Our main scripture is taken from 2 Kings 2:1-15. Please let us take few minutes to go through these verses.
2 Kings 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
2 Kings 2:2 Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “[As] the LORD lives, and [as] your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel.
2 Kings 2:3 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him: “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!
2 Kings 2:4 Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “[As] the LORD lives, and [as] your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho.
2 Kings 2:5 Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him: “Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?” So he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent! “
2 Kings 2:6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “[As] the LORD lives, and [as] your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So, the two of them went on.
2 Kings 2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing [them] at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan.
2 Kings 2:8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled [it] up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
2 Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
2 Kings 2:10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. [Nevertheless], if you see me [when I am] taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be [so].”
2 Kings 2:11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire [appeared] with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 Kings 2:12 And Elisha saw [it], and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
2 Kings 2:13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
2 Kings 2:14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where [is] the LORD God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.
2 Kings 2:15 Now when the sons of the prophets who [were] from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
Believers of old have undertaken this return journey and we all must take the same journey in our walk of faith. This ancient journey is a Return journey from Gilgal to Jordan-East. Everybody has to board the train at Gilgal and we will be calling at Bethel, Jericho, Jordan and Jordan-East.
1-a-Beginning of the Walk of faith
We all have to board the train at Gilgal; it is the beginning of our journey as believers. One cannot avoid Gilgal train station. What is so special about Gilgal? Gilgal means the rolling away, for the Lord had rolled away the reproach of Egypt. In Joshua 5, we read the account of the children of Israel, when they came into the promised land. God had already said that the land was theirs, although they had not conquered any city yet. But God told them to stop at Gilgal before doing anything. At Gilgal, God asked Joshua to circumcise all the people of Israel. For their fathers, who were circumcised before they came out of Egypt, had all died in the wilderness during the forty years they spent wandering. All those who were born in the wilderness were not circumcised.
The circumcision was the token or an indication that God has imputed His righteousness unto them; for the circumcision is not of the flesh but of the heart (Romans 2:28-29). God gives us a new heart and puts a new spirit within us; He takes away our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). This generation spent time in the wilderness; they ate manna, the bread from heaven, with their fathers; they drank from the Rock that followed them, which was Christ. Yet at Gilgal, God instructed Joshua to circumcise all of them.
Many people in our days are like that generation which crossed with Joshua. We have seen our fathers or parents serving the Lord. Our parents were born again believers, but we just followed the motion, we went to church because our parents brought us to church. We had no choice but to obey our parents. We partook of the bread and wine, done in remembrance of Jesus. But we were not born again, circumcised of the heart; for God had not imputed his righteousness to us. We were just religious; church was our social club, where we met our friends and people of the same interest group. But we were not born again.
1-b-God does not have grand children
God does not have grandchildren, unfortunately. We cannot make it to heaven or in this Christian walk, with the circumcision of our parents; we need to be circumcised ourselves. No matter how long we have been in church, and even if we are ministering behind the pulpit, we must be born again. Jesus told Nicodemus, in John 3, a ruler of the synagogue, that he must be born again of the incorruptible seed, by the word of God, to enter the kingdom of God (1 Peter 1:23).
From Genesis to revelation no mention of God’s grandchildren is made, but only sons and daughters of God. For God has no grand children, John tells us that the same fellowship or communion they have with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the same one he wants us to have (1 John 1). For when we become born again we receive the Spirit of adoption as sons, not as grandsons or granddaughters. It is the same spirit that was in Jesus, in His disciples, and in us now. We cry Abba Father not grandfather (2 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:18; Romans 8:15). So let us stop thinking that God is our grandfather but He is our Abba Father.
Even in the kingdom of darkness they know those who are sons and daughters of God; they know those who are born of the Spirit of God. For once we become born again by the Spirit of God, we are sealed, it is a mark of ownership telling every spiritual host both angelic and demonic hosts that we belong to God (Ephesians 4:30).They do not know grandsons for there is no such a thing as a Spirit of grandsons but a Spirit of sons (Galatians 4:6).
The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest in Acts 19, wanted to exorcise the evil spirits by the name of Jesus whom Paul preached. My friend! You either have a relationship with Jesus as joint heir, because the same Spirit of sons of God who was in Jesus, is now in you when you become born again, or you do not have a relationship with Jesus. The evil spirit responded to them; hold on! Let us check! Jesus we know He is the Anointed One, Paul we know, for he is also an heir and a joint heir with Jesus, we have seen the seal of the Holy Spirit on Paul; but who are you? We have never seen you guys with the seal of the righteousness of faith, which is the sign of you being born again (Romans 4:11). These seven poor fellows fled the scene naked and wounded, as the demon possessed man assaulted them.
1-c- We must refuse to camp forever at Gilgal.
Once we are born again, people will discourage us and tell us to stay at Gilgal. The real Journey has not even started yet; we have just made it to Gilgal train station. It is our responsibility to board the train, not just to make it to Gilgal train station. We will have many opportunities and offers from both well meaning brethren and unbelievers, to stay at Gilgal.
1-d- Gilgal can be a painful experience.
Gilgal is sometimes a painful place to be. Just like with the physical circumcision, the spiritual circumcision is also not without pain. The inhabitants of Shechem in Genesis 34, agreed to be circumcised to be able to intermarry with the Israelites. They were in such physical pain after the circumcision, that they were not able to fight when Simeon and Levi came to kill all their men. They became vulnerable to the enemy. Sometimes when we become born again, in a way like the inhabitants of Shechem, we are in pain because we have lost all our past friends who do not reckon with our new beliefs. People we once thought were friends, just walk out of our lives, and leave us wounded.
Once we were loved by the world; but now we are rejected and hated by the world for they only love their own (1 John 3:13). We are in the world but not of the world. We will be hurting sometimes because of that. We can decide to stay at Gilgal and not go further, for we do not want to suffer more rejection or wounds. Even well meaning Christians will try to discourage us, so we stay at Gilgal. It is comfortable; after all, we have made it into the kingdom! Our name is now in the book of the Lamb in Heaven. Why should we want to go yonder in our journey with the Lord?
Many Christians have decided to permanently stay at Gilgal and never board the train! Why should we be different? The truth is, our wounds will heal and our pains will go away. There may even still be some stinking and dead things in our lives. We are ashamed to show them to Jesus. We have buried them in a cave and rolled a huge stone to block the mouth of the cave. But the deadness and the stench of our past lives does not bother Jesus at all. He is the resurrection and the life, He is telling us to roll away the stone like He had instructed them to roll away the stone from the tomb of Lazarus in John 11. We have made it to Gilgal, and the Lord will roll away the reproaches of our past lives, things that died and are stinking. He will resurrect them; for He has a journey He wants us to undertake. Let us make up our minds to move on. To renew our minds, which is to get Egypt the house of bondage out of us, and put the kingdom of God in us, to renew the spirit of our mind also (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).
Once we have decided to board the train we are now on the move, and will be calling at Bethel. Bethel means house of God. The place was formally called Luz, and our father Jacob named it Bethel (Genesis 28:19).
2-a-Make the transition from Luz to Bethel
Luz means to turn aside, to depart, that is not willing to yield or comply with what is required. Our father Jacob when he came to Luz, although he had the promises of God and had received the blessing of Abraham, which, his father Isaac bestowed upon him, still had the ways of the Gentiles, for he had just usurped his brother Esau’s birth-right and deceived his father to get the blessing. Now He was in trouble and was running for his life. He stopped at Luz, the name of the place described well, who he was: a person not willing to comply with what God was requiring of him, leaning on his own understanding and deceits.
He realised that He needed to turn aside from his old ways and depart from them. He wished to no longer be in Luz, but be in the house of God and have the ways of God, so he changed the name of the place to Bethel. Likewise we must look in our lives, if we are still living in Luz and depart from Luz to Bethel. Physically we might still be on the same spot, just like Jacob had not moved an inch, but spiritually and in our mind we have made that gigantic move. We have decided to renew our mind and the spirit of our mind.
If one has made that choice not only to depart from Gilgal and call at Bethel and not Luz, congratulations are in order! What is the deal about Bethel, can we not just pass it by? Is it necessary for us to call at Bethel?
2-b- Bethel: the physical house of God.
Once we are born again believers, we need to join ourselves to other born again believers. Be it in a cell church, in a house church, an established church. Where we pray, worship God and are taught the word of God. Newly born again believers can be likened to babes who still need the milk of the word of God (1 Corinthians 3:2). A mature believer has to eat the solid food, digest and process it and then give the milk to the new born again believers; just like a mother would eat the solid food, digest and then process it to breastfeed the baby; so that he may grow and be healthy (1 Peter 2:2).
The baby needs to be washed and his nakedness covered; the mature believer washes him with the water, by the word of God and covers him with prayers (Ephesians 5:26). Imagine for a second a baby that is not fed with milk, nor washed nor clothed. He will die of either hunger or infection or freeze to death. That is the reason we are advised not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as it is the manner of some (Hebrews 10:25). By doing so they are not being spiritually fed, nor spiritually washed and not spiritually covered. If we have this understanding of why we come together, it will not be about who is in that assembly but about God.
God does not want any of us to remain spiritual babes forever; which one of us, who will have a twenty year old boy who is still breastfeeding and be happy about it. Something is definitely wrong! God wants us to grow and to mature so that we can partake of the solid food (Hebrews 5:14). We would also be able to breastfeed other people, this is how the kingdom works.
2-c- Bethel: the spiritual house of God.
When we gave our life to Christ and became born again believers, the Holy Spirit came to permanently house in our body, and we became a mobile temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). Just like in the Old Testament, God dwelt in the tent of meeting in the wilderness. They could dismantle the temple and move it to another location. Likewise we have become the mobile temple of God. Wherever we go, God goes. He promised He will never leave us nor forsake us, this is because He indwells us 24/7 (Hebrews 13:5). Since we know that we are a Holy temple of God on two feet, just like in the temple of old they offered sacrifices, likewise we offer sacrifices.
2-c-1- Sacrifices of praise.
We no longer offer animals but continually offer the sacrifices of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to our God (Hebrews 13:15). We pray to God and worship Him everywhere lifting up our holy hands (1Timothy 2:8). Our hands are holy because the Holy God dwells in us. Our mind must be renewed. We must pray, praise and worship everywhere: in our cars, at home, in our office, in the streets, in the market, in the hotel, in the bathroom. Lift up our hands even in the streets, oh!
2-c-2- Our body a living sacrifice.
Just like Jesus, who had the Spirit of God abiding in Him when He walked on earth, lived a holy life, because His body was a sacrifice to God. He was called The Lamb of God. We must imitate Jesus and present our body as a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). In other words, we no longer have fellowship with the works of darkness but rather we expose them and denounce them (Ephesians 5:11). We stop practicing sin, because the holy God in us hates sin, iniquity and lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9).
We no longer worship idols nor have them in our homes. The arc of the covenant of God was in the house of Dagon the god of the Philistines, the first night God caused the idol of Dagon to fall on its face and worship God and the second night God dismembered that idol (1 Samuel 5). Our God is a jealous God, and does not cohabit with idols. Today we are the temple of God, the arc of the covenant talked about Jesus; Jesus and God are now dwelling in us, should they be in our homes with idols?
2-c-3- The sacrifice of our substances which is a sweet-smelling aroma.
When we become the house of God; we are naturally generous, for we inherit the nature of the God that indwells us. Our God is a giver and He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son to die for the whole world (John 3:16). He gives to the believers and unbelievers. The Spirit of the Father that is now in the believers is working in us to will and do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Paul will praise the Macedonian church for they were a giving church, and had provided for his ministry wherever he went. Just like Paul told them, he is not looking for gifts for he was full and had learned to be content in whatever state he was. Neither did God seek their gifts for He owns everything, He created the world. But God is seeking opportunities to bless us, even when God says we have robbed him with our substances (Malachi 3:8); He means we have robbed Him of opportunities to bless us. For He is a giver, and is bound to His word, He said with the same measure we measure it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38). Paul said, what the Macedonians church sent to provide for the ministry was a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God (Philippians 4:15-18).
2-c-3-a- The book of remembrance in which accounts are kept.
Paul told that church of Macedonia about “giving and receiving”. This phrase “giving and receiving” is an old banking term used by Jews for trading and commerce. The allusion here is to the keeping of account by men in business, by debtor and creditor; in the book they will put down in one column what is delivered out and in the other column what is received; whereby accounts are kept clear.
Paul is letting them know that God is a business man and a fair God. If one only receives, the heavenly accounts are not balanced. One has not made any deposit in heaven. It will be unfair of a just God to give the same blessing to the one who has not been making any deposit, than the one who has been doing so. God would be violating His own word. That is why Paul told the Galatians, do not be deceived whatever a person sows that he will reap, for God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). If one deposited nothing in the heavenly account, then he should not be blaming God.
2-c-3-b- God’s welfare package.
Notwithstanding the Kingdom of God has a welfare package, for those who did not deposit anything in their heavenly accounts. We must know that our God is a good God, if our earthly governments put some of their citizens on benefits, our God is better than they. We are children of God and our Father will never allow us to famish (Proverbs 10:3). If we ask Him for bread He will not give us a stone, who do we think God is? He is good all the time, in Him there is no darkness at all.
We might be in the wilderness of our life and have nothing, just like our God fed our fathers for forty years with Manna; He will feed us if we are in that wilderness period of our life. He does not want us to beg for food and necessities; it shames Him for we are called by His name. For His own name’s sake He provides for us, lest the nations should profane His name. David could say confidently that he was young and now was old and has never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread (Psalm 37:25). But in the wilderness, they only have enough for the day, they could not store it up for tomorrow.
2-c-3-c- Do not be on Kingdom welfare package forever but enter the promised land.
God’s plan is to bring us to the promised land flowing with milk and honey; the land of abundance. Where we have more than enough, our cup runs over, where we leave an inheritance to our children’s children (Proverbs 13:22). And in that promised land they need to sow before reaping; in the book of Joshua as soon as they set their foot on the land, God stopped sending them Manna. For while the earth remains; seedtime and harvest shall not cease (Genesis 8:22). They need to sow their seed now.
Furthermore God Himself when He was telling the people: bring tithes and offerings into my house so that He may bless them. Talked about the book of remembrance in which all deeds are recorded before him (Malachi 3:16). One day God will open that book and bless every one according to what he has sown. Both Paul and Malachi had the same revelation of the book in heaven when accounts are kept before God.
2-d- Bethel: a place of divine revelation or prophetic vision.
2-d-1- Need of a revelation for our life.
Our father Jacob had a dream of a ladder on which the angels of the Lord were ascending and descending (Genesis 28:12). He realised that God has been with him all along, and has assigned His angels to watch over him. He had the revelation of God. Prior to arriving at Bethel, he did not know the God whom he served. God revealed Himself to him as the God of Abraham and Isaac and gave him a promise that the Land will be his and his descendants (Genesis 28:13). The same thing happened to Samuel, God revealed Himself to him in the house of God (1 Samuel 3:21).
We must have a personal encounter with God; it is not enough to be born again and to serve Him. For Jacob was circumcised which is equated to being born again for us; he had received the blessing of Abraham, so did we when we received Jesus in our lives (Galatians 3:12-14). We must have a revelation of God’s plan for our life both spiritual life and physical life. We are unique, though we belong to a family and attend a church, but God has a unique plan for our life. We are not a copy of another person. Therefore we need to hear from God and receive His divine revelation for our life. Jesus is a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles (Luke 2:32). When we have Jesus in our life, though we once were Gentiles we can expect God to reveal the plans He has for us.
2-d-2- The purpose of God’s revelation in our life.
What is the purpose of God in revealing His plan for our life? The Lord says in Proverbs 29:18 Where [there is] no revelation or prophetic vision or God given vision, the people cast off restraint; But happy [is] he who keeps the law or the word of God.
The allusion here is of a ship moored in a harbour, our life our ministries is that ship, as long as the ship is moored it can only drift away so far then the moorings will pull it back to its initial position.
When God gives us a revelation of his plans for us, it generates hope in our heart; that hope is the anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:19). It’s prevents us from drifting away. Though we do not see it manifest in the physical realm yet, but we still believe it will come to pass (Romans 8:24). We are that ship and Jesus is the harbour, our hope is in the Word of God, Jesus (John1:1; Psalm 119:81). We find shelter and hide in His Word (Psalm 119:114). There might be tempests at sea; we have moored our ship in this harbour and found shelter as long as the sea is raging. We will not cast off the moorings as long as the sea is boisterous.
Paul had a revelation of God that they should not set sail, it would result in a shipwreck. The captain and the roman soldiers decided to ignore Paul’s revelation and suffered a shipwreck at Malta (Acts 27). God gave them that revelation to prevent the shipwreck, but by ignoring it they drifted away from the place of safety. But God gave them another revelation that they should all stay in the ship for their lives to be spared, they obeyed and it was well with them.
The second allusion is of the train track, we are the train; as long as we stay on our track we reach our destination safely. But if we remove the track or the boundary we derail and suffer a train wreck. Gods given vision or revelation is like the train track; it constrains us or puts boundaries in our life for our own benefit.
We keep God’s word and do not sin against Him because we know that we are on the right track to our promised land. Joseph had a dream. He dreamt of becoming the prime minister of Egypt, he was destined for greatness. Because of that dream he was not moved by Potiphar’s wife, when she offered to lie with him. He saw sexual sin as great evil against God, fled the scene leaving his coat behind. It is because the vision of the Lord restrained him, and he was happy to keep God’s Law: you shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). For he knew that once he is prime minister; God will give him a beautiful wife, even more beautiful than Potiphar’s wife.
What God does when he gives us a vision or revelation concerning our future; is to make us prisoners of hope. We cannot help it but to hope. Whenever we are fearful or hopeless we run to our stronghold or fortress or castle and shut the gate behind us. The Lord is our fortress and our stronghold so we run to Him (Psalm 91:2). Not just once in a while but we can decide to go back into that prison of hope every day.
God himself is beckoning unto us in Zechariah 9:12 “Return to the stronghold or fortress or castle, you prisoners of hope. Even today I, The Lord, declare [That] I will restore double to you.” And we all know in Jeremiah 29:11 God declares to us: “For I know the thoughts, the plans, the purposes and intentions that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil; to give you an expected end, a future and hope, the things that you long for”.
2-e- Do not camp at Bethel forever.
As we can see Bethel is a wonderful place to be, we are full of hope and dreams. People will discourage us and tell us to stay at bethel, just like Elijah asked Elisha to stay at Bethel. We must make up our own mind to continue this journey and never be satisfied where we are at. There is always more of God that is yet to experience. The sons of prophets will tell us to stay at Bethel, because a lot of them have made it their final destination, and do not want others to go yonder in the journey.
God did not intend for our journey to end at bethel. But He will not force us to continue; it is our own choice. Abraham told his servants stay here with the donkey, the lad and I will go yonder to worship and we will come back (Genesis 25:5). We can be like the servants of Abraham who were happy to be holding the donkey of their master. Thus letting the Abraham and Isaac be the only ones to experience a higher walk with God. They decided to stay at the foot of the mountain. I am holding no body’s ass! I am going to the mountain top! Elisha when his master Elijah made him that offer to stay at Bethel did not respond the way Abraham’s servants did. He swore that as God lives and as the soul of Elijah is still living; he will not leave him, wherever Elijah goes he will go as well.
Though God has given us great visions and great promises concerning our future; a land flowing with milk and honey in our future, Satan and his cohorts will not hand it over to us easily. They have been occupying our promised land for ages. They do not want to be evicted from there! They will not go down without a fight. When we call at Jericho we must expect some resistance and opposition of the enemy, we arm ourselves for spiritual warfare.
3-a- Expect spiritual warfare.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The enemy might come through a human being; we are not fighting that person but the demonic agents in him or her. So we still love the person but we hate his or her actions and deeds, which are contrary to the word of God. Since we have established that it is a spiritual warfare we must not approach it in the flesh but in the spirit.
God who is Spirit, knows the spirit realm better than any of us. Having His Spirit in us and with us gives us the freedom or liberty to operate in the spirit realm (2 Corinthians 3:17). Long before we were born the Lord had defeated Satan and his cohorts, cast them out of heaven. If there is someone who knows how to defeat Satan it is the Lord of Host. David, a man of war, knew it, hence before going to any battle he enquired of the Lord of Host, even if he had defeated that adversary in the past, he still inquired of the Lord (1 Samuel 23:2).
3-b- God’s battle plans can be foolishness to a carnal mind.
Jericho means fragrant or sweet smell. In Joshua 6; when they asked for divine instructions concerning the battle against this city; God told them to march around it for seven days, once every day and on the seventh day seven times, and then blow the horns and shout for victory. For the Lord has given them the city and the mighty men in it. To win the Lord’s battle we need to follow His instructions, whatever he tells us to do, we do it! It may sound stupid or foolish, but he knows better. The battle is not ours but the Lord’s.
Joshua could recall the instruction that God gave to Moses before the red sea: stand still and see the salvation that I, the Lord, will perform on your behalf (Exodus 14:13). It sounded stupid at that time, but Moses obeyed. The Egyptians were coming after them to kill them. But they stood still and the Lord fought for them.
Here God is asking them to praise him, but it is more of worship than praise. Everything that has breath praises the Lord (Psalm 150:6). Even the rivers clap their hands (Psalm 98:8). We praise or give thanks to God when He has been good to us, for what He does for us. All the creation of God gives Him thanks for creating them. If mankind does not want to praise Him or give Him thanks for what He has done; even the stones will cry out in praise to Him (Luke 19:40). We give Him thanks when He has provided for us and delivered us, and so on.
3-c- Worship God for who He is.
Worship is deeper than thanksgiving. We worship God for who He is, His attributes, His person. This is the kind of praise God is seeking. Jesus told us in John 4:23 “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him”. Many times we approach God with our lips and sacrifices but our heart is far from God (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13). God wants us to know who He is, for if we know the God whom we serve, we have the truth and the truth will make us free (John 8:32). Many times we have no reason to worship God, to thank Him, to sing; for when we look around us we are in a deep mess and trouble. In the physical we have no reason to be singing or praising God or thanking Him.
That is why we need to step into another realm; we step into the spiritual realm and worship God. We know the truth about our God, we know who He is. For the things we see are temporal or subject to change but the things we do not see they are the ones which will be established (2 Corinthians 4:18). We are calling the things we do not see or do not exist in the physical as though they did (Romans 4:17).
By so doing we exalt God above our predicament and mess. We elevate Him far above those walls of Jericho, the walls of our lives. The walls the enemy has built up to confine our progress; to prevent us from conquering what is rightfully ours. All these walls will fall down flat. Our God is higher than any wall or fortress man can ever build up. There is no mountain that is so high that our God cannot move; in fact God says: who are you, oh Great Mountain before my people? You shall become a plain; I will level you off (Zechariah 4:7)! There is no mountain in our life so high that God cannot level it off, like He caused the walls of Jericho to fall down flat.
3-d- Learn from the saints of old.
Paul and Silas, when in prison as the bible narrates in Acts 16:25-26 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” They were in prison but the prison was not in them, they saw God high and lifted up above their prison bars, they worshipped Him for who He is, a deliverer; and He freed them. Not only God freed them but also all the other prisoners.
Father Abraham worshiped God to, when he went to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” He believed in his heart that after He had obeyed God and offered up Isaac, God was able to raise him even from the dead. In his heart he had already received Isaac from the dead. He saw God high and lifted up above death. He knew the truth about His God that He is the resurrection and the life.
In the eyes of God, Abraham met the criteria of the true worshipper. He was in the spirit because he was not moved by his senses, and he knew the truth about God. After all, has Jesus not said He was the resurrection and the life in John 11? Worship elevates God above our situations; we deem God able to deliver us, to bring back to life everything that ever died in our life. God is bigger than our problems!
3-e- Rejoice in the Lord.
Joseph even in the prison of pharaoh was still smiling and encouraging other prisoners; interpreting their dreams, edifying and building other prisoners up (Genesis 40). He was in prison but prison was not in him. There is a place in God where we no longer walk in the flesh but in the spirit, even when we are low and in the bottom of a pit or dungeon; we are still rejoicing and higher than other folk.
Paul being a prisoner in Rome, under house arrest, was the one edifying those who where outside telling them in Philippians 4:4 rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice. The walls are still standing, the mountain is still before us, and we are still in Pharaoh’s or Roman’s prison or under house arrest, but we are worshipping God. We know our God is more than able to deliver us. In fact, He will deliver us, our dreams will come to pass; God is not a man that He should lie to us. We can rest assure that victory is ours; we have already overcome all our adversaries and foes before even the battle starts for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
3-f- Fear not the Lord is with you.
The Lord has assigned more angelic hosts to help us than the demonic hosts which are with our enemies, we outnumber them, there is no need to fear (2 Kings 6:16). If only we trust God, He will not just fight this battle of Jericho for us, but he will fight the entire war to conquer our promised land (1 Chronicles 5:22). O how great is our God, Yahweh the Man of war (Exodus 15:3)! He will give us the victory and always lead us in triumph in Christ, and then through us diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2Corinthians 2:14).
3-g- The battles we win advertise God.
Now we understand why Jericho means fragrant; the Lord, by causing us to triumph over our enemy in battle, is making himself known among the Gentiles as the great God, the only true God, besides Him there is no other. He is diffusing the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
When nations ask whom do Israel serve, they will answer the Lord the man of war. For no other god of the Gentiles has been able to destroy the walls of Jericho. God is advertising Himself through our victories and triumphs. When they ask who the God of Joseph is? That causes a man to come out of a prison and become overnight the prime minister of the most powerful kingdom on earth. They will answer Yahweh, the God who causes the dreams to come to pass. Men may call you a dreamer like they did Joseph, but the God whom we serve will bring it to pass.
The victories and the triumphs we have in our lives; they are not about us they are to diffuse the fragrance of our God; because once Jericho was conquered; the message was sent to all the other nations in the land of Canaan. A people whose God parted the red sea, parted the Jordan and now has caused the unconquerable walls and the city of Jericho to fall are coming. The sweet smell or fragrance of the victory over the city of Jericho became a strong smell or fragrance in the nostrils of our enemies round about. Their hearts were melting within them. They said to one another if Jericho has fallen, what about our walls and city walls they are not as secure as Jericho was? All our enemies will be our footstool, we will crush them under our foot, and the land belongs to us (Psalm 110:1).
3-h- Our enemy has been poking God in the eye.
He that touches us touches the apple of God’s eyes or the pupil of God (Zechariah 2:8). Our God is over protective when it comes to His people. As a hen hides her chicks under the shadow of its wings, so does our God do likewise. He keeps us as the apple of his eye or His pupil; He does not want anybody to come and poke Him in the eye (Psalm 17:8). He that comes against us, taunts us or defies us; is coming against the Lord and taunting or defying the Lord (1 Samuel 17:26). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of our living God; our enemies are in deep trouble (Hebrews 10:31).
He told them touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm, but they ignored that warning (Psalm 105:15). By so doing they have been poking God in the pupil. God will deal with all our enemies. Pharaoh said, who is the Lord that I should obey His voice, to let His people go (Exodus 5:2)? He thought he was defying us. What a fool! He was defying God and by enslaving us he was touching God’s anointed ones and harming them; thus poking God in the eye. He soon discovered that is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of our God, for God destroyed his kingdom and we plundered their wealth. So shall the fate of all our enemies be; for our God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
3-i- Do not be content with the victory of Jericho.
Let us not be content or satisfied with the victory of Jericho, God has thirty more cities for us to conquer in the promised land. This is just the beginning; we have just warmed up and stretched our spiritual muscles! He wants to give us rest on every side.
Many times when we have a victory, we think we have made it, what else can God possibly give us? And we build a monument at Jericho; we even become part of the monument in our immobility. For we pitch our tent at Jericho forever, always rehearsing God’s past victories, talking about the good old days!
Sometimes God needs to shake us again to get us to move, like He told the children of Israel in Joshua 18:3 “how long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?” Just like these Israelites, no one wants to keep fighting or keep moving from one place to the other. God had a promised land for each tribe and as far as God was concerned it was already theirs from the day He said it. They were quarrelling that the inheritance was not enough, that they needed a share of it. God said, no! Move to your own allotted land!
Sometimes a person has a ministry and people in the church want to do what that person is doing. They complain that no one is giving them a platform for their ministry. The real question is: has God allotted that ministry to them or should that person share it with that brother or that sister? God may have an allotted ministry or promised land for them, and they are just being lazy to go and possess it.
The truth is we all want to stay at Jericho. We give the excuse that we participated in the victory of Jericho, yes no one denies it. But God is still saying that though we helped, He has allotted that promised land to that specific person, now let us rise up for surely The Lord has an allotted promised land for us too. We must board the train again and go to our next destination. The land is already ours but God has great things in mind for us.
Victories and triumphs are normal for our God, there will be more victories ahead of us in our Christian walk. Our best is yet to come. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. But God is after something else in our fellowship with Him. He wants to bring us to the Jordan experience.
The meaning of Jordan in Hebrew is descender, it has its root from to descend, or to go downward. A descender is the part of a letter, when written on a line, it goes below the line; letters such as g, p and q have a descender. The Jordan is the place of baptism, not merely the putting away of the filth of our flesh and a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21). But a place where we die to self and selfish ambitions, we voluntarily decide to decrease.
4-a- The Jordan experience of Jesus.
Our Lord Jesus himself was baptised in the river Jordan by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13). The baptism of Jesus was definitely not the removing of the filth of the flesh, for He was a sinless man and a lamb without spots. It was not a good conscience toward God, for He never broke God’s law, hence he had no reason that His conscience should accuse Him of any evil deed (Romans 2:15). Though it represented His physical death and resurrection, moreover it talked about Jesus deciding of His own accord to decrease, that the Father might Increase.
Just like the picture of the baptism above, the two men could be standing having only the water up to their waists. In the Jewish baptism no one pushes you into the water; but you immerse yourself in the water and the one ministering the baptism helps you to come out of the water. Therefore John the Baptist did not mean John, who immerses or dips people, but rather John who causes people to immerse themselves. It is a voluntary act; we decide to die to self, that God may increase in us.
Jesus was fully God, having the same attributes as God the Father. He was not robbing God when He said to the Jews before Abraham was I AM, making Himself equal to God. But He humbled himself by taking his human body, served and obeyed God the Father on earth, even to the death on the cross (Philippians 2:6-8, John 10:33).
4-b- Jordan: a willing not forceful experience.
It was of His own will that Jesus decided to decrease, that God may increase in His mortal body. He had the power to remain up in heaven as God, equal to God the Father; and even on earth He had the power to refuse to go to the cross, but He did it of His own free will. He said My Father loves me, because I lay down my life to take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment I have received from My Father (John 10:17-18).
4-c- Love is the driving force.
We must realise love is the driving force here. Jesus knew His Father loved Him. So he obeyed His Father’s Commandment not because His father was being forceful, but because of the Love of the Father. For where there is love, the commandments of the Father are not burdensome or grievous to us, but a delight, we are happy to keep them (1 John 5:3). The love of God is the power that compels or drives or constrains us to love others. Jesus knew and believed the love that the Father has for him (1 John 4:16). To make it through the Jordan experience, our heart must be rooted and grounded in the love of God (Ephesians 3:17).
In John 21, Jesus comes to the disciples who went fishing. He comes to establish this secret of love being the driving force that will make one willing to die to self. Prior to that teaching, the disciples thought it was by their own powers. Thomas said in John 11 let us go back to Judea and even if we have to die with Jesus there, then so be it! And all said likewise. Peter said to Jesus even if all the other disciples are scattered from you, I will not be. But when the test came all of them were scattered from Jesus, and Peter was found denying Jesus.
But when Jesus came to them in John 21, He told Peter: do you love me? When they grasped that it was all about love; that we love God because He first loved us. Almost all of the disciples of Jesus were martyred. They too were able to go through their Jordan experience like Jesus.
Jesus decided of His own will and power to decrease that God may increase. Just like in the baptism at the Jordan the one ministering the baptism will help the person who immersed himself to come out of the water. Jesus knew that by decreasing before the father, the Spirit of God the Father will raise him up from the dead (Romans 10:9; Romans 8:11). As followers of Jesus we must imitate Jesus. If Jesus has to die to self and reach a point where He said not my will but your will be done, we should say likewise (Luke 22:42). John the Baptist puts it into this term for us “He, being Jesus, must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30).”
4-d- Learn to ascribe all the glory to God.
Whatever victory, successes or coronation we have; we must be careful to give the glory back to God. Even the twenty-four elders in heaven, fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him, who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne (Revelation 4:10).
If only we are careful to acknowledge that the Lord is the one who crowned us, for He said He has made us a little lower than the Elohiym, and He has crowned us with glory and honour (Psalm 8:5). It shall be well with us. God is telling each one of us: I [am] the LORD, that [is] my name; and my glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images or the works of man’s hands (Isaiah 42:8). Many times we think it is by our own power, ability that we are where we are in life; we do not give the glory to God, but to the work of our hands.
4-e- We die to self to receive the resurrection power.
Jesus went to the cross not because he wanted to please the Pharisees and priests, He did not answer Pilate with a single word, not because he could not, but in obedience to the word of God that needed to be fulfilled through Him. The Jordan is the place we empty ourselves of ourselves. So that God may fill us with His resurrection power.
In John 12:24 Jesus tells us: verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides or remains alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. We see how God works: when Jesus died and the Spirit of the Lord raised Him from the dead; He was now able to bring many children to God. He thus made both of us heirs and joint heirs with Him. None of that would have happened if Jesus did not die. When we deny ourselves, and die to self, God empowers us and we become more Christ like. We have His character; bear more fruit of the Spirit and His miracle working power is at work in our life.
The result is: people will be helped, delivered and brought into the kingdom of God. But if one refuses to die, he will abide alone. Jericho might be the only victory in that person’s life, and He will be the only person born again. Because no one wants to receive his message of salvation; his character and the fruit that he is bearing, do not reflect the person of Jesus. Jesus said people will know us by our fruits (Matthew 7:20).
By now Elisha and Elijah have crossed onto the other side of the Jordan, to the East side. The east is where the bright and morning star rises, our Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:16); where the sun of righteousness arises with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). Elijah was prophetically pointing Elisha to Christ, not toward himself. We must be careful not to point people to us but to Jesus.
5-a- One must point People to Jesus.
John the Baptist said it this way: he was only the friend of the bridegroom and the person that has the bride, is the bridegroom not His friend (John 3:29). In those days when they had a wedding; the bridegroom would bring a spokesman, called the friend of the bridegroom. He is supposed to extol the greatness, the nobility and the goodness of the bridegroom. He draws all attention to the bridegroom and presents the dowry to the bride; under no circumstances is he to praise himself, use the description or the dowry of the bridegroom to betroth the bride to himself.
This happened to Samson, his best man or friend of the bridegroom was given the bride in his stead. Samson paid for the seven days wedding feast and paid the dowry (Judges 14). When he came back to take his bride he realised she had been wedded to the friend of the bridegroom. He was in such a fury that he unleashed three hundred foxes in flames into their plantations to burn all their crops (Judges 15).
Jesus is the bridegroom we are just the friend of the bridegroom, He paid for the wedding feast and the dowry when He died on the cross and then when He rose from the grave on the third day He married us. No one else but Jesus should claim the bride. Lest we face the wrath of God like the Philistines did when they took the bride of Samson.
We follow People as long as they follow Jesus and we imitate People as long as they imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 4:16). If they do not imitate Christ we do not follow them in that particular aspect. For instance when Peter was playing the hypocrite with the other Jews in Antioch, Paul did not imitate their hypocrisy (Galatians 2). Peter was still a great apostle of Jesus and believers had to imitate him as he imitated Christ, but in that particular aspect of hypocrisy, because he feared what the Jews would say about him, Paul did not follow Peter. For Peter’s behaviour was not pointing to Jesus in that particular aspect.
5-b- We are disciples of Jesus.
We must understand that though our main scripture reading is using the example of Elijah and Elisha. We are to only extract the principles from it. Whatever scripture we read, if we do not see the person of Jesus, it means we still do not have the revelation of that scripture, and therefore a veil is still covering our heart. We have scales in our eyes preventing us from seeing Jesus in the scriptures we are reading.
Jesus told the Jews, that they search the scriptures to get eternal life, and those scriptures they are searching are all testifying of Him. But they will not come to Jesus that they might have life (John 5:39-40). They could not see the person of Jesus in their searches of the scriptures; all scriptures must point us to Jesus. The veil that is on their heart, preventing them from seeing Jesus in the scriptures, is only taken away in Christ when we come to Him (2 Corinthians 3:15-16).
Paul, although he was a Pharisee and studied at the feet of an eminent teacher Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), as long as he was not in Christ spiritually, he had scales over his eyes. When Jesus appeared to him on the way to Damascus in Acts 9; he was blinded, scales covered his eyes. God in a sense was telling him, Paul these spiritual scales have been covering your eyes all along, that is why you could not perceive that I am the Messiah. All the teachings of the bible were pointing to Me. If you come to Me these scales will fall off, and then when you read the scriptures, you will be able to see that they were all talking about Me and pointing to Me. And when Ananias laid hands on him and he received Jesus, the scales fell off.
Paul would now say he was a messenger of Christ, a disciple of Christ. The Pharisees and the rulers of the Jews said they were disciples of Moses not of Jesus (John 9:28). We are not disciples of Moses either but of Jesus. Moses himself said God will raise another Prophet after him, talking about Jesus, the people shall hearken to his word (Deuteronomy 18:15). Even Moses was pointing everybody to Jesus. We must see Jesus in all the writings of Moses.
Therefore we must know that we are not disciples of Elijah or Elisha but disciples of Jesus. Elisha, when he was made fun of by children, he cursed them and two female bears came forth out of the wood and tore forty-two of those children (2 kings 2:24). As disciples of Jesus we are called to bless people who even curse or persecute us; and not curse them, to pray for them (Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14). James tells us, as disciples of Jesus, with our mouth we are only supposed to bless people, we should not be cursing people, because they are made after the similitude or likeness of God (James 3:9-10).
Even eminent disciples of Jesus like John and his brother James thought Elijah was the pattern. So one day they went with Jesus into Samaria, and the people there did not receive them. They asked Jesus should we call down fire on these people to consume them like Elijah did when he called down fire on the two captains and their fifty soldiers sent by the king (Luke 9:54; 2 Kings 1:10-12)? John and James though they were so close to Jesus; for Peter, John and James were the three disciples Jesus had a deeper relationship with.
They still did not have the revelation that they were not disciples of Elijah, but of Jesus. The conspicuousness of a particular disciple of Jesus, does not necessarily mean that he has the revelation that Jesus is the pattern to follow. Jesus rebuked them and said to them, you do not know of what manner of Spirit you are, for the Son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Luke 9:55-56).
We do not instil fear into people’s hearts so that they can receive our message. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). If Jesus was operating like Elijah or Elisha; He would have said to all the Jews and Samaritans: I created you, so all of you serve me, believe in me, or I will command fire to consume you! Thank God that Jesus explained to His disciples that He was the pattern to follow, all the others who came before Him were just pointing to Him.
5-c- Only Jesus can give you the double portion which is the birthright of the firstborn.
Elijah asked Elisha, Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you? Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” The double portion was the portion given to the firstborn child, it was his birth-right. Jesus is the firstborn of the creation and the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). He is the only one who can bestow that blessing and that power upon us. That is why Elijah said to Elisha you have asked a hard thing. It was not in the power of Elijah to give the firstborn blessing to Elijah or its power, only Jesus the firstborn of the Father can bestow His blessing upon us, for it is His. All kinds of blessings we are looking for, are in Christ Jesus.
When we have undergone this journey with Jesus, we can be assured that He will empower us. Jesus tells each one of us who has been following thus far: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1). Elijah ascended to heaven, likewise Jesus went up to heaven to prepare a place for us. Elisha saw Elijah being taken up to Heaven, likewise the disciples of Jesus saw Him ascending to heaven. And the mantle of Elijah that had fallen and was picked up by Elisha is the same thing that happened to the disciples of Jesus. The ministry that was once Elijah’s was now Elisha’s; the ministry that was once Jesus’ is now ours.
Jesus told us just like my Father sent me, I also send you (John 20:21). After Elisha had picked up the mantle of Elijah, he was now able to part the Jordan like Elijah did; Jesus said to us, most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14:12).
6. Need of a separation.
In our Christian walk, separation must happen for us to move in the anointing of the person we are following. Jesus told them, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:7). For as long as Jesus was with them the disciples were not even fasting; Jesus knew that as long as He, the bridegroom, was there with them, they would not fast at all, but when He went away they would do (Matthew 9:15).
They would not even tarry in prayer with Jesus for at least an hour; they would go straight to sleep while Jesus was praying (Matthew 26:40). But when Jesus was taken away from them, they gave themselves continually to prayer and ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). They also prayed and fasted before commending elders of the church to the Lord (Acts 14:23). Paul even says that he was fasting often (2 Corinthians 11:27).
They all learned to fast and pray, because Jesus was not there physically to do the praying and the fasting; the mantle or ministry had fallen on them. Jesus taught them how to pray, so now that He was gone, they could put those teachings into practice. When we follow someone who is doing all the praying and all the fasting, He is not helping us. For we will never grow to the full potential God intended for us.
When Jesus was around he was explaining the parables to them and giving them understanding of the scriptures. But once in a while He would ask them what was written in the law, or the scriptures and what was their reading of it or their interpretation of it (Luke 10:26). He wanted to check whether they had been studying what He taught them and had the proper understanding of those teachings. For when he would be gone they were the ones who would be ministering the word of God, teaching the people and explaining the parables.
When Jesus was with them, he taught them to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick. But whenever they could not do it, they brought the case to Jesus (Matthew 17:15-17). But when Jesus was no longer with them, they had to cast out the demons and to raise the dead and heal the sick. Jesus was so happy that the set of people God gave Him was doing greater works than He, for that was His heart’s desire. The shadow of Peter was healing the sick and the handkerchiefs taken from Paul’s body were healing the sick.
Jesus was never intimidated by the miracles performed through the hands of His disciples; because the disciples went through the Jordan experience, where they died to self. Paul would even go further and tell us that he dies daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). They were never trying to share the glory with God, or think they did it by their own power or holiness (Acts 3:12). They did not receive the worship that was due to Him. When people wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas they tore their clothes to show the people that they were just men like them.
Any believer who undertakes this journey, and learns from all the places where they called: Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, Jordan and Jordan-East, God will entrust him with great miracles, even more miracles than his spiritual father or even Jesus, for that is the will of Jesus. Jesus is a secure leader, not intimidated by the success of His followers.
6-a- Teach the next generation everything you know.
Saul was insecure so he could not handle the victories of his servant David. But Jesus is our pattern, so secure that He taught them all things, He did not hide anything from them. He said henceforth or from this time forward, I no longer call you servants; for the servant does not know what his Lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you(John 15:15).
In order for the disciples to do the works of Jesus and do greater works than Jesus, He had to tell them everything God told Him. We must learn from Jesus and teach people everything we know so that they can become greater than we. Let us not be like Elisha who brought the mantle with him into the grave; he did not pass it on to another prophet like Elijah did to him. Let us not cause the new generation of believers to go through the same difficulties or shipwreck we had.
The plan of God is, once He has revealed something to us, He expects us to pass it on to our children forever. He told us the secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law or this bible (Deuteronomy 29:29). Not only would our children obey God and serve Him in their generation, but they would be able to perform all the signs and wonders which were recorded in the bible.
Moses taught Joshua everything and passed on the mantle to him, Joshua conquered the promised land and gave the people rest. Jesus did the same thing with His disciples and they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). God promised Daniel that in our era knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4). The secular world has a better understanding of that scripture than believers; for technology is advancing, and they go from one breakthrough to another. Meanwhile believers have discarded that word of Daniel.
In science no one tries to reinvent the wheel, it has already been done. But they improve the materials used in that wheel to achieve better performances. Likewise we should pass on all the revelations we have to the new generation of believers, so that they can go where we were not able to. Though God said the secret things belong to Him, He was not trying to hide them from us or our children!
6-b- Search out the secret things of God.
Once we have passed on all the revelations we received from Him to the next generation, God can disclose the secret things to them, for He said: It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2). We are kings and priests in the new covenant, God expects us to search out the secret things that were not revealed to our fathers. It is actually honourable to search for the secret things of God.
Moses received those revelations when he spent time seeking the face of God and waiting on Him. Joshua also had to learn to seek the face of God, and to wait on Him like his spiritual father Moses did. As Joshua did so, God was faithful in granting him revelations of how to conquer the promised land. Paul was not in the group of the twelve apostles of Jesus, he came to the faith long after the death and resurrection of the Lord. But once he was converted, the revelation of the person of Jesus became his also, and because he was a king he deemed it honourable to search for the secret things of God.
He went into Arabia for three years where he received by revelation, the gospel that he preached (Galatians 2). For the things which God has prepared for those who love him; eye has not seen, nor ear heard; neither have entered into the heart of man. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, and the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). Now that we have the Spirit of God in us, if we care to seek God’s face because we Love Him, His Spirit will reveal unto us the secret things of God.
That is why John, when writing to believers in 1 John 1; it was addressed to the fathers, the children and also the young men and women in the Lord; he wanted all of them to have the same fellowship or communion that they, the apostles were having with the Godhead. If we have the same communion with the Godhead, we will also be receiving revelations like the apostles.
7. Return Journey Jordan-East – Gilgal.
In our main scripture reading, Elisha was able to part the Jordan like his master Elijah did and go to the west side of the Jordan. We see that to receive the anointing, it was not merely seeing Elijah taken away in the chariot of fire, but Elisha made up his mind to finish that Journey. The question is: once we have completed this Journey what is next?
We are born again at Gilgal; we are in the house of God and have become the House of God offering different kinds of sacrifices at Bethel; we have a victory at Jericho and know how to fight spiritual warfare; we have decided to die to self, so that Jesus may increase in us at Jordan; and now the separation has happened, we have received the mantle or ministry that was upon our master at Jordan-east and we are asked to be the disciple of Jesus. What do we do now?
Joshua would always return to Gilgal after every conquest, he decided to dwell in Gilgal as long as there were still battles to fight and lands to conquer (Joshua 9:6; Joshua 10:15; Joshua 14:6). God has more victory ahead of us; Jericho is not the only conquest God has in mind for us. We need to do like Joshua and come back to Gilgal not to be born again the second time. No, the Lord talks about circumcising the children of Israel again the second time (Joshua 5:2).
The fathers were circumcised but how come did they not enter the promised land? Because their minds were not renewed, Egypt was still in them, its mind-sets and limitations. They needed to renew their minds. That is why the Lord is talking to Joshua about circumcising again the children of Israel the second time. God is talking about the renewing of the mind, if we want to win more battles with the Lord, We must do it again and again. Once we were unsaved and the word of God told us we must be born again, which is in a sense the first circumcision; now that we are born again the word tells us we must renew our mind and no longer be conformed to the world, which is in a sense a second circumcision (Romans 12:2).
Joshua and Israel conquered Jericho but when they went against the small city of Ai, they were defeated and fled before the enemy. Why? Because Achan having a mind that was not renewed, though circumcised or born again, took the accursed things of the people of Jericho; for he lusted after them. Thus he led all Israel to a defeat and a loss of thirty-six men (Joshua 7). Achan still loved the world and the things of the world, his mind was not renewed.
We know this: all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16). They came back to Gilgal and sought the face of the Lord, to reveal to them what the problem was. The problem was Achan the guy who did not renew his mind. Once everybody had renewed their mind; they did not lust after the things and ways of the world. Then they were able to conquer Ai. God has so much to do in our lives and victories ahead of us; He wants us to renew our mind again and again.
The next city to conquer will not be Jericho, but Ai, and so on. But after every victory we must go back to Gilgal in order to renew our mind some more, back to Bethel to give God the praise and receive new revelations, of what the next conquest is, that we may go and fight the Lord’s battle where He has gone ahead of us. And back to the Jordan experience, where we die to self and receive more grace from God, that divine empowerment. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can think or ask Him, if only we care to take this return journey with Him again and again.
The only time Joshua did not return to Gilgal after a battle is when the Lord had given him and Israel rest on every side, and then he settled in Shiloh. Likewise as long as we are still in this mortal body we will need to renew our mind daily and take this journey again and again until Shiloh, who is Jesus, comes the second time to redeem our mortal body. Then we will rest with Him, we will be like Him when He appears to us (1 John 3:2).
May God help us to take this journey every day! Resistance, discouragement and opposition should be expected every step of the way; but we can be confident of this very thing: the God who has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of the appearing of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). We can do all things through Christ who strengths us (Philippians 4:13). Beloved remember me, Gery, in your prayers!
May God bless us, keep us and empower us for this journey in Jesus’ name.