continuing to examine the experience of the children of
Israel, and that what they went through pictures our
experience as the children of God, we quickly see that
their troubles and trials did not end upon entering the
Promised Land, and neither do ours. If we could say that
once they reached the Land of Promise the battles
against their enemies were over, well might we have hope
that our struggles also will cease when once we see
Christ as our life. To many Christians, this false idea
is what might be called complete sanctification; whereby
a believer now lives sinlessly in this world having
overcome all his enemies and temptations, albeit through
the Spirit of Christ.
young believer, I once came across an older saint while
doing visitation on a bus route of my church. Engaging
in a conversation with him, I soon discovered that he
indeed believed in this doctrine. Although I did not
agree with him, I had not the depth of ground to be able
to stand against his reasoning. He attempted to convince
me of his viewpoint by asking me a series of questions.
He first asked me, ‘Do you believe that a Christian
can live without sinning for one minute?’ In my
ignorance I replied that I thought it might be possible.
‘Well,’ he asked, ‘then do you believe a
Christian might live without sinning for one hour?’
To this question I again replied that conceivably it
might be possible. ‘Why then,’ asked he, ‘does
it seem unreasonable that a Christian, who has been
totally sanctified by the Spirit of God, could continue
on living without sin on a day to day basis?’ Again,
although I was not persuaded by him of his viewpoint, I
had no response to his argument.
if I were to engage this person again, with the
knowledge that God has now given me of His Word, I could
immediately challenge his reasoning. In answer to his
first question, ‘Is it possible for a Christian to
live without sinning for one minute?’ I would
emphatically say no, it is not possible. Sin is not
always an overt act that is perceivable, such as
committing adultery, stealing, or lying. Sin is, in its
most basic form, falling short of the glory of God. Now,
we may live a so-called good life as a child of
God, without committing some of these obvious acts of
sin. However, we will never be in a state of perfection
while we live in this body of sin, and are influenced
every day and in every way by its thoughts, lusts, and
rebellion against God.
perfectly sinless, we must live in obedience to God’s
law with every thought, word, and deed that we think,
say, or do. We must not only live above sin in what we
don’t do, we must also do everything the
law demands as part of our perfect obedience; and we
must do so all of the time, in every way, and with the
right attitude and motive for doing it. We must love God
with all of our heart, soul, and strength, and also love
our neighbor as ourselves. When Adam fell, it was not
because he had engaged in some terrible deed, as we
think sin is; but when he came under the law, everything
he now did was judged as sin, because he fell short of
the law in everyway. How could any saint, who has not
been totally deceived by his own vanities, say, that at
any moment of time, he has lived in such a sinless
state? The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New
Testament, and had an understanding of spiritual things
beyond any mortal man said, “O wretched man that I
am,” and, “I count not myself to have
apprehended”—meaning that he still had trouble with
his flesh, and he had in no way reached a state of
perfection in his body. If Paul had not reached a state
of total sanctification, being the one through whom God
gave most of the New Testament doctrines, what hope have
John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous,
no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that
seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together
there is none that doeth
good, no, not one.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God;
Luke 10:27 And he answering said,
Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy
neighbour as thyself.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my
flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is
present with me; but how to perform that which is good I
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil
which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do
it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil
is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against
the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to
the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from
the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with the mind I
myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law
Phil 3:12 Not as though I had already attained,
either were already perfect: but I follow after, if
that I may apprehend that for which also I am
apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which
are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus.
finally entering their Promised Land through faith, the
children of Israel had come to experience rest from
their wilderness journey, and a realization of many of
God’s blessings. They also enjoyed many victories over
their enemies as they were lead by Joshua, and obeyed
God’s leadership through him. By faith they conquered
the great walled city of Jericho, which was a picture of
the world; but days later they were defeated by the
little city of Ai, which represents the flesh. They were
constantly at war with the Philistines, who to us are
the spiritual forces of Satan—sometimes conquering them,
sometimes being conquered by them. While Joshua lived,
and the children of Israel obeyed God through him, they
conquered much of the Land of Promise; but they did not
overcome, nor did they destroy all of the previous
inhabitants of the land. Many of these people remained
among them, and would soon prove to be thorns in their
side; as God used them time and again to bring His
people back to faith and obedience to Him. When Joshua
died, along with the generation who had crossed Jordan
with him, Israel again began to do that which was right
in their own eyes, and ceased to follow the Lord. The
history of Israel is one of obeying the Lord, and then
falling away from the Lord, victory and defeat,
captivity and deliverance; and so it is also with the
Christian life. When at first we come to the realization
of what we have in Christ, it is glorious; but soon this
clear understanding begins to die out, as the world, the
flesh, and the devil attack our faith in Christ and the
life we have in Him.
Josh 6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests,
and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and
let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns
before the ark of the LORD.
7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the
city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark
of the LORD.
8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the
people, that the seven priests bearing the seven
trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and
blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of
the LORD followed them.
9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew
with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark,
the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall
not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither
shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day
I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going
about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged
in the camp.
12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests
took up the ark of the LORD.
13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams'
horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually,
and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went
before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the
LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the
14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and
returned into the camp: so they did six days.
15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they
rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed
the city after the same manner seven times: only on that
day they compassed the city seven times.
16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the
priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the
people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that
are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall
live, she and all that are with her in the house,
because she hid the messengers that we sent.
18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed
thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of
the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse,
and trouble it.
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass
and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come
into the treasury of the LORD.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with
the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard
the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a
great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the
people went up into the city, every man straight before
him, and they took the city.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the
city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and
sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
Josh 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a
trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son
of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the
tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the
anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is
beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake
unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the
men went up and viewed Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let
not all the people go up; but let about two or three
thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the
people to labour thither; for they are but few.
4 So there went up thither of the people about three
thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six
men: for they chased them from before the gate even
unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down:
wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as
Josh 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up;
wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also
transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for
they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have
also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it
even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the
children of Israel could not stand before their enemies,
but turned their backs before their enemies, because
they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more,
except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
Josh 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the
hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the
springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining,
but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God
of Israel commanded.
41 And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto
Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at
one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for
Josh 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those
19 There was not a city that made peace with the
children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of
Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts,
that they should come against Israel in battle, that he
might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no
favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD
21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the
Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir,
from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from
all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them
utterly with their cities.
22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the
children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in
Ashdod, there remained.
23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all
that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it
for an inheritance unto Israel according to their
divisions by their tribes.
And the land rested from
Josh 23:1 And it came to pass a long time after that the
LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies
round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their
elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and
for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and
stricken in age:
3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done
unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your
God is he that hath fought for you.
4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations
that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from
Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even
unto the great sea westward.
5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before
you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall
possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised
6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all
that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye
turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the
7 That ye come not among these nations, these that
remain among you; neither make mention of the name of
their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve
them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done
unto this day.
9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great
nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been
able to stand before you unto this day.
10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD
your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath
11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye
love the LORD your God.
12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto
the remnant of these nations, even these that remain
among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in
unto them, and they to you:
13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no
more drive out any of these nations from before you;
but they shall
be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your
sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off
this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
Judg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the
sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers,
which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and
followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were
round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and
provoked the LORD to anger.
13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and
14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel,
and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that
spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their
enemies round about, so that they could not any longer
stand before their enemies.
15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the
LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had
said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were
16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which
delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled
17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges,
but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed
themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way
which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments
of the LORD; but they did not so.
18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the
LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the
hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it
repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason
of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that
they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their
fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and
to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own
doings, nor from their stubborn way.
20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and
he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my
covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not
hearkened unto my voice;
21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from
before them of the nations which Joshua left when he
22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they
will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their
fathers did keep it, or not.
23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without
driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into
the hand of Joshua.
Judg 3:1 Now these are the nations which the LORD
left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as
had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2 Only that the generations of the children of
Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such
as before knew nothing thereof;
3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the
Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that
dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the
entering in of Hamath.
4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know
whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the
LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand
Judg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel,
but every man
did that which was right in his own eyes.
O to grace how great a
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Cor 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in
Christ Jesus our Lord,
I die daily
Cor 12;7 And lest I should be exalted above measure
through the abundance of the revelations, there was
given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan
to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it
might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that
the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I
take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's
sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am:
and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in
vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet
not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this
grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the
glory of God.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed
lest he fall.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to
the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 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.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are
the sons of God.
Pet 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a
season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more
precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried
with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and
glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as
is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but
will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that
ye may be able to bear it.
Isa 28:23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and
hear my speech.
24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open
and break the clods of his ground?
25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not
cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and
cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and
rie in their place?
26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth
27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing
instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon
the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff,
and the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be
threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart,
nor bruise it with his horsemen.
29 This also
cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful
in counsel, and excellent in working.
once the light of the gospel has shined into man’s
heart, and his conscience has been cleared, his spirit
lives in joyous fellowship with his Saviour God. Then,
as man is led through that “great and terrible
wilderness” of sin and self, he comes to see the
Promised Land of abiding in Christ. However, this state
of bliss is soon and often interrupted by many trials
and temptations, which cause man to doubt God’s grace,
and turn him again to the “weak and beggarly
elements” of this world. Our spiritual enemies will
use everything in their power to discourage us, and
cause us to doubt that what we have in Christ is real.
It is these intruders, which seek to destroy our bond
with Christ, that must be fought against, and put to
death again and again. The battle ground for most
believers will consist of an area of about six inches
between ones ears. Most of us will never know the
experiences of those who have “resisted unto blood,”
and “loved not their lives unto the death.”
However, all of us must “be renewed in the spirit”
of our minds if we are to live in victory over these
Deu 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible
wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and
scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who
brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy
fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that
he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent
beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather
are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and
beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such
contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be
wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their
lives unto the death.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be
ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye
may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect, will of God.
Eph 4:23 And be
renewed in the spirit of your mind;
spiritual enemies, which were once our taskmasters while
in the flesh, still come to frighten us and tear down
our faith; and to them and their terrors, we must die.
Everything that is not of Christ must die, and this
dying is a life-long process for the child of God. This
is a process that exactly patterns itself after the
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The message of the
Gospel is that Christ suffered and died for our sins,
and was buried. That everything that He was as a man was
crucified, put to death, and then was buried—gone
forever. Yet out of this grave He arose to a new life;
He is the First Born of a new creation, one in which His
redeemed ones would share in His new life also. Together
with Him they will live forever in a new heaven and a
new earth, nevermore subject to sin or death. This
process of death, burial, and resurrection is pictured
in baptism. The water baptism of the believer is the
means by which we testify to the world that we have
identified ourselves with Christ and the literal baptism
He went through. It is also symbolic of the baptism that
we as believers shall experience in a spiritual way; as
our old lives are put to death, and we are raised to our
new life in Christ. Somewhat to our dismay however, this
death we go through as believers is not a one-time
experience, but as Paul said “I die daily.” We
must therefore arm ourselves with the knowledge of what
we are going to experience as children of God. Those who
blindly refuse to accept this plain scriptural teaching,
but view the Christian life as a flowery bed of ease,
are doomed to defeat. “Let us therefore, as many as
be perfect”—mature in Christ—“be thus minded,”
and God’s grace will see us through to the end of
our course in this world.
Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war
after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but
mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down
imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the
gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have
received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what
I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I
how that Christ died for our sins according to the
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the
third day according to the scriptures:
Matt 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what
ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall
drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of
my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on
my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to
them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Cor 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in
Christ Jesus our Lord,
I die daily.
Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in
the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from
Phil 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those
things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus
minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God
shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,
let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same
Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient
for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Tim 4:7 I have
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have
kept the faith:
of the meanings of the river Jordan is judgment.
When once we cross through the waters of Jordan, and we
begin to see the flesh—the old man of sin—as our enemy,
we are able to judge for ourselves the things of
the flesh and the things of the Spirit. God opens our
eyes to this battle against the flesh, so that He does
not always have to chasten us to bring us back into the
fold. As believers, we will sense when all is not well
between us and the Lord; and we need to make a diligent
searching of our hearts to discern where we have gone
astray. Although we may not always find the answer, many
times, particularly if we are troubled by something that
has already been revealed to us before, we may find a
speedy relief of our troubled state.
Psa 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night:
I commune with
mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
Lam 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for
the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search
and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of
full age, even
those who by reason of use have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil.
Thou Fount of every blessing”, Robert Robinson,