Jonah and the Big Fish

Jonah and the Big Fish

Scripture: John 6:53-57, John 14:28, 1 Corinthians 11:13
Date: 04/19/2015 
The Bowhead whale is a large stocky dark colored leviathan that haunts the fertile arctic oceans. They can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh 75 tons, second only to the blue whale in weight.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The Bowhead whale is a large stocky dark colored leviathan that haunts the fertile arctic oceans. They can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh 75 tons, second only to the blue whale in weight. Yet, in spite of their colossal size, they're still able to leap entirely out of the water. The bowhead whale gets its name from its massive bow-shaped skull that's over 16 feet long and represents about 40% of their total body length.

They're also capable of using their humongous noggins to ram the surface and break through sea ice that's one and a half feet thick. This is why it's a good thing they've got the thickest blubber of any whale. Bowheads are able to open their mouths large enough to park an SUV. Which seems odd when you consider they survive by feeding on the smallest animals in the ocean, plankton.

One of the most amazing things we're learning about the bowhead whales is about their longevity. Based on the recovery of stone harpoon tips in their blubber and from the analysis of eye tissue, scientists believe the life span of the bowhead whale may be over 200 years. Science writers from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks have estimated the age of one bowhead whale at 211 years.

This would make it the oldest known mammal that exists and mean that there were probably bowhead whales swimming around the arctic ocean that were alive when Abraham Lincoln was president. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends to Bible Answers Live. This is a live international interactive bible study and we're glad you're part of the family tonight. If you have a Bible question-- that's why we do this program, you can give us a call with your Bible question. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we've got some great Bible resources at our fingertips and we will search the Word together.

The phone number into the studio is 800-463-7297. That's 800-GOD-SAYS or 800-463-7297 brings your Bible question into headquarters. We invite you to give us a call now, beginning of the program's a good time to get your question on the air. One more time, 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug? As usual, let's begin the program with a word of prayer. Father, we thank you that we can spend a few moments together to study your Word and we ask your special blessing upon this program. We ask you to be with those who are listening wherever they might be. Lord guide us into a clear and a fuller understanding of the most important book ever written, the Word of God. Bless our time together, for we ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Well Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about a whale. I guess the remarkable thing about this creature other than its size and what it eats is how long it lives. Over 200 years they estimate, that's incredible.

Pastor Doug: That's amazing. Whales are actually mentioned in the first chapter of the Bible. It says, "And He made the great whales." Someone once showed me a riddle and I'm going to-- we already gave you answer, but I've shared this with Bible classes before and it stumps large groups. You have to listen carefully friends. It says, "God made Adam out of dust, but thought it best to make me first.

I was made before the man according to God's holy plan. God made body all complete without arms or hands or feet. My ways and acts God did control, but God did not grant to me a soul. A living being I became and Adam gave to me my name. Then from his presence, I withdrew for this man Adam I never knew. My Maker’s Word I do obey and from these laws I never stray.

Thousands flee from me in fear, but seldom on the earth appear. Later for God's plan you see He placed a living soul in me, but that soul God had to claim and took it back from me again. When the soul from me had fled, I was the same as when first made. Without arms or legs or feet or soul I travel on from pole to pole. My labors are from day to night and to men I furnish light.

Multitudes young and old did by my death the light behold. No right or wrong can I conceive, the Bible and its teachings I can't believe. The fear of death doesn't trouble me, pure happiness I'll never see. Get your Bibles and read with care, you'll find my name recorded there." By the way, that's talking about the whale when it says, "God gave me a soul and took it back from me."

It's talking about when he got Jonah.

Pastor Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: Now, in the New Testament it says that, "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale." Baleen whales like the bowhead, they eat plankton. They can't eat a man, they eat the tiny little creatures. Those in the category of the sperm whale, they can actually eat giant the squid and there's at least one occasion in history where we know of where a man several times have been swallowed by the sperm whales.

Now, we've got a book, people might wonder about Jonah in particular. Folks wonder about the three days and three nights found in the story of Jonah. If you've got a question on that subject friends, then we invite you to give us a call. We'll send you our free offer.

Pastor Ross: Our free offer today is a book called The Sign of Jonah. As mentioned Pastor Doug, Jesus said that there would be a sign that he would give revealing his power that's connected with Jonah. If you'd like to learn more about this interesting story that we read about in the Old Testament that Jesus also referred to, we'll be happy to send you the book that's called The Sign of Jonah.

All you'll have to do is call our resource line. The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Sign of Jonah. The number again is 800-835-6747, that is our resource line. Our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. With your Bible question 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 463-7297 and we're ready to go to the phone lines. Our first called this evening is Jerry listening from Oregon.

Jerry, welcome to the program. Jerry, you're on the air?

Pastor Doug: Jerry, are you listening?

Pastor Ross: All right, we might have to come back to Jerry. We'll probably try--

Jerry: I'm on the air.

Pastor Doug: There you are, we got you Jerry, thanks. Your question tonight?

Jerry: Well, it pertains to the trinity and I've seen all the arguments for and against. I read things in the-- I'll give you two scriptures in the New Testament John 14:28 and I'll briefly read it. "If you love me, you would be glad that I'm going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." That was John 14:28. Then 1 Corinthians 11:3, "I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ and head of every woman is man and the head of Christ is God."

Pastor Doug: It seems like that Jesus is acknowledging subservience to the Father in some way.

Jerry: I see that on occasions when reading the scriptures, yes.

Pastor Doug: There's a verse I believe it's in-- is it Philippians? "He made himself of no reputation," Pastor Ross will look that up for me. When Christ became a man during the incarnation, God the Son laid aside to a great degree a dimension of his divinity making Himself in a special sense subservient. Now, Jesus has through history-- throughout in everything we know in the Bible, recognizes supremacy or the authority of the Father but that doesn't make Him unequal to the Father.

A husband and a wife are of equal value to God and the salvation is for both. They can both be of equal intelligence, but the Lord has established that there is a variation in the leadership arrangement between the two. The Father-- it says, committed creation to the Son, but it doesn't mean Jesus wasn't God.

Pastor Ross: The verse you're referring to, Philippians chapter 2:7 says, "Speaking of Christ, he made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men."

Pastor Doug: Yes. We have a book we'd be happy to share with you Jerry that deals with the subject of the Trinity. Would you like a free copy of that?

Jerry: Yes.

Pastor Doug: All right, we're going to have you call a number. You can get the book two ways, you can call and we'll send it to you. You're can read it online, we'll even let you do both.

Pastor Ross: The book is called The Trinity, Is It Biblical? All you'll have to do is just call our resource line that's 800-835-6747 and ask for the book on the trinity. We'll be happy to send it to you, Jerry or anybody who calls and asks, or as mentioned, read it on online at amazingfacts.org. We have Anne listening from New York, New York. Anne, welcome to the program.

Anne: Yes, hello. Thank you. I have a question, sir. I am a tither and I have been searching for another church. I am a member of my old church, but I'm not attending there. My question is, am I still supposed to pay my tithe to the church where I am a member? Am I supposed to pay my tithe to churches where I'm searching to go to a new church? That's my question.

Pastor Doug: All right. Well, that's a good question. Well, first of all, tithing is taught in the New Testament. You do have a statement from Jesus in Matthew 23:23, and Luke 20, and then Paul talks about supporting the work of the Gospel. You want to support the church that you're attending, that you're drawing resources from. In other words, if you're going to a church and you're benefiting from their electricity, from their ministry, their lesson guides, and whatever they do.

There's something that to me seems strange if you're attending a church and you're soaking up their resources and expenses and then you're sending your tithes somewhere else. You probably want to transfer your membership to the same place where you are actually attending. Now, if you haven't done that yet, I don't think if there is an overlap where you send tithe to your old location, or you start sending it to the new location.

Long as you're faithfully putting it into God's ministry, that's I think the important thing.

Anne: The important thing is I should pay my tithe the churches where I'm attending searching for a new church. Not necessarily my old church where I'm trying to find a .

Pastor Doug: Yes. If for whatever reason you're not going there anymore, you evidently are not feeling supportive of what they're doing. You don't want to subsidize what they're teaching with your tithe. If you're attending somewhere else, you should just transfer your membership to the new location and do it there. If you are in a search process, I would just say whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, but what do you say, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: Yes. I think ultimately you want to try and support the church and the ministry of the church that you're going to be involved with. There might be a little bit of time where you're into something wrong in visiting different churches to see which one you feel is preaching the Word and living closest to what God has instructed. I know in some cases, members still return their tithe where their membership is until they find the church that they're ready to get involved and connected with.

Then they transfer their membership and start paying there. Again, something that I think you just want to pray about it and allow the Lord to lead.

Anne: Thank you so much for that.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely, we have a study guide-- a lesson, that's very well documented with scripture that gives all the principles on tithe. We'll be happy to send you a free copy if you just call the number on the screen or you can even read it free online.

Pastor Ross: The number to call, 800-835-6747. The study guide is called, In God We Trust. Again, 800-835-6747, that is the resource line. The free offer-- what you'll have to do is just ask for it-- is In God We Trust. If you have a Bible question, the phone number here to the studio is 800-463-7297, 800-463-7297. We have Pat listening from Westland, Michigan. Pat welcome to the program.

Pat: You're welcome, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Yes, and your question tonight.

Pat: I'd like to know, what does the modern-day Jew do for atonement?

Pastor Doug: You know, that's a good question. I think most of our listeners know that for-- or at least a couple thousand years from the time of Abraham to the time of Jesus, there was a sacrificial system. When a Jew wanted atonement-- they all understood salvation and forgiveness comes from God, but the blood of a lamb represented that. They would offer the blood of goats, lamb, sheep, any of the clean animals could be offered.

It might even be turtledoves if you were really poor. With the temple being destroyed and as the Jews were scattered around the Roman Empire, with the exception of maybe sacrificing, at least they would slaughter a Passover lamb during the Jewish Passover. They didn't have a temple or a place to apply the blood, they might put some maybe around their door.

Other than the Passover service, the Jews have not really had a sacrificial system. They trust in God to forgive them and they're waiting for the Messiah to come for the ultimate atonement. They cannot sacrifice the way they did since the temple was destroyed in about 70 AD and have not done so to the present day.

Pat: Okay.

Pastor Doug: They've modified their theology a little bit from what you would read in the Old Testament because they didn't have a temple and because they were often in foreign countries that would not allow a sacrificial system. Yes, they basically trust it to their prayers now and some still-- like I said, offer a Passover lamb, but that's about it.

Pat: Okay. Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you. Now, we have a book we'll be happy to send you Pat. It's called Spiritual Israel, talks about a little bit the history of Israel, what's happening with Israel today, and we'll send you a free copy if you call.

Pastor Ross: The number to call 800-835-6747 and, again, the book is called Spiritual Israel. Anybody wanting to learn more about that subject, give us a call or read it online at amazinfacts.org. We have Jamie listening from Georgia. Jamie welcome to the program.

Jamie: Yes. Good evening pastors, very nice talking to you. I have a question because I'm a little confused about this. I say to myself, I need to be born again, like throw the cigarette away, throw the beer away. Do you supposed to do it because you feel like, "If I don't do it, God is going to punish me," or, "things are not going to go right for me." It's something spiritual that happens in the inside of you that God gives you?

Is that a gift? To be born again is a gift or it's something that you get to do yourself by works of obedience?

Pastor Doug: Most births don't happen Jamie because you feel guilty, it happens because of love. Births typically don't happen until nine months after conception at least with people. As you seek God and you get to know him, the Bible says, and this is Jeremiah 29:13, "You will search for me, and you will find me when you search for me with all of your heart."

As you search for God and you learn about his goodness and his love, Jesus said that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance-- actually, Paul says that. We love him because He first loved us. As we see God's goodness and as we see how much he loves us, it brings about a transformation in our heart-- that's the new birth. It's the love of God that constrains us, it changes us.

My advice would be to seek after God and say, "Lord I want to know you." You can't just beat yourself up with guilt and force yourself to be born again, that just doesn't work. That will be a drudgery and you just feel guilty all the time. If you say, "All right, Lord I'm going to give my life to you. I need to know you please reveal yourself to me." Then seek Him through-- read the Bible, spiritual books, feed your soul, pray, you will have an experience where He will show you that He is a God of love.

Now, there's a promise in James 4, you draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. That's-- what is it? James 4:7? Submit yourself to God, resist the devil he will flee from you. Draw near to God, He will draw near to you. If you know you need a change of heart-- I struggled with smoking, beer and all those things that you're describing. It wasn't until I ran into the love of God and I realized the reason to change is because he loves me so much and sin hates me.

Jamie: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I feel like there is a spiritual war around me. The devil is pulling me in one hand and God is pulling me in the other. What you're saying is a transformation through knowledge by seeking God.

Pastor Doug: Yes. By the way, join the club, there is a spiritual war. I feel it every day, Pastor Ross feels it, we all feel a battle. Paul talks about a battle between the Spirit and the flesh, that is just out there and the only way you can win is through a daily, constant turning to God. There are some mornings I wake up and open my eyes, I don't even put my feet on the floor. I reach my hand right up in the air and say, "Lord, I don't want to go through this day without you." He gives you power.

Jamie: It's okay to repeat the same prayers.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Jamie: What I'm asking God every day is help me to change my heart and renew my mind. I can ask Him that constantly like that woman did to the Judge in the parable.

Pastor Doug: Yes, exactly. Luke 18. Exactly, you're on the right track. You may have to ask God to forgive you several times for the same sin and don't get discouraged. I always tell people that Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is easy, I did it 100 times. Staying quit is the hard part." I quit smoking I don't know how many times before I actually quit for good, now it's been 38 years. Yes, He can give you victory and you just seek after Him every day, keep praying, and we'd like to send you a study guide that talks about what is the new birth.

Pastor Ross: All you need to do is give us a call on our resource line and we'll be happy to give you a couple of resources dealing with this. We have one called Rescue from Above that talks about this new birth experience. We also have a book called The Surrender of Self. It's not one that we offer too often, but it's a great resource talking about how do we surrender ourselves to Christ.

We'll be happy to send that to you Jamie or anybody wanting to learn more about this very important subject. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You're going to ask for the study guide called Rescue from Above, also the book called The Surrender of Self. We'd be happy to send that to anyone or read it for free online at amazingfacts.org. The phone number here to the studio, if you have a Bible question is 800-463-7297, that's 800-463-7297.

We have Elizabeth listening from Jersey City. Elizabeth, welcome to the program.

Elizabeth: I wanted to know in Sodom and Gomorrah, when they asked them to send the men out. It happened again in the Bible, I'm not sure where it is--

Pastor Doug: In the book of Judges.

Elizabeth: Excuse me.

Pastor Doug: Yes, it happens a similar experience in the book of Judges.

Elizabeth: Judges, okay. Were the 12 men they went and asked, were those the disciples or just 12 men of the state? I don't understand that.

Pastor Doug: What 12 men are you talking about?

Elizabeth: When they asked him should he take revenge on it. Remember he chops the body up in --

Pastor Doug: Yes, actually what the man did in the book of Judges-- now, let me just tell our friends that are listening Elizabeth because you and I know the story, but they don't. In the book of Judges, there was this man who on his way back to his home country with his wife he stayed over at an old man's house in the town of Gibeon and evil men of the city surrounded the house, forced them to send out the man's wife.

They abused her all night until she died. That man took his wife and he sent part of his wife's body with messengers to the 12 tribes-- the 12 leaders of Israel saying, "Look what they did to my wife. They abused and they killed my wife and this is in the town of Israel. There needs to be justice."

All of the other 11 tribes of Israel gathered against the tribe of Benjamin, so there was a war because of what they had done to this man's wife. He was also a priest. He was a Levite, so that made it even more-- it seemed like it was more egregious to the people.

I forget what Judges-- I think it's one of the last stories in Judges Pastor Ross, when it talks about the Levite from Mt. Ephraim that went to Bethlehem. It's a very interesting story, it's got a lot of spiritual analogies to it because he's going from Bethlehem which is where Jesus was born to the house of God and his wife is abused on the way. It's what the Devil has done to the bride of Christ-- the church, on her way from the place of Jesus birth to the house of God-- heaven.

There's some interesting analogies in the story.

Pastor Ross: The passage you're referring to is Judges 19, you can read the story there.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I wouldn't tell children to read that story. It's . Yes, you want to put your children in another room if you're going to read that out loud. Thank you Elizabeth and appreciate your question. By the way, you might be interested in the Amazing Facts study guide series, it sounds like you're starting to dig into the Bible.

Pastor Ross: All you have to do is call our resource line and say you'd like to get the free Amazing Facts study course. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Again, 800-835-6747 and ask for the Amazing Facts study guide series. Our next caller is Wolishi, listening from Jefferson City, Missouri. I think it's Wolishi, welcome to the program.

Woloshi: Thank you. It's Woloshi and thank you for letting me ask a question. If two people have committed themselves together, they've been together 10 years. We do everything as husband and wife and we prayed outside to God asking Him to accept our relationship the way it is. Is that okay or is that still a sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, the question would be are you legally married or are you not legally married? If not, why not go ahead?

Woloshi: I don't believe in a piece of paper and that I don't believe that the state should govern relationships.

Pastor Doug: Well, of course marriage is not just a piece of paper, it's a covenant that you do publicly. The reason that it makes sense Biblically for that covenant to be registered socially-- we're using the word government and nobody likes government. It's not-- Biblically weddings were public not because it was a government issue.

Weddings were public because you're making a covenant that everyone recognizes to forsake all others, to commit your lives together and basically say, "This man and this woman are off the market, we've made a covenant together."

Woloshi: Okay, if we did something similar to that but the Cherokee way, a Cherokee ceremony. There were lots of people present to witness what we did, we just didn't do it in a court room or--

Pastor Doug: Now, you're in Missouri. In North America, different states have different common law laws and if you're--

Woloshi: Yes, we're not a common law state.

Pastor Doug: Okay, I wondered. I don't think too many are actually. You have to ask yourself-- I'm assuming you're calling that you're a believer, you're a Christian.

Woloshi: Yes sir, I am and so is my husband.

Pastor Doug: If you're both Christians and if the Bible says that part of Christianity is obeying the laws of the land, if someone was to ask you if you're legally married would you say yes or no?

Woloshi: I would say yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, then why are you asking me?

Woloshi: Well, because we didn't do it with the paper and stuff.

Pastor Doug: You have doubts about whether you're legally married?

Woloshi: No, I just don't believe that they have to make you do that, it's like they keep a record on you. It feels invasive is the best way to put it because we've been together for 10 years.

Pastor Doug: If you have a cell phone we're [laughs] all registered, we're all being watched. Anyway, I would just suggest as a Christian it's your witness it's important. If a person says, "Are you married?" You want to be able to say yes or no whether or not you're married. If you're having doubts about it then that hurts your witness so I'd recommend that you're able to say, "Yes, I am married, we are legally married."

Anyway friends, I appreciate your question, by the way we do have a book that's called Marriage, Divorce, and Re-marriage and we'll be happy to send you a copy Woloshi-- if I said that right. Just call the resource number. You are listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug before we take our break I'd like to remind folks of some of the great resources available at the website that Amazing Facts has. A little earlier in the program we mentioned the Amazing Facts Bible School course that we have. We have this Bible school course actually online and anyone can enroll in the Bible school and you can study through these lessons at your own pace and the website is bibleuniverse.com.

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's an incredible resource because not only do you have the lessons there in English, but the lessons are there in dozens of languages. Matter of fact, for any of our friends out there if you have anybody that speaks Mandarin or even Cantonese, Amazing Facts has one of the largest resources for Christians in Mandarin and Cantonese at our website. You can link to that if you go to Amazing Facts, you'll find more information.

We're going to have more questions, don't go too far.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Hello listening friends we're back. This is Bible Answers Live, if you've joined as along the way. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross and friends the phone lines are open. If you have a Bible related question it's a great time to pick up your phone and give us a call. The number is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. Well, I think we are going to go to our next caller. We have Keith who is listening from Michigan. Keith, welcome to the program.

Keith: Hello.

Pastor Ross: You're on the air.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Keith: Hi, good evening. God blessed you guys for your ministry.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Keith: I have a-- it's a two-part question. The first part being the part in the Bible where it speaks about you can sin against God the Father, God the Son, but if you sin against the Holy Spirit it's an unforgivable sign. Basically what that means to do that, I've heard a couple of different speculations about how could that be interpreted. Then the second would be regarding-- in the book of the Acts, speaking about how the Holy Spirit came upon different believers and that type of thing.

Having-- I believe in the Bible. I believe the word, that isn't about a part I have a doubt about. It's just knowing whether or not just being a believer gives you the Holy Spirit there's something else. The gift where you know you have the Holy Spirit, not just your own desire to change.

Pastor Doug: Right. Well, two things. First question you asked about is based on Matthew 12:31, it's also in Mark 3. The Sin, the unforgivable sin or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you," this is Matthew 12:31, "every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men." That's a wonderful-- right there, just stop there. That's a wonderful verse.

Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit of God will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man it would be forgiven him. Jesus hung on the cross his father forgive them, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven him either in this age or the age to come.

That of course, makes everyone shudder because they wonder, "Have I gone to the point of no return. Is there no forgiveness at some point?" Well, Jesus said there is a sin for which there can be no forgiveness. That doesn't mean-- sin does not always mean one act. Sin can mean a pattern or a behavior and this is a case where it's talking about resisting the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy.

If a person continues to turn off the volume when God speaks to us, we can grieve way the Holy Spirit. Paul says, 'Grieve not the Holy Spirit" in Ephesians 6. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to grieve away the Spirit-- to call what the Spirit is doing, the work of the devil.

By the way in Mathew 12 just before Jesus makes this statement, his enemies were accusing him of casting out Satan with Satan. In other words, they were rejecting the evidence of the spirit. Jesus said, "That's very dangerous because if you reject the working of the spirit then what else is God going to use to save you." The second part of your question was real deal--

By the way, we have a book that we can send you that's called Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin? In your second question you were saying how do you know that you have the Holy Spirit? Well, the Holy Spirit comes to not only comfort us and to empower us, but the Holy Spirit comes in different degrees to even convict us.

The lost person who is not even in church, the Holy Spirit will work in their life to bring them to John the Baptist at the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit works in our lives to convict us of our sins. Even after David committed that terrible sin Bathsheba, he prayed in Psalm 51, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me." It was the Holy Spirit that convicted David of what he had done.

God's spirit comes in varying degrees-- at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came out in great power. We have a second book that we could mention to you as well Keith, and that's the book talking about the Holy Spirit that we'll be happy to share with you. I've got a book I wrote recently that talks about being in the spirit and what that means.

Pastor Ross: To receive these resources call our resource line that's 800-835-6747. You can ask about the book talking about What is the Unpardonable Sin? Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and also the one dealing with the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Called The Holy Spirit: The Need.

Pastor Ross: We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. You can also read it for free online at amazingfacts.org. You know Pastor, I just one extra thought on that idea of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, blasphemy is defined as this putting oneself in the place of God. Then another function of the Holy Spirit is to convict a person of sin. Blasphemy is also excusing sin.

Somebody who is a sinner against the Holy Spirit instead of allowing the Holy Spirit through the word of God to direct their life-- reveal to them what is right or what is wrong. They excuse sin in their own life by saying, "This doesn't really matter." They put themselves in the place of God. Somebody that continues to go down that track, there is a hardening of the heart where the conviction of right and wrong eventually wears off.

Where you don't hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you. That's something that Jesus in particular, is warning against saying, "Be careful. That's a dangerous condition for a person to be in."

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. Yes, I recommend that you send for those free books Keith or you can read-- I think you can read at least the book on the Holy Spirit for free online. The Holy Spirit: The Need. Thank you very much for your call.

Pastor Ross: We have Jason listening from San Antonio, Texas. Jason welcome to the program.

Jason: Hello. Thank you for having me.

Pastor Doug: Yes, sir. How can we help you tonight?

Jason: Yes, I was curious as to the story of Lazarus and exactly how and why he died? How and why-- I've heard stories that he was risen. I guess that Jesus rose him from the dead. I just wanted to know his intentions behind that act?

Pastor Doug: Yes, you'll find the account of the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11. It's interesting that some of the other Bible writers don't mention that. Part of the reason is Lazarus was still alive maybe, when Mark and Matthew wrote their Gospels. It tells us in the Gospel of John they wanted to kill Lazarus because he was living evidence of the power of God. He had to go undercover for a while because it was such a miracle.

He had been dead not just for a little while, he had been dead for nearly four days. Some of the people Jesus raised-- a little girl had just died, only been dead a few hours and he raised her-- the daughter of Jairus. Jesus resurrected a young man that was on his way to a funeral, he had not been dead that long. Lazarus was already buried, so there was no hiding that he was dead because when they rolled away the stone they could actually smell his decomposition.

That's all you'll find that in the gospel of John. If you read Chapter 11, the whole chapter is dedicated to that.

Pastor Ross: That story of the resurrection of Lazarus took place just before Christ crucifixion and it was a very powerful testimony to the religious leaders as to the divinity of Christ. Yet despite the fact that it was very evident to everyone that Lazarus was dead and Christ had raised from the dead. The amazing thing is that the religious leaders still pursued their objective of trying to get rid of Jesus despite the evidence.

Pastor Doug: I know it's just amazing how stubborn lost people can be.

Pastor Ross: That's right. That almost ties in with what Jesus said. He said the sin that cannot be forgiven, that hardening of the heart. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, they had reached that point where despite all the evidence they still refused to believe.

Pastor Doug: Pride. That's why the devil of course would rebel against his creator, I mean how crazy is that? To think you could overthrow your creator.

Pastor Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: Anyway thank you, Jason. Hope that helps a little. We do have a lesson that you'd appreciate. That's called Are The Dead Really Dead? It talks about the resurrection.

Pastor Ross: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide dealing with what happens when a person dies, it's called Are The Dead Really Dead? We have Joseph listening from Toronto, Canada. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Greetings, thank you so much. May heaven bless you, the best station in the world. Here in Toronto we have Messianic congregation when it comes to Leviathan, but I want to ask about the-- Isaiah the twenty fourth chapter. Isn't it true that most of those are going to go for a number of days and they will be released after those number of days. Then I have a follow up on the peace process?

Pastor Doug: All right. Well, first question is you're asking about the 24th chapter of Isaiah?

Joseph: Yes, sir.

Pastor Doug: I'm looking at it right now, any verse in particular because the chapter's a long chapter?

Joseph: Well, it ends up with the twenty first verse that it--

Pastor Doug: What's--

Joseph: -Looks like most of the 21st--

Pastor Doug: When it says-- go ahead Pastor Ross, you want to read it?

Pastor Ross: Yes, it's Isaiah 24:21. It says, "It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of the exalted ones and on the earth, the kings of the Earth.

Pastor Doug: Yes, they'll be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit and will be shut up in the prison. After many days they'll be punished." The way I've understood this, is this is something that's going to take place--

You read in Revelation 20 that it says that for a season, the wicked are in their graves. They're brought to the pit. Satan is said to be brought to the pit as Absalom was brought to the pit. For a little season after that 1000 years Gog and Magog are loosed and all the kings that have come against Israel are loosed from their prison during the resurrection of the lost.

They amass against the City of God and then they're judged. That's when it's talking about, "After many days they will be punished." It's very similar to the language you're going to find in Revelation 20 talking about the punishment of Gog and Magog.

Pastor Ross: Joseph, we have a very important lesson called A Thousand Years of Peace and it ties into this passage, Isaiah Chapter 24. Also, Revelation chapter 20 and I think you'll see the connection when you study the two passages together. We'll be happy to send that to you for free, it's called A Thousand Years of Peace. It's Revelation chapter 20 talking about that millennial time period that you also can see reflected there in Isaiah.

Pastor Doug: Now Joseph, we didn't want to cut you off. I think you had a second part to your question.

Joseph: It's just the thirty fourth chapter anyway. It's a follow up but this peace process if I want to get started from it looks like it's not working at all and looks like I really assessed these four chapters is tied up to this, looks like it was a scandal those [unintelligible].

Pastor Doug: Well, I'd have to jump here again now to Isaiah 34. You know these are large passages and typically in a program like this-- you're obviously a serious Bible student. You're getting into some studying large passages of scripture. Program like this it's hard to plow through two chapters of Isaiah, so maybe what we'll do is encourage you to read the study guide we mentioned tonight about the A Thousand years of peace.

It does correspond with Chapter 24 of Isaiah and we'll have to save a chapter 34 for another call. Thank you for your understanding Joseph.

Pastor Ross: We have Phyllis listening from Pasco, Washington. Phyllis, welcome to the program.

Phyllis: Thank you for taking my call. I have a question please on John 6:53 through 57 where it says Jesus is talking and he said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." Then he goes on, "Whoever eats of my flesh-- " Okay, I just can't remember. Maybe somebody explained it to me one time, but I simply don't remember what it means now.

Pastor Doug: Well, it's interesting--

Phyllis: I don't understand that.

Pastor Doug: -When you of course, according to the Jewish law and actually the health laws that go all the way back, physically eating blood was forbidden. Cannibalism-- Jesus is not encouraging that we eat human flesh, that's cannibalism. That was called an abomination in the Bible, it's forbidden so Jesus is obviously speaking in symbolic terms.

At the Lord's Supper when he said to the disciples he gave them a cup of wine and he said, "Take. Drink, this is my blood." Well, obviously it wasn't his literal blood, it was grape juice because he's sitting there with all the blood still in his veins. He's not been sacrificed yet and he hands it to them and he's saying, "This grape juice is a symbol of my blood." The life is in the blood.

The life of Christ being in us, heals us. Then he gave them bread he said, "Take, this is my body," so that blood and that body represents having the life of Christ in us. Jesus said, we must eat his word, the bread of life. Christ is called the bread of life, he's called the Word. That's interesting that the first miracle of Jesus was at a wedding feast and he turned water into wine, a symbol of his blood.

Pastor Ross: This is a great passage. We shouldn't be surprised if it's a little hard to understand, the disciples even had a hard time with it as you read in verse 60. They said after Jesus said except eat my flesh and drink my blood, they said, "This is a hard saying, who can understand it?" Then Jesus explains what he means in verse 63 when he says, "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing.

The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, they are life." To eat Christ's flesh is to receive his word.

Pastor Doug: That's it and he explains it himself, that's perfect. Just for a little fun Phyllis, it says in John chapter 6 verse 66 so you get John 666 after--

Phyllis: Yes, I do it is.

Pastor Doug: -It says here from that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more. That's probably a coincidence, but it still strikes me as odd that John 666 [laughs] says they walked away from Jesus. Anyway, but yes the bread and eating my flesh drinking my blood, he said the words that I speak to you they are spirit and their life he's talking about his words.

Phyllis: Okay I thank you so much. I should have got that, but I just didn't and I have another really quick question if I have time?

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Phyllis: I don't believe like any denomination perfectly, so I was wondering that really puts me on the outs of everywhere, but I know I need to-- it says, "Don't forsake the assembly, but I don't know where to go. I just don't know what to do?

Pastor Doug: Well, can I make a suggestion?

Phyllis: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Let us send you the Amazing Facts Bible Study Course-- it's free, you study that and it will guide you in finding a church that is more in harmony with the scripture. That's what we're concerned with, is that you go to a church that follows the scripture. If you'll let us send you that-- there's no charge nobody's going to harass you, I think it will transform your life.

Phyllis: Okay, so what's it called please?

Pastor Ross: All you have to do is just call our resource line, I'll give you the number here in just a moment. Then just ask that you'd like to enroll in the free Amazing Facts Bible course and they'll get you signed up and we'll send you the studies in the mail. Again, the number is 8008356747. That is our resource line and again, just ask if you can enroll in the online-- actually, we can do it through the mail or you can do it online Amazing Facts and you'll really enjoy that program.

Pastor Doug: Amen, and it'll guide her and anyone-- if you're trying to find a church that's a biblical church, that's a great place to start. You don't want to just use the yellow pages, pray and put your finger down. You want to find a place that teaches the Word.

Pastor Ross: We have Maria listening from the Virgin Islands. Maria, welcome to the program.

Maria: Why, good evening? I just want to say thanks for taking my call, I watch you all the time on 3ABN. I'm so glad to be talking with you.

Pastor Doug: Our pleasure.

Maria: There's one question I had in regards to-- you just spoke earlier about Moses raising after three days from the dead and I was just curious about where you got that. I know in Jude, he spoke about Michael and the archangel contending with the devil with the spirit of the body of Moses. I just wanted you to elaborate on that a little bit for me?

Pastor Doug: It's not in the Bible and [laughs] that doesn't mean it's not true. Well, let's use a little detective work here--

Maria: Okay. [laughs]

Pastor Doug: We know from the Bible that there was a resurrection because it says in Jude verse 9 Michael comes to dispute with the devil over the body of Moses. We know that Moses was raised because Moses appears to Jesus in Mark chapter 9 and in Luke Chapter 9 on the Mount of transfiguration. We know Moses is in heaven now, we know Moses died so the question is, where does it say that he was raised three days later?

Well, it doesn't say that in the Bible, but it does in Jewish tradition. We have no reason to doubt it because it's in a book-- an ancient book called The Assumption of Moses. It comes from an old Jewish tradition that God raised Moses up three days after his death so that Moses would not see corruption because they believed the body died-- A body corrupted after three days.

Which is why it was a miracle Jesus raised Lazarus after four days, so we have no reason to disbelieve that because we know that Jesus did raise Moses. We just don't know how long he was in the grave. Another reason we think that it was only three days is God said he would raise Moses up to watch the children of Israel cross over into the Promised Land and so Moses got to see that from a balcony seat with the Lord in heaven.

Maria: Okay, great thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: All right, thank you. Good question.

Pastor Ross: We have Lewis listening from Vallejo, California. Lewis, welcome to the program.

Lewis: Hi? Hello guys?

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Lewis: Thank you for taking my call. I had a question when is your opinion the point of salvation? I've been reading a lot of scriptures and there's a lot of talk of baptism. There's two in particular, I wanted to share with you guys and to just get your thoughts. First one's in Acts 2:38, Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

The other scripture was in Romans, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Thus we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."

Pastor Doug: You're wondering where would you put the pivotal moment when a person goes from death to life? I actually think it can happen before baptism. Now, I believe that baptism is very important. We teach that, but let me tell you why. When Jesus was walking underneath the tree and he saw Zacchaeus. He said, "Zacchaeus, come because I must eat at your house today."

Zacchaeus was seeking for God, that's why he said he wanted to see Jesus. He's searching for Him. Zacchaeus comes out of the tree and he's so honored that God would come and eat at the house of a publican, it's softened his heart. He said, "Lord." He repents of his sins, he says, "Lord, half my goods I give to the poor. If I've stolen from anyone by false accusations, I'm going to pay them back fourfold."

Then Jesus says, "This day is salvation come to this house." At the moment when Zacchaeus accepts Jesus and receives him into his heart and his house, Jesus said, "You are a son of Abraham." At the moment when a person surrenders their heart to Jesus and accepts by faith the Lord and eternal life, they get it then.They don't have to go through probation. Baptism should come shortly after if they've not been baptized.

We're not saved as the person comes up out of the water. A person really needs to be in love with the Lord before even baptism.

Pastor Ross: Of course, baptism is important because it's that public declaration that you're on the Lord's side. I guess the question would be Pastor Doug, if somebody claims to have been saved and yet they refuse to acknowledge that or be baptized and declare their faith. Well, then you'd want to ask--

Pastor Doug: Their faith is suspect.

Pastor Ross: Yes, have they surrendered themselves completely to God.

Pastor Doug: If a person believes the Bible, they've surrendered. Jesus said-- God said to Paul, "Go and be baptized and wash away your sin calling on the name of the Lord." Paul repented of his sins before his baptism. You almost think the heart really is renewed if Paul had died on his way to his baptism, would he be saved? I think so. [laughs]

As long as his heart was surrendered and he's willing to do the right thing, I just think it's important that as Christians like the thief on the cross, Jesus said, "I'm telling you today, you'll be with me in paradise."

The moment that he said he accepted Jesus and he turned to Jesus, he was forgiven. Now, if he could come down from the cross, he would have gone and got baptized. Hope that helps a little bit in-- By the way, we do have a study that talks about salvation we offered once tonight.

Pastor Ross: The study guide is called The Ultimate Deliverance, talking about salvation, rescue from above. We also have a book called Baptism: Is it really necessary? Which deals with the subject as well. We'd be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. 800-835-6747. We've got Michael listening in Los Angeles. Michael, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Michael, we've got about one minute, can we do it?

Michael: Okay. Let's see. Real quick. Thank you for taking my call. My question was about-- you were just speaking on it, about communion because I'm in a church that only believes that taking a communion once a year. Should I really be concerned about that?

Pastor Doug: Okay. Great question. Let me give you a quick answer. There's nothing wrong with doing communion more frequently. There's no command in the Bible that you need to do communion. Some churches do it every week. I think that's too often because it can start becoming redundant. It becomes a ritual and you don't really get the blessing.

If you do it once a year, you might miss it and a couple years could go by. Many churches-- like in some Baptist and Protestant churches, they practice communion maybe once a quarter and that's probably not a bad practice. Anyway, I don't know what you think, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Well, you have for example, the Passover that was once a year and like you say, Pastor Doug, if you only do it once a year, you might miss it. Paul says, "Well, Jesus says whenever you do this, do this in remembrance of me." There's nothing wrong with doing it more than once a year.

Pastor Doug: That's the idea. It's our salvation is not based on the number of times we celebrate that ordinance. It's really based on our faith in the Lord. Listening friends, I apologize if we didn't get to your call tonight. God willing, we'll back next week during the same time. We want you to remember, you can keep in touch with us by going to amazingfacts.org and we'd love to hear from you.

This is a totally listener-supported station. You can just click amazingfacts.org and then click donate. We'd appreciate it. God bless you, friends. We'll study again next week.

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