【Bible Study】Deuteronomy 05 Part 1: The Basic Principles for Living And Prospering And Prolonging Your Days


Our Lord effortlessly used a few words to summarize the principles of how people can live and prosper and prolong their days in this world. Today, we must understand the Ten Commandments. Many of you may think that the Ten Commandments were in the Old Testament, and it was outdated. As we are in the New Testaments era. No! This is not how it works. They are both the words of God, and they are inseparable from one another. They both guide us on how to live a prosperous life. Blessing is the key to a prosperous life.

If you have observed people around you, you would conclude that some people are blessed, as they don't need to do much to live a good life. However, some are not, even though they have tried so hard to get by. You must wonder why this is the case. Only after you have read the word of God, will you understand why those people live a blessed life. Those people may have followed God's command without knowing it.

Many people argue that the Ten Commandments are not suitable for modern life. Firstly, they are not something sophisticated, they are only a set of ground rules for people to follow. Even if you put them into practice, you could only get a pass on a level that you don't get cursed at. It's a minimum requirement from us. Secondly, when living in the era of the New Testament, we live like God, not according to the Ten Commandments. If you can’t follow the Ten Commandments, you will certainly fall short of living a life that has an image of God.

You will have to do much more to have a prosperous life. Nevertheless, we do follow the Ten Commandments in some sort of shape or form.And We must listen, learn and follow His words.

We Need to Listen, Study and Follow the Commands

Learn to Listen

Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. (Deuteronomy 5:1)

It would be very sad if you don't listen. Some people would say they don't understand. Actually, this is never the case. The main reason is that what they hear disagrees with what they believe. They believe God should listen to them, not the other way around. It's very subjective whether you understand or not.

I later found out that " I don't understand " or " I don't know how to do it" is a very good excuse for getting away with not doing things. The most common example is if you say you don't know how to cook, then no one will ask you to cook! The word of God is crystal clear and we must listen and follow!

“You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:17-20)

How could you not understand it? However, many people say they don’t understand it.

Learn to Study

What would you do if you don’t understand but have to listen, learn, and follow? If you don’t understand, then you can always learn. Many people just simply say “I don’t understand”. It’s not because they don’t understand at all, they may understand 10% of it, and later on, 20%. Nevertheless, as long as he does not understand 10% of it, he would think he does not understand at all. One thing he does not understand is that he understands 10% of it. Although you only understand a small part of it, the rest is an opportunity for you to learn.

You need to know that our God wants us to learn. Learning is a very important thing in our life. You will not understand our God otherwise. You may wonder what if you don't want to leave. I can give a clear answer to that. You have to learn! If you could merely understand 5%, that means you could learn as much as 95%. You will put it into practice while learning it. Therefore, we must remember these three fundamental attitudes toward the word of God.

Follow the word of God

Firstly, you have to listen constantly; secondly, constantly learn; thirdly, put what you have learned into practice. Those are the fundamental concepts of our church.

A little while ago, I talked about the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed. Then, someone exited the group because he believed that I did not acknowledge both Creeds. In fact, I was never against them. The critical question was: Do you understand what they are talking about? " Jesus was born to Mary who was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then the Word became flesh and came to the earth, he went through death, burial, and resurrection. I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." I just could not get my head around this. It's all words.

When I lead Bible study, the most important thing is to associate it with yourself. What could you do after reading the Apostles' Creed? I don't know either as you could not possibly put it into practice but only words.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must change the bad habit of talking about words without putting it into practice. Jesus made it unequivocally clear: Yes means Yes, and No means No!

The Wise Exercise the Word of God After Hearing Them

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)

A while ago, I had a chat with my mum. I have to say that my mum had some character. I led her to Christ, and she never missed one Sunday service. I believe my character of never missing a Sunday for the past twenty years must take after my mum.

However, she did have weaknesses. Once, during our studying for the book of Exodus, she went through the storyline of the book. Yet, what she talked about was not practical. She was merely telling the stories.

It was not wrong for her to tell the stories. But the critical question is how we can convert the story into something that can be put into practice. If not, then it's just a waste of time. Dear brothers and sisters, we must listen to the word of God, learn it, and exercise it!

The Word of God Reveals For all Those Who Are Alive

It was not with our ancestors that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. (Deuteronomy 5:3)

Have you ever heard that God made a covenant with Abraham or Isaac or Jacob after their death? No! It was made while they were alive! This also means that all things that are recorded in the Bible relate to our life while we are alive. That's why we give the name of this chapter as " the principles of living and prospering and prolonging your days on the land you will possess"!

It must not be about life after death, as I have not seen anything along the line of going to the heavens after death in the book of Genesis. God did not tell Abraham that he would go to the heavens after his death. We must know whether we live a prosperous life as a matter of blessing or not. That's why I don't like to tell people that they would go to heaven after death. I'd prefer to say if you walk with God when you are alive, God will continue to walk with us after death. However, if you walk with the devil when you are alive, then you will walk with the devil in your afterlife. My dear brothers and sisters, we must know the Bible consists of the Old and New testaments which tell how we can live prosperously!

The Teaching of Living and Prosperity

The principles of living prosperously are critical. If we don't live a prosperous life, then we must have done wrong somewhere. The Ten Commandments are the most fundamental teaching and were set up for the people who were alive, having nothing to do with the dead. Making a covenant with those who were alive was clearly stated during Moses' era. Living in the glory of God is one of the most important of destiny in our life. If we have lived in the glory of God, then we will not need anything on this earth.

A while ago, one brother asked me, " if someone falls and breaks his leg, will you send him to the hospital?" I answered yes! He seemed to be very satisfied with my response and he then said," I don't agree with what you do". I said," It doesn't matter! If someone is very accident-prone, then he does need the doctor". You will not need a doctor if you are blessed.

Two Types of People

There are two types of people in this world. One of which is blessed, the other is cursed. I soon find out that if someone is blessed, he will have a wonderful life which will make those who are cursed jealous. Those who don't live a good life can always find something they believe to be good and tell themselves that they live a good life, even though most of the time it is bad. But the funny thing is we know very well whether we have lived a blessed life or not. Don’t ever be fooled into believing what you see. It's good to be rich but this does not mean he will have a good life.

A while ago, I went back to my hometown and returned some idols to a well-known local temple. This was because I helped a family to break the curse of idols. The funny thing was many rich people chose to serve in the temple. How strange was that? In their eyes, they had a good life, and then something happened that drastically changed their life. They could not cope. They knew life was meaningless so they chose to stay in the temple. Year in and year out, more and more people joined the temple. As a result, the temple expanded. All I'm saying is when you encounter something that is out of your control, you will seek answers. If choosing to serve in the temple is one of the choices, then I wish you a good life.

The Ten Commandments

Christians must know the Ten Commandments are the principles of how to live and prosper and prolong your days in the land. A few months ago, I met a girl who studied at the university where I used to work. She was under severe bondage and lived a miserable life. I then prayed for her to be set free. Later on, I found out that her aunt had a God in her house. This girl's mum went to visit her aunt and died soon after that in the shower. Her aunt saw what happened and tried to commit suicide but was later on saved in the hospital. It was such a tragedy for the family. Simply because they did not know the principles.

If someone tells you that you will live forever and whatever happens after death, then you need to be wise as this is not going to be true. As it clearly says in the Bible that we will experience blessings from external God and living prosperously is the most important! We almost break the Ten Commandments to some extent, and we are cursed. You will not live a good life if you are cursed. Therefore, when Jesus was crucified on the course, He took up our pain and bore our sins so that we would live better. Although we are Christians, we still break the Ten Commandments, we cannot treat our God as plasters.

the First Commandment: No Other Gods Before Me

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 5:6)

Not only He is our Lord, but also the Lord of the ones who don't believe in Him. Whether you believe He created the universe or not, one thing you cannot deny is He brought us out of Egypt, the land of slavery. He set us free from all sorts of bondages, we cannot have other gods before Him!

A sister once asked me an interesting question. In China, we are very tolerant towards different religions and accept polytheism. Why do Christians reject other gods? I agreed with her. However, what I think does not matter. What matters the most is what it says in the Bible. All truth is exclusive. This can be explained mathematically. We all know if 1+1 is not equal to 2, then it's wrong. We can't say it's equal to 3 or 4. You may accept other answers, but you cannot reject the correct answer to them.

I can use another example to explain. I have many mums, and they all get on well and don't care how many mums I have. Nevertheless, my biological mum will not accept this! The situation will become very tricky. Our God works in the same fashion. You shall not have other gods before Him! If you do, then it must be a fake god! You may wonder why it's so possessive. This is just the way it works! No other way around it! Otherwise, you will be cursed!

I heard an interesting testament yesterday. Nearly every member of a sister's family had a mental illness. It's a curse. After a few months of praying, the man, her husband, suddenly realized that he and his uncle built a small temple as they did not know who the real God was. This broke the first commandment of the Ten Commandments. As a result, the family lived under a curse. They had been very busy looking for the temple they built deep in the woodlands. They could not find it anywhere. So they prayed hadn't for it and God revealed the location to them. They found it in the valley and destroyed it. Miraculously, their conditions dramatically improved! This also proved the importance of removing idols.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. (Deuteronomy 5:8)

We are told not to make ourselves an image in the form of anything in heaven above, and not to bow down to them. When you make an idol, you will worship them, and then acknowledge them as God. You are going to be cursed because our God is jealous!

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. (Deuteronomy 5:9)

We cannot have other gods, but why would people still make idols? Simple! Because idols will listen to you and satisfy your greed. The real God won't! You cannot be picky with Him, or you will exhaust your chance! My dear brothers and sisters, we know our God loves us, He does not want us to do something dangerous. As this is the principle of living a prosperous and prolonging your days in this land. The most important thing is to not have idols. What are idols? If you love anything that is more than Him, that thing will become your idol. For example, some people have devoted their lives to their job and living for them, then the job becomes their idol.

People make idols because they don't understand how the spiritual realm works. When people worship the idol, the spirit of the idol will enter the body legitimately becoming a curse. A curse means the spirit can destroy your life legally and corrupt you. We must by now know that only the real God can resolve our problems. In fact, there are various forms of idols that exist in our lives, such as money, relationships, or heroes.

This is just like the bronze snake that Moses made to heal the Israelites. When the Israelites looked at the bronze snake, they would be healed. They became dependent on it and the snake gradually became their idol. They forgot about God who healed them. It was later on destroyed by Hezekiah.

You shall not have other gods, only worship the real God! You cannot treat the Bible as Idol, as it's a book. Some people use the cross to carry out exorcism because they believe it will solve their problems. But it doesn't! You cannot treat the cross as an idol. We must reject the habit of worshiping idols, and fall for the trap of the devil. No one would live a good life if they worship any idols.

It was not with our ancestors that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. (Deuteronomy 5:3)

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