Guidance of the Holy Spirit

Guidance of the Holy Spirit

Date: 01/17/2016 
The honeyguide is a bird about the size of a robin that lives in East Africa. It eats all kinds of insects, but it especially enjoys honey bee grubs and beeswax. Getting them is not so easy. The wild bees of Africa can be aggressive and they live in secluded areas. Although the honeyguide has a special gift for finding beehives, it doesn't dare enter the nest unaided.

Higher Still: Finding Eternal Security in Christ by Wellesley Muir

Higher Still: Finding Eternal Security in Christ by Wellesley Muir
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Pastor Doug: Hello, friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The honeyguide is a bird about the size of a robin that lives in East Africa. It eats all kinds of insects, but it especially enjoys honey bee grubs and beeswax. Getting them is not so easy. The wild bees of Africa can be aggressive and they live in secluded areas. Although the honeyguide has a special gift for finding beehives, it doesn't dare enter the nest unaided.

It needs to recruit a friend to help them. Now in Northern Kenya, for example, when a man from the Boran tribe is searching for honey, he will track out into the countryside, he'll whistle through his hands or blow across a snail's shell. If a honeyguide bird is in the vicinity, it hears and quickly appears. It will flutter about the man singing a special chattering call it never uses on other occasions.

Once the honeyguide is sure that the man has its attention, it flies from one tree to another with a low swooping flight, spreading out its feathers, making sure that the tribesman sees it. The man follows behind whistling and shouting to let the bird know he's coming. As the two travel together cross country, the bird gradually lands lower and lower in the branches until it stops singing, a little light whistle. Then it flies over to a perch where it waits quietly.

As the man approaches, he can see the bird is sitting very close to the entrance of a humming bee's nest in a hollow tree or some rocks. At this point, the man will set a small fire and waft smoke into the beehive that subdues them, makes them very docile. He'll eventually open up the nest, extract the sweet treasure and then he hangs some of the comb in a tree for the honey guide bird to enjoy.comb in a tree for the honey guide bird to enjoy.

The bird then flies over and feasts on the white bee grubs and honey wax. The honeyguide bird is one of the only animals that can digest beeswax, but did you also know the Bible teaches that this reciprocal relationship between man and bird goes back a long time? Stay with us, friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Announcer: Welcome to Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist Pastor Doug Batchelor. Is understanding God's word a challenge? Are there passages or scripture that are a mystery to you? Maybe it's difficult to reconcile with 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. Call us now at 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297. Here's your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. If you're tuning in for the first time, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. We're broadcasting across the country, both through land based radio stations and satellite. If you have a Bible question over the next hour, you can give us a call. We have lines open. That number to call in with your Bible question? 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297. 800-GOD-SAYS. We use the Bible as our sourcebook. 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions.

Now is a good time to call because we have lines open. Operators will take your question and they'll put you on standby, and then we'll start marching through the calls. My name is Doug Batchelor and my regular co-host Pastor Jean Ross is in South Africa right now doing some evangelistic training.

We'll begin the program with a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, very thankful for your blessings and very thankful, Lord, for the privilege of doing a Bible study with friends from all corners of the earth. I pray that you will guide in the questions that are asked and that the answers given are all in harmony with truth and your Word. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Well, friends, I was amazed when I saw that amazing fact, actually saw it on a nature program about the honey bird. Evidently, some of the tribespeople in Africa, when they originally noticed honey badgers found their honey by following the honey birds that would sort of continue to signal and torment the badgers as the badgers chased the bird. The birds led the badgers to the honey.badgers as the badgers chased the bird. The birds led the badgers to the honey.

Well, pretty soon the tribespeople realized they could develop a similar relationship and the birds were happy to do that. For generations, the birds realized they could signal to people and have the people help them extract the honey from the nest. It's quite an amazing symbiotic relationship but it makes me think about some bird-people relationships that you see in the Bible.

You can read in Genesis, way back in the beginning, that following the flood, when Noah wanted to find out what conditions in the world were like. First, what he did is he took and he sent forth a raven. Ravens, they can eat just about anything. They're omnivores. Then he took a dove. A dove doesn't like landing on the water. He sent the dove out. The dove flew around and because it didn't find a place to settle, it came back.flood, when Noah wanted to find out what conditions in the world were like.

First, what he did is he took and he sent forth a raven. Ravens, they can eat just about anything. They're omnivores. Then he took a dove. A dove doesn't like landing on the water. He sent the dove out. The dove flew around and because it didn't find a place to settle, it came back. He waited another week, by the way, this is Genesis 8:6-11. He sent out the dove again and then the dove came back with a freshly plucked olive leaf in its mouth, meaning that new life was beginning to sprout on the world that had been devastated by the flood. Here, he was having this relationship, realizing that the bird was going to give him information.

I understand that in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, in a sand storm, where sometimes the sky and the sun would be blocked out, when the caravans would lose their bearings, they would keep a pigeon with them. Pigeons will fly in a beeline. They have an amazing sense of direction and they tie a long thread to the pigeon's leg and when they would release the pigeon like a compass, it would always direct them the way they should go.out, when the caravans would lose their bearings, they would keep a pigeon with them. Pigeons will fly in a beeline. They have an amazing sense of direction and they tie a long thread to the pigeon's leg and when they would release the pigeon like a compass, it would always direct them the way they should go.

The Holy Spirit is also symbolized by a bird, by a dove. You can go to the Bible, when Jesus is baptized in Mathew 3:16, it says, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, he went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove." You've got this dove in the days of Noah when Noah comes out of the water, and you've got a dove in the story of Jesus when Jesus comes out of the water.dove in the days of Noah when Noah comes out of the water, and you've got a dove in the story of Jesus when Jesus comes out of the water.

That, of course, is a symbol for the Holy Spirit that brings that peace and direction, and guidance into our lives. Friends, do you have that peace and do you have that guidance? Would you like to have it? Would you like to know more about it? We have a free book we'll send to anyone that asks for it tonight. It's just that simple. It's called Life In The Spirit. If you'd like to have the guidance of that heavenly dove, Life In The Spirit, just call this resource line. 800-835-6747.

This resource line is a little different than the number that brings your questions into the studio. We even have counselor standing by that will pray with you and talk to you. That number again, 800-835-6747. Tell them you're listening to Bible Answers Live and you'd like the free offer, Life In The Spirit. We'll send that to you. If you are in a hurry, you can even go to our website and read it there online. That's simply amazingfacts.org.

We still send out the paper versions of these books because like me, a lot of people, it's one thing to read digital information, but sometimes you'd like to just hold a book and read it, maybe when you're traveling. That again, 800-835-6747. Ask for the book Life In The Spirit. With that, we're going to go to our telephone and take some calls. Starting with Spencer. Who's calling from Philadelphia and listening on the internet. Spencer, you're on the air with internet. Spencer, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Spencer: Always great to make air with you, Doug. By the way, I was watching you on the Daystar Network the other day and enjoyed watching you visually. Got to see-- Well, I knew what you looked like from your photos-

Pastor Doug: Well, it's safer on the radio.

Spencer: - but nothing substitutes for videos. Good to see you in action there. Keep up the good work. As you may remember-

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Spencer: - I'm your Agnostic friend and I --

Pastor Doug: I've got high hopes for you, you keep calling.

Spencer: Well, because I've got a lot to say and you strike me as a pretty reasonable guy. Unlike a lot of the people I meet in the faith community who are not reason-based.

Pastor Doug: Well, I really mean that's a compliment. I appreciate that, Spencer.

Spencer: It is a compliment. You betcha. Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: Now, what's your question though? You've got a biblical question for me?

Spencer: If you don't use reason, you're not using humanity as far as I'm concerned. That said, I want to talk about the notion of raising your kids in your faith. I'm not so sure it's a good idea. I don't see any scripture necessarily that backs it up. Well, you and I agree that with Michael Kinsley, the great Michael Kinsley, a well-known atheist, but a brilliant man nonetheless. He argues as you and I would agree that the most important question on the planet or in the universe is whether there's a god or not. You and I might disagree as to what the likelihood of that is, but we certainly agree that's the most important question of all, right?

Pastor Doug: Well, I was an atheist. I don't know if you know my story.

Spencer: I've read your book.

Pastor Doug: Now, I'm not. Let's get to your question real quick, Spencer. You asked a question, what faith should you raise your kids in? It does say in the Bible and this is Moses, who was a great law giver. He says, speaking of the 10 commandments, "These words that I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." It says there's a number of places or similar things. In the Bible, if you go by the Bible, it says you should teach these values and morals. Obviously, it's good for society to teach your children don't lie, don't steal, and to respect your parents. I think you'd agree with that.

Spencer: Important question in the universe, right?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, is there a god?

Spencer: Of course.

Pastor Doug: Now, if there is a god, nothing is more important. If there is not a god, nothing matters.

Spencer: Didn't you watch the cable show with the Duggars out of Arkansas?

Pastor Doug: I know you'll find this hard to believe but I don't watch much television. [chuckles]

Spencer: Well, the premise of the show is you got 19 kids--

Pastor Doug: I have heard about it, but I don't know that I have ever watched an episode.

Spencer: You know what I'm talking about. That show, everyone complains about that show that the kids are home-schooled and that they're not exposed to the world or whatever. That's all true, but what really obnoxious about that show as far as I'm concerned when it was on was that you got 19 kids, and you got 19+2, that's 21 with the parents, all in the same faith. It'd be much more interesting if every kid was raised with the different faith. Let them argue it out at dinner time and by 18, they can choose, don't you think?

Pastor Doug: I would have to respectfully disagree because if you believe something is true, why would you want to teach your children something that you don't believe is true? That would almost make you disingenuous about your belief. If you believe something is true, you want to share the truth. The Bible says, "Thy word is truth." If a Christian believes the Bible is true, you teach it to your children like Moses said. Hey, Spencer, I enjoy your good spirit in talking with you, but we got a few folks lined up so we're going to keep moving. Thank you. Talk next to Seth from Hilo, Hawaii. Seth calling from Hilo.

Seth: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you doing? Maybe you're on mute. Your question tonight.

Seth: Yes. Hold on. My question is involving when Jesus was on the cross, He was with two thieves. One of the thieves ask him if he can forgive him, and then Jesus told him, "You're going to be with me in paradise." My question is, I'm sure a paradise might be a little different than heaven. If he went to heaven, how come he went to heaven and then he was not baptized because the Bible says you got to get baptized and all that kind of stuff? How did he get to get to heaven if he was not baptized by the time?

Pastor Doug: Jesus told the thief, and you find this in the Gospel of Luke, He told the thief that, "Verily,I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise." Promising the thief in the resurrection, he would be saved, but it doesn't have any record the thief was baptized. Well, here's one thought that I've heard on that. When Jesus was baptized-- Seth, you don't believe Jesus was baptized for His sin, right?

Seth: No.

Pastor Doug: Jesus was baptized as an example for you and me, right?

Seth: Yes, I believe that.

Pastor Doug: Jesus also, he died for our sins so we don't have to die eternally, correct?

Seth: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So we get credit for his dying and suffering in our place. There are some people who could not be baptized because maybe they accepted the Lord in a prison on death row or maybe that it was like this thief on the cross or a hospital. I believe Jesus gives them credit for his baptism. There will be people in heaven who maybe could not be baptized. Of course, as many people in the Old Testament before they were even practicing baptism that would be in heaven. So baptism is not what saves us, but baptism is as important to a Christian as a wedding is to a marriage. It's the starting point of publicly making that covenant, and it represents being washed from your sins.

I think baptism is important but the thief on the cross, Jesus would probably give him credit for his baptism. Now, I've got a book that talks about baptism. Would you like it? It's called Baptism: Is It Necessary? I'll send you a free copy even in Hilo, Hawaii. Would you like that?

Seth: Yes, I would.

Pastor Doug: You call the number I'm going to give you, and that's 800-835-6747. Ask for the book Baptism: Is It Necessary? By the way, Seth, if you're still listening, I will be in Hilo, Hawaii I think it's November this year with Mrs. Batchelor. We're going to be doing a kind of convocation there, and looking forward to that. I've been to the big island before but I've never in spoken in Hilo. If you're in the neighborhood, I hope you come by. Just go to the Amazing Facts website, you'll see more information about our traveling calendar.

Thank you for your question and that frees up another line. If you've got a Bible question, the number is 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. With that, going to talk to Jerry from Medford Oregon. Jerry, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jerry: Yes, Pastor Doug. It's always a pleasure talking to you.

Pastor Doug: Likewise.

Jerry: My question tonight pertains to conflicting accounts of what happened at the tomb when the women first encountered Jesus. Now in Matthew 28:9, it says, "They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him." So they clasped his feet, but then in John 20:17, it refers to one woman, Mary Magdalene, and she was going touch him and he says, "Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to heaven."

Pastor Doug: I did a book on Mary Magdalene where I took a great deal of time and went through all of the records of the gospels regarding the resurrection and the timeline. It really does work. One of the reasons I believe the Bible is true is each of the Bible writers puts in their own words what they remember about the resurrection, and it all matches up but they're giving it from their timeline perspective. The women, when they first came to the tomb, Mary was the first one there. When she first came, the tomb was empty. She went and she told Peter and John who then came, they looked inside, it was empty.

Mary then rejoins the women who are coming. They see the tomb is empty. The angels talked to them, they leave. Jesus appears to Mary first, and He says, "Do not cling to me." It says in the King James, "Do not touch me," but originally it's saying, "Do not cling to me." In other words, "I've not yet ascended to my Father," but He says, "Go tell my brother and I ascend to my God and your God." Later that day, He appears to the women, but it's after they've left the tomb and they saw the angels. It does really all match. I've actually got a sermon about this. There's a website called marytruth.com, and you can listen to a sermon I did on the subject there for free.

I don't know. Does that make sense, Jerry?

Jerry: Well, I'm not sure that I understood you.

Pastor Doug: First of all, when it says when Mary Magdalene first found Him, and it says, "Do not touch me." It actually says, "Do not cling to me." He's saying, "Don't detain me because I have not ascended." By the time he appears to the women, he has ascended to heaven and come back again. Mary is the first one to the tomb. She's the first to see Jesus, and it's after Peter and John come and leave, but he waits specifically to appear to Mary who was the outcast of the group.

[crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: Go ahead. I'm sorry.

Jerry: I'm under the impression that Jesus didn't want to be touched before He had ascended to the Father.

Pastor Doug: It wasn't so much he didn't want to be touched as he did not want to be detained. The word there is "Do not cling to me."

Jerry: That's supposed to be in defiled by being [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: Exactly. He was saying, "Don't detain me because I'm not yet, I'm going somewhere. If you cling to me, I can't go." He wasn't saying, "Don't touch me, you're dirty or don't touch me because I'm holy and you're not," because later, he tells the disciples, "Touch my hands, touch my feet, put your hands on my side. Do you have anything to eat?" He's very up close and personal with the disciples. Now he says, "Handle me and see that a spirit does not have flesh and bone as you see that I have." Christ was not concerned about being touched after the resurrection. He was telling Mary, "Do not detain me."

Jerry: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Take a look at the website Mary Truth. If you like the video, there's even a book there you can send for. We'd send it to you for free, but it's not in that category of our give away books. I think there's this small price for it. Thank you very much. Jerry, appreciate your call.

Jerry: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: God bless. With that, going to talk next to Caitlin who's calling from Calimesa, California. Caitlin, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Caitlin: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Caitlin: I have a question.

Pastor Doug: I got a question first, Caitlin. How old are you?

Caitlin: 11.

Pastor Doug: Oh, good. Okay. Appreciate you calling.

Caitlin: Did Nebuchadnezzar know the dream of the statue and was testing them Daniel to--

Pastor Doug: It says that Nebuchadnezzar said to the wise men, “Tell me the interpretation and the dream," and they said, "Will you tell us the dream?” And he says, "The thing have gone from me," meaning it's evaporated. I don't know, Caitlin, if you've ever woke up in the morning and you had a dream. As you start to think about the dream, the details of the dream become fuzzy and it's hard to remember. Usually an hour after a dream, it's almost impossible to remember unless you've written it down or really consciously tried.

Because your dreaming happens in a whole different part of your brain and as you're transitioning from the dreaming part of your brain to the conscious part of your brain, they don't communicate together very well. Nebuchadnezzar said, “I know it was an important dream but it's getting fuzzy, it's gone from me.” But when Daniel came back and told him what the dream was, he said, “That's it. Yes, I remember now.” So I think Nebuchadnezzar really was forgetting the dream.

Caitlin: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome, thank you for your call. Now, you know what, Caitlin? We've got a Bible study guide that we’ll send you, that talks about the King's dream and it's called The Millennial Man. It's a Storacle Lesson called The Millennial Man. If you call the resource number, we’ll send you one of those for free. It's a great study guide. 800-835-6747 and we’ll be delighted for you to study that with us and appreciate your call.

We do have some lines open, friends if you've got a Bible question tonight. Good time to give us a call and the number again is 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297 or you can say 463 -7297. All right, we're going to talk next to Patricia who is calling from Portland, Oregon. Patricia, welcome to the program.

Patricia: Hey Pastor Doug, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing good, thank you.

Patricia: I have a quick question, why was circumcision important? What did it symbolize? Men were circumcised twice just in the Book of Joshua. I guess they were circumcised once and the ones that were not destroyed were circumcised the second time. Can you talk a little about circumcision?

Pastor Doug: No man that I know has been circumcised more than once.

Patricia: No, no, no. I said that the ones that--

Pastor Doug: You mean they performed it twice.

Patricia: Yes.

Pastor Doug: From the time, the reason that happened-- Well, you asked two questions. First of all, let me tell you about the timing. When the children of Israel lost faith, they didn't believe Joshua and Caleb's report that they could enter the Promised Land. God then cursed them to wander 40 years. During that 40-year period, none of them were circumcised.

When they finally crossed the Jordan at a place called Gilgal-- Actually, the word "Gilgal" means circle and that's where you get the word circumcision because of the procedure, it forms a circle. There, the children of Israel that had not been circumcised since the wandering curse, were circumcised as they entered the Promised Land. Circumcision, just the meaning of it, God had promised Abraham that, "Through your seed, through your descendants, that the Messiah would come, that you would be holy and consecrated."

For one thing, it represented that, the consecration of the seed. The holy seed would come through Abraham. Secondarily, it represents a cutting away of the carnal nature, not to be controlled by the flesh but to be controlled by the Spirit. We think about Jesus shedding blood on the cross when He was 33 and a half but the first time Jesus shed blood when He was eight days old.

He was brought to the temple and named and so circumcision represented a consecration to God. That's why once Jesus came, Paul said: "Circumcision is nothing because it fulfilled its purpose that it pointed to the Messiah would come through the Jewish nation." That was fulfilled. I hope that helps a little, did that answer your question?

Patricia: Yes, but why does it happen on the eighth day?

Pastor Doug: Well, it's a good question. The best they can tell-- Of course, God said, "Do it on the eighth day." Doctors will tell you now that a newborn after birth when it's begins to nurse, vitamin K, which is the factor in the blood that helps your blood to clot is not present until the eighth day. If a baby begins to bleed, they can have problems with bleeding the first six or seven days but by the eighth day, the clotting factor from vitamin K is in effect. It's safer at that point. That's the answer I've heard.

Patricia: Okay. Thank you so much, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: All right, thank you, appreciate your question. Again, that opens up a line. If you have a Bible question, give us a call. 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297. We'll be talking next with Phil who's calling from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Phil: Hi, Pastor Doug, thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Phil: I have a question about Saturday Sabbath, can a born again believer who doesn’t keep the Saturday Sabbath go to heaven?

Pastor Doug: I always like to explain that question by making it clear that there are going to be a lot of people in heaven that didn't know certain elements of biblical truth. King David, I expect will be in heaven and he had multiple wives as did his son Solomon and I expect Solomon to be in heaven, he was forgiven. Martin Luther will be in heaven and he drank beer, and John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace will be in heaven and he smokes cigars or a pipe. They didn't know. Sin in the Bible, it's a sin is knowing to do good and not doing it. When a person knows the truth, Jesus said, "If you know these things, happier ye if you do them."

We are accountable for what we know, I think it's in John Chapter Six. Jesus said, “If you did not know, you would have no sin but now since you say I see, your sin remains.” In other words, God holds us accountable when we know. There's another verse in Acts Chapter 17, I think it's verse 30, "At the times of this ignorance, God winks at." When we don't know something, God winks at our ignorance but when we know-- Now, are you a parent, Phil?

Phil: Yes I am.

Pastor Doug: If you tell your children specifically, don't go to that channel, don't eat that cookie or whatever it is and they do it. They're in trouble more than if you hadn't warned them, isn't that right?

Phil: Yes.

Pastor Doug: If God reveals the truth to a person about the Sabbath or any biblical truth and they turn their back on truth, that's a dangerous thing because you're basically saying, "I'd rather follow the traditions of men than the law of God." Whatever the category, whether it's the Sabbath or polygamy or whatever it is. There’s no question about what day the Sabbath is, there's no question about what the commandment says, there are people who may not understand it.

The Lord looks on their hearts and He knows that. The dangerous thing is knowing God's will and turning away from His will. It says in the Bible in Hebrews Chapter 10, “If we continued--" This is verse 26. "If we continued to send willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin.” It's especially dangerous when we commit high-handed sin when we know God's will and we deliberately rebel against His will.

That's the heart of the subject there, Phil. By the way, we have a website called sabbathtruth.com. You can just go there, sabbathtruth.com, a lot of information. Need to take a break friends, get a drink of water and catch my breath and we're going to be back. There'll be more Bible questions coming your way. You're listening to Bible Answers Live.

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Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends and for some of you that may have joined along the way, this is Bible Answers Live. It's a live interactive Bible study we'd love for you to be involved. You can listen, you can pray for us as we answer the questions. You can call in with a Bible question, lines are open right now. 800-GOD-SAYS, we have lines open 800-463-7297.

We don’t talk about romance or finance, but if you’ve got a question about the Bible, that’s our favorite subject in living the Christian life. 800-463-7297. Don’t have all the answers, but we’ve got a book that has the truth. Give us a call. Going to go with that to Mike. I hesitate because Pastor Ross isn’t here. I’m doing the phones and managing the Biblesoftware. Mike is calling from Indianapolis, Minnesota and listening on satellite radio. Mike, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Mike: Hey, pastor. Thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes, thanks for calling.

Mike: The best part of my life I experienced was when I gave myself fully to God. No drugs, no drinking, no smoking. I’m not sure why. I know what it takes to get there and what it takes to do it. I’m having trouble getting back. I get up every day at the truck and I read the Bibleand I pray. Then by the end of the day, I’m drinking or smoking some cigarettes or something.

Pastor Doug: You’re wondering how to get back to that place again.

Mike: Yes. I know. I’ve been there. I don’t know. I’m kind of lost.

Pastor Doug: Well, it says in Revelation that there’s a danger. This is in Revelation Chapter two when it talks to the church of Ephesus. There’s a danger sometimes that we can lose our first love. The zeal that you felt, the enthusiasm, the idea that this life is temporary, Jesus is offering you everlasting life, but He, of course, wants you to be a witness. It’s inspiring and it's, “What could possibly be more attractive than Jesus and everlasting life?” You got that impetus, that motive to give up those things that you know are chains and addictions.

But then as time goes by and you realize you’re still in this world, you can become discouraged and distracted, you can neglect your relationship with the Lord, a variety of things can do it, and you can backslide. Don’t be discouraged. You’re not alone. God’s people, the Israelites and His church, has backslid many times through history but then there’s also been great revivals. That means, you can have a revival and renew your faith and you want to keep that first love experience. You begin where you started. You humble yourself before the Lord. I know you’re doing that in the morning, but just really, repent all your sins.

Tell the Lord how weak you are. You might find the second time, the struggle may even seem harder. Just tell Him that Lord, you want a new beginning. I've got a book I’ll send you. It’s called Twelve Steps to Revival. We don’t often send this out, but I’ll send you a free copy, if you’d like one, Mike. All you got to do is call Amazing Facts and it gives you these steps. The number 800-835-6747. 800-835-6747. Ask for the book Twelve Steps to Revival. It’ll give you some tips on how to get a new beginning with the Lord and rediscover that first love. How’s that sound?

Mike: That sounds good, pastor.

Pastor Doug: All right. Hey, can I pray for you Mike, would that be all right?

Mike: Yes, sure.

Pastor Doug: All right. Father in heaven, we just want to pray that You’ll be with Mike. I know there’s many others like him out there that they love You and maybe followed you with enthusiasm and zeal, and they’ve kind of slipped back into a lukewarm relationship. Lord, help them to rediscover that experience, that first love. I pray You’ll just bless them. If that means struggling against some of the temptations and habits, pray that You give them the victory, so that they can be witnesses for you. We thank you and pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

All right Mike, call for that book, Twelve Steps to Revival. Anybody and you can-- I'd like to add, you can read it for free online. We’ll send it for free. You can read it right now at amazingfacts.org. All right, line’s open again. 800-GOD-SAYS with questions. 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions. I think I told you, I’m Doug Batchelor. Pastor Ross is in South Africa right now. He will be back in a couple of weeks. All right, we’re going to go to Debbie, calling from -- Is it Lewiston, Idaho? Debbie, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Debbie: Yes. My question is Pastor Doug, some churches kind of talk about how in the end time, you have to flee to the mountains.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Debbie: Who’s going to tell us when it’s time to flee to the mountain? The pastors in the church or is that something that the Holy Spirit's going to tell us individually?

Pastor Doug: Well, Jesus, when He says both in Matthew 24 and then I think it’s Luke 21, that when you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies, it was a signal to the people back then to flee into the hills. In Matthew, He says, this is Matthew 24, “When you see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place, then-- If you’re on the field, don’t even come back to your house, but go into the hills of Judea." There’s going to be a time when a great persecution is going to come to God’s people in the last days, just before the close of probation. There are going to be religious laws that will require us to break the law of God. That will be the abomination of desolation in the holy place, in the same way that Nebuchadnezzar made a law that you had to worship this image or be killed. King Darius made a law that you had to either pray for him or go to the lion's den, or in the book of Esther, the law that you had to pray to Haman or be killed. There’s going to be religious laws. Many Christians--

Debbie: Like when they passed the Sunday law?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that would be a great example.

Debbie: Time to head for the hills?

Pastor Doug: Yes. That’d be a good example of that. Absolutely. Hey, I appreciate your question on that. With that, we’re going to go to Kim I think who is waiting on line five. Kim, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Kim: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for waiting.

Kim: Thank you for taking my call. I am wondering, is it a sin say for a white person and a black person to marry?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me see. I’m going to just draw out the thoughts here a little bit. Would that be more of a sin than a white person or an Asian person?

Kim: No, it would be the same.

Pastor Doug: So the idea then, what we’re really asking about, is interracial marriage.

Kim: Correct, yes. That’s a better way to ask the question. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: There’s an example in the Bible where Aaron and Miriam -- A lot of people have seeds of racial bias in their hearts. The children of Israel were not immune from that. Even Peter, he didn't want to go preach the gospel to the Gentiles and God had to say, “Do not call them unclean. I have cleansed them.” When Aaron and Moses were going through the wilderness -- I’m sorry. When Aaron and Miriam going through the wilderness, saw their younger brother Moses that he had married an Ethiopian woman, they were upset at that. They were giving him a hard time.

God actually punished Miriam and Moses. Miriam more than Moses. I’m sorry, Miriam and Aaron because they had done that so God blessed his marriage. You’ve got many examples in the Bibleof people marrying those that may not be of their race. The sin in the Biblewas to be unequally yoked. That would be marrying somebody that is not of your faith. God especially told them not to marry people that worship other gods. That was a sin. Now you could convert from any nation to Israel. The Lord had, in the law of Moses, ways where anyone from any nation could convert and become a part of the family of Israel.

Rahab, she was a Canaanite. She converted and became an Israelite. She was married by Salmon. They both had a baby named Boaz. Boaz married Ruth and they had a baby named Obed who had a baby named Jesse who had a baby named David who was an ancestor of Jesus. So if you go back in Jesus family tree, you can see there’s several races that are in there. Having said that, when you’re getting married, a person needs to be practical. I’ve seen people that are even of the same faith, but they marry very different cultures. You can have challenges in a marriage when you marry people from very different cultures and expectations and customs.

When you marry a person, it’s a good idea to pray that you not only have the same faith but if you’re in the same ballpark as far as age-- If people are too far apart in their age when they get married, it can be a problem. In their education, in their interests, you want to make sure they’re in the same ballpark, and even in the race. The reason I say that is if you’re in a country where there’s a lot of prejudice and discrimination and you marry someone from another race, you could be, and your children, ostracized. You need to be aware of that. In other words, it’s a practical thing.

[END OF AUDIO] It's not a religious mandate. Main thing is biblically, they need to be of the same faith. That's a long answer because it's a complicated question. That makes sense, Kim?

Kim: It does. It makes perfect sense. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you very much, appreciate your question. I wish I can offer you a book on that. Well, I don't have a book on that but I do have a book on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. We'll send you a free copy and if you call the 800-835-6747 Amazing Facts resource line. We'll send you Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. All right, going to talk to Virginia calling from Loma Linda, California. Virginia, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Virginia: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Virginia, you're on.

Virginia: My question is in regards to 2 Chronicles 18. I'm not sure if I'm pronouncing the prophet correctly, is it Micah or Micalah?

Pastor Doug: Micaiah.

Virginia: Micaiah. Basically, it says that when he was called, he said, "Okay, I will tell Ahab and Jehoshaphat whenever God has spoken to him," and he say, "Go and fight, ye will prosper." A little bit later, he takes it back and then he talks about how they're on the throne. The Lord is on the throne and who he's talking to the spirits on who will entice him --

Pastor Doug: Who will entice Ahab to go die at Ramoth-Gilead.

Debbie: Yes, I'm lost in all the --

Pastor Doug: Then the Micaiah the prophet says, "One spirit finally said one thing, another said another, one spirit said, 'I'll go be a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophet.'" God said, "Go, you'll prosper and be successful." So are you wondering what is all that mean and why did Micaiah say, "Whatever God tells me, that's what I'm going to say?"

Virginia: No, the spirit thing or is that one of God's -- ?

Pastor Doug: Well, God doesn't lie so the lying spirits were from the devil. The lying spirits went into the false prophets of Ahab. Ahab had all these prophets of Baal. So it wasn't the Holy Spirit that was telling them to lie. These false prophets were filled with the wrong spirit. God was basically saying, "I'm going to allow these evil spirits to mislead Ahab." Ahab's put his trust in these false prophets that are worshiping the devil and because he's putting his trust in them instead the prophet of the Lord. Micaiah warned them, "If you go to battle at Ramoth-Gilead, that Israel sheep are going to be scattered on the mountains without a shepherd," meaning he the king, the shepherd will be stricken and he wouldn't listen. He thought he could hide by not wearing his royal robes and staying on the outskirts of the battle, but he got struck with a stray arrow and he bled to death and died.

So the prophecy of Micaiah came true. So it's a great story but I know it can be a little confusing. You've got that one prophet of God and Ahab said, "I don't like him because he's a prophet of Jehovah and he says bad things about me." Well, the reason that Elijah and Micaiah said bad things about Ahab is because Ahab, the Bible says, "Sold himself to do wickedness." His wife Jezebel stirred him up.

Virginia: Why in Chapter 14 does it say, "And he said, Go ye upand prosper and they shall be delivered into your hands?" Was he not -- ?

Pastor Doug: That was a little bit of sarcasm. In other words, when the servant is bringing Micaiah to the king, he says, "Hey, look. They're having a great pep rally, don't say anything negative." Micaiah said, "Look, I got to say what the Lord tells me." So Micaiah gets to this great assembly where all these prophets are talking to Jehoshaphat and Ahab, saying, "Go fight, you're going to win against the Syrians at Ramoth-Gilead. Fight, win, win, win." Micaiah says, "Go fight and prosper." Because that's what everyone was saying. The king knew he was being sarcastic because the next thing the king said is, "How many times shall I tell you to only speak to me in the name of the Lord?" In other words, don't be sarcastic, tell me what God said. They knew he was just being sarcastic because everyone around Micaiah was saying, "You're going to fight, you're going to win. You're going to fight, you're going to win." Micaiah said, "No, you're not." He was the one true voice but it wasn't popular. When Elijah said to Ahab, "When the false prophets were on Mount Carmel, they're calling for fire." Elijah says, "Call a little louder. Maybe he's on a journey or he's sleeping. You need to wake him up." Sometimes these prophets are a little sarcastic.

Virginia: Okay, thank you very much. That makes a lot more sense, I couldn't understand all the parts.

Pastor Doug: All right. It is a great story. You always wonder though, what happened to Micaiah because it never tells us. He was put in jail for telling -- Ahab put him in jail and said, "Feed him with the bread and water of affliction until I come again in peace." Well, Ahab died, he didn't come home in peace and you wonder what happened to Micaiah? You hope he was released by Ahab's son but it doesn't say. Anyway, appreciate your question, Virginia. With that, we're going to go to Maryanne who's been waiting patiently from Vernon, New York. Maryanne, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Maryanne: Yes, good night.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Maryanne: I read this chapter 91 and I came to some verse and it goes to trample on lions and dragon. I didn't understand what that means.

Pastor Doug: Yes, good question. In the Psalms and in a number of Bible passages, a lion and a dragon represented -- Sometimes, it even says lions, dragons, and scorpions. It represented the devil. In the garden of Eden, there was a prophecy that the seed of the woman or Christ would crush the serpent's head. The devil in Revelation 12 is called that old dragon called the devil and the serpent. That's in Revelation 12. Peter refers to the devil as a roaring lion who goes around seeking whom he might devour. It's like the lions could not eat Daniel because God protected him. So the lion and the serpent were a symbol for the devil. When we've got the power of God, we can resist the power of the devil. That's what King David is referring to using those symbols in Psalm 91. Good question.

Maryanne: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I love those questions about some of the Bible symbols. We appreciate that very much, Maryanne. All right, with that, we're going to go to Yonatan, Jonathan, that means the gift of God, calling from Minot, North Dakota. Jonathan, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jonathan: Hey, Doug Batchelor, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: I'm doing well. How are you?

Jonathan: I actually had a question on once saved always saved. About two years ago, when I, sitting in my car, I'm sitting there smoking the cigarette, I was living ungodly and everything. I remember hearing you on the radio because I was listening to you for about a couple of years at that point. I remember hearing you talk about God didn't force anybody to heaven. He's not grabbing us there. He's not pushing us into heavenor we're kicking and screaming, trying to go the other way. He respects our decisions and He's a gentleman and we have a choice that we have to make. I have a friend that's of a different denomination than me and I'm trying to talk to him about once saved, always saved. He gave me a couple of verses. Can I read them off real fast? I can be real fast about it.

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Jonathan: Romans 11:29, "For the gift and the calling of God are irrevocable." Hebrews 3:14, "We have come to share in Christ if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." Then 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us but they were not of us; for if they have been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they are not all of us." Basically, what they'll say is they just were never really saved. Instead of they had salvation, they're walking with the Lord and then they turned away from God.

Pastor Doug: They said they were never saved to begin with.

Jonathan: Yes, exactly.

Pastor Doug: That's a myth. The reason I say that is because what they're really saying is you can't know who's saved. What they're saying is if someone turns away, they never really were saved. That's not accurate because Peter talks about someone who is washed but they returned to their sin. He talks about like a pig that's washed returns to wallowing into the mire. Let me give you some words of Jesus. In John Chapter 15, Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. Without Me, you can't do anything." "If anyone does not abide in me," that word abide means stay in me, "he is cast out as a branch and is withered; they gather them, throw them in the fire." So here you got branches that are in Christ, but they don't abide or stay in Christ. They're gathered in bundles and burned. In Revelation when Jesus is giving the message to the churches, he said, "If you don't repent, your candlestick is going to be taken out of its place and I will take your name out of the book of life." That means a person's name is in the book of life and Jesus said, "I'm going to take it out of the book of life." How else can we interpret that? You know what I'm saying? There's a person who's saved-

Jonathan: I know what you're saying.

Pastor Doug: - their name's in the book of life and He says, "I'm going to take it out of the book of life." Obviously, we need to continue to follow the Lord. Paul talks about, "If I fail," he says, "after I preached to the others, I could be a castaway." So even Paul who is definitely dramatically converted, he recognized he needed to continue on in the Lord or he could be cast away. Taking this idea that once you say a prayer that you got a force field and no matter what you do, you can't be lost, Bible doesn't really teach that. You have your free will. Now, the promises of God are irrevocable. God will never break His promise to us. He will never let go of us but we still have our freedom. We're the other part of the equation. We have a choice because you cannot force love.

Jonathan: It's a covenant agreement between two people, God and us.

Pastor Doug: Yes, it's a love relationship. When I got married, I made promises to my wife and while I trust her, and she trusts me, that whole relationship

is built upon freedom. You can't force love and so --

Jonathan: Thanks, Doug Batchelor. I really appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: I've got a book I'll send you if you'd like and it's Can A Saved Man Be Lost? I'll send you a free copy, would you like that?

Jonathan: Yes, for sure. Thanks.

Pastor Doug: Anybody, if you want to know the Scriptures about once saved, always saved, and you'll also have assurance when you read this so don't be discouraged, then send for the book, Can A Saved Man Be Lost? 800-835-6747, we'll send that to you. Thank you for your call, Jonathan. Talking next to Edward. Edward in New York, New York.

Edward: Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: I hear you now. I used to live in New York.

Edward: This is a varied question. It's about experience when you see a majority of people that are following the path of another. Let me try to give you an example, you have a person that has the Holy Spirit on them, serve a God, living God which I'm speaking about myself. Yet, all these people are coming at me and I've done them nothing.

Pastor Doug: You wonder sometimes why the devil will use people to try to discourage you?

Edward: Right, because it seems like they know that God's fixing to bless me with something great and they're trying to discourage me from obtaining that.

Pastor Doug: Well, something that you should remember is in the Bible, you'll have examples of what they call friendly fire. You have the brothers of Joseph. Joseph was obviously filled with the spirit and --

Edward: They hated him because of the dream.

Pastor Doug: Yes and Joseph was filled with the Spirit and he was led by God but his brothers, they tried to hurt him. You've got examples in the Bible where King David was chased by his own king. He was persecuted by his own son. Job was discouraged by his own wife and Jesus was betrayed by one of His own apostles. These are cases in the Bible you've got of friendly fire. I don't know exactly what's happening with your situation, Edward. The Lord may have special plans for you but if you're serving the Lord, the devil's going to be threatened and he'll seek to tempt and discourage you.

Don't let him discourage you. Thank you very much, appreciate your call and we're going to talk next with Dale who's calling, first-time caller in Sacramento. Dale, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Dale: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Dale: Hi, did the three kings follow the north star Sirius to Bethlehem or did the three kings follow what they believed was a star but it was Saturn and Venus next to each other in 3 AD and what does Bethlehem mean?

Pastor Doug: All right. The word Bethlehem means House of Bread. As far as the star that was followed by these Magi or they were the Magi, they were the wise men. Very similar to what Daniel did when he held a position in the court of Babylon, one of the counselors of the king. First of all, it doesn't say there's three, we believe that because we always hear the song, "We three kings of orient." They may have been 12 of them, they may have been two.

There's more than one but they probably were following a band of angels because it says, "That this star moved over the very house after they came to Bethlehem, guided them to a very stable." It's hard to get guided to a very spot by a star. Angels are sometimes called stars in the Bible, it was probably the same group of angels that sang to the shepherds in the heavens that looked like a bright star. I think that's what it was. Hey, Dale, you can tell from the music in the background and others, if you didn't on the air, we apologize.

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