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Healthcare Crisis

Date: 04/17/2016 
The person who holds the record as the heaviest human being on the planet is a Saudi Arabian man, Khalid Bin Mohsen Shaari, born in 1991. In August 2013, he weighed in at 1,345 pounds. He also had a BMI of 204, the highest ever recorded. When King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia learned of his dangerous health condition, he was ordered to be hospitalized in Riyadh to receive treatment.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The person who holds the record as the heaviest human being on the planet is a Saudi Arabian man, Khalid Bin Mohsen Shaari, born in 1991. In August 2013, he weighed in at 1,345 pounds. He also had a BMI of 204, the highest ever recorded. When King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia learned of his dangerous health condition, he was ordered to be hospitalized in Riyadh to receive treatment.

Because Khalid had been unable to leave his house in three years and his bed for two years, moving him became a colossal project requiring workers to demolish one wall and use a forklift to transfer him and his bed to a flat bed truck. Incredibly, as of 2016, Khalid has lost more than 700 pounds, more than half his body weight. Khalid still struggles to move himself but doctors overseeing his treatment maintain that his spirits are high and his health is continuing to steadily improve.

People often joke about obesity, but it's no laughing matter. A recent study out of England claims, obesity is now killing three times more people worldwide than those who die from malnutrition. 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, brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you're struggling to understand difficult passages of scripture. If so, you've come to the right place. Join us now as we open God's word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That's (800) 463-7297. Now let's join our host, author, speaker and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friend to Bible Answers Live. And if you have a Bible question, all you have to do is call it in. In North America, free phone call, 800-GOD-SAYS. That's (800) 463-7297, picking up the phone now, good chance of getting your Bible question on tonight's broadcast. Lines are open, here we go again, the number, you ready? 800-GOD-SAYS. (800) 463 7297, my name is Doug Batchelor, our co-host, pastor Jean Ross is probably somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in route to New Zealand doing some evangelism training.

And we're glad that you've tuned in tonight. Before we begin our program, we always turn to God in prayer. Father in heaven we thank you again for your blessings and we thank you for the word that gives light to our path and illuminates our minds and hearts. We pray right now Lord that you'll just bring your spirit into this program and touch minds and hearts with the power of the word, in Jesus name we ask, Amen.

Well, listening friends, I don't know about you but it is pretty amazing to me, to hear about this gentleman in Saudi Arabia who at one point weighed, 1,345 pounds. Getting that big is almost a full-time job and so doing that, he finally got to the point where he was incapacitated in bed, all the time, I think being cared for by his mother. And when the king heard about his plight, the king intervened, he knew he needed an intervention to save him from what would otherwise have been certain death, a young man.

And so they moved him to the hospital there in Riyadh and have trying to help him manage his eating disorder, and in the process, he has lost 700 pounds and is continuing to have an improvement of health. But the Bible actually says some things about health and eating. For example, if you look in Ecclesiastes 10:17, "Blessed are you oh land, when your king is the son of nobles and your princes feast at the proper time for strength and not for drunkenness."

You've probably heard the expression before, some people eat to live and others live to eat. Well, the Bible talks about that, they got it first from Solomon. You can read in Proverbs 23:1, "When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you and put a knife to your throat if you're a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are a deceptive food."

And sometimes if we go to a buffet, and you just have that word picture in your mind of a man putting a knife to his own throat and saying, "Control yourself." Then, of course, Paul, he says, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." Jesus said one of the situations that would be in the world, prior to the second coming, he said that it'd be like it was in the days of Noah and Sodom where people were just eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage.

And there's nothing wrong with eating and drinking or marrying, but he meant to excess. People marrying and divorce, where it would become a way of life. And that's kind of where we are in the world today. Now maybe there's somebody out there, not maybe, one out of three in North America struggles with some form of obesity. Those that are listening out there, it takes a prayer and God's help to sometimes just get the victory over the eating habits that often cause the weight problems that then lead to the higher risk of major disease, namely diabetes, which is almost epidemic, and heart disease and stroke and high blood pressure.

We obviously have a health care crisis in this country, North America. It used to be years ago, people, you eventually get old, you die but what happened is like Moses, he lived to 120, had good health, climbed a mountain - his eye was not dim, the Bible says, his natural forth was not abated - climbed a mountain and died. Healthy, active, up until the end.

But what's happening now is, the lifespan, because of medical intervention, is going longer but the quality of life for many Americans is going down because 30 years, sometimes longer before they die, they are overcome with some of these serious illnesses related to eating habits and then they suffer for the last two or three decades of their lives because of that. That is not necessary.

If you'd like to know what the Bible secrets are to having a longer, stronger, healthier life, we've got a new magazine that you would really enjoy. It's called Amazing Health Facts. Amazing Health Facts; Eight Bible Secrets To Longer, Stronger Life. If you'd like to have an abundant life, you'd be surprised, how much the Bible says about the secrets of healthy living. We will send you a free copy, you've got to call the other number, our resource phone number, which is (800) 835-6747. I'll give it to you again, (800) 835-6747, you tell them you're listening to Bible Answers Live and we're offering you this beautiful full-length color magazine called, Amazing Health Facts.

A lot of great research in there, beautifully illustrated, and after you read it, you'll want to share it with a friend. With that, we're going to go to our phones and to start out with, Marvin. Called early, very patient. Marvin calling from Ontario, Canada, you are on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Marvin: Yes. Hi, Pastor Doug Batchelor-

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Marvin: -and Pastor Jean Ross. My question is, whenever Peter, this is in Galatians the second chapter when Paul confronted Peter about eating with the Gentiles. He more or less said he confronted him. Well, my question is, when the Gentiles actually become Jewish, like earn their blessings and follow the Jewish customs - because Paul talked about Peter walking under the law, if it's not walking by Christ and crucified by faith. And that--

Pastor Doug: So are you wondering what is happening or what does it mean? Or is it appropriate when Christians say, "We'd like to emulate some of the Jewish customs"?

Marvin: Well, for a Gentile to become Jewish and-- because actually we're adopted into the body of Christ by faith and through the cross.

Pastor Doug: Well, you're asking a good question. The semantics are very important in this case. Now, I am by blood, Jewish. I have never renounced my Judaism but I have accepted Christ as my savior. Of course, I wasn't practicing, I was what you would call an atheist or agnostic Jew growing up, but I came to know Jesus. I still consider myself Jewish, Jesus was Jewish and all the apostles were Jewish and they never renounced their Judaism.

But for a Christian, a Gentile Christian to say, "I'm going to adopt the Jewish customs." Well, if they're enjoying some of the heritage, there's nothing wrong with that. If it means we're going to renounce Jesus as the Messiah and start looking to the mosaic law for salvation, that would be a mistake. That would be going-- you're swimming the wrong current. You know what I'm saying?

Marvin: In other words, they'd be going back under the law.

Pastor Doug: Yes. For us, another words for me right now even though I'm a Jew whose converted to Christianity I don't sacrifice a pass over lamb.

Marvin: No.

Pastor Doug: Because I know Jesus is my lamb. It would be a denial of Jesus as my lamb if I did that. Paul talks about circumcision and the number of other ceremonial laws the Christians are not required to keep. There's a book that we've got Marvin I think you would enjoy. It's called Feast Days and Sabbaths. It talks about the relationship between some of the Jewish ceremonial laws and what the Christian New Testament says about these things. There's many Jewish customs, there's nothing wrong with them. Much of the mosaic at law we still practice today.

There's the social laws of Moses that God gave Moses that-- many governments actually based their law on some of that. But you'd enjoy that book if you want a free copy, it's called Feast Days and Sabbaths. (800) 835-6747 will get you to our resource number one more time to call in with your question. 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 463-7297. All right. Thank you very much, Marvin.

With that, we're going to switch over and talk to another caller, Dan, calling from is that Elgin, Oregon Dan?

Dan: Yes, it is.

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you doing? Thanks for calling.

Dan: I'm doing very well. Thank you for taking my call. I actually had the great opportunity to learn from you directly in the fall of 2006. And I just wanted to thank you for that. It's been many years since I have actually spoken to you. I want to thank you again for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Well, it's great to hear from you. How can we help you tonight?

Dan: Well, I am not a person that consumes alcohol. I think there's lots of good biblical evidence for not doing that. It's been several weeks ago I was witnessing to a person about my reasons for not consuming alcohol using the Bible. They said, "Yes, but what about that verse, I don't even know where it is, where God says to go and drink your wine and your strong drink." I didn't know where it and needed to see. But I found it. It's in Deuteronomy 14:26.

Pastor Doug: Yes. You want me to read this for people?

Dan: If you would like to, yes sir.

Pastor Doug: All right. It says there in Deuteronomy 14:26, speaking of when the children of Israel would go to some of the annual feasts, he said, "And you will spend your money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen or sheep, or wine or similar strong drink." I think it says in King James. "Wherefore whatever your heart desires, you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice you and your household." People are saying, "Well, there you've got it. Nothing wrong with drinking a strong drink."

That word, similar drink, some places it translates it strong drink. They had the wine which was grape juice. And then they would concentrate it so that-- they would actually boil it down and make a paste out of it because it was much lighter to transport. And when they got to their destination, they would reconstitute it. It wasn't alcoholic but it uses the the word strong. The way you probably drunk orange juice from concentrate before.

When they ship orange juice across the country it just is so much more economical for them to boil it down into a concentrate, ship it, and then have you reconstitute it when you get where you're going. And they preserve it by freezing it. Well, grape juice has so much sugar in it that they could actually-- it would keep in a almost a jelly like condition. They found caves and aged cities that still have these play in for a jars with this Jewish paste wine in it.

They're talking about taking this. It wasn't alcoholic. When people say in America, strong drink, they automatically think of how many proof is the whisky. But it's an assumption people make that was incorrect. God said later, "Wine is a mocker strong drink is raging. And whoever's deceived there by is not wise." There, it's talking about the drink that intoxicates because you read the context.

Dan: Okay. Right, exactly. That's exactly what I needed to know.

Pastor Doug: Dan, we have a book , you've may have read it before. Anyone out there, if you're interested, What Does The Bible Say About Alcohol And The Christian. We'll send you a free copy and that number, (800) 835-6747. The book is called, Alcohol And The Christian. It'll give you a very easy to read, quick over view of all the statements in the Bible about wine and alcohol. How should a Christian relate to that? When Jesus turn the water to wine, what did that mean? What happen there? you'll really appreciate that. It's free.

Call (800) 835-6747 and I should tell you, you can look at it and download it for free right now on the internet. Go to amazingfacts.org or even if you type in amazingfacts.com you'll get there. Just type in the search, Alcohol And The Christian, you can download it. Thanks for your call, Dan. That opens up another line if you have a Bible question. The number is (800) GOD-SAYS to the studio, (800) 463-7297. With that, we're going to talk to Brian calling from Washington. Brian, you're on the air or with Bible Answers Live.

Brian: How are you doing, pastor?

Pastor Doug: Always better than I deserve. [laughter] How can we help you tonight?

Brian: Well, I get most of my sermons and stuff on YouTube, I've got several of your videos on YouTube. I came across one about the emergent church and spiritual formation and quite frankly it scared me. I was wondering if there's a way, what signs I should look or in my church to just be safe so I know what to look for.

Pastor Doug: Well, that's a big subject. I'd say, when you see in your church that they're putting emphasis on a mystic meditation instead of the plain, simple teaching of the word, they're going through various kinds of exercises and incantations to try and be at one with God. I get suspicious because I came into Christianity out of the hippy movement. And back in my day, everybody was going through this eastern mysticism.

Now, the emerging church and some of this is-- it has echos of some of this eastern religions. It's almost like God within you. You got that meditate and be at one with the God within you. It's not the simple kind of biblical meditation. David talks about where you're contemplating the themes of God's word. It's almost like it's bent on a feeling. That's one of the things that I see happening in and everybody gets together with bean bags, and they'll light a candle and they say, "Let's just all meditate, be at one with God." That makes me very suspicious.

Or if you are in the church where the singing a lot of repetitious songs. They sometimes, they call them praise songs. I like some praise songs but when they sing, when they call them sometimes 7-11 songs, they sing seven words 11 times. It's almost like, it reminds me of the mantras that we had in transcendental meditation. You just see that coming into the churches. Baptize them Hinduism or something.

Brian: You're saying it, it will be fairly obvious.

Pastor Doug: Well, if you do, it can be subtle. But those are some of the things that I'd look for. If you've got a church and a minister that are teaching the plain word the way it's written. You don't have to be a mystic to understand the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was extremely plain. He told us how to approach God. He said, "Pray in this manner." He gives us an outline for prayer. When people start getting into the the inner pink mashed potato feelings of prayer, that to me always sounds strange.

Now, we do have a book on prayer that talks about some of the biblical principles. We'll be happy to send you a free copy, Brian. It's called, Teach Us To Pray. Just call the resource number (800) 835-6747. We'll be happy to make you or anybody you asks a copy of that. On the condition, you read it then hopefully share it. Don't leave it on the shelf. A book does no good sitting quietly on a shelf indefinitely. All right. Opens another line. Again, (800) GOD-SAYS, we're going to go talk to Joe, whose calling from Farmville, Virginia. Joe, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Joe: Okay. Thanks so much Doug for your show.

Pastor Doug: It's a pleasure.

Joe: My question has to do with Ezekiel 37. I would like your take on it but let me set it up for you. Here's two groups of Jews, the dry bones and the walking skeletons. They're the bones that take on life. Let's say they at least, they take a snap shot, all them as they stand up. They would be like walking skeletons, okay? Well, the idea is, instead of having the dry bones morph into the walking skeletons, just let's have them just stay as two groups. The dry bones will stay as dry bones, and the walking skeletons, they go back to the land of Israel and become part of a mighty army of-

Pastor Doug: Let me just, I know about the valley of dry bones that God raises up. Where are the walking skeletons.

Joe: Well, the dry bones take on flesh and they stand up and they go back to Israel. If you think of them at a point where they take on life, they would be walking skeletons. Do you see what I'm saying? Or skeleton skin.

Pastor Doug: I see what you're saying. Without reading the whole prophecy to everybody, I think that many people are acquainted with what they call the prophecy of dry bones. There's a negro spiritual call, the knee bone connecting to the hip bone. It's based on this passage here in Ezekiel 37. Let me give you the background of what's happening here in Ezekiel. The children of Israel have been carried off to Babylon captive. The temple has been destroyed. The City of Jerusalem has burnt with fire. They figure their purpose as a people was over. That as a nation they were dead. And God is saying, here is a valley of dry bones.

Often in Bible times, when there was a battle, they had no Red Cross coming through to pick bodies up and bury them. Valleys could literally be filled with bones from the dead of a battle. They often met in the valleys for their battle like when David came down to the valley to fight with Goliath. It looks like there was this terrible slaughter and all hope is gone. And God says, "You preach, Ezekiel, You prophecy." That's what that means.

And through the proclamation of the word, a wind went through this valley of bones, and the bones basically reassemble, God puts organs and muscle back and skin back on them and they raise up, it's a healthy army. It's basically saying he would raise up the nation again and bring them back into their land which God literally did. With the fall of Babylon and the rise of the Persian power, they were told they could come back, they rebuilt the temple, and they grew into a great nation again.

That's really the essence, but it's also a message about conversion. Though we may feel like we're dead and dry inside, the word of God can give us that water of life and bring us back to life. Kind of like when Aaron's rod budded. I hope that makes sense. I need to keep going here. Ezekiel 37 is a big chapter and it's a good question, but probably can't expound the whole thing in three or four minutes. Thank you for your call, Joe. We're going to jump over and talk to Debbie who's calling from New Hyde Park, New York. Debbie, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Debbie: Yes. Good evening Pastor. Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Debbie: Yes. The question I have is after the Babylonians destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, most of the Israelites they were marched off to Babylon. Now, since the Bible says that there's no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, and the sacrifices had to be performed at the temple in Jerusalem, how did the Israelites receive forgiveness for their sins for that 70 year plus time period.

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's a great question. A matter of fact, you can ask how did they receive forgiveness of sins since the temple was destroyed from 70 AD until now since the Jews haven't had a sacrificial system? There is no theological scheme for them Biblically, how do you do that? Now, their theology has been adjusted where they find forgiveness by asking for it, trusting in the mercy of God, but you make a good point. Without the shedding of blood, there's no remission.

But even the Jews knew, their sins were not taken away by the blood of a lamb. The blood of the lamb always pointed to that God would somehow send a lamb, the Messiah, to take away their sins. That's why they all knew what John the Baptist meant when he pointed to Jesus and said this is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. But many Jews didn't believe Jesus was the one.

They still trust God and his mercy for forgiveness, but if you don't have a lamb and you don't have the Messiah, where do you get forgiveness without the shedding of blood? It's a great question, and my answer is that they have a theological problem since the destruction of the temple. They've just, the Rabbis have-- they talked their way out of it, but I was on the phone with my Jewish family today and I can tell you from firsthand experience, they don't have good answers for how are we atoned for without a sacrificial system and without the Messiah.

They just were trusting in the mercy of God, and by virtue of their relation to Abraham and God's promises to him. Good question. Good question. We do have a book that talks about Spiritual Israel that I think you would enjoy, Debbie. We'll be happy to send you a free of that. A book on Spiritual Israel. Call (800) 835-6747. (800) 835-6747. Ask for Spiritual Israel or you can download it for free from our website.

I think we can get in maybe one more question. We do have lines open, but we're going to take a break in a minute. Talk next to Richard who's calling from, did I get that right? Richard calling from Stockton, California. Listening here on KFIA. Richard, you're on the air.

Richard: Yes. I was wanting to ask you if there's a verse in the Bible similar to that saying God helps those who help themselves. I was wanting to know where in the Bible is that verse that's similar to that? That's my question.

Pastor Doug: All right. Good question. The actual quote I think comes from Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin he used to have a magazine, it later turned into the Saturday evening post that used to be called Poor Richard's Almanac. It was a very long running magazine. He would draw from the Proverbs of Solomon. There are Proverbs where Solomon talks about the diligent shall be made rich.

Then in the Book of James, it says, "Show me your faith without your works, and I'll show you my faith by my works." Meaning that you can't just say I've got faith and do nothing. There's a number of principles in the Bible, and Franklin took all of those and reworded it. You're not going to find any quote that sounds like that, but you will find those principles. It is true, God helps those that help themselves. You can't just pray and sit there.

When David went to fight Goliath, he didn't just pray from the mountain top that God would strike down the giant. He prayed, trusted God, and then he went in there with his sling. There's many, many examples in the Bible where God acted in behalf of those that would do everything they could humanly do. But I can't find you a quote that's going to sound like Franklin's brief statement.

Richard: That's what I want to know.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thanks a lot Richard. Like I said, you look in the Proverbs, you read through some of those Proverbs. You'll say there's the principle right there about God blesses diligence, God blesses work. A matter of fact, the last Proverb talks about the perfect faithful wife. A symbol of the church and it talks about how diligent she is working, and blessed by God for that diligence.

All right, listening friend, we're going to take a brief break. Don't go away. There are more Bible questions coming. We do have lines open. One more time, if you'd like to call in with your Bible question, it's 800-GOD-SAYS, we go to the word of God. (800) 463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor. I'm going to take a drink of water and a deep breath of air and be back right after these announcements.

Announcer: Bible Answers Live will return just a moment. If you're looking for Bible-based materials for further study, sign up for Amazing Facts' free correspondence Bible study course or check out our sale catalog featuring hundreds of inspiring books and tapes. To order, call our resource line at (800) 835-6747. That's (800) 835-6747. Amazing Facts is a faith-based, listener-supported ministry operating exclusively through the generosity of your prayers and financial gifts.

We would love to hear from you. Write to us at P.O. Box 909, Roseville, California 95678 or online at amazingfacts.org. You're listening to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. If you have a Bible related question, call us now to receive clear, honest answers directly from scripture. We have a few lines open, so please give us a call. The phone number to the studio is 800-GOD-SAYS. That's (800) 463-7297.

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Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. This is Bible Answers Live, and it is a live international interactive Bible study. If you've tuned in along the way, you can call in with your Bible questions. One more time, 800-GOD-SAYS. (800) 463-7297. I'm your host Doug Batchelor. Our co-host Pastor Jean Ross is flying across the ocean to do evangelism training in New Zealand. With our team in the studio we're going to do our best.

Going to go next to Sharyonna, I believe it is calling from-- Where are you? Columbia, South Carolina. Welcome Sharyonna, Am I saying that right? You're on the air. Sharyonna, Bible Answers Live, Can you hear me? I'm not hearing a response, so we are going to put you back on hold. We'll try again in a minute and with that we're going to go to Tina. Who's listening from Michigan. Tina, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Tina: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi, How are you?

Tina: I'm good. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. And your question tonight.

Tina: My question was a broad question but I am going to make it more specific.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Tina: What does the bible say about divorce and does God allow it in certain circumstances actually. Does God allow divorce in certain circumstances?

Pastor Doug: Yes, Jesus is pretty clear that divorce was never part of his original plan. You can look for instance Matthew 5, I want to give you a reference here verse 31. "Furthermore," I'm quoting from Christ now it is been said, "Whoever divorces his wife let him give her a certificate of divorce." And Jesus here is quoting, what you find in the Deuteronomy law of 24:1, "But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife for any reason except for sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries a woman who is divorced," and obviously works both ways, "commits adultery."

And so, later the disciple said, "Well if this is the case then why," and you find that in Matthew 19, they said, "Well, why did Moses allow for a certificate of divorce?" Jesus said, "From the beginning it was not so, but a man left his father and mother and cleaved to his wife and they became one flesh but because of the hardness of your hearts he allowed divorce." But the only biblical grounds for divorce, principally Jesus said would be, "If someone violates the marriage vow through adultery."

Paul talks about another scenario where divorce might be permitted where you've got two people that are pagans, they don't know about God and one of them becomes a Christian and the one who is a pagan says, "Look I didn't sign up for that I'm leaving." And they're abandoned. In that case then they're allowed to remarry a Christian. So Paul said, "You should always try to stay together whether you're married to a pagan or not. But if they abandoned you because of your religion and when you're married you didn't know about the Lord. It lets you get a new beginning".

An example of that would be in the book of John 4, the Samaritan woman who had had five husbands and she was living with a man she wasn't married to. I expect after Jesus met her, he told her to go marry the fellow or kick him out, I'm not sure. But he still reveals himself to her even though she'd been divorced 5 times. Almost sounds like an American movie star.

But in any event, we do have a book, I'll share a free copy with you if you're like, Tina, and it's called Marriage Divorce and Re-Marriage . And it goes through everything the bible says, maybe everything but It's an easy reading book. It's comprehensive on what the bible says about marriage divorce and re-marriage and it addresses the most common questions. Would you like a free copy?

Tina: I would

Pastor Doug: Then just call this number. Jot this down. (800) 835-6747. Some of the books you can read online but this one we actually mail to you, It hasn't been posted online. (800) 835-6747 and we'll be happy to send you a copy. Appreciate your call, Tina. And I've got to try one more time and see if Sharyonna is with us and maybe I'm saying her name wrong. Sharyonna?

Shayronna: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Hi, you're on the air with Bible answers live.

Shayronna: [crosstalk] God Bless you. I do apologize. I have two quick questions. And they co relate with each other. The first one, the fruit that Eve ate and Adam ate, was it a real fruit or was it symbolic? And then my second question is, in Genesis 3:16 when he's giving the curse on Eve, He mentions her having a desire for her husband and he shall rule over her. I feel like there is something in that scripture that I'm missing. So I don't really get the complete understanding when he talked about her having conception and sorrow and having the desire for her husband and he shall rule over her.

Pastor Doug: Yes. That is a very difficult verse. Let me answer your first question. Is maybe a little easier about-- what was the first question? [laughs] I just had a brain cramp. The eating the fruit, was it a real fruit? And yes it was a real fruit. You can look in the Garden of Eden and there was a tree of life and that was real because when they couldn't eat from it anymore they began to die. And if you go to Genesis it says that the tree of life will again be in the new earth and it says they'll plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them and so it was a real tree.

And Eve did quite literally reached up grab it and eat from this tree. It was a forbidden tree and they would experience not only good but experience the mingling of good with evil and that's what makes the devil so dangerous. The devil is not-- he does not deceive people by being a 100% lying. The devil was deceptive cause he will co-mingle truth with lies. The devil knows how to dress up and go to church and say a lot of true things and once he get peoples attention, he introduces a lie and destroys many through deception. Even Jim Jones started out as a preacher using the bible before he mislead people down to Jones Town. So, it was a real fruit.

And the second question. The verse in Genesis 3:16. Let me read it for our listeners and this is from the King James version. "And unto the woman," God is pronouncing the various curses. "Unto the woman, he said, 'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and thy conception.'" It says, "In sorrow you'll bring forth children." It says sorrow in conception. Conception is when you first conceive the child even before the birth.

Some have wondered is this a relation to the radical change a woman's body goes through where she experiences morning sickness and then of course without drugs it's a painful process like giving birth. And it says, "Your desire shall be to your husband." In the Hebrew it just says, "Thy desire to thy husband and he will rule over thee." So there's been some question, what does that mean?

And some scholars believe that means your desire shall be to rule over your husband but it says he will rule over you. Because she was basically coming to her husband and saying, "I know God said this but here's the fruit we should eat it." And so God said that the woman should have a submissive role there to her husband as long as it's not outside of God's will and that's at least one of the more popular interpretations of that.

Some have thought it meant by desire shall be to thy husband meaning there would be dependence or an attraction there. That was already natural that's not part of the curse. I think that is part of God's original plan that there should be attraction between the two. So I hope that helps a little bit. Are you still there Sharyonna? I think she's driving listening on satellite radio and we lost her. Apologize.

Okay. We're going to let this free another line and there's still time if you want to call in 800-GOD-SAYS with your bible question. (800) 463-7297 and with that we're going to go talk to Bob from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Bob, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Bob: Hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Thanks for you patience.

Bob: Yes, no problem. I have a question. It's a difficult question to ask and probably difficult for people in a similar situation but you answered a question last week to someone about how to be in compliance with the commandment to honor your father and your mother. And I had never thought about that in the context of being an adult. But I want to ask you a question from a different perspective.

How can someone be in compliance with that and do the right thing if they're estranged from a parent. In my case, and I know everybody's situation will be different, but I haven't spoken to my mother in over a decade. My childhood was filled with abuse and drugs and alcohol and she had an addiction to men that she picked over her children. From beginning to end the whole thing was just really bad and really messy and I don't know her that well and haven't had a relationship with her into adulthood.

And so my question is, my situation or someone else in a different though equally difficult situation. How can you be in compliance with that? Are you required to have a relationship or is praying constantly for them to come to Christ good enough? How would you applied that in a very difficult circumstance like that?

Pastor Doug: Yes, it's a great question and you did a good job articulating it. And it is a question I think many people can relate to. My mother and my grandmother didn't talk for 9 years and I know many people, as a pastor, that have been estranged from family members for years. Heard about another case actually just today. First of all, I think as a Christian if there can be forgiveness and reconciliation and regardless of what's happened.

In order for you to be healthy you just got to maintain your distance and for your own health and salvation-- some people have very unwell, manipulating family members. And you just can't open the door and let them back in your lives, or it just becomes bad for them, bad for you, and I recognize that. Some people are very toxic in their relationships, and you can't help them. But if there's a chance you may want to communicate, you start with a letter and say, "Mom, realized that we haven't talked. You are my mother, and I love you and while we may not agree or there may have been some problems I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you."

It might be the means of opening a branch of communication, changing a heart, redemption. You will have to know that and pray about that. But you're never asked by God to obey a parent that is asking you to do something immoral, or conflicting with the commandments of God, or if they're meddling in your family, because there's also that scripture that says a man and woman get married they leave their father and mother and they cleave to the spouse.

At some point you've got to leave your father and mother, develop your own home, cleave to your new family. And the parents and parents-in-law they need to know how to have a relationship without meddling. Sometimes that takes a lot of work, and everybody, I think, struggles with that transition. So I don't know if this is making sense, Bob, but you can honor a parent. You don't have to be dishonoring them, by not communicating with them if there's no way for you to communicate in a respectable way.

Bob: I wondered if there was any-- to technically be in compliance with the word honor, where that word comes from in the Hebrew. What technically would that have looked like, or does it look like? Is [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: The word would mean to revere, to respect. You look in Bible times, Abraham is picking the spouse for his, and I think I mentioned this last week, he's picking the spouse for Isaac, and Isaac is like 40 years old. Abraham tells Isaac, "God wants me sacrifice you," when Isaac's like 17, and Isaac holds out his hands and says, "Here, you better tie up my hands." There was incredible respect, and obedience and submission between parents and children.

The Law of Moses said that if a child was rebellious and disrespectful to his parents, and was a glutton, the parents could go to the elders of the city and say, "This child just will not obey." And they would take them out and stone them. There's no case of that happening in the Bible, but that's what the law said, it was supposed to, I guess, put the fear in children about dishonoring their parents.

You get two extremes that can happen. If you don't have laws that teach parental responsibility and that parents need to be good examples, and that the parent should lead. Then what you end up with is a tyranny coming from the children in adolescence, which is worse. Some parents will abuse their authority, but what would be worse? If there was no authority. And we're almost getting to that point in our society today.

Bob: I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: So, if you think there's threads of hope, and you could write a letter to your mother and open avenues of communication. Or just say, "I want you to know that I respect you. You did the best you could", or whatever. It may be difficult to do that. And just give it to the Lord. Say, "Lord, I don't want to disrespect my parents, if I've done that then let me know if there's something I can do to reconcile or to change that, let me know."

If you're willing to do God's will, Bob, and anyone out there in your relationship with estranged family, ask God to show you. I obviously can't give you the answer, but I trust if your willing, Jesus promises if we're willing to do his will, we will know. I appreciate your call, Bob. With that we're going to-

Bob: Thank you very much, pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: God bless. We'll be talking next to, well let me see here, Virgin Islands, Jacqueline is calling. Welcome, Jacqueline, you're on the air with Bible answers live. Are you there, Jacqueline? Some people have the mute button on.

Jacqueline: Hi, hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, you're on the air.

Jacqueline: Hi. Hi, pastor Doug. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, I'd like to be in Saint Thomas, probably a lot nicer as well.

Jacqueline: [laughs] I listen to you every time you're on the radio. I'm surprised I got in.

Pastor Doug: I'm glad you called. How can we help you tonight?

Jacqueline: Okay, well I have a question. I used to have friend that used to-- when she prayed, she said this verse and I would like you to explain the verse to me. It's Matthew 16: 19. Every time she used to pray, she used to put that verse in her prayer. I don't understand it.

Pastor Doug: Let me read this for our friends that are listening. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Now, some have taken this verse to mean that this is where Jesus gives Peter authority to be the first pope. And that Peter had the authority to decide who was saved and lost, and he gave him the keys to the kingdom.

You can drive around Rome and you'll see that, around the Vatican they've got lot of pictures of these keys hanging on an insignia. That's not at all what Jesus meant. Jesus says he is the one that has the keys of David, that can open the grave. When he tells Peter and the apostles, "I'm giving you the keys to the kingdom." He didn't just say it to Peter, he really tells them all. It says, "Whosoever's sins you loose, they're loosed, and whoever is forgiven, they're forgiven."

He's basically saying that through communicating the gospel you will set souls free from the prison. And Peter refers to the prison in, I think, his first book. So, a lot of people have misunderstood that, you and I can't decided who's saved and lost. Some people when they pray, they talk about binding things from heaven. What that means is, and it is true, we claim the promises of God, others say, "I'm binding the devil." We can claim promises of God and there's power in that, that the Lord acts on when we by faith claim his promises. And we say, "I want to bind this promise." But I think they may be misapplying this verse Jacqueline, when they use it that way.

Jacqueline: Okay. Yes, I hear.

Pastor Doug: But as you read trough the Bible, and you see the various promises, and you kneel. Some people are going to open the Bible and point to those promises, "Lord, you said this and I believe it, and I'm claiming that promise." They will see real results if they claim these promises by faith. I believe in that, praying through the promises. But this verse is really telling the church that I'm giving you the keys, in that through sharing the gospel people will be saved.

Those we neglect to share the gospel with, they're not going to be saved. That the church, actually, is going to be the body of believers and it's going to mean something to be part of that.

Jacqueline: So you're saying that is-- okay, because my friend used to say it as a part of her prayer. So you're saying that, when we pray we're not supposed to say that verse, to bring some-

Pastor Doug: There's no record in the New Testament of any disciple using that verse in prayer. If we look at the example of the other prayers that you find from Peter, James, John, Paul we never hear them doing that.

Jacqueline: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Jesus said, "When you pray, pray in this manner." And then he gives us the Lord's prayer. And Lord's prayer is sort of an outline for prayer. By the way that was the subject of my sermon this weekend, talking about the Lord's prayer. Thank you very much Jacqueline, appreciate that you're a listener. Tell all your friends there in the Virgin Islands that I wouldn't mind an invitation. I've got a good friend there, named Lou McCain, that keeps telling me to come, come to the Virgin Islands.

All right, God bless you. Have a good evening. Talking next to, let's see who's been waiting the longest, Jerry has been patient. I'm talking to Jerry line eight. Jerry, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jerry: Yes, pastor Doug. Can you hear me okay?

Pastor Doug: I do, thank you for calling.

Jerry: Thank you. I've heard your position about wine being grape juice. But now I'd like to now how you reconcile the following scripture with that position. I'm looking at Numbers 6:3-6, and I'll quickly read it, it'll take me a few seconds. This is pertains to one who vows to be a Nazarite, "He must abstain from wine and other fermented drink, and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice, or eat grapes or raisins." So it's mentioned both wine and grape juice, and it's referring to wine and other fermented beverages.

Pastor Doug: You're reading the new King James version?

Jerry: No, this is in NIV.

Pastor Doug: Okay. That actually is an accurate translation, but it is true. I'm not contending that the people in Israel did not drink alcohol, they did. And that's why you have scriptures where Nathan, I'm sorry, David made Uriah drunk to try to get him to do something against his conscience. That's why you've got verses about Lot's daughters got their father drunk and they slept with him. And you've got Noah stumbling around drunk and naked in his tent, after drinking.

So the examples you have are, of course, not good examples, there's many examples of alcohol in Israel. It's saying, that it's a mocker, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, whoever is deceived there by is not wise." There's just many verses in the Bible, "Give wine to him that is ready to perish. Woe unto him that gives his neighbor drink." There's just so many verses in the bible that speak negatively about alcohol.

I am not denying that they had alcohol, or they drunk wine. Not every time in the bible you find the word wine did it mean strong drink. That one that I quoted from Deuteronomy 14, I was contending that I don't think he was talking about, "Take strong drink with you." Meaning alcoholic. Because that word is used both ways. Just like the word wine. I think in [foreign language], I think it's a word in Hebrew. And that word, sometimes meant grape juice.

An example would be in Isaiah 65 where he says, for as the wine is in the cluster and Jesus at the Lord supper, when he said to the disciples, and I think this is in Matthew, he said, "Drink this wine, this grape juice, for it's my blood, for I'm saying I'll not drink it till I drink it with you new, in my father's kingdom." New wine, unfermented. I believe that's was what Jesus drink. The bread was to be unleavened and the grape juice was to be unfermented.

When you look in the New King James or the NIV verson, they use the word, grape juice. It doesn't use that word in the original. They're just assuming that it's talking about grape juice because a Nazarite couldn't eat anything from the vine. Fermented, unfermented, raisins nothing.

Jerry: But I view it like eating and gluttony. Obviously, the bible condemns gluttony but it doesn't condemn eating. I feel that it condemns drunkedness but if you're controlling it, I don't see that there's a real problem.

Pastor Doug: All right. Let's talk about that for just a moment if that's okay, Jerry. You're asking a great question, I appreciate your good spirit, the way you're asking your question. You made a point about, "Don't eat like a glutton." The thing is that a person has to eat to stay alive. You do not have to drink alcohol, or even grape juice to stay alive. When you consider just-- I know this may sound strange on a Bible Answer Program, but set the bible aside for a moment, and look at just the facts about alcohol in our culture.

Here's my speech. Over half of the people who are in prison, are there because of crimes committed under the influence of alcohol. Over half of the calls that police get, domestic disputes and violence are related to alcohol. Over half of the people who are in the emergency room are there because of alcohol. Over half of the birth defects can be traced to different problems connected with alcohol.

When you think about, over half of the misery in our society is connected with this drug, alcohol causes more problems than all of the other drugs in our society combined. You don't hear about that because the Government makes big money tax but those are the facts. How much should a christian support drinking alcohol?

Jerry: I would agree with you if you have a problem, if there is a problem in your family you're probably better off never touching it. But I have been drinking for probably 50 years and when I mean drink, I mean maybe a six pack during the summer.

Pastor Doug: I understand. You do it moderately but one reason I don't drink, is because I don't want to do anything that will be a bad example for someone else. Paul talks about not doing anything that will make my neighbor stumble. If I'm going to do something that could be a bad example for a fellow human being, I don't want to do it. As someone once said, "It's true only one out of six or seven people that drinks becomes an alcoholic."

Well, would I want a dog that bit one out of seven people that came to my house? It's just, for me, it is too risky. I don't want to do something since I don't need to do it and even though a person might say, "Look I can control it." By our example, we might drink in front of someone who's struggling with it and did not know it, and it can make them fall. Since it is a drug that many people get addicted to, and it's the biggest and most popular addiction in North American is alcoholism, then, I guess, I'm very old fashioned this way- I think Christians should stay away from it.

Probably also makes a difference, Jerry, that my father struggled with alcohol. Hey, Jerry, by the way, free book I'll send you, The Christian and Alcohol. You can download it online. You heard me mention it earlier, The Christian and Alcohol. Friends, if you're standing by, you didn't get on the air, give us another chance, would you please? God willing, we'll be back next week for more Bible questions.

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