Taking the Land

Taking the Land

“And you shall take possession of the land* (see note)
and settle in it, for I have given the land
to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

Our apprehension of God’s Word is by degrees; its sphere of influence grows as we yield to its dominion. Our ability to impact the lives of others will be to the degree to which our own heart has been impacted. The work of truth starts within our own hearts. Its power must be felt within our own lives before we can effectively move in ministration into the lives around us. God’s purpose is that by His Spirit, His Truth and the Life of the Son we begin to take possession of our own hearts.

“In your patience possess ye your souls”
Luke 21:19

There is a warfare, a battle of extreme proportions within our own being. The enemies are real and they are more powerful than we. It is in the crucible of our own victories whereby we minister grace and power into the lives of others. The land within must be taken; the enemies of self-will, self-determination and self-seeking must be conquered by the operation of His Spirit within. The lessons learned from these battles equip us to understand the struggles of those around us. We discover patience, mercy and wisdom from our own frailties.

King David fought his own battles hidden far and away from the sight of others. These were his preparation for Israel’s Goliath. Had David not had victory over the lion and the bear he would not have had the faith and fortitude to face Goliath. His personal battles prepared him for Israel’s foes. It is no different today. The land of our hearts must be conquered if we would be vessels of honor unto Him. The battle must be fought with spiritual weapons not carnal ones. It is something we learn.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teaches my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

The first step is knowing that the “Lord is our strength”. Just like Peter, it will not take long to discover the unreliability of our own resolve. Let us take courage even in our defeats for, as Peter, we have a “High Priest” who is ever interceding on our behalf.

“For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify
the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

The Life of Christ is found and experienced on the battlegrounds of our own heart! His Life must be individually apprehended by the personal pursuit of every believer. The Apostle beckons us to

“work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling”
Philippians 2:12

No one else can work this out for you. Just as Jesus must be our personal Saviour so also is our ongoing relationship with Him. The Prize is attained individually as is the reward.

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the hidden manna.
I will also give him (individually)
a white stone inscribed with a new name,

known only to the one who receives it”
Revelation 2:17

It is in these things that we become partakers of His Victory. We are to overcome even as He overcame.

“To him that overcomes
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

The validity of His Life working in us is expressed in victory over the enemies of our hearts.

“Who is he that overcomes the world,
but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:5

There can be no victory without the struggle; there can be no Crown without the Victory.

It takes fortitude, grace, hope, holy determination and the Lord as our strength. Let us not grow weary or faint-hearted for greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world!

*Note: Within the New Testament understanding the Promised Land represented a life that can be entered into here in this life. It is not a representation of Heaven but a life which is to be “entered into” in the here and now.

“Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Do not be stubborn like those who rebelled. Who were they who heard God and rebelled? All who came out of Egypt with Moses rebelled. With whom was he disgusted for forty years? He was disgusted and angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. Who did God swear would never enter his rest? He was talking about those who did not obey him. We see that they could not enter in on account of a lack of faith (unbelief) (disobedience). While the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear that one of you might come up short and not enter. Indeed, we have had good news presented to us. They also had it. But the word that was heard did not benefit them because they were not united in faith by what was heard (Hebrews 3:15 – 4:2)

The above declaration by the Holy Spirit defines a people who by faith came out of Egypt (salvation from the world) but failed to enter into the land of promise because of unbelief (disobedience); the good news of their day was not apprehended. So too, in the New Testament understanding, we are to enter in on the basis of a living faith (obedience). The exhortation to those who know of His salvation is to GO ON into the fullness of His life within. It is by faith we drive out the enemies of deceit, lying, lust, envy, jealously and all the other works of the flesh; for they who do these things shall not enter the kingdom of God.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21)

The exhortation to God’s people (who have already tasted of God’s gracious deliverance from the world) is one of going on into His fullness. Anything else is falling short of His purposes in Christ.

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,
lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”
Hebrews 4:11

God has given us this land, past tense, even as the land had been given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, there came a time when His people had to possess it by entering in and driving out the enemies who inhabited it.

“for I have given the land to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

The promises of God in Christ have been given to those who by faith have overcome the enemies within and the world without. To them alone are his promises fulfilled.

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
Revelation 2:7

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”
Revelation 2:11

The “gospel” of today preaches the promises without the overcoming. It tells His people they have already entered into the Kingdom of God while living and abiding in the “works of the flesh”. It is a solemn day and we must avail ourselves of His power to live above and beyond our own resources. The faith of God has caused us to find in HIM all the enablement to overcome and possess our possessions in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

PSALM 25 – ALEPH –

PSALM 25

ALEPH PART FOUR

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

ALEPH.* In this Acrostic Psalm (see Part Two) David is setting forth the posture of one who through the experiences of life has come to a place of total reliance upon his God for the keeping of his soul. Gone are the self-reliance and the zeal of his youth. The aged man has now learned the value and the truth of the Lord as his shepherd. The fickle soul of man must ever be lifted up unto God for safe-keeping. The purpose of all our experiences in life brings us to the ALEPH of God; He is the Saviour and the Keeper of our very lives. These are more than mere words and must be accompanied by brokenness of spirit and gratitude of heart. This is not something uttered in a special moment of prayer but the very position from which His elect face the reality of life. It is here that the truth of Him makes the deep and lasting impressions of grace; a grace which has wrought upon an individual the need to abide and trust in God alone.

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul” is the cry of the human heart reaching out unto Him who alone is worthy and able to satisfy the desire of every man. It may be the faint whisper of one weighed down with the afflictions and circumstances of life or the sigh of the weary seeking rest. His throne is one of grace for us to find the succor of God in time of need. Grace and power flow from the heart of the One who so loved us that He offered Himself in our stead to be our answer for the sin, the rebellion and the ignorance of our utter hopelessness. The lifting up of our soul unto Him is the revelation of a faith rooted and grounded in the knowledge that He hears us and cares for us. As children we have placed our well-being in the hands of men, our beliefs or our own strengths but with the passing of time we are brought to the power of this one truth: “Unto Thee, O Lord”. The journey into Him has brought us through the disappointment of trusting in other things and especially trusting in ourselves. As a child “weaned from his mother” (Ps. 131:2) so are we weaned from our dependency upon other things.

This is the ALEPH of our deportment of life in God. Through the mountain top experiences and down to the dark and dreary days of discouragement the pilgrim of faith has been brought to this abiding temperament of heart…

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

NOTES ON PSALM 25

PSALM 25 is an Acrostic Psalm where each verse begins with an orderly sequence of the Hebrew Alphabet (Verse One Starts with the letter ALEPH)

*ALEPH: Historically Aleph means oxen; thousand; teaching; master…Divinity ‘Master of the universe.’ The Divine ‘One’ revealing Himself throughout the plurality of Creation. It is the first of all the Hebrew letters and is the representation of God’s Oneness and Power. **ALEPH is a unified graphic depiction of Him in relation to His Work, His Power and His Relationship to creation. Its upper right section consists of the Hebrew letter yod, the first letter in the Name of God (YHWH). A second yod in the Aleph’s lower left segment implies the Creator with and in His creation. The central diagonal connecting column is the vau, a Hebrew letter signifying transformation and change. Aleph thus reveals God’s primary intention of bringing forth man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26) whereas creation is merely the beginning of His work and purpose. The design of this letter communicates Him as the Father/Creator of all things with the intent to bring about the wonder of transformation and change via relationship in and through the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

ALEPH is revealed in Ezekiel’s vision of the four living creatures as the Ox which imparts to us the sacrificial nature of the heart of Jesus our Saviour. These four faces as seen by Ezekiel reveal His Character in the beauty and wonder of the Son. Ezekiel’s setting forth of these four living creatures is one as having the appearance of a man. There is only One in heaven whom God is interested in revealing and honoring: The Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

“Also out of the midst thereof
came the likeness of four living creatures.
And this was their appearance;
they had the likeness of a man”
Ezekiel 1:5

Jesus in His discourse with the religious men of His day declared,

“Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me”
John 5:39

The four-fold Gospel of Jesus bears witness to these faces.

Matthew ——————– Lion
Mark ———————– Ox
Luke ———————– Man
John ———————– Eagle
(To be addressed in a later writing.)

**“The original pictograph for this letter is a picture of an ox head (ox head did not paste) representing strength and power from the work performed by the animal. This pictograph also represents a chief or other leader. When two oxen are yoked together for pulling a wagon or plow, the older and more experienced one leads the other. Within the clan, tribe or family the chief or father is seen as the elder who is yoked *** to the others as the leader and teacher.

The Modern name for this letter is aleph and corresponds to the Greek name alpha and the Arabic name aleph. The various meanings of this root are oxen, yoke and learn. Each of these meanings is related to the meanings of the pictograph . The root (אלף) is an adopted root from the parent root אל (el), written as in the original script, meaning, strength, power and chief and is the probable original name of the pictograph .” (The Hebrew Alphabet by Jeff A. Benner) http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/alphabet_letters_aleph.html

*** It is in this understanding of the yoke represented by this letter where we are afforded the beauty of Jesus’ invitation to us “to take His yoke” upon us (Matthew 11:29). It is in our being “yoked” with Him that we come to know His Ways and His Heart. Change can only be wrought in us via relationship with Him. While the religious desire intellectual knowledge (as revealed in Eve reaching for the “tree of knowledge”) the true in heart know that it is only in us partaking of the “Tree of Life” that His Life becomes ours.

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions from the following sources:

Alfred Jones, “Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names”
Jeff A. Benner “The Hebrew Alphabet”
Hebrew Today website
Aleph – Wikpedia website
Andrew Jukes – “Types in Genesis” and “The Names of God”
B. E. Crowley
C.R. Oliver
Rabbi Michael L. Munk -- “The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet” (Mesorah Publications)
Abiram Publication – www.abiram-publications.com
Jeremy Aranoff – “Torah, The Quintessential Blueprint”

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info