Ephesians parallels Joshua.
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Ephesians parallels Joshua.
Now, the book of Ephesians, as I was just saying, to my opinion, is one of the greatest books of the New Testament. It leads us on. Where Calvinism runs out on one limb, and Arminianism runs out on the other limb, but the book of Ephesians draws it together and positionally places the church. Now, I've typed it with Joshua. If you notice, Israel was brought up out of Egypt, and there's three stages of their journey. One stage was leaving Egypt; the next stage was the wilderness; and the next stage was Canaan.
Now, Canaan does not represent the age of the millennium. It only represents the age of the overcomer, the dispensation of overcoming, because in Canaan they killed and burned and took cities. And there'll be no death in the millennium. But another thing that it does, it brings up justification by faith, after they believed in Moses and left Egypt; sanctification, through following under the pillar of fire and the atonement of the sacrificial lamb in the wilderness; and then entering into a land that had been promised.
Now, what is the land promised to the New Testament believer? The promise is the Holy Spirit. “For it shall come to pass in the last days [Joel 2:28], that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Upon my handsmaids and my maidservants will I pour out of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. I'll show wonders in the heavens above. And in the earth, pillars of fire, and smoke, and vapor.” And Peter said, on the day of Pentecost, after taking his text and preaching, “Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission....” to remit, to forgive, to take away all back trespasses.
Did you notice, Joshua, before they crossed Jordan, Joshua said, “Go through the midst of the camp and clean your clothes and sanctify every one of you, and let no man come at his wife, for within three days you'll see the glory of God.” See? It is a process of getting ready to inherit the promise. Now, the promise to Israel was.... God gave Abraham the promise of the land of Palestine, and it was to be their possession forever, and they was to always remain in this land. Now, they come three stages, coming to this promised land. Now watch, it's perfectly typed in the New Testament. Now if this, as I have said, disagrees with some of the thinking of yours— some of you precious Nazarene people, Church of God, and so forth— don't let it hurt, but just watch it close and watch the types. Watch and see if every place don't hit just perfect.
There was three stages of the journey, and there's three stages of this journey. For we are justified by faith, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, forsaking the land of Egypt. Come out and then are sanctified through the offering of His blood, washed from our sins, and become pilgrims and sojourners, claiming that we are seeking a land, a city that's coming, or a promise. So did Israel in the wilderness. Sojourners, no place to rest, traveling night after night following the pillar of fire, but finally come to the promised land where they settled down.
That's where the believer comes. He comes first to a recognition that he's a sinner; then he is separated by the waters, the washing of the water by the blood, and ... or, the washing of the water by the Word, rather, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, being justified by faith, he becomes a partaker, and at peace with God through Christ, baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, to admit him into the journey. Do you get it? Into the journey! Then he becomes a sojourner and a pilgrim. He's on his journey to what? A promise that God made.
Israel had not yet received the promise, but they were on their journey. And without raising.... Please do understand. That's where the Nazarene and Pilgrim Holiness, and so forth, fell. Because, Israel, when they come to the spot of Kadeshbarnea, when the spies went over and said, “The land is great,” but some of them come back and said, “We can't take it, because the cities are walled up,” and so forth. But Joshua and Caleb stood out and said, “We're more than able to take it!” Because of their already signed-up documented statements, they believed in two works of grace, justification and sanctification, and could not move any farther. And, listen, that whole generation perished in the wilderness. But two that went over into the promised land had brought back the evidence that it was a goodly land, “and we were more than able to take it, because it was God's promise.” Then instead of the people going on, receiving the Holy Spirit, speaking with tongues, receiving the power of God, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, signs, wonders, miracles, they felt that it would break down their tradition of doctrine. And what happened to it? Perished in the land! That's right.
But the believers, the Caleb and Joshua outfit that was going on to the promise, they moved on over into the land, and took the land, and settled down in the land, as a possession. And we never stop at justification, sanctification. Let's go on to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let's not stop at believing on the Lord Jesus, being baptized. Let's not stop because He cleaned us up from a life of sin. But now we press on into a position, to a promise of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. For Peter said on the day of Pentecost, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to them that's far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
So, Ephesus here sets us like Joshua, positionally. Did you notice, Joshua, after crossing over the land, and taking the land, then he divided the land? “Ephraim here, Manasseh here, and this one here, Gad here, Benjamin here.” He divided the land. And notice! Oh, this just burns our hearts! Each one of those Hebrew mothers, giving birth to those children, she spoke the very place, in her labor pains, where they would be positioned in the promised land. Oh, it's a great study! If we could only go into it in details, which would take hours after hours. Someday when we get our church fixed, I'd just like to come and take a solid month or two, just stay right in it. Watch when they, each one of those mothers.... When she called out, “Ephraim,” when she was in labor, positionally placed him where his feet was setting in oil— just exactly every one of them where they were at! And Joshua, not knowing this, but by inspiration, led of the Holy Spirit, after being into the promised land, give each man his promise, exactly what the Holy Spirit promised through the birth back there.
How that God has set some in the church, through the labor pains! Oh, they get tremendous sometimes. When a church is groaning under the persecution of the outside world, believing on the Lord Jesus, that the promise of the Holy Ghost is just as real to us as it was to Pentecost, how they groan and cry under labor pains! But when they are born, and positionally born into the kingdom of God, then the Holy Ghost has set in the church some apostles, some prophets, some teachers, some pastors, some evangelists. Then He's give into there speaking with tongues, interpretation of tongues, knowledge, wisdom, gifts of healing, all kinds of miracles.
Where the church is (now this is my purpose of doing this), the church is always trying to take somebody else's corner. But don't do that. You can never raise corn in Ephraim's corner, if you are Manasseh. You've got to take your place in Christ, positionally take it. Oh, it gets deep and rich when we get in here, how that God puts one in the church to speak with tongues, another.... Now, we have been taught many times we all have to speak with tongues. That's wrong. “We all got to do it.” No, we don't. They all didn't do one thing. Each one was....
Each land was provided, and divvied up by inspiration, and each one.... I could take the Scriptures and show it to you exactly that He put them in the place where they was supposed to be, positionally; how that the two half-tribes was to stay across the river, how that their mothers cried that in their birth, and how that each place was supposed to be. And now after you are in, that don't mean that you're out free from war. You still have to fight for every inch of ground you stand on. So, see, Canaan did not represent the great heaven, because it's war and troubles and killings and fightings, and so forth. But it did represent this, that it must be a perfect walk.
There's where the church is failing today, on that walk. Do you know that even your own behavior can knock somebody else out of getting healed? Your misbehavior of unconfessed sins of you believers, can cause this church to bitterly fail. And at the day of the judgment you'll be responsible for every bit of it. “Oh,” you say, “now wait a minute, Brother Branham.” Well, that's the truth. Think of it. Joshua, after he crossed over into the land, God gave him the promise that.... Just think, to fight an entire campaign without losing a man, without even getting a scratch, without having to have a nurse, or a first aid or a band. God said, “The land's yours, go fight.” Think of fighting a campaign, and there's no Red Cross around at all. There's nobody going to get hurt.
And they slayed the Amorites and the Hittites, but there wasn't one hurt among any of them until sin come in the camp. And when Achan took that Babylonian garment and that gold wedge, and hid it under his camp, then the next day they lost sixteen men. Joshua said, “Stop! Stop! Wait a minute, there's something wrong! Something's wrong here, we're going to call seven days of fast. God made us a promise there would be nothing hurt, that our enemies will fall at our feet. And there's something wrong here. Something went wrong somewhere, because we got sixteen dead men laying here. They're Israelite brothers, and they're dead.”
Why did they die, innocent men? Because one man stepped out of line. You see the reason this needs to be taught? The church lining up— lining up with the Word of God, lining up with God and lining up with each other, walking perfectly upright, soberly before all men, fearing God. Because one man stole a garment, and done something that he should not done, took the life of sixteen men. I think it was sixteen, maybe more. I believe it was sixteen men that was dead. Joshua called, said, “There's something wrong. God made the promise, and something's wrong!” When we bring the sick up before us, and they fail to be healed, we need to call a solemn fast, call an assembly. Something's wrong somewhere. God made the promise, God's got to stick to that promise, and He will do it.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints... (sanctified ones)... which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 1:1)
Watch how he addresses this. This is not to the unbelievers. This is to the church. It's called to the called-out ones, the sanctified and called ones that are in Christ Jesus.
Now, if you want to know how we get in Christ Jesus, if you'll turn to I Corinthians 12, it says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” How? Baptized by what? The Holy Ghost. Not by water baptism, you Church of Christ people, but by one S-p-i-r-i-t, “by one Spirit.” Not by one handshake, by one letter, not by one sprinkle, but by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. Our possession, the land that God give us to live in, the Holy Ghost. Just as He give Canaan to the Jews, He's give us the Holy Spirit. By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. Do you get it?
Now He's talking to the spiritual Canaanites, Israel, the spiritual Israel who has possessed the land. Oh, aren't you glad you've come out of Egypt's garlic? Aren't you glad you're out of the wilderness? And, remember, they had to eat manna, angel's food out of heaven, until they crossed over into the land. And when they crossed over into the land, the manna ceased to fall. They were fully matured then, and they eat the old corn of the land. Now, now that you're not babies anymore, now that you're not desiring the sincere milk of the gospel, that you don't have to be babied, and patted, and persuaded to come to church, now that you're real fully-matured Christians, you're ready to eat strong meats now. You're ready to come into something, he said. You're ready to understanding something that's deep and rich. Oh, we'll get into it directly. And, oh, it's been hidden since the foundation of the world. He said, “Now that you've come into this, I'm addressing this to you.” Not to those who've just left Egypt, not to those who are still in the journey, but to those who are in the promised land, that has received the promise.
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Ephesians parallels Joshua.