AS THE BOOK OF JOSHUA WINDS DOWN WE ARE GIVEN JOSHUA’S FAREWELL SPEECH HERE. SOME THINK HE MADE THIS AT SHILOH, (THE NEW SPOT FOR THE TABERNACLE) HOWEVER IT WAS MORE LIKELY AT TIMNATH-SERAH (JOSHUA’S HOME) FOR HE WAS NOW VERY OLD (APPROACHING 110 YEARS), SO TRAVEL WOULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLY DIFFICULT, AND HE PROBABLY FOLLOWED THE PATTERN OF MOSES WHO GAVE HIS FAREWELL SPEECH IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MOAB. GIVING AN ADDRESS ON THE HEIGHTS OF A HILL WAS SYMBOLIC OF THE WORDS CARRYING MUCH DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY. HOWEVER UNLIKE MOSES’ AND YAHUSHA’S GREAT MOUNTAIN SPEECHES THAT WERE FULL OF REVOLUTIONARY UNDERSTANDINGS AND RENEWED, WONDROUS CONCEPTS.... JOSHUA’S WAS NOT. JOSHUA’S SPEECH WAS A REMINDER FOR YISHARAL TO FOLLOW THE WAYS OF YAHUSHA AS ALREADY HANDED DOWN BY MOSES. JOSHUA REALLY HAD NOTHING TO ADD TO WHAT MOSES SAID, AND DIDN’T CLAIM THAT HE DID. HE ONLY MEANT TO ENCOURAGE YISHARAL INTO DOING WHAT YAHUSHA (THROUGH MOSES) INSTRUCTED THEM ALL TO DO. YOU SEE ON MT SINAI MANY OF YAHUSHA'S INSTRUCTIONS WERE ALMOST THEORETICAL, IN THAT MUCH OF THEM COULD NOT FULLY BE BEHAVED PROPERLY UNTIL INSIDE THE PROMISED LAND, SO WHILE TRUE AND RIGHT, THEY WERE MORE OF A CONCEPT, NOT A NITTY GRITTY EVERYDAY REAL EXPERIENCE (AT THAT POINT).
HOWEVER AFTER 40 YEARS, MOSES GOT UP BEFORE HIS DEATH AND SUMMARISED ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS, NOT ONLY TO REMIND A NEW GENERATION OF THEM, BUT SO THAT THE LIVING WORDS WOULD BE RELEVANT TO THE PROMISED LAND THEY WERE ABOUT TO INHERIT. BECAUSE AS WE'VE SEEN, ONCE JOSHUA TOOK THEM OVER THE JORDAN THE BATTLE WAS ON AND THE INSTRUCTIONS WERE NO LONGER MERELY SOMETHING TO SPEAK OF OR MERELY HOLD AS TRUTH . . . THEY HAD TO BE LIVED AND BREATHED IN EVERYDAY LIFE, AND IF OBEDIENCE WASN'T BEHAVED, THEN DEATH AND DESTRUCTION ENSUED. SO NOW JOSHUA HOPES TO IMPART THIS EXPERIENCE ONTO THE NEXT GENERATION AGAIN BEFORE HE LEAVES THEM.
Yahusha let Yisharal live in peace with its neighbours for a long time, and Joshua was at the end of his life. So one day he called a meeting of the leaders of the tribes of Yisharal, including the elders, judges, and the officials, saying,
“I’m now very old, and you’ve all seen how Yahuah your Alahim fought for you and helped you defeat the nations who lived in this land. There are still some nations left, but Yahuah has promised you their land as an inheritance. So when you attack them, He’ll make them all run as He drives them all out for you. Don’t worry, I’ve already divided their land among all your Tribes, as I did with the land of the nations I defeated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Be sure that you carefully obey everything written in the Book of Moses` Instructions and don’t be distracted to the left or the right but keep your eyes focussed to guard and do exactly what it says.
BECAUSE THE GIVING OF THE TURAH (DIVINE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO MOSES) WAS SO CENTRAL TO ALL THAT WOULD HAPPEN IN YAHUSHA’S REDEMPTIVE PLAN, JOSHUA WAS EMPHASISING BIG TIME, THAT JUST BECAUSE YISHARAL GAINED A NEW LEADER WHEN MOSES DIED, AND WOULD GAIN ANOTHER NEW LEADER AT JOSHUA’S DEATH, NOTHING ABOUT YAHUSHA’S WAYS OR INSTRUCTIONS HAD (OR WOULD) CHANGE.
JOSHUA PLEADS WITH THE PEOPLE OF YISHARAL TO LAY HOLD OF WHAT KIND OF A WONDERFUL FUTURE AWAITS THEM. YAHUSHA WILL FINISH DRIVING OUT THE CANAANITES FROM THE PROMISED LAND. BUT……AND HERE IS THE KEY……. YISHARAL MUST BE OBEDIENT TO YAHUSHA AND THIS IS SECURED BY FOLLOWING HIS INSTRUCTIONS.
Don’t have anything to do with the nations that live around you, don’t bow down or pray to their deities, make oaths or promises in their names, infact don’t even speak of their wicked names. But cling to Yahuah and be as obedient to Him as you’ve been up until now.
JOSHUA WARNS THE PEOPLE AGAINST IDOLATRY BECAUSE YISHARAL’S UNIQUENESS AMONG ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH IS DEPENDANT ON THEIR CLEAVING TO YAHUSHA THEIR ALAHIM. WHILE THE NATIONS SERVE MANY DEITIES, YISHARAL SERVES ONLY ONE. AND THE WAY TO IDOLATRY, JOSHUA SAYS, IS THROUGH CONTACT WITH THE NATIONS THAT ARE BOTH STILL WITHIN THE PROMISED LAND AND THOSE NEARBY. THE ISSUE OF SUCCUMBING TO THIS HORRENDOUS WICKEDNESS IS WHY JOSHUA SAYS THAT YISHARAL SHOULD NOT EVEN MENTION THE NAME OF THEIR DEITIES, NOR INVOKE THEIR NAMES IN AN OATH, LET ALONE BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THEM.
YOU SEE THE THING THAT YISHARAL STILL COULDN’T GRASP WAS THAT YAHUSHA CLAIMED TO FULFILL ALL THE FUNCTIONS THAT OTHER NATIONS NEEDED A MULTITUDE OF DEITIES FOR. EVERY NATION OUTSIDE OF YISHARAL HAD IDOLS WHO WERE DEITIES BASED IN NATURE AND HAD VARIOUS FUNCTIONS OF THE NATURAL WORLD LIKE RAIN, FIRE, WIND, STORMS, AND FERTILITY. THERE WAS A SUN-GOD, A MOON-GOD, OCEAN-GOD, RIVER-GOD ETC. THE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD IN THAT ERA WAS THAT ONE NOT ONLY HAD TO APPROACH A DEITY WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF A PARTICULAR FUNCTION IN NATURE FOR YOUR NEEDS, BUT THAT EVERY NATION HAD THEIR OWN AND DIFFERENT SET OF DEITIES TO PERFORM THOSE FUNCTIONS.
When you attacked powerful nations, Yahuah made them run away, and no one has ever been able to stand up to you. Any one of you can defeat a thousand enemy soldiers, because Yahuah your Alahim fights for you, just as He promised. So be sure to always love Yahuah your Alahim.
HERE IS THE ANTIDOTE TO ALL THE DANGERS THAT AWAITS YISHARAL IF THEY SHOULD GO ASTRAY: LOVE YAHUSHA. THE RESULT OF OUR DELIVERANCE AND YAHUSHA WRITING A LOVE FOR HIS LIVING WORDS ON OUR CIRCUMCISED HEARTS IS THAT WE LOVE TO LOVE HIM, AND THE RESULT OF OUR LOVING YAHUSHA IS TO BE OBEDIENT TO HIS WORDS. BECAUSE TO YAHUSHA, OBEDIENCE IS THE LOVE LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOUR HE DESIRES FROM HIS TREASURED BRIDE.
Don’t ever turn your backs on Yahuah your Alahim by marrying people from the nations that are left in the land. Don’t even make friends with them. I tell you that if you are friendly with those people, Yahuah won’t chase them away when you attack. Instead, they’ll be like a trap for your feet, a whip on your back, and thorns in your eyes. And finally, none of you will be left in this good land that Yahuah has given you.
IF YISHARAL BEGINS TO DABBLE IN IDOLATRY, TRIES TO BEHAVE LIKE THE OUTSIDE NATIONS AROUND HER (WHO DON’T HAVE YAHUSHA AS THEIR ALAHIM), THEN YAHUSHA WILL NO LONGER SEE THEM AS THE GENERATION THAT HIS PROMISES WILL COME THROUGH, AND HIS REDEMPTION PLAN FOR THEM WILL BE TAKEN BACK. YAHUSHA’S INHERITANCE CAN BE REMOVED AND GIVEN TO ANOTHER MORE OBEDIENT GENERATION. THIS IS A PRINCIPLE THAT, AS FOLLOWERS OF YAHUSHA, WE MUST ALWAYS KEEP FEARFULLY IN THE FOREFRONT OF OUR MINDS AND NEVER GET SO COMFORTABLE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM TO THINK THAT HE WILL NEVER ACT TO PRESERVE HIS SET-APARTNESS AND HIS JUSTICE EVEN IF IT MEANS THE ULTIMATE HARM FOR US.
ROMANS 11 BRS“SO TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YAHUSHA'S KINDNESS AND HIS SHARP SEVERITY: ON THE ONE HAND, SEVERITY TOWARD THOSE WHO WALKED AWAY; BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND, KINDNESS TOWARD YOU, AS LONG AS YOU HANG IN THERE AND OPERATE IN HIS KINDNESS! OTHERWISE YOU’LL BE CUT OFF TOO!”
Everyone I’m about to die, as everyone must. But deep in your hearts you know that Yahuah has kept every promise He ever made to you. Not one of them has been broken. Yes, when Yahuah makes a promise, He does it, and likewise when He makes a threat, He follows through on that too until you’re all destroyed! Yahuah is our Alahim. He gave us this wonderful land and made an Eternal Blood-Covenant of Deliverance with us that we would serve only Him. But if you follow other deities, it will make Yahuah furious and He’ll start getting rid of you, and soon not one of you will be left in this good land that He’s given you.
WHY SHECKHEM & NOT SHILOH ?
AS WE COME INTO CHAPTER 24 JOSHUA NOW GATHERS YISHARAL TOGETHER FOR A PURPOSE THAT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN THE FAREWELL ADDRESS OF CHAPTER 23. THIS MEETING IS ABOUT MAKING A BLOOD-COVENANT RENEWAL WITH YISHARAL. SAME COVENANT, SAME INSTRUCTIONS, SAME ALAHIM, NEW LEADERSHIP COMING.
THIS WHOLE CHAPTER IS HAPPENING AT SHECHEM. REMEMBER GOOD OL SHECKEM? THIS PLACE HAD TREMENDOUS SUPERNATURAL AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR YISHARAL. IT WAS THERE THAT YAHUSHA FIRST PROMISED ABRAHAM THAT THIS WOULD BE THE LAND THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BE INHERITED BY HIS DESCENDANTS (AS MANY AS THE STARS IN THE SKY AND SAND ON THE SEASHORE), MAKING THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE WHOLE PHYSICAL PROCESS OF DELIVERANCE AND REDEMPTION FOR MANKIND, THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY PRODUCE OUR MESSIAH.
JACOB HAD RETURNED TO CANAAN AFTER MORE THAN 2 DECADES IN MESOPOTAMIA WHERE HE LIVED WITH HIS UNCLE LABAN. IN MESOPOTAMIA JACOB MARRIED BOTH OF LABAN’S DAUGHTERS AND ACQUIRED SOME SERVANT-WIVES, AND SO HAD DEVELOPED A SUBSTANTIAL FAMILY OF HIS OWN. UPON LEAVING THE AREA RACHAEL KNICKED-OFF WITH HER FATHER’S IDOLS AND BROUGHT THEM WITH HER TO CANAAN; BUT OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT WITHOUT THEIR IDOLS EITHER. AS JACOB’S FAMILY GREW HE APPARENTLY TOLERATED THEIR DESIRE TO HANG ONTO THEIR FAMILIAR DEITIES.
IT WAS AT SHECHEM THAT JACOB PURCHASED SOME LAND FROM THE KING OF SHECHEM, AND HAD HOPED TO SETTLE DOWN. BUT AFTER A CALAMITOUS EVENT WHEN HIS DAUGHTER, DINAH WAS RAPED BY THE KING OF SHECHEM’S SON; AND THEN LEVI AND SIMEON LED THEIR BROTHERS ON A BARBARIC RAID OF REVENGE UPON THE CITY OF SHECHEM THAT RESULTED IN EVERY LAST ADULT MALE BEING SLAUGHTERED, JACOB REALISED THAT DRASTIC CHANGE WAS NECESSARY. HENCE ALL THE IDOLS AND EARRINGS WERE BURIED.
WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO BURY THE IDOLS BUT WHY DID JACOB’S FAMILY HAVE TO GIVE UP THEIR EARRINGS AS WELL? BECAUSE IT WAS USUAL FOR JEWELLERY TO BE FASHIONED USING SYMBOLS OF THE VARIOUS DEITIES' QUALITIES. DID THEY WORSHIP THEIR EARRINGS? NO. BUT NONETHELESS THEY REPRESENTED SOMETHING FROM THEIR PAST THAT NEEDED TO BE LEFT BEHIND, AND IT WAS DEFINITELY NOT PLEASING TO YAHUSHA, SO THEY HAD TO GO.
SO THERE AT THE SAME SPOT THAT JACOB BURIED THE FALSE IDOLS OF HIS PAST IN ORDER TO MOVE ON TO A NEW LIFE IN YAHUSHA, JOSHUA ORDERED ALL YISHARAL TO PUT AWAY (BURY) WHATEVER FALSE DEITIES THAT REMAINED AMONG THEM SO THAT THEY WOULD FOLLOW ONLY THE ALAHIM OF YISHARAL. NOTICE THE DESCRIPTION OF THE DEITIES THAT WERE TO BE PUT AWAY; IT WAS “THE IDOLS OF YOUR ANCESTORS” FROM BEYOND THE EUPHRATES (IN MESOPOTAMIA). YISHARAL WAS STILL DALLYING IN THE SAME PANTHEON OF IDOLATRY THAT JACOB PERMITTED HIS HOUSEHOLD TO TRANSPORT FROM MESOPOTAMIA SO MANY CENTURIES EARLIER.
AFTER THE EXODUS WHEN YISHARAL FIRST CROSSED THE JORDAN RIVER THEY GATHERED AT SHECHEM (IN THE AREA THAT LAY BETWEEN THE TWO MOUNTAINS OF EBAL AND GERIZIM) AND IT WAS THERE THAT THE BLESSINGS AND CURSES OF THE DIVINE INSTRUCTIONS WERE PRONOUNCED AND MONUMENTS BUILT TO MEMORIALISE YISHARAL’S TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO THE PROMISED LAND.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IT WAS SHILOH THAT WAS THE CURRENT PLACE OF REST FOR THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE AND SERVED AS THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT FOR JOSHUA. THE PRIESTHOOD WAS CENTERED IN SHILOH, THE ARK OF THE BLOOD-COVENANT WITNESS WAS THERE AND THEREFORE THE PORTAL OF YAHUSHA WAS AT SHILOH. WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER PLACE OF COVENANT RENEWAL “BEFORE YAHUSHA” THAN AT HIS SANCTUARY IN SHILOH?
BUT BY MEETING AT SHECHEM INSTEAD OF AT SHILOH IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT A BLOOD-COVENANT BETWEEN YISHARAL AND YAHUSHA WAS MORE THAN JUST A RELIGIOUS MATTER FOR THE PRIESTS TO ADMINISTRATE AND THE COMMON FOLK TO HAVE LITTLE PART IN; IT WAS INSEPARABLE FROM THE SECULAR LIFE OF THE COMMUNITY. THE BLOOD-COVENANT RAISED UP THROUGH MOSES WAS NOT TO BE PRACTICED ONLY DURING THE MOEDIM, APPOINTED TIMES, SCRIPTURAL FEASTS, SHABATHS, NEW MOONS, RITUAL PURIFICATIONS AND SACRIFICES, ALL UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE LEVITES; IT WAS TO BE THE BASIS FOR THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF ALL YAHUSHA’S PEOPLE.
SO A PROPHETIC ERA WAS COMING TO A CLOSE. WHAT HAD BEGUN AT SHECHEM AROUND 700 YEARS EARLIER AT A SIMPLE STONE ALTAR NEXT TO A TEREBINTH TREE AT A SITE THAT HELD NO CITY AND LIKELY NOT EVEN A VILLAGE YET, CAME FULL CIRCLE. ABRAHAM’S PROMISE OF LAND HAD BEEN HELD BY YAHUSHA AND WITH JOSHUA AS THE LEADER, YISHARAL WAS NOW FIRMLY ENTRENCHED IN THAT VERY PROMISED LAND, TERRITORIES HAD BEEN ALLOTTED TO THE 12 TRIBES, THE ENEMY HAD BEEN SUBDUED, DESTROYED OR DRIVEN OUT, A SEMI-PERMANENT LOCATION FOR THE TABERNACLE HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AND YAHUSHA’S PEOPLE WERE AT REST. IN FACT THIS WAS A TIME LIKE NO OTHER IN YISHARAL’S HISTORY. THEIR OBEDIENCE AND DEDICATION TO YAHUSHA WAS AT ITS PEAK, AND SO WERE THEIR BLESSINGS. SADLY THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS WOULD BE VERY SHORT LIVED.
Joshua called the tribes of Yisharal together for a meeting at Shechem and had the leaders, including the elders, judges, and the officials, come up and present themselves to Yahusha. Then Joshua told everyone to listen to this message from Yahusha, the Alahim of Yisharal:
“Long ago your ancestors lived beyond the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other deities. This continued until the time of your ancestor Terah and his two sons, Abraham and Nahor. But I brought Abraham across the Euphrates River and led him through the land of Canaan, blessing him by giving him Isaac, the first in a line of many descendants. Then I gave Isaac two sons, Jacob and Esau and I had Esau live in the hill country of Mount Seir, but your ancestor Jacob and his children went to live in Egypt.
COME OUT FROM AMONG HER !!
ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB WERE MORE ASSOCIATED WITH MESOPOTAMIA BEYOND THE EUPHRATES THAN THEY WERE WITH LANDS TO THE SOUTH. MESOPOTAMIA WAS THE MOTHER LODE OF THE MYSTERY BABYLON MAZZAROTH SYSTEM THAT WAS THE BASIS OF THE CANAANITE WORSHIP SYSTEM. INFACT THEY WERE BASICALLY THE SAME.
WHEN WE RECOUNT THE STORY OF ABRAHAM COMING INTO THE LAND OF CANAAN, AND STOPPING AT SHECHEM TO BOTH BUILD A SIMPLE ALTAR (OBVIOUSLY UPON WHICH TO SACRIFICE) AND TO HEAR YAHUSHA’S PROMISE TO HIM, WE REMEMBER THAT YAHUSHA WAS INTENT THAT ABRAHAM HAD TO LEAVE THE LAND OF HIS OWN ANCESTORS (MESOPOTAMIA) TO GO TO A NEW PLACE THAT YAHUSHA WOULD SHOW HIM. PART OF THE REASON THIS WAS NECESSARY WAS THAT ABRAHAM WAS RAISED UP IN THE PANTHEON OF BABYLONIAN BAAL, ASHERAH, SUN-WORSHIP. HIS OWN FATHER, TERACH, CARVED AND SOLD IMAGES OF THESE DEITIES PRESUMABLY AS HIS MEANS OF MAKING A LIVING. SO ABRAHAM WAS A PAGAN, RAISED UP OUT THE NATIONS AND `CROSSED OVER’ (HEBREW) INTO A NEW UNDERSTANDING AND BEHAVIOUR OF DELIVERANCE.
SO THE FIRST STEP YAHUSHA TOOK TO DE-PAGANISE ABRAHAM WAS TO REMOVE HIM FROM HIS LAND. TO GET HIM AWAY FROM THE IDOLATRY THAT WAS EMBEDDED THERE. NOW THIS SAME SYSTEM WAS ALSO IN CANAAN, WHERE HE WENT. BUT ABRAHAM KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT THAT AND DIDN’T ENTIRELY KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. HERE’S WHAT ABRAHAM (AND EVERY OTHER HUMAN ALIVE IN THE MIDDLE EAST) KNEW ABOUT DEITIES: THEY WERE TERRITORIAL AND THERE WERE A LOT OF THEM. THIS WAS NOT SOMETHING ONE QUESTIONED; IT WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT CERTAIN DEITIES OCCUPIED AND RULED OVER SPECIFIC TERRITORIES AND NATIONS. THIS IS NOT A THING THAT YAHUSHA COULD HAVE EVER SIMPLY EXPLAINED TO ABRAHAM TO IMMEDIATELY MAKE HIM UNDERSTAND.
IT JUST WOULDN’T OF COMPUTED FOR ABRAHAM. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BELIEVING SOMETHING, IT’S ABOUT COMPREHENDING IT TOO. ABRAHAM BELIEVED YAHUSHA, AND IT COUNTED FOR HIM AS OBEDIENT AND PURITY BEFORE YAHUSHA. BUT HE COMPREHENDED YAHUSHA IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS LIFE AND OF THE WORLD AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTED. THE CONCEPT OF ONE ALAHIM WOULD HAVE BEEN BEYOND CRAZY. ONE ALAHIM? FOR THE WHOLE WORLD? GET OUTTA HERE!
THIS REVELATION OF JUST WHO YAHUSHA IS HAD TO BE PROGRESSIVE REVEALED (JUST LIKE TODAY MANY STILL CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THE FATHER & SON ARE ONE). IT IS ESSENTIALLY A NOTION THAT YAHUSHA IS TAKING MANKIND ON A JOURNEY AND THAT IT HAS A VERY DEFINITE PATH, WITH EXPLICIT MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY AT WHICH POINT NEW INFORMATION IS GIVEN. THERE IS NO SKIPPING OF MILESTONES AND THERE IS NO FAST FORWARDING. MANKIND HAD TO GO THROUGH A PROGRESSION OF GAINING KNOWLEDGE IN A CERTAIN WAY, IN A CERTAIN ORDER, AT A CERTAIN SPEED SO THAT THEY COULD COMPREHEND WHAT IT IS THAT YAHUSHA WAS DOING AND JUST WHO HE IS.
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION DOESN’T REFLECT YAHUSHA’S NATURE, IT’S MERELY BECAUSE THE DELICATE FABRIC OF MANKIND’S NATURE REQUIRES IT. IT WOULD TAKE CENTURIES OF BABY-STEPS FOR ABRAHAM AND THEN HIS DESCENDANTS TO GET TO A POINT WHERE THE CONCEPT OF THERE BEING ONLY ONE ALAHIM IN ALL EXISTENCE, WHO WAS NOT AT ALL A PART OF THE UNIVERSALLY KNOWN AND ACCEPTED `PANTHEON OF GODS’ SYSTEM THAT MEN HAD CREATED, COULD BE UNDERSTOOD.
AND SO FOR THIS REASON WE’VE SEEN YAHUSHA USE WHAT IS ALREADY IN EXISTENCE FOR HIS OWN PURPOSES. HE’LL USE EXISTING CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS BORNE BY EXISTING CULTURES AND SOCIETIES AND GIVE THEM A NEW MEANING. HE DID EXACTLY THAT WHEN HE INTRODUCED HIMSELF TO ALL THE PATRIARCHS AS YAHUAH EL SHADDAI (ALAHIM OF THE MOUTAIN). HE ALLOWED THESE EARLIEST GENERATIONS OF HEBREWS TO GO AHEAD AND RETAIN A SORT OF MENTAL PICTURE OF HIM IN THE SAME LIGHT AS THE WELL-UNDERSTOOD DEITIES OF THE CANAANITES. HE WAS THE ALAHIM OF THE MOUNTAIN.
INFACT THE WHOLE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM (IN LEV) LEANS ON THE VISUAL CONCEPT OF YAHUSHA BEING UP IN THE SKY SOMEWHERE TO RECEIVE THE SMOKE FROM THE OFFERINGS. YAHUSHA ALLOWED THIS AND MET MANKIND WHERE THEY WERE AT IN ORDER TO EDUCATE THEM IN WHO HE IS.
SO WITH THIS POLYTHEISM UNDERSTANDING OF YISHARAL, WE SEE THAT WHEN THEY LEFT EGYPT THEY REALLY HAD NO PROBLEM WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF ENCOUNTERING A NEW ALAHIM AT MT. SINAI (WHICH WASN’T IN CANAAN OR EGYPT), AFTER ALL THEY WERE IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TERRITORY THAN THEY HAD EVER BEEN BEFORE. SO WHEN YAHUSHA REMINDED THEM OF HIS NAME, IT WAS (TO THE HEBREWS’ WAY OF THINKING) THAT THIS WAS THE NAME OF THE ALAHIM WHO WAS THE SUPREME RULER OVER THE TERRITORY THEY HAD JOURNEYED TO WHEN THEY LEFT EGYPT. THE ONLY REAL PROBLEM THEY HAD WAS GRASPING THAT THIS ALAHIM OF MT. SINAI WAS THE SAME AS THE ONE WHO HAD WORKED SUCH POWERFUL MIRACLES IN EGYPT! I MEAN, THAT BROKE ALL THE KNOWN RULES CONCERNING HOW DEITIES OPERATED. AND SO WE FIND YAHUSHA SAYING OVER AND OVER IN HIS INSTRUCTIONS, “I AM YAHUAH, THE ALAHIM WHO LED YOU OUT OF EGYPT”. HE WAS EMPHASISING THAT EVEN THOUGH IT WENT AGAINST EVERYTHING THEY THOUGHT THEY KNEW ABOUT DEITIES, HE INFACT OPERATED WITHOUT TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES, LIMITATIONS, OR MAN-MADE RESTRICTIONS.
BACK TO JOSHUA AT SHECHEM. THE WARNINGS FROM YAHUSHA AGAINST YISHARAL INVOLVING THEMSELVES IN ANY WAY WITH THESE MYSTERY BABYLONIAN DEITIES INCREASED (WHERE BEFORE SUCH AN ASSOCIATION WAS TOLERATED TO A DEGREE), AND THE THREATS IF THEY IGNORED HIS DEMANDS ALSO INCREASED. THE NEW GENERATION OF HEBREW RESIDENTS HAD NOT MOVED INTO CANAAN WHERE THE CANAANITE DEITIES RULED! NO WAY! THEY MOVED INTO A LAND RULED BY YAHUSHA AND HE DESPISED THE CANAANITE IDOLATRY. (PROGRESSIVE REVELATION OF WHO HE IS).
THE PEOPLE OF YISHARAL WERE THAT GENERATION THAT HAD REACHED THE NEXT MILESTONE ALONG THE EXTENDED JOURNEY OF YAHUSHA’S PLAN OF DELIVERANCE, AND SO THEY COULD NOW BETTER UNDERSTAND JUST WHO YAHUSHA WAS; AND JUST AS IMPORTANT, WHO HE WAS NOT! HE WAS, WITHOUT A DOUBT, NOT A CANAANITE OR BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION !!
Later I sent Moses and his brother Aaron to help your people, and I made all those horrible things happen to the Egyptians. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, but the Egyptians got in their chariots and on their horses and chased your ancestors, catching up with them at the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds). Your people cried to Me for help, so I put a dark cloud between them and the Egyptians. Then I opened up the sea and let your people walk across on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, I made the sea swallow them, and they drowned while you watched.
INTERESTINGLY WHEN YISHARAL WAS IN EGYPT MOST HEBREWS DIDN’T BELIEVE THEIR ALAHIM WAS WITH THEM; THAT IS ONE REASON THEY LOST HOPE. DEITIES WERE TERRITORIAL, SO HOW COULD HE POSSIBLY BE WITH THEM WHEN HE RULES OVER CANAAN? THUS THEY HAD NO ALAHIM TO HELP THEM WHEN THEY WERE IN EGYPT, YET IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT, “WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO”. YOU’RE IN EGYPT, WORSHIP THE EGYPTIAN DEITIES. THEY MAY NOT DO A LOT FOR YOU, BUT AT THE SAME TIME YOU DON’T WANT TO AROUSE THEIR ANGER AGAINST YOU. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT JACOB HOPED SO FERVENTLY THAT HE AND HIS SONS AND THEIR FAMILIES COULD GET BACK TO CANAAN, WAS SO THEY COULD GET BACK TO THEIR ALAHIM, YAHUAH AL SHADDAI, WHO PRESIDED OVER CANAAN. IN FACT, ONLY FOR THE EXCITEMENT TO SEE HIS SON JOSEPH ALIVE AGAIN, JACOB WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT AT ALL, AND WAS STILL VERY NERVOUS TO DO SO, WHICH IS WHY WE SAW YAHUSHA APPEAR TO HIM AT BEERSHEBA ON THE WAY TO EGYPT TO ENCOURAGE HIM: “I am the Alahim of your father, remember? Don’t stress or be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I have prepared a very special place for all of your family and they will become a great nation. I Myself am going down with you to Egypt, and I Myself will bring you back out again to this Promised Land. You will die in Egypt, but your eyes will finally get to see your darling son again.”
THE NAME OF YOUR ALAHIM MEANT EVERYTHING AND YISHARAL HAD FORGOT THEIRS. SO WITH MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH, A NEW MILESTONE ALONG THE JOURNEY HAD BEEN REACHED. IT WAS TIME FOR MORE INFORMATION TO BE ADDED BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WERE READY FOR IT. AND IT BEGAN BY REMINDING THEM OF HIS NAME ! WHICH STARTED THIS WHOLE REVOLUTIONARY IDEA THAT YAHUSHA CANNOT BE COMPARED TO ANY OTHER PAGAN DEITY MADE BY HANDS.
You lived in the desert for a long time, then I brought you into the land east of the Jordan River. The Amorites were living there, and they fought you. But with My help, you defeated them, wiped them out, and took their land. King Balak decided that his nation Moab would go to war against you, so he asked Balaam to come and put a curse on you, but I wouldn’t listen to Balaam, and I rescued you by making him bless you instead of curse you.
UNLIKE THE PAGAN PROPHETS WHO MANIPULATED THEIR DEITIES ON BEHALF OF MEN, THE TRUE PROPHET SIMPLY TAKES ORDERS FROM YAHUSHA AND CARRIES THEM OUT. YAHUSHA IS UNIMPRESSED WITH THE WANTS OF PROPHETS AND CANNOT BE BOXED IN. YAHUSHA DOES NOT LISTEN AND OBEY PROPHETS; HE DIRECTS THEIR ACTIONS AND WORDS. YAHUSHA CAN EVEN TURN A CURSE FROM THE ENEMY, INTENDED TO HARM HIS PEOPLE, INTO A BLESSING.
Then you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, where its rulers fought you, and so did the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And I helped you defeat them all. Your enemies ran from you, but not because you had swords and bows and arrows, but because I made your enemies panic and run away, as I’d done with the two Amorite Kings east of the Jordan River. You didn’t have to work for this land - I gave it to you! Now you live in towns you didn’t build, and you eat grapes and olives from vineyards and trees you didn’t plant”.
Then Joshua told the people: "Fear Yahuah, obey Him, and serve Him in perfection and truth. Get rid of the idols your ancestors served when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. TODAY IS THE DAY TO MAKE UP YOUR MINDS. If you think it’s evil or ridiculous to serve Yahuah then don’t, but make up your mind and choose right now, today! Sowing obedience will reap life, and sowing disobedience will reap death! TODAY YOU MUST CHOOSE, LIFE OR DEATH? You wanna go back and serve the same idols your ancestors did? Or maybe you’ll worship the idols of the Amorites, since you’re now living in their land aparantly? Is that what you want? As far as I’m concerned they can all get stuffed! I won’t be giving them a second thought . . . as for me and my house, we will serve only Yahuah!”
Then the people answered: “We would never stop worshiping Yahuah for He is our Alahim. We were slaves in Egypt as our ancestors had been, but we saw Yahuah work miracles to set our people free and to bring us out of Egypt. Even though other nations were all around us, Yahuah protected us wherever we went. And when we fought the Amorites and the other nations that lived in this land, Yahuah made them run away. Yes, we will serve Yahuah, because He’s our Alahim”.
WHAT IS TROUBLING IS WHAT THEY DID NOT SAY. THEY DID NOT SAY THAT THEY WOULD TURN AWAY FROM FOREIGN IDOLS. THEY DID NOT AGREE TO BURY (SO TO SPEAK) THEIR IDOLS AND BE RID OF THEM. RATHER THEY ONLY AGREED NOT TO ABANDON YAHUSHA IN FAVOR OF OTHER DEITIES. IN THEIR MINDS THIS MEAN THEY COULD HAVE OTHER DEITIES AS LONG AS THEY ALSO CONTINUED TO WORSHIP YAHUSHA AS WELL. AND HERE IS THE PROBLEM THAT YISHARAL HAS FACED FOR THE ENTIRE TERM OF EXISTENCE, AND HERE IS THE PROBLEM FOR WHICH THEY HAVE SUFFERED AT YAHUSHA’S HAND GREATLY. NOW ENTER THE 21st CENTURY AND REBRANDED AND REPACKAGED IDOLATRY IS STILL RUNNING RAMPANT AND MANKIND (EVEN HALF OF THE BRIDE) STILL THINKS THEY CAN PARTAKE OF BOTH !!!
Joshua said: “Seriously? You guys don’t serve Yahuah, you don’t even try too! He’s a mighty, set-apart Alahim and extremely jealous. He sees everything you’re doing and doesn’t put up with your perverted wickedness. If you continue to ignore Him and disobey His Instructions by worshipping your sneaky little pathetic idols, He will completely drive you out of this promised land of inheritance and consume you all. Even after orchestrating such wonders and goodness to deliver you and give you this land”.
But the people shouted, “No we do serve Yahuah, seriously we do, we do! We obey Him!”
And Joshua said, “Ok, well you're all standing here today as your own witness, of what you yourselves are declaring with your own mouths, stating that you serve and obey Yahuah. Isn’t that true?”
“Yes, it’s true,” they answered.
“Well that’s all well and good”, Joshua said, “But I know for a fact that many of you still have strange deities from the nations that you still bow down and serve. Seriously? Get rid of your idols! You must decide once and for all that you want to incline your heart towards Yahuah the Alahim of Yisharal and serve only Him.”
“Yahuah is the Alahim that we serve, and we obey His voice,” the people said.
So Joshua established a Blood-Covenant renewal between Yahusha and Yisharal that day at Shechem and once again raised up the Divine Instructions for them to live by, writing them down in the book of the Instructions of Yahusha. Then he set up a large stone under the oak tree at the set-apart place of Yahusha in Shechem, and told the people, “Look at this stone. It has heard everything that Yahuah has said to us. So our Alahim can call this stone as a witness if we ever reject Him.”
Then Joshua sent everyone back to their lands of inheritance.
THE DEATH OF JOSHUA
Not long afterwards, Yahusha’s servant Joshua died at the age of one hundred and ten years old and the Yisharalites buried him in his own land at Timnath-Serah, north of Mount Gaash in the hill country of Ephraim. And as long as Joshua had lived, Yisharal served and obeyed Yahusha. There were other leaders old enough to remember everything that Yahusha had done for Yisharal and for as long as these men lived also, Yisharal continued to listen to the voice of Yahusha their Alahim and obey Him.
WE FIND A VERY SIGNIFICANT HONOUR BESTOWED UPON JOSHAU AT HIS DEATH THAT HAD NOT BEEN GIVEN TO HIM DURING HIS LIFE; HE WAS CALLED A SERVANT OF YAHUSHA. THIS WAS A TITLE THAT BELONGED SUPREMELY TO MOSES AND IT IS A RARE ONE. WHEN JOSHUA WAS MOSES’ ASSISTANT AND WHEN HE FINALLY TOOK OVER THE LEADERSHIP ROLE OF YISHARAL UPON MOSES’ DEATH, JOSHUA WAS GIVEN THE TITLE OF THE SERVANT OF MOSES. BUT NOW AT HIS DEATH, THE TITLE "SERVANT OF YAHUSHA" HAS TRANSFERRED TO JOSHUA.
THE INFLUENCE OF JOSHUA UPON YISHARAL WAS ENORMOUS. HIS EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP IS UNMATCHED IN THE ANCIENT SCRIPTURES. IN REALITY THE LATER STORY OF KING SOLOMON IS THE STORY OF AN ANTI-JOSHUA, AN EXAMPLE OF THE WORST KIND OF LEADERSHIP. JOSHUA POURED HIS LIFE OUT INTO HIS PEOPLE AND INTO PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS. THE PASSAGE HERE MAKES IT CLEAR THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS DEATH YISHARAL WAS WELL-GOVERNED BY MANY OF THOSE JOSHUA HAD MENTORED AND AS A RESULT YISHARAL SERVED YAHUSHA (FOR A TIME) IN A MANNER THAT SEEMS TO HAVE PLEASED HIM.
On a separate note, remember when the people of Yisharal left Egypt, they brought the bones of Joseph along with them? Well they buryied them in the field at Sheckem that Jacob had bought for one hundred pieces of silver, from Hamor, the founder of Shechem. The town and the field both became part of the land belonging to the descendants of Joseph. THIS DETAIL IS ADDED HERE NOT BECAUSE JOSEPH WAS BURIED AT THE SAME TIME JOSHUA DIED, BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS YISHARAL DID WHEN ENTERING CANAAN. IT'S JUST ADDED BY THE AUTHOR AT THIS POINT BECAUSE IT IS . . . HE'S OBVIOUSLY WRAPPING UP HIS THOUGHTS AND HADN'T MENTIONED IT EARLIER.
And when Eleazar the priest died, he was buried in the hill country of Ephraim on a hill that belonged to his son Phinehas.
AFTER JOSHUA DIED THE CURRENT HIGH PRIEST, ELEAZAR, PASSED AWAY (AND WE DON’T KNOW EXACTLY HOW LONG AFTER JOSHUA ELEAZAR DIED) AND PHINEHAS WAS NOW THE NEW HIGH PRIEST OF YISHARAL. IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR US TO CLOSE THE BOOK ON THIS GOLDEN ERA OF CONQUEST AND OBEDIENCE OF YAHUSHA’S PEOPLE ON THIS NOTE, BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE BOTH THE MILITARY LEADER AND THE PRIESTLY LEADERS OF THE CONQUEST ERA IN THEIR GRAVES.
THE NEXT HISTORICAL ERA OF YISHARAL IS, UNFORTUNATELY, NOT SO GLORIOUS AS THE ONE THAT JUST ENDED. IT IS CALLED THE ERA OF THE JUDGES OR SHOFETIM, AND THERE WAS NO JOSHUA-LIKE FIGURE TO GUIDE YISHARAL. THE PRIESTHOOD WAS SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION IN THAT MATTER TO A DEGREE, AND EACH TRIBAL LEADER WAS TO EMULATE JOSHUA BUT THEY DID NOT. RATHER EACH DID WHAT WAS BEST IN THEIR OWN EYES AND YISHARAL WOULD PAY A TERRIBLE PRICE FOR IT.
SO STAY TUNED . . .
"Take heed that no one leads you astray. For many shall come in My Name, saying, 'I AM THE MESSIAH,' and they shall lead many astray. And you shall begin to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not troubled,for these have to take place, but the end is not yet. For ethnicity shall rise against ethnicity, and reign against reign. And there shall be scarcities of food, and deadly diseases, and earthquakes in places.
And all these are the beginning of birth pains. And then many shall stumble, and they shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray. And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be delivered. And this Besorah of the reign shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all nations. AND THEN THE END SHALL COME.
WHEN WE SEE THE ABOMINATION THAT LAYS WASTE IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN, THERE SHALL BE GREAT DISTRESS, SUCH AS HAD NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD UNTIL THIS TIME, NO, NOR EVER SHALL BE. DON'T BELIEVE IN FALSE MESSIAHS, FALSE MESSIAHS AND PROPHETS SHALL ARISE DOING GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS, YAHUSHA HAS FOREWARNED US OF ALL THIS.
"And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give it's light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the universe shall be shaken. Then Yahusha shall appear in the heaven, the tribes of the earth shall mourn at the coming of Yahusha on the clouds with great power and esteem. And His messengers shall gather His chosen ones from the earth. Yahusha said, "When you see the fig tree put forth branches and leaves, you know summer is near, likewise when you see these things happening, know that He is near at the doors. Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall remain."
"As the days of Noah, so also shall coming of Yahusha be. As they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until l the day Noah entered the ark, and they didn't know till the flood came and took them away, so it will be when Yahusha returns. Watch then, for the signs for no one knows when the Master shall return".
ACCORDING TO THE SIGNS, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU STAND IN RELATION TO HIS COMING?
ARE YOU A WISE OR UNWISE VIRGIN?
DO YOU SEE ANY OF THESE SIGNS IN THE WORLD?
HAVE YOUR FRUITS MATURED READY FOR HARVEST. HAVE YOU OVERCOME THE OLD BEHAVIOUR OF THIS WORLD?
ARE YOU IN RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHUSHA THROUGH YOUR PORTAL?