Seeking the Everlasting Gospel

Featuring the Bible Teachings of Ted Roberts

Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, and John

The following text is simply a rough-draft of an upcoming book idea ... Please forgive any textual errors, but at least consider the words expressed... 

 

Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, and John

From a Dry Wilderness, to a Living Promised Land

 

August A.D. 2015

 

by: Ted Roberts

 

NOTE: All Scriptural quotes are from The King James Version, unless otherwise noted. The passages or words are sometimes in CAPITALS or BOLDING for emphasis. Words in italics, however, within quoted scriptures, are not for emphasis, but were placed within by the King James editors, who 'added' these words for sentence flow, which were not in the original autographs. Text [within brackets] are the authors own thoughts inserted into the biblical text for teaching purposes.

 

Numbers 14:24

But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

 

Most folks are familiar with the story about how the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness from Egypt, and of how they were going to the land which God had promised them. Some folks are even familiar with the fact that it took forty years for that transaction to take place. And even some know the reason why it took so long for them to take an otherwise short journey .... However, not everyone realizes that it took the same amount of time for the first century church to take a 'like manner' journey from the Old Testament covenant to a New Testament covenant − and that's exactly what we will be discussing in this short writing.

 

Deuteronomy 27:3

And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.

 

The heroes of this story are pointed out in the title of this writing − namely Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul the Apostle, and John the Revelator/Apostle. And in the first quoted scripture, we learn, concerning Caleb in particular, that he had another spirit about him. That is, a kind of spirit that would be able to help the progress of the Promised Land go into a good direction .... Now, if we can but consider 'types' and 'shadows' (in comparing the wandering in the wilderness for forty years in the Old Testament, to another wandering in the wilderness for forty years in the New Testament [that is, from approximately 30 A.D. until 70 A.D.], we will begin to see who would best be qualified (in a type and shadow) to fit the role of a New Testament Caleb; of whom would be qualified to lead the children of God into a 'spiritual' Promised Land. Some folks think this to be the Apostle Paul. However, I think the scriptures give us a better candidate than he, and that would be the Apostle John.

 

Paul himself would be better to fit Moses. Why? First, let's consider Paul wasting the New Testament church, as comparable to Moses smiting the rock.

 

Galatians 1:13 [Paul speaking about himself]

For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.

 

Jesus' response to Paul, for how he wasted the church:

 

Acts 9:4-5

And he [Paul] fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul [Paul], Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

 

And what of Moses striking the Rock? One finds the identification of the Lord Jesus Christ as the "Rock" throughout scripture (such as: Deut. 32:4; Ps. 118:22; Is. 8:13-15; 28:16; Dan. 2:34-45; Matt. 16:18; 1Pet. 2:4-8), and Paul tells us explicitly that the Rock from which Israel drank was most definitely a "type of Christ"....

 

1 Corinthians 10:4

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

 

However, we learn, that during all this, Moses did goof:

 

Numbers 20:8-12

Take the rod [the Lord God speaking with Moses], and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

 

By this, Moses didn't enter into the Promised Land. And, in 'like manner', Paul smote the Rock in offense when he persecuted and wasted the Church of Christ. Not only so, but like Moses, Paul never entered into the Promised Land. How is that? And what exactly is the New Testament Promised Land?

 

Jesus died on the cross in approximately A.D. 30, commencing the New Testament. Truly? Let's consider these passages:

 

Hebrews 9:14-17

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

 

If a testament is only of force after men are dead, then we can see that the New Testament only commenced with the death of Jesus on the cross − not with the beginning of the book of Matthew, as many think. Therefore, with this in consideration, we see the start of the great journey of the Early Church .... But, were they really on a great journey? And if so, where was it a journey to? Let's consider that pathway from what was old to what is new had to take time for commencement. The journey from Egypt to Israel was wrought with bumps; and, in fact, the entire generation of those who could not conform had to leave their dead carcasses in the desert, so that those who were conditioned for the transformation could enter.

 

Numbers 32:13

And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.

 

Hebrews 3:17

But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

 

Therefore, just like the children of old, the Early Church generation of unbelievers had to leave their dead carcasses in the wilderness during that forty year journey. Let's consider Jesus' words to the Early Church generation of non-believers:

 

Matthew 23:32-36 [Jesus speaking to His contemporary Jews]

Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

 

Again, this is addressed to a particular generation of people − Jesus' contemporary generation. That is, another generation of Jews who would find their dead carcasses laid in the wilderness (albeit, a 'metaphorical' wilderness this time). And, not only so, but here Jesus was specifically speaking of a particular time in their future when the bulk of them would die − the great judgment of that nation by the hands of Roman soldiers, which ended in A.D. 70, forty years later! A war that was witnessed and chronicled by the Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus, in his 'Wars of the Jews,' in A.D. 75.

 

But why A.D. 70 for the ending of that particular generation? Again, why A.D. 70 for a commencement of something new? Well, not only was it forty years after Jesus' death on the cross - that is, at the commencement of the New Testament - but it pivotally marked the day when the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was leveled to the ground ....

 

Matthew 24:1-2

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

 

And why is that important? What significance does the leveling of the Temple have in a Christian society? It was actually God's official announcement to the world over that He does not live in temples made with man's hands. No longer does he dwell in a natural building. And now, the spiritual world without end (as opposed to the world of the natural - which everyone up until that time understood) is finally commenced .... That entire generation on un-believers have lain their dead carcasses in the wilderness of transition (the Wars of the Jews marked it's ending), and now the children of God can finally come on into the spiritual Promised Land - a land where only spiritual things exist; and the true children of God can finally worship God in Spirit and in Truth!

 

1 Corinthians 3:16

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

 

Acts 7:47-50

But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

 

Psalms 127:1

.... Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it....

 

But even as Barnabas declared in his epistle, written in about A.D. 75, after he witnessed the temple fall:

 

Epistle of Barnabas 4:11

Let us become spiritual, let us become a temple perfect unto God. [Barnabas 16:1] Moreover I will tell you likewise concerning the temple, how these wretched men being led astray set their hope on the building, and not on their God that made them, as being a house of God. [Barnabas 6:15] For a holy temple unto the Lord, my brethren, is the abode of our heart.

 

As a modern society, we (like the Pharisees before us), put too much trust into a natural building, as if it's God's temple! Being a spiritual temple, we take God's temple with us wherever we go, no matter what day of the week it is. 

 

Again, the New Testament era commenced with Jesus dying on the cross, just like the Old Testament era commenced when Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt. And, just like Moses, Paul was the man during that forty year period who was best suited for the teaching of that generation, in preparing them for their arrival to their Promised Land. And, like Caleb, John was the one who had the right spirit to carry it on over, and to sustain them (or rather, give them a new beginning) once the Promised Land was actually reached. And, too, like Moses, Paul never reached the end of the trail, but saw it from afar. Moses seen it naturally from a mountain top, as Paul saw it spiritually from a higher position in third heaven. But, again, Paul didn't make it, for history tells us (and most scholars agree) that he was beheaded during Nero's reign, just before A.D. 70. And, if that is so, then that only left John as the only Apostle still alive to carry the church on over into the new era. History even tells us that he took over the churches that Paul established, as he was the most qualified to bring them into this new time, because he had a gentle spirit, and the wisdom to do so.

 

Therefore, in comparison, Paul represents Moses, John the Revelator/Apostle represents Caleb .... But who does Joshua represent? Of course, he represents Jesus (Joshua is the same name as Jesus in Hebrew), who was with Caleb when the Promised Land was reached.

 

 

More to come.....

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