A couple of weeks ago (6/25/02), I was walking on the road next to a golf course where I sometimes get some exercise. I immediately noticed golf balls here and there by the road, having been knocked out of the course. It is not unusual to see one or two like this, but I was seeing many now. Usually this area is combed very well by earlier walkers. After picking up six or seven balls, I thought, "How unusual, I wonder if you are talking to me, Lord". Then I saw a bright yellow advertisement on the ground, probably blown from someone's mail box or front door. The unusual thing was that it was within inches of a golf ball that was the exact same unusual color. There was nothing else of that color as far as I could see. The chances against this happening are awesome, I am sure. Then I knew the Lord was speaking to me, but I was not yet sure what. I continued my walk picking up nine golf balls. My pockets were bulging. On my way home, I had the distinct impression that I would find one more ball. I turned down my street; and just before reaching home, I found one more ball, quite a ways from the course. That made ten in all. I asked the Lord what He was saying but received no answer until yesterday.
The Lord showed me that the golf course was like the believers race to the finish line. I know little of golf, but I understand the trick is to follow that little ball (like we are to follow Christ) across the finish with as few strokes as possible. A hole in one, which would of course win the race for that particular hole, would necessitate hitting the ball only once. In disregard to God's command to merely speak to the rock, Moses "smote the rock with his rod twice" and it brought forth water. The penalty for this was that he was not permitted to enter the Promised Land with Joshua and Caleb (Num.20:8-13). (1 Cor.10:4) and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ. (5) Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Jesus, our rock, which brought forth the water of life, was smitten once at the crucifixion. We are told that He is not to be smitten twice. We are told that those who walk in willful disobedience "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Heb.6:6). The person who walks in obedience crucifies the old man (2 Cor.4:16), but those who walk in willful sin "crucify to themselves" the new man who is "Christ in you the hope of glory". They smite the rock twice. Those who are twice born and continue to walk in this way will be "twice dead, plucked up by the roots" (Jude 12). (Heb.10:26) For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, (27) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. (28) A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on [the word of] two or three witnesses: (29) of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Jesus bore all sin; He also bore the penalty for all sin, except willful disobedience. Notice that there is "no more a sacrifice" for that sin. Instead there should be "a certain fearful expectation of judgment". Many of us have been lied to about the cleansing of the blood. (1 Jn.1:7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin. The blood cleanses the one who walks in the light of the Word, not in the darkness of willful disobedience.
For willful disobedience, we are promised certain judgment. Those who knock the ball out of the course cannot retrieve it and pay the penalty of loosing a stroke while everyone else passes them up. We pay the penalty for this sin here and now, as in the following verses: (Mt.18:34) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors (demons), till he should pay all that was due. (35) So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts. God will use the demons to make us pay for a sin of the will. (Mt.5:25) Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge (God), and the judge deliver thee to the officer (demon), and thou be cast into prison. (26) Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing. The prison here is spiritual bondage to sin and the curse, administered by the demons. Jesus came ". . .to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening [of the prison] to them that are bound" (Isa.61:1). Willful disobedience throws us back into the prison that Jesus delivered us from.
David sinned willfully with Bathsheba. When he repented, Nathan the prophet said, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin"; but he also said, "The sword shall never depart from thy house". In other words, I forgive you but you will have to pay the penalty. This proved true, for David lost three sons and many people. His own son Absalom won the sympathy of the people and usurped the kingdom. David had to flee for his life. We do not spank our children for failure or mistakes, but for willful disobedience. Paul said, "For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not (willed not), that I practice. But if what I would not (willed not), that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me" (Rom.7:19,20). Paul was failing God in a sin that his will was against. Notice that he hated the sin and was not accounted guilty; the old sin nature was guilty. When we are against the sin, God takes our side against the sin. He takes the side of the spiritual man against the old man. In this state, Paul cried out to the Lord. (24) Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death? Then he accepted God's promise of deliverance by faith. (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus bore the curse of the sin for a person who is repentant, like Paul, even before he overcomes the sin.
There are types on top of types that are scriptural and one does not negate the other. The clear type that the Israelites in the wilderness show us is that those who walk in rebellion and do not bring forth a measure of fruit will not enter the Promised Land representing heaven. Many years ago I saw another less known type in the same text that is important here. In golf as in life there are penalties. Moses struck the rock twice and did not enter the Promised Land in his body as Joshua and Caleb did. He entered the heavenly Promised Land as a spiritual man. The Israelites who failed to totally walk by faith died in body but their fruit, the spiritual man, represented by their children entered the Promised Land of heaven. (Num.14:30) surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. (31) But your little ones (Their fruit, Christ in You, the spiritual man), that ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have rejected. (32) But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. After their bodies died, their little ones, that which was conceived in them and born from them, as is our spiritual man, entered the Promised Land of heaven. Only the seed, representing the spiritual man or new man, of those whose bodies died in the wilderness entered the Promised Land of heaven. (Mt.13:38) and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom.. The body is not a son of the kingdom or son of God, but a son of man. (1 Cor.15:50). . . Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Only a body born from above can enter the Promised Land. In these days the totally faithful, represented by Joshua and Caleb, will receive this body before dying but "the soul that sins must die". The pre-wilderness all fly away lie says that everyone will enter the Promised Land in their new bodies but the penalty for not overcoming sin in the wilderness is that the body will die. In a nutshell, those who believe, like Joshua and Caleb, will enter the Promised Land in body after the wilderness trial. (51) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. The faithful will not die but be translated. (Heb.11:5) By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: (6) And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing [unto him].. However those who walk in a measure of unbelief will have to die in body in the wilderness and will enter only as the spiritual man. (Num.14:33) And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whoredoms, until your dead bodies be consumed in the wilderness. (34) After the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, even forty (The number of tribulation) days, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my alienation. Contrary to popular opinion both those who sleep, whose bodies fell, and those "who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord", like Joshua and Caleb, will go through the wilderness which God says is the tribulation (Rev.12:6, 17:3). Joshua and Caleb knew because of God's promises that they could conquer the carnal man (the Canaanite) and take the Promised Land. They spoke the good report (Num.14:6-9). Those who say that the carnal man is too strong for us, that we are always going to be sinners, and speak the bad report will die in the wilderness (Num.14:36, 37). Jesus already crucified the old man, and you are to "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus" (Rom.6:11). God is able to do it for the people who believe it as Joshua and Caleb.
Getting back to golf, the trick is to keep the ball in the fairway. That's "fair" "way". Those who do not run the race and keep their ball in the fairway will fall into the hazards of the water, the sand traps, the rough, or out of the course entirely like the balls that I found. These hazards have the penalty of costing golfers more strokes to get the ball back in the fairway while everyone else passes them up in points. The major penalty is losing the race to the one who does it right the first time and hits the ball the fewest times. The water represents the curse of the Word that falls on those who are contrary to it. There are penalties written there for the disobedient. The sand traps are for those who do not stand on, or build their house on, the rock of Jesus. The rough is for those who are not on the fairway of the straight and narrow road. (Pr.13:15) Good understanding giveth favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard. Those who knock the ball out of the course cannot retrieve it and pay the penalty of loosing a stroke while everyone else passes them up. I believe the bride, the man-child, is a hole in one golfer. (Rev.3:11) I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown. We struck the ball, the rock of Christ, once. Let us not do it again.
I asked the Lord why there were ten balls. Ten represents the law of God, as does the Ten Commandments. Paul taught that God's law in our covenant is no longer written on tables of stone but hearts of flesh, meaning it is to be a part of our nature (2 Cor.3:3). For much of the church, God's law has been struck out of the course like the balls I saw. The curse of the law is the penalty for this. When Moses was in the mountain of God, Israel created their own God, the golden calf, to follow and called it in Hebrew YHWH and Elohim (Ex.32:4,5,11), much like the church today puts the name "Christian" on their own creation. When Moses came down and saw this, he cast the tables with the commandments down and brake them (Ex.32:15,19). The church is in much the same way today, and the man-child is coming with the true Word that has been broken by them. Again, here is a true type in the midst of many true types. When Israel was in Egypt as the church is in the world, the Egyptians represented the old carnal man and the Israelites represented the spiritual man. Here is clear proof of this. When Moses (representing Christ), put to death the Egyptian (representing the carnal man who died on the cross), he left Egypt (the world) and married a Gentile bride, one of seven daughters (church - Ex.2:16; Isa.4:1; Rev.3:10). These were daughters of one father, Jethro (Hebrew: His excellence), who represents the Father. Paul also said that Israel was baptized in the Red Sea and, of course, the Egyptian who represented the carnal man died there. I said all that to say this. God smote the Egyptians, the old man, with ten strokes, from the waters being turned to blood to the Passover. The world is headed toward many strokes of judgment from the hand of God but ten categories typified by these judgments. This represented the curse of the law that was broken. This was to cause Israel to repent and come out of Egypt, out from among them. In this type, they left the world represented by Egypt. A parallel revelation is that Israel tempted God ten times by not hearkening unto His voice in the wilderness (Num.14:22). The Egyptians took the penalty of ten strokes while Israel missed out on seven of them because they abode in Goshen representing Christ. It took three strokes before God made a division between Israel, the spiritual man, and Egypt, the carnal man (Ex.8:22,23). When Paul no longer willed to do sin, even though he was failing, God made a division between him and the sinner, the carnal man. (Rom.7:20) But if what I would not (willed not), that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me". After seven more strokes they not only willed to give up sin, they gave it up. The old man was put to death in the baptism of the "washing of water with the word" (Epe.5:26) in the Red Sea. I found the last ball when I was almost home. The Passover was the last great stroke that came on those not under the blood when Israel left Egypt, the world, to go home. That last great stroke will be the day of the Lord at the end of the tribulation when God pours out His wrath in an end time flood as Noah lifts off.
See Day of the Lord concerning the day of the Lord.