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Accuracy of God's Word

Scripture: Revelation 20:1-15, Matthew 5:22, 1 Corinthians 15:35-36
Date: 06/29/2014 
On April 3, 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology launched the world’s newest instrument for measuring time – the F2 Atomic Clock.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor how about an amazing fact?

On April 3, 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology launched the world’s newest instrument for measuring time – the F2 Atomic Clock. These sophisticated clocks are vital for the proper synchronization of many telecommunication computers and devices like your GPS, to keep you from driving off a cliff. Under development for more than 10 years, this ultra-precise clock is based on the vibration of the Caesium Atom and is accurate to within one second in 300,000,000 years. Wow!

But friends, did you know the Bible talks about one clock that’s even more precise than that atomic clock? Stay with us, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live!

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Welcome to Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Is understanding God’s word a challenge? Are there passages of scripture that are a mystery to you? Maybe it’s difficult to reconcile what you’ve read in the Bible to what you’ve always believed.

If you have Bible-related questions, stay tuned to get honest, practical answers straight from the word of God on Bible Answers Live. Bible Answers Live is a production of Amazing Facts Ministries dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. Our lines are open so call us now at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297.

Now, here’s your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. We are live and lines are open. If you have a Bible question, that’s the purpose for this program. You can pick up the phone. It’s a free phone call and that number is 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. In case you weren’t ready, here it comes again – 800-463-7297 for your Bible questions and we don’t have all the answers but we’ve got some of them. We’ve got good Bible resources here at our fingertips. And one more time, lines open, 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor and my regular co-host, Pastor Jëan Ross, is on vacation tonight. And so, with God’s help and our friends here in the studio, we’re going to be winging the phones and look forward to your calling in.

Now, when I began the program, I talked about an interesting amazing fact and I like to comment on that just a moment but we always start with prayer.

Father in heaven, we just want to thank You for this privilege of being able to come together as a radio family and study Your word. And we ask for Your presence. We pray, Lord that You’ll help us You promised that we’ll search. And if we search in Your word for answers that we will find and we know that Your word is truth so please bless this program and help us discover Jesus who is the Truth. In His name we pray, amen.

So what could be more accurate than an atomic clock that is only off up to one second in 300,000,000 years? Well, the only thing really longer than 300,000,000 would be eternity practically speaking. And the Bible says that the word of God is accurate even beyond that.

Matthew 24:35, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away.” And God makes a number of prophecies in the Bible and they always come right on time even though sometimes we think the second coming of Jesus and some other Bible prophecy may be delayed, in retrospect, when they happen and you look back, then we say, “Wow! It was right on time. It was just like the Lord said.”

You know, maybe you’d like to better understand this amazing ability for the word of God to foretell the future. It’s one of the reasons the Bible has remained the best seller for millennia. And we have a lesson that talks about one of the most outstanding prophecies in the Bible and any Christian out there, this would be excellent resource in your church, in your Sunday school class or Sabbath school class or wherever you teach. It’s the prophecies in the Bible that talk about the first coming of Jesus.

The name of the lesson – we’ll send it to you for free – beautifully illustrated lesson, it’s called “Right On Time.” The name of the lesson is called “Right On Time.” It talks about the prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold with incredible detail the time and the manner of Jesus’ first coming. It tells what tribe He’d come from it tells what lineage He would be with – the House of David.

It tells what town He would be born and it tells the time He would be born. It tells about His being betrayed by a dear friend, Judas it tells that He would be sold for silver and just all kinds of details about the life of Christ are foretold precisely in the Old Testament.

Would you like that lesson for free? Great resource, all you got to do is call and ask for it. Here’s that number, 800-835-6747. Now, that’s the number for the resource – 800-835-6747. For a Bible question, you want to call 800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 800-463-7297 brings you into our studio here in the capital of California.

So with that, we’re going to go to the phones and starting with line 3, talking to Antoinette in Florida. Welcome Antoinette, you’re on the air. I think you’re on the air, Antoinette, in Florida. This is Bible Answers Live. Can you hear me?

Antoinette: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: Oh, there you are! What part of Florida are you in?

Antoinette: Fort Lauderdale.

Pastor Doug: If you don’t mind my asking. I’ll be in Florida next week preaching but I’ll be up by the Orlando area so I guess…

Antoinette: Okay.

Pastor Doug: I guess it’s a long drive from Fort Lauderdale. I’ve never been there but I hear good things.

Antoinette: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight.

Antoinette: My question is, what does the Bible say about fighting for your rights and inheritance that a father left to his child?

Pastor Doug: Oh, that’s a good question. Well, you know, Jesus does talk about Christians – Paul in particular – he talks about Christians not suing other Christians and that doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to let, you know, everybody walk on you. I think the first line is that we, you know, go to our brother directly or whoever the person offended or whatever the disagreement is. Try to approach them on a personal level.

These days, everyone is so litigious. We immediately run for attorneys and I think a lot of things could be resolved if people would talk kindly to each other. “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

There are times when you might be brought to court and you have no choice in it. Jesus talks about that in Matthew chapter, what is it? 5:25 where He says, “Agree with your adversary quickly while you’re on the way with him lest your adversary deliver you to the judge,” that’s the equivalent of going to court.

And so, but if that doesn’t work, you know you have the option. Jesus said, “If someone sues you to take away your shirt, give him your cloak.” Well, giving away a shirt and a cloak might be different if someone’s trying to sue you and take a home. You know what I mean?

So, I think the Lord wants Christians to be meek but I don’t think the Lord wants us to encourage someone to take advantage of other people by allowing them to take advantage of us. In other words, if a person’s got a bad pattern of behavior, we can enable them by allowing them to keep doing that. But you know, you have to pray for wisdom. Jesus certainly talks about going the second mile and turning the other cheek, and suffering loss. Paul talks about rather than, you know, court-in.

One other thing is sometimes people get involved in this court cases and I’m probably telling you more than you’re asking, Antoinette, but I’ve seen people’s lives get totally absorbed in court and it sometimes takes years and it’s an emotionally… it just sometimes is not worth what the monetary benefit is. It can just take over a person’s life for years.

So you really need to pray God guides you that you have good Christian counsel. If, you know, someone’s trying to steal your inheritance, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to sit back and just, you know, let them take it. So, I don’t know if that helps or makes things more confusing.

Antoinette: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Do you have a Pastor you can talk to or someone you can confide in that will keep it confidential?

Antoinette: I do but it’s difficult. They’ve given me the same counsel you have but the fact is I have to go through what I’m going through in order to stop the bad behavior because that’s what’s going on – bad behavior – and I’m constantly giving being meek and turning the other cheek and allowing things to go on and enabling that person…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Antoinette: To keep doing it and it’s saying, “Okay. It’s okay that you’re doing it.”

Pastor Doug: Well, if you need to do something, then while you’re doing it – if you have to practice what they call ‘tough love’ do it – in as nice a way as you possibly can.

Antoinette: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, I wish I could – you know, there’s a lesson that I can send you on this.

Antoinette: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And it’s a lesson called, “Facing the Judge,” believe it or not. “Facing the Judge” and if you call our resource number, we’ll send you a free copy of that lesson. It talks about some of these principles and it will give you some of the scriptures and that number is 800-835-6747. Ask for the lesson, “Facing the Judge.”

Thank you, Antoinette, we’ll pray that the Lord guides you and helps you through this process.

With that, we’re going to talk with Tristan who is calling from Washington. Tristan, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Tristan: Hello, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you for letting me in to the program tonight.

Pastor Doug: And your question.

Tristan: I just want to know how can be a Pastor be a Pastor without being baptized. Is there a biblical truth about it?

Pastor Doug: Well, you’re talking about a Christian Pastor, right?

Tristan: Right.

Pastor Doug: Well, if a person’s going to be a Christian, Jesus was very clear that one of the steps is that you repent and you are baptized. And so, if you have someone that says, “I want to go into ministry and I want to be a Pastor,” but they themselves have not been baptized yet, well, how are they going to lead other people to repent and be baptized if they’ve not done it?

Jesus’s early apostles – John the Baptist and – I’m sorry, Peter, James, John, and Andrew. It says that they first met Jesus at the baptism of John. They had gone to be baptized. They were listening to the preaching of John the Baptist and then they ended up following Jesus and Jesus led them into ministry. But they were all baptized.

So, I mean, how can you go and encourage other people to do what God commands? Jesus told the apostles, “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Well, they wouldn’t be a very good example of being Pastors in teaching that if they had not done it.

So first step in teaching others is you want to practice what you’re preaching, right?

Tristan: Right.

Pastor Doug: So you know, we have a lesson, Tristan that we can send you on the subject of baptism. And it’s simply called “Baptism: Is It Biblical?” And if you call our resource number, ask for the lesson on baptism, they’ll know what to send you. That number is, again, 800-835-6747, 800-835-6747.

I want to remind people that 95% of the resources that we mention – you can tell I’m stabbing in the dark, but that’s approximately 95% - you can read them for free online. Just go to the Amazing Facts website that’s AmazingFacts.org and go to the ‘Free Library,’ you’ll see the lessons on baptism and many of the other studies as well.

Thank you, Tristan, for your call. And that opens up another line. If you have a Bible question, just call 800-463-7297. With that, we’re going to go talk to Edward. He’s calling from Sacramento, California. Edward, you’re on the air.

Edward: Hello, Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing great, thanks for calling.

Edward: All right, brother. I have a question. You know, first of all, I want to say brother, it was the Holy Spirit through you that has opened up so much in these last ten years – well, actually I’ve been listening to you and you’ve taught me some things. The Holy Spirit has taught me how to line up online, learn [inaudible] among precepts.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Edward: And I want to thank you for your service to the Lord because I’ve been greatly, greatly enriched through the word of God by the Holy Spirit through you, sir. And I just want to thank you.

Pastor Doug: Well, we both praise the Lord together because it’s a blessing to be involved.

Edward: Amen. My question is, sir, okay solved. From Genesis to Revelation, it speaks of wine and this wine causing people to get drunk, and taking the wine and drink. The wine of Noah when he got off his boat, he got drunk of wine – drunk wines of vines.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Edward: Okay, and then when Jesus changes the water into wine, yourself and other Pastors say that this was not fermented wine but this was grape juice. Okay, now this kind of throws me off because the master of the ceremony after the wine was – the master of the ceremony, this was an elderly gentleman elderly Jewish gentleman who’s been to [inaudible] weddings and feasts and he said, “Well, normally, people would save the good wine for last,” or no…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Edward: Serve the people the good wine first and once they’re real drunk…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Edward: Once they’ve got drunk on the good wine…

Pastor Doug: Set out the inferior.

Edward: And then [inaudible]. But now, “you have put out,” speaking of the wine that Jesus made, he’s speaking of this wine, “you have put out the good wine,” referencing to the same.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Edward: People putting out the good wine in the beginning. Now you saved the good wine for last. And I don’t understand how this now all of a sudden grape juice.

Pastor Doug: All right, let’s talk about that for a minute. First of all, there’s no question that the word ‘wine’ in the Bible often refers to fermented wine as we think of today. All varying levels of fermentation because they didn’t have the precise science they use now to, you know, ferment it so they know it’s exactly 10% or whatever.

But there’s also wine also in the Bible was obviously unfermented because it said you don’t put new wine, which is unfermented, in old wineskins because they’ll expand – it ferments, it expands – from the yeast and the residue in the old wineskins. And the Bible talks about as the new wine is in the cluster – new wine was pure grape juice, totally unfermented.

Now, you could get one of two or three kinds of wine all year long in Israel or Palestine. You could get concentrated grape juice. They called it wine but it was like dehydrated they made a syrup out of it. They could transport it because it was lighter and then they would add water and reconstitute it. That never taste quite as good, just like fresh grape juice always tastes better than concentrate.

And they made a thick paste out of it. They sometimes even called it ‘strong drink’ because it was a strong taste. You know what I mean? It was concentrated.

Then they had fermented wine. You could get that all year long. The hard thing to get was fresh wine – new wine, fresh grape juice. And when Jesus, they said, “You saved the best for last,” they weren’t talking about “you saved the strong stuff for last.” You know, in American mentality, you go to a party and you give someone some punch. They’ll say, “Well, you’ve got any good stuff?” and what I mean by that is at 90 proof or whatever.

Edward: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: But not in that culture. You could get alcohol all year long. You couldn’t get fresh grape juice because they had trouble preserving it.

Edward: Okay.

Pastor Doug: It was not until… you’ve heard the Welch’s grape juice?

Edward: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Welch was a Methodist minister that was trying to develop a method to prevent grape juice from fermenting because they believed the grape juice Jesus used in the Last Supper was unfermented because Christ said, “I will not drink it with you until I drink it with you new in the Father’s kingdom.”

Edward: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So there’s a number of verses that lead us to believe that… and then you have to ask the practical question. Would the first miracle of Jesus be to make a lot of booze for a party?

Edward: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Now, let me just… I don’t want to get hyper-spiritual here but let me just give you one more thing to think about. Wine in the Bible is a symbol for Jesus’ blood or for blood. That’s why Christ said, “This water represents – or this wine represents My blood,” at the Last Supper.

Edward: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The first miracle of Jesus is turning water into wine and He gives to people, to man, at the wedding beautiful grape juice – it’s pure. Whatever it is, they say that it’s the best.

Edward: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The last thing that happens before Jesus dies, He’s hanging on the cross and they dip a sponge in sour wine and they put it to His lips. First thing, beginning of His ministry, He gives the best wine to man last thing that happens is man gives awful wine to Him.

Edward: Okay.

Pastor Doug: It’s like Christ does a blood transfusion with humanity and the wine is a symbol of that. The other thing is all the sacrificed blood – wine is a symbol of blood – through the Bible in the Old Testament was the blood of goats and calves and sheep, and doves. It was the blood of animals symbolizing the blood of Christ.

But it wasn’t until Jesus came 4,000 years later. God saved the best for last. So that whole miracle has a deep spiritual meaning that really had nothing to do with alcohol or non-alcohol. It had to do with the blood of Christ.

But you know, we have a book we can send you for free on that subject, Edward, and it’s called “Wine and the Christian,” or “Alcohol and the Christian.” And if you call, we’ll send you a free copy. The number is 835-6747 800-835-6747 and ask for “Alcohol and the Christian” or you can read it at AmazingFacts.org. You can download the whole PDF.

Well, with that, we’re going to go to the next caller. Talking to Patricia calling from Portland, Oregon. Patricia, you’re on the air.

Patricia: Yes, good evening, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Patricia: Real quickly, Ephesians 6:12, “We wrestle not against flesh but powers and rulers, and rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places.” Okay, I want to know, how much of what our lives in line with what we do and don’t do can be attributed to evil because everyone’s talking about “we have to be delivered from these evil spirits” as opposed to “what is the devil in fact doing?” It’s too… anyway, whatever light you can shed on this question please.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, first of all, there’s a lesson that we can send you.

Patricia: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And it’s called – and I’ll answer your question but just want to mention this upfront.

Patricia: Okay, yes.

Pastor Doug: Lesson’s called “Did God Create the Devil?” and it talks about there are good angels and there are bad angels and the head of the good angels is Jesus, and the head of the bad angels is Satan. And it says, “There was a war at one point and Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven and they came down to the earth.”

Patricia: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so there’s a spiritual battle that people encounter every day. Some days are better than others and some days, you know, the tests seem pretty small, but every day, we’re tested with selfishness and varying degrees of temptation. That’s why part of the Lord’s Prayer – keep in mind, the Lord’s Prayer says, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

So since it’s a prayer that is asking for something on a day to day basis, then it’s almost something that we need to think about daily. In that prayer, it says “deliver us from evil.” That means there’s an ever-present evil in this world until Satan is bound, Revelation 20. When the devil is bound when Jesus comes, then we’re going to be permanently delivered from evil.

In the meantime, we ask for God’s Spirit and His good angels to shield us. If you read the book of Job, God had set a hedge of angels about Job to protect him from the devil and it wasn’t until God kind of withdrew His protection that the devil kind of came in and cause serious problems for Job.

Patricia: Pastor, can I interrupt you?

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Patricia: Can I just say, but at which point do people sort of use this Ephesians 6:12 as sort of, not a scapegoat because yes, there is evil, but I mean, are we not responsible for our bad actions, thoughts?

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. We choose. The devil can’t make us do anything. I don’t know if you remember years ago, there was a famous comedian – I think his name was Flip Wilson.

Patricia: Right, “the devil made me do it.” Yeah.

Pastor Doug: He’s “the devil made me do it.” He always said, “The devil made me.” Well, the devil can’t make you do anything. The devil can tempt you. The only people the devil’s really “makes do” anything are the ones who are demon-possessed. And you have to surrender to the devil for a long time before you get to that point.

So yeah, we’re responsible for our choices. We might be tempted by the devil but, you know, advertising – they tempt you to go buy alcohol but you’ve got to make the choice to go in and do it. So yeah, there are forces out there but praise the Lord, God has good forces that also guide us and we can choose which master we want to serve.

Patricia: So you can’t just say, “Let me go get delivered. Let me go get somebody to deliver me from these things.” You have to look at really what you’re… right?

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah.

Patricia: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Well what, you know, the Bible says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” so there’s a resisting that happens. Jesus was tempted by the devil and He resisted Satan’s temptations every time quoting the Bible, which reminds me there’s another lesson, not only if you like to, you can get that lesson called, “Did God Make A Devil?”

But we also have a lesson – a little booklet I’ve written. You can either call for it or download. That’s called, “Tips for Resisting Temptation,” “Tips for Resisting Temptation.” Anybody out there, if you’d like to know more about that, we’ll send it to you for free. Just call 800-835-6747 or go to AmazingFacts.org, find the tab that says, “Free Library.”

Thank you, Patricia. Appreciate your… that was a very important call. Talking next with Marjorie calling from… is it Gladwin, Michigan?

Marjorie: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Hi Marjorie. Welcome.

Marjorie: Hi Pastor Batchelor. I have a question. Were the brothers and sisters of Jesus step-brothers and sisters?

Pastor Doug: I think they were. If you look, for instance, in – well, just one place it establishes He had brothers – if you look in Mark 6:3 when Jesus came to His hometown to teach, it says, “Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended to Him.”

So Jesus definitely had at least four brothers and we don’t know how many sisters – it uses plural – it could have been two, at least two, and it could have been 20. So we don’t know. So it doesn’t say but you know, He may have had two or three sisters.

The reason that many Bible scholars – and this is both Protestant and Catholic – believe, you know, it doesn’t fit on the Christmas cards. People see the Christmas cards and Joseph and Mary and little baby Jesus, you can see the silhouette of them in the moonlight…

Marjorie: Right.

Pastor Doug: Going down to Egypt alone. But in reality, Joseph probably had a gaggle of children from a wife that had died. He was older.

Marjorie: That’s what I thought.

Pastor Doug: Now, here’s the reason – so there’s good reasons for this. One reason is, first of all, we know He had brothers. The other reason is it would have been very unusual if Jesus was the oldest and these were Mary’s other children for Him to leave home because the oldest brother always stayed home, took over the business.

Even in the story of the Prodigal Son, it’s the younger son that runs off. The older son, he’s responsible for the family. It would have been really disrespectful for Him to just leave and say, “I’m going to go become an itinerant preacher.”

The other thing is when Jesus is dying on the cross, He does not commit the care of His mother to one of His brothers, which would have been a natural thing to do. He commits the care of His mother to John, the apostle. And then, furthermore, Joseph seems to have died at that point – the verse we just read in Mark 6:3 – he was older than Mary and he had died because he had had another family and His brothers were ordering Jesus around. If they were older, that would make sense but they were telling Jesus how they thought He should run His ministry.

So a number of scholars believe these were probably step-brothers and sisters from a prior family that Joseph had. He was probably a widower when he married Mary. Anyway, hope that helps a little, Marjorie. And I don’t have a book specifically we can offer you on that but I do recommend a book you can read online for free called, “Desire of Ages,” on the life of Christ. “The Desire of Ages,” you just type that in and you’ll find the text in a few different places.

That frees up another line and we’re going to talk next with David who’s calling from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. David, welcome to the program. You’re on Bible Answers Live.

David: Hey, good night. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good. Hey, before our break, we’ve got about a minute for a question. You have a quick one?

David: Well, it could be quick. What is the first [inaudible] in Revelation chapter 20?

Pastor Doug: Say one more time. In Revelation 20, what is what?

David: The first Christ?

Pastor Doug: The false Christ?

David: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, it talks about the false prophet and the dragon and the beast. The false prophet is this antichrist’s power that is going to be manipulating people in the last days and, you know, Jesus came to earth in the form of a man – God came to earth in the form of a man. The devil is going to be probably possessing somebody and imitating Christ and causing a lot of problems in the last days.

And so, I think that that might be the false Christ that is spoken of there in Revelation chapter 20 and in other parts of Revelation. Antichrist can be found in first, second, and third John as well. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Well friends, with that, we’re going to go on a break in a moment but before we do, I want to tell you, since we were talking about Bible prophecy a moment ago and at the opening of our program, if you’ve not seen it, you need to take a look. And then you need to tell your friends. It’s called Bible Prophecy Truth. We’ve got a website completely dedicated to all of the exciting things of Bible prophecy.

Just had a question from David in the Virgin Islands talking about who is the false prophet. You go to Bible Prophecy Truth, you’re going to find a lesson on that.

If you want to better understand what is 666? We’ve got studies and lessons on that. We’ve got charts with prophetic timelines outlining the first coming of Jesus. We’ve got studies there dealing with Bible numbers and do they have a meaning? It talks about angels and prophecy, and Babylon and Israel, and the mark of the beast and the millennium.

So go to BibleProphecyTruth.com, you’re going to find just gobs of resources – not only books – video and audio as well. Don’t go away, coming back with more Bible questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back friends. This is Bible Answers Live and if you have tuned in along the way, it’s a live, international interactive Bible study dedicated to doing our best to answer your Bible questions. If you have a question, we do have lines still open. That number – free phone number – 800-463-7297. One more time, 800-463-7297. Just remember 800-GOD-SAYS, that will get you into the studio.

And Amazing Facts has been around. Next year, it will be 50 years. Amazing Facts has been dedicated to sharing the gospel – straight, bold Bible preaching and evangelism, giving people answers to their Bible questions for 50 years now. And so, keep the ministry in your prayers.

If you want to know more about Amazing Facts, just go to AmazingFacts.org or .com or .net or .tv – it will all take you there, a lot of resources.

Going back to the phones now and I think – let’s see, Jerry has been waiting patiently. We’re going to talk to Jerry calling from Medford, Oregon. Welcome to the program, Jerry.

Jerry: Yes, hi Pastor Doug. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this live program but anyway, my question…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, glad to talk with you.

Jerry: Nice to talk to you. Matthew 5:22, Jesus says, “But whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool!’ shall be in danger of hellfire.” But in 1 Corinthians 15:35 and 36, Paul says, “But some will say, ‘How are the dead raised up and with what body do they come?’ Thou fool! That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die.”

Now, admittedly, he’s responding to a hypothetical question from, I guess, a hypothetical person. But it’s strange that he would use “thou fool” when that was…

Pastor Doug: Jesus said don’t do that.

Jerry: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: You know…

Jerry: And what… I’m sorry, but the other is that, it really doesn’t seem like that serious of a thing. I think we’ve all called somebody a fool or an idiot or something like that. So those are my questions. Why did He zero in on – Jesus zero in – on that particular term as being so serious?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. The way that Jesus says it is actually a little different. A matter of fact, Christ – many times, Christ called the apostles – He says, “Oh foolish ones!”

Jerry: Yes.

Pastor Doug: We can read in Luke 24, “Oh foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken.” So why would Jesus say, “Don’t dare call anyone a fool, you’re in danger of hellfire,” and then He turns around and does it?

There are different words in the Greek that are used and it can sometimes confuse us in English. Jesus is using the word, “If anyone says to his brother, ‘Fool!’” and it means somebody who is worthless. In other words, you’re telling the person that “you have no value.”

And you know, we don’t want to say that to anybody because the Lord died for every human soul. He wants to save anyone. The Lord is not willing that any should perish. He wants to save everyone, I should say.

So it’s really a different word. It is possible for Christians to speak foolishly. Another place, Paul says, “Allow me to speak like a fool.” And Paul is, you know, he’s getting ready to boast and he realizes that’s foolish.

So you read Solomon, Solomon talks all the time, “Don’t answer a fool according to his folly.” I’ve been reading through Proverbs in my personal devotions and it’s amazing how many times in the Proverbs Solomon tells people about a fool.

Jerry: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so, you know, why would Jesus say that? Well, the word He uses there is really ‘a worthless person’ which is different than a person who is being silly or senseless in their thinking. So I think that helps me in the way I understand. It’s really a different term and a different emphasis that Christ is making.

Not that, you know, I don’t think Christians want to call anybody ‘idiot’ or ‘fool’ or whatever. You want to be, the Bible says, “Our speech should be seasoned with grace.” We should be kind in the things we say. Did that help a little?

Jerry: Yes, yes. Thank you, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Well, thanks for your patience holding on, Jerry, and I appreciate your calling back. With that, opens another line. Again, 800-835-67… or 7297, sorry. 800-463-7297 brings you to the studio. And going to talk with Philip who is calling from Bronx, New York. Philip, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Philip: Hi Pastor D. May I call you Pastor D?

Pastor Doug: That’s fine.

Philip: Okay. Today I have given my heart to God and I’m just searching for like what is His purpose for me? You know, I don’t really understand what God wants me to do with my life or how to serve Him.

Pastor Doug: Well, first, praise the Lord that you’ve made that decision to surrender your life to the Lord. And I can promise you that He does have a unique plan and purpose for your life. The Bible says in Psalm 37, “If you commit your way to the Lord, He will bring it to past.”

One of the first things you do in wanting to know the will of God is you surrender yourself to God and say, “Lord, I am willing to do whatever You want me to do.” And, after you surrender yourself, and then wait for Him. He may not, you know, He may not answer you with an angel right away. You’ll wait for the Lord. He’ll reveal His will to you and He won’t necessarily show the whole life.

God has a way of kind of telling us day by day. Sometimes He’ll say, “I want you to go to school and study this,” and He’ll give you direction in your life. But follow Him faithfully in the little things and He will reveal more things.

Now there’s a book I can send you for free, Philip, and I wrote this book because we get this question frequently. It’s called, “Determining the Will of God,” or basically it means, how do you know the will of God for your life? And I’d like to send you a free copy of this. Would that be all right?

Philip: Okay.

Pastor Doug: All you got to do is call the resource number and say, “I’d like the book. Pastor Doug promises to send me the book, ‘Determining the Will of God’.” It goes through all about a dozen different Bible principles on how you can know God’s will for your life.

Philip: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And He’ll make that clear to you. And praise the Lord for your decision. Have you been through a Bible study course yet?

Phillip: No.

Pastor Doug: You know, I really recommend that can you get online?

Philip: Yes.

Pastor Doug: There’s a website that Amazing Facts has free Bible studies. You do them right there online and it will really, really deepen your understanding of God and His plan and it’s called Bible Universe BibleUniverse.com. You just type in Bible Universe, it will take you there and go through the Bible study guides.

Philip: Okay.

Pastor Doug: You’ll find that a real blessing and it will greatly enhance your understanding. Praise the Lord, Philip, and God be with you. Talking now to James who is calling from Rodeo, California. Is that right?

James: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Hi, James. Thanks for calling. Get real close to your phone, and your question?

James: Yes. I’d like to know if [inaudible] can be… can pastor a church.

Pastor Doug: Say that one more time, I’m sorry.

James: Whether a homosexual can pastor a church.

Pastor Doug: Whether a homosexual can pastor the church? Well, you know, if you read in the Bible, it says in many places in very clear terms – unless a person is, you know, using some of these creative theological gymnastics – God said that it is a sin for a man to lie with a man as with a woman, or vice versa.

Paul mentions that in Romans chapter 1 and God is very clear about, you know, people that may struggle with different temptations and sexual tendencies but to be acting out those tendencies if they’re unbiblical whether it’s sex outside of marriage or homosexual activity, God says it’s a sin.

A person should not be pastoring a church where you’re talking to people about how to be saved from their sins and overcome their sin if they are blatantly living a life that is out of harmony with God’s word. So no, I don’t think that – I know some churches are doing it now – but I think it’s a tragic thing when people say, “I’m going to be a Christian but I’m going to practice some sexual perversion or infidelity.”

God wants us to be chaste and there’s a sacred purpose for sex. So, you know, there is a book that we have that talks about that and if you call the resource number, and if you ask for the book called, “Written in Stone,” we’ll send you a free copy of that study guide, James. That number, one more time, is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide called, “Written in Stone,” and it will talk to you there about the law of God and give you some basics on that.

Appreciate your call. With that, we’re going to talk to Ernestine who is listening on KFIA, our base station here in Sacramento. Ernestine?

Ernestine: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi, welcome.

Ernestine: Thank you. I’m wondering, I’ve heard different ministers preach that there was nothing that you could ever do to make God stop loving you and I’m wondering about that because I was reading either in Jeremiah or Isaiah and He was getting ready to cause Judah to go into captivity by the Babylonians. He said, “And I will love you no more,” plus over in John the 15th chapter, it’s 15:10 it says, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love even as I’ve kept my Father’s commandment and abide in His love.” So I’m wondering, what is your take on that? Does God love you no matter what all the time?

Pastor Doug: Well, it’s a good question. Does a parent? Let me read you the verse. It’s two verses and I’ll start with verse 38 of Romans 8:38, “For I’m persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height or depth, or any other creature is able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Parents don’t stop loving their children even if their children renounce their parents and they become bad apples and they get into all kinds of trouble. And you know, we’ve all seen parents sitting by their children in court when their children are accused of some horrific crime because the love of a parent – and mothers are notorious for this – the love of parents for their children no matter how wayward they are is legendary.

Well, does God love His creatures less than human parents love their offspring? Now, when you read those verses in Jeremiah, Jeremiah is often talking about the nation. He’s not so much talking about individuals. God did withdraw His love for the nation and they suffered some terrible – the nation of Israel suffered some terrible – judgments. They suffered the judgment of being carried off to Babylon and they suffered a later judgment of being scattered by the Romans. I mean, but God still loves the Jewish people, don’t misunderstand.

But you know, He did withdraw His protection from them and the blessing that He had promised them. So God hates sin and there are people that do terrible sinful things. And I think the thing that the Lord feels the strongest about is when people hurt other people. Jesus was very stern with the Pharisees and Scribes that were leading people away from God by their bad behavior. Did He still love them? Yes, as individuals, I’m sure He did. He saved many of them. But He didn’t like their behavior.

So I don’t know, does that help in answering your question, Ernestine?

Ernestine: Well, maybe, but I was just wondering then, so when people have to die and go to the Lake of Fire, does that mean that He even loves them even though they have to go there because it’s their punishment? He still loves them even though they can’t be with Him because they never chose Him?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You know why?

Ernestine: Why?

Pastor Doug: God is Love and because God is Love, He doesn’t stop. When God destroyed the world in the days of Noah, it says, “It grieved God at His heart that He had made man.” It broke God’s heart but He had to deal with the wickedness. God hates sin also. So this is conflict in the heart of God. You know, He wants to save sinners. He can’t save them with their sins so He sent His Son to save them from their sin.

But the Bible says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us.”

Ernestine: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: God loved us while we were sinners. “God so loved the world,” you know that verse. So yup, there’s nothing that can separate us from the love of God and you know, we have a lesson that I’d like to send you for free that deals specifically with God’s love for us, and it’s called, “It’s Still There.” And so, if you call our resource line, we’ll be happy to send you this lesson on the love of God and just call and ask for the lesson on God’s love for us.

Thank you very much for your call. By the way, we do have some lines open. If you’d like to give us a call, that number is 800-GOD-SAYS. If you have a Bible question, you can still call in, 800-463-7297. We’ve got operators staring at the phone eagerly waiting for you to ring it. So if you have a Bible question, you can call one more time, 800-463-7297.

Going to talk next with Michael who’s calling from Henderson, Kentucky.

Michael: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing good, and your question tonight.

Michael: My question is, can people be perfect like Jesus?

Pastor Doug: Well, of course Jesus, we’ve all sinned so for us to ever be just like Jesus, well, we’ve already failed. We can’t be like Him because He lived a perfect life and we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God according to Romans. So we’ll never be like Jesus was then but can we live like Jesus now?

Well, the Bible tells us that is the goal of every Christian. It’s Christ is our example – listening to His teachings and following Him. And it is interesting that after the apostles were thoroughly converted and they started preaching, Michael, there in the book of Acts when they came to preach before the Supreme Court, it said, “They looked at them and they marveled that they were uneducated men and they took note” – they took knowledge – “they had been with Jesus.”

So the more that they spend time with Jesus during that three and a half years, the more like Christ they became. The more that we all spend time walking and talking, and consulting and praying with Jesus, we end up becoming like our friends.

You know, I’ve sometimes will hear one of my kids use a new expression and I’ll think to myself, “Where did they hear that?” And sometimes it’s one of their friends if they’re hanging around with them, their mannerisms, and they’ve also started dressing a little different. You go and wonder where they’re getting this. And people end up modeling their friends.

And so if Jesus is our Friend and we spend our time with Him, we will gradually become like Him. So hey, I appreciate your question, Michael. We’re going to talk next to Chris who’s calling Wyan. Is that Wyan, West Virginia? Chris, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Chris: Wayne, West Virginia.

Pastor Doug: Wayne, okay. And your question tonight.

Chris: Well, my question is, there’s many churches I’ve been to and what they do is they take their shawls and force some all over and everybody prays over it and they call it… calls it feeling like a prayer shawl. And I was just wondering if this is biblical or it shouldn’t be done at all?

Pastor Doug: Well, it is a little dubious. Now there is an example in the Bible where they took a handkerchief from Peter and they brought it to people. I mean, back when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the days of the apostles and there was only 12 apostles and thousands of people came for healing and they just couldn’t get the people to the apostles fast enough.

Some people have faith and they would take a handkerchief that came from the apostle Peter and Peter, of course, who had been with Jesus, and they brought that and they laid it upon the people that had been sick and they were healed. They weren’t healed by a handkerchief. They were healed by faith.

Jesus often healed people and He said, “Your faith has made you whole.” But you know, the apostle Peter is not really walking around the world today and I think that a lot of the people that are saying that you know, they’re converting these prayer cloths by pouring oil or water on them.

Let me give you another example in the Bible. There was a Roman Centurion and he said, “I’ve got a servant that’s sick, Jesus. Can you heal him?” And Jesus started to go to the Centurion’s house. Well, the Centurion sent a messenger to Jesus and said, “You don’t need to come because I’m a man that has authority and I tell the soldiers to come and go and they listen. Lord, I believe You’ve got authority and You can just speak and this sickness will go away.” And Jesus said, “I’ve not seen such faith in all Israel,” and Christ healed his servant without even going to his house.

Jesus doesn’t need to send a handkerchief. Jesus doesn’t need to even come in person. If the Lord is going to heal, He can do it just through the faith of somebody. So some of these churches that are having – they got their holy water and they got their, you know, holy hankies – and I remember one ministry that I don’t know how I got on their mailing list but they had one of these prayer cloths. They call it a prayer cloth but it was really a joke.

It came in the envelope and what it was, was a Xerox copy on a piece of paper of fabric cloth with the image of Jesus stamped on it. And it said, “If you want to be healed of any disease, right now, reach in your wallet and pick out the biggest bill that you can find in your wallet. Wrap it up in our prayer cloth and send it to our ministry and your seed of faith will heal you or answer your prayer.”

So there’s all kinds of really doubtful things that are happening where they take a little bit out of the Bible and then they abuse it. So Chris, I don’t know if that’s scratching where the itch is but I would be real careful about these ministries that claim they have those powers.

Chris: So in other words, they shouldn’t be praying over a piece of cloth. People should just put their faith in Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Why do that, you know? And I guess sometimes they figure people need something tangible that they can touch and look at and believe in but I think that ends up turning into idolatry. When we start directing our attention to an object…

Let me give you one more story to illustrate this. Children of Israel were being bit by serpents because of their unbelief and bad behavior. God told Moses to make a bronze serpent, put it on a pole and he said, “Whoever looks will live.” A matter of fact, Jesus quotes this in John chapter 3 where “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, will the Son of Man be lifted up.”

Well, they did that and many people were healed but years later, they turned that bronze snake into an idol and started praying to it and Hezekiah the king said, “It’s just a piece of brass,” and they broke it up.

Those things can turn into idols. And so, you know, some people they put their hands on their TV and pray on their TV and they have a holy water that they mail around from these televangelists, and I don’t think you need that. I think you can believe in the word of God and have faith in your heart, and if you’ve got faith, that’s all you need. You don’t need some of these relics that they’re making.

Hope that helps, Chris. I’m going to try and take one more call or maybe two. Talking to Penny who’s calling from Aberdeen, Washington. Penny, you’re on the air.

Penny: Hey, Pastor Doug, hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Penny: So happy to be talking to you. My question is, how do you know if your salvation is sure? Like I’ve been a Christian for about 20 years and I’ve struggled with my weight. I think I have a sin of gluttony and I’ve tried and tried and prayed and prayed. And I haven’t been able to get a grip on that.

Now, I know that we don’t get to heaven by our works but if you’re still holding on to this sin when Jesus comes, what does that mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, of course, first of all, I think you’re calling because you’re feeling some conviction. Obviously, the Lord wants you to be in health and to prosper. You know, Jesus, He heals us but He also wants us to do things that will not hurt ourselves. And so, I would encourage you to continue to pray. Don’t be discouraged if you failed because I know too many stories of people who struggled for years.

I struggled for years with smoking, if you’ve heard my testimony. And you know, now it’s been 30 years where God gave me the complete victory. I haven’t had one cigarette in 30 years. And some people struggle with alcohol. It can be food. We all have our besetting temptations.

But you know, don’t stop believing that He’s not only the Author but the Finisher of your faith. And continue to trust these workings in your life. So suppose a person comes to the Lord and they’re severely overweight and they accept Jesus, will Jesus accept them?

Penny: Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: Of course He will. Well, He’ll forgive them. He’ll move into their lives and then as soon as they have the power of Christ, there might be a number of areas where He continues then to sanctify them. This is something that you’re going to want to pray that God will continue to give you the victory over. But in the meantime, He doesn’t want you living in despondency until you get down to the ideal weight.

Penny: Yet, if you continue eating unhealthy, and I’ve got so many health issues and I know it’s a lot to do with my eating. I’m diabetic and I’ve got a lot of other issues going on to. But when you use it, I mean, it seems like it’s kind of an idol in my life because if I want something bad, sometimes I’ll just go ahead and eat it and then ask God to forgive me, instead of asking Him first you know, “Help me not to eat this.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, I know. That’s kind of called presumptuous and we assume God will forgive us after because we know He’s merciful. But Penny, I’m going to run out of time and I want to give you some practical help. First of all, we have a lesson on health – you may have heard that already – and it’s called, “God’s Free Health Plan.” I invite you to call the number, we’ll send it to you for free. You can even do the lesson online at the Bible Universe website.

The free toll-line is 800-835-6747. You might also check there is a website called Wemar. There is an institute that is a tremendous success in helping people get the victory over these things. Just type in Wemar Institute and they’ll be more there, Penny.

I’m out of time. Listening friends, we’ve enjoyed our time together. Hey, keep us on the air. Go to AmazingFacts.org, you can donate online. God bless until we talk together in next week.

-END-

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Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor
God's Promises




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