Home Menu

God’s Forecasts Always Come True

When you were a kid, did the local theater show previews of the next week’s movies? "Man! I’m gonna see that one, aren’t you?" I can remember counting the days until a certain film finally arrived at the old Victory Theater in Poteau. No wonder we called them teasers.

God is into teasers, too, only we identify them as typology (a symbol of something yet in the future) . I got excited recently when a brother shared some typological nuggets the Lord had given him. I immediately dug into my Bible to pan all the other gold I could from his strike. And I wanted to share his and my treasure with you.

You know that in this typology, Egypt represents the world, Pharaoh as the devil, Israel as God’s people, and the crossing of the Red Sea as our call out of bondage.

"Ever wondered why Moses was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when he died (Deut. 34:7)?" my friend asked. It’s because Moses represents the Law, and it hasn’t weakened one whit. Although Law called you to holiness without which no man can see God, you could not accomplish its demands. But Christ could and did for you. "The temple of God is holy and that is what you are" (1 Cor. 3:17).

Considering this: the Jordan River represents Adam’s lineage of death; crossing it is never a portrayal of dying and going to heaven. Jesus’ baptism in this river is a typology of His becoming identified with you, a doomed descendant of Adam, culminating in His death on the cross as your substitute. Your baptism is a testimony that your rebellious Adamic nature died in Christ. Jesus’ emergence from the water is a type of His resurrection. Your emergence from the water was a portrayal of your spiritual birth in the second Adam. The entire procedure is a drama. A powerful message of the death of the Christian’s old nature and the birth of his new godly nature is conveyed if the person baptizing the Believer explains this typology during the ceremony. Too often the passage describing this from Rom. 6:4 is rattled off so rapidly (and in Shakespearian grammar) that it becomes meaningless liturgy for the audience, let alone for the new Believer.

In Hebrew, Joshua means Jehovah is salvation; the Greek equivalent is Jesus. The Jordan River represents a barrier between Israel and God’s rest. Only Joshua, the typological Christ, could take Israel through the barrier into God’s rest (Canaan). Moses, who represents the Law, never made it. Canaan is a type of walking in the Spirit (experiencing Christ not only as Savior and Lord, but as life). It can’t be heaven because there is war in Canaan. But, the people do not do the fighting; God does it for them. His rest for you is the Holy Spirit doing the living for you, through you. Do you live in Canaan? You can…but you’ve got to cross the river to get there, friend.

The Holy Spirit motivated Israel to thirst for change by leading them in circles for 40 years until they burned out on meaningless activity. That is a typology of the only way most of us will ever be broken from trusting in self-sufficiency. Each Christian who desires an intimate walk with Christ must come to the end of trusting in his ability to live life. Can you identify with Israel’s feelings of emptiness as you look back over your life? Have you yet cried out to God that there must be more than you are experiencing? Israel’s wilderness wandering is a typology of the hum-drum life of going to bed so you can sleep so you can get up and go to the plant where you screw a nut on a bolt all day so you make money so you can eat and watch TV and when you finally get the kids down, you fall into bed exhausted so you can sleep so you can get up and go to the plant…and then you retire…and finally you die. That life will motivate you to yearn for the "much more" of Rom. 5:5b: "Much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. The first part of this verse refers to Christ’s death by which we are guaranteed heaven; but the last part speaks of His life, by which you face Monday morning on earth. Are you letting Christ face your Mondays for you?

The Jordan was a roaring flood, impossible to cross, when Joshua was told to prepare an estimated 1,500,000 Jews to cross over. For three days (3:2) they stared at it, believing they were as good as dead. This is a type of Jesus’ experience and what you must experience in your pilgrimage. Jesus challenges, "Take up your cross and follow Me." There are two crosses in the Bible, Jesus’ and yours. You don’t skip across the river wearing a grin into God’s rest; with shaking knees and heartfelt sincerity you make the decision to claim your own death in Christ on His cross. Heretofore, you’ve been in control. Now you’re abandoning all rights into Christ’s control. That’s a sobering proposition and one that takes guts to follow through on! Christians aren’t exactly lining up to die.

"And when…the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water…the waters stood and rose up in one heap a great distance away at Adam, the city…and those which were flowing down toward the [Dead Sea] were completely cut off" (3:15-16).

Continuing with our typology, the Jordan flowing from the city of Adam to the Dead Sea is a type of Adam’s lineage, which rushes to eternal death. The priests carrying the ark into the raging flood are a type of Christ who intersected Adam’s "life" for you and utterly stopped it at its source, Adam, "a great distance way" (i.e., 2000 years ago at Calvary). This is a typology of the death of your old Adamic nature in Christ. Jesus gave you not only salvation in heaven, but new life, (His life) on earth. Your life no longer flows from the rebellious source, Adam, but from the obedient Source, Christ, the Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45). Christ’s life was not added to your old life; yours died and you were given Christ as life.

"Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests…were standing, and they are there to this day" (4:9) . This is a typology of what Jesus accomplished for you. The twelve stones represent all Israel, all Believers, and you as you came to Christ. Note: Jesus (or Joshua in typology) did not gather the stone from Canaan, but from Adam’s lineage (the riverbed). They were summarily buried in the river (death, Christ’s tomb)"and they are there to this day"! This is a typology of what happened to your old identity through Christ! You can readily see that this contradicts traditional religion’s posture that Christians have two natures. O.T. typology is always consistent with the New Testament which indeed refutes the idea of the old man’s coming back from the dead. Old men find that impossible!

And look at this: "…The Lord said, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from…the middle of the Jordan, from…where the priests’ feet are standing firm…and lay them down…where you will lodge tonight.’ " (4:1-3). These stones differ from the ones which were buried in the watery grave. These stones came from the point where Christ (the priests in typology) intersected Adam’s lineage; they represent the birth of the new man in the Second Adam, a typology of your new identity in Christ. And these stones belong in "the lodging place," God’s rest. But notice that you must take up the initiative to enter God’s rest ("Take up for yourselves"). The new man was not created for the humdrum meaningless wanderings of Adam’s lineage, but for resting in Christ.

Meanwhile, "When…the soles of the priest’s feet…were lifted up to [God’s rest]…the waters…went over all [the] banks as before" (4:18) . The Jordan resumed its rush to the Dead Sea. This is a typology of the billions who are being swept along toward the eternal death in Adam believing they are alive, but who are in fact dead (Eph. 2:1). Christ’s longing is that they may sense Him in you, hear Him through your lips, see Him through your agape lifestyle toward them, be drawn to Him through your witness, and join the praising throng who have surrendered to His Lordship.

Although the world’s teasers may lead to disenchantment with the products they advertise, God’s typology will never disappoint us. In fact, His typology is always but an inferior facsimile. The Real Thing, which He foreshadows in Joshua, is Jesus and His finished work for you. My prayer is that this article will put yet another teaser into your hands with which to refute the devil’s arguments that keep so many of your Christian friends "earthbound."

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.