Crossing the Jordan

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

We in the Laodicean period are to suffer as Jesus suffered and to follow through what he followed through. We wish to explore something that is ahead which we see in this time.

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light. 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20 [Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

We want to learn something that is ahead which we see in the type. We have followed the Hebrew wilderness wanderings from Egypt right through to the borders. Many of the types, figures and analogies that we have gained have thrilled our mind as we have covered multitudes of these figures, symbols and types. As we take these for our journey to the Promised Land, we have not mentioned and explored all the lessons yet but our mind has been triggered to go home and appreciate that this needs to be our study and to learn every lesson to be gained from the Hebrew wilderness wanderings. It is fitting to conclude with the very last item of their journey. They were at the borders.

Some already had found their homes in the homes of the Amorites which they had conquered but the last leg of their journey was still there at the river Jordan. This is a type for us that is yet in the future. As we launch out from this conference into the New Year 2010. What do we expect in the future? The heavenly type, crossing into the heavenly Canaan.

A River in Flood

Joshua 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

What did the Jordan River pose to them? A river in flood. If there happened to be a ferry across the river, it wasn’t working. When the Jordan river overflows its banks what do you see? A lake. If you travel down further you would get to the red sea. The Lord didn’t want them to go across any other way. This was a type for Gods people in the last days. Every detail of what God had led the Israelites in is for our learning therefore the Lord did what he did with them. You couldn’t go around the river, you had to cross it. There was no way around.

Leaving their encampment in the acacia groves of Shittim, the host descended to the border of the Jordan. All knew, however, that without divine aid they could not hope to make the passage. At this time of the year–in the spring season–the melting snows of the mountains had so raised the Jordan that the river overflowed its banks, making it impossible to cross at the usual fording places. {PP 483.3}

A river in flood. Does that remind you of a text?

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

All along the journey the children of Israel met obstacles along the way. Close to the border with some dimensions of joy that we are and then there is another obstacle. For Gods church in these last days, the coming of Jesus is close, the people are saying praise the Lord, come Lord Jesus and there is anticipation to say those words this is my Lord we have waited for him he will save us. All this is throbbing in the true heart of the Christian is heard today but what is ahead?

The Swelling of the Jordan

Like Israel we are stationed on the border, down by the river side. Across the river lies the Promised Land but can you see its imposing barrier? The river was an imposing barrier for the children of Israel to reach the Promised Land. What is the imposing and daunting barrier to us who are yeaning for Jesus to come? We want the day of the Lord to come and we want to get into the Promised Land. What is the daunting statement we read in Amos? It is something we want to happen and yet he says, don’t be sentimental about it. Don’t rely on too much poetic fancy about it.

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light. 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

He describes the horrors of the day that is ahead. You are running away from the devil who is like a lion and as you are running away from him you run straight into the path of a bear. You then turn direction and there is a lion and a bear chasing you. You get into the house, lean against the wall and there is a serpent. That is the day of the Lord.

Amos 5:20 [Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

When Jesus is in the heavenly sanctuary what will happen? There shall be a time of trouble such as never was. If you have looked back at the troubles of the past in your life and the horrendous experiences you may have met, this is worse.

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

This is the time of the end. This is the crossing of the Jordan because Jesus has finished his work in the sanctuary and the nations were angry and it has come now that God’s wrath should be brought out.

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Notice it says thou shalt give reward to the servants and the prophets. This is the introduction to a suggestion of the wrath of God.

Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

It’s a horrifying experience and as you have read it so many times before you may have become conditioned to think oh earthquake and hail. You say yes I’ve heard that before but this is an earthquake that covers nearly the whole planet and mountains are being removed. Can you imagine it? This is the flooding of the river Jordan.

In a view given June 27, 1850, my accompanying angel said, “Time is almost finished. Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should?” Then I was pointed to the earth and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel’s message. Said the angel, “Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died.” I saw that there was a great work to do for them and but little time in which to do it. {EW 64.1}

Then I saw that the seven last plagues were soon to be poured out upon those who have no shelter; yet the world regarded them no more than they would so many drops of water that were about to fall. I was then made capable of enduring the awful sight of the seven last plagues, the wrath of God. I saw that His anger was dreadful and terrible, and if He should stretch forth His hand, or lift it in anger, the inhabitants of the world would be as though they had never been, or would suffer from incurable sores and withering plagues that would come upon them, and they would find no deliverance, but be destroyed by them. Terror seized me, and I fell upon my face before the angel and begged of him to cause the sight to be removed, to hide it from me, for it was too dreadful. {EW 64.2}

She was made capable to see. If she hadn’t been, I think she would have died of a heart attack. The swelling of the Jordan is no small thing. She didn’t want to see it, she was seized with terror and she said take it away from me and you and I have to live through it. We want to appreciate the kind of things that Sr White saw. We want that realisation successfully to come through.

Then I realized, as never before, the importance of searching the Word of God carefully, to know how to escape the plagues which that Word declares shall come on all the ungodly who shall worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. It was a great wonder for me that any could transgress the law of God and tread down His holy Sabbath, when such awful threatenings and denunciations were against them. {EW 64.2}

Jeremiah 30:5 For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

The time of Jacobs’s trouble is part of the swelling ahead of us. Every man holding his loins as if in travail. Women look forward to having a baby but it’s overwhelming. Men and women will go through that overwhelming experience. We do not realise us what is ahead of us and if we do not develop the skill of getting through that, it will be so overwhelming we will see no way through. We can’t through the river Jordan and we can only get through it by understanding the way of the Lord.

Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau [Genesis 32:24-30.] represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble. {GC88 616.2}

The river Jordan experience will be a great flood of anguish, wave after wave of anguish as a woman in travail. It comes on in waves. It gets stronger and stronger instead of coming less and less. I don’t know why women want babies but the joy at the end is worth it and this is precisely what it is for Gods’ people. The figurative crossing of the river must be crossed.

The Object Lessons of the Hebrews

As they came to the edge of the river, the instruction was given.

Joshua 3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

What did he say? Sanctify yourselves. What did that mean? We are told what that meant;

God willed that the passage of Israel over Jordan should be miraculous. Joshua, by divine direction, commanded the people to sanctify themselves; they must put away their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity” {PP 483.3}

Can you see why we have the reformation message? This is the call for Gods people to sanctify themselves that they may be able to cross the river. Adventists today say don’t go over the top, this is too extreme. They are lulling themselves into carnal security when the message is purify yourself. Follow the dress and health reform, follow the separation from worldliness. Purify yourself, remove every item of impurity from yourself. Why? Because the reality is that if it is still upon you, the purifying of the earth will destroy you. Get rid of it.

…they must put away their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity {PP 483.3}

This is not any human interpretation. This is inspiration. Appreciate if you wish to cross the river Jordan successfully, what is identified.

In a view given June 27, 1850, my accompanying angel said, “Time is almost finished. Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should?” Then I was pointed to the earth and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel’s message. Said the angel, “Get ready, get ready, get ready. {EW 64.1}

Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should? We have heard these words before. I can yell my head off and people still don’t listen. They aren’t getting ready. They are not doing what God is saying.

Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died.” I saw that there was a great work to do for them and but little time in which to do it. {EW 64.1}

Do you think it’s been hard already? A death experience already? Much worse is to come. It sends shivers down my spine.

We must deny self all along the way, die to self daily, let Jesus alone appear, and keep His glory continually in view. I saw that those who of late have embraced the truth would have to know what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake, that they would have trials to pass through that would be keen and cutting, in order that they may be purified and fitted through suffering to receive the seal of the living God, pass through the time of trouble, see the King in His beauty, and dwell in the presence of God and of pure, holy angels. {EW 67.1}

To cross the river Jordan means this and we need to be thoroughly equipped for it. Observe the Hebrews at this time of the crossing of the Jordan. Notice what they said to Joshua;

Joshua 1:16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.

1:17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.

What are they saying? They looked back at the whole story of their wilderness wanderings under Moses and now have they seen Moses was right and we have learnt from that Joshua. The Lord be with you as he was with Moses and we are going to do everything you tell us to do. Did they do that? Yes they did. No more murmuring now. There was a barrier in the way, a river. Recall what they said when they were standing at the red sea.

Orders were now issued to make ready for an advance. The people were to prepare a three days’ supply of food, and the army was to be put in readiness for battle. All heartily acquiesced in the plans of their leader and assured him of their confidence and support: “All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the Lord thy God be with thee, as He was with Moses.” {PP 483.2}

All of them were ready to do exactly what their leader said. There was no murmuring. Why no doubt now? Why no murmuring now? Why? Did they not have all the lessons behind them so that they would no longer doubt God? He has done all these wonders all the way through their history now what’s this river they say go on, we’ll do as you say. We today are facing this terrible barrier, this terrible flooding of anxiety and terror that is coming that is worse than ever before. What do we have that we can trust the Lord? What we have been studying is what will help us to be just as pliable as they were back then. If we were not listening and taking it in, we will be surprised at the end.

The professed churches of Christ in this generation are exalted to the highest privileges. The Lord has been revealed to us in ever-increasing light. Our privileges are far greater than were the privileges of God’s ancient people. We have not only the great light committed to Israel, but we have the increased evidence of the great salvation brought to us through Christ. That which was type and symbol to the Jews is reality to us. They had the Old Testament history; we have that and the New Testament also. We have the assurance of a Saviour who has come, a Saviour who has been crucified, who has risen, and over the rent sepulcher of Joseph has proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” In our knowledge of Christ and His love the kingdom of God is placed in the midst of us. Christ is revealed to us in sermons and chanted to us in songs. The spiritual banquet is set before us in rich abundance. The wedding garment, provided at infinite cost, is freely offered to every soul. By the messengers of God are presented to us the righteousness of Christ, justification by faith, the exceeding great and precious promises of God’s word, free access to the Father by Christ, the comfort of the Spirit, the well-grounded assurance of eternal life in the kingdom of God. What could God do for us that He has not done in providing the great supper, the heavenly banquet? {COL 317.2}

What has God done for us? We have looked at all the Old Testament pictures. These are all representing realities that we can be illuminated by as to the amazing power of God. Here we are on the border with all the terrifying things to take place. We can say oh no but the children of Israel didn’t do that. The commandment is GO FORWARD. Is there anything to fear at this time?

Go Forward

We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and his teaching in our past history. {RH, October 12, 1905 par. 22}

Is this is what has happened to many people today? They don’t even know the teaching the Adventism anymore and they are Adventists. We come along with the old Seventh Day Adventist message and they say we have never heard that before. We have nothing to fear but to fear if we have forgotten we will not get across the border. Do as the Hebrews did, they sanctified themselves. What did they do? The Ark of the Covenant was to Passover before them.

Joshua 3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, [that] the waters of Jordan shall be cut off [from] the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

What was it? What do we learn here? Do as the Hebrews did. What did they do? They went forward and the river was there but they went forward.

At the appointed time began the onward movement, the ark, borne upon the shoulders of the priests, leading the van. The people had been directed to fall back, so that there was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark. All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the bank of the Jordan. They saw them with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare. {PP 484.1}

At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore. No sooner had it reached a place of security, and “the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land,” than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down, a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream. {PP 484.2}

What is it representing? The destructive forces of the evil one to destroy us. Frightful but they were held back in a great heap. So this horrendous terrible time of trouble for Gods people is to be held back. For whom will the resistless flood be held back? According to this symbol? The people of the ark. The ones that were carrying the ark. While they were standing in the middle of the river, the others could go across safely.

The People of the Ark

Who is that? The leaders of the churches say that is us. Who is it?

Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Who are these people? They are the people who in the last days are worshipping the Lord in the most holy place where the Ark of the Covenant is.

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.

15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Here is the description of the plagues that Gods people were to be protected from. They are the people living at that time. Who do they include? Those who are resurrected in the special resurrection. They are the people of the ark, the 144,000. Not just the priests, they are the priests. They are the people that the river is going to be blocked for.

The 144,000

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Who are the people that are going to go through that river? The 144,000. The people of the ark. The people who are worshipping the Lord in his pavilion livingly at the present time. They are the people.

Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

119:92 Unless thy law [had been] my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

At the affliction of the plagues at the time of Jacobs trouble, if the law of God, the ark of the covenant was not there we should be perishing.

Psalms 119:93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

119:94 I [am] thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

119:95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: [but] I will consider thy testimonies.

What will happen in the time of Jacobs’s trouble? The wicked will seek to destroy me. That is the surging of the river but no, it will be mounted up as a heap. It is the people of the ark that will be protected at that time. What did they do? They went into the swelling tide and touched it and then it departed. You have to get your feet wet. What does that mean? You have to touch the misery, the plagues. Sr White writes some of the people will experience some of the first plagues. They will also be crying for food and suffering some of those discomforts but they go forward and don’t stop, the river passes for them.

The eye of God, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in fear of death by starvation or by violence. {GC 634.1}

You see the river surging past you and you get close, shall or should not I? Starvation or fear of violence? As I go forward with that fear surging through me;

But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty power and turn their captivity {GC 634.1}

They are touching the water but he will turn that starvation and violence.

“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi 3:17. If the blood of Christ’s faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness. Says the psalmist: “In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me.” Psalms 27:5. Christ has spoken: “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.” Isaiah 26:20, 21. Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for His coming and whose names are written in the book of life. {GC 634.1}

The enemy will come in like a flood but the spirit of God will do what? He will raise a standard against him. What is the standard? The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The Ark of the Covenant is not just in the hands of the ministers of today, it is in the hands of the 144,000.  When only will it part for us? When we get our feet wet, by the anxieties of the flooding river.

The great lesson here taught is for all time. Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, “Go forward.” We should obey this command, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all. Unbelief whispers, “Let us wait till the obstructions are removed, and we can see our way clearly;” but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. {PP 290.2}

The day of the Lord is not a day we will enjoy, it is a terrible time. Today if you hear his voice of conviction and you know what God wants you to do, but if you think oh I’m going to lose my family, I’m going to get sick and overheat in dress reform, I can’t cope with this and that it is too hard then I will never obey. To touch those waters of difficulty, they will never part for me if I don’t do it.

Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all. Unbelief whispers, “Let us wait till the obstructions are removed, and we can see our way clearly;” but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. {PP 290.2}

People have said to me but I’m not convinced of things yet. Do you need to be convinced or can you read what God is saying? If God is saying it and it is right there in black and white before you, do you need to have conviction? The children of Israel had long enough seen how Gods word had come to pass. They couldn’t see how the river was going to part and they were told just to go and walk into it. That is what God is saying to us today. Don’t halt with the doubt of BUT this and this is going to happen and I can’t see any benefit in me doing it. Just do it. You don’t need to be convicted within yourself that you should or shouldn’t do it. It is just a command. Jesus said those who do my will, will know the doctrine.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

We have the object lesson before us. Right now we can look back at all the Hebrew wilderness wanderings and see them at the border and see the object lesson, the case history for our learning. Study it personally more deeply. Permit the Holy Spirit to illuminate the words we have covered here. What we have been sharing from the pulpit was our own. Each one of you must make it yours. We must bear up as faithful Israel as they bore up. The crossing of figurative Jordan is imminent. It has already been delayed. Let us heed the present truth and the meat in due season and the Lord can hasten his coming.

Amen.

image

Posted on February 26, 2010, in Hebrew Wilderness Wanderings, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanx for this message of patience,endurance,perseverance and hope!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: