JOSHUA AND CALEB
In all the time that Joshua, Caleb, and the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, their next realm, their next age, was just a short distance away from them. Had they gone directly from Egypt into the promised land, it would not really have taken them very long to get there. It has been said that it was a journey of eight to ten days. And naturally, the wilderness was even closer than Egypt to the promised land! The coming age, especially for Joshua and Caleb, was not some place a long way off, but it was so very close by. It was of very easy access, yet they could not get into it.
At least some of us are realizing in this hour that the next age, or the next REALM IN GOD of which we speak, isn’t in some far distant place, but it is close by. And yet, here we are, apparently unable to enter into it! We find ourselves to be a people unknown to ourselves. We are one type of people, living in one type of age or realm, being prepared for another age or realm that is just over the line, so to speak, from us. Actually it is no farther from us now than it was from Israel when they were in the wilderness! Yet we are prevented from entering in. This we know — Caleb and Joshua had to wander in the wilderness for forty years until all the unbelievers died. After that they could enter in. We had always been taught that all who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, had to die before the rest of them could enter into the promised land. But this did not bear witness to our spirit, so we began to read and discovered it was not so. It did not work out like that at all. All of those who could not go in were the soldiers, the men in the army, who were over twenty years of age, and who would not believe that they could take the land. All those who were under twenty years of age, and the women, lived on, just as Joshua and Caleb did. It was these soldiers who had to die in the wilderness! They were the unbelievers who were under God’s orders to take the land, and they refused to do it, saying they could not, and thus declaring that in their judgment, God was a liar.
God described to the children of Israel the land into which He would take them. It was a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of hills and valleys that drinks water of the rain of heaven, a land which the Lord cared for, a land in which He would bless their seed, and prolong and multiply their days as the days of heaven upon earth! They would be placed in a land, a realm, a dispensation about which they knew nothing and that would be entirely different from anything they had known before. He commanded them as to how they should live and walk in the land, and what kind of people they would be unto Him. Now multitudes of people today will not believe we can have days right now that are as the days of heaven on earth! They cannot believe it, because they are looking for heaven away off somewhere amongst the starry skies. The people to whom God was speaking these words, were a people of one type and of one dispensation, and He was telling them something about the kind of people they were going to be, and the kind of land in which they were going to live. It was a realm of which they had no knowledge. God told them that their future home was to be nothing like the land of Egypt they had left. The valley of the Nile was the richest known spot on earth. It is so yet today. But God told them their future home was not so, for in Egypt they sowed their seed, then tread on the water wheel, in order to water that seed. But in the promised land they would have rain from heaven! It was to be an entirely new realm, with entirely new conditions and circumstances. It was to be a new age, a new dispensation, a new realm in God, and God was right then getting them ready to go in and take it and occupy it. It was to be as heaven on earth!
That was all in the natural, earthly realm. God was preparing a people for another realm, another age, another dispensation in this realm of flesh. This is a type of what God is doing today! Most of us have no conception of what God is doing in our lives and bodies. Just because we cannot see or feel something being done, is no sign that God is idle and doing nothing within us. We often think that there has to be a lot of external manifestation taking place for God to be doing something. But on the natural plane, termites can invade a building and work, and unless the building is inspected, no one will know of that work until the building is so weakened that it falls. Just so, we have little conception of that which God is doing in the lives and bodies of those people He is working with and that He is preparing as HIS SONS for that age which is to come. There is so much that we don’t understand at this time, but we do know that God is working, preparing an elect company to bring deliverance to the whole of the groaning creation in the age and the ages that lie before us.
As we approach the new age of the kingdom of God there are many Joshuas and Calebs in the land today, being prepared to enter into the coming age, the promised land of this day. Though they will enter the same land, their training and their present lives are completely different, for they have a different destiny in the land to come. Shall we say it like this? Caleb was of the people. He was out in the multitudes in the camp. Caleb had absolutely nothing to do with the tabernacle. He had nothing to do with the ministrations of the priests. He had nothing to do with the ministry of Moses in any way. But Joshua is referred to as the minister of Moses. And in the first chapter of the book of Joshua we find God telling Joshua that Moses is dead, and that he was now to arise and go over Jordan, and that as God had promised the land to Moses, so would He give it to Joshua, and every place where the sole of his foot trod, was his.
As we have said, we too are in a time of preparation. A people is being prepared for the coming age, and those who are being prepared particularly, are not the Calebs. To a certain extent the Calebs are being prepared, in that they possess a different spirit and they see and know that something different in God is coming. They are willing to wait, even in the midst of unbelief, God’s time to enter into the next age or realm in God. But all their preparation is to bring them to a place in which they can wait in faith, for they are a kind of people who will inhabit the land. But for the Joshuas there is something else! In Exodus 33:8 we read, “And it came to pass that when Moses went out to the tabernacle, all the people rose up and stood every man at his tent door and looked after Moses till he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle. And the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he (Moses) turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, DEPARTED NOT OUT OF THE TABERNACLE.”
Moses was taken up with the work and care of overseeing that vast multitude of people. God had told Moses to move the tabernacle outside the camp, and so when the people saw Moses going out to worship, they would also stand and worship, every man in his tent door. When Moses passed through the tabernacle door, then the cloudy pillar would descend in order to seal off the tabernacle so that God and Moses might commune together. Moses was the one lone man who had access to the Holy of holies whenever he desired to go into it. He was above the high priest in this, for he was the friend of God, and he had need of God’s communion frequently. God did not speak with Moses as He would with the high priest, but as to a friend. And the people saw the cloudy pillar come down and when the time together was finished, the cloudy pillar would rise and Moses would come again into the camp. He would have to go back into the multitude in the camp, to judge them and to watch over them, to be their leader, fulfilling the work that God had given him to do.
But God had His hand upon a young man, Joshua, and that young man did not depart out of the tabernacle. The time came when God commanded Moses to lay his hands upon Joshua and impart to him the very same spirit that he (Moses) possessed. God gave unto Joshua the very same promises and the same powers that He had given Moses. No man could stand before him! Wherever he placed his foot, that was his! God told him that just as He had been with Moses, so would He be with Joshua. Joshua was to be strong and of good courage. He was not to fear, for God was with him, even as He had been with Moses.
It was necessary that Moses leave the tabernacle and return to the camp, but it was necessary that His servant Joshua remain in the tabernacle for special training. As we understand it, Joshua was constantly in the place of ministry unto the Lord. He was continually in the place where the priesthood operated. He was in that place where the people were bringing their offerings for sin and where those offerings were being sacrificed. He remained in this place day after day, and year after year, absorbing all that went on in the tabernacle. God had given Joshua a privilege and a work which had been denied Moses. He came into a place that Moses never possessed! Moses had led the people out, but God now provided a young man, Joshua, the son of Nun, or the son of perpetuity, to perpetuate and carry forth into new dimensions all that had been started in Moses. This Joshua was to lead the people into the promised land! He was to give to every man his inheritance! For this reason, Joshua COULD NOT LIVE A LIFE LIKE CALEB. He could not be just one of the people, another face in the crowd, another pebble on the beach, living the same way, doing the same things. He must know the mind and the will and the purpose and plan of God! He could not have just a vague knowledge of it, He must acquaint himself with each and every detail of it. He must know the boundaries of each tribe, what they were to get, and what they were to do. It was his place to give out the inheritances to all the people of Israel!
In this we find a true type of those sons of God whom God is preparing today! We have seen this for some time, and we know by personal experience it is true. This class of people is greatly misunderstood, criticized, and condemned, because they are not doing a great number of wonderful things. They are not generally performing great healings and astounding signs, wonders, and miracles. They are not out conducting great crusades, no vast throngs are following them, and the fact of the matter is most of the people stay away from them! Such people are not participators in the activities of the rest of God’s people, even those who will become inhabitants of the land. They are not Calebs, not out in the camp with the tribes. Perhaps not even going out to gather their supply of manna for that day! God has separated this company of people from all those things.
Rather, they are of the class of people who are in the tabernacle, DWELLING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, LEARNING OF THE WORK AND THE POWERS OF THE AGE TO COME! God had a Moses to go out and minister to the multitude in their wilderness walk. Moses and the judges were to minister to the people and all their fleshly needs. But none of this was for Joshua! He never did have any ministry such as this! For forty years Joshua spent all his days in the tabernacle. Moses, who ministered to the people, would often come in to commune with God that he might receive the message and the word of God, so that he might go back out and minister to the people.
But Joshua stayed right there in the presence of God! He was absorbing the very life, power, wisdom, knowledge, and spirit of God, so that when the proper time came, God could say to him, “Moses my servant is dead, now it is time for your ministry.” At that time Joshua would rise up, for all the ministry of preparation would be over. All the work and ministry of the man Moses was now finished, for the people were now at the borders of the promised land, the new age and realm in God. It was time for the children of Israel to enter the promised land! It was time for the people of Israel to receive their inheritance! It was time for the fullness of God to be revealed! Now was the work of Joshua to come to pass! He was to bring them into that land, a land of rain and one that flowed with milk and honey. A land entirely different from the Egypt they had left. Now all the tedious training of Joshua would begin to bear fruit! All the years of loneliness and application to the plan of God would lead that vast multitude into a new land, into a new age, and give them their full portion!
Knowing that human nature in that day was just like human nature of today, we see the possibility of some saying, “How is this? How and why is Joshua being elevated up over all the rest of us? He has done nothing but sit out there in the tabernacle for forty years! He never healed anybody. He never prayed anybody through to the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t out holding crusades and saving souls. He wasn’t even part of a recognized ministry! He never preached any marvelous sermons. He just spent his time in the tabernacle.”
All through those forty years, God was getting a man ready to bring the people far beyond what they were receiving from the hands of Moses and the judges — INTO THEIR INHERITANCE! Moses and the judges were merely preserving the people in their wilderness condition. God had Moses and the judges to take care of the natural things for the people in their carnal state of being, to continually bless, encourage, and revive them lest they faint in the wilderness. Some of us are well aware of these facts. Even though we did possess such ministries in the past, yet at this time, many of us are not functioning in the ministry of a Moses, nor in the ministry of any of the gift realms where men minister very much unto the people in their natural, fleshly realm of healings, material needs, blessings, revivings, etc. It seems we are set far apart from the multitude of the people, and from the accepted type of ministry, and most Christians do not want much to do with us! But with this company of people, God is working and preparing them for a future ministry and work.
As we stated, God has people, many of them, who are ministering unto the multitudes the things of the natural realm, the loaves and the fishes. But there is another class of people, and God is dealing in a different way with them. They are being prepared to know the plans and purposes of God, not just for this age, but for the ages to come, that they might lead the people into the full inheritance God has for them. There must be someone who will be capable to lead the people in, and get them established in that greater glory which God has prepared for His people. Caleb put in his days with the rest of the people, Moses and the judges put in their days maintaining the people in their wilderness state, but Joshua remained always in the tabernacle, absorbing the mind and life of God for the inheritance to come!
Joshua was an entirely different man! As we meditated upon these things, we saw clearly these two different classes of people. There are those who are in the multitude of all God’s people, yet God has done something in them to give them a spirit that is different from the rest. They have received a glimpse, a taste of the glories of this higher realm and know that it is something marvelous beyond where they are living. They have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and know they shall enter into it. But they are still like Caleb, willing to stay in the multitude and put up with all the slanderous reports about the land or the age to come, and wade through the unbelief all around them and just wait for the day of entering in.
At the same time, however, God has the Joshuas placed off somewhere in the tabernacle, in the presence of God. It doesn’t have to be in four walls, or certain kinds of meetings, but just in the presence of the living God! Apparently they are doing nothing, but they are absorbing the spirit and the life and the knowledge and the wisdom and the purpose and the plan of God. How important this is! When Moses’ ministry is over and done, when all the natural ministry of the church orders and religious systems is finished, then God will lead out the Joshuas, having completed their training, and they shall lead the people into the next realm in God, into the next age!
We are sure that we are in such a position now. We are in one age, and we are being prepared for something, though we have only caught faint glimpses of the glory and wonder of it. We do not understand all the workings of God, because we do not know exactly what we are going to do in the future, how it shall be done, or even what we are going to be. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be” (I Jn. 3:2). Therefore it is sometimes hard to understand the training we are receiving, for our training depends entirely upon what we are to be in the next age or realm in God. So we cannot question God concerning the “whys and wherefores” of all we are experiencing in our lives in this hour, and in the lives of others.
The new age was not very far from Joshua and Caleb. It was just over the line, just beyond Jordan, and so it is in this day. This new age lies before us, and the glory of it is beginning to be made known unto us by the Spirit. Caleb and Joshua knew the way into the promised land, for they had visited it in a fleeting moment, yet they were forced to await the proper time to enter. Caleb must needs remain with the multitude, and Joshua must be prepared to take the whole multitude into the coming age. We have a wonderful experience ahead of us in the Lord, and we are grateful for it. It is not of our choosing, but of His, and we know He will perfect that which concerns us!