it was filled with demon-possessed people, idol worshippers, and Nephilim. Joshua slaughtered them (Josh. 11:21-22), but some on the mountain were quite strong, so Caleb came in and conquered them (14:6-14).
The significance of this is that without Joshua we cannot fully understand the spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6. There is spiritual warfare in the invisible scene behind the visible scene. This means that in addition to war on the earth, there is a war between God and Satan in the air. The heavenlies are full of Satan’s forces. Christ is our good land, and God wants us to gain Christ, but there is a layer of devilish, demonic forces between us and the good land. If we would take possession of the good land for our enjoyment, we have to defeat these satanic forces.
Joshua conquered many nations and killed many kings, but he conquered only a narrow strip of land. According to Joshua 1, the land stretched from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates. The good land was wide and spacious; however, Israel’s territory never spread to the Euphrates. Since there was much fighting and rebellion after the time of Joshua, there was not the opportunity for God’s people to build a temple. When David gained more land and there was a time of peace, Solomon, David’s son, was able to build the temple of God to set up God’s kingdom on earth.
In principle, our situation is the same in the Lord’s recovery today. Our standing on the church ground annuls the standing of all the denominations, and this stirs up opposition. We are God’s Israel, and we have our Captain, but the Lord’s recovery is still involved in a struggle. Every day we need to engage in spiritual warfare.
In the United States there are more than two hundred and fifty churches, but nearly all of them are small. It is hard to get an increase. There is a struggle in the United States because it is a crucial country, affecting the entire world situation related to the Lord’s move. Our enemies are not humans on the earth but evil forces in the air, who hinder people from believing into the name of the Lord Jesus and who frustrate the saved ones from pursuing Christ to the uttermost.
We all need to know what the recovery is, where the recovery is, and what kind of persons can take the recovery on. We all need to see that in the Lord’s recovery today we are on a battlefield. We should be today’s Joshua and Caleb, fighting against Satan’s aerial forces so that we can gain more of Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ, setting up and spreading the kingdom of God so that Christ can come back to inherit the earth. It is not adequate for us simply to be spiritual and holy. We need to learn of Joshua and Caleb to represent God’s interest in this age to fight down the enemies that Christ can be gained by people and that Christ can be increased by His pursuers.
Let us now consider a number of the details in Joshua 10 through 12.
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