Downloads »

Man Designed to be a Gardener

Scripture: Genesis 3:15, 1 Corinthians 7:29, Revelation 4:4
Date: 05/18/2014 
There's a man from Gujarat, India called by many, "The man who made a forest." Back in 1979, 17-year old Jadav "Molai" Payeng saw how the large island he and his village were living on was slowly being washed away by deforestation and flooding.
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

To ensure a Christian environment, all comments are strictly moderated.

  1. Be patient! We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not appear until the following Monday.

  2. Un-Christlike comments—name calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc.— will be automatically deleted and the user permanently banned.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites and email addresses will be deleted.

  4. Comments off topic to the article or video may be deleted.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Video

Audio

Print


Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? There's a man from Gujarat, India called by many, "The man who made a forest." Back in 1979, 17-year old Jadav "Molai" Payeng saw how the large island he and his village were living on was slowly being washed away by deforestation and flooding. So Molai decided to do something.

Over the course of several decades, starting in 1980, he planted and tended thousands of different kinds of trees on a barren 1,360-acre sandbar of the river Brahmaputra, turning it into a thriving forest reserve. The Molai Forest, named after him, is located near Assam, India and it encompasses an area larger than Central Park in New York City, and it has become the happy home to Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, elephants, deer, rabbits, monkeys and many varieties of birds.

Did you know the Bible says that man was first designed to be a gardener? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Hello listening friends, and welcome to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live. We do have phones open. If you have a Bible question, give us a call now. We'll do our best to search the Word together and find the answers. Here's the number, you ready? 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

Call in with your Bible questions or questions about the Christian life, one more time, 1-800-463-7297. And together, in the next 53 minutes or so, we'll do our best to answer those questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug, let's begin the program with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again, we thank You that we have this time when we can study Your Word. We want to invite Your Presence. Be with us here in the studio, and be with those who are listening wherever they might be, and Lord, guide us into a clearer and fuller understanding of Your today. For we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know Pastor Doug, the Bible begins in a garden, at least, telling you the story God created the garden. Adam and Eve were there. Then we read in the last book of the Bible when God creates a new earth it speaks about a garden. Of course, the tree of life is in the first garden that you read about in Genesis, but it's also in the new earth in heaven, the place that God is preparing for those that love Him.

So, it's kind of interesting when you mentioned that man's original occupation, of course, that being Adam, was that of taking care of a garden.

Pastor Doug: That's right. It's interesting. Even after Jesus died on the cross, it says they buried Him in a tomb by a garden.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hm m

Pastor Doug: When Mary Magdalene saw Him at the resurrection, it says she thought He was the gardener. She wasn't that far off because it says the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, and of course, that's where the tree of life is and the tree of life is in the new earth. The first three chapters, man loses the garden. In the last three chapters of the Bible it tells about the garden being restored.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hm m

Pastor Doug: And, you know, that's in the kingdom of heaven. Maybe some of our friends listening are wondering, "Is there such a place? Is it real? How do I get there?" We want you to know it is very real. We'd like to share with you a free book. If you would like to study more about that new earth and the kingdom of heaven, then we're going to send you that book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. The number for our resource line is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks.

Well, our phone lines are now open. If you have a Bible-related question, again the number here to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. Our first caller this evening is Christopher listening in Baltimore, Maryland. Christopher, welcome to the program.

Christopher: Hello Pastor Ross and Pastor Batchelor. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing good, and your question tonight?

Christopher: It's kind of simple, but it's not.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Christopher: I'm curious to see what you gentlemen think about the beginning in Genesis. It says, "Let us create them in our own image." It's kind of, sort of, suggesting that they created Adam and Eve at the same time. But then later it says they put Adam to sleep to remove his rib to create Eve.

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question. In one place it says, "Let us make them," and then it sounds like that Adam and Eve were made in sequence. Well when God--God is the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit--were talking among Themselves about the creation, They agreed that They would create man in Their image, meaning man would bear a likeness to God, probably not just a physiological likeness, because the Bible describes God as having eyes, nose, hands, so forth.

But in the sense that man also was to be the leader of this world and have dominion over the world, and man gets to procreate in his own image when we have children. But, on that sixth day, really they were made the same day, they were made in a sequence where man was first. He wanted man to fully appreciate his wife. When he saw all the animals had their partners and he felt that vacuum that can only be satisfied by a relationship, then he made woman but they were really made the same day, both man and woman, made on the sixth day.

So, good question Christopher, appreciate that. Don't forget, you can send for that book on heaven and it'll talk about that garden of Eden as well.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for our resource line is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" We have Sarah who's listening in Idaho, Coeur d'Alene. Sarah, welcome to the program.

Sarah: Hi, thank you for taking my call. I just had a question talking about Adam and Eve and becoming one flesh, and that was the way, or, when I read the Bible and read these Scriptures, I'm stuck on the whole, like, marriage and divorce and remarriage. My question was I just recently heard a teaching that I never really paid attention before until now, and it has bothered me, is some teachings are saying that if you remarry for any reason other than unless your spouse has died, then that you're living in a constant state of adultery. Is there any Scripture to back that up?

Pastor Doug: Well, Jesus said, and you can look in Matthew, yes and no.

Sarah: Okay

Pastor Doug: Let me answer you with one of those political answers. Let me read the Scripture to you, Matthew 19:4. "And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he that made them at the beginning made them male and female, And he said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined," or cleave, "to his wife: the two become one flesh. So therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. What God has joined together, let not man put asunder."

"And they said, 'Why did Moses,' and this is verse 7, the disciples are talking to Jesus, 'Why did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and put her away?' And Jesus said, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to divorce your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another," so it's not just death, "except for sexual immorality or fornication, marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her that is divorced commits adultery."

Alright so, now what do we do, Sarah, you've got people all over the country, they get divorced and they get remarried and they don't have biblical grounds, - -

Sarah: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: - - and sometimes they get remarried and maybe they don't have biblical grounds, and they have children in the new marriage, are they to then divorce their spouses, whether it's the man's fault or the woman's fault, it could work either way....

Sarah: Right

Pastor Doug: You know, I don't find in the Bible where you can unscramble scrambled eggs. The only time that God says that there should be a divorce is when there's a multiple marriage. Abraham took two wives. He had Sarah and Hagar, and he had children with them both. Finally, He had to tell Abraham, "Look, you need to put away Hagar." It was just so much disunity in the family.

But what do you do with a story like King David, where David, you know, he committed adultery, married Bathsheba, they had a child together. Her husband was dead, her former husband was dead. God, ultimately, told David, He said, "Love your wife," and they were forgiven. They suffered terribly for their mistake but God gave them another child.

They lost their first child. God gave them another child whose name was Solomon. And it says the Lord loved him, and Solomon ended up being the next king and a forerunner of Christ.

Sarah: Right

Pastor Doug: So, obviously, while adultery is a sin, at the same time I want to make sure people don't think it's the unpardonable sin.

Sarah: Right, okay

Pastor Doug: I don't know if that rambling made sense.

Sarah: Yeah, it did. That was the part that I wondered because I'm hearing these testimonies of people that are like, "What do I do? Do I divorce now? Am I constantly (unintelligible)? Do I have to leave?" So it just got kind of confusing, but that definitely makes sense to me. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Well, there's plenty of people out there that need to repent, but sometimes adding one divorce to another isn't the answer.

Sarah: Right

Pastor Doug: You know, I do have a book I just finished. It's right on line of what you said. It's called, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. If you call Amazing Facts we'll send you a copy.

Sarah: Wonderful. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright Sarah, the number to call for our resource line is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. We'll send that to anyone who calls and asks. We have Derek who is listening in Minnesota. Derek, welcome to the program.

Derek: Oh hi there, hi Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Good evening, how are you doing?

Derek: I'm really glad you did that series on the Ten Commandments. I'm going to pick that up. It looks really neat.

Pastor Doug: Oh, well praise the Lord yeah, they tell us at the office that a lot of folks are ordering that. We thought in this day and age it was very important to reiterate those truths. And your question tonight?

Derek: Okay. My question is, in the last day, let's say you're a father and you have small children. I'm confused, do you defend your family? I mean, they're made in the image of God. You should defend then. But then I have this mixed message where, you know, you turn the other cheek. You're suppose to let Satan steamroll you because it's the last days, you know what I mean? Like, do you fight back?

Pastor Doug: When Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek," first of all, He was not saying that you're to allow criminal behavior. He was saying if you get into an argument with somebody and they get upset and they smack you, well smacking you is not the same thing as attacking your family. Jesus said you could offer them the other cheek, because you can get smacked a whole lot and be just fine.

I mean, [chuckles] I'm not encouraging that, I'm just saying, you know. It's a different thing when someone slaps you on the face, than when someone breaks into your home and they're threatening the welfare of your family.

Now, I'm not saying, please listen, I am not saying that if a woman is in an abusive relationship, she's just to continue to submit to abuse. That is not a good thing and that's unhealthy. She needs to get out of that. But I, as a man, if somebody gets upset at me and decides to slap me in the face, I don't have to attack them. It's different if someone pulls out a gun with your family, or a knife, you know what I mean?

Derek: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And so, no, I don't think there's anything in the Bible that teaches that you're suppose to have a passive attitude if someone is threatening the welfare of your family, or any innocent life. I think the Christian thing to do is to do everything you can to save that life. And that might even mean, you know, if someone is threatening your life and you can do something to defend yourself there's some drug-crazed or drunk criminal on the street and they come at me with a knife, if I've got a briefcase I'm going to try and knock them out.

Derek: I have a question about Nero. Didn't he burn Christians alive and they just kind of took it, and they didn't [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, once they were captured, yeah, but the Christians in Nero's day did not, like, offer themselves to be arrested. They did all they could to preserve their lives, to hide and to continue worshiping and to spread the Gospel. Jesus said, "If they persecute you in this city, go to the next."

Derek: Okay

Pastor Doug: He didn't say just turn yourself in and get beaten. The ones who were arrested, yeah, Nero burned them and they sang.

Derek: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So, that's a little different analogy.

Derek: Okay

Pastor Doug: Anyway, hey, we appreciate your questions. Hope that helps a little bit Derek.

Derek: Yeah, it did. Thanks Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright, you have a good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Judy who's listening in Guam. Judy, welcome to the program.

Judy: Hi. I have a question. I'm reading my Bible, and I'm just wondering on Genesis 3:16.

Pastor Doug: Yeah?

Judy: What is this Scripture talking about?

Pastor Doug: Genesis 3:16, do you want me to read--let me read it for our listeners?

Judy: Sure

Pastor Doug: Yeah. A lot of folks are always driving down the road so I like to help them know the context. "To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception in pain you will bring forth children your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." Now there's a lot in there, so was there a specific part of it you want me to talk about?

Judy: Yeah, "enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed...."

Pastor Doug: Oh okay. That's actually verse 15.

Judy: Yes

Pastor Doug: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed...." Enmity is like, you know the word "enemy" is related to it.

Judy: Oh

Pastor Doug: It means that there's opposition, there's a separation, there's a battle.

Judy: Ohh

Pastor Doug: And here the Lord is talking about the seed of the woman, which is Christ. Jesus was the seed of the woman. You read in Revelation 17 about a woman that brings forth a man-child who is the promised seed, caught up to God's throne.

Judy: Yes

Pastor Doug: The dragon wants to destroy the seed of the woman before it's born.

Judy: Yes, ohhh

Pastor Doug: And so Jesus is the seed of the woman. There is a war between the serpent, and that, of course, is a symbol for who? The devil, right?

Judy: Oh yes

Pastor Doug: So it's talking about this ongoing war through the ages between the devil and the seed of the woman, Christ and His followers, and ultimately, the devil bruises Christ's heel. That means that slows your progress, if you've got a bruised heel but Christ crushes the devil's head.

Judy: Ohhh

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Judy: And how about Genesis 27:46, if you don't mind.

Pastor Doug: Well let's go there real quick. Genesis 27, verse 46?

Judy: Yeah

Pastor Doug: "And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?"

Judy: Yeah, what is that?

Pastor Doug: Well, because the people among whom Isaac, and Rebekah, and Jacob and Esau lived were pagans. They worshiped many gods. They had many terrible customs, very primitive and barbaric. And Esau had married some of the local girls who were pagans.

Judy: Ohhh

Pastor Doug: Rebekah loved her son Jacob and she said to Isaac, "Please send him back to my father's house to marry a girl that believes in Jehovah, because if he marries one of these local girls, what's going to happen to our grandchildren? What good is my life going to be to me? My life will have been wasted if my grandchildren are raised pagans."

Judy: I see, okay. Thank you Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright, hey, I appreciate your call. Thanks for calling from Guam. You have a good day.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Tony, and Tony is listening in Brooklyn, New York. Tony, welcome to the program.

Tony: My major question is, and I've been baffled about this for awhile, that Jesus went around, He brought people back from the dead. Is that correct?

Pastor Doug: Yup

Tony: But why not His good friend, John the Baptist, whom He loved so much?

Pastor Doug: You know, that's a good question - -

Tony: It's a good question, but I can't figure out, after He saved that little girl's life where He said, "Uh, she's just sleeping," and Lazarus, and other things, well, He loved John the Baptist so much....

Pastor Doug: Well, you know the answer is that Jesus is going to raise John the Baptist and Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets. What takes greater faith, to be saved from your trouble, or for the Lord to allow you to go through trouble?

Tony: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: And so Jesus actually honored John the Baptist by allowing him to suffer for His sake. You remember in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus talks about the Beatitudes? He said, "When you are persecuted for righteousness sake, rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven."

John the Baptist, he suffered for Christ's sake and he's going to have a great reward. And so actually, by allowing John to die, and being beheaded you die suddenly, he saved him from trouble.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we were just talking a little while ago about the many martyrs during the time of Nero, and others, who gave their life as a testimony of their faith. I'm sure many of them recalled the story of John the Baptist and realized that here was a man that was greatly loved by Christ and yet, he suffered and died for Christ, and that encouraged them.

In their hour of trial when they were facing death, they recalled how that he bravely stood, and we have the promise of the resurrection. So I think John the Baptist's experience is an encouragement to others.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I've looked at the story of Job, and you think about all he lost.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And it has encouraged me. I think, "Why did God make Job go through all that?" Then I think, "Well, we we go through trouble, it reminds us that he didn't lose his faith and all that."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Pastor Doug: And God blessed him in the end.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So, good question Tony, appreciate that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Linda, and Linda is listening from Northern Virginia. Linda, welcome to the program.

Linda: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, you're on the air.

Linda: Okay, hi

Pastor Doug: Hi

Linda: I have a question. I ran across Pastor Batchelor's sermon online about intercessory prayer and fasting.

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Linda: And I tried it for the first time for prayers for the healing of my dad, but my dad passed away. So now, I'm like, I don't know, did I do something wrong, or I prayed really hard for my dad and fasted. I'd never done that before. But I don't know why the prayer wasn't answered.

Pastor Doug: Well, I want to be careful not to delve too much. First of all, I don't know. In other words, I would be pretty presumptuous to say, "I know all the details of why this happened." I do know that God tells us to pray. Sometimes, just because of sin and aging and disease in the world, even good people die. Not everybody is healed through prayer.

Linda: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And I think you knew that, and you know that now. But that doesn't mean you should give up your faith.

Linda: No. I won't give up my faith, but I won't be - -

Pastor Doug: Did your father, was he a believer?

Linda: Yes

Pastor Doug: So if your father dies in a saved condition, what's the next conscious thought that he has?

Linda: He will see Jesus.

Pastor Doug: It's the resurrection, right?

Linda: Right

Pastor Doug: So, maybe, in a way, the Lord did answer your prayer and He's letting your father rest. You know, the Bible says, "Blessed are those who die in the Lord." They're going to rest from their labors.

Linda: Right

Pastor Doug: And nobody wants to see a loved one taken away. My mother, father, brother, we lost a son, I know death is a terrible enemy.

Linda: Yes it is.

Pastor Doug: But, don't be discouraged and think that this means that God doesn't answer prayer. Sometimes God answers prayer by saying, "Wait." Sometimes He answers by saying, "Later."

Linda: Right

Pastor Doug: Now if the healing that your father had, let's suppose that God had healed your father when you asked you know that eventually he'd get old and die.

Linda: Right

Pastor Doug: But let's suppose God answered your prayer by saying, "I'm going to let your father go to sleep in Jesus now and the next healing he's going to feel is an eternal one."

Linda: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: That's really good for your father, isn't it?

Linda: Well yeah, I didn't look at it that way.

Pastor Doug: He's separated from his loved ones now, but if you put yourself in his shoes, if he died in faith, his next conscious thought is eternal life.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Linda: Right. Okay. Alright, well thank you.

Pastor Doug: I know it's tough.

Linda: Yeah, it's very hard. It's very hard. And it will make me skeptical about doing it again.

Pastor Doug: No. Don't give up praying and - -

Linda: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - you know, God prays for us.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We need to also remember that not all prayers are answered the way that we would like them to be answered. Even Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me," but then He added, "not my will be done, thy will be done."

So when we do pray and we're facing a trial or a difficulty, or we're praying for a loved one, we place our requests before the Lord but then we also recognize that God knows the end from the beginning. So we say, "Thy will be done," trusting that God knows what is best and He loves us, and that He is ultimately going to make the best decision for all those involved.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm. Thank you Linda. We do have a book on prayer that we'll send you a free copy. You just call Amazing Facts and ask for the gift book on prayer called, Teach Us to Pray.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and again, the book is called, Teach Us to Pray, 1-800-835-6747. We have Angel who is listening in Wisconsin. Angel, welcome to the program.

Angel: Yeah hey, how are you doing? Question tonight for you. First I want to say I know that your program has asked me not to name a specific denomination, then this program is for you. Which denomination is great, if any, in God's eyes?

Pastor Doug: Well you're right. There is no religion in the world that is more divided than Christianity. But to me, that is not proof that Christianity is wrong. To me, that would be proof that there's no religion that the enemy of truth is more threatened by, because there's, obviously, so much truth in Christianity that people are always grappling with the nuances of it.

The majority of Christians agree on the fundamentals but they sometimes disagree on various doctrines. I think that a person needs to pick up the Bible, read it for themselves, and the closest to the simple reading of the Word, and as long as Scripture supports Scripture, I think that people need to take it for the truth and believe that that is what truth is.

We do have a book that we can offer you, and it's called, The Ultimate Resource, that talks about the Bible. Now, if you were to ask about denominations, it depends on what pastor you ask. I would always recommend people join my denomination. Let's suppose you were to ask me, "What denomination do you think is the truth?" and I said, "Well, not mine. It's a different one." You'd be thinking, "Why are you there then?"

So, of course, most pastors are going to say, "Of course I believe you should join my denomination," or "I think my denomination is the closest to the Bible." We don't believe, and I think I'm speaking for Pastor Ross as well, that no other denomination has truth. There are varying amounts of truth with many different Christians. We don't believe only members of our church are saved.

So yeah, there are some differences, but Jesus said, "Seek, and you will find." That's why I think it's important for everybody to kind of read the Bible for themselves, and to compare Scripture with Scripture, and the Lord, that way, can help us to arrive at true conclusions. It is possible to know the truth, and Jesus said that's very important because it's, ultimately, the truth that's going to set us free. You're listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We're coming up on a break here in just a few moments Pastor Doug, but we also have a book that Angel might enjoy reading, anyone else also, that has asked these same questions, called, The Search for the True Church.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: What are some of the principles that we find in Scripture that we need to look for when we're shopping for a church. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, The Search for the True Church.

Pastor Doug: And also, we'd like to remind our friends that there is a tremendous new website that Amazing Facts spent about a year and a half developing. We've got some of the best scholars and researchers that we know of to contribute to this. It is a time line of the Bible. It has illustrations, it's very simple, it's high technology, the latest technology on the web.

You can drag it right and left, expand it, roll your little mouse roll up and down and it gets bigger and smaller. You can see where all the different characters lived and how their lives interrelate. It's called, BibleHistory.com. It's a Bible time line. BibleHistory.com, and what an adventure. Take a look there, and don't go very far because more Bible questions are on the way.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live. If you have a Bible question, that's what this program is for. Just give us a call, we have a couple of lines still open. That number one more time, 1-800-463-7297. If you don't get through right away, don't lose your patience, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. We've got Michael who is listening from Kentucky. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Hey Pastor Doug Batchelor, how are you?

Pastor Doug: I'm okay, how are you doing?

Michael: Great. My Bible question tonight is can Christians be perfect just like Jesus?

Pastor Doug: Well, when the Lord says, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect," and that's what He says in Matthew but in Luke He says, "Be ye therefore merciful even as your Father in heaven is merciful." So ultimately, the Lord wants us to have a perfect love like Jesus.

So if we've got the mind of Christ we will love Jesus, and if we love Him, we will do our very best to obey Him. Now, will we be God-like? No, only as the Holy Spirit fills us but it is possible for each one of us, if we are walking in the Spirit, to live consistently obedient lives. When Daniel was thrown in the lion's den, the last thing the king said to him was, "Your God, who you serve continually, He will deliver you."

So Daniel served God continually. We can do that. When the disciples walked with Jesus, eventually even their enemies said they could tell they've been with Jesus because they acted like Jesus. Well that's what a Christian is, a follower of Christ. Will we ever be just like Jesus? Well, He lived a perfect life, and we've already all blown it so no, in that sense no. But can we be like Christ? That's our goal as a Christian.

You know, there's a book that has a really good balance on this. The title is kind of scary but it's really a good book Michael. We'll send you a free copy, "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?" Don't be scared by the title friends. You need to read that book. We'll send it to anyone that asks for it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and again the book is called, "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?" Our next caller is Carol. Carol is listening from Palm Beach, Florida. Carol, welcome to the program.

Carol: Yes, hello. Hello Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Carol: I called last week and I talked to Pastor Ross and I'm calling again with another question. But I wanted to let you know that I was raised as an agnostic and I was skeptical about everything. I questioned everything. I very rarely watched anything relating to religion on television. About three or four years ago, I saw your program, Amazing Facts, and I was curious about it. The way you presented it made it so interesting I started watching it. Subsequently, after a year of watching it and recording programs I went to a Sabbath-keeping church and was subsequently baptized.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord!

Carol: So I want to thank you. Thank you so much Pastor Doug for what you do for all of us and God bless you for the work that you do.

Pastor Doug: Well bless your heart. That's a very encouraging testimony Carol. We are inspired by that, and I guess we won't quit then.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Chuckles]

Carol: No. Keep going, keep going. So anyway, I'm very zealous about our Father in heaven and His Son Jesus. I've been now trying to help my kids. Of course, I raised them the way I was raised, to be very skeptical and to examine everything very carefully and that, in fact, there were many ways to Christ.

Pastor Doug: Right

Carol: And now that I know that I was wrong about that, I'm trying to teach them differently and they're just kind of struggling with it. I'm just wondering if there's any Scripture that talks about a godly person being able to pray to our Father in heaven and that He would hear our prayers, and that maybe our children and our family members can enter the kingdom? Is there any hope for them?

Pastor Doug: Where's that verse, Pastor Ross, "...He will save your children." It's in Isaiah. Yes, there are several verses in the Bible that give us hope for our children, because hey, we've got a whole gaggle of kids in the Batchelor family and we have to claim those promises too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Isaiah chapter 49, verse 25.

Pastor Doug: Want to read it?

Pastor Jëan Ross: It says, "But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible will be delivered: for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children."

Pastor Doug: Now, the "terrible" and the "mighty" that God is talking about there is the enemy, it's the devil. It says the devil is out to get our kids, he's out to get our loved ones and the Lord says, "I will fight with him who fights with you, and I will save your children." Even though it looks like it sometimes is hopeless, you've got to be patient too, Carol.

Continue to store those prayers for your kids in heaven and place them in God's hands everyday, and God does hear prayer. It makes a difference to pray.

Carol: I feel responsible, Pastor Doug, that I didn't raise them properly and I didn't know the truth, and now I feel like I wouldn't be happy in the kingdom unless my children were there, because it's my responsibility as a parent to teach them wisely and I didn't do that Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Well don't beat yourself up because all of us have made mistakes. I can't speak for Pastor Ross but I think he'd agree.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: We have to pray, "Lord, sometimes overrule the mistakes that we've made in parenting and save our kids in spite of us, not because of us." When you believe Jesus forgives you for your sins, making mistakes as a parent is one of those sins, and you've got to believe He forgives you, and forgive yourself.

Carol: Yeah

Pastor Doug: You know what I'm saying?

Carol: Yes, I will.

Pastor Doug: Because there's plenty of guilt to go around, if you're looking for guilt.

Carol: Right. That's true, that's true. It's just that I love them so very much and I want them in the kingdom and I think they want to be too, but it's so many years of indoctrinating them to believe that all religions - -

Pastor Doug: Well, they've seen the change in your life, right?

Carol: Yes. Oh they see it significantly. They're amazed by it, and they're amazed by the bad habits I've given up. Basically they tell me I'm a new person. But it's just getting them to open the Bible and read the Scriptures. They're busy with their jobs and their lives and they tell me, "Mom, we don't have the kind of time that you do to read the Bible."

Pastor Doug: Well you keep praying for them, and remember there are three things you can do for the ones you love, and these are powerful things. One is you pray. You're doing that. The other is, if they're open, you don't want to be pushy if they're kind of resistant, but if they're open, share information whether that's a book or website, video, DVD or something, and then the third thing is be a good example.

Forget about mistakes in the past. You just start where you're at. Do those three things, and be patient. That's the fourth thing, - -

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - - because God, He doesn't necessarily think like we do because our lives are so short. Just be patient. Sometimes He seems to take a few years.

Carol: I am.

Pastor Doug: It took you a few years, didn't it?

Carol: Oh it took me, oh about 55 years--and I can't believe that the Lord would want me, but He does.

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah

Carol: I've ordered a lot of your little booklets. There are those little booklets by Joe Crews and then the ones that you've written. I kind of tuck them in different places around their house, you know. And like you said, I try not to be pushy at all.

Pastor Doug: They go in the silverware drawer and there's a book huh? [Chuckles]

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: Hey, we're going to have to get to the next caller Carol.

Carol: Okay

Pastor Doug: We sure appreciate your testimony. We'll be praying for your kids and you pray for ours.

Carol: Yes, thank you Pastor Doug and God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless you too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Craig who's listening in Ontario, Canada. Craig, welcome to the program.

Craig: Oh, thanks for having me on.

Pastor Doug: Glad to have you.

Craig: That was a great question by the last caller, appreciated that myself.

Pastor Doug: Yes. And your question tonight?

Craig: My question is in regards to the Holy Spirit, particularly in regards to John 16:7.

Pastor Doug: Alright, and what do you want to know about John 16:7?

Craig: The question is, um, Jesus said that we had to - -

Pastor Doug: Want me to read it? Let me read it for everybody:

Craig: Sure

Pastor Doug: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth It is to your advantage that I go away: for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you but if I depart, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment."

Craig: So wasn't the--I mean, the Holy Spirit was already present in the disciples?

Pastor Doug: The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees yes, the Holy Spirit was present in the disciples. It's the Holy Spirit that convicted them that they needed to follow Jesus.

Craig: Right

Pastor Doug: The Holy Spirit came upon Samson when he smote the Philistines and the Holy Spirit came on David when he killed the lion, the bear and Goliath. So you can see several instances. David prays in Psalm 51, "Take not Your Holy Spirit from me." So the Holy Spirit is right there in Genesis 1, moving upon the face of the waters.

But the baptism of the Spirit that happened at Pentecost was an extraordinary filling of the Spirit. Jesus could no longer be physical in person with the disciples and He said, "I'm going to compensate. Because My sacrifice is successful, I've really bought permission by My sacrifice to now send the Holy Spirit, empower upon men unprecedented before."

And then we all see that happening on Pentecost where tongues of fire, and a sound of a rushing wind, and they're speaking with languages they never knew and preaching in new tongues, and thousands are baptized. You just see miracles. The disciples are doing things like raising the dead and healing the sick.

That's why Jesus said, "These things that I do, greater things than this will you do. Why? Because I go to the Father. I'm going to intercede with the Father and pray the Holy Spirit comes upon you."

Craig: So will this be likewise when the latter rain is poured out?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Craig: At the end of time?

Pastor Doug: Yes. In the same way that the outpouring of the Spirit happened at the first coming to get the church jump-started, you might say, before the second coming, before the harvest, there's going to be another, kind of, Pentecostal proportions of the Holy Spirit poured out on the church.

Craig: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And there will be a great revival, I believe, as a result of that and I hope it's coming soon.

Craig: Okay. That's great. Thanks very much for clarifying that for me.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we do have a book dealing with the subject of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It's called, Life in the Spirit. We'll send that to you Craig, or anyone who calls and asks. The resource line again is 1-800-835-6747. Just ask for the book, Life in the Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Amen, perfect!

Pastor Jëan Ross: It talks about the Holy Spirit and how we can have the Holy Spirit living in us. We have Sam who's listening from Brooklyn, New York. Sam, you're on Bible Answers Live.

Sam: Yes. Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Sam, thanks for calling. You're on.

Sam: Yes. My question is, I believe in the book of Thessalonians, I think the 7th chapter, Paul is speaking: "Because the time that remaineth is short let them that be married be as though they are not." What does that really mean?

Pastor Doug: I'm not sure if that's Thessalonians. That might be in 1st Corinthians.

Sam: Oh Corinthians.

Pastor Doug: I think what Paul is talking about is during the time he wrote that, Nero had increased his persecution against Christians. Many Christians were being arrested, many were being killed, tortured and sent off as slaves to die slowly and Paul was saying, "Look, if you've got a wife and children, you might be better off, if you want to spread the Gospel during these times, you might be better off single."

"If you're married, you're better to marry than to burn," he says. "But if you're single and you can continue doing mission work and stay single, these are not the best times to marry and settle down for a Christian."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Sam: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: And there have been repeated times throughout history where, as a result of persecution or maybe an expansion of missionary activity, it has been easier for some to devote their lives to mission activity, or preaching, or teaching, and not have the added responsibilities of taking care of family.

But by no means is this just a blanket statement for every believer that he or she is not to get married.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Sam: Okay

Pastor Doug: And you might have been thinking--there's another verse in 1st Timothy 4:3. It says, "Forbidding to marry," in the last days it's talking about there would be a beast power basically saying their priesthood can't marry, and that's a whole different issue.

But 1st Corinthians 7 is the chapter I think you're looking for. He says, "But she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she might please her husband." Then he goes on and makes it clear, "It's not a sin to marry. I'm just saying that you may have more problems as an itinerant missionary with a family in these dangerous times." And that's what he was really talking about.

Appreciate your call Sam. Hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Marty who's listening in Nashville, Tennessee.

Marty: Hello Pastor Jëan, Pastor Doug. This is Marty, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing great. How are you doing?

Marty: Well I'm doing great. I'm just now getting bogged up in traffic going through Nashville here so this is the perfect time.

Pastor Doug: Alright. What's the question?

Marty: Here's the question for you. I just finished a discussion in the Bible study we had on a topic. It was the minimalization of the Gospel. I'm not sure if you're familiar with that. Its been going on for quite some time. Here's the question that came during that Bible study about salvation. Several verses of Scripture were used, right back to John 3:16 and in Romans, "When you call upon the name of the Lord you shall be saved." But during the discipleship time, the question came up that if someone said, "Hey listen, I don't really believe in this virgin birth thing," the question is would that person still be saved if they did not believe in that portion of the Scripture?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you a guarded answer. There may be people that are saved that struggled believing in the virgin birth because they were, maybe, in the infancy of their faith and they were trying to figure out some of these things. I think it's hard to believe in anything in the Bible if you don't believe that, - -

Marty: Right

Pastor Doug: - - because the Gospels make it pretty clear. I know Thomas Jefferson, for instance, he claimed to be a Christian, well he was probably more of a deist, but he didn't believe in the miracles in the Bible, but he believed in the teachings of Jesus, which, to me, is a little bit of a contradiction because how do you know any of the teachings are accurate if you can't believe the other things?

So I think a person has a very serious foundational flaw in their faith if they're questioning the miracles of the Bible. The virgin birth is only one of them. Usually people that have problems with that have problems with other miracles in the Bible, like the resurrection of Lazarus or the story of Jonah.

Marty: And I concur with you. What I found was interesting is after this Bible study, I went to the Internet and I started doing an actual study on this myself and found out how many folks out there actually believe contrary to what we're talking about, how they've minimalized the Gospel of Christ, pulling and picking and choosing what they think salvation is.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. People want the social part of Jesus' teaching because they believe He was a good man, - -

Marty: That's right

Pastor Doug: - - but when it comes to the miraculous nature of the Bible, they say, "No, that's hard to believe."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know, not only does that bring into question one's faith in Christ, but also who Jesus said He is, that He is the Son of God and then, of course, people begin to question the resurrection of Christ, "Well if He was not born miraculously, what about rising from the dead?" That's a miracle.

Then your whole, as you mentioned, your whole foundation or biblical truth or Christianity begins to fall apart.

Pastor Doug: It ruins all the Christmas songs too - -

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: - - if you don't believe in the virgin birth [chuckles]. Well you know really, there is actually theology where it talks about a miraculous birth. That's what happened with Abraham and Sarah and Isaac, is that was a miraculous birth. We believe in a miraculous new birth, of which that is a type.

So not to believe in the virgin birth means we don't believe that Christ can be born in us miraculously and that, I think, is very foundational to salvation. So, I don't know if that made sense Marty, but that's a good question, appreciate your call. Thanks, and I hope you get out of the traffic.

Marty: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Nicole listening from Chicago. Nicole, you're on the air.

Nicole: Hello? Hello!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Nicole: Hi. I just had a question related to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Nicole: When I read about His prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane and some of His last conversations before the crucifixion with the disciples, it appears that He was afraid. And it said that, you know, He prayed fervently, and He was asking God to remove the cup from Him and He was angry that the disciples could not stay up and pray with Him and watch with Him. It seemed like, ultimately, the reason for the sacrifice was because He was outed, if you will, by Judas. So I'm wondering if this is what He really wanted to do, because it seems as if He was running from the Roman soldiers?

Pastor Doug: Well, alright. A couple of points that you raised in your question, Jesus did not sin when He loathed the notion of bearing the sins of the world and being separated from the Father. It's a perfectly normal and natural thing not to want to feel pain and be separated from the ones you love and die.

Jesus, in bearing our sins, He reacted in that way that was perfectly normal, but He submitted, He resisted His human tendency to run from the situation and said, "Not my will, Thy will be done." Jesus did not really get angry at the disciples. He was disappointed because He said, "Pray with Me," and here He's in the crucial hour of laying down His life, and He needed their support and they all went to sleep.

Pastor Jëan Ross: He was also concerned that He knew they would face temptation and trial, and Christ wanted them to pray that would give strength to the disciples to face what was just ahead.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, good point. So, yeah, hope that helps a little bit Nicole. We do have a book we'll send you a free copy called, The High Cost of the Cross. It addresses some of these issues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. The book again is called, The High Cost of the Cross, 1-800-835-6747. We have Helen who is listening in Arkansas. Helen, welcome to the program.

Helen: Oh, thank you. In Revelation 4, verse 4, about the 24 elders, is there any other place in Scripture telling if they were male or female? Or what's your idea? Do you think they were all males, or perhaps both?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don't know that that's the biggest issue about the 24 elders. It does say--and, you know, I would have to dig around to find it. I think it's in 1st Chronicles. It talks about David having a course of 24,000 leaders that took turns serving in the temple over the time of the year.

Actually, you start thinking about it, and it's like it ends up being a hundred and forty-four in the day and a hundred and forty-four in the night. That would be 288. Anyway, it uses the Bible number of 24 in the Old Testament talking about elders and leaders. There are 12 patriarchs in the Old Testament 12 apostles in the New Testament, and that adds up to, of course, 24.

So these 24 elders that are in heaven, it's a real vision that John is seeing but they're symbolic of the leadership around God's throne.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have a reference to this in Isaiah chapter 24, verse 23. Not only do we read about the 24 elders in Revelation, but in Isaiah 24:23 we read, "The moon will be disgraced, and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts will reign on mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his elders gloriously." So that speaks about the elders. It doesn't specifically mention their number.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's not until you get to Revelation that you find that there's actually 24 that you read about in Revelation chapter 4.

Pastor Doug: Interesting. That's right. I didn't know that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You'll also find in the book of Job. It talks about the sons of God that were there, representatives from the unfallen worlds, read about in Hebrews, and some feel that maybe the 24 elders could also be the same group that's spoken of in the book of Job.

Pastor Doug: So hope that helps a little bit.

Helen: Oh okay--well, okay.

Pastor Doug: Now there's one more verse I was looking for and I think I found it. That's in--nope, I didn't find it, false alarm. Anyway, we're kind of searching it as we go here. There's a verse in, I believe it's 1st Chronicles, where he talks about a course of 24 elders and leaders that worked in the temple in turn, but that's just a symbol of around the throne of God.

Appreciate that Helen, hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Jeremiah who's listening in Sacramento, California.

Jeremiah: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You're on the air.

Pastor Doug: Hi Jeremiah, how are you doing?

Jeremiah: Good, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good, and your question?

Jeremiah: Yeah, it's pertaining to Psalm 2:4. Do you want to go ahead and read that for the viewers?

Pastor Doug: Psalm 2, verse 4?

Jeremiah: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Yup. It says, "He that sits in the heaven shall laugh: the Lord will laugh and have them in derision. Then he will speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure."

Jeremiah: Okay. So my question is does God have a sense of humor?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think the answer to that is yes. Even though when Jesus came, you know, He's described as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief because He was bearing our sins, you see so much that is funny in nature. I mean, even in the animal kingdom you see animals do things that are cute and hilarious.

When you see the curiosity of children and animals, I think God has a sense of humor. And God has a sense of irony too. This Word about God laughing in Psalms is really God laughing at enemies. It's almost like a vindication kind of laugh.

You can see Elijah using an example of a sense of humor when he kind of mocks the prophets of Baal on mount Carmel and says, "Maybe your god is asleep. Cry a little louder." And when Jesus talks about a camel going through the eye of a needle, there's a sense of irony in there.

So yeah, I think that, absolutely, God has a sense of humor. We get most of our emotions from God because we're made in His image. Friends, that's why we have this program. We want to learn more about God and become more like Him.

Thanks for tuning in. Tell us more if it has been a blessing. Go to AmazingFacts.org, help keep us on the air, AmazingFacts.org. Talk to you again next week.

--------------------------------------------------------END-------------------------------------------------------------

Name:


Email:


Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:


Email:


Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

The Ultimate Resource (PB) by Doug Batchelor

The Ultimate Resource (PB) by Doug Batchelor
God's Promises




Back To Top