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Because Jericho was so important in the work of Elisha, I do not want to be in a rush to move on to the next miracle-sign of Elisha. Understanding the story of Jericho lays the foundations for the entire ministry and work of Elisha. By extension, we who participate in that work of Elisha today need to do so with the revelatory knowledge that can be seen through New Covenant eyes.
Jericho was a prophetic type of Babylon. This is clear from the book of Revelation, which patterns the overthrow of Babylon upon the overthrow of Jericho. Joshua’s curse upon Jericho ultimately was fulfilled in Babylon. Jericho was rebuilt at the cost of two sons, while Babylon “will not be found any longer” (Revelation 18:21).
The main lesson for the church is to refuse to rebuild Jericho or to build Babylon. When God first moved upon me in 1981 and sent me into the wilderness, I realized then that I had been building my own kingdom, not His. I saw then that I had been building my section of Babylon and needed a clean break with a new beginning.
I saw later that from Joshua’s point of view, I had tried to rebuild Jericho and thus came under the ancient curse. God took this very seriously, but He had mercy, like the apostle in his early days, “because I acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). My unbelief was based on my lack of hearing and knowing the word, for “faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17). I did not begin to learn to hear His voice until afterward.
Jericho was Dedicated to God
Jericho was to be devoted to God. Joshua 6:17 (NASB) says, “the city shall be under the ban.” The KJV reads, “the city shall be accursed.” The Hebrew word used is haram, which is translated “devoted” in Leviticus 27:21 and 28. Haram means “to dedicate” for some purpose. One may dedicate a field to the Lord, as in Leviticus 27:21, or a sacrifice to offer to God, or those people or animals which have been cursed to die (1 Samuel 15:21).
Galatians 3:13 says,
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”
Sinners are under the curse (sentence) of the law. The law dedicates them to die; hence, when Adam sinned, he and all who were under his authority received the death penalty, making us mortal. The law also curses certain sinners by tying them to a tree, where the public may stone them after the witnesses to the man’s crime has cast the first stone.
Christ, then, was hanged on a tree, showing that He had taken our curse upon Himself. In other words, Christ was “devoted” (haram) or dedicated to this end. When He was baptized by John, He was dedicated in two ways: (1) to die on the cross; and (2) to be raised up to be seated at the right hand of the Father.
Much could be said about this, but for now it is sufficient to know that haram, being a neutral term, can dedicate someone or something for either a positive or a negative purpose. To be under a curse does not tell us the whole story, nor is it the end of the story. I have found that God’s curses are temporary and, in the end, are reversed so that we may be blessed. My experience under Cursed Time (for being in a calling that was not mine) was that it was a discipline that taught me how to die to self so that I could submit to the will of God.
Therefore, when we ourselves were baptized in Christ’s death and resurrection, we were dedicated to God as haram according to the laws of devotion in Leviticus 27. Once devoted to God, we could not be reclaimed (or “redeemed”) by our former owner. Leviticus 27:28 says,
28 Nevertheless, anything which a man sets apart [haram] to the Lord out of all that he has of man or animal or of the fields of his own property, shall not be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted to destruction [herem haram] is most holy to the Lord.
It is our purpose to dedicate the entire world to God. God has made Jericho a type of Babylon, so that when Babylon is taken and then dedicated to God, the Kingdom of God suddenly owns a very large portion of the earth. Babylon is even now falling into the hands of God and His Kingdom of Light. A thousand years later that which remains outside of His dominion (“outer darkness”) will be taken as well.
Dedicating the Field
We see from the Scripture above that once a field (“the world,” Matthew 13:38) is haram, it “is most holy to the Lord.” This is referenced by prophecy in Leviticus 27:22, which refers to “a field” that is haram. We ourselves, having been dedicated to Him through baptism, cannot be removed from His hands. Jesus said in John 10:27-29 (Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible),
27 My sheep unto My voice hearken—and I know them, and they follow me— 28 And I give unto them life age-abiding, and in nowise shall they perish unto times age-abiding; and no one shall carry them off out of My hand. 29 What My Father hath given Me is something greater than all, and no one can carry off out of the hand of My Father.
The reason no one can take them out of Christ’s hands is because they have been devoted to Him. The former owner has no further claim to them. It is not that they are “accursed,” but that they are devoted, set aside for His good pleasure. In fact, anyone who attempts to steal them from their new Owner finds himself under a curse through the law of devotion.
The law of devotion is one of the laws of ownership. Those who steal from God come under the curse (sentence) of the law. The penalty is to restore double (Exodus 22:3, 4). If he lacks the means to do so, then he himself is sold to a redeemer. Jesus is our Redeemer. Therefore, such thieves are claimed by Jesus Christ and are devoted to Him.
Did you get that? By the same law that cursed sinners, those sinners are devoted to Jesus Christ. That, my friends, is another way in which God has the lawful right to save the whole world. The bitter waters of Jericho must be healed. Jericho must be destroyed, but "the waters... are peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues" (Revelation 17:15).
The Four Metals Devoted to God
In regard to the spoils of war in the battle of Jericho, Joshua 6:19 says,
19 But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.
Joshua 6:24 says,
24 They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.
These metals were haram. They were not “cursed” but dedicated to the Lord’s treasury. These are the same metals comprising the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2:32, 33,
32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron…
The image itself represented four kingdoms which were also four phases of the Babylonian succession of empires. Like Jericho, Babylon is haram, and the citizens of Babylon—whether they are Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, or Romans—have been dedicated to God in order to fill His treasury. God destroys the ungodly governments in order to claim their citizenry for His Kingdom.
Those who disagree with God’s policy are like Achan, who took some of the spoils of war and buried them (Joshua 7:21). Prophetically speaking, he testified that God ought to lose part of that which had been devoted to Him. Some ought to be buried in the ground and remain outside of God’s treasury. Those who refuse to hear the word of the restoration of all things are like Achan.
How can such people do the work of Joshua and Elisha? Can they truly prepare the way for the second coming of Christ while doing the works of Achan? This is a lesson for us all. We cannot be good and faithful stewards of God’s treasury without knowing that all the gold, silver, bronze, and iron in Jericho and Babylon are haram.
The Axe Head
The 12th miracle-sign of Elisha (as we will see), teaches us a similar but shortened version of the restoration of all things. 2 Kings 6:4-7 says,
4 So he [Elisha] went with them; and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And when he showed him the place, he cut a stick and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7 He said, “Take it up for yourself.” So he put out his hand and took it.
The iron was thus recovered. This refers prophetically to the iron kingdom of Rome, which was the fourth empire in Daniel 2. The 12th sign of Elisha speaks to us of the importance of saving the citizens of the Roman empire and not losing them in the Jordan. The Jordan River signifies the river of baptism, which is crossed in order to come into “newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
The final eight signs of Elisha all come within the context of the gospel going forth to heal the nations. The number 12 signifies divine government—here, to contrast Roman government.
Each of the four metals have their counterpart in Daniel 7, where they are pictured as beasts. One must overlay Daniel 2 upon Daniel 7 in order to get the full picture. The empires in Daniel 7 picture the heart of the beast, including its form of government. Babylon was an Absolute Monarchy; Persia was a Constitutional Monarchy; Greece was a Democracy; Rome was a Republic.
The loss of the iron axe head suggests the loss of a Republic. America was established as a Republic, not a Democracy. Hence our legal system is expressed in Latin, and our political institutions are derived primarily from Rome. In 1933 we lost the Republic and were turned into a Democracy. Our iron axe head was lost and must yet be recovered before the end comes.
This will be part of the work of Elisha.
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