Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs

Date: 10/14/2007 
Prairie dogs are highly social, curious and playful creatures that live in large colonies or towns. While prairie dogs are related to rodents, they're very intelligent and exhibit an elaborate...

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Hello Friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Prairie dogs are highly social, curious and playful creatures that live in large colonies or towns. While prairie dogs are related to rodents, they're very intelligent and exhibit an elaborate communication system using about a dozen, separate calls to send messages.

These animals were once found across the plains west of the Mississippi, ranging from Mexico to Canada. It's estimated that in the early 1800's, some 700 million acres of North American range land were inhabited by 5 billion prairie dogs. When the Lewis and Clark expedition first entered the great plains in 1804, they began seeing many animals unknown by Eastern settlers, such as coyotes, antelope and grizzly bears.

In all, 122 animals were described in their journals. But most memorable was the prairie dog. When they first encountered a village of prairie dogs, the whole Lewis and Clark crew spent an entire day trying to flood prairie dogs out of their tunnels so they could ship specimens back to President Thomas Jefferson.

After all that work, they only managed to capture one prairie dog. The following spring of 1805, this lone prairie dog was included in a shipment to President Jefferson. From the Mandan Indian village in North Dakota, that animal traveled down the Missouri River in about three weeks to St. Louis.

From St. Louis, the furry cargo was put on another ship and sent down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Next, another ship took the rodent from New Orleans through the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, and up the coast to Chesapeake Bay, and then on to Baltimore. Finally, after more than a year and 4,000 miles later, this prairie dog arrived in Washington D.C., still alive.

However, Jefferson did not arrive in Washington for another six weeks. Still, the animal was active in good health when the President finally saw it on October 4th, 1805. Jefferson sent the prairie dog on to the Natural History Museum in Philadelphia's Independence Hall where the animal lived out its days.

Today, because of habitat loss and the devastating plagues, prairie dog populations have been reduced by 90%. It's hard to imagine that, at one time, there was a single, prairie dog colony in Texas covering 25,000 square miles. It was about 100 miles wide, and 250 miles long and contained an estimated 400 million animals.

Did you know the Word of God teaches that there's going to be an innumerable tribe of people saved in the Kingdom? Stay with us friends. We'll learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome friends! We are very thankful that you have chose to tune in, either by plan or Providence, to another fresh edition of Bible Answers Live. This is a live, international, interactive Bible study. We invite you to call in your Bible questions. We still have a couple of lines open.

That number again is, 1-800-463-7297. And I'm excited to get to the calls and study God's Word tonight. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. It's good to be back for another edition of Bible Answers Live where we open up the Word of God. Before we go to the phone lines and deal with some questions, let's start with prayer.

Dear Father, once more, as we open up Your Word tonight, we ask for Your Holy Spirit to guide. Be with those who are listening Father. And we ask that the answers that we give for the questions might be solidly founded upon Your Word and bring light and truth to the minds of those who are listening. For this we ask in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: In the opening fact this evening, you spoke about this vast number of prairie dogs. It's hard to fathom the one colony in Texas so big; millions of prairie dogs, all related, living together.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. And I've been in New Mexico and places in Texas--I used to live in Texas--where you can stand out on a high knoll; and you can see the mounds and the hills of prairie dogs just as far as you can see. And they've been decimated. Well I guess that's not accurate. Decimated means reduced by 10%. That's where you get the word "deca", or "decimal."

They've been more than decimated. They've been reduced by 90% from what the settlers first found. I mean, just think about the vast numbers. God said to Abraham, "Your descendants will be like the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered." And then you go to Revelation chapter 7, and this is the chapter that talks about the 144,000. Some people wonder, "Are there only 144,000 people that are saved in the last days?"

If you keep reading in that same chapter, beyond the 144,000, this special group, it tells us in verse 9 of chapter 7, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, that no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, they stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."

These white robes--and the very fact they've got the victory palms in their hands--indicate these are saved.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And so, here's a vast number, a numberless number, that is going to be saved. So people sometimes think, "Well, if only 144,000 are going to be saved and there are 6 billion people in the world today...." I think I did the math once and your odds are like about 1 in 32,000, that's not very good. It's better than the lottery, but it's still not very good.

Pastor Jëan Ross: (Laughs)

Pastor Doug: So, I just wanted people to be encouraged. And maybe friends have a question on the 144,000. Who are they then? We have an offer to answer that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do. It's a book dealing with the 144,000. It's entitled, Understanding the 144,000. It's written by Pastor Doug Batchelor and deals with this important subject. It's a book of hope and encouragement. To receive it, all you'll need to do is call the resource number, that's 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book on the 144,000.

You know Pastor Doug, this opening topic, talking about the 144,000, ties in well with a couple of Internet questions that have come in. This one deals with Spiritual Israel. It says, "What is the role of Israel today, in that the Messiah has already come, speaking of Jesus?"

Pastor Doug: You know, it's interesting. If you surf through religious programming, you hear all kinds of comments on Israel, and how we should relate to Israel and the Jewish people. And we always have new listeners; our regular listeners know that I am Jewish. I'm a Jewish Christian. But I think there's a lot of misunderstandings about the role of Israel.

From New Testament times, Paul said that, "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed." God is not a racist. He does not save people based on their race. I mean, even in the Exodus experience, He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. But those that would not believe died in the wilderness; 1st Corinthians 10 tells us that.

So, it's by faith everyone is saved, Jew or Gentile. And so there's some misunderstandings about, well, what is the purpose of Israel? Who is Israel today? What is Spiritual Israel? Right now, God has an economy established where "whosoever will" can be saved. You know, if there was one message that Jesus tried to preach, it was, "Do not think because you're a church member that God is going to save you based on your parents being Christians, or your being of a Jewish race, or any race."

He said, "God is able to raise up children to Abraham from the stones." And Christ emphasized over and over, "Many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the children will be in outer darkness." In other words, those who might think I'm saved because I'm a literal Jew, or I'm a Christian, I've been in church all my life, they're not saved.

That's why Jesus tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus; that here you've got this beggar laying at the gate and he just wants the crumbs. The rich man is feasting; but in the end, he's judged and the poor beggar is saved. And he says, "Father Abraham, I don't understand."

And He's basically saying if you've got Moses and the prophets, you've got to listen to them. It's not enough to just say, "I'm rich and you're poor. I've got the truth and you don't, so I'm saved." There are some people that, sort of, have this, say, exclusive idea that God is going to save people based on race or membership. It's saved based on transformed hearts.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: And we have a book that I think we could offer on that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We absolutely do. It deals with this important subject, Spiritual Israel. Those who are listening that have questions on this, all you'll need to do is call that resource number. Once more, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the booklet on Spiritual Israel. We'll be happy to send that out to you.

The second question coming via email, "How did Adam and Eve know what death was since they had never seen anything die?" The second part, "And what did God mean when He said to them that, 'The day you eat thereof you shall surely die', since they didn't die that very day?"

Pastor Doug: Well I think Adam and Eve probably had the basic understanding of death. You know, God pre-programmed them when He created them with an element of intelligence. And it's like a computer that comes from the factory with some software installed when they were created. I think they had some inherent knowledge. They understood death was the absence of life. I think they understood a lot better after they sinned and they saw things begin to die, what death was.

But the second part of the question I think is more penetrating. God said, "In the day you eat thereof you will surely die." Well they did not die in that first 24-hour period physically. But they did die spiritually. Something changed. Adam and Eve used to have these robes of light. And after they sinned, the light faded and they saw their nakedness. So something changed. They died spiritually that day.

Furthermore, the Bible says, "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day." Well, no man lived beyond that first 900 years. I think Methuselah made it to 969. So no one made it beyond that first millennium.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um m

Pastor Doug: And so they did die in that first thousand years you should say or, you know, the spiritual day. Yeah. And then of course, they're both dead now; so they did die.

Pastor Jëan Ross: They did eventually die. Alright, very good. We'll go to the phone lines. Daryl is listening via satellite from Toronto, Canada. Daryl, welcome to the program.

Daryl: Hi Pastors. How are you today?

Pastor Doug: Very well. How can we help you tonight?

Daryl: Thanks for taking my call. Pastor I have a question regarding tribulation.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Daryl: If all saved people will be here during those last plagues, I have a question; will they be affected from those plagues? Or God is going to protect us? Or...

Pastor Doug: Good question. Okay. Daryl is asking if God's people are going to be on earth during the seven last plagues--and by the way listening friends, there are two principle views; there are probably several views, but there are two principle views. Some believe that the saints, the saved are raptured out of the world before the tribulation and the plagues.

Then there are those who believe that the second coming of Jesus happens after the tribulation and the plagues; and I'm in that group. This is, actually, the more historic group than the belief of most of the Reformers. But we don't need to fear that, Daryl, because in the same way the children of Israel, God's people, they were in Egypt when the plagues fell.

God protected them during the plagues. And while the Egyptians were in the darkness, it says the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. And while the Egyptians were struggling to find something to drink, God provided for the children of Israel. And there's a promise, I forget the verse, Pastor Ross. You might find it, where it says their bread and water will be sure.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: It's Isaiah. So God promises that He will take care of His people during the time of the plagues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me add another verse to that one that you mention in Isaiah, that we have a promise in Psalm 91; and let me read a couple verses.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Psalm 91, verse 7 and 8. It says, "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."

Verse 9, "Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;" and here's the point, verse 10, "there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

Pastor Doug: That's right, and I found that--

[Cross talking]

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's a promise for us.

Pastor Doug: --that other verse is Isaiah 33:16. It says, "Bread shall be given him; and his water shall be sure." And it says prior to that, "His defence shall be the munitions of rocks." In other words, he may have to flee into the wilderness, but God will feed him there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Pastor Doug: And keep in mind, Daryl, when Elijah fled into the wilderness, God fed him miraculously. God fed the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. And so, He will provide for His people. That should be the least of our problems.

Daryl: But we will be protected, right, from those plagues?

Pastor Doug: Oh absolutely; well if you're saved, yes.

Daryl: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And those who have the seal of God I think will be shielded by the Lord and provided for by angels. Those who have the mark of the beast are in hot water. You know, I've got a book I can offer you on that for free, and it's called, Anything But Secret. Half of the book deals with the tribulation and what the Bible says about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: To receive that book, call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, Anything But Secret. Robert is listening on the Internet from Tallahassee, Florida. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely.

Robert: I have a uh, my significant other and I disagree on something, where clean animals and unclean animals and the consumption of them, and where in the Old Testament she says that you can't specifically. Pork and shellfish she won't eat; where I do, because the New Testament says different. I'll hang up and listen to see what you have to say about this.

Pastor Doug: Alright. I appreciate your question Robert. The distinction between clean and unclean animals that you find in the Bible is not a distinction between the new and the old covenant. The laws that were nailed to the cross in the New Testament are laws that have to do with circumcision, the sacrificing of animals, the ceremonial laws.

God made a distinction for Noah--matter of fact--it goes all the way back to Genesis, between clean and unclean animals. The unclean animals were taken on the ark by twos; the clean animals by sevens. And then when you get to the New Testament, you can read in Acts chapter 10, Peter has this vision. This sheet full of unclean animals is lowered from heaven and God says arise and eat.

And Peter says, "No so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything common or unclean." Now, some have tried to take that story to say, "Well see, God here is cleansing unclean food." But later, when Peter describes the vision, he tells the church, "God has shown me," through this vision, "not to call any man unclean"; because now the Jews were suppose to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. It had nothing to do with animals.

Peter never takes anything out of the sheet. If anything, that story proves that, here you are years after Christ ascended to heaven, the disciples still are not eating unclean food. And so the principles between clean and unclean food, it's not a spiritual principle. It's a natural law that some animals, by their very content in essence, is bad for our health.

And science today resoundingly confirms that pork is contaminated; it's high in nitrates and salt; and it is very bad on the heart; full of cholesterol. Shellfish, they are scavengers that live at the bottom of the bay in the ocean to clean and filter the water; and a lot of people have died from eating contaminated shellfish. So there are just good principles in here. It's not that a Jewish stomach is different than other stomachs. Those are basic health principles.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a study guide dealing with this topic. It's called, God's Free Health Plan. For anyone listening who would like any more information on that, just call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely

Pastor Jëan Ross: Ask for the study guide, God's Free Health Plan. We'll be happy to send that out to you. Our next caller is Wes and he's listening on 3ABN Radio from Colorado. Wes, welcome to the program.

Wes: Hi. My question is concerning how to win the victory over lustful thoughts? And if a person should, possibly take more drastic measures, such as prescription drugs to reduce these urges?

Pastor Doug: Alright. That is a good question Wes; and I appreciate your asking that. A lot of people, everybody, who's healthy and if their plumbing is working, God has pre-programmed us with drives and urges. It's all through the animal kingdom; and humans do share some of those same drives.

The difference is, those drives are largely centered in the mind. And sin with the body usually begins in the mind. It says, "Sin, when it is conceived...", it begins in the mind and then it is acted out. So one way, is to fill the mind with good. The way you get darkness out is you just place it with light. So when a person is filling their mind with light and with goodness, it's a lot easier to conquer those thoughts, or impure thoughts that may come.

I wouldn't recommend that a person takes medication. I think that God is able to give us the victory without having to take drugs. If a person is normal, then they can gain the victory through following the principles in the Bible. Now for men, there was a more drastic measure. Jesus even said, "Some people are born eunuchs, other people are made eunuchs of men."

Like, for instance, Daniel and his friends. When they were captive in Babylon, they were made eunuchs and they lost all their lustful thoughts. And then He said, "Others make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." Now the theologians don't know whether it's talking about someone having a surgical procedure, or someone choosing to live the life of a eunuch, as Paul did, and just say, "I'm going to be single and ask God for grace to resist the temptations."

We're not sure exactly what Jesus meant by that third category. But I wouldn't recommend taking drugs. I think that a person can gain the victory through being pure in heart.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Jesus said, "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed."

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have the promise in Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, where we are told, "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things."

Pastor Doug: That's right

Pastor Jëan Ross: So by directing our minds towards spiritual and holy things, God is able to give us the victory.

Pastor Doug: Now you know Wes, there is a book that I wrote. It just popped into my mind, and it's called, Twelve Steps to Resisting Temptation. I'll send you a free copy of that. Would you like that?

Wes: I would.

Pastor Doug: Alright Wes. You call the number and ask for the Twelve Steps to Resisting Temptation.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again is, 1-800-835-6747, Twelve Steps to Resisting Temptation. Mary is listening on the Internet from Hanover, Pennsylvania. Mary, welcome to the program.

Mary: Hi Pastor Dave, uh I think Pastor Doug, right?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but that's--you can call me Dave, that's okay

Mary: Okay, um. Did Abraham and his family ever worship idols at any time? And why do the Jewish people sacrifice animals today, the ones who don't believe that Jesus has come yet?

Pastor Doug: Alright, good questions. We don't believe that Abraham worshiped idols. We think that one reason that he left Mesopotamia is because the people were turning to idolatry. Whether some in his family did, there's no record of that. I know that Laban--you possibly remember, Pastor Ross, when Rachel stole her father's idols; and we're not sure exactly what is meant by that. But idolatry had crept into the extended family of Abraham.

But Abraham's immediate family, there's no record. Why do the Jews not sacrifice lambs today? Well because they thought that the only holy place to offer lambs was the temple.

When the temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., they felt like there was no place appointed by God, at least the orthodox Jews, where they could do that.

Now, they did once a year still sacrifice a Passover lamb just on their family farm for the Passover dinner, but they did not have the daily sacrifices. And the priesthood, when the Jews [Romans?] conquered the Jewish nation, the priesthood was pretty much rendered ineffective.

They were just scattered and ceased to function as a priesthood. And the priests were the ones who were suppose to offer sacrifice. Now there are orthodox Jews that are hoping someday that will all be restored; but, to date, it has not been.

Mary: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: Sounds to me like you would enjoy that booklet on Spiritual Israel. It actually touches on some of these issues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, to receive that, call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, ask for the book on Spiritual Israel. We'll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Dee listening on the Internet from Downey, California. Dee, welcome to the program.

Dee: Yes, hello Pastor Ross and Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: How can we help you tonight?

Dee: Yes, thank you for taking my call. My wife and I really love animals and uh, I'm asking this question to you. We know that the animals lived harmoniously in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, but after man fell, what impact does sin have on the animal world? And will that change in the new heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well I'm glad you asked that question. That is a good question. Animals were directly affected. The whole creation, Paul says, "groans and travails" because of the sin of Adam and Eve. You see, originally, God made Adam and Eve to be the stewards of the planet. And when they named the animals, they did not name them "buffalo wings", and "burgers", and uh--

Dee: Right

Pastor Doug: --you know, they were man's friends. He didn't kill the animals and eat them. But because man had dominion of the planet, when he sinned, dominion was, sort of, kidnapped by the devil; and death, and disease came on all creation. I don't believe the animals even ate each other.

Now, when you get to heaven, and you can read about this. I know one passage, Pastor Ross, is Isaiah 11, where it says, "The wolf will lay down with the lamb." There are two in Isaiah. And one of the says, "The child will play on the hole of the venomous serpent and it will not hurt or destroy."

The animals are harmless. And they get along with man again. They do not devour one another. In the earth made new, all that peace in the animal kingdom is going to be restored again.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. That's Isaiah 11, verse 6. "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid."

Pastor Doug: That's it.

Dee: Alright. I appreciate your information.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you. Appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Brian calling from New Mexico listening on the Internet. Brian, welcome to the program. Brian, you there?

Pastor Doug: Brian in Hobbs, New Mexico

Brian: Yes sir,

Pastor Doug: Here he is

Brian: I'm sorry. How are y'all doing?

Pastor Doug: Okay. Well we let you come up the third time, and we'll still take the call (laughs).

Brian: My question is about Mark 12:29 where Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4. And also, when Jesus had just arisen and He told Mary, "Do not touch Me. I've not yet ascended to My Father and your Father"--

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Brian: --"and My God and your God." Well my question is on those two texts; and it's the same question. Why did God, why did Jesus, I'm sorry, it appeared that when He said, "My God;" and when He quoted Deuteronomy, He said, "Our God," it appears that He was trying to tell us...I mean, it just seems to me that He's not God, because He was calling God His God.

Pastor Doug: Well, when Christ was on earth, and you can read this in Colossians chapter 2, where it says, "He made himself of no reputation," maybe that isn't Colossians 2. "He made himself of no reputation"--it is Colossians--but He laid aside, basically, His divinity when He came to earth.

And so when you see Jesus on earth and He's referring to the Father in heaven, He's identifying with man to show man how to approach God. But when He rose from the dead, Thomas looks at Jesus and he says, "My Lord and my God," and Christ received that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm that's Philippians 2, verse 7.

Pastor Doug: Philippians 2, verse 7. Thank you very much. Why don't you read that for us.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It says, "But he himself made of no reputation, but took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men," speaking of Jesus, "and being found in the fashion of a man, humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

So Brian, when Christ was on earth, basically He stepped aside from His divinity. And He referred to God and to the Father as man should. But then, you look at the characteristics of Jesus, the Bible says that there's only one who can forgive sin, and that is God. Well, Jesus can forgive sin.

The Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth;" well then you read in John chapter 1, "All things that were created were created by him," by Jesus. All through the Bible the very definitions that it has for God, only God knows the thoughts of men's hearts, in 2nd Kings chapter 9. Well Jesus, it says He knew what was in man. He frequently read people's minds. So you go through the different characteristics of God, and Jesus continues to fulfill them all.

Brian: Right, um--[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: So I know it's confusing. And keep in mind, in Genesis, when God says, "Let Us make men in Our image,"

Brian: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: and then you go to Deuteronomy, it says there is one God. And people say, "I don't understand. It says 'one God', and yet God refers to Himself as 'Us'." It's because in the Hebrew mind, a man and woman got married, and they two become one. Jesus said of the 12 apostles collectively, "you shall be one."

Oh Brian, our break is creeping up on us here. You know, it sounds like a perfect match for you would be the book that we've got. We'll send you a book on "The Trinity: Is It Biblical?" We talk about the nature of Christ there, and God. Just call the number. We'll send that to you for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again is, 1-800-835-6747; ask for the book, "The Trinity: Is It Biblical?"

Pastor Doug: Alright listening friends, we're going to take a brief break. Pastor Ross is going to share some important announcements with you. In the meantime, we hope that you will jot down this growing website. It's called, Amazing Facts, just exploding with information, amazingfacts.org.

There are Bible studies there, you can watch video there, there are incredible links for personal study; free resources, and, not to mention, a kaleidoscope of things in the catalog to help you in your witnessing and in your personal growth. But we're not done with our Bible questions. Stay tuned, we'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. If you just tuned in or somewhere along the way, this is Bible Answers Live. We're entering the second half of this Bible answer marathon. It's sort of a safari, an adventure in God's Word. People call in Bible questions. We do our best to quickly find the answers.

We try to budget about three minutes or so, so we can get as many as possible. And then we circulate resources. One of the ways we do this Pastor Ross, of course, is through the websites.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right

Pastor Doug: There are thousands of questions we can't answer, but they can listen to the Bible Answers Live archives of this program at the website; some of the most common questions, a lot of booklets on different subjects--some of the common subjects.

And like right now, we're entering, I hate to say the halloween season, but, for lack of another term, just look in the stores. Everywhere you look they've got the colors orange and black and they're advertising all of the ghoulish costumes for this macabre holiday. You surf through the channels and it seems like everything is about witches, and scary, and death; and people might have some questions about that.

It seems like this is the time of year when everyone talks about the ghosts and the spirits and the dead. We drove through our neighborhood and somebody had little mini-tombstones on their front lawn. And of course, you know, they think this is quaint; but uh, I'm not sure if that's healthy for people to be preoccupied with death like this once a year.

You might have some questions about this. I'm surprised we haven't had any questions on halloween yet. But we have a website and it's called, Truth About Death. Don't worry about being haunted or spooks coming to your house, friends. You might have trick-or-treaters, but you won't have to worry about ghosts. By the way, this subject of death is something that really affects everybody, doesn't it?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sooner or later.

Pastor Doug: Sooner or later. You deserve to find out what the Bible says on this subject. So go visit truthaboutdeath.org, or .com, and you'll find a lot there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, there's another website that we have connected to the subject of death that's also probably on people's mind this time of the year. And that's what happens to the bad people when they die? What about hell?

Pastor Doug: That's right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Is hell burning now? We have a website dealing with the subject called, helltruth.com, which also explains what the Bible has to say about hell. And, even though there is a time of destruction for the wicked, God is still a God of mercy and love, even in the subject of hell.

Pastor Doug: That's right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's an interesting subject.

Pastor Doug: And you know, we're very happy because, if people do a search on Google regarding the subject of hell, I think our website comes up on the first page. A lot of people are asking questions about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. Well we'll go to the phones lines. Our next caller this evening is Eiselem listening on WMCA from Bronx, New York. Eiselem, welcome to the program.

Eiselem: Hello, good night.

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Eiselem: I want to ask a question about Revelation chapter 2. Jesus says to the church in Pergamos that it's a sin to eat food sacrificed to idols?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Eiselem: Why is Paul encouraging people in 1st Corinthians how to eat food sacrificed to idols?

Pastor Doug: Well there's a difference. Paul is saying, "If you're eating food that somebody in another town sacrificed to an idol, and then it was purchased and brought to you, don't worry about it."

And you can find that in 1st Corinthians 10, verse 25, "Whatever is sold in the shambles," that was their flea markets; they didn't have the warehouse supermarkets that we have today. People had family businesses. They would butcher the animals before little idols and the Roman deities. And he says, "eat it, asking no questions for conscious sake."

In other words, if they knew that it was sacrificed to an idol, then they probably shouldn't be eating it.

Eiselem: Oh

Pastor Doug: But in Revelation, Jesus is addressing those who are sacrificing things. They're eating things that THEY have sacrificed to idols. In other words, they participate in some way; at least, that's how I've understood it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you know of course, Revelation is a symbolic book. We have this admonition that we find in Revelation chapter 2. It's speaking to the church at Pergamos. And we understand that the seven churches represent seven time periods of the Christian era. There was a time period when certain pagan ideas and rituals were actually coming into the Christian church.

Pastor Doug: That's right

Pastor Jëan Ross: And in that sense, the Christians were eating things sacrificed to pagans or idols. They were accepting these pagan ideas and philosophies.

Pastor Doug: That's right. That's when idolatry began to reintroduce into Christianity. I probably don't need to remind you that there are a lot of people out there calling themselves Christians that pray in front of statues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Eiselem: Yeah, okay.

Pastor Doug: You know, let me give you a modern day example of this issue. I would not support going to a bar. I wouldn't even go to a bar to buy a glass of orange juice. But when you go to a supermarket, well, they also sell liquor there.

Eiselem: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So if a person has a hyper-sensitive conscience, you're going to have a hard time finding a place to buy your groceries. You wouldn't support the sale of cigarettes and liquor, but most supermarkets sell it, you know what I mean?

Eiselem: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And so, there are some things you can't control. Well that's what the Christians were facing. If they were traveling at all, the only food that they could buy back then, even clean meats that had been sacrificed, were offered to pagan idols. And Paul said, "You know, just don't ask any questions."

Eiselem: Okay thank you.

Pastor Doug: "Just buy it and pray over it." Thanks a lot, appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well thank you for your call. Our next caller is Joseph and he's listening on KFIA from Vacaville, California. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Yes Pastor Doug, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Very well. How can we help you tonight?

Joseph: Okay. I've been reading the Bible for the second time now. I just started reading the Bible. And the second time around, I've been coming up with number 7. What does number 7 represent in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: Well, you're right. There's a lot of symbolism in the numbers and 7 is probably the most prominent. Of course, 7 represents a complete or perfect cycle. You have the 7 days of creation that have been cycling from creation to the present. We still have a 7-day week all over the world. Even in atheistic countries, they use a 7-day week.

And what's interesting is all the ancient calendars have a year with 365 days, a month with about 30 days, 24 hours in a day; well there are things in astronomy for that. But the only place you can really trace a 7-day week to is the Bible. But in Revelation, you've got the 7 plagues, the 7 trumpets, the 7 seals, a lamb with 7 eyes, 7 thunders, 7 churches, um--

Joseph: I just finished Revelation and it said Jesus had the 7 stars and the 7 candlesticks--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, 7 represents the cycle of time; a perfect or complete cycle of time.

Joseph: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And you'll also find a lot of half's of 7, which is three and a half; but--

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we've got a website Pastor Doug. I just thought of that, prophecycode, I think it's dot com--

Pastor Doug: Yes!

Pastor Jëan Ross: --that has a list of numbers and their significance in Bible prophecy. And not only 7, but there are some other numbers [unintelligible, cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Seven, twelve, three and a half, forty. Yeah, if you go to prophecycode.com you'll see a tab there that says, "Bible Numbers and Their Meaning." It's a fascinating study. Anybody listening, just go to prophecycode.com. Seven represents a complete cycle of time.

Joseph: That's what I thought, yeah, okay. It mentions 7 like in Job, and Kings, and Joshua--

Pastor Doug: Yup

Joseph: --and all those, yeah.

Pastor Doug: And when that 7 is up, it's usually the end of an age in some way. So--hey I hope that will help.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, that's a good website.

Pastor Doug: Check out the website and you'll find a lot of information on other Bible numbers.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Gabrielle is listening on WMCA from New Jersey. Gabrielle, you there?

Gabrielle: Yeah, good evening Pastor

Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening

Gabrielle: I have a question. Does Daniel chapter 9, verse 27 relate in any way with this peace treaty that's being talked about? I know sometime in November, Israel is going to sit down with their Arab neighbors to talk peace in the Middle East. Can this be the onset to the tribulation period? Are we that close?

Pastor Doug: You know, I don't think Daniel 9--I do believe we're close--let me start by answering that question. I do believe we're very close. I don't believe Daniel 9:27 is referring to a Middle East peace treaty. You know, we've got a study guide--I'm trying to remember the name of it. It's the one on the 490-year prophecy Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It happens; as you get older, you have the brain freezes more often Gabrielle.

[Laughter]

Pastor Doug: But we've got a Bible study that deals with Daniel chapter 9. Oh, here it is. It's, "Right On Time."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yup, there it is.

Pastor Doug: "Right On Time." It deals with this time prophecy. Daniel chapter 9 probably has the most important time prophecy in the Bible. It talks about the coming of the Messiah, it talks about the beast power, and all of these issues.

And rather than give you just a couple of crumbs that leaves everybody wondering what I've said, it's a whole chapter really, I'd encourage anybody that wants to understand this subject to request that study guide, and we'll send it to them free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's called, "Right On Time." All you'll need to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747. We'll be happy to send that out to you.

Gabrielle: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller then is Michael, and he's listening on WMCA from New York. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Good evening Pastor Ross, Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Michael: My question pertains to the Greek word "Sabbaton," which is translated in the New Testament into the word "Sabbath" or also the word "week." And I've been studying this carefully. Let me just tell you some of the tools I've been using. You might be familiar with them. There's an Interlinear Bible by J.P. Green; and there's a concordance, the Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament. So what I'm, kind of, perplexed about--and I see in the King James the Greek word is translated into the word "week" and--

Pastor Doug: What verse though? I mean, because you're--

Michael: Okay, sure

Pastor Doug: --you've got, of course, Greek, and then you've got the Hebrew.

Michael: Right, okay

Pastor Doug: You're talking about the New Testament?

Michael: Yeah. So let's...I guess Matthew chapter 28, the first verse.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Michael: And uh, if I can just read the Interlinear, the way it's translated; and then take a look at the King James. In the Interlinear it reads, "After the Sabbaths," plural, "at the dawning into the first of the Sabbath," you know, and then it continues on. And then the King James reads,--

Pastor Doug: "In the end of the Sabbath."

Michael: Right. Now also from my research, if I'm correct, that the word "Sabbaton," the original Greek word, can be used to signify the length of time, a week, or actually as the Sabbath Day itself.

Pastor Doug: Well I'm not sure, what is the point? Where are you going with this?

Michael: Well uh, I'm trying to understand if the Interlinear is more precise or accurate in the way it's, you know, defining that verse, "After the Sabbaths at the dawning it's the first of the Sabbaths;" as opposed to using the word "week"?

Pastor Doug: You know, one way you can understand Matthew is if we go to Luke 23, I believe it is, the transition between--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Luke 23:56

Pastor Doug: You want to read that Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. It's speaking of the crucifixion. It says, "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments;" this is speaking after the time of Christ's crucifixion, "and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment." Then it says, "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre...."

So we find that Jesus died on the Preparation Day, which should be the sixth day of the week, or today, Friday; and then they prepared spices. They rested on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. And then, of course, Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, which we know today as being Sunday.

Pastor Doug: You know, something dawned on me, Michael, while Pastor Ross was answering this that may help answer your question. Matthew is writing principally to Jews. The week that Jesus died was a week of sabbaths, because you not only had the seventh-day Sabbath where He died on Friday, rested through the Sabbath and rose; but it was the conclusion of the Passover sabbaths during that time as well.

Michael: Very true. That's an excellent point.

Pastor Doug: Matthew uses the plural. Luke is speaking principally to Gentiles. He's using the singular. He says, "the Sabbath day of the commandment." He is extremely explicit. He's talking about the seventh-day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments.

Matthew is talking about the Passover sabbath, as well as the weekly Sabbath, and they were both over Sunday morning. So he says, "the end of the sabbaths."

Michael: Right. Are you familiar with that Interlinear Bible that I mentioned?

Pastor Doug: I've heard of it. I don't own it. I've got a whole bushel of Greek and Hebrew resources right here on my computer. But I don't have that one.

Michael: Right, I'm sure you do. It's just interesting because also there, quickly, in Mark 16 the 2nd verse, they've got it translated the word "week." It's basically about the same circumstance when the disciples came to the tomb and, you know, the writer of God speaking about the first day of the week. And then Luke 24:1, the word "week" is used. But then going into the Gospel of John and the 20th chapter, the 1st verse and the 19th verse, the word "sabbaths" is used.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm. You know, let me try to just add a little something to that. In the original, the Jews referred to the days of the week as, "the first day from the Sabbath" or "the second day from the Sabbath." So even though they would go through the week, it wasn't the Sabbath day, but they would often refer to it as, "the fourth day from the Sabbath."

Pastor Doug: Right. They didn't have "Wednesday, "Thursday," "Tuesday."

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. Everything was related to the Sabbath. So, it can appear like, for example, in Luke 24, verse 1, depending upon which version, where the word "week" is Sabbath, but it's the first day from the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: That helps us to explain a little bit what you're referring to there.

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps. By the way, we've got a study guide that deals with the Sabbath truth. And you can request the Amazing Facts study guide on the Sabbath; and we'll be happy to send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, "The Lost Day of History." We'll be happy to send that out to you. Our next caller is Robert. He's calling from Bloomfield, New Jersey, listening on WMCA. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Robert: Yes. My question is concerning the Ten Commandments and I just want to preface this. I am a Sabbatarian. I was reading something, which called this to my attention, is that the Ten Commandments, according to what I was reading--this tract--was saying that it was really aimed at Israel; and of course, possibly even the Jews up until today. But [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Well let me address...you need to turn your radio down in the background because I'm hearing myself (chuckles). But the Ten Commandments were not just for Jews; because, of course, when you think about the Ten Commandments, you're going to have laws like, "Don't commit adultery."

Joseph lived long before the Ten Commandments and he told Potiphar's wife, "I can't sleep with you and commit this sin against God." When Cain killed his brother, God called it a sin. And Abraham, long before the Ten Commandments, God says, "Abraham has kept My laws and My commandments." So as you look at the Ten Commandments, they are principles for humanity. I mean, it's always wrong to lie, and it's always wrong to kill, so--are you still there Robert?

Robert: Yeah, my phone is becoming a little scratchy. I'm on a cell phone.

Pastor Doug: Okay--

Robert: Sorry about that.

Pastor Doug: I was going to say did that make sense?

Robert: It does.

Pastor Doug: What part of the Ten Commandments would only be for Jews?

Robert: I understand that, but let me just say this; how it's addressed is what I'm talking about in both Deuteronomy and Exodus. Deuteronomy 5:6, it says, "I the LORD am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery." Now wouldn't that be directed definitely towards the Hebrews?

Pastor Doug: Yeah it is. But everybody that is saved really is part of that; because the whole plan of salvation is God saving us from the slavery of sin.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Doug: So every Christian resonates with the first verse in the Ten Commandments, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." And we've all been saved from this house of bondage.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Doug: So, you know, He says, "You're not to have other gods before Me." And then you'll find the Ten Commandments repeated in the New Testament for Christians. One time--I'm sorry, Pastor Ross had a thought here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We spoke a little earlier about Spiritual Israel and, of course, the covenants, both the new and the old covenant, was made with Israel. But in the New Testament times, we're finding those who accept Jesus, they become Spiritual Israelites.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Galatians chapter 3, verse 29 says, "And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Pastor Doug: Yup. One more point on that Robert. Pastor Ross just mentioned the new covenant. Most Christians, I'd say 99% of Christians believe, yes, we are saved based on the new testament, or the new covenant. Let me quote the new covenant. It says, "After those days, I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel."

So the only covenant that God makes in the Bible, new and old, is made with Israel.

Robert: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: So we must become Spiritual Jews or we're excluded.

Robert: Right

Pastor Doug: So, when it says in the Ten Commandments, "I brought you out of the house of bondage," we buy into that. That's part of Christianity.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: By the way, the verse that Pastor Doug quoted is Hebrews chapter 8, verse 8, speaking on that.

Pastor Doug: You know, what would be perfect for Robert is our lesson called, Written In Stone, dealing with the law and grace and the covenants.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: Written In Stone.

Pastor Jëan Ross: To receive that, call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, Written In Stone, and we'll be happy to send that out to you. Our next caller is Nancy listening on KOPJ from Pine River, Minnesota. Nancy, welcome to the program.

Nancy: Hello. Thank you for taking my call. My question is about clean and unclean foods again. I'm trying real hard to understand this. And I understand the Old Testament and that makes sense, but then in Mark 7, verse 19....

Pastor Doug: Yes. Now what version are you reading?

Nancy: It's the NIV.

Pastor Doug: That's your problem.

Nancy: Okay

Pastor Doug: That's nothing personal. But let me read this to you from Mark 7, verse 19. I'll just be reading the New King James, for instance.

Nancy: Okay

Pastor Doug: "Because it does not enter his heart, but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods." The emphasis in most versions is that, if you eat with unwashed hands that's not going to defile you, because your digestive system has a purging process. We all know that. I mean, kids eat a pound of dirt growing up; and that goes in your body and it goes out again.

The NIV translators took some very unusual liberties with that and they put in some things that are not in the Textus Receptus manuscripts. I think what they say in saying this is, "Jesus declared all foods clean."

Nancy: That's what it says, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It's sort of an embarrassment for them now. But it's just not in the original text. Some of the translators said, "Well, let's just say what He really meant here."

Pastor Jëan Ross: (Laughs)

Pastor Doug: And I've got the Greek in front of me.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You've got to be very careful when you start tampering with what exactly the Bible is saying.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I've got the Greek right in front of me and it is just not in the original text.

Nancy: Okay. Well, and I better find another text (laughs)

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well the translations are, like the New King James, New American Standard; you'll find a number of them that use the Textus Receptus manuscripts.

Nancy: Okay

Pastor Doug: But, yeah. That has made a lot of people stumble.

Nancy: Yes. It's kind of confusing. Thank you for clearing that up.

Pastor Doug: And, pardon me, just one more thought Nancy. If you take that the way the NIV translated in saying, "Jesus declared all foods clean,"--

Nancy: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --does that mean now it's safe for us to eat rattlesnakes, and buzzards, and maggots; and I mean, is it all things? All animals?

Nancy: Well that was part of my concern too (laughs) because I know a lot of odd things are out there.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That would be pretty broad.

Nancy: It's just a pretty liberal translation. Okay, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, there's also that verse in 1st Timothy speaking about, "that which is pure." And it references being sanctified by the Word of God.

Pastor Doug: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: So God has (unintelligible, cross talk)--

Pastor Doug: those creatures that are sanctified by the Word.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right, which is acceptable. Our next caller is Steve listening on WBGL from Illinois. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Thank you very much. It's wonderful to talk to you Pastors tonight.

Pastor Doug: Likewise.

Steve: I had a question regarding the Old and New Testaments. I guess, in general, God's treatment of man. I was reading in Numbers and I believe there was a half Egyptian, half Israelite boy. And another Israelite boy insulted him, perhaps, you know, called him a halfbreed or something along those lines. I think the half Egyptian, half Israelite boy cursed God at the point. And they were waiting for Moses to determine what his fate would be?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Steve: And I believe it was determined that he should be stoned. I mean, that would be just a horrific ordeal just to participate in and, obviously, to be a part of. But I was just wondering, in terms of how God treats man in the Old Testament and New Testament, how do we, kind of, reconcile that kind of draconian-seeming behavior in the Old Testament; and of course, turn the other cheek and love your enemy in the New Testament?

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a good question. I would argue that in the Old Testament where you see some of these, what seems to be severe declarations, God was a God of mercy back then, just as He is now.

Steve: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But when they were faced with a national issue, they were operating under a theocracy. Keep in mind, when this event that you described took place and some others like it, they were able to look up from their camp and right above the temple, they see the Shekinah glory of God.

It would glow at night and it was a pillar of cloud by day. God's presence was right in their midst. And so for somebody to curse God right in the presence of God, and they went to Moses and said, "How do we deal with this?" And he said, "Definitely." It was very severe. And yet Jesus says to the adulteress, "You're forgiven. Go and sin no more."

Steve: Right

Pastor Doug: But in the New Testament, I'd like to remind people, there's both. Ananias and Sapphira, Acts chapter 5, they lied to Peter and they just fall over dead. Just a lie! So, you find in the Old Testament incredible mercy from God too. You know, Moses commits murder and God forgives him, as does David.

You've got the seven plagues in the New Testament and you've got the 10 plagues in the Old Testament. You can find both in both places.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And of course, you know Pastor Doug, the Bible doesn't tell us what this person was like before this actually then happened. There could have been a long period where he had hardened his heart against God [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: There could have been a series of issues [cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. That was the final thing. So God gave everyone a chance, and He's a God of mercy. But when we purposely, highhandedly rebel against God, that's dangerous.

Pastor Doug: Yup. So I do believe that the same Jesus that you see in the New Testament was there in the Old Testament. And He was a merciful God in both places. Very patient. You look at how long He bore with people like Samson and others. And, you know--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Israel as a nation, how long God [cross talking]--

Pastor Doug: Yeah. They drifted away and they'd repent. He would take them back and, over and over.

Steve: Okay, well thank you very much. And I just wanted to say the two of you don't know how much good you've done me; so, I mean, just listening to the program and just the information and blessings.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord! Thank you very much Steve for that compliment.

Steve: Thank you very much. Good night.

Pastor Doug: Good night.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Drew listening on KFIA from Folsom, California. Drew, welcome to the program.

Drew: Oh hi, thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Hi Drew, how can we help you tonight?

Drew: Yeah, my question is referring to Ephesians 4:8 where it talks about Christ leading captivity captive. And I was just wondering if you could explain what that meant?

Pastor Doug: Well, death holds people captive. And other people are held captive by fear. You find that in Hebrews. When Christ rose from the dead, He basically broke the chains of the tomb. An example of that would be in Matthew 28, I believe it is, where there's this earthquake and many graves are opened and Christ leads many who are captive to death to heaven. They're saved from that captivity.

Now when you get to Revelation, it's interesting. There's a little, different twist on this. It talks about, "he that leads into captivity will go into captivity." There it's talking about what happened during the Dark Ages. The beast power is actually lead captive.

Oh Drew, you can tell; we didn't mean to do this. The clock does it to us. We've run out of time. Listening friends, if we did not get to your question tonight, we pray you'll give us another chance. By the grace of the Lord, we'll be back in our seats at the microphone next week for more Bible questions, Bible answers.

You can also listen to the archives by going to amazingfacts.org. That's not "fax," it's "facts." And you'll find a lot of questions there. Please keep in mind, this is an entirely, listener-supported ministry. We're not subsidized by any corporations or denominations. It's people just like you who keep us on the air.

Write us a note. We'd love to hear from you. You can donate online, and God bless you. Remember, it's Jesus, the truth, who will set you free.

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