A DEAD SERVANT
When Almighty God miraculously brought His beloved children of Israel out from under the harsh, worldly bondage and slavery of mighty Pharaoh in Egypt, He chose Moses as His leader to firmly stand boldly before Pharaoh to demand the Israelites’ release, to show Pharaoh mighty signs and wonders of judgment and punishment against Egypt, to gain the miraculous release of His children of Israel, and to lead them 40 years thru the great wilderness. Upon accomplishing all that God called him to do, that great leader, Moses, then calmly did something that is common for us all to do as our final act in this life on earth. He died, thus rendering himself unable to continue leading the children of Israel. So his death brought on the necessity of God choosing another leader for His chosen people.
“Moses my servant is dead”
God never makes any mistakes about anything. When He chooses you for any work, the only proper reaction on your part is for you to say, “Yes, Lord.” Let’s study the Scriptures to learn valuable lessons for us from the Lord God choosing Joshua to succeed Moses. “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.” (Joshua 1:1) Now the Lord God is going to call out this new leader, young Joshua, to lead His children into the Promised Land and to fight many great battles there, thus destroying and driving out the heathen tribes that presently inhabit that land and conquering it for the nation of Israel to have as their own. Thus the Lord God has many important things to tell Joshua at this time. So please pay close attention to the very first thing God says to Joshua.
“Moses my servant is dead.” By starting with that declaration, the Lord God is conveying this message to Joshua. “Therefore, Moses will no longer be serving Me on this earth. So now it is your turn, Joshua. It is time for you to put all the great events of the past behind you. It is time to cease looking back and it is time to look forward. It is time to press on. You no longer have that great leader, Moses, to rely upon. Now it is you, Joshua, who is to shoulder all the load. You no longer have Moses and Aaron to depend upon, so you are to depend on your Lord God and on Him alone. Joshua, I was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I called them out. I was with Moses also. It was I, not Moses, Who wrought all those great signs and wonders and destruction upon the false gods of Egypt that caused Pharaoh to let my people go. Joshua, I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is always I Who fights the battles for my people and gives them great victories. I am always faithfully with my people to lead them and to protect them. I am always with the man I choose to lead my people, Joshua, as his Captain to lead in all the battles. I have set my people free from their hard bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt, bringing them out with a Strong and Mighty Arm. And I am now set to lead you, Joshua, from victory unto victory into the Promised Land, and inside the Promised Land. So it is time for you to put Moses in the past, Joshua, because he is dead. His service to Me here on the earth is now glorious past history. Now I am going to place the mantle of leadership upon you, Joshua. So put the past behind you and look to me, The Great I Am, instead of keeping your attention on a dead human servant of the past who no longer is on earth. Certainly Moses wrought great deeds. But from now on, you are to accomplish such great deeds, Joshua. Because, in reality it is always I, the Living God Who accomplishes these great deeds, not men such as Moses or you. So look to Me, Joshua. Fix your eyes firmly upon your Lord God, just as Moses my servant did, and from now on, always follow Me wholeheartedly without ever wavering.”
“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, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.” (Joshua 1:2-3) The Lord God would have Joshua firmly come to grips with the truth that Moses is now dead and thus Moses’ service is now a thing of the past. Upon giving Joshua that important reminder that Moses is dead, the Lord God then immediately gives Joshua a clear and simple command that is most easily understood; “now therefore arise.” Back up just 6 verses in your Bible to Deuteronomy 34:8 to see the children of Israel mourning the death of Moses for 30 days. That was well and good, but 6 verses later God declares to His new leader, Joshua, that the time of mourning has ended and it is now time to arise from that mourning and to go into action. The Lord God then immediately commands Joshua to go forward. This principle applies directly to you in your service to your Lord God and is most important for you to regard in order to properly and successfully serve your Lord God.
“Lord God, please help me to thoroughly learn this important principle and then help me to properly apply it to my life and service to Thee. I pray these things for all other people also. Amen.”
If you started serving God in your youth, most likely along the way down thru the years, you have served under and have been led, guided, counseled, encouraged, and helped by many great men and women of God who were older and more experienced than you. (Likely your earthly father and mother were among them.) Remember verse 1 where Joshua is said to be Moses’ minister. Such a ministry is common and is ordained of God and is a most blessed, rich, and needful thing to each of us servants of God as a time of training and growth as we gain spiritual maturity. But as the years go by and nature takes its course, you watch these “fathers of the faith,” from whom you learned much and to whom and under whom you ministered, steadily depart this life one by one. Typically it makes you feel somewhat lonely each time one of them dies. As you grow older, you watch your mentors grow fewer in number, and the time comes when the mantle falls on you just as it fell upon Joshua. During all the years that Joshua was Moses’ minister, God was using that time to properly train up Joshua and to promote him to be the head leader of God’s people. Your Lord God will bring you thru similar experiences of training to fit you for a higher calling that He has ordained for you.
If you are to be useful to God at all, then likely you will feel that you do not measure up to the task. That feeling is necessary for you to be useful to your Lord God. That feeling is necessary to make you absolutely refuse to trust in your own strength, wisdom, and abilities, but instead, to throw yourself wholly upon your Lord God, totally relying upon Him to accomplish His Work thru you. And that feeling of no ability within your own self will cause you to joyfully give God all the glory, praise, and thanksgiving for the great things that He accomplishes thru you as His earthly human vessel.
“Lord God, please set my mind ever so straight on these principles that I am reading here, and also order my heart aright to follow them wholly. I pray this for all other Christians also. Amen.”
Look carefully at verse 2. Upon commanding Joshua to now arise, the Lord then commands him to go. “Get going Joshua. The time to take action has arrived.” Always guiding perfectly, the Lord God then tells Joshua exactly where to go. “Go over this Jordan.” Crossing the Jordan River represents putting the past behind you. That is a most important principle for you to exercise at the appropriate times in your life, and you can always count on God to clearly lead and guide you in accordance to His Will regarding this. So always bear that truth in mind. God would not have us live in the past. To live in the past is to become stagnant. We are to learn our important lessons as we go thru each stage of our life’s work for God. And as we do, God will show us periodically when we are to put the past behind us by crossing over another Jordan to put that great gulf between us and the past. That great gulf signifies no turning back to the past, but rather pressing forward. Thus we move forward to meet the new work and experiences God has for us in the future. “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.” Don’t you dare to hang on to the past at the times when your Lord God commands you to “go over this Jordan”. Readily put the past behind you and move forward in strict obedience to your Lord God’s commands. Any hesitancy on your part brings on stagnation that stunts your spiritual growth. It causes you to miss out on important work and service your Lord ordained for you. It is also sinful disobedience to your Lord God Who is your Commander and Captain. You must ALWAYS be aware of that and must never waver nor hesitate at His Commands.
“My Lord God and my Captain, please train me properly to be a good soldier of Thine and also to be a good leader of Thy soldiers. Please cause the deep meaning of “arising and going over Jordan” to sink deeply into my mind and to lodge there permanently. Help me to always be alertly listening to Thy commands and to be obedient each time that Thou doest command me to arise and go over another Jordan. Help me to instantly obey, putting the past behind me without looking back or even desiring to look back, and to move forward as You guide me on to new and greater things for Thy Glory. Help me to never forget that my Lord God continuously moves forward from victory unto victory. Convince me that if I balk at Thy command to move forward with Thee across another Jordan that Thou wilt go ahead without me, leaving me behind to stagnant, dry up, and die on the vine as Thy Anointing Power moves on away from me to always be with, and upon Thy army of obedient servants. I pray this for all other believers also. Move us all forward in Thy Mighty Power, Lord, I pray. Amen.”
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee”
Let us continue studying the important commission the Lord God gives to Joshua, His newly appointed earthly commander. “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Verse 5) Joshua’s Almighty Captain guarantees Joshua certain victory. The Lord God promises Joshua that no man will be able to stand before him all the days of his life. This same promise is to us also. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) My fellow soldier of Christ, believe this promise, claim it, and live in it, showing everyone around you the victorious Christian life that so greatly glorifies your Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, please help me to do just that. Help me to fully believe this absolute promise of Thine without doubting or wavering one bit. Help me to lay definite and absolute claim upon it, and to daily live the victorious life Thou hast ordained for me and which brings such great Glory to Thee. I pray this for all my brothers and sisters in Christ also. Glory be to Almighty God for the great victory that Thou givest to us as we do battle for Thee here on this earth. Amen.”
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” We earthly servants of Almighty God are to trust wholly in Him and not in ourselves. We know that He can do anything. We know that God can do everything. We know that He is Truth. Thus He would never break this wonderful promise that He here gives to Joshua, promising to never fail him or forsake him. Our Lord God gives us present-day servants of His this exact same promise. Let us claim it in faith; fully trusting in Him Who is faithful and fully trusting in His faithful promises.
“Lord God, please help me to always trust wholly in Thee and not in myself or other people. Help me to always rely on Thy Faithfulness and on Thy precious promises to never fail me nor forsake me. I pray that all other Christians will do this also. Amen.”
People that God raise up to positions of high leadership are known to make such statements as, “It gets lonely at the top.” “It sure is lonely at the top.” How secure it naturally makes any of us feel to have an older, more mature, stronger, wiser, more experienced human captain over us who is visible to our eyes, who puts his hand upon our shoulder, and speaks into our ears, “I am right here with you to take care of you.” But our Christian life and walk on this earth is one of faith. Tho we cannot see our Captain, He is always with us, always just as close as any human helper can be. We know how great His Love is toward us. And we know that His promises are absolutely true. “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
“Lord Jesus, my Captain and my God, please help me to cleave to Thee with all my feeble might. Please help me to keep my eyes firmly and foremost fixed upon Thee. Tho I am so blessed to have the help and comfort of many Christian brothers and sisters, help us all to always bear in mind the important fact that first and foremost, our help is in the Name of the Lord. Thank Thee for Thy Faithful Promises of Thy Faithfulness to us believers who are Thy children. Thank Thee that Thy Promises will never fail us. Praise Thy Great and Holy Name that Thou wilt never fail us, neither wilt Thou ever leave us or forsake us. So please help us to be strong in our faith toward Thee, our most faithful Lord and God. Amen.”
“Be thou strong and very courageous”
What comforting, assuring, inspiring, and victorious words Joshua’s Captain gives to him here as He commissions Joshua to lead His people and to go forth into battle against great and strong enemies who are much greater in number. “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give to them. Only be thou strong and very courageous.” (verses 6-7a) As I write this early in the year 2008, I expect that most of you fellow Christians who read this will either become a martyr for your Captain and Lord or that you will be alive at the end of the world when He comes to rapture you out of this world. Time on this earth has just about finished its course. And down thru earthly time, God’s people run that course like a relay race is run.
Studying the Holy Bible from beginning to end, we see the “faithful to our Lord” runners of life’s race in each generation, being strong and of good courage, and faithfully running their race, accomplishing great feats with their eyes firmly fixed upon their Captain and Lord. And we can study man’s history since the book of Revelation was penned to see the life service of faithful servants of God all way up to our present day. Such observations show us many giants of the faith that make us feel so puny and worthless compared to them. And to top it all, it looks like we are in the most vital position of the anchorman, the last runner in the race whose final efforts determine if his team wins the race. This end time is bringing perilous times like mankind has never known in all of his history on earth. That can easily make us feel most inadequate for the task ahead and make us think that all is hopeless. So what are we to do in such a trying situation? “BE STRONG AND OF A GOOD COURAGE.” “ONLY BE THOU STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS.”
“Lord God, please help me to do just what Thou art encouraging, urging, and commanding me to do in these verses. Please help me to be strong in my Lord and God. Please help me to encourage myself in Thee, and to be most courageous in Thy Strength and Might. I pray this for all my fellow Christian believers also. Amen.”
“Do according to all the law”
“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” (Verse 7) The Lord God is telling this new earthly commander of His army, “Joshua, obedience in the key to success and prosperity in this tremendous task that lies ahead of you. In the past, I used My servant, Moses, to give you My Law. Now you must obey that law wholly in order to be successful and prosperous. You must not deviate from My Law one little bit. You must do according to all the law. Not just part of it. Not just some of it. But you must obey all of it, Joshua. I command complete obedience, Joshua. That is necessary for you to prosper, have good success, and to be victorious for me in the many, future battles. Listen to Me, Joshua, and do not fail in this one key to success in following Thy Lord. Obey me in all things, Joshua.”
“Lord Jesus, please help me to hear Thee as Thou art now saying all these important things to me, just as Thou said them to Joshua. Help me to acknowledge the dire necessity of total obedience to Thee if I am to be successful and prosper in the Divine calling of Thine to serve Thee during my short existence here on this earth. Save me from a divided heart, and save me from not serving Thee wholeheartedly. I pray this for all other Christians also. May we all fully yield our own wills to Thee to obey Thee fully. Amen.”
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Verse 8) The Lord God is telling him, “Joshua, The Book is what is important. In reality, you still have Moses with you, Joshua. He is in The Book. I put Moses in My Book. Moses still lives in This Book. He will forever be alive to all earthly generations on the pages of This Book. And I have given you My Book, Joshua. In It, you have all you need, Joshua. This Book is what is important, Joshua. Don’t you dare ever forget that. Meditate in it day and night. And you must always observe to do according to ALL that is in The Book, Joshua.”
“Lord God, please help me to hear Thee saying these same things to me now, just as Thou didst say them to Joshua of long ago. Help all Christian believers to hear these assuring words of Thine. Help us all to stay with Thy Book, obeying This Book and letting This Book lead and guide us. Amen.”
“My servant Joshua, listen well to your Lord God now. I am going to ensure that all My future leaders here on earth have The Book. Not only have I put Moses in The Book, Joshua, but I will soon put you in The Book also. You also will live forever on the pages of This Book, Joshua, inspiring a few billion of My future believer soldiers to be strong and courageous and to fight many fierce battles for Me and to win great victories for My Glory. And over the next few thousand years, I will put many of My leaders, soldiers, prophets, preachers, apostles, and disciples in The Book. During that time, I too will come to this earth as a human man, and walk this earth, speaking many words that will go into This Book. And Joshua, when I come to this earth as man, I am going to take on the earthly Name of ‘Jesus’, which is similar to your name, Joshua. O my servant, Joshua, I have so many great plans for This Book. Stay with This Book, Joshua. That is most direly important. That means the difference between life or death, salvation or destruction. Do not ever, for any reason, dare to forsake This Book, Joshua. Because the only way to prosper whithersoever thou goest, the only way to make thy way prosperous, the only way to have good success, is by following and obeying This Book, Joshua. You must not fail in this gravely important matter.”
“Lord Jesus, my Captain and my Guide, please help me to hear Thee saying these same things to me right now. Help all us Christian believers to hear these instructions and to obey them fully. Teach all of us, the dire importance of Thy Holy Book to us all. Amen.”
“My servant Joshua, along about the time in the distant future that I will walk this earth as a man, My armies on earth will cease to fight physical battles and wars like you are about to fight with physical weapons of war like you will use. Instead, Joshua, My warriors will then always fight spiritual battles, with This Book and with This Book alone, doing spiritual warfare against spiritual enemies in high places! I will make This Book into My Sword, Joshua, the Sword of the Lord. It will be alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. And This Sword will always be victorious. All My warriors who bear and wield This Sword will always be more than conquerors. Nothing will be able to stand against them if only they will always do spiritual battle with This Book, The Sword of the Lord.”
“Glory be to Almighty God in Heaven for This Most Powerful and Most Precious Book! Praise be to God for giving us the book! This Old Blessed Book that never fails! Amen.”
“Joshua, I the Lord God will continue using my Apostles to write in This Book until I complete The Book in perfection. And then at the very end of My Book, I will strictly forbid anyone to add to the words of My Book or to take away from the words of My Book. And I will preserve My Book by My Almighty Power throughout all generations as long as time goes on here on earth. Tho the gates of hell fiercely and endlessly assault My Book, Joshua, they cannot possibly prevail against The Book. The Book endures forever, Joshua.”
“Glory be to Almighty God in Heaven, that Thy Holy Book endures forever! O Lord, please give all us believers more love for The Book, Thy Holy and Blessed Book! Amen and Amen!”
“My arch enemy hates This Book, Joshua. But no matter how ruthlessly Satan strives to destroy This Book, he cannot possibly ever succeed. Because I WILL forever preserve The Book by My Omnipotent Power. You can count on that. No matter how much the devil and all his forces hate This Book and try to taint This Book’s content and endeavor to completely destroy This Book, by My Almighty Power I will always see to it that the enemy never slips even one small error into This Book. All people of all future generations on this earth will have the precious privilege of holding this greatest of Treasures in their very hands to study and meditate in This Book day and night. All generations on earth will have the opportunity to make This Book a Lamp unto their feet and a Light unto their path. No one of any age will ever have to stumble in darkness because I will see to it that all people of all generations have the Divine Light of This Book available to guide their every step.”
“Glory to God that we will always have His Book. Praise God for blessing us with such a blessed Book that lasts forever. Amen.”
“And one way that I preserve The Book, Joshua, is in the way This Book will always, in every earthly generation, set fires to burning in the hearts of believers, holy fires from Heaven burning ever so hotly with holy love and holy zeal for The Book, fires that cannot possibly be quenched by the enemy. Fires burning ever so hotly and intensely with godly love for The Book, that the believers will gladly lay down their lives for This Book, Joshua, staining The Book with their own life’s blood, thus passing on the Blood Stained Book to the next generation. This WILL come to pass throughout all generations on earth, because He Who has promised is Faithful. Every future generation of earthly believers will have the precious privilege of holding The Inspired, Inerrant Book in their own hands, to study This Book and to meditate in The Book day and night. Thus they will receive bountifully of Its Divine Nourishment, Life, and Power, to have all that manifest in their daily lives to the end of bringing great Glory to Me, their Lord and God, the Author of The Book.”
“Praise God for The Book! Praise God that I can hold The Book in my hands right now, reading It with mine own eyes! Praise Almighty God for This Greatest Treasure of all treasures that endures forever and I have It to hold in my own hands and to read with mine own eyes. Praise God I can daily partake of The Book’s Divine Nourishment, Life, and Power, to make my life most blessed and victorious, and to make my existence on this earth among sinful men a life that brings great glory to My Creator God. Thank God for The Book. Amen.”
“He being dead yet speaketh”
“ My servant Joshua, listen most carefully to Thy Lord now as I speak that which you need to hear. Moses, you, and many more future gallant warriors and leaders of Mine will live forever on the pages of This Book, inspiring a few billion of my children to become mature, strong, courageous, victorious soldiers of Mine down thru all the ages of time here on this earth. Dead men continue to speak, Joshua. Moses My Servant is dead, but he lives forever on the pages of This Book, Joshua, to speak forever to you and all who will listen to him. And I have chosen you to do the same, Joshua, to live forever in This Book.”
“But most important of all, Joshua, is that I, The Great I AM, lives on every page of This Book. This Book is I, Joshua. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” I am alive on This Book’s pages and thus am always with thee as you live by This Book. Come to Me always. And one of the main places you will find me, Joshua, is on the pages of This Book. I am Life and I am alive in This Book. My words in This Book are Life, and anyone can come to This Book to find eternal life. All future generations of fathers and mothers will have This Book to open on their laps and read It to their little ones as they bring up those precious souls on their knees, using This Book to train up their offspring in the way they should go. This Book never dies, nor does This Book ever fail anyone, Joshua, because This Book is I. So always bear in mind, Joshua, This Book is what is important.”
“Glory to God for The Book! Glory to God for This Precious Book that I now hold in my hands! Glory to God that we always have the Light of This Book to guide us! Praise God for The Book that is alive and lives forever! Praise God for the many souls down thru the ages who loved This Book enough to stain It with their life’s blood. Lord Jesus, please help all us present-day believers to be just like them and to love This Book more than we love our own lives. Glory to God for the opportunity and privilege to train up our offspring by This Book instead of flooding our home with many worldly devices to destroy their souls. Glory to God, for the choice to do right in these weighty, eternal matters. Lord, please give all of us the sense to choose right and thus to save ourselves, and our offspring, from perishing. Cause us to put The Book first and foremost above all else. Amen.”
“Love not the world”
“My chosen servant Joshua, listen ever so carefully to what your Captain and Lord has to say to Thee now and be sure to heed every Word in order for you to be victorious in the upcoming battles you are to fight for my glory. With passing time here on earth, the devil is going to fill his world full to running over with every kind of book, magazine, newspaper, recorded audio, moving picture screen, and dazzling hi tech device in a grand attempt of his to entice people to look at, listen to, and play with all that glamorous but destructive worldly and sinful, putrid, abominable rot from his world. He will use all that worldly power and attraction in an attempt to detract people from gazing upon This Holy Book of Mine. And, Joshua, the most tragic part of all that is, that the devil will be so highly successful in this attempt, in that masses of people, many Christian believers included, will opt to constantly soak their heads in Satan’s worldly, evil, sinful writings and images, much of it downright lewd, sordid, and stinking sewage straight out of the pits of Hell.”
“And every second, I will be constantly judging each human soul on this earth regarding what they freely choose to look at, listen to, and play with, in devotion of their time that I call on them in My Book to redeem. And all the time, This Book will constantly judge the believers, Joshua, as This Book sets idle on the self gathering dust while those believers in that house gladly, constantly, and lustily stare at, listen to, and play with whatever sinful garbage the devil’s hi tech world throws their way. Looking down from My Throne in Heaven upon that gross idolatry will grieve Me ever so greatly, Joshua. And how the devil will glee over such a great majority of the earth’s population coming to love his world and the things of the world ever so dearly. And oh how the devil will hideously laugh with great glee right in My Face as he boasts of the much glory those people rob from Me by loving the world and the things of the world.”
“But please take heart and do not despair over what I am telling thee, Joshua. Always be strong and of good courage. Because in each generation, there will always be those zealous believers who refuse to love the devil’s world and the things that are in the devil’s world. They refuse to bow down to and worship Satan’s world and the things of the world. They will determine to set no wicked or evil thing before their eyes. Instead, they will regularly gaze upon This Book, study This Book, and will meditate in This Book day and night, giving Me much joy and glory by doing so. And in return, I will make their lives ever so rich, fulfilled, and blessed for doing so. Joshua, exalt This Book, and in turn This Book will exalt thee. Remember that.”
“Lord Jesus, please given me spiritual vision to see the great and fierce spiritual battle that is constantly raging here on this earth. Cause me to know the full extent of Thy Plan and Desire concerning me being most active in that battle. Please save me from loving the devil’s world and the things that are in the devil’s world. Please help me to love Thy Book, help me to study Thy Book much, and to meditate in Thy Book day and night. And help me to stand for, and fight for, God and right with all my might. Help me to always exalt Thy Holy Book. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“And all down thru all the ages of time on this earth, Joshua, earthly time will be nothing more than an intensely fierce battle for This Book. And those who stand for Me will stand for This Book. And those who love Me will love This Book. Those who lift Me high will lift This Book ever so high. Those who are not ashamed of Me will not be ashamed of This Book. Don’t ever forget The Book, Joshua, This Book. Don’t ever forsake The Book, Joshua, This Book. During your earthly life, every thing that is important is connected to This Book. You must live by This Book. You must fight all My battles by This Book. And last of all, you must die by This Book. Do all these things yourself and proclaim all these things to My people whom I have chosen you to lead. Joshua. Don’t dare fail your Lord in this. And when you faithfully do all these important matters concerning The Book, Joshua, you can rest absolutely assured that The Book will never, ever fail thee.”
“Heavenly Father, please help me to not fail Thee in this eternal, weighty matter. Help me to fully live by Thy Book and to call on everyone else I can to live by This book also. I pray that all other people will do this also. All praise be to Almighty Jehovah God in Heaven, for giving us His Blessed Book! Amen.”
“Give an answer…of the hope that is in you”
Let me give as a personal testimony here, a brief summary of what This Book has done in my, Richard Yerby’s, life. God blessed me with Christian parents who, from the time I was born, taught me This Book. My Dad and Mother also took me to the house of God several times a week where old-fashioned preachers boldly proclaimed the words of This Book from their mouths and where godly Sunday School teachers taught me The Book. As a result of all that bountiful, undeserved grace of God, I was so blessed in that I received the Saviour of This Book when I was a little boy. At that time, I had no idea at all of the future numerous, large spiritual tasks and battles for which my Lord God was preparing me while many of the Lord’s godly, dedicated servants trained me with the words of This Book while I was growing up physically, in a similar way that Moses trained up Joshua. Then as I neared 28 years of age, my Lord, unexpectedly to me, had me to go forward over a vast, wide Jordan (the Pacific Ocean) to the opposite side of this globe to preach the words of This Book to the Japanese people in their own country and in their own language. Until that time (age 28), I had no inkling of an idea God would call me to such a task.
Leaving my past behind me as I went forward to the other side of the world, of a certainty, I left ever so much behind me; my country, family, friends, my house and land, and most all of my few possessions. My Lord had me leave most everything far, far behind me, and He thrust me far out, far advanced on the front battle lines in enemy territory in this nation (Japan) of ever so few Christian believers, a nation steeped in such thick, spiritual darkness of idolatry. I felt so alone and so puny and unqualified for the task. But Glory to God, I had This Book! And I had The Book’s Glorious Author and Captain right out in front of me, leading the way ever so timely and perfectly. “As for God, his way is perfect…and (He) maketh my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:30&32)
“Glory be to Almighty God for His Perfect Ways, and for making our ways perfect, if only we will submit ourselves totally unto Him for Him to have free reign in our lives. Lord God, please help us all to fully submit ourselves to Thee for Thee to make our ways perfect, for Thy Great Glory. I ask this for Thy Name’s sake, Lord Jesus. Amen.”
I started proclaiming Christ in Japan with almost nothing, no support, no materials, no associates, no buildings, no facilities, or such. But glory to God that I had This Book! Therefore, I had exactly what I needed. And I had over 2 decades of training by older captains and servants of the Lord God, several of them having become dead servants by this time. And that was sufficient. I was equipped. God in His Faithfulness had seen to that. Praise God that He is ever so faithful to do His Part. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
“Lord Jesus, please cause me to now hear Thee clearly speaking this exact same promise unto me. Help me to rest at peace in this glorious promise of Thine. And each time that Thou doest call upon me to go over another Jordan, no matter how wide it is and how distant the far shore is, please help me to just calmly rest assuredly in Thy Faithful Promise, and to readily follow Thee whithersoever Thou doest lead me to go. I pray this for all other believers also. Amen.”
Upon pitching me into this fierce spiritual battle here in Japan, my Lord proceeded to put me thru trials of fire and water and to throw me into the fiery furnace of constant trials to burn out the dross for the purpose of refining me into pure gold. Many days, He let me go without any food to eat in order to bring my priorities in line with those of Job. “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12) I recall one day back in the late 1970’s, leaning against a utility pole to support me in my weak condition as I proclaimed with my mouth the words of This Book out in public, weak in body because I had not eaten in 17 days. But I had everything I needed! I had This Book! And I had This Book’s Author right there with me, ever so close to me, making His Blessed Approval most clearly known to me.
I give all glory to God for the thousands of hours I have stood out in public places holding This Very Book in my very hands, with This Book’s words in my mouth, proclaiming those words to everyone within hearing, amidst laughing, scoffing, jeering, sneering, looks of disgust, disapproval, and anger. Amidst cursings, threats, a pistol being waved at me, and such. Glory to Almighty God, that I had This Book, and my Lord’s unfailing, personal promise directly to me! “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Life just cannot get any better than that. That is the zenith.
“Lord, lift me up and let me stand, by faith on Heaven’s table land. A higher plane than I have found. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. Cause me to soar in the lofty heights of heavenly places with Thee, Lord. Please train and equip me to fight the greatest of spiritual battles for Thy Greatest Glory, with The Sword of the Lord, Thy Holy Book. Set my soul afire, Lord. Set my soul afire with Thy Glory and with an unquenchable zeal for Thee, my Creator God, and for Thy Holy Book! Reveal to me the extent of the Greatness of Thy Holy Bible. Help me to make This Book just as dear and precious to me as Thou wouldest have me to do. I earnestly pray all these things for all other Christians also. Amen.”
“The words of the Lord are pure words”
Reader, listen most attentively to what I say now. The Holy Bible, 1611 King James Version, is Almighty God’s Inspired Words to us. Each and every word in this Precious Book is perfect, without any error at all. This Holy Bible is Absolute Truth. It is Life. It clearly teaches us of mankind’s one and only Hope. That Hope is our Creator God Himself. The Book tells us how that God the Son, Jesus Christ, became man, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead on the 3rd day, and ascended back into Heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ now stands as the Saviour of the world, calling on every person to come to Him to be saved eternally. Those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ, receive eternal life and eternal salvation.
Almighty God’s Holy Bible is the One and Only Foundation for human life. It is the Only Anchor, the One and Only Hope for our souls. Therefore, the most beneficial thing that you can do for the well being your eternal soul is to trust in The Holy Bible’s Author Who is Almighty God in Heaven, daily read this Bible much, fully believe all the words in the Holy Bible, and wholly obey The Bible’s Teachings.
“Lord God in Heaven, please help me to do all these things. Please help me to fully surrender myself to Thee, for the purpose of allowing Thee to enable me to do these direly important things. Please help all other people on this earth to do these things also. Amen.”
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth.” (Verse 8a) “That is a most important command of Mine, Joshua. This Book is not only to be in your heart and mind, Joshua. But This Book is also to be in your mouth. You are to speak of This Book. You are to speak This Book. You are to verbally proclaim This Book to others. I now commission you to do that most important calling. So don’t you dare fail in that, Joshua. This Book is to never depart out of your mouth, Joshua.”
“My Lord and Captain, please help me to hear Thee clearly and resolutely saying the exact same things to me right now. Please cause me to fully comprehend Thy Commission to me to not let Thy Book depart out of my mouth. By Thy Unfailing, Sustaining Grace, please help me to always proclaim with my mouth that Thou hast created, the words of This Book to everyone that I can. I pray that all other Christian believers will do this also. Amen.”
“But thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.” (Verse 8b)
“Heavenly Father, please help me to meditate in Thy Book day and night. Please help me to daily live and walk in Thy Spirit instead of living and walking in the flesh. Deliver me from reading worldly writings for the worldly pleasure they bring. Save me from that and help me to truly delight in Thy Law and to always find my joy in studying It and meditating in It day and night. Please help me to be completely obedient to Thee, observing to do according to all that is written in Thy Book. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Verse 8c)
“Heavenly Father, help me to fully believe that true prosperity comes from obeying Thee. Help me to truly acknowledge that good success can be found only in observing to do all that Thou commandest me to do. Help me to love and to seek spiritual prosperity and success instead of worldly prosperity and worldly success. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (verse 9)
The Lord God is not only exhorting us to be strong and of a good courage, He is commanding us to do so. He is commanding us to not be afraid, or dismayed. May we Christian believers always be ever so obedient to these commands, believing His faithful promise that He is with us whithersoever we go. Let us believe that our Lord and Captain will fight our spiritual battles for us and give us great victories in our Christian life and walk, if only we will faithfully and obediently stand for Him.
“Please help me to obey these commands of Thine, Lord. To be a good Christian soldier, I must be strong and of a good courage. God forbid that I fear anyone or anything but Thee, Almighty God. Please make me strong in faith toward Thee. Help me to always believe Thy Promise to always be with me, and to fully trust in and rely on that faithful promise. Save me from the awful sin of unbelief toward Thee, My God. I pray these things for all other people also. Amen.”
“Joshua…departed not out of the tabernacle”
Look back a few years in time before Joshua chapter 1, to see God preparing and training this young man Joshua to lead His people into battle. Exodus 32 tells us of the Israelites making the golden calf and worshipping it, and Moses coming down from the mount with the 2 tables of the law in his hand, only to behold and confront that sinful and lewd idolatry that Aaron and most everyone had gotten caught up in. Serious housecleaning follows as Moses calls on everyone who is on the Lord’s side to take his sword, “go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (verses 27b-28)
Read Exodus 32 and 33 to see our Lord God dealing sternly with sin and idolatry among His children, and to see His intimate fellowship with Moses because Moses was obedient to Him. “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” (Exodus 33:7) No doubt God had His Tabernacle removed from the camp because of the sin and idolatry inside the camp. Those people who then chose to seek the Lord went unto the tabernacle without the camp. Read the next 3 verses (8-10) to see the Great Glory of our Lord God, and do let the way that God placed that glory upon Moses challenge you to also want to be one upon whom God will place His Glory for the whole world to see.
Now I want to preach on verse 11. “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” The Lord God is leading young Joshua every step of the way as He trains up Joshua to succeed Moses later. Here, Joshua is serving Moses and closely following him, right into the tabernacle to be with Moses and observe the Lord speaking to Moses face to face. What a glorious sight young Joshua was privileged to behold here in the Tabernacle. I believe that we can correctly conclude those things. But in this passage, nothing is spoken of Joshua until Moses turned and went again unto the camp. But now, Joshua does not go with Moses. He ceases to follow Moses for a time now. Why? What does Joshua do? Joshua stays in the tabernacle for a while longer. Why? No doubt Joshua knew the importance of getting hold of God, receiving everything He possibly can from God in God’s Very Presence, in order to be equipped to carry out the great responsibilities that will fall upon his shoulders when he soon replaces Moses as the leader of God’s chosen people. We too must learn this important principle of getting alone with our Lord God in most serious and private prayer and fellowship for the purpose of getting a hold of God and doing important spiritual business with His. We Christian believers must practice this close communion with our God diligently if we are to be of any value at all to our Lord God in service to Him.
“Lord God, please teach me the necessity of me habitually, daily coming into Thy Presence to get hold of Thee in a most definite and personal way in order for Thee to teach me, train me, and to equip me to serve Thee in this life. Please teach me how to do spiritual business with Thee. I pray that all other Christian soldiers will learn the necessity of this also. Amen.”
“But tarry ye…until ye be endued with power from on high”
Those were some of Christ’s lastly recorded earthly words in the Gospel of Luke just before He was carried up into heaven in the sight of His followers here on earth. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) A waiting period was required for the disciples to receive the Power from on High that would empower them to carry out their High and Heavenly calling. We Christian believers dare not fail to recognize the necessity of that time of waiting.
“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:4-5) Those early church believers were obedient to tarry and wait. So read on in Acts chapter 2, of the Holy Ghost descending upon them, filling them with God’s Power to boldly preach Christ and to work miracles in Christ’s Name. Read on thru the entire book of Acts, to see the mighty works that Almighty God in Heaven performed thru the obedience of these New Testament believers who tarried and waited for that Holy Ghost Power from on High. We present-day believers are to do the same.
In 1974, as I was serving in the U. S. military here in Japan, my Lord led me to get discharged from military service in Japan, and stay here to preach Christ. One of the 1st things the Lord emphasized to me was for me to spend much time alone with Him, praying to Him, and reading His Holy Bible. By His Grace, I spent much time alone with Him in the rented room that I lived in then. Also, I would go out to nearby mountains, and spend as many as 3 days and nights alone with God. I would walk those mountainsides, interceding in prayer for the salvation of the many lost Japanese souls around me. Typically, I took drinking water with me and spent those days in fasting, praying for power. I found a cave to go into at night, for warmth in the cold weather. And as the bats flew in and out of that cave, I strove to stay awake most of the night, crying aloud to God to send revival to this heathen, idolatrous nation.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” (Exodus 33:11)
“Almighty Lord Jehovah God, please give me a vision of Thy Great Glory that the young man, Joshua, beheld there as Thou didst speak face to face to Moses in Joshua’s presence. Stir up my heart to make me zealously desirous to spend time in Thy Presence, alone with Thee, away from others and away from the cares of this world. Cause me to hunger and thirst with desire to regularly bask in Thy Divine Presence, in order to have Thy Glory and Power to fill my being also, in order that I may show that Great Glory and Power to the world around me and that I may be most profitable in service to Thee. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
In Acts 1:15, we read that about 120 of Christ’s disciples assembled, tarried, and waited for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. From then until this present day, Christian believers have customarily assembled together for the purpose of interceding in prayer and for waiting upon God. Such is a most proper and profitable thing to do. May God help all us Christians to do that much, so much more as we see the day approaching.
In addition to believers assembling to worship and pray, individual Christians must also practice getting alone with God. It is direly important for you to spend much time alone with your God. In both the Old and New Testament, we see believers (and especially God-chosen leaders) doing that. Also, in the 4 Gospels, we read of Christ often going alone to pray. May God help all us Christians to be Christ like in this important matter.
You can readily see how that when church people meet together nowadays, typically there is much eating, drinking, and making merry (feasting, banqueting, games, skits, playing, recreation, and such). Meanwhile, precious lost souls around us are perishing daily, and the human race is self-destructing as sin, evil, and violence abound more and more. Where are those watchmen who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge? Where are those who will mean business for Almighty God?
“Lord God, please help us Christian believers to be diligent in our service unto Thee. Save us from living for the world and the things of the world. Save us from living to eat, drink, and to be merry. Show us the necessity of tarrying and waiting upon Thee. Show us the necessity and power of intercessory prayer. Stir up our hearts to truly love all the lost souls in this world, and do as Thou leadest us to do in proclaiming Christ to them, and leading them to salvation. Please make each of us zealously desirous to love Thee with all our hearts, and to complete the works that Thou hast ordained that each of do the short time we are here on this earth. Send a great revival spirit into all our souls, I most humbly and earnestly pray, dear Lord Jesus. Amen.”
(This is the end of the sermon, Dead Servant)