Does Jesus Keep his Promises? | Real Encounters Week 6

The bible has a lot of prophecies that are meant to guide and encourage us. In this final episode, we look at what promises God has for us, and what they mean for our lives today.

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    The Jesus Myth: A pilgrimage to the most controversial places on earth,
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    investigating ancient stories of Jesus,
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    separating the myth from the truth
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    and discovering what it means for you today.
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    The third season of Real Encounters with God.
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    All new on location in Israel.
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    New places, new people, new encounters.
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    Real encounters with God: The Jesus Myth.
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    - Hey, everybody, welcome to Crossroads.
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    Before we go to Israel, let me introduce myself.
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    My name is Hannah Shepherd.
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    And besides being on a baking projects and products,
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    quarantine is going great, and I hope that it's the same for you.
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    Today's big question that we're kind of figuring out
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    is does Jesus keep His promises?
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    And you know, we originally had five episodes,
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    five weeks of content, but it was so good
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    that we stretched it out just a little bit more
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    just to get it and episode six in there.
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    Kind of like a bonus episode, you know,
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    like that Tiger King episode, which was terrible, but that's OK.
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    Anyway, we're going to be asking: does Jesus keep His promises?
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    In the Bible there are these things called prophecies.
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    It's not just fortune telling
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    or some crystal ball trying to figure out the future,
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    it's God talking to His people
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    to guide them and to encourage them.
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    And He does this through prophets.
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    And so we're exploring: Does Jesus keep His promises?
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    And what does that promise me for our lives today?
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    Let's go to Jerusalem and find out.
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    We're in Israel, where our senior pastor Brian Tome
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    was guided by Tsuriel Bar David.
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    Tsuriel is an Israeli tour guide, hotel owner,
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    special forces guy, and just an all around awesome person.
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    - So we're in a pretty significant place right now
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    as far as Bible history is concerned.
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    We've got the ancient city of Jerusalem to our left.
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    We've got the Mount of Olives up here to our right.
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    And explain to us what's so significant
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    about this area in Bible prophecy.
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    - Ok, so first of all, as you just said,
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    this is the Kidron Valley of the eastern border
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    of the ancient city of Jerusalem.
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    And there is a prophecy, Joel Chapter 3
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    that speaks about the Valley of Jehosaphat.
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    It doesn't tell us where is it, but most people believe
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    that it speaks about this valley, the value of Kidron.
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    And in Hebrew, Jehosaphat, it's two Hebrew words.
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    It's Jeho, which is God; and saphat, which is judgment.
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    So it's the value of God's judgment
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    and who exactly is God going to judge, you know?
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    The prophecy over there, Joel speaks about the fact
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    that nations are coming from all over.
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    Actually, God is bringing those nations in order to judge them.
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    What for?
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    For the fact that they were scattering His people
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    and they have divided His land.
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    So I myself, I'm very careful with, you know,
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    prophecies and trying to predict the future, but we see
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    that there are certain things that didn't happen yet. OK?
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    And we read also in Zechariah Chapter 14, you know,
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    about God standing one day with His two feet
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    on top of the Mount of Olives, and we believe that
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    it's the return of Jesus and that the mountain will be divided.
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    So I believe when you put those prophecies together,
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    together with the Valley of Armageddon
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    and many other things that the Bible speaks about,
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    He talks about the future, about nations,
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    armies coming against Jerusalem to destroy that place
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    and God through Jesus actually Himself
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    is going to judge those nations.
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    - So how do we rectify this judging, this destruction
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    with this loving God who wants to bring mercy?
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    - Well, God is a God of love, God of mercy,
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    but He's also the God of revenge and God of justice.
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    And He has all those sides in Him.
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    And He offers people, he offers, "Here you can get my grace,
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    but you reject my grace. You don't want it.
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    You want to try and fight against me?
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    So, yes, I came once as a lamb,
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    but that would come again as a lion."
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    It speaks about Him roaring, you know, when He's back again.
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    And people would have to face again the anger of God
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    if they want to reject Him.
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    - It's so crazy to me that this picture
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    of nations coming together here to fight Israel
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    is something that's kind of happened to a degree.
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    We had the Six Days War where Arab nations
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    came against Israel to eliminate it.
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    It's no secret that Arab rulers have gone on record
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    saying they want to wipe out Israel.
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    What what does that make you feel as a Jew?
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    - I believe it's a spiritual war.
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    I mean, when you look at this small, tiny little state
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    called the state of Israel, which just only
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    a few million Jews that are here, when we're surrounded by,
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    you know, hundreds of millions of Muslim of so many Arab countries,
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    and all of them somehow want that tiny little place
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    to destroy us to take over.
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    It's a spiritual thing.
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    - Middle East relations and tensions are real
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    and they're complex.
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    And we're really not trying to make a political statement
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    about the modern state of Israel.
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    What we're trying to do is make a faith statement.
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    Just because we're filming in Israel doesn't mean
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    that we believe and agree with every action
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    that Israel takes as a nation is God ordained. It isn't.
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    Just like actions of ancient Israel,
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    they often fell short of what God wanted.
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    So do modern actions of modern day Israel
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    falls short of what God wants.
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    We're just saying that God keeps His promises to people,
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    even when people don't keep their promises to Him.
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    - The fact that we here, you know,
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    we're talking about future prophecies, but not long ago,
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    if you would ask people 100, 150 years ago,
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    "Do you believe that there would be a Jewish state?"
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    You know, the Bible speaks about that,
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    about God bringing back His people.
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    They would say, "You're crazy," but look at that, you know?
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    - We forget these prophecies.
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    There's so many prophecies that were talked about
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    that have actually come true, they're verifiable.
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    You're talking now about another one that's yet to come.
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    - Yes. You know, my grandfather, he was in the Holocaust.
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    You know, his family was destroyed there in the gas chambers.
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    He survived the Holocaust.
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    If you would ask him,
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    "Do you think that there will be a Jewish state?"
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    He will probably say, "No, it's a dream, it would never happen.
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    For 2000 years we have been all over."
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    Well, there is a state of Israel.
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    There is the Jewish nation that were brought over here.
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    There is the Jewish nation that has survived
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    something that some nations tried to eliminate us,
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    but God's hand was always here with us.
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    And I believe it will be also in the future.
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    - We're teaching in Israel because a prophecy came true
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    that no one thought would ever come true.
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    And I just wonder how many other prophecies so many of us think,
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    "Oh, that could never happen,"
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    so we're just done with our lives.
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    - We go on, we think, "Well, you know,
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    it's written there in that weird book called The Bible.
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    It's some kind of fairy tales."
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    Well, it's not a fairy tale.
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    Those things are happening one after the other.
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    Most prophecies are already fulfilled.
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    We should look very carefully what is waiting for us now next.
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    - It's good stuff.
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    That's what we're going to talk about for the rest of our time today.
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    - Let's do that.
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    - The Book of Isaiah 53 it says this:
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    The Bible has two main sections: the Old Testament,
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    which is all of the writings before Jesus came around,
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    and then the New Testament, which is all of the stuff
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    that relates to when Jesus came around and after Him.
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    Anybody who would read that passage,
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    knowing what we know now about how Jesus lived and died,
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    would say, "Well, obviously that passage was written
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    in the New Testament because it just said exactly what happened."
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    No, it was written about 750 B.C.,
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    700-800 years before Jesus came around.
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    There's things in there describing execution
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    that wasn't invented until the Romans came around,
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    crucifixion, He was pierced for our transgressions.
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    It talks about how He behaved at a trial
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    and not trying to defend himself.
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    Stunning, stunning things that He fulfilled.
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    And they knew it and they knew this wasn't by chance.
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    It couldn't be by chance.
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    There are so many other prophecies in the Bible
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    that we can have confidence in because
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    the prophecies have already been fulfilled.
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    There's, oh gosh, 300-400 prophecies about Jesus
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    in the Old Testament portion of the Bible
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    that all got fulfilled.
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    I say 300-400 because there's about a hundred of them,
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    where you're going like, "Really? That's a prophecy.
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    I don't know. OK, I'll give you that one maybe."
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    What happens if we just take a look at say eight of them?
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    What's the likelihood that one guy could fulfill eight of them?
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    Obvious no brainer ones like how He comes in a Jerusalem,
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    like where He's born in Bethlehem,
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    like how He's executed, all of these things.
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    There's a university professor, Professor Stoner,
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    that decide to give this project to his class
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    and said, let's figure out what the likelihood is
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    of one guy fulfilling just eight of these prophecies.
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    They came up with a number that I can't recount for you.
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    I don't even know what the number is. I can't describe it,
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    but it's basically 100 million trillion billion gazillion.
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    But he breaks it down in a way that I can understand it.
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    Imagine taking the entire world and tallying them with inch and a half white piece of tile, all the world that you could walk on.
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    Here in the Jehoshaphat Valley, in Egypt,
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    the land down under, all of it, Greenland, to do it all.
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    And then let's send one guy out to find one tile
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    that supposedly has red painted on the underneath of it.
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    The catch is that guy can only bend down one time in his life
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    and pick up the tile.
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    The likelihood of him having the one red tile underneath
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    is the same likelihood of Jesus fulfilling all 8 prophecies.
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    Friends, He does it. It's for real.
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    Those prophecies are about Him being the Lamb of God,
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    being the sacrifice for our sin.
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    And now there's prophecies about Him being the lion,
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    the roaring lion that is to come and set things straight,
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    to come and bring judgment and justice upon this earth.
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    In the Book of Joel, it says this:
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    We can have confidence that the Lamb has come
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    because prophecies in history show it,
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    and we can also have confidence that the Lion
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    is going to come to judge the nations.
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    And you and I need Him. We want Him to set things straight.
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    We want there to be judgment.
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    We want there to be justice.
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    We want the brokenhearted to be mended.
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    We want all the inequities and all the injustices,
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    justice to roll down and make things right.
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    And He will. He's not blind and He's an ignorant to it.
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    It bothers Him more than a bothers us.
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    Book of Revelation 1 says this:
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    It feels like things aren't right, because they're not right.
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    God's more upset about it than you and I are.
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    And in His timing He's going to make it right.
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    He's been around from the very, very beginning.
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    He's going to be around at the very, very end.
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    He's working a plan.
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    That plan is verifiable and it's going to happen.
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    The question for you is how are you living as a result of it?
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    Are you prepared for the justice of God to come to your life,
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    the judgment of God to come to your life?
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    Are you prepared for the Lion to come?
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    It's as real as the nose is on your face.
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    You can be as confident of it as you can
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    the history that you've already looked at and seen in papers
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    and read in the Bible that has come true.
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    He's a good God, He's also a just God and He's a Lion.
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    - I hope you're enjoying the episode so far.
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    Hey, look, if you are wanting prayer
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    or just wanting someone to talk to,
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    you can go to and chat with a real live person
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    that can pray for you and they want to encourage you.
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    Crossroads is a tithing church
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    and tithing is just a spiritual discipline
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    of giving 10% of what God has given you back to Him.
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    And if that's something that you practice,
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    that's something that you do, you can do that right now
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    by going to
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    I want to introduce you to one of the big brains
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    behind this entire series, his name is Bob Rognlien.
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    Bob is a Princeton educated archaeologist
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    who knows just about more than anyone on the planet
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    about Jesus and His life, His death and resurrection.
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    Bryant got the chance to chat with him over Zoom
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    to ask him a few final questions about the Jesus Myth.
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    - I thought we would interact a little bit with
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    a guy who's had a big force on this series we've been in.
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    His name is Bob.
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    He has been educated at Princeton.
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    He is an archaeologist, a biblical scholar.
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    And I wanted to dig into some things with him today.
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    Please welcome Bob. Bob, how are you doing today?
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    - Doing great, Brian. Thanks for having me.
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    - You know, you dedicated your life to all of this stuff.
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    Why is that?
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    - Well, I find that when you actually go
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    and visit the places where biblical events took place
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    and you look at the history and the archaeology behind it,
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    what you discover is a level of reliability
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    and authenticity, which adds not only a depth of meaning,
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    but also a depth of confidence in the accuracy
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    of what we read in the Bible.
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    - Is there a find that you've had or you've come across
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    or you've read about that you said, "Wow,
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    this is exactly why the science of archaeology
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    is stimulating to my faith"?
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    - One that pops into my mind is when I realized
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    that Golgotha, the place of the skull
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    where Jesus was crucified by the Romans.
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    It's part of an ancient rock quarry,
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    which you showed us a couple of weeks ago in this series.
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    When the stone cutters were cutting big blocks of stone
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    out of that hill to rebuild the temple after the return from exile,
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    there was one section of the limestone that was fissured,
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    and it wasn't stable enough to use as building blocks.
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    So they just cut around, the builders cut around that area
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    and they left this 20 foot high limestone rocky outcropping
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    that must have looked kind of like a skull.
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    And that's where they crucified people.
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    And amazingly, Jesus said -- he quoted Psalm 118,
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    "The stone that the builders rejected
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    has become the cornerstone."
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    And he said that specifically days before His death,
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    after he told them a parable about how He was going to be
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    taken outside the city and killed.
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    Golgotha is literally the stone that the builders rejected.
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    - Well, Bob, you've been so helpful in this whole series.
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    Helpful for me personally. Thank you.
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    I'm thankful very much for you.
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    In case you want to follow up more with Bob
  • 00:15:46
    and hear some of his ideas,
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    he's got a new book out called Recovering the Way.
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    You may want to check that out.
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    If you like geeking out on Bible stuff,
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    he's got a great one for you.
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    He's just a good man and a good friend.
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    So, hey, let's get on with the rest of what we got going on today.
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    We're going to end this weekend and this series
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    at the lowest place on Earth: The Dead Sea.
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    But first I wanted to give the video crew a chance
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    to do something fun and also memorable
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    and also something I had zero interest in doing myself.
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    Ok. We're here at the Dead Sea, a really unique place.
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    High, high mineral content in the water.
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    It's a really unusual thing to swim in.
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    I swam in before. I prefer not to go out.
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    Anybody else want to go in instead of me?
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    All right, good. Let's go down and do it.
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    When you go out here, you can sit there and just bob.
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    It holds you up. It's amazing.
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    What's it feel like so far? Like just normal water.
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    - Yeah, so far.
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    - Well, you don't get the fun stuff
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    until you get out there and start floating.
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    - Okay, I'm going.
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    - There hasn't been a shark in those water for years.
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    Now it doesn't get fun until you float.
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    Oh, there it is. There it is.
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    Kyle there is. He is not on the bottom.
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    - Just like this. (cheering)
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    - Now verify that you are not treading water. You were just --
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    - Not trading water.
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    - There it is, boys and girls, floating at the Dead Sea.
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    All right, it's time to get back to work.
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    Stop messing around.
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    When the Lion comes back, it is a cataclysmic event
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    spiritually and actually physically.
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    The Lion plants his feet on the Mount of Olives
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    and out of this water gushes forth from Jerusalem.
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    It rushes down the plains, rushes down the valley,
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    down to the lowest part on earth.
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    This is how the Book of Ezekiel puts it
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    Right now I'm in the place where that water comes to.
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    It's known as the Dead Sea.
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    There is a lot of death here because nothing is living here.
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    It's a really a fascinating place to come to,
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    but it's also a sad place to come to, because
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    whenever you come to a place where there's no life,
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    it's just kind of a bummer.
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    Nothing can live in these waters.
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    The reason is because it receives -- it receives water,
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    but it doesn't give water.
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    It's the lowest point on earth, over 1400 feet below sea level.
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    This is a spiritual reality for us friends.
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    If we're only receiving, only taking and not giving,
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    if we're not a conduit for the blessings of God,
  • 00:19:33
    we're going to be hurting spiritually.
  • 00:19:36
    We're going to be hurting in all forms of our life.
  • 00:19:39
    This is the lesson of the Dead Sea.
  • 00:19:40
    But yet there's a prophecy that says
  • 00:19:43
    even if you're dead right now, the Lion will make you alive.
  • 00:19:47
    Jesus puts it this way in the Book of Luke:
  • 00:19:57
    And see there again, a laying down, a releasing of yourself.
  • 00:20:05
    What is the appropriate response to the Lion
  • 00:20:08
    that makes all of this happen?
  • 00:20:11
    The appropriate response is to lower yourself to the Lion.
  • 00:20:16
    And when I lower myself to the Lion, to Jesus,
  • 00:20:20
    I put myself down stream for His blessings to come to me.
  • 00:20:25
    If I elevate myself, His blessings will not come down to me.
  • 00:20:29
    When I lower myself, the blessings come to me.
  • 00:20:33
    And then what I'm to do is to be a blessing to others.
  • 00:20:37
    I'm supposed to get engaged with the work of God in this world
  • 00:20:41
    instead of just sitting and having philosophical
  • 00:20:44
    and spiritual thoughts and spiritual experiences.
  • 00:20:46
    I'm supposed to get engaged.
  • 00:20:47
    That's why Jesus says in what's known as the Lord's Prayer,
  • 00:20:51
    even though the Lord prayed it, He prayed it
  • 00:20:53
    to tell us how to pray.
  • 00:20:56
    So it's really the prayer that the Lord taught
  • 00:20:57
    people like you and I.
  • 00:20:58
    He says this: Our Heavenly Father, Holy is your name,
  • 00:21:03
    Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • 00:21:07
    Your kingdom come to me, and I'm going to see that
  • 00:21:10
    Your will is done in my life and on this earth.
  • 00:21:12
    And I want this earth to look the way it does
  • 00:21:15
    in heaven right now.
  • 00:21:16
    I don't know if you're dead or not.
  • 00:21:19
    I don't know what areas are dry in your life or not.
  • 00:21:21
    I don't know. I know it's getting hot here right now.
  • 00:21:24
    It's hot here, it doesn't matter when you're here,
  • 00:21:26
    it is hot and it's stanky, skanky.
  • 00:21:28
    The smell, literally the smell of death,
  • 00:21:30
    the smell of salt is pungent in this area right now.
  • 00:21:34
    That might represent your life. You might feel that way.
  • 00:21:36
    You might feel like the smell of death is on you.
  • 00:21:38
    You might feel like there's nothing coming out of you.
  • 00:21:39
    You might feel like there's no new water that's coming into you,
  • 00:21:43
    no refreshment that's coming into you.
  • 00:21:45
    The good news is no matter how good you are,
  • 00:21:46
    no matter how dead you are, there is refreshment coming.
  • 00:21:51
    But you've got to get yourself underneath the Lion.
  • 00:21:54
    You've got to get in His reservoir stream
  • 00:21:57
    and allow it to throw flow through you.
  • 00:22:01
    There is still refreshment that's coming, it's prophesied.
  • 00:22:04
    It's going to happen.
  • 00:22:10
    Jesus came 2000 years ago, just as ancient prophets
  • 00:22:14
    said He would, God in flesh.
  • 00:22:17
    He walked this land. He climbed these mountains.
  • 00:22:21
    And the evidence is irrefutable.
  • 00:22:24
    He experienced the same peaks and valleys of life that we do.
  • 00:22:27
    He made friends, experienced tragic loss, worked an honest job.
  • 00:22:33
    And through it all, He lived a perfect life that we never could.
  • 00:22:37
    He brought grace and truth, comfort and challenge.
  • 00:22:40
    He died a brutal death on the Cross for His friends and His enemies.
  • 00:22:45
    He beat death and rose again.
  • 00:22:47
    And for thousands of years,
  • 00:22:48
    people have dedicated their lives to Him
  • 00:22:50
    and found abundant life in the process.
  • 00:22:53
    Abundant life that He promises to all who follow Him.
  • 00:22:56
    He came the first time as the sacrificial Lamb,
  • 00:22:59
    and He's coming again as the conquering Lion.
  • 00:23:02
    The question is, who do you say He is?
  • 00:23:05
    I say He's the Messiah, my God and my Savior.
  • 00:23:09
    If you agree, pray these words with me.
  • 00:23:13
    Jesus, I want You in my life.
  • 00:23:16
    I want You to fill my heart.
  • 00:23:19
    I want to ask for Your forgiveness for my sin and my rebellion.
  • 00:23:25
    Fill me right now with Your presence and as best I can,
  • 00:23:29
    I will follow You for the rest of my life. Amen.
  • 00:23:35
    If you pray a prayer like that,
  • 00:23:37
    get ready for your life to be different.
  • 00:23:39
    He is real.
  • 00:23:40
    He still impacts real lives like yours and mine to this day.
  • 00:23:45
    We're going to go into singing to Him right now.
  • 00:23:47
    It's known as worship.
  • 00:23:49
    The song we're going to do it now called Oh, The Power.
  • 00:23:52
    Oh, the Power of Jesus.
  • 00:23:53
    Oh, the power that that affects people like me.
  • 00:23:55
    Let's sing that to Him
  • 00:23:56
    with people from all over our country right now.
  • 00:29:42
    You know, that same power that saves us also sends us.
  • 00:29:45
    In the Book of Isaiah there's a prophecy
  • 00:29:47
    where Isaiah encounters God and he hears God saying,
  • 00:29:51
    "Who will I send?" And he says, "Oh, send me, send me."
  • 00:29:54
    It's not good enough to just be saved, we want to be sent.
  • 00:29:58
    God wants to send you in your neighborhood.
  • 00:29:59
    He wants to send you in your world.
  • 00:30:01
    He wants to send you into your friendship circle,
  • 00:30:03
    into your family.
  • 00:30:04
    That power needs to be sent.
  • 00:30:06
    So let's tell God right now that
  • 00:30:08
    we don't just want to be saved, we want to be sent.
  • 00:34:41
    - Thanks so much for joining us today.
  • 00:34:43
    I hope you enjoyed what you saw.
  • 00:34:45
    Just a reminder, if you want to partner with us financially
  • 00:34:48
    or practice generosity, you can do that
  • 00:34:50
    by following the instructions on your screen.
  • 00:34:52
    To receive prayer and encouragement,
  • 00:34:54
    there's someone waiting to talk to you.
  • 00:34:55
    You just have to go to
  • 00:34:58
    If you have a family and want to check out some stuff
  • 00:35:00
    for your kids, you can go to
  • 00:35:04
    I hope to see you next week
  • 00:35:05
    where we're starting a brand new series
  • 00:35:07
    where Brian almost actually set himself on fire.
  • 00:35:10
    This series is called Mindset
  • 00:35:11
    and it's about taking control of your thoughts and emotions.
  • 00:35:14
    See you next week.
  • 00:35:17
    - The global economy hits a depression era levels --
  • 00:35:20
    - The funeral industry surges --
  • 00:35:22
    - Worldwide coronavirus cases hit --
  • 00:35:25
    - 22 million Americans filed for unemployment.
  • 00:35:28
    - When our minds fill with thoughts, fears, emotions,
  • 00:35:32
    we have two choices: cower in despair
  • 00:35:36
    or master those thoughts and let God use us for good.
  • 00:35:41
    Mindset: A brand new teaching series from Crossroads Church.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. Governors all over the country are talking about a plan to get us back to what was once normal, even if it includes some “new normal” stuff. What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to in the next phase?

  2. God is setting everything that is wrong in the world right again. Read Revelation 1:7-8 out loud. What’s the thing in your life that you would like to see God make right again?

  3. The Dead Sea got its name because it lacks life. It only receives water but doesn’t connect to another body of water to flow from itself. Are there places in your life where you are receiving with no outflow?

  4. One way to ensure we come alive is to give to others. Share with your group one way you can give what you’ve received this week.

  5. Brian led us through a prayer to step into relationship with Jesus. Share with your group if you said it for the first time so they could celebrate with you. It’s something we can do any time, even if we’ve said it before — it’s always good to be reminded. Invite God again by adding “today”. “Jesus I want you in my life [today]. I want you to fill my heart [today]. I want to ask for your forgiveness for my sin and my rebelion. Fill me with your presence [today]. And as best as I can I will follow you for the rest of my life [starting today].”

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Apr 25, 2020 36 mins 7 sec

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