To mature in Christ means the Spirit has won the spiritual war between our flesh and the Spirit by our love for God, submitting our will to His will so He can do everything in us and Christ becomes our all in all. By taking God as our Sabbath rest, we have won the war. This is how Christ builds His church on this earth today. He does it actively in us when we are submissive to Him. This is typified by how Christ led the nation of Israel to conquer Jericho and take the good land.
When the nation of Israel was brought out of Egypt, they walked into the wilderness for forty years so they could be entirely transformed, by feeding on food from heaven, into a new creation that was ready to take the good land. All that was from Egypt, their former way of life in their flesh, had to die in the wilderness so the people who are transformed by the eating of the manna, now forming their very bodies, could cross the river Jordon and enter the good land. Just as Moses, the deliverer, who was a type of Christ, left the children of Israel to conquer the good land, realize Christ has also left us in His human form so we, the ones that are transformed inwardly, are to conquer this world and build His church. Because of Satan’s usurpation, this earth in entirely inhabited by the enemy at Moses’s time. No one else had received the manna but God’s people. The children of Israel were facing what seemed like an impossible task.
That was what the apostles were facing. After the day of Pentecost, the 120 transformed people of God that were filled with the Spirit and spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance, now faced a world usurped by Satan, that they needed to conquer, so the nations can receive the divine life of Christ by believing and form His body. The earth, occupied by the nations, had to be conquered and transformed into the good land, where Christ is produced. Christ has to become the reality of the good land in us so we express Him a milk and honey. That is why we are God’s field. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9) The seed, Christ Himself, is sown into us transforming us, so we become God’s field, and He grows out of us as the expression of the good land, flowing with milk and honey. Realize Christ Himself becomes everything.
When Christ is everything to us, and we solely rely on Him, we don’t need to cut off our flesh. The people who had been born in the wilderness, who were made of manna, were not circumcised. “Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:6) Their expression of the flesh was clean as long as the source of their strength is from heaven. But as they entered into the war over Jordon and were no longer exclusively fed by manna but fed by the produce of this earth, they needed again to be circumcised. Christ had been their food so long as they ate the bread from heaven. “And on the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” (Jos. 5:11) When we base the source of our strength on the produce of this earth, realize our flesh needs to be circumcised so we have no confidence in the flesh. Only when Christ is the source of our strength, when He is expressed through us, do we not need to cut off our expression.
When Christ leads the way, our victory in this world is complete. “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Jos. 1:3) Realize though it seems like an impossible task, to build the church and win on this earth, Christ has already given us this land. This is why Jesus said, “…In Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He has already overcome the world. When He leads us, we will say, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” (Jos. 2:24) Even Rahab, a prostitute inhabiting the land, realized this. “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that the inhabitants of the land melt away before you…And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Jos. 2:8-11) “As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.” (Jos. 5:1) Realize this is how God builds his church today. We just need to let Christ lead us. When we speak to the inhabitants of this earth, the Spirit must need the way. When Christ leads the way, realize the people we speak to will hear the Spirit speak to their spirit. Their hearts will melt and there will be no spirit left in them. That is how God won the war through Joshua and the nation of Israel.
Realize the Ark of the Covenant went before the children of Israel. The Ark led the way to victory. When the Ark walks before us, the waters of the Jordon will part. “Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordon, the waters of the Jordon will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing from above will stand in one heap.” (Jos. 3:12-13) The world that is under the waters of death will part so we could cross. In taking down the stronghold that is Jericho the Lord has to take the lead. Realize not only in the commander of the Lord’s army with us, but the Ark of the Covenant leads the way. “And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” (Jos. 5:14-15) Realize Joshua is not longer the Christ figure as Moses was, the commander of the army of the Lord is. Joshua represents one of us, the body of Christ, and not the head, the commander. He is part of the body, a corporate Joshua who follows the Lord. The whole nation of Israel was with Joshua. “And they answered Joshua, ‘All that you commanded us we will do, and where ever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we sill obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.'” (Jos. 1:16-18) Realize the children of Israel is no longer rebelled against Moses, the type of Christ, as they did when they came out of Egypt. They had been transformed as a nation in one accord by the eating of the manna. They expressed the will of God in one accord. They have formed a corporate Joshua that follows the Lord. That is why they just followed when Joshua told them to simply walk around Jericho, blowing their trumpets and not saying a word, in doubt or in complaint. They simply let the Lord lead them to victory.
“Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valour.” (Jos. 6:1-2) In winning men to Christ, realize the Lord has given them into our hands. Their hearts have melted, they no longer have the spirit to fight us. “You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seven day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” (Jos. 6:3-5) Satan has built strongholds in this world. “For our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.” (Eph. 6:12 – Recovery Version) To defeat this stronghold, realize we have to do nothing but walk with God. In obeying God to walk around the city, the children of Israel had to do nothing to defeat Jericho. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) They just had let God lead them to victory. That is why they blew their trumpets continually (Jos. 6:8-9) to proclaim their victory in the Lord. That is why it was on the seventh day, the day of the Sabbath rest when they were to do no labour that the walls of Jericho fell. To defeat the enemy, we are to make no noise, no expression from our flesh, nothing unclean that proceeds out of our mouth. “But Joshua commanded the people, ‘You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.’” (Jos. 6:10) The expression from our mouths has to be in co-ordination with the body of Christ so oneness is kept within the body. God has a group of people on this earth for His possession. He has used various individuals through the centuries that are like the Joshua’s of our day to recover various truths (realities) within His Word. Presently, on this earth, He has a group of people for His possession, a corporate Joshua. If you see this matter of the one body of Christ, realize you need to join these overcomers and gather yourselves in a real way to be in the army of God. Only under the corporate Joshua of our time can the body be fully build into His bride as the New Jerusalem. The strategy of the enemy had been to divide us, having us head up so many ideas in church theology, separating the body of Christ into so many groups of believers. Of the seven different churches in Revelation, realize all the differences are negative. Realize Christ is calling us all to be the overcomers so we could be formed into the one body of Christ on this earth for Him to return to claim His one bride. Only when Christ takes the lead, when all things are headed up in Christ, can the body be unified into one (Eph. 1:9-10). In this world, only when we stand firm in oneness, with Christ leading us on, can His church be built. As the Ark of the Covenant led the children of Israel through the Jordon, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe of man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” (Jos. 4:2-3) In building His church out of living stones taken out of the midst of this world, we have to stand firmly as priests to God with each other to form his body the church. Nothing of our flesh should get in the way as it is unclean. In co-ordination and co-operation with the corporate Joshua of our time, Christ will build His church. The church needs to be formed by people who overcome the pettiness of our different theological arguments, which hold no weight in reality before God. Realize only the Spirit is the common element that has been deposited in each one of us. The Spirit of reality has been given to each one of us in its fullness. There is only one Spirit. “For in one Spirit we were baptized into one body…and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13) We are “…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Phi. 1:27) This one mind is the mind of Christ. “‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)
The mind of Christ forgives each other unlike in the times of Joshua when those who did not follow were put to death (Jos. 1:18). [Realize it can be as serious as that with what happened to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).] So we need to forebear each other (Phi. 4:5) so we become not only a chosen race containing Christ forming a royal priesthood to the world, but we become a holy nation to fight the war in one accord to claim the good land where all the inhabitants’ hearts melt and they no longer have any spirit in them to fight, so they receive Christ into their hearts and more people are made like us, a people for God’s own possession. (1 Pet. 2:9) That is why “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9) This is the unity of the one mind of Christ, so the expression of the body proclaims the excellencies of Christ who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Christ is the head who wills and works in us so the expression of the body is of Him.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mat. 28:18-20) To win the war today, we do not destroy the inhabitants of the land, we rescue them out of their death situation on this earth into the life of Christ in His heavenly kingdom. In His ascension the inhabitants of this land will melt before us. Realize Christ is timeless. In His ascension, everything has been accomplished already and Christ has sat down on the right hand of God. The land has been given to us. He has brought us into the heavenlies to sit with Him. However, we are temporal and just don’t realize it yet. We still think that we know better and need to do these various things to please God. As a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His possession, we just need to praise God for His accomplishments through Christ, taking our Sabbath rest. Our fervent praise of Him in unceasing prayer keeps us in the temple, bringing us into oneness with Him, so we have the mind of Christ and move and function as His body. Then Christ, living out of us, makes disciples of all the nations for Christ is within us always, even to the end of the age.
By allowing Christ to head up all things in us, the invisible God, made visible in Christ and His body, defeats Satan and wins the war, recovering man into Him. By enjoying Christ as the produce of the good land, man becomes holy in Him. Realize all this is because He loved us.