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07 OCT Journey to the West Side of the Jordan

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My Journey to the West Side of the Jordan

CLC, Wednesday October 3, 2007, Numbers 13.17-14.10

Meet Your Area Pastor gatherings: My history as UMC pastor; response: Isn’t that a lot different than CLC?

Pastor Brooks: one of God’s greatest challenges is getting people to accept the blessing he has for them.

Pastor’s Language of East/West of Jordan.

Describe the Exodus; the purpose was not to leave Egypt, it was to get the people into the promised land.


Dt. 12.8-11

8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,
9 for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you.
10 But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety,
11 then to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord.

Things will be different on the other side!

Whole sweep of salvation history is leading up to this so the promises in the covenant will be fulfilled. 1. Make you a great nation, 2. Be your God, 3. Give you a land, 4. Possess the gate of your enemies, 5. In your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Dt. 28.2-8, 11-13 – This is what God is promising the Israelites, a sample of the blessing he has in mind for them

Numbers 13.17-20 – They are poised on the edge of promised land, checking it out. They’re out of Egypt, but not into the land yet.

Physical geography which describes a spiritual reality. The Jewish Exodus is analogous to Christian journey. Red Sea = salvation, crossing Jordan = fullness of God’s promises, full gospel, etc. Describe East of the Jordan Christians and churches.

  Social Gospel Fire Insurance Gospel
General Belief in God gives us a moral imperative to care about the poor, downtrodden, outcast and left out. This extends gradually to become an ultra-inclusivism where tolerance is the primary virtue. Belief in God allows Jesus’ righteousness to be credited to our account so that at the final judgment, we will be allowed into heaven.
Sin Sin is understood as injustice on a societal level and results in exclusion and separation of people, as well as creations of haves and have-nots, insiders and outsiders Sin is a personal issue, caused by Adam (original sin). If it isn’t dealt with, sin will cause me to spend forever in Hell after I die.
Salvation Salvation is hardly mentioned, except in phrases like, “save the children” or “save the rainforest.” Salvation is accomplished by our efforts to level the playing field and be more inclusive. Salvation is entirely focused after-death, and the primary benefit is Hell-avoidance.
Jesus Jesus is an ethical teacher, the perfect example of one who practiced radical inclusiveness and concern for those who are not accepted by the majority. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice whose death satisfied our sin-debt to God.
Miracles Biblical miracles are interpreted as social phenomena brought about by Jesus’ radical acceptance of everyone. *The feeding of the 5,000 was actually people sharing food that they had hidden—they shared in response to seeing the boy’s example*Demon possessed people actually had mental disorders caused by their exclusion from society, cured by Jesus’ acceptance Biblical miracles were a temporary manifestation of the New Testament times given to validate and authenticate Jesus and the first generation of Christians. GRTS Values:“We believe in the continued expression of the spiritual gifts. The more demonstrative or “sign gifts” such as healing, raising the dead and speaking in tongues were given for the authentication of the apostolic generation and are not normative for today.”Also:“We believe in the reality of Satan and his kingdom of darkness, and that our confrontation of Satan demands belief and trust in God and the effective use of Scripture and other resources God has made available to us.”
  No Power Irrelevant to life

Both have truth: God really does care about widows, orphans, poor and the outcast. Jesus really did die on the cross to take away the sins of the world. But neither of them give us any sense that God cares about our day to day lives, or worse: that he can do anything about it. They are WEAK and powerless. This is in stark contrast to the gospel presented in the Bible. Jesus came for Abundant Life.

East side Christians are saved: they’re out of Egypt, but they haven’t walked into the promised land. I lived on the East side for a long time. Mostly I just didn’t know any better:

Dallas Willard: “We who profess Christianity will believe what is constantly presented to us as gospel. . . And those in the wider world who reject those gospels will believe that what they have rejected is the gospel of Jesus Christ himself—when in fact they haven’t yet heard it.” The Divine Conspiracy 1997.

Numbers 13.25-33

Two reports come in about the land: the majority report is positive with a ‘yeah but,’ then the minority report is strongly positive, then the majority starts making up negative things (we seemed like grasshoppers to them).”

East of Jordan Christians and Churches sometimes get reports from the West side, or they have a West side experience. They need to evaluate the experience or the report.

Show Teacup Video

Started to take Bible seriously; What if he meant what he said? Began to believe what it says, even if I don’t understand it, or if it goes against my current understanding of reality. I started to realize that God wants more than I had been taught. Jesus said that he came so we could have life, and have it abundantly. (Jn. 10.10).


Numbers 14.1-10a

Key phrase: “Do not fear them, for they are bread for us. . .and the LORD is with us.” The key to receiving their inheritance is to believe the positive reports about God’s power and presence.


·        Israelites had to physically walk across the Jordan River to enter the promised land. Remember, the physical geography of East/West represents a spiritual reality.

·        Christians don’t need to move to Tel Aviv to get our inheritance, we need to believe the positive reports about God’s power and presence and begin living in the spiritual kingdom he designed for us.

·        Mark 1:15: The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

·        The spiritual kingdom we are meant to occupy allows us to make demands on God’s power through our faith so that things here in the physical world work right.

·        The whole sweep of salvation history from Abraham, through prophets to Jesus on the cross and in his resurrection power was designed not just to save us from hell or give us some good ethics, but to bring a people into their full inheritance and blessing, so that all the peoples of the earth would be blessed through us.

Pastor’s desire: We become a people who can dwell in a place once visited. Show you how this works.

Interview Julie: Story of Joyce Stenger’s Healing

So if we live on the East side of the Jordan and we hear about Joyce’s healing, or prosperity, or deliverance, or abundance, or authority, do we deny the report, or do we believe in his presence and power and decide to go live there?


Of all those Israelites, only Joshua and Caleb entered the land, because they believed in God’s power and presence.

Jn. 14.12-14

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Jn. 15.7-8

7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Jn. 20.21-23

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Mk. 6.37

5,000 Hungry men: “You give them something to eat”


Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Mt. 10.1, 7-8

1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.

7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.


Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Mk. 11.22-24

22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Mt. 16.18-19, 18.19

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Do you deny the report or believe in his presence and power?

Attack the spirit of mental illness.

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