Healing the Spiritually Blind

Healing the Spiritually Blind

Date: 05/08/2016 
In 1995, Mary Ann Franco was in a serious car accident that injured her spine, and consequently caused her to go blind in both eyes. Mary Ann spent the next 21 years in Okeechobee, Florida, walking with a cane and struggling to live in a world of darkness. That wasn't until Franco fell in her home, hitting her head and injuring her neck.

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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact. In 1995, Mary Ann Franco was in a serious car accident that injured her spine, and consequently caused her to go blind in both eyes. Mary Ann spent the next 21 years in Okeechobee, Florida, walking with a cane and struggling to live in a world of darkness. That wasn't until Franco fell in her home, hitting her head and injuring her neck.

The doctor said she'd need to have an operation performed on her spine to relieve the pain. Now, neck injuries usually aren't part of a success story, but when Mary Ann awoke in the hospital recovery room, she tried to get the nurse's attention by saying, "Lady, you, with all that purple on. Give me something for pain." Her amazed niece sitting nearby asked, "What did you say Mary?" The statement was especially surprising because prior to her 1995 accident, Franco was also color blind.

The operation seems to have restored not only her vision, but now for the first time in her life, she also has the ability to see color. Her amazed doctor, neurosurgeon John Ashar, is calling the recovery of her sight a miracle. 70-year-old Mary Franco has no question: It's a gift from God. "I really believe," she said, "with all my heart, He gave me back my sight." Now that she has her vision back, she's very excited to she her friends, pets, and especially, seven grandchildren she's never looked at.

Her chores have become easier, and she deeply appreciates the simple things we all take for granted. With her eyes welling with tears, Mary Ann says, "The sun is coming through the trees. Oh, God, it is so wonderful to see." The Bible tells us that healing the blind was one of Jesus' favorite miracles. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more, as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Radio Announcer: Welcome to Bible Answers Live, with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Is understanding God's word a challenge? Are there passages of scripture that are a mystery to you? Maybe it's difficult to reconcile what you're reading in the Bible to what you always believed. If you have bible related questions, stay tuned to get honest, practical answers straight from the word of God on Bible Answers Live. Bible Answers Live is a production of Amazing Facts Ministries dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. Our lines are open, so call us now at 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297. Now, here's your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Doug: Welcome, listening friends, to Bible Answers Live, and if you are tuning in for the first time, this is live international interactive bible study. You can call in with your bible questions. Right now is a good time to do that. We've got our phone lines wide open. If you have a bible question, pick up the phone, it is a free phone call. Here's the number: 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297, and if you call now, excellent chance you'll get your question on tonight's program. One more time, 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297, and I'm Doug Batchelor.

John Ross: My name is John Ross, good evening friends and Pastor Doug, let's begin the program with prayer. Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that we have this opportunity, once again, to study your word. We always want to ask the holy spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds as we open up the pages of the Bible. We ask a blessing on those who are listening, Lord, and just lead us all into a clear and full understanding of your word. Before we ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.

Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about a fairly remarkable occurrence, a miracle that happened to this lady who was blind. Banged her head, which in itself would be, in most situations, a bad thing. Not a good thing, [laughs] but it turned out to really be the catalyst to restore her sight. What an experience that must be. When you think of the senses, you think of smell, taste, touch, and sight and hearing. If somebody were to give one up, probably the last one that you would want to give up is your sight. It just means so much to us. To have your sight taken away, and then miraculously restored, what an experience that must be.

Doug: Especially after almost 21 years. I believe it was a miracle because whenever God does something like that, if the blood was cut off to a certain part of the brain or the eyes, that would atrophy after 20 years, and it would be permanent. That's why the doctors are dumbfounded. He said, "Perhaps the next surgery increased blood flow to a part of the brain. They're mystified. She looks upon it as a wonderful miracle.

Then, there is no explanation why, for the first time in her life, because she had the accident when she was 50. She had been color blind her entire life, and now she can see colors. People can go online and see it. People question when Jesus worked these miracles of opening people's eyes and restoring their sight. There's several cases, there was blind Bartimaeus, there was the case of the blind man in the gospel of John, chapter 9.

As a matter of fact, you can read Matthew 21:14, "Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple and He healed them." It was multiple times Jesus opened the eyes of the blind. In Luke 4:18 he said, "He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind." Sometimes, blindness in the Bible, and Jesus healing the blind, was synonymous with his opening the spiritual sight of people who were spiritually blind.

Of course, Christ talking about the religious leader, said, "You blind guides that are leading the blind." We've heard the expression, "If the blind lead the blind, they'll fall in the ditch." There, Jesus is talking about spiritual blindness. He makes an interesting statement in John 9:39, Christ said, "For judgement, I have come into the world that those who do not see, may see, and those who see, may be made blind." What Jesus meant by that is his teaching helped some of the poor and the uneducated, like the Apostles, to have great spiritual insight, and the religious leaders, their hearts were hardened in spiritual blindness.

There are a lot of people out in the world right now that are blind spiritually, and the only way to have our eyes opened, and really have a vision, knowing what the purpose of life is, is through Christ and his spirit. He still works miracles and opens the eyes of the blind physically, as well as spiritually. We've got a book that talks about people that plug in their ears and their eyes are blinded deliberately. Their blind to the things of God, and we want to make sure we don't fall into that category.

Pastor Ross: We have a book, and the book is called Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. We'll be happy to send this to anybody wanting to learn how they can make sure that they have spiritual sight. We don't want to be closing our eyes spiritually from the truth of God's word. Again, the book is called Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. We'll be happy to send this to anybody that calls and asks. The phone line for our free resource this evening is 800-835-6747.

Again, that number is 800-835-6747, and ask for the book called Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. If you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That 800-GOD-SAYS 463-7297. If you have a Bible question, it's a good time to pick up your phone and give us a call we have a number of lines that are still open. Give us a call, we'd love to hear from you this evening. We're going to go to our first caller we have aired listening from Greenville, New York. Ed, welcome to the program.

Ed: Thank you. Hi, are we there?

Pastor Ross: Yes, you're on.

Ed: Very good. Doug, I just want to appreciate your prophecy study bible, it's really been an eye opener. Do you think the center column references for first Samuel 16:14 for Samuel. The question I have is it says first, "The spirit of the Lord departed from us all and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled Him." Can you explain that?

Doug: It doesn't mean that God has evil spirits that he sends, but in the same way that the devil needed permission to tempt Job. If someone has the light of the Lord in their life, if the light is rejected, automatically, darkness comes in. When he was first anointed king, he was filled with a spirit, he had angels and the spirit of God guiding him. But through persistent rebellion and pride, he eventually drove away the light of the Lord, and the evil spirits came in.

Ed: Okay.

Doug: Later, it talks about David would come and sing and play music, and David's songs were filled with spiritual meaning. It says he would be refreshed and the darkness would go away.

Ed: There's no vaccuum really, then.

Doug: Yes, all of us. Jesus said if you're not with me, you're against me. It's one or the other. The Bible is pretty clear.

Ed: Thank you. I kind of had an idea that was it, but I appreciate the clearification.

Doug: Yes, the way it's worded, "A distressing spirit from the Lord" you would think, "Why would God send an evil spirit?" It's really that God was drawing his spirit, the evil spirits came in.

Pastor Ross: I think our free offer of Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears deals a little bit with that. If we turn away from God, then we're really opening ourselves up to the devil coming and guiding and influencing the individual. I think it goes along with that free offer, again if you'd like to receive that Ed or anybody listening just give us a call on our resources line and the number is 800-835-6747 that's 800-835-6747 with your-- or ask for the free offer called Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. Our phone line here to the studio with your Bible question 800-463-7297, 800-463-7297. We have Edward listening from Highland California, Edward welcome to the program.

Edward: Hey how are you?

Doug: Doing well, thanks for calling in.

Edward: I've got a quick question you ready?

Doug: Okay.

Edward: John 3:16 a very popular Bible verse and a lot of people know it by heart. I was looking at my Bible the other day and the wording is a little bit different than what most people go by.

Doug: Well, what's yours say?

Edward: Mine says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Most of the time I hear it, it says shall not perish, shall have eternal life. It seems like it's not so certain.

Doug: What version are you reading?

Edward: The New American Bible.

Doug: New American Bible, does it say New American Standard?

Edward: No, American bible but maybe.

Doug: Okay, some of the translations try to simplify and modernize the language. I personally think that sometimes when they do that, that some of the beauty is lost and even at times the actual meaning is changed. Go ahead.

Edward: Yes, okay. I would say, it’s supposed to be a good translation, I think it’s the ones that the Catholic Church uses.

Doug: Well, I'm sure there's a lot of good things in there but most of us know we've memorized John3:16 from the King James. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Sounds more definitive doesn't it?

Edward: It does, but what makes such, such a better Bible?

Doug: The King James Bible is a masterpiece, there is no language in the world or no book in the world has had more influence on the English language than the King James Version. If it was like the textbook of English for several hundred years and it's just-

Edward: Is that the fact that you look at when you capture peoples’ questions because weren’t there Bibles before King James Bible?

Doug: The King James Bible actually is drawn a lot from one of the first English translations which would be Wycliffe and then Tyndale, some of the early English reformers translated the Bible. The King James is the masterpiece because it had so many scholars working on it. I've got great respect for it, now the New King James version is very much like the King James, it’s just modernized some of the words that we use. We don't say thee and thou, and so, yes, it's a tremendous translation.

We actually have a book we can send you a free copy that talks about the Word of God and some of the differences. Would you like a copy that Edward?

Edward: Well, you see if you're going to talk about bible verses, I probably should be using a good Bible. I liked what you were saying about the King James Bible, it just seems to me that it’s so much after the original text that maybe the King James Bible lost some of the meaning. What do you think?

Doug: I don't think so. Matter of fact, I think the New American Bible you're using has been written more recently. Let me give you something to think about, some of the translators of the King James Bible actually had access to manuscripts that we don't have today. During World War one and two and even some of the wars in Europe great libraries were burned. They didn't have things on microfilm, they didn't have things digitized and a lot of scholarly information that was used by some of the great reformers has been lost.

They had more probably manuscripts of the New Testament than we have today so we've got copies of copies today.

Edward: Okay, I think that like the Catholic church or the Vatican would have really good copies. The Catholic Church put the Bible together-

Doug: The Catholic Church does have a main Bible called the Vaticanius. There's three primary manuscripts for the New Testament. The Old Testament, the Jews have got many records of that. Nobody ever argues the Old Testament because the Jewish people have a black belt, and they sort of have a copyright on that. But the three manuscripts are the sinaiticus, was a manuscript found in St Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, the Vatacainus, a manuscript Found in the Vatican library and then Textus Receptus but-- do you want to say something?

Ross: Yes, the Old Testament we can go back to the Dead Sea Scrolls which were actually dated and actually buried there in the cave prior to the time of Christ and it has all of the Old Testament books except-- I think all portions of it except for the Book of Esther or Ruth I forget which one.

Doug: Parts of every book except Esther.

Ross: Esther, and so you can go back and you can verify the Old Testament and say, yes, absolutely what we have in our Bibles is indeed accurate. The New Testament there's a number of Greek manuscripts that has been scattered all over the place and people have gathered these manuscripts together and put them together in a New Testament Greek. There's several Textus Receptus is probably one of the most well known of these collection of Greek manuscripts.

Edward: Under Old Testament, you said nobody argues about it but doesn’t the catholic Bible have a few more books than the King James Bible for the Old Testament? Did they some books out or something?

Doug: The Catholics include some Old Testament books like in the Apocrypha, the Maccabees that-- when I said I don't think they argue about it, they're pretty agreed on the translation of it. When you're talking about Genesis, Exodus through Malachi. That's a different question on-- there are some books that the Catholic Church felt were inspired, the most Protestants thought were maybe historical books but they didn't fall within the canon of inspiration.

Edward: What Old Testament did Jesus use?

Doug: He probably used the Torah very much like us, just to answer your question Jesus quoted 10% of everything-- Jesus said, he quotes from the Old Testament. Jesus never quotes from the Maccabees, Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy all three times he was tempted in the wilderness, Jesus quotes from Jeremiah, Jesus quotes from Ezekiel, Jesus quotes from Daniel, he quotes extensively from Moses. Like I said refers to Moses writing as many times.

I'll give you an example if you look in Luke 24, it says, “After the resurrection beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded into them and all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Jesus was very well familiar he gave long Bible studies going through the Old Testament. He went through the law, Jesus quoted the Psalms many times. 10% of everything Jesus said was a quote from the Old Testament. You know what Edward we’ll be happy to send you a book it's called The ultimate resource that deals with this subject. It's a free gift, call the number Pastor Ross: is giving you and that will-

Ross: We’ll get that to you. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Ultimate Resource, it's all about the Bible. Tell you a little bit about the various translations and the manuscripts I think you'll find that helpful. Again the number is 800-835-6747 that is the resource line and if you have a Bible question the number to coal is 800-463-7297. Again, 800-463-7297 with your Bible question.

We have, Brian, who is listening from New York Brian welcome to the program.

Brian: Thank you so much for having me.

Doug: Hey, get real close to your phone.

Brian: Can you hear me now?

Doug: A little better thanks, and your question.

Brian: My question I've been doing some independent research regarding the whole system of salvation. One of the doctrines that has been taught over denomination is that there’s a regulatory system in place in respect to the law. However, the mainstream teaching, it is taught that the law was abolished because grief would be what would probably be the instinct sort of thing. My question is if that same system was abolished, what is in place?

Doug: Well, when it talks about the law that's very important understand the word the law in the Bible. It's used many different ways sometimes when it is a lot speaking of the Old Testament Scriptures, the Torah and it's including all the writings in the Old Testament. Sometimes the law might be referred to the ceremonial laws and the ordinances and sometimes the law is referring to the moral code or the Ten Commandments.

Of course you have to read the context so when the Bible says we're not under the law but under grace and-- Pastor Ross: there's a few places that that appears, that doesn't mean we're not under an obligation to obey the law because the Bible's pretty clear not everyone that says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom but they that do the will of my Father and the law of God is called the will of God. If a person is committing an adultery is same under the and under grace well they're kidding themselves they still need to keep that law.

Brian: You know the virtue frankly is Romans 6:14-15 Paul writes that "For sin shall not have dominion of the youth and you're not under the law but under grace" and then he says "What then shall we sin because we're not under the law but under grace?" Certainly not, that's Romans Chapter 6: 14-15.

Pastor Doug: Yes, so Paul is telling us Brian that when we come to Jesus we're no longer under the penalty of the law. It doesn't mean that we're not under the obligation to obey because over and over it says if you love me keep my commandments "Blessed are those who do his commandments and I've kept my Father's commandments." Paul even says I think it's Romans 2:13, "Not the hearers of the law will be just before God but the doers of the law will be justified."

When Paul talks about being under grace he means we're not under the penalty of the law when we accept Christ and we surrender and follow him. It doesn't mean we're free to break the moral law. We don't have to keep the laws regarding the ceremonial system they are nailed to the cross. It's not necessary for us to sacrifice lambs, Paul is pretty clear circumcision means nothing, Paul says circumcision is nothing uncircumcision is nothing, keeping the commandments is what is important. So that was actually a modern translation [laughter]. So we have a lesson that talks specifically about the relationship between law and grace. Would you like that book, Brian?

It's not necessary for us to sacrifice lambs, Paul is pretty clear circumcision means nothing metamorphic Paul says, "Circumcision is nothing uncircumcision is nothing, keeping the commandments is what is important." That was actually a modern translation [laughter]. So we have a lesson that talks specifically about the relationship between law and grace. Would you like that book, Brian?

Brian: Certainly.

Pastor Doug: Yes it's -- go ahead.

Pastor Ross: I'm not sure which one you're thinking now but there's a book I'm looking at it says, "Does God's Grace Blot out the Law?"

Pastor Doug: That's what I was thinking. You read my mind.

Pastor Ross: Alright, very good.

Pastor Doug: You're a prophet.

Pastor Ross: I think that only explains that the subject in great detail. Just give us a call on our resource line Brian the number again is 800-835-67447 you can ask for the book Does God's Grace Blot out the Law? Anyone friend if you'd like to learn more about the subject give us a call and we'll be happy to send this book to you.

Brian: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome.

Pastor Ross: Our next call is, Justin, listening in California. Justin welcome to the program.

Justin: Hello. I was just wondering if there's any sin that God cannot forgive?

Pastor Doug: Hey, good question. You know the bible does talk about bless me against the holy spirit Jesus said this is Matthew I think also on Mark and Pastor Ross: might find a couple of those references, "All men are sin and blasphemy will be forgiven the sons of men but blasphemy against the holy spirit will not be forgiven in this life or in the life to come. People, when they try and figure out what is the unpardonable sin they imagine to themselves all the worse thing they can think of. They think of, well, what does it mean killing your parents does it mean killing a child.

All those things would be horrific sins but there are people in the bible that did those things and they were forgiven. Blasphemy against the holy spirit is really an ongoing rejection of the work of the holy spirit in your life. So that you're saying holy spirit is not going to be God over me but I'm going to be God in my life and it's blaspheming the spirit. It's the sin God cannot forgive because it's the sin for which a person will not repent.

Pastor Ross: The verses you're referring to is actually found in three of the gospels, you got in Matthew, Matthew Chapter 12:31, Mark 4:12 and then also Luke 6:37. Where it says "All sin will be forgiven except blasphemy against the holy spirit." Now, when you think of the word blasphemy, blasphemy is putting yourself in the place of God and that's one of the definitions for that. The work of the holy spirits convict the person of sin but when we choose to resist the holy spirit and refuse to follow the leading of the spirit through the word we're hardening our hearts against the holy spirit, that's a dangerous thing.

Pastor Doug: Yes, and we have actually a book that talks about that called Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin? We'll send you a free copy of that if you'd like Justin just call the resource.

Pastor Ross: All you need to do is call 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book called Beyond Mercy and for you just or anybody wanting to learn more about the subject just give us a call and we'll be happy to send that to you. Again, the number is 800-835-6747 that is the resource line. The phone line here to the studio with your bible question this evening is 800-463-7297, 800-463-7297 we'll be happy to take your call on the air. Well, thank you for your call Justin, our next call is Ed and he is listening from Chicago Illinois. Ed, welcome to the program.

Ed: Hello friends, I love your show I love you guys. Have a couple of question.

Pastor Ross: Well thank you appreciate your call.

Ed: Thank you. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is a Christian, she probably been a Christian same religion as we are and she was very frustrated. She had several questions but one of them was, "What is the purpose of life?" and of course I had my little Christian answer like you give glory to God fair enough but that didn't apply very well. Then she asked me if God is love why I mean what is he waiting to come? because as time goes by more people are born more people are going to be lost and he comes say 1970 I would not be here and say that I'm going to go hell then I would've have gone now.

I don't have any intelligent answer to give when and I've been answering the same thing several times. I'm wondering if you have any answer for me and going to take my answer offline. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: All right Ed, thank you very much. Well, that's a very good question. If God is love you might start up and say why did he allow evil? Why did he make a devil? If Jesus came to redeem us 2000 years ago why is it taking him so long to come back? Why does he tarry? Well, one reason the bible tells us in 2nd Peter Chapter 3, "God is not willing that any should perish but the laws come to repentance."

The longer the Lord waits it's true more people will be born but some who are living would not be ready. There's other things that are going on, when you're waiting to pick a fruit, timing is everything. If you pick it too soon it's inedible, if you pick it too late it's rotten. There's a time when it's exactly ripe. The whole battle between good and evil that is revealed here in this world and the love of God revealed in Jesus coming to die for our sins, it's going to reach a point where things are perfectly ripe.

Now, exactly when that is we don't know I think that the coming of the Lord is very soon because it's just interesting that if you add up the ages in the bible it somewhere around 4000 BC we don't know the exact date, it's the creation you just add up the ages. About 4000 years after that Christ was born and then here we are now 2000 years that's 6000 years roughly from creation and then we spend a thousand years living and reigning with the Lord during the millennium. It's like a thousand years said but I think we're at the point right now between those two epics where the Lord is going to come.

Pastor Ross: Pastor, Doug, it's interesting you mentioned that in 2nd Peter 3:8. Peter writes these words his says, "But beloved do not forget this one thing that one day with the Lord is just a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." Then verse 9 he says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as something count slackness but his long suffering to us is not what he meant any should perish but that all should come to repentance." It's talking about the second coming. Then it says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." There's the promise Jesus will come although it might seem that there's this time of tarrying, prior to the coming.

Pastor Doug: Yes, absolutely. We did have a DVD that I think you can watch it online for free called Cosmic Conflict. It explains this battle between good and evil, where the devil came why the Lord is waiting and turn things are ripe before he comes back. That's what it says and revelation is coming they'll harvest the earth when it is fully ripe and we think it's reaching that point very rapidly. If you want to be ready friends Cosmic Conflict is the name of the video. We can send you one from Amazing Facts or you can watch it on YouTube. Don't go anywhere there are more bible questions coming in just a moment.

Radio announcer: Bible Answers Live returning just a moment. If you're looking for Bible based materials for further study sign up for Amazing Fact's Free Correspondence Bible Study Course or check 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 PO Box 909 Roseville California 95678 or online at www.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.

Recorded Commercial Voice: If you have enjoyed Bible Answers Live, you'll love pastor Doug's book of bible answers straight from the broadcast, the very best questions and answers had been compiled as an awesome resource for bible study and personal evangelism. Each answer has been expanded with more bible verses and insightful commentary. The book of bible answers can be yours today for just $12. Call now 1-800-835-6747 and request offer 257. That's 1-800-835-6747.

Doug: We're back, listening friends, and yes, we are live. If you have a bible question, we invite you, give us a call. That number is 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. I still have some phones open, good chance to get on tonight's program, 800-463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name John Ross. You know Pastor Doug, I would like to let folks know about some additional resources available online. Amazing Facts has a number of websites. We call them truth website on different subjects all the way from the truth about death to the truth about Mary called Mary Truth. There's another website that we have that is just sort of the landing place for in-depth Bible prophecy study called Bible Prophecy Truth.

Doug: Yes, that's one of them. Matter of fact, you just google Bible Prophecy. It will be there on the first page or two because it gets so many hits. Bible Prophecy Truth has studies there on angels, armageddon, second coming, the mark of the beast, antichrist, tribulation. All of the hot topics connected with the second coming and bible prophecy are in there, bibleprophecytruth.com. Just a moment here. We're going to go back to the phones. Looks like some calls have come in.

Pastor Ross: I want to let folks know about our free offer again for this evening. Those of you who just joined us, we do have a book. We'd be happy to send it to anybody who will give us a call and ask. Our resource number is 800-835-6747, and the free offer this evening is called, Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. That's an intriguing title, but it's looking about how we can see literally or physically, and yet be blind spiritually. What is the bible have to say about how we can have our eyes anointed as Revelation chapter three says, "With the holy spirit, in order to understand the word to understand the truth." We'll be happy to send this to anybody who calls and ask. It's called Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.

Our resource phone number is 800-835-6747.

Doug: It's free?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Our next call is, Lucy, listening from New York, Jamestown. Lucy, welcome to the program.

Lucy: My question was should we Christians celebrate or give an offering for the Passover, and there's two other ones that some of the churches say that we should do. I wonder, was that Jewish law that we shouldn't be keeping, or was it because the last supper was on the Passover?

Doug: Well, the last supper-- I'm sorry, go ahead, I let you finish your question.

Lucy: That's the question.

Doug: The last supper really replaces the Passover. You're right when they had the last supper, it was during the Passover, but then he said, "This is what you do. The bread represents my body. The grape juice represents my blood." If you read in first Corinthians 5:7, Paul is extremely clear. He says, "For indeed, Christ is our Passover who will sacrifice for us." We don't need to sacrifice physical lambs and eat a physical lamb for the Passover. When we partake of that bread and drink that grape juice, that's the symbol for the pure, it's unleavened bread, the body sinless life of Christ and the unfermented wine or grape juice represents his blood that gives us life.

The life is in the blood. That would be true with other Jewish feasts. They have a spiritual significance that we still apply to our lives, but it's not necessary for us to travel to Jerusalem and go to the temple and offer a sacrifice which was part of the old law. Obviously, we can't do that now. The temples not even there, and they don't offer sacrifice.

Lucy: I didn't mean to actually to do the whole thing. I wonder if we should be giving an offering, or whether we should be taking communion on that day.

Doug: It's a good idea. In our church, we think that a good time to do a communion service is during the time of spring, Passover for the Jews, and roughly the time of Easter for the Christians. Because it is the time of year that Jesus sacrifice, that doesn't mean you only need to do communion once a year. Many churches do it quarterly. Future churches do communion weekly, but I think that's too frequent, and it gets towards sort of loses its significance.

Yes, nothing wrong with the doing an offering in keeping in those feasts. Obviously, it doesn't need to be a lamb or a goat.

Lucy: Well, I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't have the heart to killing. [laughs]

Doug: That's good. We have a book that talks about a little bit about this, Lucy. We'll send you a free copy or anyone that wants to know more. It's called Feast Days and Sabbath. We'll be happy to send you a free copy, or you can read it online.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is the resource line, and ask for the book called Feast Days and Sabbath, or you can read it at amazingfacts.org. Our next call is Wallace, listening from The Dalles in Oregon. Wallace, welcome to the program.

Wallace: Hi. I'd like to get right to my question, hoping to make it brief. I've listened to several videos where you talked about the second coming. Usually, near the start of those, you'll mention the false messiah, but in the course of the teaching, later on, you don't seem to get back to that or elaborate on that. It makes me nervous when I hear the church preaching that there's going to be this great world leader who is going to do this and that, and he could be waiting in the wings at the present time. I don't really know how that doctrine is justified or not justified. I don't feel that's consistent with the nature of Satan to share the spotlight with anyone.

I feel that once the stage is set, and maybe the world and the church, whoever, has believed that there has been somebody or is somebody on the scene who they're the antichrist, then out of the cloud, it's' just going to appear the Messiah, and everybody is going to think it's the messiah. It's going to be Satan pretending to be the Messiah. That's why it's going to be such a powerful deceit and delusion. I just wonder what you would agree with me about that and disagree with me about that.

Doug: First, we agree with Jesus, I believe, that there is going to be a masterpiece of deception. When the disciples asked about the Christ return and the second coming, the first thing Jesus said, and this is Matthew chapter 24:4, "Take heed that no one deceives you for many will come in my name saying I am the Christ and deceive many." There have been many false Christ. What I mean about that these people who claimed to be Jesus and every from Jim Jones, and David Koresh. There had been several others that have claimed to be Christ through history, and there's probably mental asylum's filled with people that say they're Jesus.

I met somebody once on the street that was absolutely serious. They said that they were the incarnation of Christ. I think that may have had a mental disorder, but that's not the final deception because Jesus said, if you go to verse 11, "Many false prophets will arise and deceive many." I think that Satan himself is going to do a masterpiece of deception. Just like you said, appearing to be Christ whether he's going to come in the clouds, I'm not so sure because Jesus said, "If someone says beholds he's in the desert or in secret chambers, go in that forth." I don't think Satan's going to be able to replicate Jesus coming in the clouds of angels, but no doubt he'll use supernatural powers.

Paul tells us, I think it's second Corinthians 11 I believe where he said, "Satan himself has transformed into an angel of light." The Devils going to come appearing to be Christ and deceit. Now, where would we disagree? I don't that we do if in what I've said.

Wallace: The part where I'm saying that church is getting ready to receive someone, that they're going to call the antichrist because he is this wonderful world leader who's solving all these problems. I feel because Satan is also a great counterfeiter, that this person that everybody is pointing to could very well be sort of Satan's John the Baptist.

Doug: That's well-put. I understand what you're saying. That's good. Satan's John the Baptist, I know what you mean. Someone who's pointing the way. I think there's probably going to be many that will point to Satan and say, "Oh, this is him." I don't think that there's any one world leader as some churches say that is going to be like half human half devil. This old Rosemary's baby concept that somehow the devil's going to have relations with a human and there's going to be this half devil half person that's going to rule the world and the tribulation. I don't believe that. I think Satan has got many people that are deceived, talks in revelation about three unclean spirits to go forth to the rulers of the Earth to the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet. The kings of the Earth commit fornication with the woman in Babylon Revelation 17. I think there's several of these things that are happening at one time. I'm wondering what we can send to Wallace that would go along with.

Pastor Ross: We do have a study guide called Who Is The Antichrist and that kind of ties in I think with the question. The number to call is 800-835-6747 and Wallace you can ask for that study guide called Who Is The Antichrist and for anyone listening. Just give us a call, ask for that resource, we'll be happy to send it to you. You can also read it online at the Amazing Facts website. Just www.amazingfacts.org.

Our next caller is, Shawna, and she's listening in Weimar, California. Shawna, welcome to the program.

Shawna: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Hi.

Shawna: My question is will God's true people have the miracles and if so how can we tell the difference?

Doug: All right. Good question. I do believe in miracles, I believe that there are miracles of healing even today. Pastor Ross and I prayed for people before that were declared by the doctors to-- some kind of terminal illness or cancer and they were healed so that there's no evidence of it anymore and they're doing fine to this day. We started the program tonight talking about a lady that had a miraculous healing from her blindness.

I think before the Lord comes, you're going to see more and more miraculous healing. How do you know a true healing from a false healing? One way I'd say is the way that it's done. Some of the roadshow antiques that evangelist use for healing where they say they kind of cover the rise and say, "Reach towards your television set. Somebody out there, you got pain in your lower back. God wants to heal it." I don't ever see Jesus doing anything like that or any of the apostles.

There's some really strange carnival kind of healings and Jesus said you'll know them their fruits. If someone says that they're healing with the power of God but then their lives were out of harmony with the power of God, or the law of God, there's something dubious. Because the devil can make a person sick and then just remove the sickness and make it look like a healing.

Shawna: Right.

Doug: They're not even being healed, he's just taken away his affliction. The devil has a counterfeit for every truth of God including healings but I do believe there'll be real healings in the last days as well.

Shawna: Okay. Do you have any study guides on it. The only thing I've noticed is I kind of try to study and it's like-- the only thing I've noticed is that when Jesus heals, or the disciples as that they did a full healing it was like complete. I was just wondering though if you guys had any study guide.

Doug: We do have a study guide that talks about-- I think it's called Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers. It talks about true and false heals.

Pastor Ross: Astrologers and psychics. Yes. It's called Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers. We'll be happy to send anybody a copy of that.

Shawna: Okay.

Doug: Yes. True and false in there, what are the criteria same thing for those who do healing.

Pastor Ross: Again, the number to call is 800-8356747, that is the resource line and just give us a call there and ask for that study guide called Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers and we'll be happy to send to anybody who calls and asks. Thank you for your call, Shawna.

Shawna: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is, Eva, listening from Ontario, Canada. Eva, welcome to the program.

Eva: Yes. Hello.

Pastor Ross: Evening.

Eva: Hi. Yes. Good evening. I love your voice, I love guys, I love what you're doing. You are blessing us abundantly. I really appreciate that.

Doug: Thank you.

Eva: I listen to you every week and I just love it. My question is I have a situation in my family. I'm a single mom, I'm raising twin girls. They're blessing to me. I have a son, my son is the oldest, he's 40 years old and he has a son at 15, his name is James. James is going through chemo now. For me God is number one in my life. Always was and always will be. I don't understand why is this happen to me, to us.

Doug: You say that James is going though some kind of health.

Eva: Chemo. He have a cancer.

Doug: Chemotherapy?

Eva: Yes. It's destroying his little body. We do everything, we pray, I am very faithful to God, I don't understand why is happened to us this. What else I can do?

Doug: Sickness is an enemy and when Job got sick and his wife said, "Curse God and die and look what's happened to you." and he said-- everybody in the world there is good and bad that comes. We're in a world where the devil has brought sickness and it's not just bad people or sinners that gets sick. Everybody, even believers get sick and we're looking forward to the day when there is no more pain or sickness.

Pastor Ross: We do have this questions. Job had the same questions and there's been many believing in God wondering why do bad things happen to good people. That's where our faith needs to just hold on to the promises of God. I think it's absolutely appropriate for us to ask for healing, matter of fact, God tells us to do so. But we also trust in him. I think of the experience of Elijah who was this great prophet of God and he had a double portion of the holy spirit.

Yet we read about the last few months or years of his life he had this lingering illness that apparently brought about his death and you wonder why would this great man of God filled with the spirit have to suffer that way. Some of this questions we just don't know the side of heaven but we'll see it clearly after Jesus comes.

Doug: Yes. And the Lord does heal and he work miracles. Eva, if it's okay with you, we'll just have a quick prayer for-- is this you grandson then?

Eva: My grandson, James.

Doug: James. Let's just pray together for him right now. Father in heaven, we just want to join together and pray with Eva for her grandson James who's struggling with cancer right now and getting chemotherapy. That you'll just give the doctors and others wisdom as they make decisions and most of all that you'll just bring healing into this situation Lord and just please bless and grant your grace. I know there's others that are listening out there that are struggling with similar challenges and we pray you bring your healing into their lives as well. Help them know that you are living God and please bless and do miracles and if you don't heal, I pray you give us grace to trust nevertheless. We thank you, pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Doug: Thank you, Eva and we'll be remembering James.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Steve and he's listening from Washington. Steve, welcome to the program.

Doug: I wanted you to say Sequim, Washington.

Pastor Ross: The little mouse was right over the word there. I couldn't quite read it. Like you must know where that is.

Doug: I know where Sequim, Washington is. How're you doing Steve?

Steve: It is Sequim. That's correct, yes. I was hoping that you could give me some clarity on the 144,000 issue.

Doug: All right. I'll share with you and for our friends listening. The 144,000 is a special group mentioned principally twice in Revelation 7 whereas you double the number 14. It's in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14. It says that they receive a seal of God, they are 12,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel and some have wondered are these literally 12,000 men from the 12 tribes of Israel.

In one verse, it actually says, "For they are virgins." and it's a feminine term. What does that mean, is it 12,000 women from the 12 tribes? What does this mean? It's a spiritual term talking about a special group. See Jesus had 12 apostles that went to the world during his first coming to spread the gospel. Before the second coming, God is going to pour out the spirit in Pentecostal power again, that's called the latter reign of his spirit.

He's going to have 12 times 12,000, some will be literal Jews, some may be spiritual Jews but they are not necessarily just from the tribes that are mentioned. He mentions those tribes because the names of those tribes mean something. The name Judah means I will praise the Lord. They are basically last days apostles that do a special work. The reason it says they are virgin is because in Revelation talks about women being a symbol for the bride of Christ and that means they have pure truth. I have a book I can send you, Steve. That talks about the 144,000. Am I giving you enough information or you want a little more?

Steve: That helps but I would like to--

Doug: I don't think the 144,000 are the only ones saved in the last days any more than the apostles were the only ones that received the holy spirit at Pentecost. In the upper room, there wasn't just the 12 apostles, there was 120 and a great multitude was converted from the ministry of the 12 apostles and the disciples. Before Jesus comes, there's going to be 144,000 and others that will do a great ministry and a great multitude is converted from their ministry. You find that I believe in Revelation seven that's right. They get the father name in their forehead and says in Revelation 14.

Pastor Ross: You can also read about them in the first five verse of Revelation 14 also gives you certain characteristics of 144,000.

Doug: We have a book on it will send you a free book and if you don't want to wait to get the book, you can read it online but will be happy to send it if you call the number.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 you can ask for the book who is 144,000. Again 800-835-6747, our next call is, William, listening right here in Sacramento California, William welcome to the program.

William: Hello.

Doug: Hi William, you are on the air

William: Yes, my question is in light of chapter Romans chapter 9:25, first Peter versus one and two, then there are others for example in the old testament where God hardens Pharaoh's heart that he wouldn't believe. What he just heart is hard so he wouldn't believe, I don't have that what caused it but also in the Book of Revelation were speaks of that those names are written in the Lamb's book of life from before the foundations of the world.

It's Romans nine versus 25, how can the doctrine or the teaching of free will that we choose God but he doesn't choose us. Even Jesus told of the disciples that I have chosen, you haven't chosen me and then of course he said one of you will be a devil. Guess my question how can in light of those passages and there are others that I don't have right now, how can free will be taught as a teaching of Scripture.

Doug: Well, do you believe that people have a choice in whether or not they'll be saved.

William: I don't believe that I believe that if God doesn’t draw me, which he has. If he doesn't draw me--

Doug: Do you think that it helps for us to go to Mission work?

William: Well, yes, but what does that have to do with free will or?

Doug: Well, if God's already decided who saved then why carry out work to encourage people and persuade people to accept Christ if they don't have a choice ?

William: Well, the way I see that is that you have well at least my brother is an example he's an atheist he doesn't believe in God, he doesn't even partially concern God doesn't exist he doesn't bother him-

Doug: Do you pray for him?

William: I pray for him but.

Doug: Now, if God's already decided if he's saved or lost no matter how you pray then your will, his will really has no doesn't enter into it.

William: Well, yes but the way I look at that is that God just gave us the task of witnessing to people and not saving people we can't do that.

Doug: When the Bible ends in Revelation, it says, "The spirit in the Bride say Come Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely," doesn't that imply that we get to choose? When Joshua says, "Choose you this day who you will serve but as for me in my house we're going to serve the Lord," doesn't that seem to imply that we have a choice?

William: Yes, that what you just read there, but that contradicts Romans 9:25?

Doug: I just wanted to set that up now in the minute I've got left and I don't want to rush it's a you're asking a question about predestination which is one of the big subjects of Christian theologians. I'm of the opinion as is Pastor Ross, that while God knows everything that's going to happen, he knows who's going to be saved because he knows the future doesn't mean he's making it happen. In order to love him, we must choose you can't force a love you can't preprogram people to love you.

God as we believe made us with a free will to choose to love him. That's why we're to go and persuade people through preaching the Gospel. Paul is talking about that God has elected that he has called and some respond to that invitation but many are called few respond. "Few are chosen" means few choose to respond. Here's a big question we do have a book that talks about that, Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost. William, we'll send you a free copy. Listening friends we want to thank you for calling in. If we didn't get your call tonight please give us another chance God willing will be back in a week and keep in mind the program can go on if you just go to amazingfacts.org.

We've got just heaps, and oodles and gobs of Bible study resources at the amazing facts website, videos you can watch, audio free books you can download, studies that you can print off for your classes that you teach. That's simple, amazingfacts.org. You appreciate the program show us. Help us stay on the air and just click donate, God bless you we'll talk again next time.

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