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Life of Paul Part 9 - The God who sees the Future

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2020 6:00 am

Life of Paul Part 9 - The God who sees the Future

So What? / Lon Solomon

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January 31, 2020 6:00 am

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The Bible together ask Chapter 11 and will continue in our study the life of the great man.

The apostle Paul. And while you're turning. Let me tell you about a guy that lives right here in Alexander's names is Mr. Sumter ready PRI DD why he's an art collector. It was an article in the paper about and it was very interesting. Mr. pretty when he was in college was starting, among other things, the work seminar artist named John Lewis criminal John Lewis criminal was a an artist or in the colonial. Here the United States and his works have become very desired by art historians because of their depictions of everyday life here in America during the colonial period will anyway. Mr. pretty was just leafing through a catalog from an upcoming auction down in New Orleans or as we they would say down there in New Orleans well down in New Orleans, they were going to have an auction and in this auction as he was reading through the book he thought he saw unrecognized the description of one of John Lewis criminal's most famous paintings Culpepper pot that had disappeared from view dropped out of sight. Years ago nobody know where he knew where we want to launch. He hopped on an airplane and flew down to New Orleans and in the hour that they gave you my before the auction to view the P the different things he went up and saw this painting and became convinced it was a long missing pepper pot well. He also realized that the auctioneers had no idea what they had, so they were thrilled to be auctioneers were when he bought the fitting for $1200 because they only expected to cope with reported dollars that were thrilled to death while he brought it back up here to Alexandria and marketed it for $385,000 and auctioneers suited the file suit and they said in their suit that that he Mr. pretty had swindled them quoting now due to his superior knowledge of all marked and that he had a responsibility under Louisiana law to tell them in advance that there were there.

This me this piece was worth more than they realize that Mr. pretty and responsive, and I quote, it would've been absurd to expect me to stand up in the middle of an auction and announced to everyone there that this painting was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Well, a judges rule down and in Louisiana this week. Let's take a little survey, how many of you think that the judge ruled in favor of Mr. pretty regime, how many of you all think he ruled in favor of the auctioneers raised a hand. Well I'm happy to announce a thank God there's a judge somewhere with some sense left because he ruled in favor Mr. pretty all right through the city through the suit out. He said the suit was for plasterers and he said, and I'm quoting from his ruling now. He said it was really reminded him of some of the outrageously hypothetical cases found only in law school, classroom" YAC Monica wonderful story because it had any connection with anything. Well, yeah, I because what we see from that story is when a person has superior knowledge of the facts, they can make better decisions and better choices in life, like Mr. pretty did what were going to talk today about how God has superior knowledge of the events of the future than you and I do and how as a result of that he can make better choices and better decisions about our life and the plan for our life and we can make before we talk about that.

Let's talk about the passage out of which this discussion grows. Ask Chapter 11 and if you remember little bit of background here. Remember earlier. We saw that here and ask Chapter 11 in Antioch, a brand-new kind of church develop never happened before church were Jewish believers and Gentile believers mixed together and became brothers and sisters in the Lord and we also saw that Barnabas came to this church and became the senior pastor of this church that he went to Tarsus and found Paul and brought Paul back to be the associate pastor of this church and they say their look at this ask Chapter 11 verse 26 for a whole year. Barnabas and Paul met with the church in Antioch, and taught great numbers of people. Can you imagine this is your pastoral team. Barnabas and Paul holy smokes. What a team that must've been well let's go on now.

What happened next verse 27. During this time some profits came down from Jerusalem to Antioch and one of them was named Agatha's working to finish the passage of popular perspective know at this the first time we meet this guy named Agatha was going to see him again in acts chapter 21 and the Bible says he was a prophet and he came down with several other prophets to Antioch to pay a visit. Now what about this thing called profits. If you've been a follower of Jesus Christ for any period of time you've heard these words, prophets prophecy. Maybe you've been in a setting where somebody had a prophetic word for you or somebody else or they had a word of prophecy for you or someone else.

What about all of this honey what are prophets what are they do and is the gift of prophecy around today. What about this word of prophetic knowledge and all this stuff will lower on the subject.

Let's talk about that for a minute. The answer to all of our questions is found back in the Old Testament so people bulletin or something here in acts 11 were coming back and flip back with me if you would, to Deuteronomy chapter 18, the fifth book in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy chapter 18 and here in Deuteronomy 18 God gives us the initial creation. He tells us about the initial creation of the office of prophet.

What they do and how you can tell what you got the real McCoy or not. So let's look at it ask me and forgive me. Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 16 Moses speaking of the Israelites is what he said. He said, for this is what you asked of the Lord at Horeb at Mount Sinai on the day you assembled there. When you said, let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God again or see this great fire of his anymore or we will not know what's Moses talking about in Exodus chapter 20, when the Israelites first arrived at Mount Sinai. God spoke to them directly out of a pillar of fire and scared the living daylights out of them. I needed to know what to do with this. So they all came to Moses and said Moses we don't ever want this to happen again. Don't you ever let God speak to a straight up like this again you you you go talk to God, and you can tell us what he said but when I doing this again so Moses said okay and God said okay verse 17 the Lord said to me what they say is good.

I like this idea of a go-between.

I will raise up for them a prophet like you Moses from their brothers in every generation. So here's the point.

What are prophets prophets were go-between. They were people who went into the presence of information direct revelation from God himself, and then brought it back and communicated to the human race that the prophet number one. What is this tells about prophets, prophets were people who receive direct revelation direct information from God himself. Now put a prophet teach the Bible. I'm sure they could go to profit preach will I'm sure they could but prophets weren't made or created to preach or teach. They were created, their unique function was to go into the presence of God. Get direct information from God and bring it back and communicated to the human race. Because of this I hope you understand. Prophets just didn't quote Scripture prophets wrote the Scripture all the Scripture is is thus saith the Lord written now and so this book was written by prophets who went into the presence of God heard thus saith the Lord came out and wrote it down for us is a lot of understand what you're saying correctly prevent then then prophets were people that had enormous spiritual authority right. Oh you bet, friend of a prophet walked in here today a true biblical prophet walk right down the center. I'll start right here in the front pointed up at me and said Lon thus saith the Lord. I am sick of hearing so locked knock it off. We would have to retire so one here forever or we'd be in disobedience to God. I mean that's the kind of authority a prophet has when they pronounce something in the name of God so is a lot if that's true then we better be pretty careful who we put that mantle want to be in a prophet, you bet, how do we tell a real one from a falsehood. How do we know we were dealing with a real per biblical prophet well the passage goes on to answer the quest verse 21.

You may say to yourselves, how can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord. How do we know the real profit from a from a false prophet. Here's the answer.

Verse 22. If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true. If they don't predict the future and get it right every time that that person that messages one the Lord is not spoken. That profit is spoken presumptuously. Do not worry about him or her or not a real profit. The test that God gave whereby people can validate and vindicate that they were a true biblical prophet. The litmus test is that prophets had to be able to predict the future supernaturally and flawlessly. They had to be able to foretell the future with precise accuracy and if they could not do this.

They are not a biblical prophet...!

And were not talking about just some kind of vague general prediction like real estate cost in Washington are going to go off well any nincompoop in the world knows that a prophet the tell us that were talking about telling us something supernatural. But there's no way any human being could no more predict unless they had heard it directly from Almighty God and predicting it in such a way that is verifiable that is specific enough that anybody and everybody can check it out and say man this person obviously heard this from God. It's important for us to recognize every biblical prophet had the ability to do this, Samuel, for example, first Samuel chapter 3 the Bible says the Lord was with Samuel and God let no one of Samuels were Samuel's words failed to come true.

As a result, all Israel knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. Now how did all the Israelites know Samuel was can firm is a true prophet, what is it say the Lord let none of Samuels predictions Mayo to come true. And this is the same or go to see that without a bus was a true biblical prophet in just a minute what I want about these people like Jean Dixon wanted all these other people mean they get it right. Every once in a while.

Well that's true but you know what even a blind squirrel can find acorn every once in a while. I mean, it had nothing to do would get water to write. This has to do would never ever get one wrong a biblical prophet never got one wrong or will they around today. I mean to people have prophetic word. The data are the other prophets around today. Not in my opinion I don't think there's been any around for centuries and centuries and I'll give you three reasons why number one is no new Scripture need to be written is no new revelation God to give us God is given us all the direct revelation is planning on giving us right here in this book called the Bible. And if there's no new revelation going to be given is why the world you need someone was that the primary function, theological God. The zoological things.

Number two, there's never been any person that has or 10 that I know will fulfill the test of being a prophet, tell me five things in the future that we can check out that nobody could possibly know.

And maybe if they all happen will talk about you being a profit on them.

Anybody can can can meet that test and certain finally you say yeah well but you know prophets didn't just foretell Lon the fourth told me when of the Bible. They taught the Bible. We need him for that. Don't wait. We got a perfectly good gift operating in the church today called the gift of teaching where people go into the Scripture figure out what's there communicated the people, but you see that's not what prophets the prophets were created to teach. They were created to bring new biblical information and that's not happening. People come up to me all the time and say all along such a wonderful prophet of God and I go will not know I'm not at all if I was a real profit.

I want to know that the ravens were going to rent a Super Bowl known at one every poll in Fairfax County because I would've been on the ravens and no never go to when I didn't know that I'm not a prophet is going to what the Bible says and try to pull it out and teach people. God is never communicated to be one piece of divine information in my life and I will never plan on him doing it.

I don't have that you and I don't believe anybody else does today.

So we here at McLean Bible church do not grant any spiritual authority at all to prophetic word or people who claim to be prophets about every week. I have somebody come up to me is that I have a word from God for you and I go okay.

What is they tell me the cenote to do with that, pray about it and God tells me what you think he told you for this evidence is thus saith the Lord doesn't know. I'm sorry you don't understand I don't grant any authority to that. I don't believe there is any prophecy around anymore, pray about as far as I'm concerned is just advice. And that's how we see now if you want more information on this.

We got a hold paid by the same name. Call prophets 55 minutes.

I'll talk to you about this. You go right down her bookstore and get it a lot more information, but this is the bottom line now we have a real profit that were dealing here with Agatha's right. He was the real McCoy. So let's go back to accept 11. Let's see what he did okay accept 11 here we go in Chapter 11 the rest of verse 28 says this and Agnes came down there and through the spirit he predicted. Well of course he did. Even a real profit is what is supposed to do is predict the future he predicted that there was going to be a severe famine that would spread over the entire Roman world. And the disciples. Verse 29, each according to their ability there in Antioch, took up an offering to help the brothers living in Jerusalem. The Christians there in the Senate tutor to Jerusalem to help with this upcoming famine, believing it was going to happen because Agatha said it was a Senate by the hand of Barnabas and Paul, is it what's wrong with the people in Jerusalem, believers in Jerusalem couldn't. I got thrown off. Come they couldn't pay for themselves what is the deal you what a wonderful question and answer it next time.

Okay. Right now, as we have a really important question asked them thank God you have been any profits to come in your told us we can't do this.

So were going to do this. Everybody get loaded up here we go deep breath who 123 right so what is it Lon. I appreciate all this information, it's really good, you have told me one single thing though that affects my daily life at all.

Well, let's see if we can help with that. Agatha was predicted this famine did happen immediately tell the truth. Did you get it right well yeah look. The Bible says that this happened. Verse 28. This famine happened during the reign of Claudius use it Lon, you're such a nice guy but you are such a dimwit.

Of course, the Bible's going to say that, of course, the Bible's gonna make sure that it validates its own glory coming. We live in Washington when used to this kind of stuff we understand it is worth that's no proof of anything will all right. I think the Bible is not going to spin it on you but if you need external proof of God. It I've got the fact that this famine is mentioned during the reign of Tony is Claudius who told his Claudius was the Roman Emperor from 41 A.D. to 54 A.D. and during his reign. We have five independent sources from the Bible that mention this famine, the Roman historian Tacitus, the Roman writer Rosie as the Jewish historian Josephus, the church historian Eusebius, and in the annals of Tacitus and I mean of Claudius himself. He records that in his 5th to 7th year that is between 46 and 48 A.D. there was a horrible famine. He writes and it was particularly bad in the Middle East in the land of Palestine, millions of just like Agatha said, in fact, Josephus actually writes that many Jews died for want of food during this famine. So Agatha was prophesied that this famine was common and we have evidence from outside of the Bible that says it happened just the way the man's that it did not. How could he do that how the world could he know that what we know the answer because he was in contact with the living God, who knows the future as clearly as we know the pain saw a solemn thought 90 verse two says before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth from everlasting to everlasting you are God. The Bible invites us to look as far back in the everlasting past as we can never look and then the turn and look as far forward in the everlasting future as we can never look in the Bible says and both of those terminus point God is there at the same time simultaneously. Equally, God, and both times at both points and in every point in between.

He's equally God all at the same time that that's mind-boggling.

But if that's true then you know what the word time has no meaning for God got caught doesn't live in time. If that's true then words like yesterday, today and tomorrow are meaningless for God, for God is all one big now and that's why informing I got was that there was going to be a famine was no problem no problem.

A little is reading the paper this week about Lucent Technologies.

Did you see that USA Today was in the Wall Street Journal.

Lucent Technologies began in 1996 just in case you don't know was hatched from AT&T and when he did this for an initial public offering.

1996. It was six dollars a share. Now that rose in 2 1/2 years to $67.50 a share. Lucent became one of the darlings of Wall Street. In fact, one of the most widely held stocks in America you own stock you very probably on Lucent Technologies.the end of this past week. Lucent stock was worth $6.75 a share fell, falling 92% in the last two years. If you're here, you own Lucent Technologies stock.

I'm not going to increase your pain by asking you to raise your hand but I want to know from you. Why didn't you tell it when it was $67 a share salon.

What an awesome tell you why did you see the future – why do you understand that if you keep asking questions like that. I want to come up there and strangle you with my own.

There is another icon asked those questions about stocks okay okay understand that the point is you know you can see the future, but God can. A printed Godhead old Lucent assaulted in 1999 because he knew what was coming that you're here and you're not a follower of Jesus Christ. Let me say to you, one of the greatest proofs anywhere that God is real and who he says he is, is this whole issue of fulfilled prophecy in your life. There are over 30 prophecies in the Bible about just the life and death in the ministry of Jesus Christ, and their very specific in Jesus fulfilled every single one of them. They were all written a minimum of 400 years before Jesus was born some of the more than a thousand years before Jesus was born, and why did God go to the trouble to write all these things down hundreds of years before they happen so that they could come true and you could see it.

Why did God do that friends because he wanted to convince us that he's up there. He's real that this is not a hoax. There is a living God who sees the future and sees the end from the beginning and how better to prove it to us. I one mathematician tell me the probability of this happening was one with 100 zeros after shoots or states it takes faith to believe in God.

I say it makes a whole lot more faith. A lot of those numbers not to believe in God and God went to the trouble to convince you if you give your life to Jesus Christ, you are not making a mistake.

You are not buying into a hoax.

There is a living God up there was running this universe. You can trust.

Some think about those of us who already followers of Christ is close it up and say what difference does it make to us will I think the fact that we got a God who can see tomorrow as clearly as we can see yesterday has enormous ramifications for us because God is made of some promises about the future as followers of Christ. Jeremiah 29 verse 11. I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 828 for all things work together for good. God says I've already orchestrated him like that in your life for those who love God and friends of God is who he says he is if he can really see the future. The way we see the path if he never makes a mistake never discovers anything new never miscalculate and never says will. If this is God, my dear friends when he put the plan together for your life. He did that with an utter and absolute knowledge of the future that you and I don't have and he did not make any mistake not so when tragedy hits your life when disappointment strikes your life when things come into your life that you don't understand, and you can explain things you don't like things you don't want things for the life of you that you can't figure out how they could be part of any plan for good pay. Having this information about God's important because we need to look at those things through the lens of the Scripture which tells us that even though you and I can't see how they can be any part of a good plan for our life that God can see how in fact God already has seen how, in fact, God is already made sure how, and that God is not asking us to evaluate his plan for our life. He's asking us to trust his plan for a life not a pastor. 21 years almost. And if you were to ask me lawn what is the most difficult part of your job honey what is the toughest thing you do is a pastor.

I wonder what you think. I would say my surprise you the answer I would say what is being most difficult thing I do weddings want. That's stupid.

That's the stupidest answer ever heard of me. I thought it would be counseling sessions were people so chairs and paperweights and stuff that each of you know threatened to poke one another eyes out with paperclips not, stop. I mean, weddings at everybody's happy. Your wedding every body have been funded when he how can the wedding be the toughest part of your job.

Let me explain to you how when I stand in the front of the church are in the front or wherever it is that it's happening and I look up at when I see that father all he so excited and happy and I see this daughter on his arm with her veil and she's beaming, and she so thrilled about coming down the aisle in the music wells up and down lace are I stand at the front of that island.

I I'm reminded of the fact that I will never do this for my daughter never. I have a nine-year-old girl. Many of you know who severely brain damaged severely retarded. She actually lives at about a nine month year of age. She can't eat. She can't feed herself can't dress herself.

She can't speak. She's not potty trained and apart from an incredible miracle of God.

I will never walk my daughter down and I'll I will never see her become a wife. I will never see her become a mother. As I watch this this excited father walking his daughter down the aisle. I stand there in the front and I say sometimes the pain of that is almost more than I can handle.

That's the most difficult thing I do use it will not. So how does all this fit in with Jeremiah 2911 and is wonderful plan God has for your life.

So how does all this fit in with Romans 828 and all things work together for good will. The truth is I don't know. I don't know but cannot tell you what I believe what I believe is a God knows what is to what I believe is a God has a plan for my good. My families good in my daughter's good what I believe is that God sees the future and has not made any mistake in what I believe is that the day I stand in heaven with the Lord Jesus, and he shows me my life the end from the beginning and I can see it in a way I can see it now that he can see it now. I believe I'm gonna shake my head in the affirmative, and I'm good to say yes I did understand it. I couldn't see it, but knowing what you know God, you're absolutely right out of them. The very same thing.

I believe it's because Brenda and I leave and we been able to make it the last nine years I wanted your parents divorce. Why did your dad dessert you I don't know why did your marriage breakup.

I don't know why did your boyfriend your girlfriend your ex-husband or your ex-wife do all the dirty things they did to you. I can answer that question, why did you lose your job.

I don't know why you still have a job that you hate. I don't know. I don't know and why have you been hurt so badly by so many people and why did you lose that person to death that you love so much ago know I can answer those questions I can answer my own question, but I can tell you something. I can tell you that there is an eternal God, and I can tell you that he assures you. He's got your life completely under control. I can tell you that he promises you that he knows everything about everything that he guarantees you that he's leaving the events of your life together into a beautiful quilt that he's given you his word that you're going to love that quilt when he's gone and I can tell you that what he's asking from you is not for you to evaluate pass judgment or decide if you like. His plan for your life. Just to trust.

This is why Paul says. Second Corinthians 5 verse seven we walked by me, not by sight. We don't trust God because we can understand all because we see how it all fits in, because we got it all figured out number no we trust God because we believe what he tells us in Scripture. We walk by faith salon. This is far one. Believe me on the link they would run and I learned in closing, number one we learn if we really believe what God tells and number two if we will call on the spirit of God to give us the strength to trust God even when we don't have the strength God will do those two things you and I we can live this way we can live by faith. It can be done if will focus on what God says about himself. And if will ask God for the strength to rise above our human feelings of fusion and anger, pain and resentment. Trust God, we can do this and you know what we learned is that we rise up to that level. God takes away the confusion, the pain, the heartache and the anger and he replaces it with the sweet peace of God, that's a wonderful trait fabulous trip and that piece of God works no matter how bad again so if you're here today as I know so many of you are you got things in your life. Don't make any sense. You got things in your life that it happened that you can't fit into some kind of good planning. God no matter what you just doesn't work. I'm here to tell you.

God knows what he's doing what he's asking you to do is trust Frank or Jesus you know that we live in a world where lots of things happen, we can explain painful things confusing things that we look at it we go will now how does that make any sense. How does that city of God, what you doing to me what is this all for thanks for giving us information today. We need to be able to handle these. Thanks for reminding us today that we don't have the perspective to pass judgment on your plate we can see the future the way you can in the Lord. Our job trust make a slideshow who said even though the Lord slay me.

I will still trust as I believe is gunplay for to help us rise above our human feelings of anger and confusion and resentment pain help us be able to live by faith not by sight. Take away these human things and replace them with the sweet peace of God that passes understanding change our lives because we were here today. I pray Lord Jesus name, amen

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