Unfailing Government

Scripture: Acts 16:10
Date: 06/21/2015 
From time to time when people lose faith in government, it can trigger a rapid devaluation of their currency. Take Zimbabwe for example, in 2000 President Robert Mugabe began to seize private land from thousands of farmers simply because they were white. This in turn crippled the country's crop production, exports fell and investors withdrew their support.
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? From time to time when people lose faith in government, it can trigger a rapid devaluation of their currency. Take Zimbabwe for example, in 2000 President Robert Mugabe began to seize private land from thousands of farmers simply because they were white. This in turn crippled the country's crop production, exports fell and investors withdrew their support.

This corrupt management sent Zimbabwe's currency into a spiral of hyperinflation, prices in shops changed several times a day. There were severe shortages of basic goods and citizens had to carry their money to market in wheelbarrows. The Zimbabwe government now says because of hyperinflation, it is phasing out its local currency in June of 2015 and formalizing a multi-currency system that accepts the US dollar, the South African Rand and Euros.

Zimbabweans have until the end of September to exchange their local dollars, but they won't get much for up to-- listen now, 175 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars they'll get five US dollars. The last note printed in Zimbabwe was 100 billion dollar note, which was not enough to get you a bus ticket. Can anyone say monopoly money? The Bible says, when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2.

Stay with us friends [laughs], we're going to learn more as amazing facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Announcer 1: Welcome to Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist Pastor Doug Batchelor. Is understanding God's Word a challenge? Are there passages or 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 800-463-729-7. Now here's your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live and as the title suggests, this is a program where we will take your live bible questions. If you have a question about the word of God, living a Christian life, then give us a call. We've got a number of lines open, so call right now. It's a free phone cal,l that number 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297. One more time, 800-463-7297.

We'll bring your Bible question into our studio tonight, my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross, good evening listening friends and pastor Doug? Happy Father's Day to you today and all of our friends listening. Well, before we get started with the program, let's begin with a word of Prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for your many blessings that you bestow upon us and now we thank you for family and the opportunity for us to study your word and we ask your blessing upon those who are listening wherever they might be.

Just bless us here in the studio for we ask this in Jesus name Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about the incredible inflation experienced in Zimbabwe. Where almost overnight, the value of the money dropped so much that people were just gathering cash on hand as much as they could. Reminded me, I did go to Zimbabwe a couple years ago and did some evangelistic meetings there and I exchanged a hundred dollars.

They gave me so much cash in turn that I went back to the hotel we were staying and I called my friends and we laid all the cash out. It filled the whole bed and I took a picture of this, I just couldn't believe it. I've never seen much money [laughs] in one place.

Pastor Doug: $100 bill converted in to Zimbabwean dollars covered the bed with cash? [laughs]

Pastor Ross: $100-- bills-- [laughs] It was a lot of cash, so just hearing the story is amazing. The amount of inflation there is-- how do people manage?

Pastor Doug: That's all based on faith really, when people lose confidence in the government. It's the stability of a government that gives their currency value and when they lose faith, the value drops. Of course, we're saved by faith in a government that will never fail and Jesus said don't lay up for yourself treasures on earth. Where thieves break through and steal and moth and rust does corrupt but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven where our treasure will be secure.

In the world, we often see corrupt government leaders come and go. The confidence of a country in its leaders will fluctuate, but there is a kingdom-- a very real kingdom, where currency is not going to be needed because we're actually going to walk on gold and it's very [laughs] real. Maybe you'd like to know about that kingdom and that government where the greatest of value in that kingdom is going to be the life of the king.

Pastor Ross: That is a kingdom that-- well, it's a government that you can trust. It is heaven that we're talking about and of course, the free offer tonight deals with that subject. The book that we have to offer for free this evening-- all you'll have to do is just give us a call, is entitled Heaven: Is It For Real? We're happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks, the number to call is 800-835-6747.

You can ask for the book Heaven: Is It For Real? If you have a Bible question, that's a good time to get to your phone and give us a call with your Bible question. The phone number here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297. That'll bring you here to the studio with your Bible question for tonight's program. Well Pastor Doug, we're ready to go to the phones and we'll take our first caller this evening.

We have Josiah listening from Texas. Josiah welcome to the program.

Josiah: Hey, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Josiah: It's actually pronounced Josiah.

Pastor Doug: [laughs] Okay, sorry.

Josiah: [laughs] Well, how do we know if the weekly cycle of the Roman calendar--our calendar matchup with the weekly cycle of the Jewish calendar back in Jesus' day? It may have been said that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, but how do we know those are Sunday?

Pastor Doug: All right, that's a good question. Well first of all, if you can believe the [laughs] Encyclopedia or the dictionary. If you just look up the words Sunday or Saturday in the dictionary, it will say Saturday the seventh day of the week. Sunday the first day of the week.

You look at the nation of the Jewish for instance and you can see that since their history, you have thousands of people-- millions of people around the world and they all recognize the seventh day of the week as their Sabbath. Which they concede is Saturday and the Catholics all believe-- and many Christians, because Jesus rose on Sunday and the Bible says that.

"That is the first day of the week," it says and they keep Sunday, so there's no conflict among the religions of the world that any calendar change has never touched the weekly cycle.

Now, there was a calendar change. I think it was 1582 Pastor Ross, when we went from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. What they did-- you got to listen carefully, is they were adjusting the calendar to accommodate for farming seasons because it was off.

That's back when they also said every fourth year is a leap year and that now they've built in this minor change. What they did is they said, "Thursday October 5th, 1582 would be followed by Friday October 15th, so the 5th was followed by the 15th. Thursday was still followed by Friday, it did not change the days of the week so no change to the calendar ever touches the weekly cycle.

It's not necessary to do that, so you've got the evidence of the Bible that tells us that Jesus died on the preparation day, Friday. He rested in the tomb through the Sabbath-- the seventh day, Saturday and he rose the morning of the first day. What we call Sunday and virtually all religions agree with that scenario and the Bible and the Encyclopedia does.

Yes, the calendar has been changed, but that never touches the weekly cycle.

That's a long explanation, but did that help Josiah?

Josiah: The weekly cycle between the Romans and the Jews back then were pretty much the same?

Pastor Doug: No the Romans had names for the days of the week, that's where we get our modern names. They named the days Monday, Tuesday, Saturday after the planets. The moon was Monday, Saturday was Saturn. The Jews numbered the days. They had the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, preparation day, seventh day. It was called the sixth day, the preparation day.

They just had different names, but they're are days of the week. They both had a seven-day week and they both had the same days they recognized.

Josiah: Oh, okay. They named the first day of the week Sunday, but they named [unintelligible 00:09:10].

Pastor Doug: Yes, and this is really one of the incredible facts of history you don't often hear about. All around the world, virtually every civilization had a seven-day week. There's no mathematical reason for that other than the Bible because you can understand why the ancient calendars would have a year with about 360 to 365 days. That's because that's how long it takes for the earth to go around the Sun.

You can understand why all of the ancient civilizations would have a month with about 30 days because that's the lunar cycle and a day with 24 hours. That's the solar day, but why do all these civilizations have a week with 7 days? The only place they can trace that is to in the beginning God made things in 6 days then he rested the seventh, so it's very interesting.

Even among the native Americans and a number of ancient cultures they had a seven day week. I hope that helps. I appreciate your call, Josiah. We do have a book, a study guide that talks about The Lost Day of History.

Pastor Ross: We'll be happy to send that to you, Josiah or anyone that calls and asks. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is a resource line and you can ask for the study guide called The Lost Day of History. Again, that number is 800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide called The Lost Day of History. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297.

Again, 800-463-7297. We have Sharon listening from Iowa on Sirius XM. Sharon, welcome to the program.

Sharon: Thank you, I am glad to be here.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, I appreciate your call.

Sharon: Yes. What I was thinking about talking with my children, they're all saying that homosexual marriage should be legal. What I am going to be teaching them, what I believe that a biblical marriage should be is the representation of Christ as the head and his church. The husband is representing Christ and the wife is representing the church. How do you go about explaining that? Is that correct?

Pastor Doug: Are your children adult children?

Sharon: Oh, yes. Yes, [laughs]. Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, for one thing, I'd tell them that if you look at the foundations of civilization, every ancient civilization recognized that the nucleus of their society was in the family. Which was a man and a woman. The various virtues of the man and the woman, they complement each other in giving the children the best representation of what God is. The Bible of course-- do your children believe the bible? Some of them?

Sharon: Yes, I've raised them in church and everything, but of course as I am on the road because I am a truck driver--

Pastor Doug: They hear all kinds of things?

Sharon: We've gotten out of going to church. Of course, they're seeing and hearing everything about acceptance of the homosexual agenda. They're not really taking a stand against it as much as-- or I don't know, they're just--

Pastor Doug: The Bible is pretty clear that God said that if his people did as the nations around them and he specifically mentions that if men lay with men as with a woman and vice versa with a woman with a woman. Paul says in Romans 1, "These things are unnatural," and he said that the wrath of God came upon the people because of these things. Paul says that the homosexual will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, "Such were some of you." I believe that's second Corinthians.

Such were some of you meaning that people who struggle with these tendencies like any sin can be saved. It's very unfortunate when a culture ratifies or legitimatizes something that is obviously not the way nature designed marriage to be. You don't have to go into the details about how men and women complement each other with everything from the plumbing to the temperaments to create the image of God.

Pastor Ross: You know the verse you are referring to Pastor Doug, is 1 Corinthians chapter six beginning verse nine, 10 and 11. Paul is very clear in this passage as to what the ideal is that God would want for Christians and for all people. The verse again to mind also, Pastor Doug, defining marriage Jesus said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall be joined unto his wife and the two shall become one."

Pastor Doug: That's right.

Male Speaker: All right, in the very beginning, God was the one who performed the first marriage back in the Garden of Eden. It was a male and female, Adam and Eve. God's ideal has not changed. Society might change, but the word of God stays the same.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. I hope that helps a little bit Sharon.

Sharon: Referencing Christ dying for this church. It says in Ephesians that the husband should die for his wife as Christ died for his church. Doesn't the husband represent Christ and the wife represent the church?

Pastor Doug: Yes, it says in Ephesians chapter five, "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her." Yes, that's a good verse. We actually have a study guide on biblical marriage that goes into some of these verses. It makes it pretty clear what the distinctions are.

Pastor Ross: Yes, it's called Keys to A Happy Marriage. This is for anybody who wants to get the most out of their marriage and also wanting to know what the Bible has to say as far as defining what marriage is. We'll be happy to send this to anybody who calls and asks. You'll need to call our resource line, that's 800-835-6747, and you can ask for this study guide called Keys to A Happy Marriage.

If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That's 800-GOD-SAYS.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Sharon.

Pastor Ross: The next caller is John and John is listening from Auburn Hills, Michigan. John, welcome to the program.

John: Yes. Hi pastor? Thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes, and your question tonight.

Pastor Ross: Yes, my question is Jesus talks about the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I was wondering if you could tell me what your opinion is on that. What is he really talking about?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Lord tells us all manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven. That there is the good news. He says that the sin will not be forgiven-- by the way, this is Matthew 12: 31, the sin that will not be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy means to put yourself in the place of God or to take something sacred and to defile it. As I said that's Matthew 12:31, and you can also find a related verse in the book of Matthew.

Let me see, Mark chapter 2:38. Yes, Mark 3:28, I'm sorry. It says, "Verily I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men wherewith they blaspheme, but he that blaspheme the Holy Ghost it will not be forgiven."

When a person puts himself in the place of God as God's spirit brings them conviction. They continue to persistently resist the voice of the spirit, they can get to where they in effect, develop a callous on their spiritual ear where they no longer hear the voice of God. It's like a person who lives by the railroad track and they get to where they don't even notice the trains that are going by because they are so used to it. They mentally tuned it out.

If we resist the convicting voice of God's spirit, year after year-- he is so merciful and patient, we can come to the place where just have aggrieved away the Holy Spirit through our perpetual blasphemy, putting ourselves in the place of God. They took up stones once to stone Jesus and he said, "For what good work do you stone me?" They said, "Not for good work, but for blasphemy because you being a man make yourself God."

For a man to put himself in the place of God is one of the definitions of blasphemy. I don't know if you have any-- does that make sense, John?

John: Well, it makes some sense. That's one argument I've heard. I had a more-- there is in one of the gospels there and it seems to me that in the verses just before that, the Pharisees or whoever it was-- Sadducees perhaps, they were calling what Jesus was doing-- his miraculous healing power and so on, they were calling that the work of Beelzebub it seems to me.

Pastor Doug: That's right.

John: I thought that was more along the lines of what that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was. Where you are 180 degrees out of phase, you see the works of God as the works of Satan because you're twisted. You are completely evil. That is basically what Jesus called them there. He says, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees for you are of the synagogue of Satan."

That they can't see truth, they can't see reality the way it is because they are owned by the devil. I thought that was more what the correct definition of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was. Somebody that I was speaking with said what you said at the opening of your answer there. I'm still-- I'm not--

Pastor Doug: We are not that far off because in both cases, it's a rejecting of the evidence and the voice of the Holy Spirit. We have a book that we just wrote and it's dealing with the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. We'll be happy to send you a free copy, John. It's called Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin. Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin. We'll send you a free copy there just for calling the number.

Pastor Ross: The number to call, 800-835-6747. You are going to ask for the book called Beyond Mercy. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Again the number is 800-835-6747. That is our resource line and the line here to the studio with your Bible question is 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297. We have Jamie listening in Georgia. Jamie, welcome to the program.

Jamie: Good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are you all doing?

Pastor Ross: Doing well. Thanks for calling.

Jamie: I've got a question. There are unbelievers. The people that don't know-- I hate to say unbeliever because I believe people that say that they don't believe in God, they should say they don't know. Did God put those marriages together? The marriages of their people that don't believe in him?

Pastor Doug: Obviously, there's some people that get married and it's a not a very good match, but they've made a covenant. God designs that marriage, whether they're believers or unbelievers, it should be a permanent covenant. Whether they use good judgment in coming together, the Lord can bless a marriage if they're committed to it. Some people are-- if through marriage they actually find the Lord through the some of the trials and some of the experiences in marriage.

I know many people, they get married, they have children and they see the miracle of birth and they start thinking about spiritual things. The Lord can use that as well, but I think there's both cases that we've seen. There are people who are not believers, but they use wisdom in choosing a life partner. They're careful and they get along well. They're well matched and they have-- as far as the world is concerned, some contentment in their marriage.

Then there are disasters, we know because about 50% of the marriages in the world end in divorce.

Jamie: If the couple gets married and then they become born again? [inaudible 00:21:46]

Pastor Doug: The Lord will bless their marriages even more.

Jamie: You see, the problem that I have is my wife doesn't believe in what I believe. I believe in the Sabbath keeping. The fourth commandment. I believe in the call for the Saints. The keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. They don't go to the Book of Revelations. It frustrate me a little bit because I said, "well I can see it so clearly."

Pastor Doug: Well, you're married. How long have you been married?

Jamie: Sorry.

Pastor Doug: How long have you been married?

Jamie: Almost 13 years.

Pastor Doug: Well, you're married and you may not have the unity of your faith, but you need to be faithful to live up to your convictions and demonstrate Christ-- in being kind and follow what you believe, but be understanding and kind to your family. You can't force a person's belief. You respect their differences and ask them to respect yours.

Jamie: I keep doing the right thing. Keep the Sabbath and all that. Eventually, the truth will conquer and she will come around because I pray to God that He open the eyes of my wife to see that the Sabbath keeping is very important because it's the seal of God. The mark that goes in the foreheads of his children.

Pastor Doug: The best thing to do is, you continue to be a faithful witness in your example. You pray for your family and the Lord works in people's hearts. You pray for them, share information if they're open and be a good example. Those are the three things you can do for someone that you care about. I appreciate your call Jamie. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: We have our next caller. By the way, pastor Doug, I had almost forgot to mention this. We do have a book dealing with marriage, divorce, remarriage. We wrote it not too long ago and it gives us some guidelines as to what the Bible says on these different topics. We'll be happy to send it to anybody wanting to learn more. The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.

You can read the book for free online at Amazing Facts, just amazingfacts.org. You can go right away and take a look at that resource. We have Lois listening from New York. Lois, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Evening?

Lois: Good evening. God bless you and Happy Father's Day.

Pastor Doug: Thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: Thank you

Lois: My question is, which tribe did David belong to? Was it Benjamin or Judah?

Pastor Doug: David came from the tribe of Judah.

Lois: Judah. I thought I was right. Is there any publication that you might know of that has all the kings listed and what tribes they're from?

Pastor Doug: All the kings and what tribes they're from? I don't know of a specific publication that address-- Yes. We've got a website called Bible history. It tells all the kings of Israel. It will tell the scriptures where those kings appear. All of the kings of the Southern kingdom all come from Judah because they were all descendants of David. In the Northern kingdom, there is probably half a dozen of different tribes that they came from.

Many of them came from the tribe of Ephraim from the Northern kingdom. The Judges came from broad variety. Samson came from Dan and Gideon came from-- was it Benjamin? I forget.

Pastor Ross: Yes. Of course, Saul also, he's known to have come from Benjamin. Which is one of the smaller tribes and that was one of the things that Saul said when he was still humble. He says, "My family is not a family renowned or of importance and I'm from a small tribe."

Pastor Doug: That's right. The timeline might have something there for you Lois, but I don't think that we've got a publication that specifically outlines that. I bet you could find that online. You typed in kings of Israel and their tribes. Somebody's got a list. They get everything on Google. [laughs] I bet you.

Lois: All right. Thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: Thank you for your call. Bye-bye. Our next caller that we have is Hilda, listening from Iron City, Tennessee.

Hilda: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi. Welcome. You're on the air.

Hilda: Can you hear me okay?

Pastor Doug: We can. Your question tonight?

Hilda: I was reading here in Acts 16:10. The question I have about that is because it begins to talk first person, like we and us from that point on for a little while. I had heard that Act was written by-- I just went blank.

Pastor Doug: Luke.

Hilda: Luke. I was wondering, at this point in chapter 16, they call Timothy and I believe it's Paul and Silas that are going together, but then it goes first person. I was wondering, was Luke ministering with them at this point here or did somebody else write the book of Acts?

Pastor Doug: Great question. I believe Luke wrote it because the introduction to the Gospel of Luke-- the Gospel of Luke, he starts up by saying, "I'm writing this account down to you, oh excellent Theophilus." He's writing it to Theophilus. The book of Acts begins continuing with his letter to Theophilus. The language is the same between the gospel of Luke, the style in the book of Acts.

If you look in Acts chapter 16:9 and it says, "A vision appeared to Saul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood pleading with him saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.'" We believe that that was actually Luke, that he met there in vision because from then on, it continues to say that Luke appears. Instead of saying Paul went here, Paul went there, it says, we went here. We went there. I think Luke was the man he saw in the dream. Thank you.

Hilda: That's better.

Pastor Doug: We got to take a break real quick and I hope that helped you with your question. Hey listening friends, please don't go too far away. There are a lot more Bible questions coming and we do have lines open. Give us a call 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-GOD-SAYS. More questions on the way after this break. You are listening to Bible Answers Live.

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Pastor Doug: Hey. Thanks for standing by friends. We are back with more Bible Answers Live. If you have Bible questions, we still have a couple lines open. You have a good chance you'll get your question in tonight's broadcast. That number 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297. For those who joined along the way, this is a Bible Answer Live program. You can join. You can listen and you can call in with your question. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross and we're going to go to the phone lines. Our next caller is Randy listening from Washington on 90.5 FM. Randy, welcome to the program.

Randy: Hi, how are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug: Better than we deserve. How are you doing?

Randy: Okay, my question is because I'm a firm believer of God and Jesus Christ, mine is because we're getting into the later days. The unforgivable sin would be the mark of the beast and I'm just questioning that because people will know. That's what I'm questioning--

Pastor Doug: Well, you're correct that obviously those that receive the mark of the beast, it is an unpardonable sin because it says, "They have no rest day or night that worship the beast and his image." The most fearful plagues that are mentioned anywhere in the Bible fall on those who receive the mark of the beast and worship the beast. Obviously, Jesus made the statement about not sinning against the Holy Spirit.

That was 2,000 years ago and you've got people in the Bible like Judas who grieved away the Holy Spirit and went out and hung himself. You've got people in the old testament like Balaam and like King Saul that basically self destructed because they grieved away-– they refused to listen to God. They persisted in rejecting the truth of God and they grieved away the Holy Spirit so I want to say that the mark of the beast is the only definition.

Randy: No, but that's what I'm saying. You can't take this mark because you can't buy or sell anything, because if you take it you know willingly you've done the worst you can do.

Pastor Pastor Doug: Yes, well you've made a firm decision to cast your lot on the side of the enemy, the devil.

Randy: If you see people do this you got to tell them or if you don't tell and they don't know and they never knew Jesus, then I guess maybe they have a chance at the end. I don't know?

Pastor Doug: Yes, well now is the time while the doors of mercy are open to warn people. The day is going to come when the doors are going to close and people will not have an opportunity. Once probation closes as it says-- I think Pastor Ross it's Revelation 22, "He that is just let him be just still, he that is filthy let him be filthy still." The saved will be saved, they'll be sealed, they'll have the seal of God.

The lost will be lost, they'll have the mark of the beast and no amount of preaching to the lost will save them. They have gone beyond the point of no return which is the unpardonable sin. Yes, now while the doors of mercy are still open and people are living in probation they can be converted, they can change teams. They can accept Jesus, be born again. You got that verse Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: Yes, the one you're looking at is Revelations 22:5 where Jesus says, "Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me." Then verse 11, "He that is unjust let him be unjust still, he that is filthy let him be filthy still, he that is righteous let him be righteous still, he that is holy let him be holy still." That's the close of probation for the human race.

Pastor Doug: Then the seven last plagues fall, but hey we appreciate your question Randy and hope that helps clear things up a little bit.

Pastor Ross: We do have a study guide called The Mark of The Beast that gets right into the subject and gives you some solid Bible scripture dealing with this. We'd be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide called The Mark of The Beast. You can also read it online at amazingfacts.org.

Our next caller is Othneil listening from Brooklyn, New York. Othneil, welcome to the program.

Othniel: Yes, I have two questions. The first one is I'd like to know why when we pray for healing today why Christ doesn't answer our prayers? The second question is Revelation 25, it says, "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years have passed."

Pastor Doug: Revelation 20:5.

Othniel: Yes, this is the first resurrection. I don't understand that.

Pastor Doug: All right, well first question does the Lord not answer prayers for healing? Well, in the book of James it says, "If any of you are sick let them call for the elders of the church to come and pray for them, anointing them with oil." Not only did Jesus heal, but it says that the early church experienced healing and we're counseled through church history to pray for healing.

I've experienced what I thought was miraculous healing and I know I've experienced Gods healing in ways that may not seem dramatic, but God does still answer prayers for healing. Pastor Ross and I just were praying with a member of our church not too long ago that was struggling with what the doctors had diagnosed as pancreatic cancer, which is not a very good diagnosis.

We prayed at an anointing service, they had surgery and they're doing fine, and they said that the malignancy is not there anymore. We were praising God, we believe that it was a miracle that God healed. He sometimes doesn't, even with Paul in the Bible. Paul prayed for healing and God said, "No." He doesn't answer those prayers for healing all immediately. Now, on your second question about Revelation 20, Pastor Ross you want to talk about--

Pastor Ross: Yes, the verse you're mentioning is Revelation 20:5, "But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years are finished. This is the first resurrection." Well, that can sound a little confusing when you read it just in verse five, but when you read verse four as well it says, "And I saw thrones and they that sat upon them judgment was given unto them. I saw the souls of those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus for the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast neither his image nor had received the mark in their forehead and in their hands. They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Then it says, "But the rest of the dead, they didn't live until a thousand years are finished." Then it goes back to the subject that's being dealt with in verse four, this is the first resurrection. Those who are part of the first resurrection they live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead, they don't live again until the thousand years is finished.

Then we have what we call the second resurrection which is for the wicked at the end of that millennial period. It's just the way this passage is divided up with the different verse numbers, it just doesn't always make sense if you just read verse five by itself.

Pastor Doug: Hopefully that helps a little. We have a lesson that talks about the millennium that goes into more detail on this verse and we'll be happy to send you a free copy of that.

Pastor Ross: It's called A Thousand Years of Peace and it talks about this 1,000 year period, Revelation chapter 20. All you have to do is just give us a call on our resource line, it's 800-835-6747, ask for the study guide called A Thousand Years of Peace. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. Our next caller is April listening from New York. April, welcome to the program.

April: Good evening Jean? How are you all?

Pastor Doug: Doing well.

April: My question is how do you feel about people allowing their very own children and others to die depriving them of blood?

Pastor Doug: For like a blood transfusion or something?

April: Right. My thoughts are, imagine allowing all these people to die and you're very own children. Then you get before Jesus Christ and God and then he says, "Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness. I never knew you."

Pastor Doug: Yes, let me explain for friends that may be listening, April. There are some denominations out there, there's a group of Christians that in their theology because there's a verse in the Bible-- I don't remember the exact text, where it says, "You shall not eat blood." It's in Leviticus, it's a few different places. Well, that because of those texts they believe that, that would forbid a blood transfusion, most Christians do not see that it's the same principle.

God is forbidding eating blood as food and he also forbids eating fat as food, but if someone is dying we're not talking about eating animal blood. We're talking about getting the blood of another human in your veins to replace blood that is lost, ostensibly the same blood type.

It's a health saving mechanism where eating poorly is a health destructive mechanism. Eating blood-- you can actually take the diseases of animals into you, but getting a blood transfusion-- assuming the person was healthy, it will save your life.

Pastor Ross: Yes, there's many references actually to this. You can read in Genesis 9:4 it says, "But you should not eat the flesh with its life, that is its blood." Then several times in Leviticus it's mentioned, "Whosoever that eats any blood, that person shall be cut off from the people." The Bible's quite clear that blood is not something that should be taken in as food.

Although, as Pastor Doug you mentioned it's quite different when somebody's in desperate need of blood. They're not eating it, but it goes into their circulatory system and actually brings life-- carries oxygen.

Pastor Doug: Yes, we know a lot of people that they experienced severe bleeding during surgery and if it hadn't been for transfusions they would have died. I think that God is practical and he's going to want us to do what we can to sustain life. By the way, we're all saved from a blood transfusion. I mean Jesus gave his blood for us, right?

April: Life saving and at the same token I understand that blood-- you can [unintelligible 00:39:58] it straight fromthe people that you had taken blood from in the case of madness, insanity, murderers and things of that nature. If it's a family-- the family already has the blood in them. If the family gives the other-- they all go down to the hospital and give blood, I don't see how God would disapprove of that [unintelligible 00:40:24] saving a life and he's the giver of life.

He entrusted you especially with the children.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the Lord wants us to care for children and watch over them. Well, we appreciate your call April and we thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: We have Hailey listening from Ontario, Canada. Hailey, Welcome to the program.

Hailey: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Your question tonight.

Hailey: My question would be about Jesus coming back the second time. I've read in Revelation that it said he would have sword coming out of his mouth. Could you explain why?

Pastor Doug: Yes, well for one thing it tells us that the sword in the Bible is a symbol for The Word of God. You can read in a Ephesians chapter six the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Hebrews chapter four, it says that the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, so Revelation is full of symbols. When we see Jesus with a sword in his mouth, of course it doesn't mean he's literally coming.

It would really hurt when he turned around, he'd be cutting people down. It's just saying that the Word of God is in the mouth of Jesus, lot of symbols in Revelation in these visions. Hailey, we actually have the study guide we offer tonight about the armor of God. You would enjoy that book, it's got some fun stories in it too and it talks about that sword.

Pastor Ross: Also, it refers to Jesus' coming and it talks about him coming with the sword or with a sickle. That symbolizes something, a sickle which is somewhat like a sword, but it's used for harvesting wheat or grapes. When Jesus comes the second time, it talks of the harvest of the earth. Christ is coming to gather the righteous at the same time the wicked are gathered and destroyed.

Jesus comes with a sword in his mouth so to speak, his coming in fulfillment to his promise. Jesus promised that he'd come back again and he's coming back again, judgment is to be meted out against the ungodly according to what the word says. There are some of the symbols and what they mean in scripture.

Pastor Doug: Yes, we appreciate that and you could send for that study guide on The Armor of God.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. That again is the resource line in the book tonight that we'll send to anyone for free is called The Armor of God. All you'll have to do is just ask for it, you can also read that for free at the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org. We've got Ryan listening from Ohio. Ryan, welcome to the program.

Ryan: Yes, thanks for having me.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for calling.

Ryan: My question is I have a lot of guys at work who say they believe in a god, but they say the Bible was written by men not by God. I don't know how to approach them with this.

Pastor Doug: Well, if you can believe what the Bible says, it tells us in the 1 Peter that the Word of God did not come by men, but holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Paul says all scripture is given by the inspiration of God.

Pastor Ross: The verse you're talking about is 2 Peter 1:21.

Pastor Doug: That's right. [laughs] I said 1 Peter, 2 Peter chapter one. When you look at what was said, the Spirit of God came onto them and operated through them. The message is from God and they were really just the messenger. The reason we know that is you look at the unique nature of the Bible, it's prophecies that come true, the incredibly inspired enduring words that were written, how they've transformed lives and they've lasted for millennia.

There's something supernatural about the Bible that extends beyond human influence and we do have a book we can offer actually that-- we'll send you a free copy of it Ryan, that goes into why the Bible is so unique called The Ultimate Resource.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, that is amazing when you think about the scriptures written by about 36 different authors over a period of about 1,200 years in multiple languages-- at least three languages. Then you also have totally different groups of people for example, you have some who are highly educated, you have a doctor who wrote we just spoke about Luke, you have shepherds who wrote, kings who wrote.

It's just incredible and yet they're all united in the message that prove indeed the Bible is inspired, that God is the real author.

Ryan: That's really nice.

Pastor Doug: There's something that's just supernatural about it, so we will send that free book Ryan.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Ultimate Resource, all about the Bible. I'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Again, 800-835-6747, you can ask for the book called The Ultimate Resource. We have David who is listening in New Jersey on WMCA. David, welcome to the program.

David: How are you doing? My question is why is the Ethiopian Coptic Bible discredited over the King James Version being that Christianity was basically established in Ethiopia maybe 300 years prior to being established within the Roman Empire?

Pastor Doug: Well, Christianity was established much earlier than that in Ethiopia. You've got Christianity in-- well, you could say you've got the worship of Jehovah in Ethiopia goes back before Jesus. That's why there was an Ethiopian believer coming-- there was an Ethiopian Jew who was coming to worship in the time of the apostles and he took that Truth about Jesus back.

When you talk about the King James Bible you're talking about an English version of the Protestant scriptures. There are books in the Coptic Ethiopian Bible you'll find it in-- some of the books here are the same as some of the Catholic Bibles like to Douay version. They're called apocryphal books or books of doubtful origin. Now, the Protestant bibles did not include those books.

It doesn't mean that those books are all manufactured-- like the Maccabees has some excellent history in it, but when the Protestant believers assembled the scripture they used pretty much the books of the Bible that were endorsed by the early church fathers. That assembly of books was pretty well recognized by about 150 AD after Jesus.

Different books began to appear in history suspiciously, so they began to say, "Well, how do we know that there is no Gospel of Judas or the Book of Thomas?" They had all these other books that appeared. Well, one thing they did is they looked through all of the other recognized books and they wanted to know why does Peter, John, Matthew and Mark they never refer to any of these other mysterious books that suddenly appear.

When they developed the Protestant Bible they said we're really going to just include the books that we know are being endorsed by other writers. You have Jesus of course, quoting from Daniel, Ezekiel, Zachariah and Isaiah. You don't have Jesus quoting from the Maccabees, you know what I'm saying? You don't have any of other New Testament writers quoting from some of these other apocryphal books.

That's why they left them out quite frankly, so there's a difference between the Ethiopian Coptic Version, the Catholic Bible, and the Protestant Bible based on that criteria.

David: Okay, but then Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch.

Pastor Doug: Yes, he did. That's an excellent question because Jude does quote from the Book of Enoch. Paul quotes from a Greek poet, but it doesn't mean the Greek poet though everything he said was inspired. That's the approach they've taken is that there was at least that one passage that Jude quoted in the Book of Enoch that they recognized as inspired. They said that there's a number of other things that are very dubious about the Book of Enoch that they felt it had been tampered with, so they didn't include the whole book. That's a good point.

Pastor Ross: David you'll also like the book that we mentioned just to our previous caller called The Ultimate Resource, all about the Bible and we'll be happy to send that to you. All you'll have to do is just give us a call on our resource line, the number 800-835-6747. You can also read it for free online at amazingfacts.org. We've got Rich listening from Florida. Rich, welcome to the program.

Rich: Great show.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Rich: I got a two part question for you, if you don't mind?

Pastor Doug: I will do my best.

Rich: The time of trouble, the three and a half years. Is that a literal three and a half years? It has to take place like before the end comes.

Pastor Doug: Now, where did you get the idea that the small time of trouble is three and a half years? It may be, but I'm wondering where you're getting that?

Rich: Yes, from the Bible where it said, "Then there will be a period of three and a half years of times of trouble."

Pastor Doug: You are looking at Daniel 12? You're thinking about where it says "a time, a times" in the dividing of time?

Rich: Right.

Pastor Doug: Okay, well some interpret it that way, I'm not sure that you can use that to argue. It may be three and a half years, I don't know that. I don't know that I'd use Daniel 12 to say that's how long the small time of trouble will be. I don't think that the large time of trouble is going to last very long. I believe- I believe during the small time of trouble God is going to feed his people, we don't need to worry. It says in the same way that the Lord fed Elijah when he fled into the wilderness.

Pastor Ross: Just for our listening friends, you might want to just read that verse in Daniel 12. Just so you have an understanding about what we'll be talking about this time of trouble. Daniel 12:1 it says, "At that time Michael shall stand up-- the Great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that time. At that time your people shall be delivered every one found written in the book."

The Bible is clear that there will be a time of trouble and actually speaks of a time of trouble worse than the world has ever seen prior to, or before Jesus actually comes.

Rich: There's no exact amount of time for that.

Pastor Ross: Not in Daniel no. There's some speculation, but there's nothing clearly--

Rich: Okay, one more part. The latter rain, does that come in before, during the time of trouble, do you think?

Pastor Doug: I think the latter rain needs to come before the time of trouble because it becomes the means. When we say a latter rain friends, we're talking about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Rich: Right

Pastor Doug: The same way God poured out the Holy Spirit when Jesus came the first time and prepared people. The Lord is going to pour out the Holy Spirit to help others get ready for his coming and the gospel will go with great enthusiasm and power again. I believe that is going to happen before this small time of trouble and may bring on the small time of trouble.

Yes, so I think you are on the right course there with that and we need to be praying for the outpouring of God's Spirit or the latter rain as it sometimes is called. Thank you for your call Rich, appreciate that.

Pastor Ross: All right next caller is Ben listening from Fort Worth, Texas. Ben, welcome to the program.

Ben: I thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Pleasure

Ben: I actually had a question about-- I can't quote the Bible verse, God says everyone is free that's it--

Pastor Doug: You are breaking up, I can't hear you.

Ben: Okay. I'm sorry I'm driving a truck I hope you can hear.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Ben: Okay, when God-- I can't quote the Bible verse, when a God says everyone's predestined, but is not meant that anyone should perish.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well of course, the Lord says in the 2 Peter chapter three he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Nobody is born predetermined by God that they're going to die or be lost.

It's either because of the negligence of some to share the gospel with them or by their own negligence, but God will have all men-- the Bible says he would have all men to be saved. He is not willing that any should perish and you know John 3:16. "Whosoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life." There are some confusing verses that Paul makes.

Pastor Ross: You know there's one in particular here in Ephesians 1:5 that has sometimes confused people and is talking about being predestinated. God has predestinated, but if you read the rest of the verse it says, "To be conformed to the image of his son." Those who choose Christ and those who surrender themselves to Christ, it is the will of the Father that they be conformed to the image of Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Yes, God basically has voted for everybody to be saved and we have a book Ben. We'll send you a free copy, and it talks about predestination. If you ask that, it's basically says Can a Saved Man Choose To Be Lost?

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. Again, the book is called Can a Saved Man Choose To Be Lost? We will be happy to send that to you Ben or anybody wanting to learn more about what the Bibles talks about, when it talks about predestination.

How do we understand that? We have Daniel who is listening from New York. Daniel, welcome to the program, we have about two minutes.

Daniel: Yes, pastor. Putting yourself in the place of God is the unpardonable sin. Is that correct?

Pastor Doug: Well, if a person persists to do that, yes.

Daniel: Well, I am confused because St. Paul said imitate me, as I imitate Christ?

Pastor Doug: Oh, yes. Good question. Well, Paul was not saying I am Christ, he is saying I am doing my best to follow Christ. Paul was saying follow me, as I follow Christ. Imitate me as I imitate Christ, so he is not saying I am Christ. He said I'm doing my best to be like Christ and so in that respect as far as I'm imitating Christ do what I'm doing. That is all he is saying there, but I can see how someone might misunderstand that.

Pastor Ross: Of course, that really is the work of the Christian, is we follow Christ so we can be an example to others. I have heard somebody say one of the most compelling arguments to be a Christian is a godly example of the family or the godly example of the Christian.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. Well, I thank you so much Daniel and others if we did not get to your call tonight. God willing, we'll have another chance coming up and it has been a blessing to study with you. You can learn a lot more about the ministry and we have a lot more Bible questions at the website the Amazing Facts website, has a plethora-- kaleidoscope of other bible study material. Use it for yourself in your church and help keep us on the air.

If you are blessed by the program you can donate right there at the site.We appreciate it friends we'll study together again next time.

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