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A Great Wedding Feast

Scripture: Hebrews 9:12
Date: 05/17/2015 
According to the New York Daily News, the most beautiful restaurant in the world is the Ithaa in the Maldives islands. This exotic restaurant sits within a large Plexiglas room 16 feet below the Indian Ocean surface. It offers diners a spectacular 180-degree panoramic view of the coral gardens and schools of fluorescent fish swimming around it.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello, friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

According to the New York Daily News, the most beautiful restaurant in the world is the Ithaa in the Maldives islands. This exotic restaurant sits within a large Plexiglas room 16 feet below the Indian Ocean surface. It offers diners a spectacular 180-degree panoramic view of the coral gardens and schools of fluorescent fish swimming around it.

The Ithaa is not only beautiful, it’s expensive. The restaurant serves European cuisine in a six-course dinner menu starting at no less than $320 per person and that’s without drinks or tips. On average, the price usually comes to about $500 per person to eat there.

Did you know the Bible says that God has prepared an even more beautiful, expensive, and exotic place for you to eat a feast and he’s already paid for it? Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

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

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

Pastor Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live and this is one of the most exciting times of the week for us when we get to listen to friends calling in with their Bible questions from around the country. We never know exactly what the questions are going to be, we pray that the Lord will lead and you can call in with your Bible question.

We have lines open right now, that number, free phone call, 800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297 will bring your Bible question into the studio. If you have questions about the Word of God or living the Christian life, we’ll do our best to search the biblical resources at our fingertips and find the answers together. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends, Pastor Doug. Before we get to the Bible questions, let’s start with a word of prayer.

Dear Father, we thank you for this opportunity once again to spend a few moments in your word, we want to invite your presence, your Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and our minds and be with those who are listening in Jesus' name, Amen.

Pastor Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Well, Pastor Doug, you opened the program. We’re talking about a very expensive meal. I mean you can just imagine not only is it about $500 per person to eat there, but then you’ve got to think about the travel cost because this is an island out in the ocean, so you’re going to have to get there one way or another and then, of course, all the accommodation and everything else. This is a very expensive evening out without a doubt.

Pastor Batchelor: If a person had multiplied thousands of dollars they wanted to blow on a memorable vacation, they not only have this underwater restaurant, they have hotel rooms that are there situated under the ocean surrounded by coral reefs where you look up and you just see the ocean above you and there’s your bed and your nightstand and everything. I can’t even imagine what that cost, but that would be special.

But then I think about what God has promised for the redeemed in heaven and the Bible ends in Revelation 19, talking about God inviting us to a great wedding feast. Revelation 19:6, "And I heard a voice as it was the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering saying hallelujah for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory for the marriage of the lamb has come and his wife has made herself ready and we get to go to the marriage supper of the lamb.”

You can read about that in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him and he with me." Can you imagine what it’ll be like eating the food in heaven, being angels as waiters, sitting at this table in a glorious world where there’s no more death and forget about just the fish in the Indian Ocean. You’ll be surrounded with exotic life and animals you can’t even imagine.

Friends, you have a reservation at that restaurant. Jesus said I’ve gone to prepare a place for you and if I go, I’ll come again. Will you be ready to join him and go to that wedding feast he has prepared? We’d like to tell you how you can be ready.

Pastor Ross: One of the most important question anybody can ever ask is, “Well, how can I be ready when Jesus comes?” We have a book called Three Steps to Heaven, it’ll give you Bible principles, things that you need to do in order to come into that saving relationship with Jesus.

If you know Jesus, I'd encourage you to read this book as well, it will encourage you in your walk of faith. We’ll send this to you for free if you just call our resource number. The number is 800-835-6747. That's 800-835-6747, you're going to ask for the book Three Steps to Heaven. We’ll be happy to send that to you or you can read it for free online at the Amazing Facts website; amazingfacts.org.

Pastor Batchelor: Now, Pastor Ross, folks, you're probably wondering, I’ve been kind of flying solo the last three weeks and I keep making excuses for you because ostensibly, you were out of the country. Where were you? What were you doing?

Pastor Ross: I was. We were over in South Africa. Actually, two big cities there; Durban for the first weekend, and the second weekend wherein actually, the city I was born in which is Cape Town right on the very tip of Africa. We did some training programs there and a big camp meeting that we did in Durban.

I want to greet our friends listening from South Africa. We have quite a few who actually listen online, so we want to greet them. We had a wonderful time, just really blessed. The spirit was there and it was a great privilege to be a part of that program. But as they say, it’s always nice to be back home and getting over jet lag and some of the other things that come up with travel.

Pastor Batchelor: Lucky for you, you’ve been waking up about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning lately. [laughs]

Pastor Ross: I have.

Pastor Batchelor: This right now is the end of-

Pastor Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Batchelor: -your day, so we pray God gives you a strength and-- welcome home. With that, maybe we’ll go to the phones and see who is calling with a question.

Pastor Ross: All right. Our first caller this evening, we have Gilbert who is listening from New York, New York. Gilbert, welcome to the program.

Gilbert: Yes, I have a question. I want to know where do pets; cats and dogs go if they pass away, they die?

Pastor Ross: Well, you mean do they have souls that are reincarnated or do they resurrect? Is that what you’re wondering?

Gilbert: Resurrected souls, like that.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. The Bible does tell us there are animals in the new earth and you can read that. I think, Pastor Ross, that's in Isaiah 11 and one other, at least one other passage in Isaiah where it says, "The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the lion and the bear and the kid will all be there." Kid, meaning a little goat. They don’t hurt or destroy and the lion will eat straw like the ox. So, it talks about animals being in heaven. The big question is what about if you’ve got a loved pet here on earth and it’s interesting you had asked this question, Gilbert, because our family had a family cat for 16 years that passed away about a week ago.

So, we’re feeling some sadness about that and there is no-- I’d love to tell you I can show you a scripture where it says our pets are going to be in heaven. There is a verse that says, "The righteous man regards the life of his beast but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." And you know? God spoke through a donkey.

There is a book a friend of ours wrote by the name of Steve Wohlberg, he wrote a book called Will My Pets Be in Heaven. If you just type that title into Google, it’ll direct you to where you can get that book. I don’t know if you can read it online or not, but he’s got a lot of scriptures on the subject, but there’s no direct verse that says our pets are going to be in heaven or what happens to them.

Pastor Ross: The verse you’re referring to in Isaiah, it's Isaiah 11:7, it talks about the bear, the cow, and it talks about the lion. Of course, in heaven and in the new earth, none of these animals that now are vicious and violent, they will be docile. A matter of fact, it says here in Isaiah 11:7 that the lion is going to eat straw like the ox.

Pastor Batchelor: I remember, Pastor Ross, I was kind of jealous. You grew up, you had a pet monkey.

Pastor Ross: I did.

Pastor Batchelor: South Africa. [laughs]

Pastor Ross: Great pet.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, but you wonder will the Lord surprise me when I get to my heavenly mansion. What was the name your little monkey?

Pastor Ross: Pedro.

Pastor Batchelor: Pedro? Well, Pedro will suddenly come leaping around. It’d be wonderful, but--

Pastor Ross: Okay. That would be a joy, yes.

Pastor Batchelor: We can’t imagine what God’s prepared for us, but, Gilbert, unfortunately, we don’t have a verse where we have that promise and the Lord tells us that humans will be resurrected but nothing says that animals have eternal souls. Thank you for your question. You can check on the internet for that book by Steve Wohlberg; Will My Pets Be in Heaven. With that, we’re going to go to another call.

Pastor Ross: We have Daryl listening from Gulf Breeze, Florida. Daryl, welcome to the program.

Daryl: Hey. Okay. My question is my family and I were studying the Bible and you know how David had multiple wives. So, my daughter asked, "Well, would it have been okay if a woman wanted to have multiple husbands?" Another question is like-- I know Pastor Doug, you spoke about God intended for man to have one wife and because we looked at the Garden of Eden and stuff. I was wondering myself when David had all these wives, why didn't God tell Nathan the Prophet to go to David and say, "No, you can only have one wife." That's how we worked it around here.

Then the last question is how-- when in the Old Testament talks about a man who takes a woman in covenant marriage, a virgin, but it's found out later that she's not a virgin, then she gets punished like stoning or something like that. My daughter was asking, "Well, if a man and woman came together in the Old Testament and they found out that the husband was not a virgin, would he get stoned?" So, she's asking all these equality-type questions.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, good questions. I don't if I'll be able to answer all three in detail, but the first thing is it is not God's will for a man or a woman to have multiple spouses because God gives the ideal in Genesis where God made one woman for man. He didn't make multiple men for Eve or multiple women for Adam. Because of the ignorance of the times and sin in people's hearts, then it's as God winked at these times of ignorance and that's an X chapter 1730 I think. Go ahead.

Pastor Ross: Another thought on that, something that came to mind. Well, actually, over in Africa, we were visiting some Zulu tribespeople and they were talking about the multiple wives that they have. Somebody asked the question, "Well, why is it that the husbands had multiple wives but the wives only had one husband?"

They gave an interesting explanation. He said, "Number one; there were more women than men because the men would be the ones who would go to battle, typically." You'd have more than one woman that would need to be connected with the man and then as far as the family lineage would be carried down from father to son, if there were multiple husbands and one wife, there'd be a lot of confusion as to whose son he actually is whereas if you have one husband and multiple wives, it's quite clear to know whose son it is.

So, there were some practical reasons, at least, in Bible times for why under certain circumstances it was permitted. But if you look at the accounts specified in the Bible, whenever that happened, the results always ended up bad for both parties involved.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, and in the law of Moses, when a man and a woman, if they committed adultery, they were both equally guilty. So, the laws about virginity that your daughter may have read, I don't know if that is Leviticus. I think it may be, but it was also just as important that the man was also faithful.

Some of this has to do just with the actual biological functions of men and women. I don't want to get into a lot of detail on the radio, but I will say this; it is possible in three months for one man to father 50 children, if he's got 50 wives. But if a wife has 50 husbands, she's only going to have one baby in a nine-month period of time.

So, they were wanting these men also to grow their families because that was their social security. They said, "Happy is the man that has his quiver full of children." But it was never God's will to have for one man to have more than one wife. Thank you very much. We appreciate your question, Daryl. I hope that helps your daughter a little bit.

Pastor Ross: We have Dennis listening from Crosslake. Dennis, welcome to the program.

Dennis: Hello, Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Batchelor: Hi.

Dennis: I feel I've been a believer in Christ for a few years and that I'm saved and I was blessed with many, many blessings I think. My wife was going real good and all of a sudden, I got entangled with a woman in moral respects and my blessings all left me. Now, I've repented that but how do I get my blessings back?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, I'll tell you there's a story in the New Testament where Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem with Jesus when he was 12 years old and they lost sight of him, they lost track of him. They left him at the temple and just assumed he was in the crowd and then after three days, they finally found him back in the temple.

I heard one Bible writer say, "We take our eyes off Jesus and we may have to spend three days sorrowing." That's what Mary said, "We have spent three days sorrowing looking for you."

When we do fall and we repent, it doesn't mean you instantly get up. When David fell morally, there were consequences and even though in Psalm 51, he repents, he says, "Lord, take not Your Holy Spirit from me." God forgave David, but the consequences of what he did didn't immediately go away. The blessings of God did come back into his life and into his kingdom and he died with peace and Solomon on the throne.

So, I would just say be faithful. You might have to compensate. God forgives you when you genuinely repent, so that's settled. He's not putting you on probation. When you repent and you ask, His blood covers your sin and you're forgiven. But there's consequences that don't evaporate and even things that affect you in your thinking and your nature. Mary and Joseph found Jesus back at the House of God, spend as much time as you can with the word of the Lord, with the people of God in prayer and devotions and you'll experience that new beginning.

Pastor Ross: You've got to claim the promises and scripture and trust, but also recognize there are consequences to behaviors. Pray for strength that God will give you strength and wisdom so you can move forward in the way He'd have you to go.

Pastor Batchelor: Appreciate that call, Dennis. You'll enjoy that book that we're offering tonight; Three Steps to Heaven, it's really inspiring. Even though I think you're acquainted with some of these, just reviewing that would be good.

Pastor Ross: The number to call 800-835-6747. That is the resource line. You can ask for the book, Three Steps to Heaven. You can also read it for free online amazingfacts.org. We have Fred who's listening on WMCA from CT. I don't know if that's-- is that Connecticut or-

Pastor Batchelor: Probably Connecticut.

Pastor Ross: -Cape Town or--? I'm not sure. Fred, welcome to the program.

Fred: Yes, I wanted to ask a question concerning conjoined twins. Are they considered two souls or one soul?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, most conjoined twins have two completely different minds, heads, and brains, so they're two people just like twins would be. What's happened though is because of some genetic defects and that affects all kinds of people biologically, parts of their tissues become fused in the development process, but they still have independent minds.

The famous Siamese twins that traveled with Barnum Circus. They were two completely different people married to two different women, but they were conjoined twins. A lot of questions arise about that, but anyway. Yes, I would say that they're two distinct souls whenever someone's got an individual mind.

Fred: I appreciate that. I asked my pastor and he didn't quite know how to answer that, so that's why I'm telling it out here.

Pastor Batchelor: Let me just take that thought a little further. We all know people that have lost an arm or they've lost a leg and we hear about people that are paralyzed from the waist down or even the neck down. They can still be saved. I'm friends with Joni Eareckson who's got that incredible testimony, broke her neck when she was in a diving accident at 16. Since then, she's done music. She's done art. She's got her radio program and a wheelchair ministry and has had a very fruitful life.

Well, it's all happened from the neck up. So, the most important part is if we've got our mind and that God speaks to us through our minds and our souls. Hope that helps a little, Fred. Yes, I appreciate it. Good question.

Pastor Ross: We have Loretta listening from Savannah, Tennessee on WDNX. Loretta, welcome to the program.

Loretta: Yes, thank you pastor. I appreciate your boldness in spreading the message and answering questions.

Pastor Ross: Could you get real close to your phone, Loretta?

Loretta: Is this better?

Pastor Ross: There we go. That's great.

Loretta: I've got a question. My problem may be more semantics. I was telling someone that I had not seen a verse in the Bible that said that God is fair. First off, is that in the Bible?

Pastor Batchelor: I don't know that you're going to find the phrase "God is fair" in the Bible. It talks about God being just in the Bible.

Loretta: That's the second part of my question. Are those terms synonymous?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, no.

Loretta: Let me tell you what the question was.

Pastor Batchelor: Okay, go ahead.

Loretta: My explanation was that if God was fair, we'd be dead because the way it is a sin is death, but because of His sacrifice and His justice, we're able to have life here and able to accept Christ as our Savior. But in terms of him being fair, that's kind of my question versus [crosstalk].

Pastor Batchelor: Right. Well, some people-- it depends on exactly, like you said, semantics. Some people when they say the word "fair", they're thinking that means everybody should be born with the same opportunity, same physical, mental, abilities, same-- that would be fair for everyone. Level the playing field, everyone gets the same thing, but you really end up with people all of the same personality and so forth.

God is just in that people are created with all kinds of unique individual abilities and gifts skills, varying advantages and disadvantages. I'll never forget. I'm meeting a lady in India. We were doing ministry among very poor people in these villages and this lady had been deformed and bent over, and in a lot of pain, all of her life and she came through a translator. She was crying and saying, "Why has God let me suffer so much all my life?"

She didn't do anything wrong. She was born this way. She spent her life begging and you don't have an answer for that other than to say, "It's because of sin." The whole race is-- the whole world has been cursed because of the rebellion. So, some people say, "Well, because that God's not fair." But what God is just in that when we come to Him, it says He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Faithful and just, according to the law, we deserve to die as you said.

Loretta: Correct.

Pastor Batchelor: It said to provide justice for the law, it says, "I'll die in your place, and so I'm fulfilling the just requirements of the law." Some will be saying, "Well, if God was really fair, then why do some people repent and some people don't? Why will some be saved and many will not? God is not fair." Well God makes us free, so we have a choice. Anyway, you're-- go ahead, I'm sorry.

Loretta: So, you can't say He isn't fair?

Pastor Ross: Well, I think in one sense, yes. I mean God absolutely is fair in that everyone and anyone has the opportunity for salvation. So, nobody can say, "Well, God's not fair in that he didn't provide a means for me to be saved." No, Christ's sacrifice is able to save me at most. Those who come to Him by faith, but in the sense of every person, their life experience being the same, some having it better than others, I think it's pretty evident that there are a number of circumstances that come into place to where people are born, what families they are born into, what the religion of the country might be. So, these are the things that need to be considered, too.

Pastor Ross: We appreciate that Loretta and we do have a law-- we do have a lesson that talks about the law and the Justice of God. We'll be happy to give you a free copy and it's called Facing the Judge. That's right. Talking about God's fairness and justice. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks, it's called Facing the Judge. The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is the resource line. You can also read the lesson for free online at Amazing Facts; amazingfacts.org.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, Pastor Ross, I actually misspoke. We updated the title of that lesson and it's the same lesson, but it's called Case Closed.

Pastor Ross: Okay.

Pastor Batchelor: Case Closed, I'm sorry.

Pastor Ross: Case Closed. All right. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who call and ask. From New York, New York, Ed, welcome to the program.

Ed: I got a question for you. There's a very famous person here in New York City. He was a politician and though he was not of the Christian faith at all, but yet he had himself buried in a Christian Cemetery. I thought that was kind of odd because the Bible says "The dead know nothing," so it wouldn't affect him either way, but people coming to visit their relatives who are Christians may be put off by that fact that a person is in the fold of the Antichrist and not a Christian, so is that proper?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, there are people that-- they figure just in case we're going to cover our bases, maybe I'll get some credit if I-- even though I've not lived a Christian life get buried in a church graveyard, put a cross on top and somehow that's like a good luck charm. Who knows what the reasons were but obviously--

Ed: Well, he gave his reason.

Pastor Batchelor: What did he say?

Ed: He said that the cemetery where he was buried would be easier to get to so people can come visit him. He didn't choose that for any godly reasons. He chose that for vanity reasons.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, whoever manages the cemetery, if they've got ethics, if it's a church cemetery and someone does not make a profession, I would think that they would not want to allow that. It's like there's a Jewish cemetery in Southern California where my grandparents were built. If someone said, "I'm a Gentile. I want to be buried there." They say, "No." [laughs] That's all there is to it. That's religious freedom. You can do that. It's private property.

Pastor Ross: Of course, the point being, it doesn't matter where you're buried or who you're buried next to, your salvation is dependent upon your decision not upon somebody or someplace where you might be buried or some acquaintance that you might have.

Ed: Thank you very much.

Pastor Batchelor: Thank you so much, Ed.

Ed: Bye-bye.

Pastor Batchelor: All right. Let's go to-- I think it's Larry in line three.

Pastor Ross: We got David, actually.

Pastor Batchelor: Oh, David. I'm sorry.

Pastor Ross: David listening from Willits, California.

Pastor Batchelor: I know where Willits.

Pastor Ross: David, welcome to the program.

David: Yes, Doug I know you do [laughs]. Good to talk to you guys. I've been kind of wondering what your thought is. Now, I know there's translations; New King James, the King James, new, international, and so on. There's like 27. What about these paraphrase Bibles? Now, when I took certain classes for a number of years, they made it really clear that be really careful about those. I'm wondering what you think about those paraphrase Bibles?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, that's a good question. Now, paraphrase is different from a translation is doing its best to try to accurately communicate word for word, making adjustments for differences in language. The words as well as the thoughts from the original. A paraphrase is a person sort of reading it in their-- they might even be reading it in their own language and just try and putting it in simpler terms and they're not very accurate.

One example of a paraphrase; if you read Revelation 13 where it talks about the mark of the beast. Well, it tells the mark in the right hand or in the forehead, and that word in the original is a mark. Some of the paraphrase versions, like I think it's the-- of the Good News Bible. I think it says there is a tattoo in the right hand or the forehead. Well, that's just a great liberty that they're taking that is not at all in the original language. So, for--

I remember when I first accepted the Lord, I read through the Good News Bible and it kind of gave me a great overview. It was easy reading, modern English, some slang terms are a little easier to understand if you're not educated in Scripture, but it's sure not accurate for finer theology.

So, I don't recommend paraphrase for study. It's just good to learn from a good translation like-- King James is one of my favorite. New King James, New American Standard, The New English Bible is also not a bad one. So, some of those are a great way to go.

Anyway, we do have a study guide or a free offer we can make available, David, and it's called the Ultimate Resource. You're listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Ross: Bible Answers Live return in just a moment. If you're looking for Bible-based materials for further study, sign up for amazing faxes free correspondence Bible study course or check out our sale catalog featuring hundreds of inspiring books and tapes.

To order, call our resource line at 800-835-6747. That's 800-835-6747. Amazing Facts is a faith-based listener supported ministry operating exclusively through the generosity of your prayers and financial gifts. We would love to hear from you. Write to us at P.O. Box 909 Roseville California 95678 or online at amazingfacts.org.

You're listening to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. If you have a Bible-related question, call us now to receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. We have a few lines open, so please give us a call. The phone number to the studio is 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297.

Announcer: If you've enjoyed Bible Answers Live, you'll love Pastor Doug's Book of Bible Answers straight from the broadcast, the very best questions and answers have been compiled as an awesome resource for Bible study and personal evangelism. Each answer has been expanded with more Bible verses and insightful commentary. The Book of Bible Answers can be yours today for just $12. Call now 1-800-835-6747 and request offer 257. That's 1-800-356-6747.

Pastor Batchelor: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live and for any friends that have joined us along the way, this is a live, international, interactive, Bible study, and you're invited to call. If you have a Bible question, we are live and that phone number to the studio here in California is 800-- free phone call, 800-GOD-SAYS, 800; that translates into 463-7297. My name is Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Pastor Doug, just before we go back to the phone lines here, we like to let folks know about some of the websites that Amazing Facts has. One that we're very excited about and we've spoken about this before if you're a regular listener of Bible Answers Live, it is a timeline.

For those of you who want to study the Bible and kind of get the context of the different stories, different events, even the different prophecies, it is timeline.biblehistory.com. It's a great resource.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. As a matter of fact, they can just type in biblehistory.com.

Pastor Ross: That'll get it, yes.

Pastor Batchelor: That'll take them there and just cover the scope of Bible history from-- you've seen the panorama from creation through the second or yes, all the way to heaven.

Pastor Ross: Yes, that's brand new.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. All right. With that, who's lined up on the phones?

Pastor Ross: We got Larry. He's listening from North Carolina. Larry, welcome to the program.

Larry: Thank you. I apologize for coming back before several weeks had gone by.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, that's okay. We appreciate anyone-- anytime you want to call.

Larry: I'm looking for independent confirmation that the Bishop of Rome believes a man named Vigilius had temporal power in Rome 538 AD. It's easy to find that he was the Bishop of Rome. It starts through the decline and fall of the Roman Empire until I got a brain fog. [laughs]

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. That's a deep book.

Larry: It is. It's too deep for me.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. First of all, if you're wanting to substantiate the beginning of 538, several prominent events took place at that time. For one thing, the Roman Emperor Justinian gave the first pope an army during that time. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople. The Roman Church went from really being a religious institution to being a religious political institution and they view themselves that way today. That's why the Vatican has ambassadors. That was in 538.

There's a website that specializes in documents that you're looking for. I don't mind sharing this with anybody that wants to know. It's called Bible Light. If you type in Bible Light-- I'd have to look it up here. I think it's .com or .org.

Larry: That's okay. Bible Light.

Pastor Batchelor: Bible Light. It's run by a fellow named Michael Scheifler and he has just collected gobs of documents that talk about some of the biblical history dates. There's books and documents, most of it's free to download online. He'll have extra biblical historical references for you I think at that site. You might have to dig around a little bit, but I've seen them there before.

Larry: Let's say to just to say-- read from one of the more detailed encyclopedias that this church had people in almost every high government place in Europe at that time.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, absolutely. For friends that are listening, what Larry is asking about is there is a time prophecy that appears three times in Revelation. Sometimes, it's listed as 1,260 days, sometimes it's called 42 months. See, the biblical they had 30 biblical month at 30 days; 42 months is 1,260 days, sometimes it's called a time a time and half a times, that means a year, a pair of years and half, three and a half years. So, it all adds up to 1,260 days, it's three and a half years.

That is a time period of the Dark Ages from 538 to 1798. It was a time of great persecution and it's in history. So, if you want to find out more about that, you can--well, you know what? Amazing Facts just came out with a DVD and it's called Revelation: The Bride, The Beast and Babylon and it goes into this in great detail and people can go to amazingfacts.org and look for The Bride, The Beast and Babylon, our new Revelation DVD and it covers all this. It's a 90-minute DVD documentary that I'm almost embarrassed to say, but I bet you, we put about a million dollars into producing this. So, it's high quality, on location, footage from Europe and Israel. Yes, you'll really appreciate that. Thank you very much, Larry, for your call. Hope that helps.

Pastor Ross: We have Lina who is listening from Virginia. Lina, welcome to the program.

Lina: Yes, hello.

Pastor Ross: Hi.

Lina: Thank you so much for your ministries Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean Ross. When Paul is saying absent from the body present with the Lord, it's almost like he's debating with himself, whether it would be better for him to live or die. He says if he lives, it'll benefit the people he's writing to and if he dies, then he'll be with Jesus.

Well, if he thought he would just be asleep until the last day and then be resurrected, why would he even have that and then save them? What value would that be if he's asleep all that time?

Pastor Batchelor: Right. If you read in 2 Corinthians 5:6, "For we are always confident knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith not by sight. We're confident yes well-pleased to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." It is a difficult verse the way it's worded, but one thing we know is that when a believer dies and they die in a saved condition, as far as they are concerned, immediately, their next conscious thought is the resurrection and they're being caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

There's no passing of time. For us, that are on the earth that live in this dimension of time, according to our calendars and clocks, it hasn't happened yet because we know that in the future, before people go to the reward, there's a resurrection and there's a judgment.

So, people don't go to heaven before the resurrection and they don't go to heaven before the judgment. People get the rewards at the coming of the Lord that's why the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4, "And the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet of God, then the dead and Christ will rise." When He comes, they rise.

So, if a believer like Paul dies, the next thing he knows is the coming of the Lord and he's caught up to meet the Lord in the air. It's like you've worked a long day and you go to sleep, the next thing you know it's morning. You have no consciousness that-- some people drift off at their desk and they wake up an hour later and had no idea it was so long.

That's what Paul was saying. He said, "I need to stay here in this life, in this body, and serve you but I'm torn. I'd like to be present with the Lord." I think that's the perspective that they had.

Lina: that when you die, then you'll stay asleep until the last day?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes.

Lena: If he believes that, then why would he even debate that?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, I can debate that right now. In other words, I could say, "Wow, I'd love to go to sleep and wake up and be with Jesus." I would love that, but I've got a family and probably too soon for me to exit their lives and I've got work and church. So, I'm torn. I can see myself thinking exactly what Paul was thinking. I think all of us get sick and tired of being sick and tired in this world and all its sin and we'd love to get out of here and have our next thought be the presence of the Lord.

While the Lord has something for us to do here, we need to stick around. So, I think that's what Paul is saying. You read about all the sufferings of Paul. He went through an awful lot and I don't think he wanted to stick around and just be persecuted every day.

Pastor Ross: We have a book called Absent from the Body. Leanne, we'd be happy to send that to you or anyone who calls and ask for it. Again, the book is called Absent From The Body and it deals with this very passage of scripture. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is our resource line and you can ask the book Absent From The Body. We have Chris listening from New York on WMCA. Chris, welcome to the program.

Chris: Hello, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, we're both here. Thanks for calling.

Chris: My question tonight is about God's will. I had a pastor that I know say to me that the reason why in the Lord's Prayer we pray for God's will is because God's will isn't done in the earth, so we have to pray for God's Will and I just was wondering about that. How does that work, God's will as it operates in the earth?

Pastor Batchelor: That's great. Great, great question. Well, first of all, when it comes to knowing God's will for our lives, that's one question. By the way, I've got a book. We'll send you for free on that called Determining the Will of God. I think I addressed the bigger question you're asking; why do we pray for God's will, if God's sovereign, if He's omnipotent, wouldn't His will always happen? No, because the Bible says, "God is not willing that any would perish." I think that's second 2 Peter 3.

So, obviously, some are perishing and God is not willing that any perish. That means the will of God is not always done. It's not God's will that anyone sin. There's a battle between good and evil and it's not God's will that anyone suffer.

So, there's bad things happening that are not part of God's will that's why we've got to pray, "Thy will be done," and we need to-- why did Jesus pray, "Not my will, thy will be done" when he was in the garden of Gethsemane? Because God's will isn't always done.

He gives us a free choice. God doesn't force us to do everything we do. We get some freedom. Now, God can take bad choices and through his providence, He can work out His will. God can work all things together for good according to Romans 8, but it doesn't say he always works everything out for our good because it's for those that love Him, that surrender to Him. So, does that make sense Chris?

Chris: Well, just the last part. You said that He sometimes works it out for those that love him?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, in that verse in Romans-- what is it 8:28? "All things work together for the good of those that love God." God can work things out for good doesn't mean that God's going to work everything out for good to those that have rebelled against him.

Pastor Ross: Yes, that Romans 8:28.

Pastor Batchelor: So--

Chris: All right. [crosstalk]

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, we'll send you the book if you like. It's How to Determine the Will of God and there's section in there that talks about is God sovereign will, does he mean that he-- everything that happens is his will and that's I think you bigger question.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is the resource line. you can ask for the book How to Determine God's Will and we'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Again, 800-835-6747, the resource line. Our phone line here at the studio, if you have a bible question is 800-463-7297. Again, 800-463-7297. We have Elijah listening from Charlotte, North Carolina. Elijah, welcome to the program.

Elijah: Hi. How are you guys doing today?

Pastor Batchelor: Good. Thank you for calling.

Elijah: My question is what are your-- I want to know your thoughts on fasting and praying because when I was coming up in the church, I was taught the importance of fasting and praying. Back then, when you fasted and prayed, there was no food, you know?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes.

Elijah: Nowadays I'm seeing many different varieties of fasting. I'm seeing the no meat fast, no vegetables fast, no cupcakes fast.

[laughter]

I just want to know what your thoughts on the subject.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, you're right. Typically, in the Bible when someone was fasting, they just did not eat. That's why the word breakfast means to break the fast of the night because you didn't eat. There is one example I can think off, Pastor Ross might know another where Daniel did a fast, he was an old man at this point and he fasted and says, "I ate no pleasant food." That means he ate a very simple diet during the time he was praying about something. Now, you get old, you get a little blood sugar and you can't just not go without food because your just weak already.

So, he went on a fast that he knew he could handle. There are some people because of their diabetes or whatever, they can't do a regular fast and most people that are healthy can. Believe it or not, most people will not fall over if they don't eat for a day or two. We are just you in a society where people eat a lot more than they need and the idea of just not just eating.

So, folks, some pastor say, "Well, just go on a fast. Turn off your TV for two hours and that will be your fast." Or turn off your internet or-- they might suggest don't eat any sweets for a weekend. You don't really find that in the Bible, but there is that one verse you may have found it in Daniel where it says, "[crosstalk] has no pleasant--"

Pastor Ross: That is in Daniel. Yes, that's right. Something else just to add to that a little bit, pastor. In the Bible, you find really two kinds of fast. Now, when Daniel speaks about not eating anything pleasant, it's not really a fast, he just laid that aside in order to have a clear mind.

But when he talks about fasting in Scripture, we've got an extreme fast in the case of Esther where they didn't eat anything nor did they drink because those fasts were fairly short, you can't go more than a couple days at the most without water.

Pastor Batchelor: I think the longest is three days-

Pastor Ross: Three days that--

Pastor Batchelor: -that maybe Paul didn't eat or drink.

Pastor Ross: For three days. But most fast, of course, is just the absence of food. Jesus fasted for 40 days, 40 nights and we have many examples in scripture where people fasted for various reasons. It is good I think to skip a meal or two. I think it's good for the body and I think it's also good to help focus our attention on something. If we have burden that we want to bring before the Lord in prayer, it's good following the Biblical example to fast and pray. Makes a difference.

Pastor Batchelor: The verse was Daniel 10:3 where he says, "I ate no pleasant food or meat or wine came into my mouth and neither did I anoint myself until three whole weeks were fulfilled." Yet, he couldn't go without eating for three weeks and so he just ate very simply.

Some people would tear their clothes when they fasted and this is what Daniel did is he said, "I didn't anoint myself." He just humbled himself before God during that time. We appreciate your question, Elijah.

Elijah: No problem. One quick one, another quick thing. Remember in the bible when Jesus casted out that evil spirit and then the apostles looked at him and they said, "How did you that?" And then Jesus told them, "Well, these things come by fasting and praying." What type of fast do you think that that was a no food fast?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. Well, when a person is possessed, the way that fellow was in Mark-- no that was actually, yes, Mark 9. The son, they tried to cast the devil out of a son they could not. He says, "Some kind does not come forth except by prayer and fasting." That means no eating for a period of time, continue to pray over someone. Jesus didn't need to do that but, the disciples in the future, he said, "Sometimes, you got to fast and pray for someone that's a difficult case." All right. Thank you very much for your call, Elijah. Who do we have next?

Pastor Ross: We have Bill listening in from Huntsville, Alabama. Bill, welcome to the program.

Bill: Hello.

Pastor Batchelor: Hi. How can we help you tonight?

Bill: My question is if God knew that Satan was going to rebel and if God knew that the human race was going to disobey him, why did he create us?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, because he loves us. Sometimes, parents, they have children even though they know the children will not always obey and they might be rebellious at times, they want to love them and teach them the right way to live and God loves people. He loves to create life and he gives everyone a chance.

So, if God said, "I'm only going to make people that love me." Well, that stops being loved because it's being forced. So, God says, "I'll even make creature that are free if they choose not to love me." God makes all of His creatures free and the proof of that is some chose not to love Him, like Lucifer who became the devil and some people in the world.

Pastor Ross: We a have a study guide called Did God Create a Devil that deals with this very subject and it's an important one, people are asking quite a bit. We'll be happy to send that to you Bill or anybody who calls and asks, it's called Did God Create a Devil? The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can also read it online at the Amazing Facts website.

Again, the study guide is called Did Got Create a Devil?

Pastor Batchelor: All right. Thank you very much for your call, Bill.

Pastor Ross: We have Justin listening from Orlando, Florida. Justin, welcome to the program.

Justin: Hi, guys. How are you doing this evening?

Pastor Batchelor: Doing well. How about you?

Justin: Doing all right. I have a question regarding-- it's centered around Hebrews 9:12. The church that I attend, they discussed this 2,300-day prophecy and Jesus entering the controversial holy place versus the most holy place and the King James says I think most holy place or holy place in the new King James is the most holy place. I just want to hear you guys your thoughts on that and then a follow-up question if I could, based on that.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. Well, I believe that when Jesus first ascended to heaven, he entered into the very presence of God which would be the holy of hollies to activate the heavenly temple, if you will. There's only one time in the year when a high priest entered the holy place and that was on the day of atonement, with one exception; when they first built the temple, the priest would go in and they would consecrate all of the furniture.

Moses did it for the first temple. He went in and he sprinkled everything and they activated, they sanctified, they christened for lack of a better, word the sanctuary.

So, when Jesus first rose from the dead, he ascended into the very presence of God which would be called the holy of hollies, His sacrifice was accepted, the heavenly sanctuary system was activated, and then He came back down to earth and He said, "All hail."

Then when he went to heaven, he continued his ministry for us as our high priest and what we would call them holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. So, I think Hebrews 9 there is saying that he ascended into the Holy of Holies when he first ascended, but it's not where he stayed to minister, but he went into the presence of God and it was activated there. Does that make sense?

Justin: That makes sense. I was wondering if He is in the holy place right now or most holy place interceding on our behalf or going over the books. If he's omniscient, why would he need to do that? Is always that something that's puzzled me.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. Well, you might even say if God's all-knowing, then why do we have to tell Him what we're asking for when we pray? Go ahead, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Well, something interesting about that, really into the subject of the sanctuary. In the Bible, believe it or not, there are five sanctuaries that are mentioned; you have the heavenly, you have the earthly, then Jesus speaking of himself said, "Destroy this temple and in three days, I'll raise it up." The Bible says, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the holy spirit." So, you have another one and then the church. We're all living stones built up in the temple.

The purpose of the sanctuary, the temple, is for God to dwell amongst us, but in order for that to happen, the sin problem has to be taken care of. So, in the old testament, you had the sacrificial system which is a shadow and type of Christ and his sacrifice which would cleanse us from sin.

The cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven isn't just a legal bookkeeping that happens up there, but the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is really a reflection of the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in the hearts and the lives of God's people here on earth. So, it's not an abstract activity that God does independent of what’s happening here on the earth in his church or in the hearts and lives of believers.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, and not only that, the angels and there's-- the majority of angels did not fall with Lucifer and there's unfallen worlds and these sinful creatures on earth are going to soon be introduced, they're going to immigrate and be welcomed back into heaven and the Lord during this time is demonstrating that we have genuinely been washed and converted by Jesus.

So, it's one thing to make a profession but during the time, that's why it says in Peter, "Judgment must begin at the House of God." It's not for God's sake. He knows everything, but it demonstrates to the universe that's watching that we've been transformed.

Hey, thank you, Justin. We do have a lesson that deals with the subject of the sanctuary and it's called God Drew the Plans. Actually, I guess though the lesson that would fit more with your question is the next one called right on time. I will send them to you both.

Pastor Ross: Okay, then. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask the study guide dealing with the sanctuary, in the cleansing of the sanctuary called God Drew the Plans and also Right on Time talks about the judgment. We have William listening from Virginia. William, welcome to the program.

William: Yes. Thank you for taking my call. I have a question about and another church talked about as not being authorized for worship, but it was in the Old Testament I just wanted your thoughts on that.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. I have actually-- I have met with and worship with some dear Christian people that go to churches that don't believe in any musical instruments. I respectfully disagree. If it was okay for David to praise the Lord and use an instrument to actually drive demons out of Saul at one point, and if it says in heaven that we're going to be using harps, then there's nothing intrinsically wrong with musical instruments.

Now, I think we all agree that there are some musical instruments that are exceedingly amplified and loud and can make some discordant noises that may be popular in the world that are inappropriate in a church worship service. So, the instruments that are used should be to enhance the words, to enhance the proclamation of the word whether it's a song or if it's an instrumental, it ought to be majestic, contemplative music, but I just don't find anywhere.

Now, I know my friends that believe that, they quote the verse maybe in Ephesians as making melody unto the Lord in our hearts and singing--

William: hearts.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. There's a couple verses, they quote and they say we're supposed to sing without instruments. By the way, I'll say that you go to some of these churches, boy they know how to sing. They sing on key and they sing all the parts and it's beautiful to hear them sing, but I just don't see a Bible mandate that there's anything wrong-- nothing wrong with singing acapella but there's no command that says, "Don't bring an instrument into the church."

It was definitely part of the sanctuary in the Old Testament, and when God has a principle in the Old Testament, unless you find a command in the New Testament forbidding, it carries over. So, if God in the New Testament was going to say, "Now, we got a new principle for instruments." You'd find it somewhere, but if not, you must assume the old principle still intact.

William: Okay .

Pastor Batchelor: Hey, thanks a lot, William, appreciate your question

Pastor Ross: We have Dan listening from-- actually, in Texas. Dan, welcome to the program.

Pastor Batchelor: Comanche, Texas

Dan: Yes, sir. I really enjoy your program. I got one question and got another question, too, but I've been studying the Bible with a friend of mine and he says nobody is in heaven yet.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, that's not accurate because it tells us that Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, I have heard some people argue that they're in some other kind of limbo. They're not actually in heaven, but I don't think you can make a case for that. The Bible talks about these 24 elders around the throne of God in Revelation 5. They actually may be rulers of other worlds.

Then you have those who are resurrected at the resurrection or the ascension of Jesus. They're in heaven now. Enoch's in heaven now. Enoch walked with God and he was not for God, took him. So, this definitely--

Pastor Ross: And Elijah.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, and Elijah went to heaven and he is mentioned in Mark 9 along with Moses. So, the general resurrection hasn't happened yet. Most Christians agree with that.

Dan: Yes.

Pastor Batchelor: But then some people argue, "Well, are the souls of the dead with the Lord in Heaven? Well, it tells us that the dead in Christ arise when the Lord comes and they don't know anything until that point. But yes, there are some in heaven now.

Dan: Okay. I've got a quick question. Why does Satan has so much power?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, just think about this that God has made a lot of powerful things and He's made a lot of powerful people and the most powerful creature that was more in charge of all the powerful angels, the highest of God's creation was a being called Lucifer that had extraordinary ability in power and he led an enticed one.

He actually thought he could overpower God, so just think about how powerful he is. He led one-third of the Angels into rebellion against God that has now taken up their staging ground here in this world. So, he's probably deteriorated in his ability in his power over the time of his fall, but he's not a creature to be underestimated. We don't need to worry. "We need to be sober and be vigilant," Peter says because the devil is going around as a roaring lion. But then the promise is greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Christ is obviously greater if he's in us than the devil. So, hey, I appreciate your question, Dan.

Dan: God bless you all. You all good people.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, thank you. You have a good evening

Dan: Okay.

Pastor Ross: We have Kenny listening from Paradise, California. Kenny, welcome to the program.

Kenny: Thank you, gentlemen. I have a quick question. What does the word holiness mean? You mentioned the word holy for the sanctuary and so on. What does it really mean? I've been reading a book from another church and the pastor, was just kind of like--

Pastor Batchelor: We're going to run out of time here. Let me give you a quick answer?

Kenny: You can tell by the Justice of God have some because of his holiness. Now, what does holy mean? What does holiness mean?

Pastor Batchelor: All right. Holiness means to be set apart for a sacred service and to be unique, to be sanctified, and purity and this is this is what God has. Kenny, I'm apologizing if we cannot take more time. We tried to squeeze in one more call, but they're giving us the signal we are about to run out of broadcast time for the live segment and listening friends.

I want to thank you for tuning in. If we didn't get to your call, God willing, we'll be back again in a week and we'll have another live Bible study together.

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