Warfare in the Promised Land

Warfare in the Promised Land

Friday 9th September 2022

Perhaps you are facing a challenge bigger than ever before. It tries to stare you down like the walls of the city of Jericho. Threatening. Arrogant. It consistently penetrates your thinking, drains your energy, and messes with your emotions. It keeps you awake at night. It is ancient, thick-walled, and impenetrable. It may be the biggest challenge of your life. It sits between you and a Promised Land. Like Joshua, you can see it. Like Joshua, you must face it. And, like Joshua, you don’t have to face your Jericho alone.

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the LORD.’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (vv. 13–15 NIV)

When it comes to heaven-to-earth communiqués, God seems to follow one rule: there is no rule. In the case of Abram, three strangers came for dinner. (Angel food cake for dessert perhaps?) In the story of Moses, a blazing bush left him wide-eyed and barefoot. A talking donkey got the attention of Balaam. A blazing angel guarded the empty tomb of Jesus. The Bible is famous for surprise encounters. Yet no visit is more mysterious than this one: the man with the upraised sword and confident air. Who was he? Let’s eliminate some options. He wasn’t an apparition. Nothing in the language leads us to conclude that the person was anything other than flesh and bone. He had muscles that held the sword, and vocal cords that created a voice. He wasn’t a vision, spirit, ghost, or figment of Joshua’s imagination. Nor was he an angel. We’re tempted to think so. After all, angels have swords. Angels can take fleshly form. Angels have courage and defy enemies. But here is the difference: angels do not accept worship. When the apostle John attempted to worship an angel, he was rebuked:

“See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!” (Rev. 19:10).

Had this person been an angel, he would have refused Joshua’s worship, but this visitor accepted and encouraged it. Was the guest a human being? A strong, imposing figure? If he was, then he sure had Joshua hoodwinked, for Joshua not only fell at the person’s feet out of respect but also removed his sandals. This guest was no mortal. He wasn’t an angel or apparition. That leaves only one option. This was God incarnate. This was Jesus Christ. What Jesus did in Bethlehem for us, he did near Jericho for Joshua. He became flesh and paid his servant a visit. The Commander spoke to his commander. Do you find this a curious thought? Jesus, BC? Is it difficult to imagine Jesus as an active being before his birth on earth? If so, let me challenge you to widen your imagination. Remember:

 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

“He was chosen before the creation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20 NIV).

The normal restrictions of time and place do not apply to him. We would be wrong to limit his corporal ministry to thirty-three years in Palestine. Long before Jesus ate with Zacchaeus in Jericho, he shared a moment with Joshua near Jericho. And what a moment it was. “I am the commander of the army of the Lord,” Jesus declared. The human eye saw two armies: the Canaanites and the Israelites. Actually, there was a third. The Lord’s army, God’s angels. This is the heavenly host referred to in Psalm 103:20–21:

“Bless the Lord, you mighty angels of his who carry out his orders, listening for each of his commands. Yes, bless the Lord, you armies of his angels who serve him constantly” (TLB).

Dismiss the notion of angels with chiffon wings and rosy cheeks. God’s angels were strong enough to close the mouths of lions for Daniel. The message to Joshua is unmistakable. Jericho may have its walls, but, Joshua, you have more. You have God. He is with you. Isn’t that the word Joshua needed? A reminder of God’s mighty presence? Isn’t that all any of us need? We need to know that God is near! We are never alone. In our darkest hour, in our deepest questions, the Lord of hosts never leaves us.

That is why, in the Promised Land, we don’t fight for victory but from victory! The Champion is on our side and we are positioned for Kingdom victory.

Communion | Gluten free option

We now have available, gluten free communion. Simply ask one of the communion team for the gluten-free communion option.

Playgroup | Get involved!

Did you know that at least seven new babies were born to families from our church during winter? A true baby boom!  Many of these families are regularly attending church and playgroup – although just getting out of the house with babies and toddlers can be pretty challenging!

How can we better support young families from the church and community?  One way is through playgroup – children and their parents/grandparents coming together to play and connect relationally. As well, many families have asked for help with parenting and marriage, and we would love to make courses available to them.  

Please chat with me any time if you would like to be involved in any area of this exciting ministry with loads of potential for changed lives!  Sue 0403 822 324 [email protected].

Corporate Prayer | This Sunday

James wrote: The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). 

Praying together as a community of believers is essential in establishing a Holy Spirit empowered spiritual atmosphere which facilitates change and breakthrough. 

Please join us in the auditorium at 9:30am on Sunday 11th September and Sunday 18th September for a time of corporate prayer.

Bring a plate to share | This Sunday!

We will be serving a light lunch, but also want to invite you to bring your favourite non-perishable snack/delicacy to share with a few others…imagine the variety there will be to choose from!

Operation Christmas Child | Bring joy and Jesus to the life of a child this Christmas

Would you like to bring joy to young people? Would you like to bring the gospel of Jesus to children? Would you like to transform the life of a child in a third world country? You have the opportunity to do this by taking part in Operation Christmas Child. And you can do it in 6 easy steps!

  1. Attend Berwick Church of Christ and purchase a box for 50 cents at the Next Steps desk.
  2. Fill the box with the gifts.
  3. Label your box.
  4. Bring the box back by Sunday, 25th September 2022.
  5. Make a $10 donation for shipping and gospel materials.
  6. Pray for the child who will receive your box.

Bring joy and Jesus to the life of a child this Christmas by taking part in Operation Christmas Child. Find out more by going to the Next Steps Desk at Berwick Church of Christ before and after the Sunday worship service.

Fuse Youth | Friday 9th September

This week at FUSE Youth is our last real talk: RELATIONSHIPS night and it’s going to be a great one as we finish answering your questions!

We’re at BCOC @7pm, $5 for the night!

Key details:

  • Time: 7-9.30pm
  • Cost: $5
  • Address: @BCOC

Walking Group Clyde | Saturday 10th September

Get ready to put on your walking shoes! If you are looking for a social walking group in Clyde, you have found it. We are of all ages and fitness levels. Bring your family and friends. Make new friends, build a support network, have fun, and work on your fitness.


  • Date: Every Saturday, weather permitting. Check the iConnect Facebook page for updates.
  • Time: 8.30am – 9.30am
  • Address: Casey Fields Playspace car park
>>>iConnect FACEBOOK PAGE<<<

Kids Church | Sunday 11th September

Join us in person or online 10am this Sunday at Kids Church…

PREP – GRADE 6 | Liquid

Isaac’s wells | Genesis 26: 1-22; 26-31

WONDERKIDS & LITTLE SPARKS | God loves me when I’m afraid

Gideon is afraid | Judges 6: 2-4, 11-12

Sunday Service | Sunday 11th September

This Sunday our worship team will take us all to heavenly places. We will bring you a fantastic message about warfare from our Promised Land series which you can implement into your own life. Why not come early and enjoy a coffee at our cafe. We look forward to seeing you!

Partners & Volunteers Gathering | Sunday 11th September

We will:

  • galvanise our unity before Christ as head of our movement
  • communicate important information on the state of the movement
  • share with our partners information about future developments
  • celebrate key breakthroughs in our movement
  • build a stronger sense of community and relationship as partners
  • create an opportunity to foster healthy communication


  • Date: Sunday 11th September 2022
  • Time: 12.30pm – 2.30pm
  • A light lunch will be provided

Boys Brigade | Monday 12th September

Be part of the action Monday night. For over 20 years the Boys Brigade has advanced Christ’s Kingdom among boys.

  • ANCHORS | Grades 1 & 2: 6pm – 7.15pm
  • JUNIORS | Grades 3 – 6: 7pm – 8.30pm
  • SENIORS | Grades 7 to 18 years old: 7pm – 9.30pm

Guest Speaker Rob Nyhuis | Sunday 18th September

Guest speaker Rob Nyhuis will be visiting us to preach about Warfare as part of our Promised Land series. Rob oversees the Churches of Christ congregations in the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania and serves as National Chair. He has been the senior minister of a church that has two campuses in the outer south-east of Melbourne and has extensive work in Cambodia and the Philippines as well as in the local community. Rob is married to Anna and with four awesome children.

Forge Young Adults service | Sunday 18th September

Youth, young adults and young at heart get ready for a time of worship, an inspiring word and enjoy a meal together. Form new friendships with like-minded youth and young adults in a safe, caring, yet challenging environment. You can discover your true value, find your purpose and fulfil your potential. Join us at 5.30pm.

Kids Encounter Day | Saturday 24th September

Grades 2-6 don’t miss out!
BCOC’s Kids Encounter Day is a unique opportunity for Grade 2 – 6 kids to learn more about their loving heavenly Father, the importance of forgiveness, how to hear God’s voice, and much more. Engaging teaching material will be applied in aged-based small groups to facilitate personal encounter times. And of course, there will be lots of yummy food, great games and heaps of fun! 


  • Time: 9.00am – 3.30pm
  • Address: 446 Centre Road, Berwick
  • Cost:
    Early bird until Saturday 3rd September – $25
    From Sunday 4th September – $35
    Registrations strictly close on Sunday 18th September.
>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Guest speaker Machine Gun Preacher | Sunday 25th September

The real machine gun preacher is coming to Berwick Church of Christ!

Sam Childers life was the subject of Hollywood movie The Machine Gun Preacher. Sam: aka the Machine Gun Preacher, will be visiting us to share his life story, which was captured in The Machine Gun Preacher motion picture (Starring Hollywood heart-throb and well know Scotsman – Gerard Butler playing the role of Sam Childers).

Sam has built one of the largest orphanages in Southern Sudan, which has fed and housed more than 1,000 children. With the orphanage finished, Childers began to lead armed missions to rescue children from the Lord’s Resistance Army – which led to villagers calling him ‘The Machine Gun Preacher’.

Join us Sunday 25th September and invite your friends to hear Sam’s harrowing story!


Alpha | Wednesday 28th September

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that create a safe and honest space, where people can explore life, faith and meaning.
Enjoy a meal with others, watch a video and have an open discussion and conversation in a friendly and non-judgemental environment.

Dinner costs: $15 (plus a 30c booking fee)

Connecting with others is important; friends gathered around the kitchen table, meeting for coffee or catching up online. It’s no different at Alpha.  All sessions start with a time to connect, relax and build friendships – whether in person or virtually.

The Alpha talks are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Each one is around thirty minutes long and played as a video. They explore important issues around faith and unpack the basics of Christianity, addressing questions from Who is Jesus? and How can we have faith? to Why and how do I pray? and How does God guide us?

One of the most important parts of any Alpha is the chance to share thoughts and ideas in small groups. There’s no obligation to say anything and there’s nothing you can’t share (seriously). It’s an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Exploring Partnership | Tuesday 4th October

You may have been attending our events or even become part of a close-knit group of people in our community. We would love for you to consider taking up a partnership with us in fulfilling God’s call on our movement. Exploring Partnership is an important step in discovering how you can fit into Berwick Church of Christ. It is an orientation towards what makes us unique and how we function as a community. You will get to know the leadership and we will talk about how you can partner with us to make our vision a reality.

Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

>>>BOOK NOW<<<

Thank you for being His Presence in Every Place! 


Senior Pastor