From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 11- Tabernacles – The Feast of Rest, continued
Of course God will bless them; for it is His responsibility to look after them as long as they are in the wilderness. There was daily manna for Israel throughout the whole wilderness journey; there was water out of the flinty rock to quench their thirst; God preserved the very clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet; protected them from the enemy; healed them of their diseases or afflictions when they cried unto Him; and bore them on eagle’s wings throughout that long and arduous and bitter journey in the wilderness. But the fact remains, the generation that refused to take the land died in the wilderness.
How gracious and wise is our God in all His ways! Little did the children of Israel realize that in all they were doing, they were really fulfilling an eternal purpose for the instruction of the Church. These things happened unto them “for ensamples” of us. By their fall, and by their sin, and by their disobedience, God was trying to teach us the path of righteousness and faith and victory. Thank God for the type. It gives us great boldness to enter into the new and living way which God hath now opened up for us through the veil. The wilderness experience has been bitter for those who have hungered and thirsted for God. But God has had a sovereign purpose in it all, that his hungering saints might now be prepared to enter into the land of rest. “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no” (Deut. 8:2).
A NEW GENERATION ARISES
The old generation who disbelieved God perished in the wilderness. But God sustained the new generation for forty years, humbled them, proved them, and prepared them for the conquest of Canaan. And so it is that a new generation under new leadership arises out of the wilderness of modern evangelical circles, to succeed a dying generation. “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them…” (Josh. 1:1, 2). Moses must give way to Joshua. The Law must give way to Grace; and Grace must be swallowed up in the Kingdom. Joshua is the Hebrew word for Jesus. It signifies “Jah Saves.” His generation is to be a conquering, a delivering generation. The former generation said it was all right to go in and spy out the land–no doubt they enjoyed the grapes and the figs and the pomegranates immensely–but they did not want to go in and possess the land. It is all right, they would tell us today, to speak in tongues, or receive gifts of the Spirit, or heal the sick, or perhaps raise the dead occasionally, or prophesy, or sing in the Spirit–these things are all right. But they do not want to hear any of this talk about Christ appearing in the saints, and “being formed within you.” And as for the “manifestation of the Sons of God,” that is definitely not for our day and age. True, they will admit, God has it for us; it is part of our heritage; but not for now. That will take place at the rapture, or the resurrection. We cannot possess the land; there are too many obstacles. There are cities with high walls surrounding them, wooded mountains infested with giants, fearful enemies using iron chariots. It is positively ridiculous to suggest that we can take the land. It is all right to be filled with the Spirit, and enjoy the blessing of the Spirit occasionally; but it is impossible to really enter into the realm of the Spirit to such an extent that you live there constantly. You can take some grapes from the valley of Eschol, but you must not attempt to dwell in Eschol. You can receive an anointing on your mind, and receive thoughts from God that are holy, and speak His words occasionally: but you cannot have the “mind of Christ” in any degree of fullness so that you can actually think His thoughts, and say His words, and perform His works, and live His very own life. It is all right to be healed, but not to enjoy real Divine health or Divine life to such an extent that your days will be lengthened excessively, without pain or feebleness or the abatement of your natural faculties. It is all right to get free from this habit or that, or conquer your temper, but not to be so positively free from the sin nature that “sin hath no more dominion” over you. That would be perfection, and you cannot have perfection until you get to Heaven. It is all right to talk in tongues in a language that no man understandeth, but not to go out to the nations speaking their language, with their accent, and understanding exactly what you say, and what they say. It is all right if you preach the Gospel with signs and wonders, and see certain miracles performed occasionally; but we cannot be caught away in the Spirit like Philip or Elijah in this day of modern travel. It is all right to fight Satan here on the earth and cast out a few devils, but you cannot ascend up in the Spirit into “the heavenlies” and literally topple Satan from his throne, and enter into the realm of power and authority “in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.” We don’t mind tasting the grapes of Eschol, and the figs and pomegranates which the spies have brought back, but we refuse to make any attempt at conquering the whole land! GHW
No commentary needed! Amen.