A Modern Day Ark

Date: 10/07/2007 
When the ark opened its doors in 2007, visitors were stunned by its size and think that Netherlands is the right place for an ark to be built. With all the talk of global warming, some fear Holland is going to be the first place flooded if polar caps melt much faster.
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Doug Batchelor: Hello, friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Dutch creationist, Johan Huibers, had a dream that someday Holland would be flooded. That led to his building a replica of Noah's ark, complete with life size animals. The seaworthy ark is only half the size of Noah's original but it's still nearly 230 feet long, 45 feet high, and 30 feet wide. Life size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, and bison are included in the ark's interior.

Even with all the animals, it still has room for a 50 seat theater where the story of Noah's ark is retold. Eventually, there'll be even a petting zoo with baby lambs and chickens, goats and one camel. The total cost of the project was an estimated $1.2 million. Johan also built the Ark as a testament to his literal belief in the Bible. He said, "This will speak very much to children because it will give them something tangible to see that Noah's ark really existed."

Assisted by his son, the 47-year-old contractor spent nearly two years building the ark by the water in Schagen, 30 miles North of Amsterdam. As far as possible, he had tried to remain true to the ark's proportions described in the Bible. Johan's ark is constructed with American cedar and Norwegian Pine rather than the gopher wood. Biblical scholars still aren't exactly sure what kind of wood that was.

When the ark opened its doors in 2007, visitors were stunned by its size and think that Netherlands is the right place for an ark to be built. With all the talk of global warming, some fear Holland is going to be the first place flooded if polar caps melt much faster. Johan's ark is a fully functional model and will even meet all the naval, fire and animal rights regulations. Mr. Huibers plans to sail the ark through the interior waters around Holland. He's praying this colossal exhibit will help renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, which has dramatically fallen in the past 50 years.

So, the big question is, will there be another global flood before Jesus returns? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Doug: This is one of my favorite hours of the week. When we get to gather with our friends who are all across North America, indeed via the internet around the world, who would like to listen in or call in with Bible questions. Right now, we do have some lines still open. If you have a Bible question, it is a free phone call. Keep a pencil handy because we also have some free offers we'd like to make available. That number again is 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297 and we'd love to have you participate in tonight's program. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends, good evening Pastor Doug. Before we go into the questions this evening, let's start with prayer. Dear Father, once more as we open up your word, we ask for the Holy Spirit to be with us, be with those who are listening across the country and around the world. We pray that they might find Bible answers to the questions that they have. We ask this all in Jesus' name. Amen.

Doug: Amen.

Ross: You opened the program with an amazing fact about a modern Noah. Somebody who built an ark in the Netherlands and the question is, well, will the world be flooded before Jesus comes? What type of final destruction is in store? Is there a final destruction?

Doug: There is a lot of talk with the global warming and some have said that many of the seaside cities could be flooded. If the polar should suddenly melt, they would rise 30 feet and that would endanger a number of places but it certainly won't be a global flood. Of course, we have the promise in Genesis 9. After the flood, God said, "I will never again destroy the earth with a flood, of water that is." But if you read in 2 Peter 3:5-7, it talks about Noah's flood.

Peter here, speaking about those who doubt the return of the Lord. He said, "For this, they're willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world that then was being overflown with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reversed and for fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

In other words, back in the days of Noah, God destroyed the wicked the world with water, a flood of water. The redeemed, the remnant, was preserved in an Ark, In the last days, the Bible talks about fire raining down from heaven and a lake of fire that covers the surface of the earth. At that point, the ransom, the redeemed, the remnant, is in the new Jerusalem, another kind of ark of safety. There is going to be another flood but not a flood of water. It's going to be a flood of fire. God's going to wash the earth with fire and I guess you would call that global warming.

Ross: [laughs] To the extreme. Okay. We have a free offer dealing with the subject of what happens when Jesus comes or how is the earth going to be cleansed. It's called The Last Day on Earth written by Joe Cruz. It's a free offer. Anyone listening would like to receive this, all they need to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for that free offer, Last Day on Earth.

Doug: You know, Jesus said that the second coming would be-- He said, "As it was in the days of Noah and as it was in the days of Lot." This book makes some very striking parallels about the days of Noah, the days of Lot and the day in which we live. The people living in the day of Noah, life went on right up until the flood. The people in Lot's time, when it was destroyed with fire, life went on up until the day that Lot escaped. Then the end came.

I think people think that there is going to be plenty of warning in the headlines before the end comes. Not according to what Jesus said. Jesus said he's going to take the world as a thief, as a surprise. So, we need to be ready now. We can't get ready at the last minute. I recommend they send for this book. What will it look like, Last Day on Earth?

Ross: Okay. Well, we have a few questions that's coming via the internet, via email. The first one, Pastor Doug, I want to know if the trinity is a true Bible teaching or is it an addition made by man?

Doug: Well, some people are confused because the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. It's a descriptive term. Of course, I remind people, the word Bible does not appear in the Bible either. That's a Latin word. It means collection of books, from Biblios. Trinity, like tri, tricycle,has three wheels. Trinitymeans, the three entities of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The teaching of those three entities is certainly in the Bible.

We get a lot of questions on the nature of God and the Trinity and doesn't the Bible say there's one God? Oh, yes. There is one God. A man and one woman get married, they become one flesh but they're still two individuals. Unlike the pagans, who believed there was a god of the rivers and a god of the bushes and a god of the sky and the sun, all these different gods that were warring amongst themselves, our God, the God of the Bible, is one God. Meaning he is united, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

That's a teaching that is in the old testament. Right at the beginning, God said, "Let us make man in our image." If we have friends that have a question about that subject, I could go on and on. The best thing would be for them to go to our website and read the book. It's our new website, they need to look at amazingfacts.org called The Trinity or we'll send you a copy.

Ross: Just call the resource number. Again, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the book on the Trinity. We'll be happy to send it out to you. Pastor Doug, next question has to do with Romans 14:2-3. This person writes, "It says here that I will be received by God if I eat all things with thanksgiving. For the kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness." I think they're referring to some of the comments that were made concerning clean and unclean foods.

Doug: Yes. Any of our friends who listen to this program on an ongoing basis know that periodically, we get questions on what the Bible says about health and diet. They're surprised to learn the Bible does say this and things you shouldn't eat and things that are better to eat. It's a Biblical guidelines of what's clean and unclean. Of course, many Christians argue that when Jesus died on the cross, that it no longer matters what we eat because of verses like these in Romans 14.

But they're misapplying the statements of Paul. Paul is talking about not at all about the substance of the food. He's talking about food that had been offered to idols. He is saying that if a food is butchered in the market place and they offered it to some Roman or Greek deity and you go and buy it at the market, that did not make that chicken or that cow or that goat unclean. You don't get the demons in you from eating it.

That did not mean that a Christian can pray over anything without consequences and God's is going to bless whatever crawls across our plate. Some people use it that way. God says, do not be deceived God is not mocked. What a person sows, he'll also reap. If we know that something is has got too much sugar in it or it's got too much cholesterol in it, we can't say, well, I'm going to pray over it and I'm going to tempt the Lord. That's not good thinking.

There are still things that God says in his words are clean and unclean, good and not good. Some things are good better and best, others are forbidden. In the Bible, if they want to know if these distinctions are, we've got that lesson we can offer on God's free health plan.

Ross: That's right I was just thinking as the amazing facts study guide that deals in detail with this subject. To receive it, call the resource 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, Gods Free Health Plan.

Doug: I think our friends would be surprised how much the Bible really says about a lot of secrets that America would follow these guidelines, we wouldn't have the health crisis we have right now.

Ross: Absolutely. Let me go to the phone lines. Our first caller tonight, someone who's been holding on. Daryl, welcome, listening from Toronto Canada.

Daryl: Hi, pastors good evening?

Ross: Evening, how can we help you?

Daryl: Thank you very much first of all, for taking my call. I have a question regarding children especially under five. Pastor, when Jesus will come how will they be judged?

Doug: Well, first of all, any child before that age of accountability, they are not going to be held as accountable. Obviously, if a baby is born and they are six months old, they don't have the consciousness of knowing what is right or wrong, in that respect. All of us are born with the simple tendencies of a selfish nature. That's different from having a record of sin by going against what we know is right or wrong.

Some pastors try to pinpoint an age where once you have your 12th birthday or 9th birthday you pass the age of accountability and then you are responsible for your actions. The Bible doesn't really give us a specific age. The Jews used to say that when a boy became 12, then he would go to the temple as Jesus did. Really, God looks on the heart and different children mature at different times.

If a child should die before that age of accountability, they are not going to be judged for a record of sin because the Lord looks on the heart. My belief is that it varies from child-- and indeed Daryl, there are people who because of some birth defect or brain damage, they might be 30 years old then they have some handicap they never understand. Is the Lord going to judge them the same way that he would judge an adult who does understand?

Daryl: What if one of the parents, one is with the Lord 100% and the other one is 50%?

Doug: There is definitely a sanctifying influence by having believing parents. You can say, all right here you've got in 1st Corinthians Chapter 7, for an example. It said," For the unbelieving husband he is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children unclean but now they are holy." In other words, parents can intercede on behalf of their children before the age of accountability. Even after, Job interceded for his children every day.

There is a sanctifying influence that the parents have especially before those children reach the age of accountability. Once they reach the age of accountability, God says in Ezekiel 18, "A son will not bear the iniquity of a father and a father will not bear the iniquity of a son." then they are responsible. In our culture, right now everybody is preoccupied with blaming some else for their behavior, we are all victims. I can't help the way I am helping the way I am because if my mother didn't over eat, it's my mother's fault. I can't help my temper because my dad had a temper, it's his fault.

Once you get to a certain age, it's not their fault anymore but sometimes we have to take responsibility. Before that age of accountability, whatever that age is, there is a sanctifying influence of the parents. Even if there is one believing parent as we just read here in 1st Corinthian 7. Does that make sense?

Daryl: Even if one parent with the Lord. When Christ comes will the kids be with that parent in heaven?

Doug: Let me give you a straight an answers as I can. I believe that if you have a husband and a wife, one believes and one doesn't, and the children are below the age of accountability, that if the Lord comes and one parent is saved through the influence of that safe parents the children will be saved. That's your understanding, Pastor Ross? That they'll find them in the kingdom.

Daryl: Pastor, I have a request is there any guide to train the children?

Doug: Well that is a good question. What I would recommend I think we do have some family products at our website. In our library of free resources, we give out, I don't know that we have anything that comes to mind. If you go to the amazing facts website, I know that we've got a number of family resources. We just rebuilt that whole section of our website with all new stuff that's why we are not even sure, we've just expanded it. I don't remember everything there but I know there is a family section.

Ross: I know we have a lot of resources in the library. on the online library. If they look through it, I'm sure they'll be something on raising children and biblical counsel.

Doug: Children and family. We've got like 500 titles, it's hard to remember them all. [chuckles]

Daryl: Okay I will for sure go and look for that.

Doug: All right. God bless Daryl.

Daryl: God bless you, thank you so much for answering my questions.

Doug: You are welcome.

Ross: Our next caller is Joseph listening on WMCA from New York, New York. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Good evening, Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Ross. What I want to ask is the Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus, and Jesus was part of the Godhead. Three being one.

Doug: Yes.

Joseph: Doesn't that automatically make her the mother of God? Jesus being God and Godhead.

Doug: Well, not in the sense that she has authority over him. You see what I'm saying? When Christ was on the earth as a child, it says he was subject to his parents', matter of fact it uses that term, when he went back to Jerusalem 12 years old. He said, he submitted to his parents, he was subject to them. As Christ entered into manhood, his mother had one or twice told him what to do and he said, ''Who is my mother and my brother and my sister? But those that hear the word of God and do it, they are my mother and my brother and my sister.''

Then again when Mary came to Jesus at the wedding feast and was trying to urge him to do something, he said, ''Woman, it's not my time yet.'' Was Mary the mother of Jesus absolutely. Is she the mother of God as though she has some authority equal to or over him? No. There is a distinction there.

Joseph: I didn't mean it with authority, pastor. I just meant as his mother.

Doug: Yes, I'm just being careful how I'm answering that. Because some people interpret Mary the mother of God and she is to be worshiped in that capacity.

Ross: The question you need to ask yourself is, did God exist before Mary?

Doug: That's a good question.

Ross: If God existed before Mary then how could Mary be the one who equalized to God?

Joseph: Well she gave birth to him on earth.

Doug: Yes, Mary was the one through which the incarnation took place but he was God before Mary was born.

Joseph: Are you denying that she was his mother?

Doug: No. Mary was the mother of Jesus. When you call her the mother of God that almost makes it sound like she brought forth God.

Joseph: I don't mean that she was the mother of the Father or the holy spirit existed long before she was on earth. If she was the mother of Jesus--

Doug: No question that she is the mother of Jesus.

Joseph: He is part of the Godhead. If he constitutes one, doesn't that automatically make her the mother of God, he being part of the Godhead?

Doug: You can argue that with semantics. In other words, you are saying if A plus B equals C and you--

Joseph: I'm not trying to be semantics, pastor.

Doug: No, I know. I'm telling you, Joseph--

Joseph: I'm not trying to be clever, I'm just trying to as an honest question.

Ross: Yes, we also remember that Jesus existed prior to the incarnation. In a sense, God gave Mary the great privilege of bearing Christ but Jesus existed before Mary.

Joseph: What is your answer? Is it no, is your answer no?

Doug: This is one of those answers where I'm telling you upfront a yes or no is not clear.

Joseph: Okay, that's the answer.

Doug: This is a mystery.

Joseph: Yes, it is.

Doug: That's why we are dancing around.

Joseph: I think that's why I am asking. [laughs]

Doug: The incarnation, how God becomes a baby is a mystery and we just need to be careful not to make it sound like-- I know many dear people call Mary the Mother of God. The context in which they say that almost makes it sound like that she's to be revered on an equal level.

Joseph: That's not what I meant by the question.

Doug: No, I understand. Mary is the mother of Jesus, no question.

Joseph: [unintelligible 00:20:20] of God?

Doug: Yes, but here's the question. When Jesus was a baby, what God powers did he possess? Did Jesus as a baby have all the knowledge of the cosmos floating around in his head or did he have to learn to talk like other babies?

Joseph: I’m listening.

Doug: Does that make sense? Jesus had to learn to talk and Mary probably had to clean him up once or twice a day or more like other babies.

Joseph: Like a regular mother.

Doug: Some people I think forget the human side of Christ. Jesus in Colossians Chapter 2 says, he laid aside his divinity when he became a man and he humbled himself and became a man. Christ is God the son but he veiled his humanity or his divinity in humanity when he was on the earth. I don't know if we're helping you with your answer.

Joseph: Not really but I do value your opinions very much. No, you haven’t answered it but maybe not answering it is the answer.

Doug: Yes, it's a mystery.

Joseph: Okay, but I value with respect both you gentlemen.

Doug: Thank you very much, Joseph.

Joseph: Thank you so much and God bless you both.

Ross: God bless you. All right, our next caller is Joseph, another Joseph listening from Savannah Georgia. Welcome to our program, Joseph.

Joseph: Hello Pastors.

Doug: Hi, how can we help you?

Joseph: All right, I love listening to this show. My question, in relation to déjà vu experiences, I know a lot of people have déjà vu experiences. I know I have them myself, I have them quite often. It's like you’ve seen something before, you know you’ve seen it before. Also, I have other experiences where I have something come to mind and next thing I know that happens. In regard to déjà vu experiences, what do you think is the spiritual significance of that is? Because to me and my family, I see that maybe God showing people that the future and he exist. I just think it's like just really that simple. For me, most déjà vu experiences are very simple, it's nothing really important.

Doug: The future is not being revealed. I think I understand what you're saying. There are three things that might contribute to that. I've had those experiences maybe Pastor Ross has. You walk somewhere where you know you've never been there before but also it seems like, I've been here before. I had a doctor explain to me that one reason that people have those experiences of déjà vu, I don't know what that means in French but it means something. It means like a repeat of experience I suppose.

Is your mind works so quickly, the speed of the human brain, there's still no process that they can do what the human brain does. The doctor explained to me that sometimes because our minds work so quickly, you'll smell something, see something, go somewhere, hear music, move into a room and you'll say, wow, this is familiar. Because what happened is your subconscious took the whole experience in and stored it for your conscience recognized it.

Now that's one thing but sometimes people have a dream and then a week later then they see this place, this room or this person. I think sometimes like you said God might be saying, look I know the future and I'm going to show you I know the future. Because I'm going to show you something that's going to happen a week from now. That could be another reason, so they're not related. There are probably two or three reasons that people have those experiences. Of course, I know people who have been shown things in vision, prophets. They didn't realize what it was they saw in vision until the event happened, they said God showed me this.

Joseph: Makes your scientific/spiritual-

Doug: Yes, it's like dreams. Some dreams come from the Lord. Some dreams come from the devil nightmares and some dreams are just a multitude of business your brain is defragmenting. All kinds of scramble things that don’t mean anything, it's a physiological occurrence. Déjà vu probably falls into the same three categories.

Joseph: Interesting, okay.

Doug: All right, again, that's just a layman's opinion, I don't really have a verse to give you.

Joseph: I understand, sounds good.

Doug: All right.

Joseph: I know there’s a verse in the Bible where Solomon talks about --how did he put it? Dreams are-

Doug: Dreams cast the multitude of business?

Joseph: Right, I think that's one. I think there’s another one also where he talks about dreams being messages from God. Of course, that's throughout the Bible though.

Doug: Yes, Joel Chapter 2, it says, “Old men will dream dreams.” That means if I live a little longer, I'll be qualifying.


Doug: Hey, I hope that helps a little Joseph.

Joseph: Yes, sir. Thank you very much.

Doug: God bless you.

Ross: Max is listening on the internet from Brooklyn, New York. Max, welcome to the program.

Max: Good evening Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross

Doug: Evening.

Max: My question comes from John Chapter 20:17, where Jesus says to Mary, do not touch me for I have not yet ascended to my father. I was just wondering, what exactly did he mean by that?

Doug: Well, if you look in other translations, for instance, I've got John 20:17 open here in the New King James version and I think it's a little more accurate. He said, “Do not cling to me.” That word touch can also be translated hold or hang on to. See what happens when she realized it was Jesus, she said, “Raboni.” She threw herself at his feet, grabbed him by the ankles which was very common as a sign of worship. He's saying, “Look don't hang on to me”

He wasn't saying, woman, don't touch me because you're unclean or something like that, I'm holy and you're not. He was saying, don't cling onto me for I have not yet ascended to my father. In other words, I can't stay here and linger I've got to go and ascend to my father. That's actually a better translation is what you find in the New King James and I think probably NIV and many other versions, clear up that verse in the translation.

Max: Okay, with that, did he go to heaven many times before the final time that he ascended?

Doug: I believe he did because he appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days, from the resurrection until 10 days before Pentecost. It was about 10 days before Pentecost that he ascended. During that period of 40 days, he repeatedly visited his disciples, I think then he would go back to heaven. Now keep in mind, Jesus he doesn't need to book a trip on Priceline to head to heaven, he can be there at the speed of thought. It’s not a long journey for him.

Max: Not to ask another question, just to connect this one. Let’s just assume that he did. I believe he did as well, so many times happened before he ascended the last time. Would the gates of heaven have opened up and received in a manner that it did the final time?

Doug: I think after he rose from the grave, right after he left Mary, I think he went to heaven and had his sacrifice declared acceptable and he was praised. That's why when he came back Sunday night, he said, “All hail.” Then they grabbed his feet and worshiped him and he said, hey, it's no problem. Is that what you understand, Pastor Ross?

Ross: Yes. I'm just going to mention that in Mark 28:9, where Jesus appears to the disciples, they fall at his feet and worship him and he doesn't say anything. He doesn't say don't do this, don't detain, don't taint me I haven't ascended to my father. Somewhere between the morning and evening, Jesus ascended to his Father in heaven.

Doug: Yes. His trip up in heaven could have taken a lot more time than what it seemed like on Earth because they live in a different dimension of time there. All right, friends, you hear the music. We're just taking a break, we've got some important announcements that the Pastor Ross is going to share with you and also keep your writing utensil handy. We would like to have you jot down for starters the new amazing fax website. It's the same address amazingfacts.org.

But the website is not the same, we've got a lot more information, a lot more user friendly and a lot more you can do with it. To search by our resources and prepare you both to live a Christian life and to share the good news with others. Stay tuned we're going to be back and take more Bible questions in just a moment.


Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible related question you can call us from 7 to 8 PM, Pacific Standard time on Sundays and receive clear honest answers directly from scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297. Now please join us as we look to God's word for more Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Doug: That would be me and if you have a Bible question, I think we've got looks like a line open. Who's going to get it? Pick up your phone now and you could be the one. We'll try to get through all of those who are queued up with their Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Ross: My name is Jean Ross. You know Pastor Doug, just a few weeks and it's Halloween. I'm surprised we haven't gotten a question on that yet. There are some great resources that Amazing Facts has, dealing with the subject of death. That's this time of the year when people want to know, well, what happens when a person dies? Can they come back in the form of a ghost?

Doug: That's right not only do we have a website called Truth About Death that covers a lot of the misconceptions about death and spiritualism. You know people are preoccupied with the mysticism and Harry Potter [laughs] and all this stuff. Even if they go to our home page they're going to see a little button there on Halloween. There's a good article by Debra Hicks that talks about how can a Christian relate to Halloween. I mean how do we have that balance of taking something that has so many dark trappings and yet using it in a way that we could even witness. It could be a witnessing opportunity without us dressing up like the devil. [laughs]

Ross: You know Pastor Doug, I remember a story of a little Christian family who they decided that they didn't their son out tricker treating. Well Halloween came along and mother caught him dressed up like a ghost heading out toward the front door and she said, "Can we talk about this?" The little fellow fought for a minute and finally came back and said, "Well I'm going to go as the Holy Ghost."


Ross: A good come back but there's nothing holy about Halloween. There are some great resources dealing with that again The Truth About Death is a great website and the Amazing Facts website--[crosstalk]

Doug: That's right you could go to either one.

Ross: Our next caller is Joseph and he is listening WROL from New England. Joseph, the third Joseph this evening. Welcome to the program.

Joseph: Hi, how are you doing?

Doug: Very good. How can we help you?

Joseph: You know Doug, first I just want before I ask my question if I could just very quickly a question that somebody else asked you earlier on Mary. If I could just pull something in there because I was really confused over that. Well, first of all, like you said she was a human being. Jesus always was God right to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit correct, right?

Doug: Yes.

Joseph: Jesus somehow becomes fully God and fully man when he walked this earth. Is that right?

Doug: That is correct.

Joseph: Now he goes back into heaven and he's fully God now, right?

Doug: Yes, but he still retains some human form.

Joseph: How could he possibly as a human being be his mother? I don't get that at all. I mean not now.

Doug: Well that's what confuses people and I like to be careful. No one's denying that Mary was the mother of Jesus. She was chosen as the instrument of God to have that incredibly awesome and holy responsibility. Now that he is at the right hand of the father to take this human creation, now Mary is a creation Jesus is the creator you got to be careful in the wording that we don't make it sound like Jesus is in anyway subject to Mary. We were just trying to be careful. It is one of the mysteries.

Joseph: No, I understand. I just would say 100% that it's impossible that she would be his mother now. You know what I mean? It wouldn't make any sense. From what I understand from the scripture anyway.

Doug: Well what was your original question?

Joseph: Anyway, my original question was that I was wondering on restoration like Job says on-- He'll eat the years that the cankerworm has eaten, right?

Doug: Yes.

Joseph: I'll restore the years. I'm confused on this because I really have a really hard time with God and I do not a lot of friends. They had died and they moved on and whatever, they get married. I never really grew and tried to get into a rehabilitation program. The thing is that I just can't seem to really grow and I won't mention the man's name but you should know him but he's very popular. He's very well liked and he's very biblical. He had an article which was very encouraging on God restoring the years that the cankerworm has eaten from people. [unintelligible 00:34:50] but I'm in my 60s, what's he going to do? It's not that God can't do anything but he has an order that he works in you know what I mean?

Doug: Well keep in mind, it is true statistically, it's easier for the Lord to mold hearts when they're young before the concrete sets. God is also in the business of giving people dramatic conversions. You look at the Apostle Paul and the Lord turned him around 180 degrees and Paul wasn't even looking for it. God just intervened and changed his life. Even after you feel like a concrete set in the tree, you know when they're young you could bend them. The tree gets a little bigger it's hard to bend. God can still graft in something new. What I would ask Joseph, is if you can do something and you may already be doing these things but if you do something that represents a change in your intake you can make a change in the output.

If you have a revival in your personal devotions. In other words, go on a fast and stop watching any kind of secular television and movies or reading material. Spend some time in the word, even though you may not feel like it. Do it anyway. Pray. Get on your knees and if you don't know what to say, say, "Lord I don't know what to say." Stay on your knees and keep praying. Talk to the Lord say, "I want to know you better. I want a genuine conversion." Then try to share something about God with somebody during the day even if it's just a word of encouragement. If you practice those three things spend some time reading the word, more time in prayer and try to share your faith. Those three things are usually the foundation for a revival.

It doesn't matter how long you've lived. Moses God took a hold of him when he was 80 and he thought that his life-- he had his retirement all planned.

Joseph: Today for some reason, Doug, God doesn't give the years that he did back then, right?

Doug: No, he can still restore. He can restore your joy. It is possible for a person to get to the place where they commit the unpardonable sin but I don't think--

Joseph: What is that?

Doug: You want to be asking this question. Well, you know what I'll tell you what I'd like to send you a free book that talks about that. Would you like that Joseph? It's a little book but it's got a bunch of scriptures on it. If you'll just call the number and tell them you're listening to Amazing Facts and that you'd like our booklet on the Unpardonable Sin.

Ross: The number to call Joseph is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the little booklet on the Unpardonable Sin.

Doug: But I should mention I'm not sharing that with Joseph because I want to discourage him from his question that book actually has some encouragement in it. How to avoid committing that and have a revival so I think that would be helpful for that.

Ross: Absolutely. Our next caller is Clark and he's listening on the internet from Atlanta, Georgia. Clark, welcome to the program.

Clark: Hey, good evening pastors.

Doug: Evening.

Clark: My question is prophecy one, Daniel 9:25, talking about the 70 weeks predicting the coming of the Christ and the timeline of that. The second half of 25 that always confuse me. Talks about 69 weeks but it splits them up. There shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks. Then in verse 26, it says and after the 62 weeks, his eyes should be cut off. I don't know if there is an answer to this but I could never determine why it took the seven weeks first and then the 62 weeks instead of just saying there shall be 69 weeks?

Doug: Good question. the starting point for the 490-year prophecy or the 70-week prophecy is the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. That command was given in 457 BC by King Ahasuerus. I'm sorry Artaxerxes and it's actually in Ezra Chapter 7. You could find the command there. From the time that command was given the Jewish people had 49 years of trouble less times rebuilding the wall and the streets in the city. That's why it says in the same prophecy the street in the wall would be rebuilt in trouble less times. At the end of that 49 year period, they then entered the 62 week period which is 483 years total and that adds up to the 69 weeks is 483 years.

Clark: Very good so what part of the Bible does it talk about that trouble less time that 49--?

Doug: The street in the wall would be built again? Let me see here.

Ross: That's lesson three, second part, the last part 25.

John: Right we have the record in Ezra--

Doug: It's in verse 25. The streets shall be built again and the wall even in trouble less times. That's the first seven years and the record is in Ezra. Nehemiah all the trouble they had with their neighbors trying to rebuild the city. That was the 49 year period.

Clark: That's what I was looking for.

Doug: Praise the Lord another happy customer. You know we do have some good studies on Daniel Chapter 9. A matter of fact, I think that's the one in God Drew the Plan. Where it talks about the 490-year prophecy. God Drew the Plan. If you'll ask for the study guide, will send it to you.

Ross: All right. There's another one too on that same subject, Pastor Doug, Right on Time. I think that also deals with the--

Doug: I think actually that's the one want.

Ross: Okay, the resource number again is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide Right on Time dealing with that prophecy in Daniel Chapter 9. Our next caller is Carol. She's listening on WBCL from Illinois. Welcome to the program, Carol.

Carol: Thank you, very much and thank you for taking my call.

Doug: Pleasure.

Carol: Good evening? I was just wondering, I don't like to ask this type of question but it's something that has been on my mind. Our current thing we call taking communion is one way of saying it. I don't really find any biblical support for that except for in 1 Corinthians. I was just wondering what --[crosstalk].

Doug: Well, and Carol if I understand correctly, we're talking about what you mean by that, is the Lord's Supper. When we have, in other words, say we celebrate the Lord's Supper. It's called communion and you're saying you don't find biblical support for that?

Carol: Not the way we do it. To me, it was done at Passover and I just wonder if that gives supports why we're celebrating that when we do it.

Doug: Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with doing it during the Passover week. Jesus does say, "Often as you do it, do it in remembrance of me." Now when you read in John Chapter 13, Jesus said, "I've done these things to you and I've given you an example that you should do as I have done." Not just the Communion service but he even washed the disciples' feet. As often as we celebrate that, some churches do it weekly. I think that's too frequently. Other churches do it annually and most of the Bible feasts work annual. Problem with that is that for a person for whatever reason misses that event once a year, when their church might be celebrating communion, they've got to wait a whole year. It seems like that the emphasis is not the date anymore as much as the event in the Bible.

There's nothing from the time in the New Testament where they ever emphasize that it's that Lord's Supper should be celebrated. Everything Paul said about it and the others they never emphasize that it should be done at a certain time of year. There's certainly nothing wrong. I think as long as you do it at least once a year. If you just do it Passover then that's fine.

Carol: Okay, well, I was wondering then here in [unintelligible 00:42:53] 11 towards the end it says that if you don't examine your conscience and I suppose that means not having any grudges against people, not holding and forgiving then it's still like a sacrifice at the Old Testament. You're shall be cured if doing that. To me, it's taken too lightly today.

Doug: I agree I think that--[crosstalk] I think it should be very solemn. It should be very solemn. Yes, absolutely and I believe that the Communion service a very sacred event and that people as they enter into it should be serious about receiving the cleansing and the sacrifice and a renewal of the commitment.

Ross: Absolutely.

Doug: If they have the animosity and unforgiveness in their heart towards others, they should not participate. Well, thank you for your question, Carol. Hope that helps.

Ross: We're going to go to the next caller. Temmica is listening on the Internet from Chicago, Illinois. Temmica welcome to the program.

Temmica: Hi pastors?

Doug: Evening.

Temmica: I used to go to a Sunday church, I just found about the services through Amazing Facts. I thank you very much for all your work with that.

Doug: Praise the Lord.

Temmica: My question is concerning Jeremiah 10:2-4. The reason why I guess is because with the holiday season fast approaching, I just found out something that they made me upset that December 25th is not Jesus' actual birthday.

Doug: Correct.

Temmica: At first that was okay. I just figured well, as long as we celebrate that he was born. That it doesn't really matter if it's the exact day. Then what gave me pause was that I found out that pagans used to worship or do something for winter solstice-

Doug: Right.

Temmica: -and things like that. In this verse that I was reading in the service, stood out in my mind. Is there referral or about Christmas?

Doug: Well, let me read some of this for our friends who are listening and Jeremiah 10, we can start with verse 3. "For the customs of the people are vain for one cut of the tree out of the forest the work of the hands of the workman with the ax. They deck it with silver and gold. They fasten it with nails and hammers that it moves not. They are upright as the palm tree but they speak not. They must needs be borne because they cannot go." Then he says, "Be not afraid of them they cannot do evil neither can they do good."

Some have said, well see there you've gotten a Christmas tree. They cut it and they decorate it. This is really not talking about Christmas trees. This was idolatry. They would cut a tree. They would shape it into their god. They plated it with gold and they carried them about and people worship them. Jeremiah is really talking about the customs of the people to make idols out of wood and then say, "You're our god." It's I think a little different than the Christmas tree. To be honest with you, the Christmas tree does come from a non-Christian culture.

During the winter solstice, the evergreens did not lose their leaves. A number of the cultures up north they would cut down a tree and they decorate it with candles and they put gifts under it. Gradually, Christmas is the result of some Christian and several pagan holidays that just all melted together. Part of the reason for that Temmica, is because all over the world everyone noticed in the northern hemisphere, the days got shorter and they stayed about the same from the 21st to the 24th of December.

The 25th of December was the first time they notice the days getting longer and it was a big celebration in all these cultures. Christmas is become the coalescing of many cultural traditions. Some do have pagan trappings. The Christian said, look, if we're going to try and reach the pagans, let's think their holiday and we'll say that's the birthday of Jesus. No one knows exactly what the birthday of Jesus is but it was probably in September, October. If you want I'll tell you how I know that.

Temmica: [chuckles] If this is about the sheep being out--

Doug: Well, that's one reason. The shepherds were in their fields which it's like Northern California here. They don't go out in the fields that time of year. Secondly, it tells us that Caesar Augustus issued a census. That Caesar's never had a census in the middle of winter when people had to travel. That would have been just cruel. They always did it usually in the fall when there's a lot of harvesting and they can travel. Thirdly, it tells us that Jesus was baptized right around-- Well, he ministered three and a half years after his baptism. He was baptized around his 30th birthday. If you count back three and a half years from the Passover, we know when he died. We know that he probably was and is birthday was at his baptism. He probably was born in the fall.

We're almost certain that he wasn't born the 25th of December but we could just decide in our own mind it's like Romans 14. If one man regards today regardeth to the Lord. "If you're not going to regard to the Lord then to the Lord you don't regard it." There's no commandments for us to celebrate Christmas.

Temmica: Okay.

Doug: Okay.

Temmica: Thank you so much. I miss seeing you. [chuckles].

Doug: We do have a book you'd enjoy. It's called Baptized Paganism. It will give you some of the background for these things. Thank you, Temmica.

Ross: To get that book Temmica, all you need to do is call the resource number 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the book Baptized Paganism. We'll be happy to send that out to you. Sevenita is calling from California. Welcome to the program. Sevenita, you there?

Sevenita: Sevenita, hi.

Ross: Sevenita. Sorry.

Sevenita: [laughs]. I had a question because I was listening to a service and the minister mentioned something about the second level of heaven.I was wondering if there's biblical reference for that, and if so, what is it? Where can I find more information about that?

Doug: I don't think there's any second heaven mentioned in the Bible. I know my Bible pretty well.

Sevenita: Second level.

Doug: There is a third heaven. There is a third heaven mentioned. It so what happens is some preachers assume, well if there's a third heaven there must be a first and a second heaven. Let me tell you how the Jews understood the word heaven. What I'm telling now is not my denominations' teaching. This is a pretty good fact.

Sevenita: Okay.

Doug: There are three heavens in the Bible. The first heaven was the atmosphere around the planet where the birds fly. It's what we breathe. It's where the clouds float. When the Bible talks about the birds in heaven it means the atmosphere. When it says for instance, in 2 Peter Chapter 3, the heavens will dissolve with fervent heat. It's not talking about the stars where God lives. It's talking about the atmosphere around our planet. That's the first heaven. The second heaven was the starry heavens. Where the moon, the sun, and the stars are. The solar system that was called the starry heavens. The third heaven is referred to as the dwelling place of God, the seat of God’s government. When Paul says he was caught up to the third heaven I forget is that in 1 Corinthians or 2 Corinthians?

Ross: 2 Corinthians 12:2.

Doug: 2 Corinthians 12:2, he’s speaking about going into the presence of God in vision. It had nothing to do with this, he didn't take a trip to the stars. Some churches just through sheer ignorance, dear well meaning pastor say, there are seven heavens. I’ve heard the expression I was in seventh heaven, the Bible never mentions seven heavens. It's just the three heavens in the Bible, the atmosphere, the solar systems, the astronomy and then the third heaven is the dwelling place of God. We are not going to be segregated in different heavens.

When someone says well I'm up in the first heaven, the first class you're down in the third business class heaven whatever it is. I've actually heard preachers talk about it that way and it's just they’re uninformed.

Sevenita: Yes, because the way it was mentioned it was like the angels and the demons were fighting. At that level, the angels were trying to bring down [unintelligible 00:51:08] I have never seen anything [unintelligible 00:51:11].

Doug: No, sounds like someone who is getting creative. I got a computer Bible program here and I just searched the entire Bible, the phrase second heaven appears nowhere in scripture.

Sevenita: Okay.

Doug: All right?

Sevenita: All right.

Doug: Thank you, good question. We will send you a free lesson if you’d like. We can tell you about the real heaven and we've got a study guide talking about the City of God.

Ross: That's right.

Doug: We’ll send you.

Ross: all you need to do is call that resource number 1-800-835-6747.

Doug: And say Heavenly Space City.

Ross: Is that the new name or the old name?


Ross: Let me see if I can locate here.

Doug: If we don’t know who does. We're supposed to know these things.

Ross: Something on the heavenly city, I know it's out there. Wait here it is. Colossal-

Doug: Colossal City and Space.

Ross: Colossal City and Space, here it is.

Doug: I’ve got some help from our producers.

Ross: Okay, great. Our next caller Michael listening on WMCA from my New York. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Good evening, pastors.

Doug: How can we help you, Michael?

Michael: My question is pertaining to the Book of Revelation, it's the 9th chapter. Well specifically would be the fifth verse. My understanding of it, it's a language to understand, It's metaphorical but it speaks of the fifth angel sounding, star falls onto earth, the bottomless pit is opened. I'm sorry. The angel is given the star that falls to the earth. Is given the key to the bottomless pit, it's opened and out arises great smoke. I'm just paraphrasing then comes forth, of course, locusts and scorpions.

Then goes down to the fifth verse where it speaks about, it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree but only those which have not the seal of God on in forehead.

Doug: Yes, you wanted me to explain all that?

Michael: No.

Doug: I could give a crack at it but it’s a big answer.

Michael: Well, let me just take a second here and focus on the fourth verse. Correct me if I'm wrong. Well now let me just ask you directly then, what does the grass and any green thing in the tree represent that it's commanded not to hurt?

Doug: All right you'll often find things divided in thirds here in Revelation. The grass and the earth and any green thing, for one thing, these are things that were made on the third day of creation. There's three things mentioned there, the vegetation and everything else was nourished by. This is describing, of course, it's ultimately Satan who comes out of the bottomless pit. The devil used a power in the dark ages of Islam to punish the Christian church because they did not have the law of God in their hearts, the seal of God in their foreheads. For instance, Moses said and this is Deuteronomy Chapter 6.

These words I command you this day shall be in your hand, the ones he says, will be in your heart you shall write them as fronts between your eyes and they shall be in your hand. On the palms of your hands. We need to have the law of God in our thoughts, in our hands, in our hearts. Christianity became a government institution during the Dark Ages and when the seal is opened it's talking about a great plague of persecution that the Lord allowed to come on the Christian church. It was the Ottoman Empire and all of its scorch.

Ross: You know Pastor Doug, I have the commentary open on this particular verse. It's interesting to note that Martin Luther, as well as the Swiss reformer Ballenger, all identified this plague as referring to the Muslims and the Ottoman Empire and the Turks.

Doug: They were scores that God sent to punish Christianity for its hypocrisy during that time.

Michael: That’s interesting, another question so related. The fifth verse speaks about a five month period of torment, is that a literal five month period?

Doug: No, in these prophecies, you'll find in biblical prophecy a day generally represents a year. Michael's asking some big questions here on prophecy. If you send, we have a study guide that talks about America in prophecy and that will help understand some of the prosthetic interpretations that are used the principles to understand these prophecies. It's a deep study, I could take a whole hour and talk about the fifth seal, Michael. I hope you'll forgive me, we're trying to get a couple more calls in before we’re out of time.

Ross: Michael, real quick that number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide dealing with the United States in Bible prophecy. Our next caller is Betty, listening on WMDA from Long Island, New York. Betty, welcome to the program.

Betty: Good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Doug: Good evening.

Betty: I would like you to very quickly look at Mark 9:44, 46, 48. In my Bible, it’s in red so I know that this is Christ speaking and something it says three times that when I read the Bible I cannot understand what it’s referring to.

Doug: All right, let me read this real quick and I’m starting with Mark 9:44. “Jesus said their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched" He's talking but if your hand or your eye or your foot offends you better to cut them off. There was the word that Jesus uses here is the word Gehenna. There was a valley outside Jerusalem that was the city dump. I see I'm running out of time. That's where it was full of worms and it was smoldering. Christ is saying you're better off doing God's will and going to heaven maimed, in other words, making some sacrifice to be saved, rather than going to the dump of Gehenna full of worms and smoldering ruins and filth.

What profit would it be to have a whole body, you'd be lost. We hate to cut you off. Betty, we have a website if you can go to the website helltruth.com. We've got a whole study on these verses right there. Listening friends, please keep us in your prayers, will you do that? We'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to make a donation to help us keep doing what we're doing, go to amazingfact.org. God bless, till next week.

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