Joshua: The Old Testament
The First Old Testament History Book
FIGHTING A GOOD WARFARE
We Fight A Different Fight Today
Than Joshua Fought
Joshua fought wars against flesh and blood.
God told him to enter the Promised Land and to subdue it completely. He told him to kill or make all the inhabitants of the land leave so he would have a place to live with his people without the influence of all of their gods, idols, religions and lifestyles.
Joshua did not entirely do this. He largely did, but he didn’t totally obey what God said and let some people live in the land with them. He even made a covenant with one group of people.
But we are told our warfare is not against ‘flesh and blood,’ as Joshua’s was. We don’t fight battles of the flesh, and they are not carnal (II Cor 10:3-4). Our battles are to ‘cast down imaginations, and things that exalt themselves against the knowledge and truth of God, and to bring every thought we have into the knowledge of Christ’s obedience for us — his finished work on the cross (II Cor 10:5).
This is also meant to be our mindset in taking communion: taking communion worthily by examining the Lord’s body, and what he did, not examining us: what we did last week or last night (I Cor 11:27-29).
Our battle is to repent of ALL other beliefs except for the gospel (Mark 1:14-15).
Our battle is also to ask God to give us divine repentance so we can believe gospel truth, if we find ourselves believing things that aren’t according to gospel truth (II Tim 2:25). I listed the 10 aspects of the gospel that I have discovered to date.
Also our battle is to get out of the clutches of Satan, who tries to blind our minds and hearts to the glorious gospel of Christ, thereby making us useless or lost to the purposes of God’s Kingdom on earth (II Cor 4:3-4). When we don’t believe and live gospel truth, we are living as captives to Satan, and we must recover ourselves from his snare (II Cor 2:26).
This is most of the spiritual warfare we have to do in the New Covenant.
OUR WARFARE IS IN THE GOSPEL
I closed The Books of the Law by saying the gospel is unbelievable to so many people. It is simply too good to be true. They can’t wrap their minds around it.
Well the truth is it is our JOB to wrap our minds around it. It is the only thing God gives us to believe and live by this side of the cross of Jesus. Our Lord says we must understand ‘the word of the Kingdom’ (Matt 13:19). This is defined as being the gospel (Matt 24:14).
If we don’t take the time to understand it, then it’s simply because we don’t care, and are apathetic to what God says. Or Jesus goes on to say we just don’t have deep spirit roots. We are surface, Sunday-morning Christians. Or Jesus says we’re just too busy with business, the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, or desires for other things.
The world is first place to us, and God’s Kingdom is somewhere down the list. I try to help people understand it, and wrap their minds around it, with the 10 gospel aspects that I share. And as I say, there may be more, but this is what I’ve seen to date. I believe the gospel is so vast it would take more than one lifetime to see and understand it all. Even Paul was told more by God than he was allowed to tell us (II Cor 12:4).
But we have all we need to know to understand what God wants us to.
OUR WARFARE IS TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL
Paul says sadly, “They have not all obeyed the gospel” (Rom 10:16). Jesus says it is our job to believe in him (John 3:16, 6:29). We are also told this means believing what Jesus says to us, which is the gospel (Mk 1:15, John 3:36, 12:48).
This is the same warfare Joshua fought when he surrounded Jericho. No, he wasn’t fighting belief in the gospel, but he was fighting belief in God, which at that time was the same thing.
OUR WARFARE: TUNE OUT OTHER OPTIONS
I said it before: Christian teaching is like ‘The Second Tower of Babel’ today. You can pick and choose from so many theories that it’s mind-bending. Not to mention confusing. We have more denominations than we can count.
Paul says we should ‘all say the same thing’ (I Cor 1:10). That seems downright funny, if not stupid in today’s church. The only way we can ‘all say the same thing’ is if we all believe gospel truth. Then we can have fellowship in the gospel (Phil 1:5). We can’t have fellowship with 10,000 different ways of thinking (I Cor 4:15). Thus Jesus says to ‘repent.’
OUR WARFARE: EDUCATING SATAN AND HIS DEMONS
This is truly important to see. Paul says the most important thing is not US knowing God, but GOD knowing us (Gal 4:9).
This also applies to Satan and his demons. In Acts 19 there is the story of some vagabond Jews, and some loyal Jews (those who had believed and received Christ) trying to take control over a demon, but the demon beat them up and sent them running. It says they were using the name of Jesus ‘that Paul preaches.’ This means they didn’t really believe! They were just using a religious technique they had been taught to do, as so many of us do too. It’s also a reference to gospel belief because the gospel is what Paul’s whole ministry was about. He came against everyone who didn’t preach and live the gospel (Gal 1:8-9). This is because the gospel was his whole life (Acts 20:24).
The demon said to the men, “I know Jesus, and I know PAUL, but who are YOU?”
The only way that either God or Satan really ‘knows us’ is if we are in the gospel. Why? Because the gospel is the gift Jesus came to give us as you read about in the introductions to the Old Testament.
The whole book of Galatians is about this, and that’s what this demon was inferring. Paul knew who he was in Christ, because of the gospel, and so every demon knew it too. But if we don’t know who we are in Christ, due to the gospel, demons say to us: “Who are YOU?”
If we know Christ and the gospel, demons say to us, “. . . and I know YOU too.”
When we know who we are in Christ due to the gospel, then we instruct Satan and his demons in the gospel.
It is our job to make known to principalities and powers (Satan and his demons) the manifold wisdom of God which is the gospel (Eph 3:10).
Instructing Satan in the gospel is the highest form of spiritual warfare because James tells us that he trembles at the thought of truth, which is the gospel. He runs and hides from it. It gives him NIGHTMARES. He can’t stand to be around gospel-believing Christians.
It evicts him from our presence! He cannot stand to be around believers of the gospel! This is because we know our authority over him, and he has no defense against the gospel. Yet, we have every defense for the hope in us (the knowledge of the truth), if we believe, breathe and live the gospel (I Pet 3:15).