This chapter of Joshua talks about circumcision, and circumcision was always meant as sign of the promise God made to Abraham. As written here, “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.” Genesis 17:10-11 We think of agreements as being signed with an ink pen, or made by a handshake, or written in blood, etc., but this agreement was signed by clipping of the foreskin. The agreement was that Abraham’s seed would multiply exponentially, which would happen through Jesus Christ. Now that Christ has come, there is no more need for the sign of circumcision, the agreement has been fulfilled. Today, the Jewish people circumcise their children, but neither do they accept Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah. Today, we followers of Christ see circumcision as being cut away from the ways of the world to live for God through Jesus.
- Hearts melt when the people of God cross over to Him through Jesus.
- Let’s rededicate ourselves to be set apart from this world to live for Jesus.
- Many have died to Christ in this age of the mark of the beast.
- Circumcision brings a period of healing to make permanent being set apart for Jesus.
- Remembering the sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross.
- The Commander of the Lord’s Army has come.
Hearts melt when the people of God cross over to Him through Jesus. What set Joshua and the Israelites apart from the nations around them is the power of God working on their behalf. When the currents of the Jordan River were held back and the Israelites crossed over on dry ground, it made the surrounding nations fear Israel. Those on the west side of the Jordan River couldn’t believe that the hundreds of thousands of Israelites were able to cross over, and those by the Dead Sea were probably wondering what had happened to their flow of water into the sea. “So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.” Joshua 5:1
Today, the followers of Jesus Christ are set apart from those around us because we are able to cross over into the presence of God. Those who live by the mark of the beast are not able to do that, and they would become concerned if the flow of those dying to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were not filling their dead sea. The most frightening thing for those who govern by the mark of the beast is having the majority of people separating from them and no one is dying to Christ. Their government would come to an end as people devote their body as the home of the Holy Spirit and oppose being the seat of government for the mark of the beast.
Let’s rededicate ourselves to be set apart from this world to live for Jesus. The hostile nations surrounding the Israelites began to take notice of and to fear them, so it was time to make sharp knives and to do another round of circumcision for everyone not circumcised. It serves to remind them all of the promise God made to multiply them exponentially. “At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” Joshua 5:2 Today, the nation of Israel has been cut apart from their hostile Middle East surroundings since the State of Israel was dedicated in 1948. More than ever, Israel has to rededicate themselves and not give in to the pressure to conform to the global government of the beast.
Also today, the followers of Jesus Christ are surrounded by the hostility of those who live for the mark of the beast, and we have to remind ourselves to remain separated from their Christless social network. Joshua was obedient to God to make those sharp knives to circumcise everyone, and there were about 600,000 or so total Israelites, and among that number all the males were circumcised. Obviously, there was quite a hill of foreskins, “So Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.” Joshua 5:3 Jesus Christ has made the flint knife of His word and we are set apart from the ways of the world with the very sharp two-edged sword of the Holy Scriptures.
This present world has only one purpose, and that is to make each person the seat of government for the mark of the beast. The population of the world is allowing it to happen as they embrace the thing that has power over physiology to form their thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors. People are dying to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and we are all in need of rededicating ourselves to remain separate from their social network. Jesus Christ came to set us apart from the broad way of mainstream society.
“Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus
Ye soldiers of the Cross
Lift high His royal banner it must not suffer loss
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed.”
Many have died to Christ in this age of the mark of the beast. The reason Joshua did a second round of circumcision is because of all the men of war who died in the wilderness, “And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way, after they had come out of Egypt.” Joshua 5:4 Many have died to Christ and there has been a great falling away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and even the churches have embraced the community-family frame of mind instead of being set apart for God through Jesus. Also, there are people who are not part of the social network of the mark of the beast, but they have been born in the wilderness without Jesus Christ as well. They only need to make that commitment of circumcision, to set themselves apart for the Gospel of Jesus. As written here, “For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way as they came out of Egypt, had not been circumcised.” Joshua 5:5 Without being set apart for God through Jesus Christ, we are living in a wilderness.
To stay on the narrow road leading to eternal life, we have to live by the Holy Scriptures and to embrace the Holy Spirit. We lose our inheritance in the New Jerusalem, the land of milk and honey, if we fight the society of the mark of the beast with physical aggression. The men of war among the Israelites lost their inheritance in the promised land for not obeying the voice of the Lord, “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord—to whom the Lord swore that He would not show them the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” Joshua 5:6 Our victory is in Jesus,
“Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.”
Circumcision brings a period of healing to make permanent being set apart for Jesus. “Then Joshua circumcised their sons whom He raised up in their place; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.” Joshua 5:7 To this day, the Jewish people continue to circumcise their children, and neither do they believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Savior. They do not look for the scarlet cord of Jesus Christ which connects the Old Testament to the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross for the atonement of sin. They are not set apart for service to Jesus. As followers of Jesus Christ, we see that scarlet cord, and Joshua symbolizes Jesus Christ who has circumcised us by cutting us away from the ways of the world by the remission of sin. On the way through this world, we need to be circumcised from the ways of those who live for the mark of the beast, and to live for Christ.
The initial process of being set apart from mainstream society is part of our healing process after coming to God through the Cross of Jesus. That time of separation includes diving into Bible reading, embracing followers of Jesus, cutting away past Christless relationships, starting Christian blogs, lifting up the name of Jesus, and totally baptizing ourselves in Jesus Christ. It’s a time of believing God, of acknowledging our daily need for Jesus, and desiring fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Those initial practices become our healing and a permanent part of who we are, like the permanency of circumcision. After circumcision, all the people of Israel stayed home until they were healed, “So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed.” Joshua 5:8 Being set apart from the society of the mark of the beast rolls away the reproach of blaspheming God, discarding Jesus Christ, and trampling on the Holy Spirit. “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day.” Joshua 5:9 (Gilgal means “Rolling”)
“Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away
Every burden on my heart rolled away
Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away
Every burden on my heart rolled away
All my sin had to go, ‘Neath the crimson flow..
Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away
Every burden on my heart rolled away.”
Remembering the sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. Everything we read in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is about Jesus Christ, so reading the Bible reminds us of Him and the remission of sin we have through Him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we camp in the place where our sins have been rolled away, and we celebrate the day that the blood of Christ was applied to our heart to give us eternal life. That’s what Israel did, “Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.” Joshua 12:10 Gilgal means “Rolling” because that symbolizes their reproach being rolled away, and the Passover is the day the blood was applied to the doorposts to liberate them from captivity to Egypt. The Jewish people of today celebrate the Passover, but not in the name of Jesus Christ, they are not celebrating the blood of Christ being applied to their heart. They are acknowledging God the Father while rejecting His Son.
After we come to Christ for the remission of sin, we begin to feed on the Bread of Life, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit is who sustains our life in Christ. Grain represents the Bread of Life (Jesus Christ), and unleavened bread represents Holiness (Holy Spirit).
“Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;
and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, once we are fed the manna (Bread of Life) from the hand of the Holy Spirit, we do not mix God’s Word with what the world is feeding everyone (the produce of the land). The “produce of the land” comes from the thing that has power over physiology to feed our thoughts, emotions, and feelings, it feeds the mark of the beast. The Jewish people were mixing the produce of the land with parched grain immediately after the Passover, “And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day.” Joshua 5:11 After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Jewish nation continued in their worldly ways of rejecting Him as the Messiah, while at the same time holding to the “parched grain” and Holiness of the Old Testament. Today, the Jewish nation is not living through Jesus Christ, the Bread from Heaven, and their manna has ceased. That is true for anyone who chooses to eat of the “produce of the land” and rejects being fed the Bread of Heaven through the Holy Spirit. “Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.” Joshua 5:12 Living for God without Jesus Christ is a form of religious self-righteousness on one hand and is setting up the mark of the beast as God on the other hand.
The Commander of the Lord’s Army has come. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand.” Joshua 5:13a. What Joshua saw then was the Messenger of God, and who we know today as the Lord Jesus Christ. The sword in His hand is what severs the followers of Jesus Christ from the ways of the world and severs sin from our heart and mind. Joshua had one question for Him, “And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” Joshua 5:13b. I wonder how many people have thought to ask Jesus whose side He is on, ours or those who make life difficult for us. The answer Jesus gives to us is quite simply “No.” “So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Joshua 5:14a.
Jesus Christ does not pick sides because He has come to offer Salvation to the whosoever. He is the Commander of the Lord, meaning He has come to bring victory over sin and death to lead us into the eternal promised land of the New Jerusalem. “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Joshua 5:14b. What does the Commander of the army of the Lord have to say to us? Very simply, we stand on Holy Ground, “Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:15As followers of Christ, our Holiness depends on possessing the love of God shown to us through Jesus while we were still enemies and sinners. The territory of God’s love is Holy ground which we must never tread on. He suffered horribly at the hands of His enemies, never striking back, and died for them the same as for His mother, brothers, and Apostles.
“O great compassion! O boundless love!
O loving kindness, faithful and true!
Find peace and shelter under the Blood,
And I will pass, will pass over you.”
“….to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets,“
‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’”
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
Revelation 2:24-25, 3:1