Sponges in the Bible

Scripture: Revelation 4:6-11, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
Date: 10/25/2015 
For thousands of years, people have been using sponges in a multitude of ways. Early Europeans used sponges for water filters, paint brushes, helmet padding and portable drinking utensils. However, by the mid-20th century, overharvesting nearly brought soft sponges to extinction. The invention of synthetic sponges greatly changed things. Found in both fresh and salt water, there are over 7,000 known species of sponges and while they might look like a simple underwater plant, the sponge is actual
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? For thousands of years, people have been using sponges in a multitude of ways. Early Europeans used sponges for water filters, paint brushes, helmet padding and portable drinking utensils. However, by the mid-20th century, overharvesting nearly brought soft sponges to extinction. The invention of synthetic sponges greatly changed things. Found in both fresh and salt water, there are over 7,000 known species of sponges and while they might look like a simple underwater plant, the sponge is actually an animal.

True, they don't have nervous system, digestive or circulatory system. Instead, they depend on constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes. Yes, sponges really are animals and some of them are the longest living creatures on earth. There are a few varieties of turtles and fish that feed on sponges but if left unmolested, they can live for centuries. Scientists once dated a large sponge found in the Antarctic Ocean, back to 461 A.D, pegging its age at over 1,500 years old. The largest known species is the Giant Barrel Sponge.

These massively built sponges can reach eight feet in height and can be about the same length across the thickest part of the body. Some of these colossal creatures have been estimated to be over 2,400 years of age, dating back before the time of Christ. You might be surprised to learn; the Bible says a sponge was even used to help Jesus. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Radio Announcer 1: 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 Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. If you have a Bible question, we have some lines open, give us a call. The number is 800-god-says, that stands for 800-463-7297, we'll bring your question into the studio. One more time, with your Bible questions, give us a call, 800-god-says, that's 800-463-7297. My name is Pastor Doug Batchelor. Pastor John Ross is traveling tonight, so we're going to launch this program together with prayer.

Father in heaven, we just want to thank you for the power of your word that transforms hearts. There's something living and supernatural Lord and we just pray that you'll release that power in this program tonight. Please bless all that are listening. Bless the questions and the answers that are given that it might all lift up the truth, which is Jesus. We pray in his name, amen. Friends, at the beginning of the program, we started out with an amazing fact about sponges.

You might be surprised to know the word sponge is found three times in the Bible. All three are the account of when Jesus in on the cross. You remember that when he was hanging there, after about six hours, he cried out that he thirsted. You can find one example of this in John 19:28. 'After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished and that the scriptures might be fulfilled, he said, "I thirst." Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there and they filled a sponge with sour wine and put it on hyssop and put it to his mouth.' We'll, there's your sponge.

The cross was so high, they couldn't reach him without using a pole, that was the hyssop pole. They dipped the sponge there, attached it to the top of the pole, put it up to the lips of Jesus. It says, 'when Jesus received or tasted the sour wine, he said, "It is finished"' And bowing his head, he gave up the spirit. One of the last things you find before Christ died is, in his earthly body, it mentions a sponge, of all things. The sponge contained sour wine. The first miracle of Jesus was he made fresh grape juice at that wedding. It's called wine but it was unfermented, the word 'grape juice' doesn't appear in the Bible.

The last thing that happens is man gives him sour wine. Jesus gave humanity fresh, the best and man gives him, sour. it’s because Jesus came to, basically, perform a transfusion with the human race, where he gives us his perfect life and he takes our sin. You might want to know more about what Jesus gave that you might have everlasting life and there's a great study, we'll send you a free book. All you have to do is ask for it. The book is called The High Cost of The Cross. The High Cost of The Cross by a Pastor Joe Crews. If you call 800-835-6747, is our resource number. One more time, 800-835-6747, we'll take you the resource line. They'll be happy to send you a free copy of this book that will encourage your heart.

You can read it for free, also, by going to the Amazing Facts website that is simply Amazingfacts.org. With that, we're going to go to the phones and talking first with Kevin who's calling from Edmonton, Canada. Kevin, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Kevin: Hi Doug. I have a question regarding Daniel 12:4. It says, 'but you Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end.' That's where I get confused. Is it talking about another book? Did he write a book and seal it up? Then, will it appear in the end of times? Or is he talking about the book of Revelation? What exactly is that trying to--?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that what Daniel is doing is he's basically saying-- or God is telling Daniel, ''The things in this book of prophecy that you're writing, that I'm giving you, they're not going to be fulfilled or applied until the time of the end.'' In other words, not everything that Daniel was given in prophecy because prophecy looks ahead. Some of these prophecies looked ahead hundreds of years, some thousands. God was telling Daniel, ''These things, these particular things we're talking about--'' And especially chapter 12, where it talks about Michael standing up and the great time of trouble and the resurrection, those things are obviously way in the future.

They're still in our future because the fact that he wrote these things down 400, 500 years before Christ, means that he wasn't told to hide this book somewhere because the book of Daniel was in the hands of the Jewish people immediately after his life. He delivered it to some of the contemporary Jews that went back to Jerusalem.

Kevin: All right, perfect.

Pastor Doug: All right. Hey, we appreciate your call and you would enjoy our Amazing Facts Bible Study series if you've not done that yet. Thank you very much, Kevin. That frees a line if someone else has a bible question. Let me see here. We're going to-- Let me see. Pastor Ross isn't here and so line four, how do you say it? Shia is calling, listening from Saint Thomas Virgin Islands. Shia, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Shia: Hi. It's great to back on the radio program.

Pastor Doug: Well, we're glad you're calling in. What's your question tonight?

Shia: I have a question about the blood moon. How does it into to prophecy?

Pastor Doug: Well, I'm of the belief that what they call the blood moons, they're not a clock by which we determine prophecy. It says in the book of Jeremiah, and I think it's in chapter 10. It said, "Do not be dismayed by the signs in the sky or in the heavens like the heathen are." Some of the pagan countries that lived around the world and the other religions, were very superstitious when things happen. I saw, last month, about one month from now-- Matter of fact, in the Virgin Islands, you guys have a full moon tonight or almost?

Shia: Almost. That’s was going to be on Halloween.

Pastor Doug: You're on the other side of the world but I'm looking at the same moon as you in California, isn't that interesting? We saw the eclipse that they had about a month ago during this blood moon, is what they call it. Nothing extraordinary happened above and beyond what usually happens. So, those celestial signs; an eclipse or some of the astronomical events or a comet in the sky, that doesn't mean that anything is happening on earth prophetically. These things come and go and like I said in Jeremiah, it says, "Do not be dismayed by the things in the sky." A lot of people made a big deal out of the blood moon and the Pope's visit.

They said that the economy was going to collapse and that the world was going to end. There are problems in the world, there were problems before, there are still problems today, it isn't because the moon went through an eclipse. Jesus gives us a lot of signs so we can know where we're near the end. When Christ says, ''The moon will turn to blood'', he's talking about war. You know what happens on Earth, Shia, is when there's terrible fires on Earth and it fills the sky with smoke. When the sun and the moon come up, the sun is dark and the moon looks like blood.

When Jesus said that's going to happen in the last days, he's talking about war, and fires, and destruction on Earth that will happen then. The astronomical Blood Moon, I don't know that it marked anything extraordinary but I appreciate your question. We'll be happy to send you a lesson on the signs about Jesus coming if you call and ask for our study guide called The Ultimate Deliverance. We'll send you a free copy and if you're able to call, Shia-- I know in the Virgin Islands, you may have a different phone system there, 800-835-6747. Otherwise, you can go to the Amazing Facts website and read it for free. Thank you very much and you keep studying the Bible. Appreciate your calling.

With that, we're going to be talking to Mike who's calling from Rockville, Maryland. Mike, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Mike: Hi. Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening. How are you doing?

Mike: I'm doing fine. I was wondering, when Nehemiah's tradition of closing Jerusalem's city gates on Sabbath stopped, I think that's in Nehemiah 13:19. I was thinking of this in relation to Jesus' warning in Matthew 24:20 to pray that the believer's flight not be in the winter, on the Sabbath, referring to the Roman army's withdrawal from around Jerusalem between-- I think it was about 66 A.D to 70 A.D, those four years. I was just wondering if that tradition was reinstated during that time when it was under Jewish control or if it stopped at any time after Nehemiah?

Pastor Doug: That's a good question. Of course, when the Romans were there in the days of Jesus, the Romans and the Greeks were so involved in business, there was plenty of buying and selling going on that they did not get to shut the gates of Jerusalem. I think the Romans respected the Jews keeping the Sabbath but they were not required to keep it. By the time of 68, 70 A.D, when the Jews were besieged by the Roman army, the gates were not only closed on Sabbath, they were closed seven days a week all through the Roman siege. When Jesus said, "Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath day," in Matthew chapter 24, I think Jesus is just saying, "It'll be wonderful if you don't have to run for your life in the winter when there's no food in the fields, and you can maybe glean and stay alive'' Or that you don't have to take the day of rest and run for your life.

By the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, most of the Christians in the world weren't even in Jerusalem. It would have only applied to a handful but Jesus made it sound like all of his believers should pray that. He's also not just talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, in Matthew 24, he's talking about the end of the world. Obviously, the Lord thought the Sabbath was still going to be an issue near the end of time. You're still there, Joseph? Or Mike, I'm sorry.

Mike: Yes, I'm here. So, that four years they were under siege that whole time you’re saying?

Pastor Doug: No, they were not under siege the whole time. Matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, during the siege which started under Titus, the emperor died or changed hands, he had to withdraw. He ended up becoming the emperor, he was the general and they returned again. So, there was a brief window when Christians in the city had an opportunity to flee. At that point, it was besieged again and the doors were shut. You know there's a book-- First of all, if you look online at the history of Josephus, he gives a detailed account of the siege of Jerusalem. There's another wonderful book called The Great Controversy. You can read that for free online. The Great Controversy.

The first chapters [sic] talks about the fall of Jerusalem, so you don't even have to read the whole book. The Great Controversy, the first chapter talks about the fall of Jerusalem and gives more details there. Thank you very much, Mike, for your question. We have another caller who is also another Mike calling from El Portal, Florida. Michael, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Michael: Hello, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Michael: Good evening. I have a quick question about the fourth commandment, particularly citing from Exodus 20, verses 8 through 11. The part where it says, "Thou, nor thy son nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maidservant, nor thy stranger that's within thy gates--", which is the part I'm particularly I'm thinking about. I have a friend who I know from college. He essentially became homeless due to unfortunate circumstances, and my mother allowed him to come live with us. I'm just wondering-- he's not a Sabbath keeper himself. I'm just wondering, does that part of the fourth commandment referencing the stranger then thus entail that he also has to keep the Sabbath considering we're a Sabbath keeping household? Or how does that work exactly?

Pastor Doug: Well, in your home, yes, I would say the answer is a definite yes. The word "Within your gates" Is not necessarily talking about the gates of a city, even homes. Back then, a lot of the homes had little ranches and gates, and gardens and they kept their cows and their goats in there. Whatever your property is, you are responsible for what's happening within your gates. You may not be able to be responsible for what's happening next door within your neighbor's gates, but to the best of your ability, in your home, when you say, "We're going to be a God-fearing home and follow the word, and this is our day of rest," if he's there, he should respect that.

I mean, I would do the same thing if I was visiting somebody. I know that might be difficult, and it doesn't mean he's able to keep it in his heart because if he's not a believer, he's not, but you don't want him out there mowing your grass. He doesn't need to be turning on secular media and disrupting everybody in the family when it's your holy day. If he's a reasonable person, I would hope that he'd say, "Sure, I'll respect that. This is your home and this is your belief and I can honor that." That doesn't mean you have to collar them and say, "You've got to go to church with me." That'll be up to you, but they need to try to respect your beliefs in not working. I mean, the Lord says, ''Even your ox and your donkey'', so certainly the people [chuckles].

Good question and I appreciate that. Thank you very much, Michael. By the way, we do have a study guide that talks about the subject of the Sabbath. There's a new magazine Amazing Facts just put out about the day of your life and it talks about the Sabbath and keeping the Sabbath holy. If you'd like to get a copy that, you can call Amazing Facts and call the resource line, 800-835-6747, that’s 800-835-6747. Ask for a copy of our new Sabbath magazine, The Rest of Your Life and you'll enjoy that [laughs]. We went through several iterations of titles before we named it. I've still got the old ones in my head. All right. With that, we do have another line open if you want to call in with a Bible question. That number, again, is 800-god-says, 800-463-7297.

Talking next with Ed who's calling from Carp Lake, Michigan. Am I saying that right? Ed, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Ed: Carp Lake is a fish [laughs]. The fish, Carp.

Pastor Doug: There you go. I was actually in Michigan a couple weeks ago but I'd never heard of Carp Lake before.

Ed: It's up by the Mackinac Bridge. You were probably in Berrien Springs, or -

Pastor Doug: I was in Lansing.

Ed: - Camp Au Sable or whatever.

Pastor Doug: No, I was in Lansing, Michigan, actually.

Ed: Yes, at the conference. Well anyway, Pastor, I've just got a quick question here too. I wrote it down so I wouldn't-- Anyways, people in the holy city, when it comes down to set it on the Earth or just before it sets on Earth, I'm not really sure. When Jesus brings fire down from out heaven to destroy the wicked, is everybody going to be able to see that destroy the wicked? I've always thought about Adam and Eve being in the holy city and they're looking on and saying, "Look what I did."

Pastor Doug: It is going to be very difficult for some but the Bible seems to indicate that-- it says, "Only with your eyes--" If you read Psalm 91, it says, "Only with your eyes will you see the destruction of the wicked." So, we believe that, yes, unfortunately, that the righteous are going to be able to see that. Take a look in Psalm 91 and I think you'll see in the first few verses. Then, you can also read Malachi chapter 4, "You'll go down and tread upon the wicked for they'll be ashes under the soles of your feet." Of course, that doesn't say they see the destruction but I believe that you read in Revelation 20, "God rains We're right there when that happens, so I don't think that he is going to blind everybody for that event. It's going to be very difficult. You notice it’s after that, Revelation 20 is where the wicked are destroyed. After that, in Revelation 21, God wipes away all tears. Yes, if Adam and Eve were looking at that, they'd think, "Man, our little choice to turn from God, look at how it has reacted in so many lives being lost and so much suffering." Good point Ed, I appreciate that. We do have a lesson on the millennium, where it talks about the scenario of what happens with the wicked and we'll be happy to send you that lesson on the millennium if you just call our resource line 800-835-6747, and it's A Thousand Years of Peace, is the name of the lesson.

If you have a Bible question, we have lines open, 800-god-says, 800-463-7297. With that, we're going to talk with Seth, calling from Hilo Hawaii. Hi Seth, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Seth: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hey, thanks for your patience -

Seth: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: - and your question.

Seth: My question is, in Jeremiah 7, verse 18, where it says that women, they make cakes for the queen of heaven. I want to know if there is such a thing as the queen of heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well, it's believed the queen of heaven was talking about one of the pagan gods that was related to Ashtoreth. It was the female part of Baal worship and they had gotten involved in this. You can also find this in Jeremiah 44:18, ''But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things and have been consumed by the sword and famine.'' They’re saying, ''Oh, back in the days when we worshiped the queen of heaven, this pagan deity, everything was fine'' But it was idolatry, they had idols of the queen of heaven everywhere. All through history, the different pagan religions have had statues of a female goddess.

The names have changed. If you go to the new testament, Seth, you'll see where they talked about worshiping Diana. They had idols of Diana all over Ephesus and they nearly killed Paul

Seth: Do you know the scripture?

Pastor Doug: Excuse me?

Seth: Do you know the scripture in the new testament?

Pastor Doug: That would be-- let me see. Acts 16, if I recall right. I'm going to look real quick while you're waiting. I'm a little shorthanded here because Pastor Ross is usually here manning the computers. In Acts 16, I think this is the part where it says that they-- maybe it was Acts 13, let me look here. Yes, Diana. I'm going to type it in. I know that doesn't make for good radio.

Seth: It's okay, it's all right.

Pastor Doug: We'll see if we can find that. Yes, take a look there in Acts chapter 13, they nearly killed Paul and Silas because they had interrupted the work of the silversmiths.

Seth: So, it's not a real queen of heaven, it’s just [unintelligible 00:23:28]?

Pastor Doug: No.

Seth: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: No, not at all. Let me see here. I'm still looking to see if I can find that for you. Yes, Acts 19. Sorry, I was wanting to get that. Acts chapter 19 talks about the silversmiths being upset because the sales of their idols were hurt by the preaching of Paul and Silas. All right, I appreciate your call, Seth. By the way, I will be in Hilo Hawaii in about a year with Mrs. Batchelor. We're going to be doing a camp meeting in the area and we hope you come and visit us. Robert is next, he is calling from Bloomfield, New Jersey, listening on WMCA. Robert, welcome to Bible Answers Live, you're on the air.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Doug. My question is concerning in Revelation, chapter 4, verses 6 to11. What is the Bible describing when it’s talking about the four living creatures and 24 elders? What exactly does that mean? What are they?

Pastor Doug: Yes, and you'll find this also mentioned in Ezekiel, where it talks about those living creatures. Those represent different aspects. Now, you realize, of course, the book of Revelation is full of symbolism. So, when you read here about these different creatures, which you find in Ezekiel 1:10, it says one is like a lion, one is like an eagle, one is like a calf, and one is like a man. These are different aspects of god's character. Jesus has got a side that is like the sacrifice, the calf and Jesus is called, 'the lion of the tribe of Judah'. Jesus is all knowing like an eagle has the best vision and it soars because it has a vantage point of everything from the sky and God is all knowing.

It's also the speed. The man, Christ became a man, he's referred to as, 'the son of man'. Some scholars have said Matthew shows Jesus as the lion, Mark shows Jesus as the eagle. Mark is the quickest gospel, things happen very quickly. John shows Jesus as the calf, Jesus the sacrifice and Luke shows Jesus as the man. Luke the physician, shows the human side of Jesus. You'll also find these, as I mentioned, in Ezekiel chapter 1, it's got the same four creatures. It's a very important verse there in Ezekiel to help understand and interpret Revelation. I appreciate your call, Robert. Hopefully, that helps a little bit.

Amazing Facts has a magazine that goes in great detail into the book of revelation. If you call the Amazing Facts resource line, say you would like to get a copy of the Revelation Magazine. It's 800-835-6747. One more time, 800-835-6747. By the way, that's also a chaplain line. If you'd like someone to pray with you, you can give them a call. Just say you're listening to Bible Answers Live and you need prayer. One more time, 800-835-6747. I don't know if I'm going to have time for another question just before the break, so what I might say right now is, this is that time of the year-- we are just about five and half days before Halloween. We get a lot of questions about the subject of death and people are hanging ghosts out in front of their houses and people are worried about haunted houses.

It's amazing how people look for an opportunity to be scared. They go see scary movies and the television is full of them. What happens when people die? Do they become ghosts that then haunt houses? Amazing Facts has a website that gives a very interesting biblical perspective. After you look at it, you're going to want to send this link to your friends that are afraid of ghosts. God doesn't want us to be afraid of ghosts. It'll tell you when apparently ghosts appear, what is going on? What is happening in the spirit world when these things are being seen? Simply go to ghosttruth.com. You ready? Ghosttruth.com, you'll find a lot of neat information there; videos, bible studies. After you look at it, pass on that truth to your friends. You're listening to Bible Answers Live. Be right back.

Radio Announcer 1: Bible Answers Live will return in just a moment. If you're looking for Bible-based materials for further study, sign up for Amazing Facts’ 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.

Radio Announcer 2: 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, 1800-835-6747 and request offer 257, that's 1800-835-6747.

Pastor Doug: We are back friends and this is Bible Answers Live. If you have any bible questions, you could pick up the phone and give us a call. We've got at least one line open. Here's the number, 800-god-says, 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor and pastor Jean Ross, our copilot, is traveling today. So, with our crew in the studio and God's help, we're going to carry on. We're going to go next and talk to Shawn who's calling from South Dakota and listening online, free. Shawn, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Shawn: Hello, can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: I hear you, loud and clear.

Shawn: I'm driving, so it’s cutting in and out. I’m driving, I'm a truck driver, so I'm hoping it doesn't cut out. My question is, can someone who is a Christian-- They know and they believe in God, they trust God and they do everything that they're supposed to but they have an addiction or problem, per se, that they seem to not be able to overcome and they do everything. They pray, they do everything that they're supposed to. They [unintelligible 00:31:01] and they fast but they seem to not be able to overcome it. That they just feel basically they’ve exhausted all other avenues and they don't know what to do.

They feel maybe God just has let them go to their own demise even though they don't want to be let go to their own demise. They want to be with him but they just can't get over this particular sin. What would you say about that?

Pastor Doug: Well, that's a great question. A lot of people are probably tuning in right now carefully because there's a lot of people out there listening that they love the Lord, they want to serve the Lord but they've been maybe battling with a particular sin. Most people are not tempted by every sin. Most people have trouble with a handful of sins and it might be very different. Some people, they really struggle with drugs and alcohol. Some people really struggle with spending money and just materialism. Some people struggle with sexual temptation or pride and gossip, but whatever a person's temptation du jour happens to be, what do you if you're Christian and you just cannot seem to get the victory?

First of all, I would say do not believe that you can't because there's so much in the Bible that says, "With God all things are possible." You may not have experienced it and sometimes a person has to fall several times. God cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene. The Bible says, "A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" But we've got to remember, ''Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world'' And through faith, with God, all things are possible. So, don't just surrender and say, "Well, I guess I'm just going to have to get used to being addicted to this problem the rest of my Christian experience.'' Paul talks about wrestling, warring, striving, fighting, running.

The preachers that are telling people there is no effort involved in being a Christian are wrong [chuckles]. Jesus was praying and sweating, perspiring blood when he said, "Not my will, thy will be done." The big battle we all fight is trusting God and saying, ''Not my will, your will be done.'' Sometimes there is a struggle to trust God. Now, let me give me you a verse instead of me just pontificating. You look in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 26, Shawn. It says, "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin but a fearful expectation of judgment and a fiery indignation that will devour the adversaries." It's pretty clear if we go on deliberately, willfully sinning after knowing what the truth is.

David is going to be heaven, I expect to see King David in heaven, Bible says he'll be there but David had 10 wives. He lived in a time of ignorance, the Bible says in Acts chapter 17, verse 30. God winked at the times of ignorance but I know better. I've received the knowledge or the truth that one man is supposed to have one wife. If I go get extra wives, I'm not going to make it because I know better. If I continue to sin willfully, then I'm just going to be doomed. When we know the truth and we continue to sin willfully and just resign ourselves to that, that's very dangerous. Now, a lot of people struggle. The very fact that it's an addiction, means it's a terrible struggle. It could be alcohol, it could be food or whatever it is, don't despair.

When you sin, repent and ask God to forgive you and just ask Him to help you follow him moment by moment. I tell people this many times, I had to quit smoking several times before I quit for good. I quit and failed and quit and failed and quit and failed. I quit for months once and then I failed again but praise God, I haven't had a cigarette in my mouth in 39 years now. So, I know that God can give you the victory. What he did for me with cigarettes and what he does for people with alcohol and all these other things, he can do for anybody, whatever it is, just continue to press on. Now, that's a long speech Shawn, does that make sense?

Shawn: It does. It's just hard when you feel that your prayers are just going unanswered. I mean I pray and I pray hard and I ask and I guess-- See, I know when I’m doing good because bad things happen, right? I get attacked really badly when I know I'm doing right and when I’m doing--

Pastor Doug: Yes, the devil's threatened.

Shawn: Say it one more time?

Pastor Doug: I say the devil is threatened when you're being successful and when you're having victory and that's normal for every believer. When the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, the Pharaoh chased after them. He made them serve even harder, so there's a struggle in being born again and going through conversion and just don't despair. Hey, I've got to go to another call Shawn, but I want to offer you a book and don't let the title scare you. The title of the book is, Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning? It's actually a very encouraging book. It gives some of the keys to victory. Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning? We'll send you a free copy, just call 800-835-6747.

Any Christian out there and you struggle with sin and temptation, you'll enjoy this book. Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning? You know what? There's another book as well. If you call, you might also enjoy, Is It Easier to Be Saved or Lost? There's a big question. The title of the book is, Is It Easier to Be Saved or Lost? Written by the founder of Amazing Facts, Joe Crews. We'll send you a free copy, 800-835-6747 for the resource. Bible question, 800-god-says, 800-463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor going to talk with Joseph who's calling from Staten Island, New York listening on WMCA. Welcome Joseph, you're on the air.

Joseph: Thanks a lot, Pastor Doug. I really appreciate your edifying answers.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Joseph: My question is, why would God make people who he knows will spend eternity in hell?

Pastor Doug: Well, you're asking two questions there. One is, why would God make people that he knows because God knows all things, are going to be lost? Does God want us to love Him?

Joseph: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Can God make us love Him?

Joseph: No.

Pastor Doug: Love has to be a free choice, doesn't it? Because if you force someone to love you, is it love?

Joseph: No.

Pastor Doug: So, to prove that God gives us freedom, he even made people who he knows that, ultimately, will not love him. Now you asked another question, you said to be consigned to hell for eternity. I believe that the lost are lost forever. I believe that they enter everlasting darkness, it's everlasting destruction but I don't believe, as many Christian pastors, that hell burns forever. That's a medieval teaching and I know that shocks some people listening but I'll be happy to share some scriptures with you. The Bible says that it's a second death that the wicked experience and death is an absence of life.

We've got two choices, believe in God, everlasting life or perish. It's going to break his heart, it is true, ''Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few find it'' Because few are looking. ''Broad is the way that leads to destruction'' And the wicked will be judged, punished, burnt, and destroyed and it's going to break God's heart, but eventually, the bible says he'll wipe away all tears. In the universe, there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more death. There's going to be a world where there is no more suffering and this dark age’s teaching of a torture chamber for billions and zillions of years, makes people really wonder about the love of God. That's not what the Bible teaches us. By the way Joseph--

Joseph: So, you're saying that those that are consigned to hell won't be there for all eternity because they will cease to exist?

Pastor Doug: Bible says, ''The fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.'' They perish.

Joseph: So, they will not exist?

Pastor Doug: No, ''The wicked are ashes under the soles of our feet'', the Bible says. The wicked will consume into smoke, they will consume away. I think it's in Psalm 37, ''You'll diligently consider the place of the wicked and it will not be.'' God said, ''Never shall thou be anymore'', and so the language is extremely strong and there's been a few verses that I think have been misapplied. I have a lesson that we'll send and a lot of Christian pastors agree with this. They sometimes get shouted down by people that insist that God tortures you for all ages but the Bible really teaches that the wicked are burnt up and it's called, Is The Devil In Charge of Hell? We'll send you a free copy of that, Joseph. Is the devil in charge of Hell? Just call 800-835-6747 and you'll let us know what you think. All right, moving along, we're going to talk with Jerry calling from Medford Oregon. Jerry, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jerry: Yes pastor. I identified a question when I called in but could I change my question?

Pastor Doug: Well, we'll do our best.

Jerry: Well, I live about a hundred miles from Roseburg and, of course, you know we had that shooting a couple weeks ago which made me think. A lot of people come to the Lord if they have the privilege of aging like you have and I have. Even David said, ''Father forgive me the sins of my youth.'' Now, these people, I guess they’re about 10 and that probably, statistically speaking, they probably weren't all Christians, although the shooter did ask them that. Anyway, the question is do these people-- where just some could be in the wrong place, at the wrong time and some depraved person walks in and kills them during their youth and deprives them of the ability to age and, let's say, mellow and come to the Lord. It just seems-- I’m concerned about that.

Pastor Doug: It seems like it's tragic and it seems unjust, is that what you're wondering?

Jerry: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You can ask the question, why would God allow Hitler or what's happening in Syria? Where these kids, they're dying, fleeing, the starvation, the stuff in Africa, so many young people suffer. Does that mean that God doesn’t love? Or why doesn't God stop it? Or why does he allow it? It seems such a tragedy to have a life cut short. That question is very close to our heart because we had a son who, about 11 years ago, 23 years old, in his prime, had a construction accident and died. We thought, ''Oh, he had so much to live for'', and you ask those questions.

Jerry: He was a Christian?

Pastor Doug: He believed, yes. The problem is that some do and some don't and the devil is claiming this world. God is intervening, with his angels, to save as many as he can. We're looking around, we're seeing the injustice and it's not God, it's the devil. Jesus referred to the devil as the prince of this world and because there are people that serve the devil, God does not stop them from the effects of sin against people that love the Lord.

Jerry: But other people had to pay for it.

Pastor Doug: That’s right, it's not fair and the one who paid the most was God when he sent his son. He said, “Look, I don't want to see people lost, I want to see them saved. This world has been kidnapped by a fiend and the only way for me to save those who would be saved is for them to come to me.'' Yes, it's a pretty serious situation. Anyway Jerry, hey, I appreciate your call. I hope that helps a little bit and we answered that question. With that, we're going to talk to Jamie who's calling from Spring Hill, Florida and listening on line six, Sirius XM Radio. Jamie, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Jamie: Good evening Pastor Doug. I’ve got a quick comment and a quick question. I feel troubled that there's so many interpretations of the Bible and I believe there's only one truth and one interpretation. Now, that gets me to think, for it to be a one world government and a one world system, a one world religion, there has [sic] something major to happen in the world, on earth, in order for that to happen because of the behavior of the governments today. Now my question is, when Jesus is coming to pick up his bride, that bride is going to be in the heart of us, of his children?

It's not going to be a building where people go of a particular denomination. Is it going to be a church that is in the heart of each individual that is a child of God?

Pastor Doug: Yes, there will be people that they love the truth and the truth is in their hearts, but I want to, respectfully, disagree with something you're saying. You are correct, in the last days, the beast power is going to enforce one world worship but it doesn't say there'll be one world government. Matter of fact, in Daniel chapter 2, Daniel predicts that the governments of the world will try to build a confederacy but they will not cleave to one another, they will not stick together.

So, the devil is going to use the different world leaders and even in Revelation 17, it talks about, ''The kings of the earth come together to this woman'' And a woman is a church, all the kings. That's Revelation 17, it says, ''They commit fornication with a woman.'' This is the governments with the church in the last days but there's many different kingdoms. We talked about 10 crowns and you've got all the divisions of the kingdoms in the world but there will be one world worship. Those who worship the Lord will not get involved in this but the beast power is going to try and make everybody worship or they can't buy or sell. You've read that before, I suppose, Jamie?

Jamie: Different interpretations because I figure that that confuses, not only the Christian but the non-believer also.

Pastor Doug: Yes, well it does but the way you hide a diamond is if you put a diamond in a pile of broken glass, then it's easy to hide and the diamond of truth is hidden by all the broken glass that the devil has put around it. We need to search. That's why the Lord says, ''Search and you will find, ask and you will receive.'' If we search for the truth, we'll find it and if we're willing to do his will, we'll find the truth. Hey, Jamie, you would enjoy the Amazing Facts Bible study course, and we'll send you a free copy of that. If you just simply call 800-835-6747 and tell them you'd like to get the free illustrated Amazing Facts Bible study course.

800-835-6747, anyone out there. If you've not done that, it will change your life, I promise you. All right, going to talk next to Darrell, who is calling from Bthe Bronx, New York on WMCA. Darrell, you're on the air.

Darrell: How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing good.

Darrell: Thank you so much for taking my call. I was having a trip through 2nd Corinthians and I have a question about 15 through the end, in which it states--

Pastor Doug: What chapter?

Darrell: I’m sorry, chapter 3, 15 through the end, in which it refers to the Lord and then spirit. Capital L on the Lord and capital S on the Spirit. With 16, it says, ''But--

Pastor Doug: ''When one turns to the Lord the veil is removed''?

Darrell: Right, keep going.

Pastor Doug: ''And now, the Lord is the spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.'' That’s the part?

Darrell: What translation are you in?

Pastor Doug: Well, that one, I clicked on the English Standard Version. Are you wanting the King James?

Darrell: What I was in was the New International Version and then I read the King James and I got totally lost but that's closer to what-- What I’m asking is--

Pastor Doug: Let me read the New King James, ''Nevertheless, when one turns to--'' Go ahead, I'm sorry.

Darrell: Does the Lord there refer to the holy spirit or does it refer to Jesus or am I might just lost?

Pastor Doug: Well, it says, ''The Spirit of the Lord is--'' Well, it's talking about the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of the Lord. ''There is liberty, there is freedom.'' ''When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.'' If you want me to talk about the veil, I'll explain that. They couldn't look at God's presence in the Old Testament because the Holy of Holies was-- there was a veil and they couldn't look. When Moses came down the mountain, he had to veil his face but when God gives us his spirit, the veil is removed and we see more clearly who the Lord is, through the spirit.

Then it says, ''But we with unveiled face beholding, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are being transformed from the same image.'' Are you with me still?

Darrell: What that comes out of is they were talking about glory and the Israelites being afraid of Moses's face because his face had to be veiled -

Pastor Doug: Right, he came down from talking with god, his face was glowing.

Darrell: - because they were afraid of-- And what Paul, Silas, and Timothy were talking about was the everlasting glory, which has been revealed after the crucifixion

Pastor Doug: See Jesus-- the glory of God was in Christ. Christ is called-- Christos is the anointed. It's like when you christen a ship, they would anoint it. Messiah is the anointed, Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and so when they saw Jesus, they saw God in man. Not like Moses with a veil but in the undimmed glory, as much as our eyes could contain looking upon God. That's why John says, ''Our hands handled and we saw his glory.'' Peter said, ''We saw his glory on the holy mount when Moses and Elijah spoke with him.'' It's a big study, talking about the glory of God and hopefully, this helps a little bit. Hey, Darrell, hopefully, that helps a little.

We're going to talk next to Hannah who is calling from Milan, Michigan. Hannah, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Hannah: Hi. Yes, it’s Milan, Michigan. My question is, the Bible-- I don't know if it says in the Bible that, ''Once saved, always saved.'' If you're saved and you're baptized but you still sin, could you still go to hell?

Pastor Doug: When a person comes to the Lord and they're saved, can they choose to turn away and be lost? The answer would be yes because otherwise, God would have to take away your freedom of choice but does that mean, when a person is saved, that they have to live in fear where they have no assurance? And the answer to that is no. If they continue to abide, Jesus says, ''If you abide in me--'' And abiding is choosing to remain with the Lord. If we abide in him, he promises we'll bring forth fruit. It says if we--

Hannah: Because I mean--

Pastor Doug: Go ahead.

Hannah: I'm sorry to interrupt, like smoking cigarettes or having tattoos.

Pastor Doug: Or drinking or whatever it is, yes.

Hannah: I know a lot of Christians that smoke cigarettes and I do myself and I struggle with quitting. I know a lot of Christians that believe that the Bible doesn't state -

Pastor Doug: Thou shall not smoke?

Hannah: - that smoking cigarettes is a sin or tattoos but I feel in my heart that it is because your body is a holy temple and you're supposed to take care of it. My question is, what would you believe about smoking cigarettes?

Pastor Doug: Well, can you be saved while you're--? Let me give you a personal testimony. First of all, you asked something about tattoos. The Bible actually does forbid tattoos. If you'll look in Leviticus 19:28, it says, "You will not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead nor tattoo any marks on you, for I'm the Lord." That's pretty clear, thou shall not. So, tattoos are in the Bible but cigarettes, obviously, are not. When a person gets a tattoo, does that mean they can't be saved? Well, no. There can be a lot of people come to Lord that are covered with tattoos and you can't always afford and neither is it practical, to have them all removed.

God is not going to say to people when they come to him, ''Well, if you have all your tattoos removed, I'll save you.'' You can come to the Lord while you struggle with smoking. I wouldn’t baptize a person while they were still smoking because baptism represents a born-again experience, that you're going to walk in a newness of life, that you're a new creature. I struggled with smoking. When I first came to the Lord, I smoked for several years and I battled it, as you may have heard me say. That doesn't mean that I didn't love the Lord nor does it mean he was never answering my prayers or walking with me but I was constantly convicted that I was out of his will because it says on every pack, ''This stuff's going to kill you eventually.''

Hannah: That's exactly how I feel.

Pastor Doug: The Bible says, ''Thou shall not kill'' And that would certainly include slow suicide, which is what happens with some drugs and cigarettes and not to mention, it's not a good example, it's not a good witness. What would Jesus do? You probably can't picture Jesus blowing smoke rings and spitting tobacco. Do you mind my asking, how old are you, Hannah?

Hannah: I'm 19.

Pastor Doug: Yes, you sound young to me. I've got kids your age. You can quit. Quit while you're young. I quit when I was 22 and I've never smoked since. I smoked since I was 13, so I did it for seven years and I was addicted. It's easier to quit now. All you've got to do is just pray your way through it. The first day is tough and the next day gets easier. Then, there will be couple more tough days but you keep telling yourself, ''Praise God, I know he can save me from this.'' Think of all the money you're going to save. You've got a thousand good reasons to quit and it'll get easier.

I don't ever think about it anymore, so you'll get to the place where it's gone. Obviously, you weren't born smoking, so you learned to do it. It's a habit you learned, you can unlearn it. So, don't let the devil scare you.

Hannah: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Would you like for me to pray for you?

Hannah: Yes, please, that would be great.

Pastor Doug: Father in heaven, I pray you'll be with Hannah and thousands of others like her that might be struggling with some addiction. Help them know you love them, that you are in their lives but you want them to have the victory and to walk in a newness of life. I pray that they'll be determined to have this experience. Please bless her to this end and fill her with your spirit. We thank you and pray in Jesus name. Well, thank you, Hannah. Didn't mean to chase you off. We do have a book we'll send you, Can A Saved Man Be Lost? You asked about, once saved, always saved. Can A Saved Man Be Lost? Call our resource number, 800-835-67. Listening friends, that's all the time we've got for Bible Answers Live. Till next week, God bless you.

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