【Bible Study】Joshua 00: Introduction

Bible Study: Joshua

Learn Framework Thinking

Recently, I spent some time studying why some people study and read poorly, and I found that people who can't read books just lack a framework way of thinking, they can't see the forest for the tree. It will be difficult to live well if a person can't see the forest for the tree. Someone with framework thinking will first look at the whole first, then look at the details. People who don’t have a holistic view and framework thinking basically have no future.

If people want to live well, they must learn this sentence: Of Mountain Lu, we cannot make out the true face, for we are lost in the heart of the very place. This sentence of the poem is the portrayal of the life of the people. People live in confusion and cannot escape. Every day they are busy thinking about their work, their kids…they think all the trivial things in life are very important. But is it really this important? Not really.

I often give this example: When a man is suddenly going to die, he will find that all problems are no longer problems. Money is not a problem, housing is not a problem, cars are not a problem, and even children are not a problem, because they are dying. How much money can you spend before you die? Not much. Therefore, if a person suddenly has a terminal illness, the person will suddenly look down on everything.

Anyone who has experienced death, or is about to die, will suddenly have framework-thinkings about their view of life and look down on everything. What do people live for? That is why sometimes I say, “Oh, I should have a coffin in my office. Whenever people take things too hard, just lie in the coffin for a sec.”
The problem is that once people have a terminal illness, they will think living is a simple thing, but once they are healthy again, living becomes a complicated thing. Why? Because as soon as we returned to Mountain Lu, we could not make out the true face; as soon as we came out of Mountain Lu, we could clearly see the matter with living in this life.

If a person often attends funerals and sees that an acquaintance lives, lives and died, you will find that living is a simple thing, and work, family, and interpersonal relationships have become trivial matters.

Not One of All God's promises failed

I want to take you into framework thinking. We will speed read the Book of Joshua chapters 1-24, and this book has 26 pages. If reading one page takes 2 minutes, the whole book will take about 52 minutes. If we take 3 minutes to read one page, we can finish the book in about 70 minutes. It is useless to read in detail if you read slowly because you lack frame thinking, you can't see the forest for the tree.

If you read Chapter 1 in the first half of the year and Chapter 24 in the second half of the year, you won't get anything. Why? Because all you get is fragmented stuff. If we read it quickly, we will see that this book is about the Israelites who got the Promised Land. If you read chapters 21, 22, 23, and 24, you will find that there is a sentence that runs through the entire book: Not one of all God’s promises failed.

If we write a Bible study book of The Book of Joshua, we must tell the reader that not one or all of God’s promises failed. This sentence immediately strengthens people's faith! When men's faith is evoked, they will wonder: Why have God's promises not been fulfilled in us? People who have God’s promises fulfilled in them think this is what God’s promises are like, while people who don’t have God’s promises fulfilled in them think God’s promises are not like this. There are many pastors who say this because they are speaking according to their own reception.

I’m speaking according to God's Word in the Bible: Not one of all God’s promises failed. Paul had made clear arguments in Romans: Did God's promises fail? No. Why did the Israelites decline? For there was no one like Abraham among the Israelites. God's promises are to be given to Abraham's descendants, and if you are a descendant of Abraham, you have to have the image of Abraham.

If you believe in God, not one of all God's promises will fail in you. Paul's point of contention is that Paul also is Israelite, but why didn't God's promises fail in him?" God used Paul in a way beyond man's imagination.

Emulate a man of character like Joshua

After we finish reading the Book of Joshua, we have to come up with a topic for this book, and this topic should be able to connect to the whole book. You will conclude that the theme of this book is that not one of all God’s promises word failed and say to yourself every day: Not one of all God's promises failed. However, if you observe the world again, you will be confused. Why did God’s promises fail in some people, while not in others?

You don’t want to do things that will fail God's promises, right? However, we can choose what to do and how to do it, and no one will force us. Which of the things people do is not chosen by themselves? You can choose to emulate Joshua and Caleb from the Book of Joshua, you can emulate Korah from the Book of Numbers, or you can emulate the Israelites who died in the desert.

There is one thing people need to know live in this world: People live on every word that comes from the mouth of God, and not a single word that comes out of God's mouth has failed. If we have such faith, then choose to be such people because the Holy Bible was not written for Joshua, but for the people who are like Joshua; The Book of Genesis was not written for Abraham, but for those who are like Abraham. Don't read the Bible for others but read it to yourself.

Some people are stupid. They know God's promises but deny that God's promises will be fulfilled. Among the Christians I have met, including many pastors and preachers, very few of them have given sermons on the topic: Not one of all God's promises failed. They talk about what they have experienced, and as for what they have not experienced, they will find themselves an out by saying, “I am not Jesus, I am not Paul, I am not Joshua, what they experience is theirs, I am me.”

But I am not like this, since the Bible writes about Joshua, I am determined to be like Joshua. How nice it is to be like Joshua! Do you want to live a better life? I’m sure you want to live well, but are you willing to pay the price? This is going to be hard. Can you live well without paying the price? No. If you look at the people around you, do diaosi live a prosperous life? Or do people who are willing to put on their lives to God live a prosperous life?
People who live for God, whether at work or in life, can live with enthusiasm and live better. If we trust God, then a person who serves Jehovah full of enthusiasm, as Joshua did, and that is emulation. In fact, when I read the book of Joshua, I was touched deeply. I have a little bit of Joshua's character, but I hope to have a little more, and a little more.

Overcome Fear with Faith

Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, their memory of the other side of the river remains thirty-eight years ago. So, Joshua now knows nothing about the other side of the Jordan River. All he knows is that there are giants and very powerful enemies, and the road that lay ahead is dangerous because bullets are unpredictable to whom they hit.

So, you have to know that entering uncharted territory, everyone will be afraid, including Joshua. But if you are afraid, you cannot enter uncharted territory. Only people who overcome fear by faith can enter uncharted territory. Therefore, when we are reading the Book of Joshua, we need to know that a great man like Joshua also has fears, but he overcome them, and he trusts in God’s word, although he did not know what will happen in the future.

Each of us has to enter into uncharted territories. Every step you take forward into a new area, your life will experience new breakthroughs, and your life is going to accomplish the work of God! The most important thing for a person to do to enter uncharted territories is to fight against fears.

People have feared not others, but us. We scare ourselves with things we don’t know or events that haven’t happened yet and even shiver with fear. Then we have to start fighting our fear.

The Bible describes Jacob struggling with God and man and has overcome. Struggle with man is struggling with yourself. Joshua at this time was also struggling with himself, and he too has fears. He prayed to God, and God appeared to him and encouraged him, "Be strong and courageous. “Be strong and courageous!” this is for the people who have fears. But you still can't, so God said:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

Do you believe that God is with us? Looking back at how far I've come, when I first started building the church, I really know nothing. I didn't know what a church should look like, I didn't know what a church should do, and I didn't know what ministering was. So, I went around and looked at other churches, and I saw that they didn't get it right either, so I started to explore. After all these years, I am thankful to God, and I am sure that not one of God's promises will fail.

My mom couldn't walk, and both legs were very weak. She got better after prayer, soon became like this again, and got better again after prayer. Is it the flesh that keeps people alive? No, but it is the spirit that keeps a person alive. When a person thrives in the spirit, he will be strong and healthy and will do all things well.

I quickly skimmed through the Book of Joshua, and I was touched deeply. It turns out that exploration of the future is full of challenges and the road ahead is full of unknowns, and we have no idea of what the future holds. The past years filled me with confidence in God.

Even though the future is full of challenges, concerns, worries and fears, but in faith, as you move forward, the LORD is before you, fighting for you. When we start to have such a framework, will we be afraid? No!

We are to live out all our potential God has given us and live out the glory of God, because that is what God wants. In fact, we all can be Joshua and Caleb, it's all your own choice. There were many testimonies in this past week, including the old person who left the church got sick and came back to pray and was healed.

This old person’s daughter, who was in her fifties, got a strange disease and went to the hospital, but couldn't find what was wrong, also got healed by praying with us. Although they did not come back to the church, God had mercy on them because of us, which is beyond our imagination! I often share with people how many medical expenses have been saved by trusting in God! How much less to suffer! How can you not want such grace? Just make a choice and choose to be someone like Joshua, how wonderful that is!

Follows God Wholeheartedly

The first characteristic Joshua concentrates on following God. Concentration is the most important trait in a person's life! A person who is could not concentrate, think about Chinese while doing math or think about English while doing physics, will never be able to study well because his head is a mess.

Concentration is a God's attribute, and our God is very concentrated in what He is doing. If you set a goal, never stop before you reach your goal. The book of Revelation says that everything is accomplished, but is it? Not yet. Our God started from the creation of Adam and Eve until today, although God's promises have not been all fulfilled, but a person with faith is one who believes that not one of all God's promises will fail, and this is called concentration.

When a person has concentration, he will not drift around, do this today and that tomorrow, following God today and not the next day. If your mind is a mess, do you good? When you can’t concentrate, you will not feel well. So, if you want to live a good life, be a concentrated person.

A concentrated person is one who set goals and moves forwards toward them, won’t be distracted. When you focus on God's promise, you will grab onto it and run straight toward that goal. So, in our faith, we need to know that God is going to do new things in us, and the previous things are all in the past.

Gradually I began to realize that one has to keep doing new things in life. Constant exploration of the unknown requires purpose, concentration, and focus on following God. However, if we concentrate on grasping the things in this world, it’s also concentration, but it’s not following God. As for us, we follow the example of Joshua. For people who are dedicated to following God, fear will not reign in us, and such a person will meditate on the word of the LORD God day and night, and the Bible says this:

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land, I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
(Joshua 1:5-8 NIV)

Let's build up a holistic concept. It is not difficult. If you read a little faster, you will finish it in a while, and you will probably be able to get the outline of the story. What Joshua has done in his life is miraculous. The city of Jericho collapsed in front of him, not because of himself, not because he invented cannons, not because he invented bombs. He only led the people to walk around the city of Jericho a few times and be strong and courageous, and the city of Jericho collapsed. We are amazed, is such a story made up or is it true?

What if you walk around that city and people throw stones from above? If people throw stones, Won't the people down there be crushed to death? But surprisingly, no one threw stones. Don't you think it's strange? After seven days of walking, the city collapsed. We are surprised, what happened? Can’t God keep them from throwing stones? God definitely can paralyze them and prevent them from throwing stones, and can God prevent them from shooting arrows? God can. Our God can do anything.

The Israelites set up camps after crossing the Jordan River and circumcised. The people of the city of Jericho knew they are circumcised, and all had surgeries, so how do they fight? The Jericho people would rush over and genocide the Israelites, wouldn't they? Isn't that how the Shechemite people were killed by the sons of Jacob? But is Joshua worried? Can't God keep them from coming out? God absolutely could.

I tell you; you do not need to be afraid at work, or in any situation, you just need to concentrate on following God. Let God's word never leave your mouth day and night! We don't need to be afraid of anything. When we are afraid, it’s because we don't have faith in God. When we have faith in God and dedicate to following God, there won’t be fears.

As soon as we gather up our faith and follow God wholeheartedly, we will immediately overcome all the difficulties! As a result, Joshua became a strong man. He was a fearful man before he crossed the Jordan River, but after he crossed the river, he became a strong man. When we begin to emulate these personalities of Joshua, we will be able to accomplish extraordinary things in our life.

Faith is a Choice

Joshua is not made of special materials; faith is only his choice. Over the past years, I have studied what faith is, and after studying and studying, I found that not many people can describe faith clearly. I have been thinking, that people often talk about faith, but what exactly is faith? When I asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” I believe in Jesus. “What do you believe in Jesus?” I don't know, I don't know at all.

I said, "How did you believe in Jesus and end up like this?” Some people replied, "I'm not Jesus, I'm not Paul, what else could I be if I'm not like this.” In fact, these are not believing in Jesus. Believing in Jesus means you believe you will be like Jesus.

Then I realized that faith is just a choice, a choice to believe, and that's it. Someone asked me, “Did God choose you to serve Him?” Yes. “How do you know God chose you to serve Him?” Because I believe. “Why do you believe?” Because I want to believe. “Why are you willing to believe?” I'm just willing to believe it! I choose to believe, is there a problem?

Over time, no one asks me that anymore. Now people say, "You're famous now. Now many people come to me and ask who you are.” In the early days of the church building, there were only a few people. So, people questioned me, “Is God calling you?” Yes. “Then why did you end up like this?” It’s nothing! The glory of the church is in my faith. As a result, what we have today is the result of faith.

Our future is the result of our faith. So, everyone starts making a choice in your faith for your future, just trust God will make me victorious, is that a problem? Not by the size of your muscles, not by the size of your ability, but by the size of your faith. Do you really believe that the LORD God is with you and that no one will stand before you in the days of your life? I believe it!

When I was casting out demons, the demon told me explicitly, “You are famous in our place, and our boss sent me. I dare not come.” I said, “So you are not afraid of me?” The demon said, "Of course I'm afraid! Anyway, going back is also death, staying is also death.” As a result, the demon was defeated.

As we keep casting out demons, the events in the spiritual world have been confirmed again and again that not one of all God's promises failed. Throughout the Bible, we gradually come up with a conclusion that not one of all God's promises failed in a man like Joshua, and all those who follow Joshua also experienced miracles. I wish everyone are Joshua and everyone can follow God wholeheartedly.

The Israelites were not very dedicated, so when Joshua was about to leave the world, he told the Israelites, “You cannot serve the LORD God. Because He is a jealous God, God requires people to follow Him with all their hearts. If one is not dedicated, it is written in chapter 24 that disasters will come after God blesses you. This was Joshua's prophecy to the Israelites. This doesn't sound good at all and is in stark contrast to not a single word of God's promise will fail.

Although God's word never fails, but what can be fulfilled with people who are not dedicated to following God? What can you gain if you follow demons now, then follow the system of the world later, and then return to God? You are a traitor in any kingdom, how can you live a good life?

You are not only a traitor in the devil's kingdom, but also in God's kingdom, and is impossible for such a person to have a good life. I paid close attention to those who betrayed their own people in the news, and the final fate is tragic. For example, the guard who betrayed Saddam in Iraq also ended badly. Remember! Never be a traitor, and if you have chosen to follow God, then follow Him wholeheartedly to the end.

Get the promised land Only by winning the battles

No one will stand before you in the days of your life, nor will the devil be able to stand before you, and this is the promise of God. If you don't win the battle, you won't be able to get the Promised Land. Not one of all God's promises will fail, but we must choose to fight and overcome. Victory in battle is itself a response to faith. The reason why I choose to fight is that I believe I can defeat the opponent and I will have their land.

In business, a customer either buys this company's products or that company's products. If you buy your company's products, you won't buy other companies' products. If a customer is ready to buy someone else's products and you snatch that customer, it's actually a battle. That's no joke! A brother who works at Huawei told me a very good sentence, he said, “The reason why Huawei has today's achievements, is nothing else, is because they struggled all the way. Otherwise, why would people buy your product?”

More than a decade ago, Huawei, in the market of similar products is nameless, and it’s not in the top products, one can only find Huawei's name in other types that account for a small share. Today Huawei's success is the result of hard work! So, can it work without concentrating on things? I was thinking, that the success of anything is a process of victory in battle, there is nothing we can get without fighting.

We, as Christians, must believe that our God will be with us, for Not one of all God's promises will fail. The Promised Land is for all who overcome! It is impossible to receive the promises of God without victory. Even if God says, “Not one of my promises will fail. You must also have the following qualities: first, to follow God with all your heart; second, to believe in God's word; third, to be strong; and fourth, to start moving forward and fighting to be an overcomer.

Some people finished reading the Book of Joshua and said, "Oh, this is too cruel, too bloody, God wants to kill everything.” If you have such a thought in you, I understand you, but God may not understand you, so I wish you luck. Is there anything that gets without fighting to victory? For example, in the marketplace, if you think, "Oh, if I've got this customer, then other people are unable to get it, I’ll give it to them!” Then what are you doing?

We have a lot of very strange thoughts, because of the excessive tendency of clemency. You think when you are dying, “O God, where are you?” God will also say, “I was going to ask you, where have you been?” I told you to concentrate on following me, but you didn’t, where have you been?” Let's begin to emulate Joshua today, have his concentration, his strength, and then fight battles and be an overcomer and keep the word of God. When we do this, we will bring a group of people to experience the wonderful promises of God.

What is missing in this world is someone like Joshua. Are we willing to be people like Joshua? We need to put an end to the situation among us, "Oh, I am not Joshua.” If you have such a thought, do your best to abandon it! We need to have this thought n us; I want to be like Joshua! I‘m determined to be like Joshua, to be the one who is above and not below, to be the first and not the last, and to live out the glory, honour and power of God!

God is rich in grace, mercy and justice

Not only did God want to promote Joshua, but God also wants everyone to do the same, and how can you prove it? There was a prostitute in the Bible named Rahab, Rahab was originally from the city of Jericho, and God had clearly ordered the slaughter, God is going to slaughter the city, and He was going to kill all the people in the city, not left even a single animal. As a result, there was a strange person in the city, Rahab, who believed, "I cried out to God, and the God of Israel He will save.” Rahab and her family were saved from the city of Jericho, and later Rahab became a member of the genealogy of Jesus.

If God is such a God, then don't we have to be more dedicated to following Him? Rahab cried out to God, and God removed her from the list of those who were going to die and saved her. That means our God saves everyone who cried out to Him. If God is such a God, then shouldn't we be more dedicated to following Him? The people in Jericho died because of the hardness of their hearts. If there was one more Rahab in that city, God will save them, and if the whole city had surrendered to God, the whole city would have been saved.

In this generation, people often identify good and evil according to their values with God and think that it is not good for God to slaughter cities. I think that God has abundant grace and mercy, but God is also a God of righteousness. The people of Jericho had done much evil and deserved it. Let us not identify good and evil with God but begin to follow the example of people like Joshua and follow God with all our hearts.

Another peculiar thing in the Book of Joshua is that a man named Achan sinned and as a result, the whole of Israel was not able to overcome. We need to establish framework thinking, and this is a very critical element. Joshua led the Israelites. Was there anyone among these Israelite people who stole from God? If there is, you are to get rid of them. Among us, all those who do not do tithing are removed, because, with such a person, there is no way for the whole team to win the battle. Because what you have in your hand belongs to God, and you are taking the devoted things.

There is a kind of idolatry that belongs to the devoted things, and another kind that belongs to God, if you take it into your hands, it’ll belong to the devoted things. The first city was Jericho, and all the gold and silver treasures belonged to God, the firstborn belonged to God, and the first city that was defeated belonged to God, and all the captives' possessions were to be dedicated to God. This is the rule.

##Give Oneself Completely is Taken for Granted

We must build a holy church, that is, we must not have devoted things. Therefore, we take tithe very seriously. This involves the church's victory in battle and whether it can lead everyone to the promised land. Ai was a very small city, and the Israelites were defeated. Jericho was a very large city, and yet they were able to win the battle. Victory in battle is all about God.

Therefore, we are to offer ourselves completely. God is full of grace and mercy, and God is also the God of righteousness. Are we to going concentrate on emulating that? Whether it is from chapter 1 or chapter 24, it is all about this matter. We should read the Bible carefully, both the front and back.

You yourselves have seen everything the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the LORD your God who fought for you. Remember how I have allotted as an inheritance for your tribes all the land of the nations that remain—the nations I conquered—between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. The LORD your God himself will push them out for your sake. He will drive them out before you, and you will take possession of their land, as the LORD your God promised you. “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. (Joshua 23:3-6 NIV)

Our God is definitely not Santa Claus, our God is a God of victory!

The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be very careful to love the LORD your God.
“But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you.
“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. But just as all the good things the LORD your God has promised you have come to you, so he will bring on you all the evil things he has threatened, until the LORD your God has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.” (Joshua 23:9-16 NIV)

Therefore, we need to understand the framework of the whole book of Joshua, which is to fight and be an overcomer, to follow God with all our hearts. If you are an overcomer, you will receive the promise of God, and if we serve God with all our hearts, God will bless us. If we follow the example of the people of the world and act like them, God's wrath will come upon us, and we will perish quickly. To serve God requires concentration, which is the most important trait. Both Joshua and Caleb are men who serve God wholeheartedly.

Our church will once again enter a new phase that will take us into uncharted territory. All our co-workers will no longer serve religiously, but practically. We will all follow the example of the apostle Paul to set up tents and serve God while doing work, which means that we will be like all brothers and sisters, you have your work, and we have our work, you have your business, we have our business, and we will serve God, like our brothers and sisters, with all our heart.

As a preacher, I hate to mess around. There was a time when I said I would never do full-time ministry, and then I ended up without a job. Then I realized that the whole character of our church was inseparable from my knowledge of God. I work hard in the workplace and deliver solid work results. In the field of preachers, there are many religious people who do not work or deliver solid work results and think they are serving God.

In the profession of preachers, there are many people who do not do practical work, because preaching is done with conscience, and it is easy to fool people by preaching two sermons a week. It is not like IT, or software development, where you will know it doesn’t run properly immediately after you finished writing it. In this business of preaching, we don't know if we are wrong, and we don't know if we are right, so we end up messing around day after day, and year after year. However, our team are all people who are down-to-earth and deliver solid work result.

May the LORD bless you!

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