is the book of the inheritance in the Old Testament and
there are some significant
attached to the occurrences
and usages of this word "inheritance". In the Book of
Numbers it occurs 35 times, in the Book Of
Deuteronomy 18 times, but in the Book of Joshua 44 times;
that is striking! Numbers
the book of the ordering of
the hosts with the inheritance
the book of
the establishing of the basis for possessing the inheritance,
therefore you would expect to find the word frequently. In Leviticus the word "inheritance"
occurs but once. Now Leviticus does not deal
with inheritance, but with God's rights; it is the book of
relationship to God by the altar; the book of approach
where God's rights are recognised,
and God secures His rights by the Cross. God must
have His rights before we can get
Leviticus teaches. Then when you come to the Book of
Joshua you find the whole subject of the inheritance dealt
with, and the entering into possession.
Coming over into the New Testament you find the letter to the
Romans does not present "inheritance" in any concrete form, it
a book that deals
with the spiritual foundations, and this
its link with the
Book of Leviticus.
Joshua, the man (in type of
Spirit) brings to the inheritance. It is important and both interesting and significant
to notice when Joshua comes into view.
In Exodus 17 we find Joshua coming into
the place of the smitten rock, where the waters
came forth giving life to the people; type of the life of the
Spirit as the inward life of the people of God (see John
4:10-14). Then it is that Amalek immediately
comes on the scene as type of the flesh
and crossing the path in order to prevent possession
of the land, to hinder going into the inheritance.
Amalek comes out to withstand
Israel, and God immediately brought Joshua in to order the camp.
Immediately you receive the Holy Spirit or experience a fresh filling of the
rises up, Amalek comes out,
lusteth against the
and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are contrary the one to the
other" (Gal. 5:17). These two are in age-long conflict, in antagonism. It is ever so; when
you have a fresh experience of the Holy Spirit,
the next thing you find is that you are in a new
against the old flesh-life in yourself;
rising up of the flesh within is provoked by the devil because he sees the
inheritance in view, for when the Spirit comes the inheritance comes
into view, HE has come to bring to the
inheritance. So do not
if after an experience of
the Spirit the next thing you have
to face is this conflict with the assertion of the
flesh across the path to hinder your going into
only when you have received the Holy Spirit that
you know the conflict of the flesh
what is the
withstanding of the flesh,
those who have
the Spirit have no
such conflict of
flesh and Spirit; they are not in that realm, but wholly in the flesh realm.
The Holy Spirit has come in relation to the
end, and the end
the inheritance in Christ, and flesh moved by
to frustrate that
and to rob you of the inheritance.
begun in the
aside to make some compromise
with Amalek, because of the hardness
of the way, the greatness of the cost, by reason
of the conflict and forgetting God's word - "utterly destroy
Amalek" (1 Samuel 15:3). "Walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:4).
This is where Abraham broke down. Isaac,
son of the Spirit - he was impossible as son
of the flesh (Heb. 11:11,12) - Abraham's faith
tested, wilderness conditions prevailed, there was delay of the fulfilment of God's promise,
and apparently nothing developing as to Isaac;
he had the assurances of God, but seemingly
nothing coming to pass: the flesh could not wait,
it never can wait for God, so Ishmael is the outcome, with what
terrible consequences. And there
came a time when Abraham had to cast out from his home and life that which his flesh
had built up; this is a terribly painful thing to do, to pull down what he had
built up; and this holds many from coming into the inheritance.
Abraham had brought something into being
by mixing flesh with Spirit, and God will not
says - "CAST IT OUT."
This costs shame and sorrow, it is not easy to cast this out, it is shameful, but it
must be done,
be utterly cast out!
Joshua came in at that point as the energy
of the Holy Spirit to carry on to the end and
to secure the inheritance. We see Joshua
related to all the spiritual activities of the
Children of Israel; it
significant to note he is
when first introduced as
of Moses; who also went
into the Mount
with Moses. His
not mentioned in Hebrews 11.
Why is the name of Joshua left
of that great
list? Because he represented the Holy Spirit
in them all! The activities of God are all carried on in the energies of the Holy Spirit,
HE who brings into the inheritance.
Joshua represents the energy of the Holy Spirit in
relation to the ultimate thing, which is our inheritance in Christ. Joshua was the energy
of the Children
to their going into the land to
strong" - and on that strength the people were
strengthened; Joshua the person was the energy of their
life. "Strengthened with all might by
Spirit into the
inner man" (Eph. 3:16). Colossians and Ephesians are
the letters concerning our inheritance in Christ, and it is
the energies of the Holy Spirit which are to bring us into the possessing of it.
The letter to the Ephesians declares our inheritance in Christ as a fact.
Chapters 1, 2, 3, are occupied with bringing us into the recognition of this.
"Having the eyes of your
heart enlightened that ye might know." All
is related to our inheritance in Christ, and it is
the energy of the Holy Spirit bringing us into
the Father of glory may give
unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM." We need to
get the foundations well laid.
From Genesis up to Exodus 11 election is
presented, God is choosing according to His own sovereignty and wisdom (and not
telling why), an elect line; a man, a family, a race.
Exodus shows us a people though even in Egypt
and under cruel bondage, yet a people distinguished from the Egyptians. And as
things intensified for them, so did the difference intensify between them. When
there was darkness over the land of Egypt it was light where Israel was, they
are in Egypt, but GOD hath chosen!
has chosen, predestinated, foreordained;
has foreknown and in His foreknowledge He has made
certain decisions. The fact is His foreknowledge; and in
that foreknowledge He did predestinate. This foreknowledge is not with us, we are to preach Christ
the world and to give no case up as to being too hard, but
to follow on to the end; the issue is with God, and not
From Exodus 12, on through Leviticus and Deuteronomy it is preparation by the
Spirit of those out of Egypt, a people who had been marked out in
Egypt, and now have been brought out from Egypt. And when you come to the Book of
Joshua, you have the
inheriting by a Spirit-prepared people; for it is an inward
inheritance and position first.
Predestination, Preparation, Possession
1. God knew and predestinated; "Election
according to the knowledge of God the Father" (1 Peter 1:2). "Whom He foreknew
He foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29).
2. By a course of preparation by the
Spirit in relation to the nature of the election - a separation unto God.
3. Inheriting on the basis of spiritual
preparation to inherit, this means a deep, and oft-times drastic work of the
Spirit, in the separating from all flesh, so that now we might
come into our inheritance in Christ. God wants us to cross Jordan now, into
the land now, and now to have the earnest of our inheritance. This
brings us back to the Ephesian letter, "Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit...
which is the earnest of our inheritance" (Eph 1:13,14).
The Holy Spirit has come and dwells
within the born-again child of God to cause that one to begin to possess now.
We come out of Romans 4 and 5 through 6
and 7, on into 8 where we have the energies of the Spirit in relation to "Sonship"
on resurrection ground. We cannot immediately enter into our inheritance, this
entering is caused by a deep work of the Spirit within us. We must ever remember
the preparation is governed by the Object, and that object is the
knowledge of the Lord: making the Lord everything to us experimentally, for
the knowledge of the Lord is our inheritance, and is the result of the
preparation of the Holy Spirit.
All preparation is governed by the
object; and the object is to come to an experimental knowing the Lord, schooled
to know HIM, that is the key all the way along. Every experience brings us to
know Him, this is the work of the Holy Spirit; and when we come to a knowledge
of Him, we are come to the inheritance, for He is the inheritance and we
never come to the inheritance until we have a deep experimental knowledge of the
When Israel left Egypt, they expected
to enter the land immediately, and to come into the inheritance at once. They
had their eyes on the land things; so a long preparation was needed. First there
had to be the wilderness experience to bring to them the knowledge of the Lord,
and on the other hand the forty years in the wilderness was necessary to make
them to know what was in their own hearts; but it is the knowing of Him by which
He governs the making them to know their own hearts. Had we knowledge of
ourselves apart from knowing Him, it would be death to us and we could not bear
it, so all is governed by this one thing - knowing Him. When you have
come there in any commensurate measure, you have come to your inheritance!
Three Wilderness Features
There are three things in this
1. A barren place of dependence.
This is a tremendous factor in coming into our inheritance in Christ; for a
wilderness is a wilderness, a dry barren place, where you cannot see
anything, or feel anything; where if your only resources were in your senses you
are at an utter end. It is a barren place of utter dependence upon God, and
there is nothing else to depend upon. This is an essential feature in order to
possess, a vital factor for obtaining the inheritance. How often God says to His
people, "I am your inheritance" (Num. 18:20). "The Lord is my portion" (Ps.
119:57). "The Almighty will be thy treasure, and precious silver unto thee" (Job
In Christ you have all that, "For all
things are yours... the world, life and death, or things present or things to
come, all are yours and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:25).
He is shutting you up to exclusion
where in that barren place He can be your life and you have to depend on Him for
everything; thus you come into your inheritance which is - HIMSELF. It is an
utter separation from all and everything unto God.
2. The wilderness is a bounded place
of separation, within the limits of God's appointment, where you are
separated unto God. There must not be the slightest overlapping with Egypt, "not
a hoof to be left behind" and there had to be "three days' journey into the
wilderness" (Ex. 8:27). The separation is unto the degree of Divine
completeness, it is being wholly separated unto God. God has come in between and
defined the limits to our life and what it means to be separated unto God.
3. The wilderness is a hedged place
of imprisonment to God, there is no getting out of it, you are imprisoned,
given wholly to God and for Him, and know Him as your only object.
God shut Israel into the wilderness and
there was no way out; Pharaoh saw that, see what he says about it: "Pharaoh will
say... they are entangled in the land, the wilderness has shut them in" (Ex.
Yes, the devil knows all about it! He
says "the wilderness shut them in" - but, God shut them in. What a place
of imprisonment when you have come out wholly for the Lord! Yes, that is the
way, the Lord has imprisoned you, and you cannot run away. There are sometimes
fiery trials, and often Satan says, quit, quit, and you know you cannot. The
flesh would love to be released and find a way out, but you know you have got to
go through, and He is holding you. If He had not held you, where would you have
been? We would kick and run away, only He holds, and will hold until He has done
the work; and you will say, "the Lord did it"; you are hedged by a Divine
The Lord sovereignly held the children
of Israel in the wilderness, while the testing and training was going on,
preparing for the inheritance. And He is holding you while He does the
same, you are the prisoner of the Lord, hedged in unto His Divine completeness;
the Lord is sovereignly holding and getting us through, the credit is not ours,
but His, it is all Grace.
The duration of the wilderness depends
upon our maturity in our knowledge of the Lord, until HE becomes and IS our "all
in all," He - HIMSELF. When He has His place we come into our large place, for
our coming into a large place is on the ground of our personally knowing in a
very real way the Lord - HIMSELF as our all; and conquest depends upon this
knowledge of the Lord.
There will never be a time when we
shall escape the uprising of the flesh; when we are over Jordan the peril of the
flesh is still with us, and you find Achan gets up. Again you find flesh
manifesting itself in self-confidence in Israel when they are over Jordan and in
the land: "And it came to pass when all the Kings... heard how... the children
of Israel had passed over that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in
them any more, because of the children of Israel" (Joshua 5:1). The peoples of
the land were in terror because of the children of Israel; immediately upon
which the Lord gave instructions for re-circumcision. Why this upon crossing the
Jordan and being in the land? The Lord saw the peril of their taking on the
thought of the people of the land about themselves, and making something of them
instead of the Lord, instead of making Him everything, so He says,
And beloved, you are never free of the
peril of people making something of you as soon as they see you have got
something. The Lord says at once, "cut off the flesh."
The Lord is wanting to bring us into a
wealthy place, and He is working in the energies of the Holy Spirit with that in
view. He has foreknown and always acts in relation to that foreknowledge; the
inheritance is in view, and He by the Holy Spirit would bring us into that full
place in Christ.
The large place in life or vocation
depends upon whether we have the Lord as our LIFE, and not things or people as
such, but HIMSELF.
Our emancipation into the fulness of
God's provision for us in Christ Jesus, depends upon how far we have let the
Holy Spirit sovereignly apply the Cross of the Lord Jesus to all that is not of
Himself, until it is only the Lord. This is the Spirit's work, and is not
power or sanctification as such, not in a thing, it is the LORD; and when it is
the Lord, you have come to your possession and can go in and possess.
We come to it through pressure, through
fire, through water, but God says:- "I HAVE GIVEN... YOU POSSESS."