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The Future Looks Uncertain...but God - Part A

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January 26, 2021 2:00 am

The Future Looks Uncertain...but God - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 26, 2021 2:00 am

Prognosticators and psychics abound all around us, but they can only guess at the future. In the message "The Future Looks Uncertain...but God," Skip reminds you that though the future is shrouded in mystery, God knows what will happen.

This teaching is from the series ...but God.

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According to Atlantic magazine, it says millennials have taken astrology and run with it. They feel that they are the most stressed out generation of all, and they're looking to astrology to cope. Now, why is it that people have been so obsessed about knowing their future? And I've noticed this for years. Among virtually every group of people, they want to know what the future is going to hold.

Why is that? And I say all people, I mean, even Christian people. Many people pay money to know anything about their future, but the only place you find real certainty about your future is in God's Word. Today on Connect with Skip Hytech, Skip shares about how the future is well known to God and why you can rest in His plan. Now we want to tell you about a great resource that sheds light on what the Bible says about God's nature and character, including His plans and purpose for your life. It's exciting to learn the details of influential people, but one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's the author, Skip Hytech. There's nothing more elevating to mankind than the study of God Himself. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. Skip's new book is Our Thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're in Daniel chapter two as Skip Hytech starts today's study. I brought with me a book that has been in my library for a few years. It's called Predictions for the Next Millennium. And these are predictions by celebrities and they predict what will happen in the next 1000 years. These are celebrities who are some politicians, some are statesmen, others are musicians, others are actors.

So, some of them are not deep and some of them are downright funny, but some of them are interesting. Among the predictions of what will happen to us in the next 1000 years, one predicts that we'll have a common language and a common currency. Someone else says a world government that will heal the planet. Good luck with that. And even this one, the Earth's politicians will be taking interplanetary economic lessons from alien beings to find out how to cooperate and operate a government without taxing people to death.

Interestingly, that was given by one of the original cast members from Star Trek. I kid you not. Knowing the future or predicting the future is big business. From reading fortune cookies to reading horoscopes, people have tried to create an industry and it's no less than an industry. It's a $2 billion per year industry in our country.

In fact, it's triple that for some unknown reason in Italy. It's a $6 billion industry. When I say industry, it includes palm reading, cardamancy, which is predicting the future using cards, mediumship, aura readings and astrology. In fact, today has been called the new era of astrology. They tell us there's a resurgence of astrology among a very particular group of people, an age group called millennials.

You know what they are. And according to Atlantic magazine, it says millennials have taken astrology and run with it. They feel that they are the most stressed out generation of all and they're looking to astrology to cope. Now, why is it that people have been so obsessed about knowing their future?

And I've noticed this for years. Among virtually every group of people, they want to know what the future is going to hold. Why is that?

And I say all people, I mean even Christian people. You want to see seminars sell out, go to a prophecy seminar. You want to see books that sell out, get a prophecy book.

My publishers for years have begged me to do a book on prophecy because they know that those people will buy those books, knowing the future sells. And I found a quote by a psychologist that I thought was interesting that helps explain it. He says, one of the most powerful influences on fear is uncertainty.

The less we know, the more threatened we feel because lack of knowledge means we don't know what we need to know to protect ourselves. Then he gives an illustration. He says, picture you're driving down the road, open country road, you're doing 85 miles an hour. Let's just forget speed laws right now. You're just on the open road doing 85 miles an hour. Now you close your eyes. You go a half a mile.

A mile? Just the thought of that terrifies us. Why? Because we will not have what we need to know in order to survive. Self-preservation is such a basic instinct that we lack that when we can't see where we're going.

So when we drive, we peer as far down the road around that curve as possibly we can so we can get the information we need to know to survive. Knowledge, he says, knowledge of the future, even if it's incomplete knowledge is power. And if we don't know, we get afraid.

But I have a question. Do you really want to know your future? I mean, do you want to know all the details of what's going to happen to you next week, next month, next year, 10 years from now? If you found out that somebody you love was going to die a horrible death on a certain day, would you want to know that in advance and have to live with that?

Probably not. And so God wisely withholds such information from us so as not to overwhelm us. But looking at Daniel chapter two, I do want to give you some certainties about your future.

I'm going to make some basic statements that are there for you in your outline. And you know, Daniel chapter two, it's a long chapter. There's 49 verses in it, so we're just going to highlight a couple of them to get the gist of it. But it's a story about a king, Nebuchadnezzar. He is the world ruler at the time. And the story tells us that he was wondering about his future. He knew that he was going to die one day, and he wondered what's going to happen after he dies and into the future, who's going to take over my position, who's going to rule the world, etc. And that's the setting that Daniel the prophet finds himself in. So let me make the first certainty about the future.

And that's pretty basic. The future is unknown to us. From a human perspective, it's impossible to predict future events. Now, let's look at verse one of Daniel chapter two, a couple of verses down and we'll get the setting. Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams.

Notice not one but several. It's plural, dreams. And his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.

So picture a guy having a bad night's sleep, he wakes up, he's troubled by what he saw in his dream, he can't get back to sleep, he doesn't wake up refreshed, his sleep left him. Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king and the king said to them, I've had a dream and my spirit is anxious to know the dream. So this king named Nebuchadnezzar has a weird set of dreams.

And because pizza had not yet been invented, we can't blame it on that. This is from God. God gives him dreams. The problem is he can't remember the details of his dream. There's probably certain parts of it he could remember, but he can't remember all the details. He can't remember how it all fits together. We're just told he had dreams and his spirit was troubled.

It's a very strong Hebrew word. Troubled is paam, which means to beat something persistently. So something was hammering his thoughts while he was lying on his bed that night, and he woke up uneasy. And so he can't remember what the dream is.

So he tells his wise people to wise men of the court to tell him what it was he dreamed and what the interpretation was. By the way, we dream. We're told every night. You say, Well, I don't dream every night. Well, you do you recall is a different issue. But we're told that about 90 minutes after you fall asleep, you have your first dream episode, and about 90 minutes thereafter, so that the average human being has five dreams per night.

From a scientific standpoint, the reason we dream is that the large cells in your brain stem spontaneously fire about every 90 minutes and sends the stimuli to the cortex of your brain, which tries to unjumble and make sense of that. Now, that's just a very naive, simplistic way of describing it. But in this case, Nebuchadnezzar case, God was superintending those cortical stimulations. He was getting a message across to this king. So, because the king happens to have on his payroll, guys who traffic in dream prognostication, he calls them all in. This is their forte.

This is what they do. Notice in verse two, and we won't take the time to explain what they all did apart from the others, but magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans. Let's just say this was the cream of the occultic crop.

Right? If anybody can tell dreams, they should be able to do that. Dreams and omens were their forte. Now, what they tell the king is this. Tell us what you dreamed, king, and then we will tell you the interpretation. This king says, no, I can't remember the details. You have to tell me what it was I dreamed and what it means.

And if you don't, I'm going to cut you up into little pieces and make your houses a dung hill. So he's pretty upset at what he dreamed. And this doesn't sit very well with him.

And so, in verse 10, let's just go down there. The Chaldeans answered the king and said, there is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter. Mark that. They finally admitted that they can't tell him what it was he dreamed. In fact, no person on earth can. We can't read your mind and no person on earth can predict the future.

We can't do it. Therefore, they continue, no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. Nobody on earth can predict the future. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7 said, when times are good, be happy. When times are bad, consider God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

So why is it that people keep trying? Why is it that for time immemorial in every generation, people will do almost anything to predict their future? In ancient times, there were things called or people called oracles. Oracles were like intermediary interpreters of the gods to the human population. So these people, these kind of counselor beings in the ancient temples, these oracles, would get themselves into a hypnotic state or a drug-induced state and bring the message from the gods to the people.

Of course, when you're in a drug-induced state, you think you hear a lot of things. They would tell those things to the people. Supposedly, the gods were speaking through them.

And then during the Roman times, there was a very interesting way of predicting the future. I can only describe it as prophecy by chicken. They would put hens in a cage and put food into the cage. And if the hens ate it avidly, they didn't attack the food enthusiastically. That was a good sign. That was a good omen. If they ignored the food in the cage, it was a very bad sign.

So it was a very foul way to tell the future, as you can see. And there was even an ancient way called heptomancy, which was these oracles reading livers of animals. They would kill an animal, sacrifice it, take out the entrails. And specifically the liver. And the liver would be on a plate and it would kind of jiggle, depending on which way it jiggled.

And I don't know how many jiggles per minute. It told them something. And they would look at the jiggles and predict the future.

It was crazy stuff. And we laugh at that. However, in the United States of America, 125 million people believe in astrology. And 70 million people read their horoscopes every single day. In fact, 7% of them say they have changed their behavior based on their horoscope.

You say, well, that's a small amount, 7%. That's 12 million people in our country every day say they change their behavior based upon their horoscope. What's even more shocking, according to the Gallup organization, the Gallup poll, is 10% of people who say they are evangelical Christians also believe in astrology to some degree. Now every time I bring up this stuff, there's always somebody who will say, yeah, but I saw this special on TV about this person, like Nostradamus. You know, he was amazing. He predicted the future. And yeah, you can always find that crazy National Geographic special and they'll give you the spooky music and they'll pan the camera this way and then they'll say something he said and isn't it amazing that that happened.

And supposedly, Nostradamus, who by the way was a 1500s French pharmacist, they say predicted everything from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the twin towers falling on September 11, 2001. When you look at what he actually said, it's so vague, it's so hazy, it's so ambiguous that retrospectively you could make it mean almost anything. And I've done that. I've actually looked at what he said. I said, well, that could be a number of things.

It's not all that great. But what I remember back in the 1960s was a gal who was called America's most famous psychic. She was actually in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. I think she died in the 90s. Her name was Jean Dixon. And Jean Dixon was most famous for supposedly predicting the assassination of JFK.

That's what launched her into fame and got her name in the newspapers every day, Jean Dixon. What she actually said in 1956 was this, a Democrat will win the election and die in office. And people are going, wow. Well, is that all that amazing? First of all, there's a 50% chance that a Democrat is going to win the election.

Right? Last time I checked, there's only two main parties. Is it a Republican or Democrat? She predicted a Democrat. In those days, maybe it was even a higher percentage since JFK was running against Richard Nixon, the incumbent vice president for the Republican party.

And people often change parties from one side to the other. So maybe even greater than 50%. But let's just say 50. In the 1960s, the odds that a president would die in office is rated at about 40% because presidents were largely unprotected in those days. So let's just grant her 20% chance that her prediction is going to come true. When you compare that to biblical prophecy, that ain't that good. And you add to that the fact that Jean Dixon also predicted that World War III would start in 1954. And it didn't start in 1954.

In fact, it didn't start ever. And she also predicted that Jacqueline Kennedy would never marry again, when in fact she did marry Aristotle Onassis some years after JFK's death. So a lot of the things she said never happened. So she would be considered a false prophet by Old Testament standards. And it was just very generic what she predicted.

All of that to say what these Chaldeans told the king. The future is unknown to us. It's unknown to us from a human perspective.

Here's a second certainty though. Though the future is unknown to us, the future is well known to God. And Daniel knew that. Down in verse 15, I'll fill in the blank. So the king says, okay you guys, you tell me what I dreamed or what it means or I'll cut you in pieces and make your house as an outhouse, basically.

And they say, well nobody can do what you're asking, king. So the king gives this command to kill them all. Part of that group happens to be Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel gets wind of it in verse 15. He answered and said to Arioch, the king's captain, why is the decree from the king so urgent? And Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.

Now watch this. So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time that he might tell the king the interpretation. Now why is it that Daniel tells Arioch to stop the king's edict? And why does he call a prayer meeting, which he does immediately thereafter, with his buddies Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah?

Why does he do that? Well, in verse 16 it tells us why. That he might show the interpretation to the king.

Stop right there. How is he going to do that? If the future is unknown to us, how is he going to tell the king what he dreamed and the interpretation of the future? Because Daniel believed it's possible to know the future if God tells you. If God tells you.

And that's the only caveat. If God tells you. Which he did.

Verse 19. The secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Now a vision is different than a dream. A dream happens in your sleep.

A vision happens when you're awake. So Daniel, while he was awake one night, saw what the king had seen in a dream state powerfully displayed before him in a vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever. For wisdom and might are his. And he changes the times and the seasons. He removes kings and raises up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things.

He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with him. I thank you and praise you God of my fathers. You have given me wisdom and might and have now made known to me what we asked of you.

You have made known to us the king's demand. God can do that. You see, God is a quality. He has an attribute. He has a characteristic that makes knowing the future possible.

And that is this. He knows everything. And when you know everything, you know the future.

In Psalm 139, David said, Lord, you have searched me and known me. You have known my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down.

You are acquainted with all my ways. There is not a word on my tongue, but behold, Lord, you know it all together. In other words, even before I think the thought, you know what I'm going to think.

You know my thought afar off. You know it before I know it. That's how comprehensive God's knowledge is. So God has all knowledge. The Bible portrays him as that all knowledge. He is omniscient. He is the know it all God. And that means you can never tell God something he doesn't know.

No, I think most of us believe that. But even the best we can ever do to describe this attribute of God, because it's so foreign to us, we kind of walk away going, I don't get it. Because God's knowledge is immediate, comprehensive and without deterioration.

None of us can relate to that. If I were to give you a test from your high school days, you'd probably fail. Because all of that knowledge you learn right before the test, it's gone pretty quickly.

In fact, a lot of us forget what we did yesterday. So God's knowledge is immediate, comprehensive without deterioration and without painstaking research. You know, for me, the preaching is easy.

It's all the research that leads up to it. God doesn't have to do that. He doesn't have to move from one logical premise to another logical premise to come up with a conclusion. God never had to go to school. God doesn't ever have to be informed. God never says, oh, really? Or, wow. Or, huh.

Or, I didn't know that. He never says those things because his knowledge is immediate, comprehensive, without deterioration. Because he knows it all, he therefore knows the future.

And that is what Daniel is banking on. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from the series, But God. Now, here's Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to God's love. God's truth is the best foundation you can build your life on. And our goal here is to empower your life with his truth through these Bible teachings. So, would you please consider giving a gift today to keep the messages coming to you and to help more people build their lives on God's Word?

Here's how you can give a gift to help more listeners like you build an unshakable faith. You can give online at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you. Now we want to let you know how you can stay updated on the latest from this ministry and from Skip. To get encouragement from Skip and important announcements on social media, just follow Skip on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

That's at Skip Heitzig. Tune in again tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares what God has revealed about his plans and why you can trust in his Word. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his Word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-31 05:24:44 / 2023-12-31 05:33:59 / 9

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