Moses' third speech, Part 13
Oct 15, 2012
Moses continues his speech in Deuteronomy 11:22 and 23,
22 For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you, to do it, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways [Hebrew: derek] and hold fast to Him; 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.
Moses again links obedience to love. The implication is that if men do not obey His laws, they do not really love God, regardless of their claims or expressions of love. Secondly, to keep the law means "to walk in all His WAYS." The laws show us God's WAYS. David later tells us what it means to depart from God's ways, saying in Psalm 18:21 and 22,
21 For I have kept the ways [derek] of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all His ordinances were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me.
When Moses told Israel to be careful to "walk in all His ways," his words fell on mostly deaf ears (Deuteronomy 29:4), though it is doubtful that the Israelites knew the extent of their deafness. But many years later, God said to David in Psalm 95:10 and 11,
10 For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways [derek]. 11 Therefore I swore in My anger, "Truly, they shall not enter into My rest."
Because Israel did not know the ways of God, they were unable to enter into God's Rest. That which was spoken to "the church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38) is also applicable to the church in the Pentecostal Age, for they have largely followed the example of the pattern church before them in rejecting the law of God outright or in substituting the traditions of men for God's law.
For that reason, the First Resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6 will not include the whole church but only the overcomers who, like Moses, know the ways of God. Why? Because they have not known the ways of God. Psalm 103:7 says,
7 He made known His ways [derek] to Moses, His acts [aliylah, "deeds, works done with severity, punishments"] to the sons of Israel.
The Hebrew word aliylah comes from the root word alal. It implies that the Church will be "saved yet so as by fire" (1 Corinthians 3:15). See its meaning here:
In spite of its Pentecostal anointing, the church throughout history has remained mostly lawless. Ironically, it has also been legalistic in enforcing church traditions. To know God's ways is to be lawful--not legalistic. True lawfulness understands the ways (mind) of Christ and knows how to apply the law as He does. Legalism applies man's misunderstanding of God's law and does so without knowing the laws of grace, mercy, and forgiveness that are built into the law itself--primarily in the law of Jubilee and the law of victim's rights.
Yet God has overcomers, destined for the throne, destined to judge the world and even angels (1 Corinthians 6:2 and 3). These are the rulers who will be called forth by the trumpet at the First Resurrection, according to the prophetic law in Numbers 10:4). The occasion of that law established the Feast of Trumpets, which prophesies of the resurrection. (See chapter 2 of my book, The Laws of the Second Coming.) The rest of the dead, including most of the church, will have to await the general resurrection in order to enter into God's Rest, and their entry will be accompanied by whatever disciplines that God deems necessary (1 Corinthians 3:15).
Both Moses and David presented the ways of God to the people, and Jesus was the embodiment of those "ways" in all that He spoke and did. In other words, Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, and John tells us that we are to follow His example, saying in 1 John 2:6,
6 The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Getting back to Moses' statement in Deuteronomy 11:23, we are told that if we would know His ways, then no nation, however powerful, would be able to withstand our advance. Under the Old Covenant, God would drive out the nations who had previously occupied the physical land of Canaan. Under the New Covenant we seek the "better country" that Abraham Himself sought (Hebrews 11;16). We are not called to redeem the land of Canaan, but are instead seeking "the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23).
In other words, our bodies are the "Canaan" of the New Covenant. Collectively, we are the New Jerusalem. The 38 kings of Canaan are the various carnal ways of the old Adamic man which has been condemned to death and must be crucified with Christ. Romans 6:6 says,
6 Knowing this, that our old self [man] was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
Hence, when Joshua led Israel into battle against the kings of Canaan, it was a type of the true Joshua (Yeshua-Jesus) who would lead us into battle against the "kings" that have usurped control over our own bodies. Joshua 11:16-18 tells us that Joshua "captured all their kings and struck them down and put them to death." This is our present warfare as well, but it is conducted, not with a physical sword, but with the Sword of the Spirit.
Led by Jesus Christ, our "Joshua," as we come to know the ways of God and put on the mind of Christ, we will be victorious in every battle that we face. Even if we lose some battles, our very losses will teach us and train us in the ways of God so that we will overcome at last.
Under the Old Covenant, Israel inherited land but did not learn the ways of God. For this reason, when they were tested, they failed continually. Judges 3:1 says, "Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them." That passage continues in verse 4 saying, "and they were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandment of the Lord."
But in verse 6, Israel "took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods." This, then, was the cause of divine judgment, as God sold them into the hands of other nations that put Israel into bondage. So likewise with us, when we refuse to learn His ways and to obey His law, we remain in captivity to the carnality of the "kings" of our fleshly ways, in spite of the fact that we are led by Joshua-Jesus to defeat many of those kings. Our Leader is not the problem, for He is always victorious. The problem comes when God leaves certain thorns in our flesh to test our resolve and to see if we will be lawless or permissive.
Lest we become discouraged, we should also understand that this battle against these carnal tendencies takes time. God Himself revealed this in Exodus 23:29 and 30 saying,
29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate, and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.
See also that the purpose of driving out these iniquitous kings in our flesh is to make us "fruitful" and to come to the place where our authority is fully established over all that we do and say. God has always been looking for fruit--not apples and peaches, but the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-24,
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [Joshua] have crucified the flesh [kings of Canaan] with its passions and desires.
So Moses tells us of the victorious life of Israel, if they would know and follow the ways of God. He also prophesies of the greater fulfillment under the New Covenant that has been revealed to us through Yeshua-Jesus, the greater Joshua who leads us into the true Kingdom of God.
Moses continues in Deuteronomy 11:24 and 25,
24 Every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours; your border shall be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea. 25 There shall no man be able to stand before you; the Lord your God shall lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.
Under the Old Covenant, in which Israel refused to hear the word of God at Mount Horeb, they were left only with a physical sword by which to conquer Canaan. We, however, have an advantage, for at Pentecost we were given the Sword of the Spirit along with spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:14-17). With our weapon we are able to divide soul and spirit and even discern the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Our sword is much sharper than any physical double-edged sword that Israel was given in times past. Therefore, the results of our warfare ought to be much greater than those achieved under the Old Covenant.
Unfortunately, there have been many Christians over the centuries who reverted to the carnality of physical weapons to conquer nations and to subject them to their religious traditions of men. More recently, we have seen the rise of Christian Zionism, which supports the Old Covenant methods of carnal men who are attempting to recreate an Old Covenant kingdom. In the end, all flesh will fail, for its very nature goes against the fruit of the Spirit which God requires.
This is the thirteenth part of a series titled "Moses' Third Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones