TYPICAL TEACHING IN THE JOURNEY FROM
EGYPT TO CANAAN
A full and free deliverance, from the threat of eternal damnation to seating in the heavenlies, all through the death of Christ, to any who will lay hold of it by faith.
Notes taken from
September – November 2014
Introduction: Why Study Old Testament Typical Teaching?
Why do we care about the typical teaching in the Old Testament? The Old Testament is as much a part of the Word of God as the New Testament. Not only so, we have specific instructions in the New Testament as to the old, that the things written therein are for our learning:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
The Old Testament is not merely a collection of stories, dates, and genealogies. It is full of lessons, principles, and types, which illustrate New Testament doctrine. If we neglect that part of the inspired scriptures, we will lose out on something that can establish, strengthen, and complement our understanding of New Testament doctrine. The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a helpful illustration of New Testament doctrine concerning the individual standing and salvation of the believer. Paul told Timothy to put what he had learned into an outline, and to hold fast to it. What we would like to do is to put these “salvation truths” into an outline, not of man’s making, but one that was inspired by the Spirit of God, in the journey of His ancient people from Egypt to Canaan.
- Introduction: Why Study Old Testament Typical Teaching?
- Overview of the Journey
- Preface: New Birth is the Prerequisite for Everything
- List of Contrasting Terms Surrounding Salvation
- Full Deliverance as seen in the Journey from Egypt to Canaan
Overview of the Journey
In the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan we have the experience of an individual believer in all that God as done for our salvation (in the broadest sense of the word). We shouldn’t have the idea that our salvation is compete the moment we know that the blood of Jesus has washed our sins away. Often we are inclined to settle down with the part of salvation that satisfies our conscience instead of continuing forward into the understanding of our full Christian position.
The time in Egypt represents the time when we were dead in trespasses in sins, guilty before God, in bondage to Satan. The bondage was hard bondage, and we were slaves to sin and didn’t even want to be delivered, so great was Satan’s hold over us. When the Deliverer came and sought to free us (a picture of quickening), the bondage grew stronger. The plagues explain the world to us. If we would listen to them, they would separate us from the world.
The Passover represents the application of the death of Christ to our justification, and thereby the means of sheltering us from the wrath of God against sin. The destroying angel would pass over, and judgment would fall, but God said “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” It was not by works or thoughts or feelings, but the blood upon the door. The knowledge of sins forgiven can only be had by resting on the Word of God. The eating of the lamb and the application of the blood speak of the time when we lay hold by faith of the death and blood of Christ to shelter us from the judgment of God against sin. Yet God is still outside, and Pharaoh is still on his throne, and so we need something more.
The Red Sea
The Red Sea is (1) the death of Christ in the aspect of delivering us from the power of the flesh, the world, and the Devil, and (2) His resurrection giving us a perfect standing before God. When Israel came up out of Egypt they did not have a song in their hearts, they were not yet redeemed. Very quickly they discovered that Pharaoh was coming after them, a type of Satan and the power of sin. Often, a new convert discovers the presence of indwelling sin and the power of Satan and becomes very afraid. Before the Red Sea, one does not have peace with God. But at the Red Sea one learns that the believer’s standing before God is perfect through the death and resurrection of Christ, that He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification. The believer now stands before God “in Christ”. Also, the death and resurrection of Christ are sufficient to deliver us from the power of sin and Satan. After resting fully on the person and work of Christ, we are indwelt by the Spirit of God, and thus receive the power that we need to walk in “newness of life”. Thus, one learns that it is incumbent upon the believer to reckon (as God does) one’s self dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God. Being thus delivered, one can rest in perfect peace, and sing the song of deliverance. This is the significance of the Red Sea.
Note: Many teachers in Christendom today are concerned about moral sin, and are anxious to present a solution. Sadly, they turn to human means – systems of legality – which eventually disappoint the soul and leave them in a worse state than before. May we turn to the scriptures to find God’s way of deliverance, through the death and resurrection of Christ. Also connected with the Red Sea is the subject of baptism; an external ordinance which puts us onto the ground of Christian profession.
The wilderness phase corresponds to the believer’s Christian life on this earth (while Canaan is his life in the heavenlies). Because of sin, this world has become a wilderness, but God is bringing us across it in His grace. We now are in the character of pilgrims and strangers, tent-dwellers. A great number of lessons are learned, which above all teach us to rely fully on God and to put no confidence in the flesh. We find many pitfalls in the wilderness; (1) the danger of neglecting to feed on Christ, (2) the tendency to put ourselves under law, (3) the danger of rebelling under the government of God, (4) the folly of unbelief, and finally, (5) the danger of settling down in this life and never possessing our heavenly blessings.
The crossing of the Jordan speaks of the death and resurrection of Christ in which we have died with Him and are risen with Him; placing us in the New Creation and linking us with Him by the Holy Ghost. The Jordan was the boundary of the land, and must be crossed to enter the land of promise. Therefore, we must lay hold of this aspect of the death of Christ in order to enjoy our heavenly blessings. The truth of the Jordan is; (1) as a man I am dead (not just to sin, not just to the law), that is, I have passed out of the condition being a man on the earth; and (2) I am risen with Christ in New Creation, where now not only my hope is in heaven, but I am there, sitting down in the heavenlies in Christ. These two aspects of the Jordan are pictured by (1) the twelve-stone memorial to death in the midst Jordan, and (2) the twelve-stone memorial to resurrection in Gilgal.
Canaan is the sphere into which the Jordan places us. Canaan pictures the believer’s life in the aspect in which we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We must come initially and continually to Gilgal, where we judicially cut of that which pertains to nature, thus mortifying our members which are upon the earth. This is necessary for us to enjoy the heavenly blessings. We meet a man with a drawn sword, the captain of the Lord’s host; which tells us that we can expect warfare now, and that territorial gains will have to be by warfare. The wilderness and Canaan continue as two parallel paths, (1) our life on the earth and (2) our life in the heavenlies, which is our true home.
The following chart will summarize the journey as we experience it:
Preface: New Birth is the Prerequisite for Everything
It is very important to understand that the first step in God’s dealing with a soul is New Birth. It comes before everything else. It gives the soul a new life that responds to the call of God, that hates evil, and that clings to the Word of God.
New birth is called quickening in some places, although “quickening” (means “to give life”) is only spoken of in connection with Gentiles, while “new birth” is spoken of in connection with Israel. It is God’s sovereign action to impart new life to a soul, and He does it: of His own will, through the Word of God, and in the power of the Spirit of God. We didn’t ask for it, we didn’t want it. God simply imparted it to us, sovereignly. Understanding of divine things comes after new birth. Repentance comes after new birth. If it were the other way around, it would be a denial of man’s total depravity. With new birth comes a dose of faith, but apprehension of spiritual things is gradual. It may be months or even years until we pass through the Red Sea in type, see Christ as our Savior, and are sealed by the Spirit.
List of Contrasting Terms Surrounding Salvation
It will be helpful to understand the numerous terms used in the scriptures surrounding the doctrines of salvation. One set of terms that is commonly misunderstood is the truth of the old man and the new man.
The old man is what we are characteristically in connection with Adam, but the new man is what we are characteristically in connection with Christ. We have old and new natures as well, which are distinct from the old man and new man. The new nature is what we get with new birth. It contains right desires and longings, a capacity to please God (not the power), and an appetite for the Word of God. The old nature is what we get from our natural birth, and it has the capacity to sin. It is where indwelling sin resides, the root of evil within us. It is often called “the flesh”, which is tied to our physical bodies. The flesh is the power of the old nature and the way in which sin acts. The Christian is seen as having put off the Old Man, and having put on the New Man. However, we are never seen as having put off the flesh, but we are told to mortify our members which are on the earth; i.e. putting into practice what is true of the Old Man.
|Two Races||Under Adam
The race that descends from Fallen Adam. The race fell with him. In authority, higher than the animal kingdom, but “a little lower than the angels.”
The race that descends from a Resurrected Christ. In authority, far above the angels. As part of His race, we are “of” Christ, but the transformation is gradual.
|Two Orders||First Man
An earthy and natural order of manhood. Tested up to the cross – proved a failure.
Christ is a second, heavenly order order of manhood. No failure there.
|Two Adams||First Adam
“Made a living soul”, natural in character, head of Old Creation race. No power, he was a created being.
“Made a quickening spirit”, spiritual, the head of a New Creation race. There will be no “third” race of men.
|Two Men||Old Man
All that we were in Adam in the Old Creation. The old man is crucified in Romans, taken off in Colossians, and completely laid aside in Ephesians.
All that we are in Christ in the New Creation. The new man is put on in Colossians, and the “brand-new” man is put on in Ephesians. (Not mentioned in Romans.)
|Two Positions||In Adam
Our old position before God. It is a hopeless standing.
Our new position before God. A perfect standing!
|Two Creations||The Old Creation
Created by Christ in Adam. We are in this by natural birth. We are still part of the old creation when quickened. Our bodies remain in the Old Creation until the rapture.
|The New Creation
Created by God in Christ. We come into this by being placed “in Christ”. It is created “unto good works.” We enter it when sealed, but don’t enjoy it until Canaan.
The evil desires that are imprinted in us from Adam. Often called “the flesh”, or “sin that dwelleth in me”, but this term carries more the thought of capacity to sin.
The right desires that are imprinted in us by new birth. It is the “divine nature”, the “inner man”, and has the thought of capacity to please God.
(of the natures)
The power of the old nature, connected closely with our vile body. Before we are saved the flesh has free reign. But when saved, “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit…” Gal. 5:17. Also called indwelling sin.* The vehicle by which sin acts.
“The strength of sin is the law.” I Cor. 15:56. “When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Rom. 7:9
A Person of the Godhead, always connected with the power by which God does things. For the believer, the Spirit is the power of the new nature. When we are quickened we get the new nature, the capacity. But when we are indwelt with the Spirit we then get power to please God.
“If Christ be in you… the Spirit is life.” Romans 8:10 And “The Spirit [lusteth] against the flesh” Gal. 5:17
|My life in Adam
Judicially gone in God’s sight. My personality is no longer associated with former sinful self or my sinful nature. “I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, I.”
Christ’s Life in me
“Christ lives in me; but in that I now live in flesh, I live by faith…” Gal. 2:20
“If Christ be in you, the body is dead on account of sin.” Rom. 8:10
|In the flesh
A condition of soul where I view myself and my own works as the basis of blessing. This is a hopeless condition, and it is possible for a quickened soul to be in this state.
|In the Spirit
A condition of soul were I view the finished work of Christ as the basis for by blessing and depend on God’s Spirit within me for practical power to walk pleasing to Him.
* The “body of sin” refers to sin in us as a whole, and I think it would include the whole system: the sin principle, the flesh, and individual sins.
Full Deliverance as seen in the Journey from Egypt to Canaan
Often when we speak of “deliverance” we are thinking of the subject of Romans 6, 7, and first part of 8; namely, deliverance from the law of sin and death. But we will see, as we examine this subject from a more comprehensive viewpoint, that deliverance contains many aspects, and covers every need of our soul.
We were “born in sin and shapen in iniquity”. We had evil desires and motives, and we had an evil power within us. But when we were quickened (in Egypt) we received the new nature; but no power to act, and no hiding place from the judgment of God. At this point we had not yet experienced deliverance.
It is very important to see that quickening is what awakened us to feel our lost condition. Before quickening, Ephesians 2:1 tells us we were dead in our sins. But Romans looks at a man who is being enlightened by the Word of God as to his lost condition; therefore, he is alive in his sins, supposing that quickening has already occurred. This is why the emphasis in Romans is that no matter how bad you are, the power of the Gospel can save you. A chart will be helpful:
Part I – Deliverance from Judgment (Passover)
The first thing we feel as a quickened soul is the conviction of our sins and the fear of eternal punishment. The first part of deliverance is vastly important. It is deliverance from the judgment of God against sin. As always, deliverance comes through the person and work of Christ; “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (read Rom. 3:24-26). This aspect of deliverance is by His death and blood-shedding that shelters us from the destroying angel.
Part II – Deliverance from Indwelling Sin (Red Sea)
After getting deliverance from judgment, we become aware of the power of sin within us. When we come to the Red Sea we receive deliverance from the flesh; that is, we don’t lose the flesh but we get the victory over it. We learn that Christ has condemned sin in the flesh and that our old man is crucified with Christ and the body (totality) of sin has been annulled (Rom. 6:6). We also learn that if we make provision for the flesh, there will be trouble. The way we enjoy this deliverance is by “reckoning” ourselves dead to sin and alive with God. However, reckoning ourselves dead to sin is only the negative side. There is a positive side to deliverance from sin, and that is the fact that we have been indwelt with the Spirit of God who is the power the new nature needs to act (Rom. 8:2).
Both are true: (1) the power of sin has been broken and (2) we have received the power for our new life, the Spirit of God indwelling us. Deliverance comes when we recognize both facts.
Part III – Deliverance into the New Creation (Jordan)
The third part of deliverance is not found in Romans, but rather in Colossians, Ephesians, and 2 Corinthians. It is a deliverance of a higher order, in which we are disconnected with everything that belonged to Adam and the fallen world, and ushered into a New Creation where Christ is the head, and where sin can never come (read Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:5,6,10; II Cor. 5:17).
In the New Creation, everything is in perfect conformity to Christ. In the Jordan we are seen has having put off and completely laid aside the old man, and have put on the new man. The Jordan speaks of deliverance from the world in the sense that our last ties are cut, and now we are seated in the heavenlies. Only our bodies as yet remain down here on earth.
Our bodies, suffering from the effects of sin, must await the coming of the Lord when they shall be where we are now positionally; changed, raised, and seated in heaven. At that moment, for us, the very last taint of sin will be removed.