Heavenly Palaces

Scripture: Matthew 4:8, Revelation 12:1-17, Luke 23:43
Date: 03/29/2015 
If you struggle with arachnophobia, you would not want to have visited the Baltimore wastewater treatment plant back in 2009. Workers there called pest control with an extreme spider situation.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? If you struggle with arachnophobia, you would not want to have visited the Baltimore wastewater treatment plant back in 2009. Workers there called pest control with an extreme spider situation. When the pest control specialist arrived, they found a giant spider web covered almost four acres of the facility. Scientist eventually estimated over 107 million spiders were living in the structure. With the densities of 35,000 spiders per square yard in places, one etymologist wrote, ‘we were unprepared for the sheer scale of the spider population and the extraordinary masses of both three-dimensional and sheet-like webbing that blanketed much of the facility’s cavernous interior.

Far greater in magnitude than any previously recorded aggregation of orb-weavers, the visual impact of the spectacle was nothing less than astonishing. In places were the plant workers had swept aside the webbing to access equipment, the silk lay piled on the floor in rope-like clumps as thick as a fire hose. The Bible says that even kings can't keep spiders out of their palaces. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends. It's always exciting to start a new program and just pray that God leads. We're going to have Bible questions coming in. If you like to participate, if you have a question about the word of God or the Christian life, that's what this program is all about. Give us a call, it's a free phone call and that number is 800- GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. We'll bring your question into our studio, broadcasting here from the capital of California. One more time, 800-463-7297. That's 800-GOD-SAYS with your Bible question. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jëan Ross, good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. Let's begin the program with prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for this opportunity for us to open up your word and Father always us we do, we invite your Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be in. Lead us all into a deeper and a fuller understanding of the scriptures, for we ask in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor, earlier in the program we're talking about this just terrible infestation of spiders. Now I'm not too woozy with spiders. Snakes, that's a different story. They're going to handle spiders but I know they're awesome people who are just petrified as spiders. Estimated, that would be their worst nightmare to be in a room filled with spiders and spider webs everywhere, kind of a scary experience.

Pastor Doug: Yes, well there wasn't just a thousand spiders or a hundred thousand spiders they estimate in this massive building. 107 million spiders all hatched out and they say that when they have this masses, this appraises by-- this is usually somewhere near water. At the same time the spiders are hatching out, there's also a lot of food for them hatching out and able to sustain a big population like this. But the webbing, it's just it's so heavy that it lights 8-foot fluorescent light fixtures were being pooled from the ceiling, from the weight of the webs and this spider's webs don't weigh much. It takes a whole lot of them to weigh anything.

So, it made me think about that verse in the Bible were Solomon who'd-- Bible tells us was not only the wisest man, it tells us he had the most splendid buildings in any of the Hebrew kings but he observed spiders skillfully grasps with its hands and is in king's palaces. Proverbs chapter 30 verse 28, no matter where you go in the world, you're going to have bugs and if you have bugs, you have spiders and in this life, you can't get away from something. As long as there's evil-- even Jesus, you would have thought he would only have had good apostles, but he had a Judas in his group. In any organization, you're going to find sometimes that there's some waste, there might be some fraud, there might be some dishonesty. In any family, there's going to be elements of strife and selfishness.

As long as we're in this world, there will even be spiders in king's palaces. But there's a palace that Jesus had prepared for each of us, that is going to be clean and pure and He's offering it to us forever. That's right, it's-- those mansions that Jesus is preparing in heaven and He's making one for you friends, but you've got to be ready to receive it. We've got a free book. If you'd like to know more about that kingdom and that mansion He's preparing, all you have to do is ask.

Pastor Ross: In order to receive the free offer for this evening, called the Heaven: Is it for Real?, all you have to do is just give us a call on our resource line and you're going to ask the book Heaven: Is it for Real? The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is the resource line. Again, 800-835-6747 and the free offer for today, Heaven: Is it for Real?

If you have a Bible question, the number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. The number again is 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 463-7297. That'll bring you here to the studio with your Bible question. Well Pastor Doug, I think we're ready to go to the phone line to our first caller for this evening, Derek is listening from Minnesota. Derek, welcome to the program.

Derek: Hi there. Hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Good evening. How are you doing?

Derek: I'm doing great. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Much better than I deserve.

Derek: [unintelligible 00:06:39]?

Pastor Doug: Yes. How's your-- what's your question for tonight?

Derek: Okay. My question is on Matthew chapter 4 verse 8, and it's where Jesus is tempted. In the verses "Again, the devil took him into a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor." “All this I will give you,” he said, “if You will bow down and worship me." My question is disturbing and I hope you give me a straight answer but, does the devil actually have this ability to give people whatever they want if they worship him? I'm looking at people like celebrities and very wealthy businessmen. Do you think-- if Jesus had that--.

Pastor Doug: Well the devil cannot do beyond what God allows. There are probably celebrities that were pawns and they don't need to be celebrities. They can be business people. They can be anybody. They are people that-- they may not even be rich or famous, they might just be pawns of the devil that he finds useful. Judas was a pawn for a while. There are pawns that the devil has found useful and he may appear to remove obstructions or use whatever power he has to prosper them with the sins of or the-- things of the world. That's it all devil in Daniel Webster thing where someone sells their soul to the devil in exchange for some kind of benefit.

There's no evidence in the Bible of people making those kind of contracts with the devil. But-- go ahead.

Derek: Well do you see it-- as a pastor, you mentioned that lot of [unintelligible 00:08:23] demonic and even things like that old movie, [unintelligible 00:08:27]. There's-- I've heard something that male actors, when they dress as females, that's a sign that they're kind of in line with Lucifer, like Brad Pitt's worn a dress, Dustin Hoffman's worn a dress. Arnold Schwarzenegger has worn a dress, [unintelligible 00:08:43] worn a dress. I mean Vin Diesel has worn a dress, even these macho guys wear dresses. I've looked on the internet, they're wearing women's clothing and I heard that's like a signal that they're in line with Lucifer, they dress in female clothing. That's a-- it's some weird trait I heard. This guy is mentioning it and I was just curious, is that true? It's just really weird.

Pastor Doug: Well yes. I don't know about that-- the particular characters you're mentioning. You do see in just anyone who lives in their culture today can see that the devil is doing all it can to blur the distinctions between the genders that are God's design. The fact that the Lord says in Deuteronomy, I think it's chapter 18 verse 22 or 22 verse 18, Pastor Ross I forget. A man shall not wear that which pertains to woman nor shall a woman put on a man's garment for all that do so are an abomination to the Lord. That's a pretty close paraphrase to what it says. Meaning-- that verse did not talk about modesty. It's saying a man shall not wear a woman's clothing, doesn't say how high, low or short it is, and a woman shall not wear a man's clothing. Meaning, there needs to be a distinction.

We are living in a culture that is sort of gender neutral and unisex, that I think is of the devil. The Bible made the male and female, he made them different for reasons. He wants us to respect and celebrate those differences. When we amalgamate that you can see what happens to a culture where you have transgender bathrooms in public schools.

Derek: You think something like Tyler Perry [unintelligible 00:10:22] where he comes across as a man of faith, but then he wears women's clothing and he's the Madea character. That's a guy in drag. Do you think that's some backwards thing going on?

Pastor Doug: There's a lot of this in Hollywood and in the public, and there's some probably some also in the Christian world. You're going to probably think I have my head in the sand. I don't know who some of these people are that are doing that, but there's no question that if they're not being led by the Lord, then they are open to suggestions of the enemy. And would be making some bad decisions in that respect. I appreciate your question, Derek.

The devil, tries to make deals with people. The devil really didn't have the power to give Jesus all the glory of these world, the kingdoms. He was saying, "Jesus, you came to this world to die to save the world. You don't have to die. I'll give it to you." The devil said, "I'm prince of this world, you bow to me and it's yours". Of course, he never would have fulfilled that promise and the world wouldn't had beautiful kingdoms. If Jesus had sacrificed to the devil, this world would be a lazar house of misery and sin. It would be awful.

They want to be these glorious kingdoms. He probably created some illusion to show Jesus. Thank you for your call Derek. If you want that free book, we offered on heaven, then go to the website or call the number. We'll send you one.

Pastor Ross: The number to call, 800-835-6747. The book is called Heaven, Is it for real?. You can also read it for free online at amazing facts at amazingfacts.org. We have Paul listening from Staten Island, New York. Paul you're on the program.

Paul: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Paul: I was wondering after Jesus brought Lazarus to life, how long did Lazarus live?

Pastor Doug: It doesn't tell us. The last reference to Lazarus is in John chapter 12. It's a six days before the Passover, he came to Bethany, where Lazarus, which had been dead, was raised from the dead and they made a supper. Martha served, Lazarus sat at the table. Lazarus is somewhat a guest of honor because in chapter 11 he's resurrected. The feast is at the house of Simon, who, another gospel tells us, was a leper, but evidently Jesus healed him.

Maybe Simon, the leper, was having this feast and Lazarus was one of his guests. It's says that Jews wanted to kill Lazarus also, because he was a living testimony, but it never says they did. There's probably some reference in Christian tradition, different stories about what happened. I don't know that there's anything dependable in the Bible about what happened to Lazarus.

Paul: Okay, fair enough.

Pastor Doug: He's one of the many disciples. He may have been in the upper room when the Holy Spirit was poured out. A good chance he was.

Paul: It's very good, Thank you a lot.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, appreciate your call.

Pastor Ross: Next caller is Daniel. Daniel is listening in New York. Daniel welcome to the program.

Daniel: Hello, Pastor Doug and Pastor. My question is how did Mohammed die?

Pastor Doug: If my memory serves me, they say that it was as a result of being poisoned, after one of his attacks on a Jewish settlement. You're going to hear different versions or iterations of that, but you can look on the web and the internet. There will be some different histories. I think he was like 60 years old when he died. If I remember right.

Daniel: How old?

Pastor Doug: I think about 60. I'm just shooting from the hip, right now.

Daniel: Was it intentional or an accident or--?

Pastor Doug: The poisoning was intentional. I don't think he was willingly poisoned. Evidently someone tried-- yes, it was not food poisoning by accident. They suspect somebody tried to poison him because he'd attacked a settlement.

Daniel: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross, you got more on that?

Pastor Ross: Yes, looking at it here. It's suggested that he died from some kind of a ailment that produced a terrible headache and weakness, and fever. That's probably why it suggested poisoning. He died in 632 AD.

Pastor Doug: There you have it.

Daniel: Okay.

Pastor Ross: Age is about 62 or 63, it's what they say.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Yes.

Daniel: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you. We'd be happy to help you more, but Bible says nothing about Mohammad. We can't really turn to a verse.

Pastor Ross: We have Rebecca, who's listening from Michigan. Rebecca welcome to the program.

Rebecca: Thank you. Good evening gentlemen. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, how are you?

Rebecca: I am well, as well. Thank you. Listen, I have a quick question. I have Revelations, that I've read numerous times, that I also have it on audio book. I have different versions of the Bible and things. I have New living translation and King James and all sorts. I listen to it every night. It's sort of a lullaby, if you will.

Pastor Doug: That's good.

Rebecca: I adore it. I'm having a bit of a trouble in a couple of spots, but one that troubles me is chapter 12, the woman and the dragon. I've read over and over. I've read very slowly. I can't seem to decipher it, I've discussed it with some other people and everyone has different opinions. I'm wondering, would you explain that to me, please?

Pastor Doug: All right.

Rebecca: Who she is, our-- or the end times. The revelations was speaking of.

Pastor Doug: Yes, revelation chapter 12. Let me tell you real quick. First, amazing facts just completed a DVD on revelation 12. That's the principle focus. We can't give it away for free, but if you call or go to the amazing facts website, the name of the DVD is called Revelation; the bride, the beast and Babylon. I just want to mention that because it's a great place to plug our new DVD.

Now let me tell what the quick answer is because we've got only about three minutes on our radio calls. That woman represents the pure church. The Bible says, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church." Here she is clothed with the sun, she's standing on the moon. She's wearing the stars. The sun, the moon and stars. God said, "You're the light of the world."

The dragon who's the devil wants to destroy her. The devil wants to destroy the church. God protects her. She brings forth this child that rules all nations with a rod of iron. That's Jesus. He's caught up to God's throne. Jesus is identified later in revelations, as this man-child that rules all nations with a rod of iron. That woman in a quick answer is the church. We do have a lesson we can send you for free. The DVD would be the best thing, but we'll send you a lesson free, as well on that subject.

Pastor Ross: Yes, we have a lesson called The Bride of Christ. It's principally studying revelation chapter 12. We'll be happy to send that to you for free, Rebecca. Or anybody who calls and asks. You can also read it online at the Amazing facts website. The number to call if you would like to get a hard copy of this is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called The Bride of Christ. That number again is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide The Bride of Christ.

Pastor Doug: Appreciate your call, Rebecca. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Next caller is Dominic. He's listening from New York. Dominic, welcome to the program.

Dominic: Thank you. Pastor, just a while ago you mentioned something about Genesis chapter 1 verse 27. Jesus talks about Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 at Mathew chapter 19 verse 4 and this propose to marriage. You didn't mention it having anything to do with marriage.

Pastor Doug: I was talking in the response. Someone was asking about the distinction between men and women, and what's happening in our culture with men and women cross dressing. I said that was not God's will because he made the male and female, he created them, in other words, God made them to be distinct and unique, and different. You're right that was marriage.

Dominic: Yes, that's exactly what it was. It didn't really refer to, specifically, the clothes that they may wear. That just came about by custom.

Pastor Doug: Of course, it does say though in Deuteronomy chapter 18 that there should be a distinction in the clothing between men and women.

Dominic: Yes. I could understand that, yes.

Pastor Doug: That was the question that was really asking about stuff like that. What's happening in the culture? But you're right the God established marriage--.

Dominic: What I want to point out is. A lot of churches aren't even explaining that marriage is right on the first page of the Bible. Genesis chapter 1 verse 27, because that's how Jesus answered it, he refers specifically back to Genesis chapter 1 verse 27.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Furthermore, some churches are getting confused on marriage being between a man and a woman, and between one man-

Dominic: That's what I'm saying.

Pastor Doug: -and one woman. We've got a program that one man's [cross talk].

Dominic: It's getting a little bit out of hand obviously.

Pastor Doug: Yes, well there's a lot of sick things happening in our culture and that's why they really need this gospel. That's why we do this program. Appreciate your calling Dominic and by the way that will open another line. We get several lines open if you want to call with a Bible question, we're not even halfway through this program. Give us a call 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions.

Pastor Ross: We have Evelyn listening from Albuquerque New Mexico. Evelyn Welcome to the program.

Evelyn: Yes, good evening pastors?

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Evelyn: Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear.

Evelyn: Okay, my question is I've been retired for some years and I also work part time. I've been paying tithe and offering on my social security pension. I've had some friends saying no I don't have to do this. Some say, yes, you have to keep doing this. I just wonder what-- I've looked up Malachi chapter 3 verse 8-10 and it says pay the tithe on all you own I guess.

Pastor Doug: You're increase. Well, that's a great question and it's a little tricky I'll tell you why. If a person has been working for years in paying into the Social Security program and they're paying tithe on their income, their gross before the Social Security is deducted-- some, many employers deduct it, they have technically paid tithe on that Social Security money. It's almost like the Social Security is the government managing a savings account for you.

Let's suppose you get a check of $100 as your pay and you pay tithe on that $100. You set aside $10 in a savings account. When you finally start living off the savings account, you don't have to pay tithe again on it because you paid tithe on it before you ever put it in the savings account. You pay tithes on it when it becomes increased for you. Some people get a lot more Social Security than they pay into it.

You know what I'm saying? Then the other thing is some pay when they get their paycheck they only pay on the net, they don't pay on the gross or not paying on the Social Security that's being withdrawn. That's why it's a little complicated. You're really supposed to pay on whatever you're increase is.

Evelyn: I'm having a problem trying to determine what the increases. Oh, I've [unintelligible 00:22:30] 22 or 23 but I'm now 70 but I think I've just paid on my net check.

Pastor Doug: Then it would probably be good to on--.

Evelyn: Tax return back then I paid it on that. That really [unintelligible 00:22:43], I didn't pay it on the gross, I should continue paying tithe and offerings on the Social Security then.

Pastor Doug: I would think so and you're never going to be able to out give God. You will probably find people that will say "Oh, there these religions go again, taking people's poor people Social Security income," but I think God blesses whenever you remember. One of the people that Jesus identified, that brought wonder to the Lord was this poor widow. That came to the temple one day and she only had a couple of mites which is just like a few cents for us.

It was all that she had and she loved God, she wanted to give something and she dropped all that she had in. Jesus said that woman has given more than any of the people that came through. Because she gave everything. I'm not saying that people should all liquidate. Jesus was just saying what he really wants is all of our hearts. Once he's got all of our hearts he has everything else.

Evelyn: Okay, all right thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: We have a lesson on tithe and offering we'll be happy to send you Evelyn if you just call the resource line.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and we have a study guide called In God we trust. We're happy to send that to you Evelyn or anybody who calls and asks, again the number is 800-835-6747 and the study guide is called In God we trust. We have Ray listening from San Antonio Texas. Ray welcome to the program.

Ray: Yes, I saw in Luke chapter 23 verse 43. Your interpretation of [unintelligible 00:24:24] as it relates to Jesus saying, "Surely I say to you, today you'll be with me in paradise." Speaking to the repentant thief. The question is specifically related to the timing. I thought I heard your broadcast maybe earlier last week or so where you [unintelligible 00:24:38] the interpretation of [unintelligible 00:24:40] your understanding of that as it relates to the timing. Was it that specific day or was it some later time?

Pastor Doug: All right good question Ray. The thief on the cross that Jesus spoke to when he said, "Verily I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." First of all the thief could not have gone to paradise that day with Jesus. That was Friday afternoon, because Jesus did not go to paradise that day. You go to John chapter 20 and he tells Mary Magdalen, I forget Pastor Ross is it 20 or 21? I think its John chapter 20, He tells Mary Magdalen, "Do not detain me." and King James I think it says, "Do not touch me." She was clinging to him when she saw that Jesus had just risen and he said, "I have not yet," Sunday morning, "I've not yet ascended to my father."

The Bible says the Father is in paradise. If the Father is in paradise and Jesus, Sunday morning said I've not yet ascended to My Father, He had just risen from the dead, then the thief could not be with Jesus in paradise Friday afternoon. The whole verse is really solved by understanding the comma. There was no punctuation in the original. The way that that verse is supposed to read is Jesus said to him, "Verily I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise." In other words, the emphasis of Christ is not you'll be with me in Paradise today.

He's saying "I'm telling you today, I'm making a promise you today even though I don't look like the Lord, you just said Lord remember me when you come in your kingdom. I don't look like a king but I'm going to make you a promise today, you will be with me in paradise." That was one of the great rays of hope that came to Jesus on the cross, is when that thief asked for mercy and wanted to be saved. Jesus still saved people from the cross but he said I'm promising you today not you'll be with me in paradise today.

Some versions have corrected that in their translation, that King James and New King James where they got the comma wrong. That's just a translation. Hopefully, that helps a little bit. I think we've got a study guide that talks more about this and the subject of death.

Pastor Ross: We do. Matter of fact this very verse is addressed in our study guide and we'll send it to anyone who calls and asks. The study guide is called, Are the dead really dead, and we'll send that to you. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Ask the study guide, Are the dead really dead. You can also read it for free online at amazingfact.org.

Pastor Doug: Punctuation changes everything. It's like this man that years ago when they had Western Union, his wife was in Paris and she said "I'd like to buy this mink coat." and he sent her a telegram that said, "No price too high."

Well she came back with the telegram and he was really disappointed he said, "I told you don't buy it." She said, "No you said, no price too high." He said, "No, I said, no, price too high." [laughs] The comma makes all the difference in the world. Listening friends we really appreciate your tuning in. We're going to take a break in just a moment and there's going to be more Bible questions coming, call 800- GOD-SAYS with your Bible question and we'll look forward to doing that in just a minute. You're listening to Bible answers live.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, just before we take a break, we'd would like to highlight one of our websites and one of the more popular websites that we have for those who want to study into the Bible and get the context of the various stories and passages, is a website called Biblehistory.com. It's really a timeline starting with creation and then going through all the time period of the patriarchs and the prophets and the Kings, all the way during New Testament times. Even dealing with some of the prophecies that we find in scripture.

Pastor Doug: Yes, it is really tremendous because when you look at the home page, it covers the entire history, one page, the entire history, the panorama of the Bible story from creation. We don't know the exact date, we you know there's an approximate range from the creation all the way up to the present day and even prophecies that take us into heaven in the future after the millennium.

Just go to Biblehistory.com, it will show you the ages of Abraham and Seth and Noah and David and how their lives overlap. Just tons of information, cross check the ages and dates in the Bible, Biblehistory.com. We're coming back with more questions, don't go anywhere.


Pastor Doug: Welcome back friends, we get ready to go to the phones, you're listening to Bible answers live and if you joined along the way, this is a Bible study, international, interactive, you can call, read your Bible questions, that number 800-463-7297 and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is John Ross and we'll go straight to the phone lines, we have Chris listening from North Dakota, Chris welcome to the program. Chris you're on the air, Chris in South Dakota, sorry North Dakota.

Pastor Doug: Maybe Chris has his mute on, Chris one more time, we have to put you on hold, go to the next call.

Pastor Ross: Let’s go to Larry in North Dakota, Larry welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Oh North Carolina.

Larry: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Oh sorry, there it is.

Pastor Doug: Hi Larry, how’re you doing and your question tonight?

Larry: I'm calling from North Carolina, when does the Bible say that each of the three stages of judgment begins and who is judged at each stage?

Pastor Doug: All right for our listening friends what does it mean the three stages of judgment? Well, you've got a judgment that happens before Jesus comes, that sometimes is referred to as the pre advent judgment. That's obviously when Christ comes, it says, My reward is with Me to give to every man when he comes. Some judgment takes place before he comes.

Then you've got a judgment that takes place during the 1,000 years and that's the millennial judgment and that's where the saints are maybe judging the duration intensity, who deserves what with God or were ratifying the judgments of God and then the final or executive phase of judgement is when that judgment, the sentence is carried out. Even in our courts today you've got judgments that involve a hearing, there might be a grand jury, there's an investigation period time and then there's the executive, the sentencing and the execution of the sentence is your final judgment.

You see those three phases in the Bible, first phase is probably happening now and you can by the way read in 1Peter, "Judgment must begin at the house of God and if judgment begins at us, what will be the end of them that will be not the gospel." And Peter is quoting Ezekiel chapter 9 there, with that verse Pastor Ross--.

Pastor Ross: 1Peter chapter 4 verse 17.

Pastor Doug: Then you've got in Revelation chapter 20 talks about the judgment during the 1,000 years and Revelation chapter 21 and 22 talks about the executive judgment, the great white throne judgment. We have a book, we’ll send you, we have a study guide that deals specifically with the judgment Larry that we’ll be happy to send you, it's got this all mapped out in there.

Larry: What’s the name of it?

Pastor Ross: The study guide is called Case closed, and we'll send it to you if you just call and ask, the number is 800-835-6747, you can ask for the study called Case closed. You can also read it online at the amazing facts website, that’s amazingfacts.org. We have Joe listening from Detroit Michigan, Joe welcome to the program.

Joe: Thank you, good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Good evening, thank you for calling.

Joe: My question was in regards to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. If in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled, he had to do what he did and I was curious, I've heard that satan entered him, wouldn't that make Judas doing something maybe he wouldn't have done, otherwise than prophecy being fulfilled, this means that God knew pre before Judas was even born that he was going to be the one that would betray Jesus, I just don't understand his guilt in it?

Pastor Doug: Now if God made him do it, then it's not fair to Judas because Judas basically is created to be the patsy in this prophecy. You really what we're asking is, does God know the fate of everybody, does God know right now whether I'll be saved or not you because he knows everything, God is omniscient, he is all knowing. God knows that and even in prophecy he knew what Judas would choose to do and he foretold it but that doesn't mean God is not giving Judas a free choice, Satan did not enter Judas until and I forget this in the gospel of John, it's chapter 13, Pastor Ross, after the last supper, after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, Judas still would not repent. When Christ said, “One of you is going to betray me.” Judas had an opportunity to say, “Lord it's me, I'm sorry.” He wouldn't, he hardened his heart and after Jesus washed his feet, he didn't repent, he didn't confess, he got up and he went out and satan entered him. It's basically he surrendered to the devil because he agreed.

Joe: But prophecy would have not been fulfilled if he hadn't done what he did.

Pastor Doug: That's true, well what prophecy is doing prophecy isn't making things happen, prophecy is saying that God knows what's going to happen, you know what I'm saying?

Joe: I do, it's hard for me to understand because it's almost like a play that’s already set in place and there's no change in it or a prophecy would be a lie--.

Pastor Doug: It's a good question, someone explained it to me this way Joe, just in our modern terminology. You've probably seen weather reports where because of these satellites, weather forecasters can see that there's a gathering cyclone storm over the ocean heading towards a major city, they can see the direction with their computer analysis, they can pretty well predict when and where that hurricane or cyclone is going to hit and they may issue warnings that cyclone is coming, the winds are so fast. That weatherman is not making those things happen, they are reporting what is going to happen based on their fore knowledge from the satellites. God has perfect foreknowledge and so in the books of the Bible he's saying, “Look one of Jesus' friends is going to betray him.” It's because of Judas’ choices that he's doing it but you might be wondering, well what if Judas didn’t betray him then how would the final events have been fulfilled? Well I don't know the Lord would have had another way.

Whenever you ask hypothetical questions, you go all over the place and what would have happened, if Eve ate the fruit and Adam didn't, he would make a new Eve? [laughs] There's all kinds of questions, you go anywhere with those questions.

Joe: I don't know if you have time for one more question.

Pastor Doug: You seem like a nice guy, we’ll give you two.

Joe: [laughs] I appreciate it. Why an all knowing God would make the Bible so hard for everyone-- I know a lot of people don’t understand it, everybody has different levels of learning and understanding and for example, your show, people call in all the time and they're confused about Bible verses and couldn't have been laid off a little more clearer?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible is an amazing book in that so much of the Bible is very easy to understand. When the Bible says, you don't reward evil with evil, love your enemy, if you've got two coats and someone doesn't have any, give them one. There's a lot of the Bible really easy to understand. There are some things that are deeper and that's because the Bible challenges every mind, every intellect in every age and I've been reading it for years, it's like mining for gold you just find things deeper and deeper and yet I think it was Mark chapter 20 that actually said and he wasn't a very religious man, he said, “It's not the mysteries in the Bible that cause me sleepless nights, it's the truth I do understand.” There's plenty that is very plain and that's what we need to live up to. Thank you, I appreciate your questions Joe, we're going to run to another call.

Pastor Ross: We're going to try Chris again listening in North Dakota and we'll see if we can get a hold of him, Chris welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Chris North Dakota listening on satellite radio you’re there?

Pastor Ross: All right we’re going to move on to Laurie listening in Canada, Laurie welcome to the program.

Laurie: Thank you, I have been doing some research on Elijah and my question is, don't you think it would have been easier for the Pharisees when they were arguing with Jesus if John the Baptist who was told by the Angel Gabriel when he was serving in the holy of holies and then Angel said to him, “Do not be afraid Zachariah, for your prayers is heard, for your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John.” But in Malachi chapter 3 verse 1, it says, “Behold--", now this is Old Testament, "I will send My--", and that's a capital 'M' for God Jehovah, "I will send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me and the Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple and the messenger of the covenant [unintelligible 00:40:11], says the Lord." Okay, then Malachi chapter 4 verse 5, "Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes otherwise I'll come and strike a line with a curse." Then-

Pastor Doug: Right, what's the question?

Laurie: -there’s Matthew chapter 17, the disciples question him why then did the scribes say Elijah must come first. See the fore runner, his name is John. For some reason if they had named him Elijah, the Pharisees would have said yes, Elijah is supposed to come first. And we have as long as this is Zechariah’s son, Elijah.

Pastor Doug: Well, do you know what the angel said? Yes, Lorry what the angel actually said to John's father, Zachariah ,in the temple, he will go forth in the spirit and the power of Elijah. Now the first one that had the spirit and the power of Elijah was Elisha, so it wasn't any one person that was reincarnated. John the Baptist was not a reincarnation of Elijah, he had the same--.

Laurie: No, he was a baby.

Pastor Doug: Well, yes, but he had the same spirit and the power of revival. Elijah brought the people, he preached fearlessly to Kings, John the Baptist Preached fearlessly to Kings, they wore leather, they had camel hair with a leather belt and they lived and worked in the wilderness and so there are a lot of parallels between the two. That's really the emphasis. You're right, it would have been easier if Zachariah had been said, you'll name him Elijah 2.0. But the Lord wants us to study. Matter of fact, I think there's one other verse I didn't hear you mention, if you look in Matthew I think it's 11 and Jesus said, "If you can receive it," this is speaking of John the Baptist, he said this is Elijah who was to come.

Laurie: 11?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's in-- Pastor Ross might look that up for you real quick. Yes, he says if you can receive it, this is Elijah. That confuses people when the scribes and Pharisees first came to John the Baptist, they said are you Elijah? He said no, because they thought, are you Elijah resurrected? They we're asking the wrong question and he wasn't a resurrection, a reincarnation rather of Elijah but he did have the same spirit and power. That's what the prophecy was talking about. You'll find that out in Matthew Chapter 11, where Jesus said, "If you can receive it," this is John who was to come. I appreciate your call Laurie and we're going to see if we can get another caller too.

Pastor Ross: We have Frank listening from New Jersey, Frank welcome to the program.

Frank: Good evening gentlemen, thank you for your program, excellent helpful stuff going on.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Frank: Pastor Doug you mentioned about the-- what happened to Lazarus, well I have a question for you to see if there are connections here, the scripture that says that he led captivity captive on high and he gave a gifts to men or something close to that. Connecting that scripture to the scripture in Matthew which says that the tombs in Jerusalem were opened and the Saints walked around the holy city. I'm wondering if the train of captives which were led on high, if that occurred at the ascension, and if it did occur at the ascension and Jesus took first fruits with him, could Lazarus have been included with that company of people who came out of the tombs, and could they have been the group which Jesus literally led captivity captive on high?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think you're on the right track, the only thing I would respectfully disagree with is I don't think that Lazarus is in that group. There was a group--.

Frank: My statement was do you think that Lazarus though he had been resurrected prior to that, if that group--.

Pastor Doug: If he could have been one of them.

Frank: Yes, could he have been one of them?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's what I'm respectfully disagreeing with. I do think that there’s a group, obviously we agree on that, that were resurrected in the-- I think it's Matthew 27 and they ascended to heaven. Because Jesus had resurrected Lazarus and he's walking around here on earth, he's alive, I don't think that he was among the ones who were in the open the graves several weeks later. In other wards there's no scripture that says and God decided since Lazarus had been sick and raised that he was going to take him to heaven, because Jesus also resurrected a 12 year old girl, the daughter of Jairus and he resurrected several people. There’s the widow's son, she was on a way to bury her son. We'd almost need to make a case that everybody that Jesus resurrected was part of that group that he took to heaven and--.

Frank: Could that be possible?

Pastor Doug: Well, all things are possible but there's no record in the Bible of that so it would just be speculation.

Frank: Okay, thanks for your answer.

Pastor Doug: Alright, we appreciate your good question, thank you.

Pastor Ross: We have Daniel listening in Wyoming. Daniel welcome to the program.

Daniel: How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing good appreciate your call and your question.

Daniel: My question was, if you're born in the ghetto or you're born in the most dangerous area, are you pretty much doomed because you're growing up around immorality and not knowing the Bible is pretty much your life, are you pretty much doomed to not even receive Christ as your savior.

Pastor Doug: Well I hope not because I would have been doomed. I was I was born in a family where I first used drugs with my mother and my father while drinking with my father and pot and hash with my mother. Then I got into other drugs and I grew up just surrounded with all kinds of vice. You would think that my situation would've been hopeless. You can have-- you don't have to be poor to be in poverty. I had a lot of garbage cans when I was a teenager, I ran away from home and the Lord found me.

Jesus said, "For him that believes, all things are possible.", and when people didn't believe, he said, "Be it unto you according to your faith." No matter what a person circumstances are, if they say, "Lord I believe that you can get me out of these circumstances", and you step out in faith. I'm probably going to get phone calls over this Pastor Ross, but I hear people often say, well I'm in the ghetto or I'm living in poverty and so I'm stuck in this and I can't get out. I just got out on the road one day and started hitchhiking and I said I don't want to live like this anymore and I literally just walked out of Miami and stuck my thumb out, I ended up in California and God somehow kept me alive with no money.

I think of a person who wants to, they can just walk away from that situation, say I'm looking for a different life and different people. They can get away from their friends and the drugs and you just you literally you start walking down the road. I believe that people need to just have faith that all right, I'm going to take a step of faith and I'm going to change my circumstances. Now, sometimes you might have to look back and say well you know but I've got friends and family and that makes it more difficult, but I think where there's a will, there's a way and you have to have faith. All things are possible Daniel to him that believes. You're still there?

Daniel: The time we're living now, it's just like everywhere you run-- it’s just like even in Africa, if you look at those who grew up where they can't-- because I believe God can use many-- can work through many people, but if you're not around people that God can work through, what does that leave the Spirit to work with now?

Pastor Doug: Well, there's a lot of cases-- and it is difficult but I believe if preachers will get the word to people whatever their circumstances, you've got cases where you have folks like Nelson Mandela that they pretty much they're imprison one day and then they're the President a few weeks later. The Lord can change your circumstances, we just got to believe and people need to hear the message of hope that they can change and all things are possible to him that believes Daniel, I believe that.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. We have Maria listening from Michigan Mary welcome to the program.

Mary: My question tonight was according to the Bible, what are Christians-- how are they to celebrate the Easter and Passion Week celebrations?

Pastor Doug: Well, it's a good question, when it comes to Christmas, there's actually less Scripture when it comes to the birth of Christ and there's more ambiguity about the date of his birth. Easter we at least know that this time of year is the Passover, the Easter season is at least approximate time of year when Jesus died and rose again, because we know it was during the Passover, the Bible's very clear about that. There's nothing of course that says that we should therefore have an Easter egg hunt, those are traditions.

There's a lot of traditions connected with some of these Christian holidays that really to be honest they spring from paganism. They're a lot of cultures in the world in the spring time had a festival of life because they saw everything springing to life during the spring equinox and at least in the northern hemisphere it's the opposite in the southern hemisphere. But in the Western civilizations of the Northern Hemisphere, they thought about eggs were a sign of fertility, rabbits were for obvious reasons a sign of multiplication of fertility and the flowers-- a lot of things really came from spring festivals they commingled with the Christian celebration of the resurrection and the death of Christ.

What do we do during that time? Well, in our church we preach about the cross, this weekend and next weekend we may talk about the resurrection. I mean you highlight the events, this far as the Easter bonnets and the eggs and [laughs] that's just-- people need to know that these are just traditions that really have no root in the Bible, you know what I'm saying? I don't know if I'm answering what you're asking?

Mary: No, you are I come from the background of [unintelligible 00:50:23], I was just a little confused on the difference. [unintelligible 00:50:28].

Pastor Doug: There's nothing wrong with remembering his sacrifice, the time of year, his resurrection but you don't want to stop remembering those things in July. It's something you keep before you all year long.

Mary: I agree.

Pastor Doug: They're good truths, concrete truths. Thank you very much appreciate Mary.

Pastor Ross: There's Bridget, she is listening from the Virgin Islands. Bridget welcome to the program.

Bridget: Hi I'm calling from the Virgin Islands.

Pastor Doug: Yes we wish that we were in those islands, its good diet in there.

Bridget: It's nice, it's sunny. It's really nice and sunny and blissful, but I do have an embarrassing matter for me. I was involved with a gentleman without knowing he was married, he said he was not living with his wife, he was living separately. I've never had no idea and they had no connection that I know about and I became pregnant. He does not know and I don't know whether to have an abortion because later on I did find out that he was married, and I no longer want no kind of connection with him. Now to have an abortion is something, I don’t know what do and I only have a small time registered to do something. I'm two months pregnant and I'm embarrassed and I cannot be with him. My family is well established in this island and I'm scared. I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do.

Pastor Doug: Bridget, we’re going to have prayer with you for one thing, but the first thing I think and part of that prayer is of course we're going to ask for God's mercy and grace in your life because you're admitting you made a mistake and--.

Bridget: I already know that I make bad decision and [unintelligible 00:52:11].

Pastor Doug: Then you have to address a very important question that, is human life sacred?

Bridget: Yes it is but that’s the whole embarrassment. I come from a real good family and I did everything that I could, but I was kind intrigued with the gentleman and he doesn't know that I'm pregnant.

Pastor Doug: We can't wind that back now, it is what it is. What you need to do know now is, what does God want you to do moving forward. I don't know all the answers about the specifics but what I would encourage you to remember, is that life is a gift and you've admitted that there is a new life growing within you, human life and that must be treated as sacred. Just because babies in the embryonic states are very small, does not mean it ceases to be sacred, something that is created in God's image. I mean even when John the Baptist was still in his mother's womb and Mary came to visit a Elizabeth, she said that the-- what we would call a fetus today, responded with joy. I would just encourage you not to consider abortion and terminating that child's life, as a biblical option. We're just going to run out of time here and I want to pray with you before we do, I don't mean to cut you off but let me just pray with you Bridget, if that's okay.

My Father in heaven Bridget's opened up and I think it's your will that she shared, because there's probably many others in similar circumstances praying for wisdom in some very awkward circumstances. I just pray that you'll be with Bridget, give her your spirit, give her peace, help her to find mercy for her mistakes that she's made and I pray will give her the courage to make the right decisions that will please, you even though it might mean changing the course of her life. I just pray that she will choose to love this child that is now growing within her and protect it and that you'll just give her wisdom about how to proceed from here. Bless her and I just thank you Lord and any other struggling with similar challenges, we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Pastor Ross: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Bridget I'm sorry. We do pray that God will give you wisdom, and in the Bible, the Bible tells us about at least one person who was illegitimate, they grew to be a judge of Israel. Mary was accused, I mean think about that she got pregnant through some an unorthodox means, via the Holy Spirit and they said all kinds of things about her and the Son of God was came as a result of that. I encourage you to have the courage to do the right thing, Bible's really clear on the subject.

Listen friends, if we did not get to your question tonight, God willing, we will be back again next week for more Bible questions and you can also listen to the archives of Bible answers live by going to the Amazing facts website. That's simply amazingfacts.org, also please remember this program, we have no underwriters, it is completely supported by listeners just like you and we appreciate your support. You can donate at amazing facts.org, we'll study together again next week. God bless.

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