God's Memorial of Love

God's Memorial of Love

Scripture: Exodus 3:13-14, Luke 16:16
Date: 03/08/2015 
In 1629, the emperor of India, Shah Jahan, went on a military campaign to crush a rebellion in his kingdom. As always, his wife went with along with him on a long...

Adam's Synchronological Chart or Map of History by Sebastian Adams

Adam's Synchronological Chart or Map of History by Sebastian Adams
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Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello friends. How about an amazing fact? In 1629, the emperor of India, Shah Jahan, went on a military campaign to crush a rebellion in his kingdom. As always, his wife went with along with him on a long, arduous journey. But she was ill and pregnant. On the way, she collapsed, gave birth to a daughter, and then died. The empress was only 39 years of age. Her newborn daughter was her 14th child. The emperor was beside himself with grief.

He carried his wife's body home, constantly wore the white robes of morning and went into seclusion. Then one day, he appeared, and he gave orders that a beautiful palace was to be built for his wife. "Her body would lie there", he said. It was never to be called a tomb. It was to be called by the Indian word mahal, meaning palace. His wife was never to be spoken of as dead, but as merely resting within her palace. That palace which the emperor built for his beloved wife is today recognized as one of the most breathtaking structures ever built.

A dazzling wonder of marble and jewels, which is known thorough the world today as the Taj Mahal. This stately tomb is an abiding memorial of the emperor's love for his wife. Did you know, friends, that God also has given us a memorial of his creative power and love? Built not in marble, but in time. Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this addition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening friends. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out of town this evening, but this is Bible Answers Live. My name is Jëan Ross. This is a live, interactive, international Bible study. If this is the first you've tuned in, well, we're ready to take your Bible questions and we have the word of God in front of us to find Bible answers to your questions. My name is Jëan Ross and before we actually get to the Bible questions, I invite you just to bow your heads and we'll start with a word of prayer.

Dear father, we thank you once again that we have this opportunity to take a few moments and open up the word. We recognize the Bible to have power and answers for everyday living. We ask for your spirit, be with those who are listening wherever they might be. And guide us, Lord, into a clearer and a fuller understanding of your word. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

The phone number here to the studio with your Bible question is 800-463-7297. Again, that number is 800-463-7297. Phone lines are now open. Looks like we have probably about six or seven lines that are available. If you have a Bible question, this is a good time to pick up your phone and give us a call. That number again. Are you ready? 800-463-7297, or it's 800-God-Says. 800-463-7297.

I open the program this evening by talking about the Taj Mahal in India. It's a beautiful memorial shrine built by the emperor for his beloved wife.

But friends, the Bible also speaks of a special memorial that God has created. It's a token of his love for us and also his creative power. I'm not talking about a specific object. I am talking about a specific time. I'm talking about the seventh day Sabbath that we read about starting in the book of Genesis. First introduced to the Sabbath back before sin entered into the world. We also read about the Sabbath being kept when the earth is restored and sin is forever passed.

We have a free offer that we'd like to send anybody who'd like to learn more about what the Bible has to say about the Sabbath. It is entitled The Last Day of History. We'll send it to anyone who calls and asks. Our resources line is 800-835-6747. That number again is 800-835-6747. That is our resource line, and you can ask for tonight's offer entitled The Last Day in History, all about the Sabbath.

Friends, if you'd like to go to the website, just go to the Amazing Facts website. There's a little link, click on the free library and you can read that study guide for free online. Again, it's called The Last Day in History and the website is amazingfacts.org. Our phone number here to the studio is 800-463-7297. With that, we're going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Patricia. She's listening from Portland, Oregon. Patricia, welcome to the program.

Patricia: Yes, good evening. My question to you is, can you be a Christian, yet not believe in eternal life?

Pastor Ross: Can you be a Christian and not believe in eternal life?

Patricia: Can I just tell you really quickly why I asked that?

Pastor Ross: Sure.

Patricia: Because we're told that we're supposed to be grateful to God for this wonderful life, in which he works everything out for our good. Well, I'm having doubts about that because my life isn't so grand in my opinion. I'm thinking, if life isn't so grand now, why would I want to keep on living. I realize it's going to be different later, but I can't even fathom that thought. If I don't like this life, I don't really want to go on living.

Pastor Ross: Well, you bring up a good point. The world and the lives that we live now, is not God's primary purpose or intention. We know the story of sin. Sin does hurt people in various different ways. That's the reason we have sickness and death. That's because of sin. God has promised to make all things new. The Bible speaks, in Revelation chapter 21, of a time when there'll be a new heavens and a new earth. There'll be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more death.

The Bible says, these things are passed away and God will make all things new. For the Christian, that is our hope. Not only do we want God working in our lives now, and that does bring peace and joy, but all the hope of the Christian is the glorious day when Jesus comes and he takes us to be with him forever, and when he makes the world new and there's no more pain. That's really what's God's original intention is for the beings that he has created.

For a Christian not to be believe in eternal life, I guess the question I would have is maybe they don't fully understand the wonderful life that God is planning for those that love him. This life, with the trials and difficulties, will sink into insignificance in comparison with the glorious that God has for those that love him.

Patricia: Okay.

Pastor Ross: We don't ever want to lose hope. Even if things go hard. We can go to Christ and he'll give us the strength day by day if we keep trusting in him. Never give up on that glorious hope that we read about in the Bible of when he comes and he makes all things new.

Patricia: Okay, thank you pastor.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. You know, Patricia, we do have a study guide that talks about heaven, talks about the reward of the righteous. It's called A Colossal City in Space. It's talking about the New Jerusalem that we read about in the book of Revelation. We'd be happy to send that to you for free. If you'd give us a call on our resource line. It's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide entitled A Colossal City in Space. It's all about heaven and the place that God is preparing for those who put their trust and their faith in him. If you have a Bible question, friends, the number here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. Phone lines are open. We're going to go to Charlie, listening from South Carolina. Charlie, welcome to the program.

Charlie: Thank you Pastor Ross. I've got a question for you. Some people honestly think we're living in the -- our generation. I'm 44. We might see that and I had a conversation with a couple of my buddies here. They were saying, as Christians, it's -- I guess what I'm trying to ask, Pastor Ross, is if it comes down to the end times where they get in the tribulation where it gets really bad, is a Christian supposed to take up the sword and protect his family? I'm finding some different verses. You have Mathew 5:38-9. When he talks about an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. But then you have other ones where -- you have Mathew 26:52-54, when Jesus set on to him, put up again thy sword in to his place for all that. If you take the swords will perish with the swords. I was just wondering what you thought about that.

Pastor Ross: Sure. In the context of the last days, according to the Bible, if you read both, in the book of Daniel as well as the book of revelation, both Prophetic books, that prior to the coming of Christ, there will be a time of trouble. Daniel 12:1 says, "It will be worse than any of the world has seen before". That's a frightful time. Then you read in Revelation that just before Jesus comes, there is what's called the seven last place that appalled up on the earth. God's people often ask, "Well, what's going to happen? Are we going to be here when that time comes? What about our family?"

Well, the Bible gives good news for those who put their trust in God, even in trouble sometimes. According to the Bible, when that time of trouble comes, God will in a special way intervene and protect these people, specifically after the close of probation and the outpouring of the civilized plagues. We have in Psalm 91 a wonderful promise that Christians can claim and hold onto. I'm just going to read a few verses here. I'm reading from Psalm 91. It says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord He is my refuge, my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust. Surely He has the promise he shall deliver you from the snare of the fallen, from the perilous pestilent. He will cover you with his feathers under his wings you shall take refuge. He says He's truth shall be a shield and buckler."

Then verse five, "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night nor the arrow that flies by day." He’s talking about a time of trouble.

Verse six says, "Nor the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste in noonday.

Verse seven, "A thousand will fall at your side and 10,000 at your right hand, but it will not come near you. Only with your eyes you shall look and see the reward of the wicked because you have made the Lord which is my refuge even the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you nor shalt any plague come near your dwelling."

There’s a promise that the righteous can claim that when that time of trouble comes and we begin to see these things taking place at the Bible speaks of those who have put their trust in Christ, He will send angels to protect them and the wicked won't be able to touch them. Only with their eyes will they see the reward of the wicked.

Charlie: Because I know with Seventh Day Adventists, we don’t really believe in the rapture or anything like that, but there's other denominations that so that’s why we’re just wondering about that if we are still going to be here, then it will be just God protecting us and Jesus and just have faith in them and [crosstalk] rapture?

Pastor Ross: Well, absolutely. We’ve got to have faith in God and He will take care of us. We look at many examples in the Bible where Daniel was protected through the lion's den. God took care of him. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and God took care of them. At the term of Israel, when the plagues fell upon Egypt, God preserved them and took care of them and delivered them. Throughout history, there have been times when that God's people have suffered for various reasons, persecution of different kinds. There have been instances where individuals have given their life as a testimony of their faith, and there's also been instances where God has miraculously intervened and protected them. I guess the bottom line is we need to put our confidence and trust in God. The Bible says don't trust in the arm of man, but put your trust in God and he'll be able to take care of us.

Charlie: Okay, Pastor Ross, thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: All right, thanks for your call Charlie. We appreciate it. If you have a Bible question, the phone number here to the studio again, 800-463-7297. That’s 800-God-Says. 800-463-7297. We have Mike listening from North Dakota. Mike, welcome to the program.

Mike: Yes pastor, are you there?

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Mike: Okay great, yes. My question was, this has been plaguing me for a long time in Ezekiel. The Temple being spoken about were being built in chapter 39. That’s where it starts talking about the new temple being built. This is the temple of future, correct?

Pastor Ross: Yes, this is a temple described in a future, especially when it was written by Ezekiel. It was spoken of the future temple.

Mike: Is that future past us or is that future just without the second temple built or is it the third temple yet to be built?

Pastor Ross: Okay, what is it talking about? Well, if you read the context, a little bit of the history at the time, we have the tribes of Israel, 10 of them, which were at this point already taken into captivity by the Assyrian Empire. You have the Babylonian six or five BC, 600 years before Christ coming surrounding Jerusalem, destroying the temple and taking many of the Jews back to Babylon as captives for 70 years. Ezekiel prophesied right around that time when the temple was destroyed and where there was a lot of discouragement amongst the Jews, and he was a promise that came from God that if Israel would remain faithful and do the work that God had called them to do, which in essence was preparing the way for the first coming of Christ, for the Messiah, that the nation of Israel would be highly exalted and Jerusalem would be a place where people would come to know the truth about God, they would come to seek blessing, and peace, and God in a special way, would be with the nation and take care of them.

Unfortunately, as you look in the history of Israel, there were many individuals that embraced the message and they were those who when Jesus came, they were ready for the Messiah as he had the disciples and others. But as a whole, the nation as a whole, they weren't ready for their Messiah, they didn't receive Jesus, and as a result, eventually, because of rejection, the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. The temple being described here in Ezekiel, some have wondered, well, could this possibly be a description of the temple in heaven?

We know in heaven we have a temple called that will be in the New Jerusalem that we read about and some feel that perhaps that temple finds its ultimate fulfillment in heaven. It could have had a greater a fulfillment maybe on earth had Israel remained faithful to the past that God had given her to do.

Mike: Right. The thing is that this temple is very descriptive in Ezekiel how this temple is built, the dimensions of it. I’m assuming that's been built yet.

Pastor Ross: No, that temple has never been built and as mentioned, maybe it could have been had Israel been true.

Mike: Right, the problem I have as a Christian is that there's going to be sacrifices prepared for sin offerings in other like for instance in Chapter 43 and 18 says and so the Son of Man the God he to the altar of the day and he mentioned then they sacrificed burnt offerings et cetera. I think that Christ is our final offering for sin and I'm looking just going, why are they doing this example again? Please help me if you can -

Pastor Ross: Yes, it was mentioned had Israel being faithful prior to the coming of Christ, a lot of what we read about herein Ezekiel could have met its fulfillment. But because of a lack of faith, and I'm talking about a nation as a whole, not individuals, all of the promises that were given in Ezekiel never reached their complete fulfillment. For the Christians, it appears that there are some spiritual applications to these various symbols obviously in heaven there’s not the sacrificial system where lambs are being offered because Christ is our Passover lamb, he is our sacrifice.

Mike: Yes, sure -

Pastor Ross: He doesn't minister for us in heaven and to see it on our behalf. A number of those prophecies is sometimes referred to as conditional prophecies. Had Israel being faithful, it could have been fulfilled in their day.

Mike: Okay, great. Thank you so much pastor. I really appreciate you help in this.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely, thank you for your call, Mike. We appreciate that.

Mike: Okay.

Pastor Ross: Our phone number here again in the studio if you have a Bible related question is 800-463-7297. We have Carol listening from Sacramento. Carol, welcome to the program.

Carol: Yes, thank you for taking my call. I’ve listened to you for a while and I’ve watched on television and I believe a lot of how you interpret the Bible. But when I go to Colossians 2:16-17 which I will read so other people know what I'm referring to.

Pastor Ross: Sure.

Carol: "Let no man therefore judge you and meat or in drink or in respect of a holy day or as the new moon or of the Sabbath day which are a shadow of things to come but the body of Christ." Since I’ve become a believer 24 years ago, I really believe that there is no longer service and just as Jesus is my Passover, Jesus is representative of everything that we're doing in Old Testament. I don't understand, and even in that scripture, it does actually say that the Sabbath day is no longer important. Explain to me how?

Pastor Ross: Sure. I’ll be happy to. Yes, it's a good verse and it does raise some questions. Is Paul saying that we don't have to keep the Sabbath, do we have to keep the 10 commandments? Of course the Sabbath is the fourth commandment that you read about right there in the law of God, so does that mean then that that's not binding on the Christian? Well, if you look at the context, first of all, notice Paul's writing to Galatians. Galatians was primarily a Greek gathering of Christians who had been converted, that's the church, primarily Greek.

There were a number of Jewish Christians who were telling the Greek Christians that they had to observe the various holy days of festivals that were part of the Jewish ceremonial law. Now, let me just make a distinction. In the Bible, you have four different types of law spoken of in the Old Testament. You have the 10 commandments, we call that the moral law, and sin is defined as the transgression of the law, that is the transgression of the moral law. If I steal, or I kill, or I take God's name in vain, I am guilty of breaking God's moral law, and I have sinned.

The next set of laws that you read about is the ceremonial law, and the ceremonial law involve the sacrificing of lambs. There were also a number of festivals associated with the ceremonial law. These festivals, for example the Passover, it didn't fall on a specific day of the week but rather it moved from day to day, depending upon where it fell in the calendar.

So you have the seventh day Sabbath that always fell on the seventh day of the week. But then you have, for example, Passover or Yom Kippur. It might move from a Monday to a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, just depending upon the calendar. These ceremonial festivals or holy days were also spoken of as Sabbaths and they were kept very similar to the seventh day Sabbath. Now, what happened, a number of these Jewish Christians were telling the Gentile Christians that they had to observe these various ceremonial Sabbaths. Paul was saying you don't have to keep these ceremonial Sabbath, you don't have to keep the Passover, you don't have to keep Yom Kippur. These were shadows. They pointed forward to Christ and they met the fulfillment in Jesus

Also he says there regarding food and drink, there were certain foods that had to be eaten on certain days depending upon the festival. There was a lot of pressure that was being put upon the Gentile believers to conform to some of these ceremonies that the Jewish Christians were still observing. That's really what Paul is talking. He's not talking about the 10 Commandments here. He's not talking about the moral law. It's the ceremonial law. Let me just finish up very quick. In addition to the ceremonial law, he also have health laws in the Old Testament, and the principles of those health laws are still binding today. Some very practical principles. For example they were to wash their hands under running water if they touch something unclean.

Then in addition to those health laws, you also have certain civil laws that had to do with how Israel was to be governed as a nation, and the principles that we find in those civil laws are still very valuable in countries that follow those principles are the ones that prosper. Those are the four categories of law. Here in Colossians, Paul is referring to the ceremonial laws, not the moral law.

Pastor Ross: We would disagree on that. But since love is the ultimate, the fulfillment of love, all these other ones of the 10 Commandments are fulfilled in love.

Pastor Ross: Well, you're right. Absolutely. Matter of fact, somebody came to Jesus and said, "What is the greatest commandment in the law?’’ and Jesus said they are two, love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophet. If you look at the 10 Commandments, the first four have to do with our relationship with God. It defines what it is to love God. In other words, if we love God, we won’t have other gods before him, we won't bow down and worship idols, we won't take his name in vain, and we'll remember the Sabbath, because we love God.

If we love our fellow man, we won’t honor our parents, we won't kill, we won't commit adultery, we won't steal, we won't bear false witness, and we won't covet. The 10 Commandments really defines what love is. It doesn't make sense for somebody to say to their friend or their neighbor, I love you, and yet they steal from them. Well, that's not real love. True love is defined in obedience to God and having a loyal heart. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and that's what Jesus is referring to. Upon these two commandments, love for God, love for our fellow and all the law and the prophets. That's the motivation behind why a person chooses to obey God. Not that our obedience saves us, for we are saved by grace through faith. We need to make that very clear. But once we are saved, how are we to live our life? Well, we want to live our life in harmony with what God's desires are for us, and that's revealed in His word, that's revealed in his law. Does that make sense?

Carol: It does, but you don't see the status as an idol when you're choosing a day in my life if worshiping the Sabbath. I see it all as trying to bring me to know Jesus Christ. It's in the Old Testament.

Pastor Ross: Well, I'm sure they were, especially in the time of the Jews in Israel where they elevated the Sabbath and they missed the whole point of the Sabbath, and they placed the Sabbath above -

Carol: I was born a Jew and I’m not a Jew anymore. I'm a believer. There is neither Jew nor Gentile. The saying for me is with the Sabbath.

Pastor Ross: Well, depending upon how a person keeps the Sabbath, I keep the Sabbath and by no means do I recognize that my Sabbath keeping is somehow taking the place of Christ. To the contrary, the Bible tells us on the Sabbath, we want to rest from our own labors. When we come to Jesus and we are trusting in His grace, "Oh, how wonderful it is to be able to wrest from our own works" recognizing that it's not our works that saved him. Every Sabbath, we remember that we are saved by Christ and by His grace and it is a wonderful blessing just to set aside all the cares of the week and focus our attention on Christ and what he's done for us. It is just -- it's one of those things that I encourage people to taste and see. Give it a try and see what a wonderful blessing it will be, if somebody puts their trust in God.

Well, Carol thank you for your call. It's a great question. We do have a study guide dealing with this subject as I mentioned earlier. It's called The Last Day in History. I'd encourage you to take a look at that. You can call our resource line and ask for it. It's 800-8356-747. Or you can read it for free online. Just go to the amazingfacts.org. Let me see if we can get a few more callers in here before we have to take a break. Our next caller is Rachel listening in Washington. Rachel, welcome to the program. Hi Rachel, you're on the air.

Rachel: Hi. Thank you for the program. My question was, I’ve been looking my Bible and all the Bible map show the children of Israel going to the Sea of Reeds and not to the Red Sea. Why is that?

Pastor Ross: Okay, good question. Well, there are different interpretations as to exactly the path that the Israelites took on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. There are some who feel that the Red Sea could also be translated as the Reed Sea. I'm of the persuasion though that I believe the Red Sea is the Red Sea, not the Reed Sea. Then when God open up the Red Sea, he performed this mighty miracle. There are some who feel, well, the Reed Sea is a little bit shallower than the Red Sea, and so perhaps the water level was low and the Israelites were able to pass through, and then there was some flood somewhere and suddenly the water level rose and the chariots came and the wheels got tied up in the reeds.

I like to follow what the Bible says, when God opened the waters up and the water stood as a wall on one side and the water stood as a wall on the other side and the children of Israel passed through on dry land. I believe it. That's what the Bible says. There is a difference folks discuss exactly the route that was taken, but I'm of the opinion that it was the Red Sea that the children of Israel passed through, just as the Bible says.

Rachel: Yes, then really a miracle of God drowning Egyptians in six inches of water.

Pastor Ross: Exactly. The Bible's pretty clear that there was a lot of water involved in the destruction of the Egyptians and also the deliverance. It was a magnificent deliverance that God performed an incredible miracle. Just imagine the children of Israel standing there and suddenly that see opening up in front of them, two walls of water on either side and they pass through on the dry land. I've always wondered if as they pass through and they looked up at that wall of water if they could see fish swimming around. Who knows? What just an amazing event that must have been. Then of course when they made it through on the other side, the Egyptians came in after them and the walls of water collapsed and they were destroyed almost instantaneously very quickly. I think definitely what the Bible speaks about the Red Sea seems to make a whole lot more sense than the suggested idea of a Reed Sea and having the chariot wheels tangled up. Well, Rachel, thank you for your call. Good question.

Friends, we like to remind you we are coming up on our break here. But you are listening to Bible and Answers Live.

Before the break, we always like to try and highlight one of our website's amazing facts as a number of great resources and websites for people interested in studying the Bible. One of my favorite is a website called Bible Prophecy Truth, bibleprophecytruth.com. You can just type that up. On that website, you'll see a great list of topics that you can study dealing with Bible Prophecy. For example, Armageddon, the Great Tribulation, Israel and the Middle East, Angels Babylon, Biblical symbols, heaven, also the idea of numbers in the Bible and who is the anti-Christ. Take a look at it.

Talking about the Second Coming of Christ, talks about the Rapture. There is even a study there of the USA in Bible Prophecy. Be sure to visit, take a look, share it with your friend. Again, the website is bibleprophecytruth.com. Be sure to take a look at the number of resources available right there for further study.

Friends, we're going to be back in just a few moments. We're going to take a quick break and then more Bible questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Ross: Hello friends, you are listening to Bible Answers Live. It is a live interactive International Bible study. If you have a Bible related question, we'd love to hear from you. We've got looks like two lines open right now, so you might want to pick up your phone and give us a call. 800-4637-297. That again is our phone number here to the studio with your Bible question, 800-463-7297. Or if you like to remember it this way, it's 800-God-Says. That will get you here to the studio. I'll be giving you another number, and that is our resource line and for the various resources that we offer. Call that number and ask for it and we'll be happy to send it out to you. Our next caller is Robert listening from Missouri. Robert, welcome to the program. Hi Robert, you're on the air.

Robert: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Robert: Yes, hi. How are you doing pastor?

Pastor Ross: I'm doing well.

Robert: I'm driving a semi truck going down the road, listening to Bible Answer Live.

Pastor Ross: All good.

Robert: It's amazing. For about the last five months -- I've been a Christian for a long time. About the last five months, I've rekindled the relationship with friends that I went to high school with that are believers. They observe the Sabbath, and all of these guys are extremely blessed. Millionaire guys that have businesses that they've made decisions to shut down their business. One guy owns a trucking company and he has told all his customers, "It's my belief that I've got to observe the Sabbath" so he shuts all his trucks down on Saturday, from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Another guy has a big lawn care service. He's the second largest lawn care provider landscaper from Oklahoma City all the way down to Dallas, and we've gotten a lot of debates about the Sabbath. That's why I was interested when I was listening to it and the lady brought up the question.

Pastor Ross: Sure.

Robert: Then I'll be honest with you. I'm starting to question -- I'm questioning some things and I'll read one of the Romans 5:18 where it talks about -- Or not Romans. Mathew 5:18 until that thing is accomplished.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Robert, we're starting to break up just a little bit. You want to -

Robert: What’s that?

Pastor Ross: We're beginning to lose you there. You want to try and phrase this in a question?

Robert: I'm sorry, say that again.

Pastor Ross: The phone is breaking up a little Robert. Do you want to try and phrase your comment in a question maybe that we can answer?

Robert: Well, what is that talking about? Because -- Or are they talking about? Are they talking about the 10 commandments?

Pastor Ross: All right. Let me read it. Let me read it. It's found here in Matthew 5:18. It says, "For surely I sound to you, these are the words of Jesus, 'Till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."

Now, when Jesus is talking about the law there, he is talking about -- not only is he talking about the moral law, and I'll explain how he fulfills the moral law, but he's also talking about the ceremonial law. The sacrificing of lambs and all of those type of things. Jesus says that won't pass away until it is fulfilled. Christ fulfilled the ceremonial law. He is the lamb that died for our sins. But Christ also fulfilled the 10 commandments.

Jesus was faithful to God's 10 Commandments. Matter of fact, Jesus said -- They accused him of many things. But Jesus said to them, "Which of you accuse me of sin?’’ Nobody could accuse Jesus of ever breaking any of the 10 Commandments. He had set aside a number of man-made traditions. But as far as the actual 10 Commandments go, Jesus was faithful. He fulfilled the 10 Commandments. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have to keep the 10 Commandments. That doesn't make sense. Why would a Christian want to kill or steal or bear false witness? If we have Christ dwelling within us, we'll want to do the things that Christ did, we want to follow his example. That's not that our obedience to the commandments saves us, we are saved by grace. But if we are saved, as I mentioned earlier, we want to follow the example that Jesus gave, and in that sense, yes, he fulfilled the moral law and showing us how to keep the law and we want to follow that example.

Robert: Wind up. My question is though, if we still have to obey the other nine commandments, why do we not have to obey the commandment of the Sabbath because the Bible says that man was not made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. What I'm saying, my position based on Scripture here is that I don't think God's asking us to just keep nine of the 10 Commandments. I think God wants us to keep all 10, and yes, that does include the seventh day Sabbath. And of course there's a great blessing as I mentioned to the person before. There is a wonderful blessing in keeping the Sabbath. We need to keep it the way the Bible tells us to keep it in order to receive all of the wonderful blessings.

As you mentioned earlier, Robert, in your call how that you've made people who have kept the Sabbath and how God has blessed them, God wants to give us a blessing. He's anxious to pour out his blessings upon us. When we are faithful to him, he wants to bless us and reward us. And so we don't keep the Sabbath in order just to become blessed, but we keep the Sabbath because it's pleasing to God and it is a blessing for us. What a wonderful blessing it is to follow God's leading. Robert, again, I'd encourage you to take a look at that study guide if you can. You can call and ask for it. It's called Last day in history. It's on the Sabbath. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for that study guide.

We also have a website, I almost forgot about it. It's a website is called sabbathtruth.com. I should have mentioned this earlier. It is a website dedicated to the subject of the Sabbath. What does the Bible say about it, how do Christians keep the Sabbath today, and how can we keep it in a way that it is a blessing the way that God originally intended it? All of that is available at our website. It's sabbathtruth.com. We'd be happy to encourage anyone to take a look at that. Well, thank you for your call Robert. We're going to try to get a few more in here. We have Gardner who is listening from Yonkers, New York. Gardner, welcome to the program.

Gardner: How are you? I do my Bible study. Today I went to Luke 16:16. I wanted to learn what that meant. While I was waiting just now, I thought that maybe description maybe used in a false way but I've never heard it before, but maybe by some people to try to say something that it's not the same. So could you tell me what it means please?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Well, let's take a look at it. Luke 16:16. It says, "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the Kingdom of God has been preached and everyone is pressing into it." Then verse 17, "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail." Of course we spoke about that a little earlier when we read Matthew. What does it mean when it says the law and the prophets were until John? Now, the John that's been referred to -- referring to here by Jesus is John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ. Jesus wanted people to decide whether or not he was the Messiah based upon what the Scripture says.

Now, the Old Testament is divided into two parts. You have the part that's called the law, and you have the part called the prophets, or the testimony. Sometimes the word prophet is substituted for testimony. So you have the law and the prophets, the law and the testimony. The law was considered the first five books of the New Testament or the Old Testament -- Excuse me, the first five books of the Old Testament; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Those books written by Moses are referred to as the law. The rest of the Old Testament was referred to by the prophets. In order to find truth, there is a principle in Scripture in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Everything had to be established to the law and to the prophets if they speak not according to this, there is no light in them.

Jesus says the law and the prophets, the Old Testament, testified up and told John about the Kingdom. Now the kingdom was at hand. Jesus had to come and that's why when Jesus went around preaching saying the kingdom of God is at hand, he invited people to receive the testimony of the law and the prophets because they pointed to him and to receive him as their Savior and become a part of God's kingdom. That was what he was referring to where it says the law and the prophets testified until John or they were until John. Now the kingdom of God is here. Jesus has come. Everything that the Old Testament pointed forward to found its fulfillment in Christ and Jesus is inviting people to come in to the kingdom of God.

Gardner: Did Jesus first appeared in what book?

Pastor Ross: Well, Jesus, you read the story of his birth beginning in Matthew, so where he actually came. But in the Old Testament, we need to recognize throughout the Old Testament, it speaks about a coming Messiah. Even all the way back in the days of Moses, where Moses said God will raise up a prophet like contain himself him that people ought to hear. All the Jewish people understood that a messiah was to come. The anointed was to come, and when Jesus actually came, He was the fulfillment of all of those prophecies.

Gardner: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Okay. Thank you for your call. Our next call is Richard listening from New Jersey. Hi Pastor Richard welcome to the program. Richard, are you there? New Jersey.

Pastor Richard: Yes.

Pastor Ross: Okay. I can hear you now. You're on the air.

Pastor Richard: Yes. I have an aptitude question and a practical question. First the aptitude. I've often wondered what language we will speak in heaven.

Pastor Ross: Okay, good question. Well, it depends who you are talking to. If you're talking to Spanish speakers, they'll probably tell you it's Spanish. If you happen to be talking to maybe Italians, they might tell you it's Italian or English. Personally, there is a heavenly language and if I were to guess, here would be a guess that I would have, nobody knows for sure. But I would guess it might be similar to maybe ancient Hebrew. Here's why. Let me give you the reasoning. You have creation, and at the time of creation, everybody spoke one language all the way up to the time of the flood. You would assume that the language that they spoke prior to the flood, would be similar to the language spoken in heaven. I don't know for sure. I'm just speculating.

They did communicate with God prior to sin. Jesus made Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden, so he communed with them. So perhaps the language that they spoke was a heavenly language, I don't know for sure, but anyway. Then you have the flood. Then after the flood, you had the Tower of Babel. Now you have the descendants of Seth that seem to stay more so in the mountainous area, the hilly area or close to the mountains of Ararat where the ark came to rest. But then you find the other descendants of Noah's sons moving down more into the Valley and eventually they decide to build a tower known as The Tower of Babel and that's where the languages are confused or mixed up. Then from there, they disperse all over the world.

If the language spoken by the descendants of Seth, if that was the language that carried over from the flood and didn't get mixed up at the time of the Tower of Babel, one might guess that maybe the original language was close to that language. Now, of course over time, that language has changed greatly or Hebrew has changed over time, so it's hard to know for sure. Anyway, that's just a speculation. I don't know for sure. I don't think -- the Bible doesn't tell us.

Pastor Richard: You think we will automatically have the ability to speak that language?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Whatever that language is at the time of the Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection, when these mortal bodies put on immortality, God is going to give us the ability to communicate and everyone will be able to speak that language.

Pastor Richard: My second is that there's a teaching that's going about in the body of Christ. Some of us call it hyper Grace. I don't know if you've heard of it or not. That when the Lord paid the penalty for our sins by His death on the cross of Calvary, he paid the penalty for past, present and future sins and that there's no need for believers to confess their sins because they've already been forgiven. Whereas first John 1:9 indicates, and I believe that John was speaking to little children. He was speaking to believers not unbelievers. When he said if you confess your sins, that he is faithful and just to forgive you over your sins and to cleanse us from all our unrighteous acts. I wonder what your take is on that.

Pastor Ross: Yes, absolutely. I think the Bible is pretty clear. You quoted 1st John 1:9, "If we confess our sins." A confession of sin recognizes, number one, that we need a Savior, that we have sinned and we are guilty and we are in need of grace, when we acknowledge and confess our sins. That's the first step in the experience of salvation. If we don't acknowledge our sin, then we don't need a savior, but when we acknowledge our sin, we recognize that we do need a savior and then we turn to Christ, we confess our sins to God. For somebody to say I don't have to confess your sins. You can just keep living in sin and it doesn't matter, God's Grace is going to forgive you. I think that's bordering on an idea of presumption, not faith.

Pastor Richard: Excellent. You were on on that point. I thank you for your time.

Pastor Ross: Thank you for your call Richard. Appreciate that. We have Alan who is listening from Tennessee. Hi Alan, welcome to the program.

Alan: Yes, glad to be here. Glad to be here Pastor Ross. My question is this. If Jesus tells us to love our wives as he loves the church, how come before him, if you look at the patriarchs, David, Abraham, Moses, they all -- they didn't love their wives as God loved the church. I want to hear your wisdom on that.

Pastor Ross: Okay. Well, there are a number of patriarchs that did love their wives tremendously. I'm just looking at one verse here. It's talking about Isaac when he received Rebecca. It says he loved her. You do have many examples of faithful spouses in heaven and the husbands loving their wives. Israel was influenced by the culture that was prevalent around them. It was never God's will ideal. For example, it was never God's ideal that David have multiple wives or Solomon have a thousand wives. I mean that was never God's plan. I don't know how you can really earnestly love a spouse in that type of situation.

God's ideal had to a large degree been twisted based by the influences of culture. God's plan has always been the same. Arafat Jesus said when asked by the scribes and Pharisees with reference to the subject of marriage, God said it was because Jesus said because of the hardness of your heart. God allowed, in the Old Testament times, a written document of divorce but that was never his intention from the beginning. It created them male and female. God's got an ideal and that's the ideal that he has for us. That's what we as Christians want to pursue and follow.

Alan: Amen. Also because I was reading it through the whole Bible and you mentioned Isaac. Isaac actually was the only one that actually loved the wife. Even Peter, he had to leave his wife. Moses, he had to leave his wife to follow God. I'm married myself, so sometimes it is hard to see an example in the Bible this man really stood up, except Isaac.

Pastor Ross: Yes, Isaac is a great example that you have, and of course this others. Abraham, it wasn't his idea to take a second wife to take on Hagar. That came from Sarah. It caused all kinds of problems and finally she had to be sent away because that wasn't God's ideal, that he take a second wife. He was to exercise faith and wait for the promised seed. Moses, we know he loved his wife. He did probably send them back. It appears when he went down to Egypt because everything that happened with the plagues, and then they join him on the journey. Now, whether they were able to stay with him because things were he was traveling, the Bible doesn't say. We don't know for sure but it seems, just based upon who Moses is and the biblical account, that he loved his wife, he was faithful.

Alan: Okay.

Pastor Ross: All right Allan, thank you for your call. Good question. We're going to go to Edward who is listening from the Bronx, New York. Hi Edward, welcome to the program.

Edward: Thank you. I have two quick questions. My first question has to do with when Jesus read, from Isiah 61 in the synagogue. Where in the scripture -- Where in the Gospel can I find an account of that?

Pastor Ross: All right, well, let me see. I'm going to look this up. While I look this up, what's the next question?

Edward: The next question is will we have full will in heaven? Will we be able to disobey God in heaven?

Pastor Ross: Will we be able to? I believe we will have freedom of will.

Edward: We will not.

Pastor Ross: No, I think we will. Not that we would want to disobey God, but in order to have love, you need to have freedom. You can't force love. If God would have force us in heaven to love him, well then that's not real love. Love needs to be a choice, and if we have freedom to choose to love God, we also have freedom not to love him.

Edward: What if it prevents us from then disobeying him in heaven?

Pastor Ross: Well, that's the good news. The Bible tells sin will not arise a second time and here's why. Because when we understand the love of God and what God has done for us and we see the great price that was paid for us, love will conquer sin, love conquers self. Throughout all eternity, as long as we keep beholding the love of God, there is no chance that sin will rise up in our hearts. That's the promise that we have of scripture.

We still have freedom to choose to love God and we will choose to love God and that love for God will grow as we continue to choose to love him throughout all eternity. The verse you're referring to there in Matthew 13:14, it's when Jesus read the prophecy of Isaiah, and I'm just looking at the verse here. It's Matthew 13:14. Jesus said, "This prophecy is fulfilled in your understanding.’’ He's referring to Isaiah where that was referred to.

Edward: Thank you very much, and God bless your ministry.

Pastor Ross: Okay. Thank you for your call, Edward. We appreciate it. We have Velma who is listening over in College Place, Washington. Velma, welcome to the program.

Velma: Hello. Well, I wanted to make a comment on this lady talking about the Sabbath.

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Velma: I was going to say in Hebrews 4:10, "There remains a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest as Himself also ceased from his works as God did from his." So that's a new testament there that we will be a God -- rest as God did, and then also the Sabbath was supposed to be a sign that set God's people apart from the rest of the world, where it said there that the Sabbath be a sign of God's people.

Pastor Ross: Sure. Absolutely. Yes, the Bible speaks for that. It's a sign -

Velma: I mean, I just -- It bothers me when that she thinks that because we keep the Sabbath and somehow worshiping the Sabbath, but the Lord said that if you love me, you keep my commandments.

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Velma: And Paul and all the rest of the Christians imply that first century, they kept the Sabbath.

Pastor Ross: Well, you're right. If you look in the Old Testaments and in the New, you find that god's faithful people wanted to please him, to do the very best they can. And you know, I just want to share with our friends again, those who are listening. It is a wonderful blessing to rest in Christ and the work that he's done for us and the Sabbath is a memorial of that. It's not only a reminder, weekly reminder, that he is our creator, but it is also a reminder that he redeems us and he rest and the work that he is done for our salvation. Thank you for your call, Velma. We appreciate that. Again, friends, I like to recommend that website called sabbaththruth.com if you have any further questions on that subject. We have Peter. He's listening from New Jersey. Peter, welcome to the program.

Peter: Hi Pastor Ross. I've got a question for you and I tried to -- I know, we will and then maybe do this and try to put it on the Bible prophecy and with current events today. But I've only really started. I'm born again. I've been reading the Bible now for about a year and half and I wanted to read this to you, 'When he therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken up by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place.' Is the holy place supposed to be rebuilt because, I heard it's supposed to be a physical structure, but then I've heard some pastors say that really it's just a temple of his church, of his body, so just wondering.

Pastor Ross: Okay. That's a great question. I'm going to have to answer you quickly. That's a good question, but I'm looking at the clock. Couple of things. Number one, the abomination of desolation spoke about Daniel the prophet refers to primarily the destruction of Jerusalem which happened in 70 AD. There is a dual application here I believe, and there's a boarder application where, according to the scripture, it says that's in the church, there will be those who go straight, who lead others astray, and who preach a false teaching or a false doctrine. A time will come where those who are opposed to the truth of God's word claiming to be Christians actually turn against those who are trying to be faithful to God.

Now, specifically in Matthew 24:15, there is a parlor verse that I think sheds light on this and you'll find it in Luke 21:20 where the same wording is used with reference to, for example, the next verse, verse 16 when you see the abomination of desolation, it says then, "Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, that him on his housetop not go down or take anything out of his house." Those same two verses are used over in Luke, but instead of using the word abomination or desolation, Luke says, "When you shall see Jerusalem compassed by armies, then know that the desolation there of is nigh." So Luke helps to interpret what that abomination of desolation is, at least in one sense, and that is the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem to destroy it. That, of course, happened in 7080, but along with the rest of Matthew 24, there are broader applications to this various prophecies that I think as Christians today, we can apply it to our own lives and we can see things happening in the church today, the Christians church as a whole, that I think are sort of warning signs as to way we are. There is a tendency, once a church reaches a certain size or gain sufficient power, the tendency, according to history, is way to stop looking to political powers or several authority to try and enforce their teachings and their decrees. That, of course, always restricts freedom of worship. So, I think that's what that verse is referring to, Peter. Does that make sense?

Peter: Yes. I do. The only thing that I want to add to that pastor is definitely I want to get your opinion on this. I had a pastor here locally -

Pastor Ross: You know Peter, I hate to interrupt you here. I hear music playing the background.

Peter: Okay.

Pastor Ross: That means we're just about ready to go off the air. Again, I want to thank so much for calling friends. I'm sorry if you didn't get a chance to get to your call this evening. Don't give up. Give us another call next week and we'll try and give your Bible Christians on the program. Again, let me remind you of the amazing facts website, amazingfacts.org. Please take a look at it. Thank you so much for joining us. Until next week. God bless.

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