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What Does the Future Hold?

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • February 28, 2015
    11:00 AM
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I'm it has stood the test of time. God's Book the Bible is still relevant in today's complex world it is very chilling messages of hope around the world. I'm a dear friend and I am so glad that you made the choice to join it is written today. There's no doubt in my mind that you will be inspired by the things that you hear today. You know a true seeker asks questions lots and lots of questions. But in order to seek it means that eventually we'll find. And that means we must get the answers to those questions. We've been in the midst of a series beyond questions seeking to find an answer. Today I am so glad to continue this series of programs with John Bradshaw speaker director of it is written international internationally Vangelis has just recently come from Malaysia. So glad to have you here today John. Good to be here Chris thanks for having me. This is this is good. You know our two ministries are routed. It is not by accident that they have the same name thirty years ago. George Vandeman Henry fire Robin came together and said how do we have a program that shares the love of Jesus. The truth of God's word with the Canadian audience and thus was born. It is written Canada to organizations that are rooted in the same principle run independent of one another one. And each have the same goal of sharing Jesus. I'm so glad that you've taken the time to be up here with us too it's an honor to be here because I know what it is written Canada stands for and what you do and you seeking to present the Bible and to guide people to Jesus Christ. You know would be easy for us to do is as ministers and preachers and what not to tell people what to think. Even though we will share ideas our role isn't to tell people what to think but to encourage people to think and find a nonces thread I believe the Holy Spirit guides guides has guided and guides you guides me and guides somebody else and can guide that person who each of us to the place God wants us to be so we will share some things today that I pray God will use to guide people in their journey to way God wants them to be. That's right and we've been in the we are now in the midst of our series beyond questions we're going to go beyond the questions and actually look to God's word to provide answers. And we've kind of traced a course here where we've looked at your personal story where we see and we answered the question What is God. What is the real meaning of life and what we find is that God has a purpose. God has a purpose for every person and we need to find that purpose in his word and then we ask the question what are the odds what are the odds that this book truly is what it says it is. And we've found that God's book is reliable and authentic through prophecy. Now we want to continue along that subject of prophecy today John. John why is prophecy so important. Here's a couple of reasons for one what prophecy does is it enables us to see that the God in heaven knows the future you know that doesn't make God a cosmic clear voyant but he knows what's going to happen before it begins. It helps us to understand that God sees in way. As we can see there is a certain supernatural element to this God see nobody else can do that I don't know of another religious figure I shall not name any but I don't know of another religious figure a leader of one of the great world religions who could ever foretell the future. God claims to be able to do that and he demonstrates that he can if you don't mind a look at a verse in the Bible here. That's right and while you're going to that verse John not only does he foretell the future but he foretells the future with one hundred percent accuracy. That's right. Anybody could have a guess. The tabloids make their predictions every year. Yes they don't come true. But what God says never fails he said that Isaiah Chapter forty six and verse nine. Remember the former things of old for I am God and there is none else I am God and there is none like me declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times to things that are not yet done saying my counsel shall stand. And I will do all my pleasure. See God knows that we want reasons to trust him. That's right. Nobody wants to believe blindly and say well the preacher the teacher my dad he said we need to be able to have an intelligent faith in God and when you see for instance we've talked together about Daniel Chapter two that's right hundreds of years ahead of time. God predicting the rise and fall of kingdoms you know someone's going to say all that chicanery. Oh you can't trust the bible it's a human invention. Those arguments are age old and they're not true. That's right. There's no evidence anywhere that suggests the Bible was written after the fact Daniel two was an invention after the fact Jesus believe the prophet Daniel. We quoted Daniel That's right. God uses prophecy to say you can trust me you can trust me and you know the amazing thing. Because some people will go as far. Daniel wrote these things afterwards and some people try to say because most most scholars many scholars I should say believe that Daniel was written some time in the sixth century B.C. but some critical scholars to try to avoid this. How did Daniel really know bump his book all the way to the third century B.C.. However here's the important thing to remember. Even if Daniel's book was written in the second century B.C. or the third century B.C. exactly he's predicting things that happen well after that and so we have in Isaiah forty six and God making this a declaration of an age old question that many ask Does God really exist and God makes a statement I am God and there is none other which is I mean when you make a statement such as this there is not a way to get around that that is a bold statement of fact. I am God and there is no other and then the reason he gives is is this declaring the end from the beginning. God knows the end from the beginning and throughout the Bible he declares that and from the beginning to demonstrate to us the people who are seeking that he is God and He can be trusted in who even to trust most everybody wants to trust somebody. God says you can believe in God not just because to do so. Puts you in a group of moral ish people not to do so is going to have your kids raised around good values not enough you can trust me and know that I hold the world in my hands right. I hold you in my hands I can transform your life. I can promise you eat a life and you can be my friend you can you know the Bible makes this amazing statement. It is in God's presence there is fullness of joy. That's right. People try to get their thrills in Las Vegas. I try to get the throws in them but they try to get at the adjoint from myriad places you know whether it's the Stanley Cup or the Grey Cup or the tea cup people are trying to get enjoyed some place. That's right and not that God's against some of all of that. But are you saying. Fullness of joy. If you really want to be happy you get to know me you can live with that and you can live with purpose you can live with meaning you can live with that with purity and it's fun to do and you know this is the amazing thing and I'm so glad that you've that you've pointed us in this direction John because one of the things that I try to get across in my Bible teaching so many Bible preachers out there present a God who's in Heaven waiting watching so he could get us when we make our first mistake. Can you imagine what the Bible presents a God of Love who desires this friendship as you said who desires communion and in fact along with this idea of prophecy in Amos three seven God makes this amazing promise and he says in Amos three seven surely the Lord God does nothing unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets. This is a phenomenal promise because God's not trying to withhold from us. God is trying to give us everything to put us on a trajectory of coming to know him and living a life that is is abundant with joy and peace. If God was really looking to get us he'd a got us a long look at that's right because we all deserve it. You know he would he would have said the world is a mess and he would just scramble it up and throw it in the trash and start again or not study and call it a failed experiment or something. Adam and Eve sinned and God said here's what I'm going to do. He closed them with skins animals had to die. Did the Messiah will come through that object lesson and through his verbal promise there will come a messiah he will give you a chance at life you can imagine. Just stop and think about this. Adam and Eve sent her before hand. God had determined that he would save them should sin enter into the world. That's right but he knew what it would cost it would cost the life of his son. Now God didn't reconsider I have a son. I'm not about to give him up for anything out there. I kid around and say there are days I give my wife and I pay you to take him but you know like that that's a joke. I don't make very often imagine saying I'll give my son. No honestly you could imagine giving giving a family member by me for even going here for some would be cause to save Canada. Chris. You've got to die and you might say well that's where all of Canada. I might do that right. Jesus died for a bunch of scoundrels and rascals you know he died for the off scouring of the earth. God gave Jesus to die knowing that when Jesus would come you know the people would spit on him and nail him to a cross he gave him to an ungrateful world what does this say about God God is good and he communicates that through prophecy in fact I'll share another verse please in second Peter chapter one it was nineteen we have also a more sure word of prophecy. We're on to you do well that you take heed as unto a light that shines in a dark place. So so observe prophecy as though you'd follow a light in the day. That's right until the day dawn and the day Star arise in your hearts this day Star is Jesus said prophecy is given so that we'll see Christ it's not just so there is another market we can chicken other days as it could or another prediction is being fulfilled as important as those. That's right but through all of that so that we can see. No Jesus who is the light of the world. That's right he is the Way the Truth and the life. Prophecy helps us to see that and so it's amazing. So we got this fundamental principle principles of the purpose of prophecy. First prophecy helps us to understand God is real. We don't have to wonder if we're alone in the universe if we were here by chance or accident. I know there is a loving God who created this earth and he's going to demonstrate that to us through prophecy so that prophecy helps us to know we have a we serve a loving God Secondly we've learned this principle that God is not withholding anything in fact he reveals things to his prophets so we might know what's going to take place so we can be prepared. And then thirdly and I'll say most importantly prophecy is revealed to us that we might see the day Star Jesus Christ as our Savior the one who came to take sin away and lead us all the way home to heaven and God doesn't owe us any of that. No he doesn't owe us any of that. Surely the will to do nothing except he reveals a secret service a product of floods going to come to the world he rises up now it tells everybody it's right and Jesus is coming to the will he rises up John the Baptist and alerts people that Christ is coming back again the prophets wrote about the second coming of Jesus he doesn't have to do that for us now. He does not and it's tragic to me that there is so much cynicism and skepticism about God generated by people who have a misconception of what God's character is actually like when this god is that good God He wants to do everything he can to bless our future. You know it's an amazing thing John last week we shared from Daniel Chapter two and in Daniel Chapter two we are giving this we are given this foundational prophecy that all of the Book of Daniel and really all of the Book of Revelation is built upon. But in Hebrew thinking in the east. During thinking which is very difficult for our Western minds to understand Hebrew thinking has this idea of what the big word is recapitulation. A simple way to understand that is repeat and enlarge and so what we see in some of the prophecies and we see it in Daniel two is it's this broad stroke where not a lot of details are but then God comes and he gives us greater detail to demonstrate that the future truly is in his hands and so I would suggest that maybe we turn to Daniel Chapter seven to look at another prophecy to see how does this prophecy reveal that God is who he says he is. How does this prophecy reveal to us that God is opening the books before us so we might know the path. And how does this prophecy show us Jesus. Let's go to Daniel Chapter seven and Daniel Chapter seven and again we we could spend a lot of time on the history of how we get here. It's the first year of Belshazzar it's still the king of Babylon. Daniel is still serving in Babylon and this time the kings not given a dream but rather Daniel is given a dream and Daniel's not given a dream of images but rather he's given a dream of these animals that are a little awkward looking. John is there in Daniel Chapter seven and verse two maybe share with us what's this dream that Daniel receives. Daniel spoken said I saw in my vision by night this is two and behold the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea and for great beasts came up from the sea. Diverse or different from one another so I go on and worry about these things. Let's let's let's hear and as we read about these beasts I think our viewing audience is going to be quite in very intimate with these beasts because these. That type of beast that we would see at the zoo. No The first was like a lion and head eagle's wings. I be held until the wings they were plucked and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand upon the feet as a man in a man's heart was given to it. So that's the first one and this first piece and we read later where Daniel actually tells us about this person B.'s and again we go back to this idea of Hebrew thinking of repeating and enlarging what we are going to see here with these four beasts is that these four beasts are actually identical to the medals of Daniel Chapter two and so this first piece this lion is a representation of the kingdom of Babylon. That's that's right and we could talk a little bit about that but John maybe Sure we're just a little how do we really know that that this symbol that really represents Babylon tell you an interesting thing. Aki ologists women who all dabble on this is I hope on the answering a question and I have not been to Berlin but I haven't been to that museum was recently at the British Museum in London they had re creations is this. Yes they brought it out of Babylon and reconstructed the masonry of the relief. What was depicted on the walls there in Babylon. The symbol was a lion with eagles wings. This was a symbol of Babylon. Yes and God used a contemporary symbol of Babylon to describe Babylon and that would have spoken to the Babylonians then all that mind the mind of that time and it speaks to us today to say he had this really is Babylon funny enough I've been to Babylon Babylon New York down to Long Island New York to a beachside town or an oceanside town and you go to the marina and there is a great big tall concrete pillar and on the top of it aligned with eagles wings. Yes And this is the symbol of Babylon. Now the skeptic could say OK. You lived in Babylon he saw these these lines with angels wings he could have easily wrote that but Daniel doesn't stop there he goes on and there is a second beast in verse five and the Bible says that I saw another beast a second like a bear and it was raised up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth and they said to us two it arise devour must flash this is an odd looking Barretts humped up on one side three ribs in the mouth. What kingdom does this represent you know what the first kingdom represented Babylon the second kingdom must represent Middle Persian when when we get down to the food and especially the fourth kingdom we see how clearly that fits and holds that kingdom was we often refer to that is the Persian that's right in our empire but it was the needs in the Persians brought together. That's right and one was more powerful than the other so it's raised up on one side. Yes on its way to power conquered three different nations three ribs in its mouth of use or bear in the woods and it had three ribs in its mouth you would know it's just devoured something that's right and this is the symbol that Daniel sought was given to him by God he is that second kingdom Mido Persia on its way to power. Call could three nations don't stand too close and the amazing thing is especially for the skeptic. Actually when the middle Persians join together the meads are stronger than the Persian right. But then and most history books just simply speak of the Persian Empire because the Persians grow much stronger. There's no way Daniel would have known that. But he writes this predictive prophecy helping us see there's a third and a fourth piece. Let's read about that third beast in verse six John wanted to read that. After this I beheld and lo another like a leopard which had upon its back four wings of a fell the beast had also four heads and dominion was given to it is interesting as it is more Jurassic Park than that's right and the Toronto Zoo for wings four heads. Interesting wings are usually a symbol of speed and this animal has four wings. No doubt this kingdom this beast represents Greece. These four wings depicting the rapid nature by which Greece conquers the world. But it's got four heads four heads a representation of the fact that Greece would be divided Alexander the Great guys and in his famous words when they ask who will inherit the kingdom he says whoever is strongest and these four generals divide Greece and then we go to this last beast which the Bible describes as indescribable. No doubt it has these iron teeth and it is this kingdom of Rome. But the Bible doesn't stop there John and this is where I want to stay as we're as our time is winding down I want to hone in on that end of the prophecy. We've got the same things from Daniel two but does it end there with God's people because we have this little one that appears and we don't have time to talk about it but this little horn does that terrible thing against the Saints are God's people is just left in distress or does God have something of a promise that the Daystar might arise in us and that we might see the day Star arise and give us hope out of this prophecy. Immediately after the prophecies of those four beasts we're given something that's a little Orson and a whole lot hopeful. Dan you wrote Ivy Hill till about thrones were cast down and the Ancient of Days did sit it was gone it was white as snow the hair of his head like Pew will his throne was like a fiery flame as we was his building fire imagine that a fiery stream issuing came forth from before him. Thousand thousands ministered to him ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him the judgment was sick and the books were opened. Yet now you can and I think many have done this perhaps in the past you could look at the judgment and the judgment time and I. Up to him. Please be with us and let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus we pray in Jesus' name amen. Hi everyone. We've been focusing on the new start and that and thirty eight. R.T. and today we're looking at are tired of getting tired. If you're like a twenty four. Just not enough for one day if I could purchase extra bonus cards. Believe me I would but God in his great wisdom knew that twenty four hours would be all he could handle. How much sleep are you getting each night. Research shows that seven to eight hours is ideal for most people and the old saying early to bed early to rise makes the person healthy wealthy and wise appears to be so true. Studies indicate that getting to sleep a few hours before midnight is quite important to the restorers have growth and repair our bodies undertake while we're sleeping. Further more research shows that a chronic lack of sleep can be very serious resulting in a depressed immune system which in turn results in you being more prone to illness and depression. Many people have trouble sleeping though. If you're one of them here's some proven ideas for you to try first. Finish eating your last meal and also drinking any fluids at least two hours before you go to bed. Next go to bed at the same time each evening and get all the clutter out of your bedroom and make it a serene place to unwind. Also be sure it is. In complete darkness and get adequate amounts of sunshine during the day. Also exercise regularly. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine study forty three women and men aged fifty to seventy six who led a sedentary lifestyle and two were experiencing trouble sleeping. After sixteen weeks of thirty to forty minutes of low impact aerobics or brisk walking four times a week the group that exercised was able to increase their sleeping hours by almost an hour. Next eat foods that are high in melatonin Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by our bodies that among other things acts of the natural sleep aid food provided melatonin include corn oats brown rice tomatoes and bananas. And last but certainly not least if God anywhere you see may have been someone twenty seven priest who tells us that he will grant blame to those he loves. Also someone twenty one verse four tells us but I can never sleep and he never slumbers. So we can rest assured that he is keeping a careful and loving watch over us who love that if you want additional information on getting a good night's sleep peacefully Ahram dot org and you'll find links to great resources. I hope you sleep well tonight. See you next time I'm. Prophecy demonstrates that Jesus loves us and wants a relationship with us. Friend If you want to learn more about prophecy and specifically about the relationship with Jesus when offering the focus on prophecy lessons Here's the information you need to request today's offer. Just log onto W.W.W. dot it is written canada dot ca for Canadian viewers. Will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada shipping charges will apply. If you prefer you may call toll free at one eight eight eight call I.W. or if you wish you may write to us and it is written. Box twenty ten. Ottawa Ontario L one eight seventy four. John thank you so much for taking the time to share with us the love of Jesus. Thanks Chris great to be in front I hope you'll join us again next week. Until then remember it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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