THE HOLY LAND AND BRANCH
By Dan Luehrs
Much has been said about the Holy Land in the news media and in the church today. The phrase “Holy Land” refers to the land that Israel now occupies in the Middle East. Every day it seams the news media gives us some coverage on what is happening with Israel and the Palestine peace plan and to all the terrorism that is going on there. But is the “Holy Land” any holier than any other country, with all the daily fighting and killing? No, I do not think that land is any holier than any other piece of real estate in the world. Yet, I do believe that God promised this land to Abraham and His descendants many years ago.
"The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the Holy Land and will again choose Jerusalem" (Zechariah 2:12 NIV).
Even after all these years have passed, I still believe that the God has a covenant with the natural seed of Abraham to fulfill His promise with them of possessing this land. Long ago God deeded the land that Israel now lives on to Abraham and his descendants. This is why there is a country called Israel today, because God has willed it to be so! But on the other hand, I see something much deeper than just a small piece of Holy Land somewhere in the Middle East that people are fighting over. What is happening to the natural land of Israel is what is happening right here in our “Holy Land,” which is our physical body that the Lord of glory has filled with His presence. Yes, we are the true Holy Land that the Lord wants to possess and conquer from the north, south, east, and west unto the glory of God. He wants to grow His branch in us, the true Holy Land of God. Then, He will go forth to conquer others through us when we have been fully conquered by Him.
"Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you-- indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch" (Zechariah 3:8 NASB).
Joshua was the high priest when Israel left the captivity of Babylon. He was to aid Zerubbablel in spiritual matters concerning the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The name Joshua means, “God is deliverer or salvation.” And this is what God is doing with His sons in this day. He is raising them up to be great deliverers of the people. "And so all Israel will be saved (delivered), as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob" (Romans 11:26 NIV). But, first, God must cleanse them from all their iniquity and make them beautiful just as He did Joshua, so that they are completely holy and separated unto Himself. "In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy -- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem" (Isaiah 4:3 NASB).
The Lord is now separating His “Joshua’s” (deliverers) from the “unholy Land” that lies within them, which is of the flesh (Babylon). God is saying to His people, "Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon" (Zechariah 2:7 NIV)! Joshua and his men were to be the first to be delivered from the Babylonian world system that God is delivering us out of at this time. Joshua and the men that were with him were to be symbolic deliverers of the people that were to come in the future. This is the “Joshua Generation” that is upon us; who will deliver and cleanse the church of the world system and the flesh, for they are all called to be kings and high priests of God. In Zechariah 3:1-5 he tells us how they will be cleansed of all their iniquity.
“Then [the guiding angel] showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at Joshua's right hand to be his adversary and to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! Even the Lord, Who [now and habitually] chooses Jerusalem, (the church) rebuke you! Is not this [returned captive Joshua] a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel [of the Lord]. And He spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And He said to [Joshua], Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. And I [Zechariah] said, let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by” (AMP)
Our accuser is standing right there to tell God how unworthy we are to receive His cleansing and glory. But God’s mercy and grace goes far beyond our ability to be holy in our own strength. Notice how God has cleansed him by taking away the garments of the old flesh and given him new and clean apparel by His word alone. This was something Joshua could not do for himself, and neither can we do it on our own. God, Himself must do the work in us. Remember, Joshua is symbolic of what God is going to do for us! This is the process God said He was going to bring forth His servant, the “Branch.” (See Zechariah 3:8). Many people in the church have interpreted this branch to be Jesus Himself. BUT JESUS DID NOT HAVE ANY INIQUITY OR FILTHINESS IN HIM TO BE CLEANSED OF, so this could not be Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus said in John 15:4-5 that we are the branch and He is the vine that we are connected to. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” For this cleansing of the flesh will come about in one day---the Day of the Lord! “For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day" (Zechariah 3:9 NASB).
The generation of God’s sons or His (Joshua’s) are the branch of the Lord that will spread throughout the entire earth to restore it back to the Father through the workings of Jesus Christ in and through His people. "Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever (the Promise Land of Christ’s character), the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified." (Isaiah 60:21 NASB).
Read the word of the Lord to us through Zechariah the prophet on how God’s branch (His sons) are crowned with the glory of the Lord and will spread forth in the earth.
"Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here" (Zechariah 3:7 NRSV). -- "The word of the LORD came to me: Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah." "Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, “Joshua” son of Jehozadak. Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: (Here is the man whose name is the Branch), and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on (his throne). And he will be a priest on (his throne). And there will be harmony between the two" (the two are the high priesthood authority and kingship power on the throne). (Zechariah 6:9-13 NIV).
Listen to what the promise of God is to all His sons that are soon to arise in the earth with the likeness of Jesus Christ to set all mankind free from the bondage of sin and death; They will have a two-fold ministry, which is the harmony of the high priesthood of Jesus and His kingship which has never been done before until Jesus did it Himself by overcoming death and sin on the cross. The high priesthood is the ministry first unto God in the holy of Holies; the crown of a king upon their heads is so that they too will rule and reign with the authority of Jesus Christ in the earth. The sons of God are the high priests and kings of God! "Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest (Jesus), who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne (kingship) of the Majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1 NASB). -- "Being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 5:10 NASB). -- "So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "THOU ART MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE" (Hebrews 5:5 NASB).
Oh, yes, my friends, God’s sons are the kings and priests who will sit on His throne ruling and reining with Him. "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10 KJV). His sons will then build the spiritual temple of the Lord that is not made of stones or mortar, but is the New Jerusalem, which is the city of God that comes down out of heaven to govern earth in righteousness. God’s people are looking and living for a city that has a foundation that will last throughout eternity because they see that this world is passing away. But the world to come is an ever-abiding one. The name Jerusalem means, “founded or established by God.” And this is what the city is that Abraham and all the patriarchs of old have longed and waited for! "For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10 NASB). -- "For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come" (Hebrews 13:14 NASB). The New Jerusalem is founded in God and not in the world system of man that is passing away.
Joshua and many other Jewish people came out of Babylon at the leading of the Lord to rebuild and finish God’s temple in Jerusalem. This is a sign of encouragement to us today that God’s spiritual temple will also be finished one day in His timing. "In whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22). Today, we, the church, are the temple of God that needs to be finished by the powerful workings of God’s Spirit through the ministry of His sons. They are to be God’s finishers of His holy temple to prepare the church for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in them.
In many ways in the earth today the trumpets of God are sounding loud and clear that Jesus is coming very soon, in and through His people! I hear the trumpets of God sounding in my own spirit and I also hear the trumpets sounding in the prophetic church of God. I hear the trumpets sounding in the media and in some of the movies that are coming out of Hollywood. Can you hear it? The voice of the trumpet is trying to wake us up!
“Awake, my glory (my inner self); awake, harp and lyre! I will awake right early [I will awaken the dawn] (the Day of the Lord)!” (Psalms 57:8 AMP).
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