The Honey Mushroom

Date: 10/21/2007 
Living beneath the Strawberry Mountain wilderness in Eastern Oregon researchers have discovered what is probably the largest living organism on earth.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Living beneath the Strawberry Mountain wilderness in Eastern Oregon researchers have discovered what is probably the largest living organism on earth. A single fungus living there three feet underground is estimated to cover over 2,200 acres.

After testing samples from various locations, scientists say it is all one organism. The small mushrooms visible above ground are only the tip of the iceberg. Officially known as Armillaria Ostoyae, or the honey mushroom, the fungus is 3 1/2 miles across and takes up the space equivalent to 1,665 football fields.

Based on the speed at which it grows, experts estimate that this Methuselah mushroom began growing over 2,400 years ago; but it could be even older. Scientists became interested in that section of the forest when they noticed large groves of trees began to die. When foresters cut into an infected tree, they would find spreading white tentacles called rhizomorphs.

These filaments draw moisture and nutrients from the tree to feed the fungus. The honey mushroom can eventually sap enough water and carbohydrates from the tree roots to kill the trees. Researchers collected samples of the fungus from a widespread area and grew them together in Petrie dishes.

Instead of forming barrier lines, the samples grew together. In addition, they analyzed the DNA; and through these two things they established they are all the same, single, massive organism. This makes the honey mushroom one humongous fungus. Now consider, this monster mushroom started from a single spore to small to see without a microscope.

You know friends, in the Bible Jesus taught that a little faith in the heart can make a colossal difference in the world. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts bring you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: And I hope you have a pencil handy and you did write down that number because we do have lines open. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. Before we get into the program and talk about the amazing fact that you opened the program with, let's start with prayer.

Dear Father, once more we thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word together. We ask a special blessing upon those who are listening Father wherever they might be, at home or traveling in their car. We pray that You give us wisdom as we open up Your Word. For this we ask in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Up until a few moments ago Pastor Doug, I thought the largest living organism was a tree, but now I discover it's the honey mushroom.

Pastor Doug: I really like the idea that you can rhyme "humongous" with "fungus."

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: It is a humongous fungus!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely. You know, talking about that, you also mentioned that the Bible speaks of something very small, but has enormous consequences.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. When we were looking at the amazing fact here, it surprised me to consider that the spore of a mushroom is smaller than any seed of a plant.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: It's, you know, virtually microscopic; and yet now that has become the largest living organism on earth. And, of course, we think of the statement Jesus makes in Mark 4, verse 30, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed, that when it is sown in the ground, it is smaller than all the seeds on earth: But when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and shoots out branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade."

And again, Luke 17, verse 6. "So the Lord said, 'If you've got faith as a mustard seed, you can say to the mulberry tree, "Be plucked up by the roots, and be planted in the sea;" and it will obey you.'"

And, of course, Jesus emphasizes many places that a little faith, rightly directed in the Lord, can move mountains and accomplish great things. You know, we go through all kinds of battles in life and we wonder how we can resist these Goliath problems that come at us. The Lord tells us through faith. Matter of fact, faith is one of the elements in the armor of God that helps us to live the Christian life and be victorious.

Maybe our friends would like to know how do you get more faith? One thing, of course, in Romans chapter 10, it says in verse 17, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So one thing, of course, is to read the Word of God. We have a number of secrets that we'll share with you how you can strengthen your faith. It's part of our free offer tonight.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The free offer is entitled, The Armor of God. In the armor of God we have the shield of faith that we can gain victory over the enemy. To receive that free offer, all you'll need to do is call the resource number. It's 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, I believe you wrote this book. Is that correct? The Armor of God?

Pastor Doug: That's correct.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So ask for Pastor Doug's book, The Armor of God, and we'll be happy to send that out to you. We have a few Internet questions this evening. And by the way listening friends, if you would like to send us a question via email or via the Internet, you can go to There is a link that says, "Contact Us." You can type in your question and we'll try and get that on the air at one of our programs.

The first question tonight, "Are there any Biblical ramifications concerning mixing animals with humans?" And then they say, "For example, putting a hog's vein inside a human body?"

Pastor Doug: That is a good question because, of course, there is Scripture that talks about that eating, or consuming, swine's flesh is an abomination. It says, "You shall not touch their dead carcass."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: But, you know, of course, their doctors will take the valves of--I guess they do it with cows and hogs and pigs,--and they put them in people's hearts. You know, I think that the principle that God gives us among the health laws is a health principle. Obviously, pork is not a good meat to eat. It's full of all kinds of bacteria, and fat, and nitrates, and salt.

But, if they have a sterilized valve from a pig and they're going to put it in someone's heart to keep them alive, well that's a better health principle. There's nothing wrong with using animal products for the comfort and survival of a human body. Matter of fact, when man first sinned, God killed a lamb and used the skin of those lambs to cover Adam and Eve.

So, in principle, there's nothing wrong with that. Some of the rumors we hear of people experimenting with co-mingling features, or breeding of human elements in genes with animal elements in genes, I hear science say, of course, it's not possible and some of this is just rumors.

But the amalgamation of man with beast I think would be a corruption of God's plan. God made man in His image. God doesn't want us to cross-pollinate with sheep [laughs]. I'm mixing metaphors here but I think people get the idea.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm. Okay, very good. Our next question, "Do you believe man's purpose changed after the fall?"

Pastor Doug: Well, I do believe it did, because the condition radically changed. Before man fell, God created him to be the leader of the world and the creatures in the world. We were just talking about man, originally, was not suppose to kill any creatures. He was suppose to tend the garden and care for the creatures. He was to have dominion of the world and to live for the glory of God.

I also believe man was not quarantined to this planet; but he probably was free to leave. The Bible says there was a meeting in heaven in the book of Job; and, "The sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord." Well in Luke chapter 3, Adam was called the "son of God." He was the king of this creation, so to speak.

But after man's fall, his attention now was one of survival, sharing the Gospel with others, helping other men survive; and tending for the creation sort of became secondary to justifying, or vindicating, God's character that had been besmirched by the devil.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, very good. Well thank you friends for your questions via the website. If you have more, go to and you can click on the "Contact Us" link and post your question. We're going to go to the phone lines. Pastor Doug, the first caller tonight is Bryant listening on WTLG from Hobbs, New Mexico. Bryant, welcome to the program.

Bryant: Thank you. Before I ask my question, I want to ask you a quick question. I heard you on one of your videos, Doug. You said if we couldn't--I mean, if we could explain sin, it wouldn't be sin. And I want to know, quickly, what do you mean by that?

Pastor Doug: Well if you could justify it and say, "We're not responsible and here's the excuse," well then it ceases to be sin. But it is something of a mystery, in that it is without excuse.

Bryant: Okay

Pastor Doug: And so when I said, "explain it," I really meant, "if we could rationalize it."

Bryant: Okay, great. Okay now my question is in Genesis 3:11 and 13, and 4:10 I think it is, God asked questions as if He didn't know the answer. And I'm wondering does that in any way imply that He's not all-knowing, since He asked questions that He already knew the answers to?

Pastor Doug: No. The Lord asks questions many times; and He already knew the answers. For instance, when Jesus asked Philip, "Where will we find food for this multitude?" Then you read on in the next verse--and I think this is the Gospel of John--it says Jesus already knew what He was going to do, but this He said testing him.

So God asks questions sometimes to test us. When God said to Adam, "Where are you?" Well, you know, God knows all things. It says in Psalms, "Where shall I flee from Your presence? If I go into heaven or go into hell, You are there. You're everywhere. You see all things." I'm paraphrasing.

So, when God said to Adam, "Where are you?" God is really wanting Adam to think about, "What has sin done for me?" And when Jesus said to the disciples in the upper room, "What were you talking about on the way here?" Well, He knew what they were talking about. They were arguing which of them was the greatest.

But He thought, "I'll put it in the form of a question to give them the opportunity to confess that their spirit is not right. They need to forgive each other and have the right attitude as they enter into the Passover"--

[Cross talk]

Bryant: So it wasn't a question, I'm sorry, so it wasn't a question, like, I would ask somebody a question wanting to know the answer? It was a question, in the sense of He wanted them to think about it, right?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. God never is seeking knowledge on anything because He knows all things. God does not go to school. He does not learn anything, because for Him to learn something would imply there's something He doesn't know. God knows all things. All knowledge comes from Him. So, obviously, because God is all-knowing and omnipresent, any question He asks is for a teaching purpose.

Bryant: Okay, alright. Thank you. God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. Oh, by the way Bryant, if you go to the Amazing Facts website, you just happened to hit on a question tonight. I wrote a whole article called, The Questions of God. And if you go to our website and go under the magazine articles, it's still archived there. You can read it for free. It's called, The Questions of God, and I go into this principle.

Bryant: Okay, alright. Thank you a whole lot.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks.

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

Max: Hi, good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening Max, welcome.

Max: Yes. I was wondering, my question is, did the Sabbath exist before creation?

Pastor Doug: You mean before the creation of our world?

Max: Yes, before the creation of our world, before God instituted it in Genesis chapter 2.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, the Bible is silent on what time measurements there might be in other parts of the universe. But think about this for a second, I do believe God has life on other planets, in other universes, or not universes as much as galaxies. But the Sabbath is governed by our solar system.

The rotation of the earth on its axis is what governs the Sabbath. So when God on the seventh day in Genesis chapter 2, established the Sabbath, I believe that was unique to our solar system, or at least, our world. There's no record in the Bible that God had the Sabbath or, for man anyway, prior to creation. Whether other worlds had some sacred time or day, we don't know.

Max: Okay

Pastor Doug: It's a good question though.

Max: Okay, thank you

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Gail, listening on WJMM from Lexington, Kentucky. Gail, welcome to the program.

Gail: Well thank you, thank you. Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Gail: I wanted to ask you a question. It's kind of related a little bit to the previous caller's question. I'm very excited about this whole idea of the holiness in time. And so I was doing a little word search and I was wondering if you would agree that the reference to "times" over there in Daniel 7:25--

Pastor Doug: Yes

Gail: --it's uh, I see that it's the same word that was translated, I guess, in the Hebrew in Leviticus 23 and in Genesis 1:14. And I was thinking that, with those being holy days, that the holidays that originate from other religions--

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Gail: --is it possible that that could be a part of that whole attempt to change God's times and laws and, like, replace them with other so-called holidays, or holy days? You know, some other churches teach that, you know, their days are holy days with solemnity, or with an octave, that type of thing.

Pastor Doug: Right. Now the verse for our friends that are listening, I believe that Gail is referring to Daniel 7:25, "And he will speak great words against the most High," and this is a prophecy about the beast power, "and he will persecute the saints of the most High, and he will think to change times and laws."

The word "time" here that is used is the word, "zaman" which is, of course, a Hebrew word; and it means, "a season" or a "time." There is one of the Ten Commandments that is both a law and a time. There's only one; and that, of course, is the Sabbath Commandment. But the beast power not only thought to--you notice it doesn't say the beast power "can" change God's laws, he "thinks" to.

No one can change God's laws; Jesus said Heaven and earth will have to pass away first. So, yeah, I believe that it's talking about the beast power meddling with these sacred institutions of God.

Gail: Okay, holy days in particular?

Pastor Doug: Well, uh--

Gail: Uh because see, actually, I thought that was a Chaldean word and that the Hebrew word was "moade" and--

Pastor Doug: It is a Chaldean word.

Gail: Okay

Pastor Doug: You know, I was just looking at Strong's here and I--

[Cross talk]

Gail: Okay, and you cross referenced it?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I forgot that this is written in Babylon.

Gail: Yes

Pastor Doug: So it sounds like you're on the right track.

Gail: Alright. Thank you Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Hey you know, we've got a book that we'll send you that talks more about this, Gail. And it's called, Feast Days & Sabbaths. It talks about some of these holy times and laws.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you'll need to do is call the resource number Gail, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the free offer, Feast Days & Sabbaths. We'll be happy to send that out to you. Jim is listening on K220 GX from The Dalles, Oregon. Jim, welcome to the program.

Jim: Hello there, thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome. Thanks for calling.

Jim: Last week, I tried to get in but I was late. Anyhow, I like your analogy of the prairie dog. Ninety percent is decimated, right?

Pastor Doug: That's what they say.

Jim: Okay. Then my question would be how do you deal with Matthew 23:38?

Pastor Doug: Alright, let me go there real quick. Matthew 23:38; and let me read this for our friends. It says, "See? Your house is left to you desolate."

Jim: Yes

Pastor Doug: Well now, of course, this isn't talking about prairie dogs but--

Jim: No, I know that.

Pastor Doug: [Laughs] But this is where when after three and a half years of Jesus preaching in Jerusalem, when the religious leaders rejected His message,--you remember when Christ began His ministry, He cleansed the temple and He said You have made My Father's house a den of thieves. He refers to it as, "My Father's house."

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: By the end of His ministry when He finished preaching and they rejected His message, He says, "Your house...." And then, of course, a few days later after He's crucified, the veil in the temple rips in two, exposing the Holy of Holies; and the purpose of the sacrificial system is now fulfilled.

Christ is the Lamb of God. We don't need to sacrifice lambs anymore. So, Jesus kept telling the disciples they made such a big deal about worshiping the building and the stones, He said, "There will not be left one stone upon another of this temple that will not be thrown down."

And, of course, Titus, the general in 70 A.D., later became Titus the Emperor. He destroyed the temple. So when Christ walked out the last time and said, "Your house is left unto you desolate," it was both a prediction of what would happen in a few days; and it was also a prediction of what was going to happen in a generation, with the building itself being thrown down.

Jim: Okay

Pastor Doug: Good question.

Jim: Okay

Pastor Doug: Appreciate that Jim. Thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Charles listening on the Internet from North Hampton, Pennsylvania. Charles, welcome to the program.

Charles: Thank you. Good evening Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Good evening. Thanks for calling.

Charles: My pleasure. I'm a, I guess you would call, a new Christian.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Charles: And I am very unfamiliar with dealing with the Bible. And I have tried my best to, kind of, wade my way through one particular version of the Bible; and it reminds me of the

days when I was a youngster and was studying Shakespeare. I couldn't understand that either.

Pastor Doug: Right

Charles: Can you recommend a Bible like someone like myself, a neophyte, who's not real well educated in things theological, that I could use?

Pastor Doug: Well there are two things that you're thinking about when you're studying the Bible and you're just getting your teeth cut on it, so to speak.

Charles: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: One is you want a Bible that is going to be theologically accurate. So you want an accurate translation. But sometimes, the Bibles that are the most accurate translations, they may not be the easiest reading, to just get the panorama of the story. If you want to get the quick panorama of the story, some of the simpler paraphrases are easy for that.

First time I read the Bible, and I was quite a novice, I had a very modern translation. But I think the Lord providentially--I lost that or something; and then I got a King James Version because it was a little more accurate theologically.

Some of the versions that, I think, are the best combination, or hybrids of accuracy and easy reading, I typically preach from the New King James, which is a little easier. The New American Standard is a fairly accurate translation. I think there's a New Revised Standard now--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good one

Pastor Doug: --that's pretty accurate. Pastor Ross has some ideas here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah. When it comes to Bible study, like Pastor Doug mentioned, there is a difference between a paraphrase and a translation. A translation is where they translate from the original text; whereas a paraphrase might be somebody re-writing, perhaps reading the Bible in English and re-writing the verse in their own words.

Pastor Doug: Just capture the general ideas.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That might be fine for devotional reading, just to, kind of, get the gist. But when you're studying, especially doctrine, it's better to go along with the translation. It's the safe way to go.

Pastor Doug: Right

Charles: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: So, you know, there's a list. Like I said, the New King James, the New American Standard, the New Revised Standard, those are some good hybrids that are a little easier reading. And at the same time, they're pretty accurate. They are translations. They're not paraphrases.

Charles: Right. Okay, well thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. Oh, by the way, we've got something we could send you on that. It's a study guide on how to study the Bible. It's called, "Is There Anything Left We Can Trust?" I think you'd really enjoy that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's free. All you'll need to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747. And for our listening friends, we have a few lines that are open at this time. If you'd like to get your question on the air, the number to call is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

If you pick up your phone and call now, there's a good chance that you'll be able to get your question on the air. Our next caller is Heidi, and Heidi is listening on WMUZ from Rochester Hills, Michigan. Heidi, welcome to the program.

Heidi: Yes, hello

Pastor Doug: Hi Heidi, thanks for calling.

Heidi: Hi, thank you very much for taking my call. I was wondering, one of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images."

Pastor Doug: Yes

Heidi: And I was wondering--of course I realize that you're not suppose to make any statues and pray upon them and, you know, what have you. But would that also mean that, because crosses and pictures of Jesus are possibly graven images, what is your opinion on that?

Pastor Doug: Well, let's hope we can stay away from my opinion. I just want to read the Scripture as well as I can, and to expound it. The Commandment, the Second Commandment that deals with idolatry, it doesn't really just say, "You shall not make graven images."

If you keep reading, it says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images, the likeness of anything in the heaven above, the earth beneath, the waters under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,...." Now, even the Lord told the children of Israel to carve angels on the walls of the sanctuary.

And when Solomon built his temple, they had 12 oxen holding up the laver of water. And the priest was suppose to put little pomegranates and uh--what were they? Pomegranates?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Bells

Pastor Doug: And bells, yeah, on the hem of his garment. So it wasn't that there was really a mandate of having the likeness. It said don't make a likeness "and"--the sentence wasn't over--"don't make these likenesses and bow down to them." Because, you know, if you paint a flower and put it on your wall, you can say, well technically, you've made a likeness of something in the earth beneath. You know what I mean?

Heidi: Yes

Pastor Doug: It was an issue of trying to say this is our God, and demeaning God by praying to some likeness of Him. And some people do worship crosses and they treat the cross like a good luck charm. Some people can make an idol out of a cross. They can make an idol out of a painting of Jesus.

Heidi: Exactly. But if you have one and you don't make an idol of it, and you don't kiss it, or bow down to it, what have you, which many people do; if you have them and, is that something that you think, um, God considers having a graven image?

Pastor Doug: No. Well, you know, first of all, I'm not the Holy Spirit. And if the Holy Spirit is convicting you that, you know, maybe you shouldn't have something, then you shouldn't.

Heidi: Um-hmm, right.

Pastor Doug: Let me give you an illustration very quickly. I went to Russia and did some meetings. And what I often do is I would give out pictures of prophecy at my meetings, sort of as gifts. And never had a problem with that in North America. I don't remember anyone taking our picture home of, you know, John, in Revelation or something like that, and praying to it.

But the Russian people in the orthodox church, they don't pray to statues. They pray to paintings, to icons.

Heidi: Um m

Pastor Doug: And the Pastors there in this Protestant church were surprised that I was going to offer, as a reward for attendance, a picture of Jesus among the seven candlesticks. And they said, "Boy, this goes right against...." And so I said, "Hey look, let's not do this then. I sure don't want to make anyone stumble!"

If these people are inclined to take that home, pin it up, and burn candles in front of it, then, heaven forbid, don't do it. But I never had a problem with that, you know what I'm saying?

Heidi: Yes I do.

Pastor Doug: A person can make an idol out of a rock.

Heidi: Exactly, yes.

Pastor Doug: Some people do it out of a car. So--

[Cross talk]

Heidi: So I just was wondering if it was...if um, it says anywhere in the Bible that just having an image of know, because since it's not alive any longer and I guess you could say that about anything, any graven image, pictures, um--

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think you're not suppose to stop the Commandment with "don't make any likeness," because anyone carrying a photograph in their wallet, that is a likeness. And there are churches like our friends, the Jehovah's Witnesses, they are even down on photographs because they say that it's making a likeness.

So, I think a person just needs good judgment on that. The principle of the Commandment is, "Don't make a likeness, whether it's an image or whether it's a photograph, and pray to it." It's not to become a god.

Heidi: Okay. So just having an image, you believe it's alright? Because I realize not to pray. Praying to it is, of course--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Well, are you talking about a specific image? Is it--

Heidi: Well just, you know, just a picture of Jesus, or cross, you know, uh--

Pastor Doug: Personally, I'm not convicted about that.

Heidi: Okay, personally.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. When I do evangelistic meetings, I will put up a Scripture sometimes with a photograph of Jesus just as an illustration. But yeah, if I think I'm going to make somebody stumble, Paul says, "I'll not eat any meat if it will make my brother stumble." Don't do anything to make someone else stumble.

Alright, hope that helps a little bit Heidi. Appreciate your question. You can tell we've reached the bottom of the hour friends. We're going to take a break, but we are just getting our second wind. So, if you have a Bible question, I think I see a line or two still open, I do. Call that number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297.

And during the break, you might grab a pencil and write down,, and you'll get there if you type in If you go to Google and type in Amazing Facts, you'll probably come right to our website. A lot of resources there for Christians. We'll talk more about it in just a minute.


Pastor Doug: If you've just joined us friends, you've found your way to Bible Answers Live, a live, international, interactive Bible study. You can listen, of course, on the radio and it's on the Internet around the world as well; and we invite your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, earlier today I was taking a look at the Amazing Facts website. It's brand new. And there are a number of great resources. But I like in particular the media side of this website, where you can actually click and listen to programs, and search the archives of various things and get a lot of good information.

Pastor Doug: You can watch programs. You know, a lot of companies will put "New and Improved" on a product, when all they've done is changed the label and the product is the same.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But when we say the Amazing Facts website is new and improved, it really is.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely!

Pastor Doug: And so it has gone through a major upgrade into the 21st century; and we invite you to take a look at A lot of free resources. If you're in any teaching capacity, you'll really appreciate all of this stuff there, and even archives of this program are there--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --some of the more popular questions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Another nice feature also on that website, you can actually type in what state you're in and it will list the various television and radio stations that broadcast Amazing Facts, as well as the time.

Pastor Doug: That's right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So if you have a friend that, perhaps, lives in a different state, you can guide him to the website, find out what radio station Bible Answers Live is broadcast on, and you can call him so he can listen.

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, just tell your friends and your enemies.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right [laughs]

Pastor Doug: That would include almost everybody [laughs]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, very good. We're going to go to the phone lines. Our next caller is Robert listening on WMCA from Bloomfield, New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Ross and Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Robert: My question is about the Sabbath basically, very simply. How would it be determined--exactly the time of the Sabbath--as you go to different time zones around the world? And if you're traveling, hypothetically, the Sabbath could change into the next day, or you might be...let's say if you're on the Southern hemisphere or the Northern hemisphere of the earth where the day or night could last for about six months, how would you determine that...what's seven days? What's the 24-hour period?

Pastor Doug: That's true. Matter of fact, I like to argue that I'm really not 50 years old because I was traveling to Australia and I took off on--I don't remember if I was going or coming back to tell you the truth--but I took of on March 8th, and I landed on March 10th; and my birthday is March 9th. As I tell my wife, I missed a birthday. I'm really still 49.

So, you run into all kinds of interesting challenges when you travel through different time--now you're not just talking about time zones, because sundown and a time zone, it's always consistent. It's when you cross the date lines, it starts getting real interesting. And I've had people ask me before, "Well how do they keep the Sabbath on the space shuttle?"

Robert: Yes

Pastor Doug: And, you know, the Sabbath is God's idea; and I think the Lord is assuming that we're living on earth.

Robert: Right

Pastor Doug: People don't typically live in the air or in space. And sundown to sundown is the Sabbath, according to the Bible, "from even unto even you'll celebrate your Sabbath."

Robert: Okay

Pastor Doug: So, this is God's plan. We need a day of rest. He's told us what that day is. Every now and then, you're going to run into one of these creative situations that might challenge you; but the simple answer is, when your feet get on the ground, whatever day it is there, that's the day you keep.

Robert: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: It's just a real simple principle. When the Sabbath gets to the place where you plant your feet, that's the Sabbath. If it's not, it's not.

Robert: Well, how about where the night is six months long or the day is six months long, like in the Polar regions?

Pastor Doug: Oh I know. I was just in Alaska this year and it was the first time I'd been there. And, matter of fact, I had been wanting to go there for years. The only state I still haven't been to is North Dakota.

Robert: Oh

Pastor Doug: And I keep trying to think of a reason to go. But I did find some interesting things to do. Nothing against our friends in North Dakota. I'm sorry. I will, God willing, go someday.

[Cross talking]

Robert: You'll have to go next year.

Pastor Doug: But yeah, I was amazed at, you know, it's still light out at 2 in the morning.

Robert: Really?

Pastor Doug: But--yeah, in Alaska the farther north you go, the sun doesn't even really set. It just sort of dips on the horizon. You know, I think when they get into some of these inhospitable parts of the planet--

Robert: Yeah

Pastor Doug: --where the days are unusual, they just peg the clock and say, "Look, at 8:00, we're going to mark that as sundown."

Robert: Oh okay.

Pastor Doug: But, no matter what part of the planet you're on, the day is still divided by 24 hours, so it's not really a problem. You know what I'm saying?

Robert: Okay. Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: Even if you're standing on the North Pole, the sun does still wobble up and down in the sky. And that wobble is governed by a 24-hour wobble.

Robert: Right, okay.

Pastor Doug: And so you just make sure you've reserved that seventh day of wobble for the Lord.

Robert: [Laughs] Okay, very well. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Michael listening on WMCA from Brooklyn, New York. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Yes, good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: How can we help you?

Michael: Yes, my question is about 1st Samuel chapter 28?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Michael: Regarding King Saul where he was suppose to go to war with the Philistines. He was afraid and he went to consult the wizard of Endor.

Pastor Doug: The witch of Endor, yes.

Michael: Yeah, the witch of Endor. I'm asking the spirit of Samuel that the witch brought up, and he did tell--predict what was going to happen to King Saul, what kind of spirit was that? Was it an evil spirit, or uh--

Pastor Doug: Oh was it actually Samuel?

Michael: --Or was it actually Samuel, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe it was an evil spirit, because I don't believe an evil witch--the witches in the Bible are condemned.

Michael: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Matter of fact, in the Bible, it doesn't say whether it's a white witch, black witch, or gray witch. All witches were condemned.

Michael: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And they were condemned to death--

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Doug: --and because they do consult with evil spirits to manufacture allusions of the dead to deceive people. If you read in Revelation 16, it says these unclean spirits, they go out to deceive.

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And then in 2nd Corinthians 11, Satan can be transformed. And so if Satan can be transformed into an angel of light, and that's again, 2nd Corinthians 11, his fallen angels can also transform themselves and create illusions.

Michael: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And so, we believe that one of these demons, fallen angels, created an apparition of Samuel that gave King Saul a totally discouraging message. And the result of that message was Saul committed suicide.

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So God's messages are usually mingled with some mercy.

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the point just in the text itself here, let's just assume for a minute that this witch of Endor could have access, somehow, to the good prophet, Samuel. Is there any way that a witch could, somehow, tell the prophet of God what to do? Could a witch call up God's prophet?

Michael: Nah, no way, no.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There's no way that would happen. And in the text itself it says King Saul "perceived" that it was Samuel.

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: So it, at least, you know, the King thought, "Oh, this must be Samuel!" But it doesn't say it was Samuel.

Pastor Doug: The language--yeah--tells us that "he thought."

Pastor Jëan Ross: He thought it was.

Pastor Doug: It had that, yeah, that appearance.

Michael: Just a deception.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Michael: Okay. That's understood. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question. And by the way, we have a lesson--

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do!

Pastor Doug: --called, The Witch of Endor. It's one of our Storacle lessons; and so we'll be happy to send you that lesson if you call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for, The Witch of Endor. It's a new lesson. It's not our Amazing Facts study guides, but it's Storacle lessons. Very good, The Witch of Endor. Our next caller is Lloyd listening on KFIA from Woodland, California. Lloyd, welcome to the program.

Lloyd: Oh thanks for taking my call Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Pleasure

Lloyd: My question is Adam and Eve have always intrigued me. I wanted to know, is there anything in the Bible that talks about them having a language?

Pastor Doug: Well, we know that they spoke. And before the Tower of Babel, everybody spoke in the language of Eden. What that tongue was, I'm sure if you ask our German friends, they'll say it was German.

Lloyd: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: If you ask our Spanish friends, they'll say that Latin is the language of heaven. But, we don't know. Adam and Eve, evidently, came from the Creator pre-programmed with that language. If I go to the computer store and buy a computer, depending on what country I'm in--I know if I buy one in India, it's amazing.

I was surprised when I was in India, Pastor Ross, the website came up in Telugu, or Hindi. And I thought, "This isn't fair" [chuckles]. And when I was in Korea, the website came up in Korean. If you buy a computer in the U.S., it's going to come up with the prompt screen. It's already programmed in English.

Well God programmed Adam and Eve at creation with the language of Eden. What that language was, I think we'll be surprised when we get to heaven, that all the languages of the world have words that probably could be traced back to that language.

[Cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the same happens--

Lloyd: Alright. That makes sense. It's not a matter of salvation, but I just, like, those types of things intrigue me. I guess we'll find out when we get to heaven.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right, and you know, when we get to heaven, we won't have to learn a new language. We will be pre-programmed with the heavenly language.

Pastor Doug: That's right

Pastor Jëan Ross: When Jesus comes and we change "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," we don't have to learn the heavenly language. We'll know it.

Pastor Doug: We'll have our glorified bodies and, obviously, the gift of tongues--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: --that God gave the disciples is evidence that He can give us that language.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. Our next caller is Lee listening from WITA from Knoxville, Tennessee. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Hello, hello. How are you folks tonight?

Pastor Doug: Very well, and your question?

Lee: Good. Well, my question has to do with the so-called rapture, and when and if it will take place; and what is the Scriptural basis for all of this? I mean, you know, like a lot of the people believe that, you know, that the church will disappear before the tribulation. But actually, you know, as I've been taught, we go through the tribulation and God delivers us in the tribulation; gives us strength to go through it. And I was just wondering what the Scriptural basis is about this?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, of course, I don't want to give a lot of Scripture to support the secret rapture because we don't believe that's Biblical. As I understand you, you recognize that. The word "rapture" means to be caught away, and the church will be raptured. That's based on 1st Thessalonians chapter 4, meaning we'll be "caught away" to meet the Lord in the air.

But the idea of the secret rapture and the idea the tribulation happens after the rapture is basically a new theology that has not been around, except for the last 100, 150 years. And the Scriptures are really clear. God is saving His church through tribulation. And it is through much tribulation, Paul tells us, we enter the Kingdom of God.

"All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." [2 Timothy 3:12] The church does not need to be afraid of the tribulation. The tribulation is the seven last plagues. God protected the children of Israel when they were in Egypt during the ten plagues. God will protect His people in the world during the seven last plagues.

We don't have to be afraid of that. We've got a book we'll send you, Lee, that I have a lot of the Scriptures outlined in there that talk about how the Lord will come. And it will not be a secret rapture. Matter of fact, the book is called, Anything But Secret.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's free. All you'll have to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for that booklet, Anything But Secret. We'll be happy to send that out to you. Helen is listening on KFIA from Sacramento, California. Helen, welcome to the program.

Helen: Hi Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Helen: What I'd like to know, I was really surprised, me and my son were talking. And when people die, when someone dies, I always had learned, heard, that their spirit, or their soul, goes straight to God. And my son says, "No. It stays in the coffin." Okay. I have read in the Bible where they are "sleeping," but does their spirit go right to God? Or their soul? I always have heard that from since I was a little girl that it always has; and now my son says no. I would like to--I was real curious. I'd sure would like to know.

Pastor Doug: Well let me help you, Helen. You're not the only one. Many people are confused about this issue. Part of the reason is because there are verses like what you find in 1st Corinthians chapter 5, where it talks about being "absent from the body, being present with the Lord."

Because when a Christian dies and this body ceases to function, their next conscious thought is the resurrection and being caught up to meet the Lord in the air. But the spirit does not float around disembodied in the interval. The Bible tells us that they are asleep.

Now you read about Lazarus, who was dead four days and then resurrected. He makes no comment on being in heaven and coming back down while he was dead; or being in hell and coming back up. Matter of fact, of all of the resurrections in the Bible--and their must be, oh I think there's at least, somewhere between 12 and 15 resurrections in the Bible--none of the people who were resurrected ever comment on any consciousness in death.

That's a pretty strong statement, that they are asleep; and also what Jesus said.

Helen: Right

Pastor Doug: But for a Christian that dies, because you have no awareness of time, you're outside of that dimension, it seems like a twinkle of an eye for you. And the next thing you know is, ***poof*** you're in heaven. You're with the Lord. But it happens at the second coming.

And if you read in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, it says, "Those that are Christ's are raised at his coming."

Helen: Ohh

Pastor Doug: So, you know, we've got a booklet. Matter of fact, we've got a couple of booklets--

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do.

Pastor Doug: --that deal with this subject. One is, "Are the Dead Really Dead?" And then we have another one called, "Absent From The Body." Matter of fact, I'd recommend, "Absent From The Body."

Helen: I would love to read that because I've never heard that in my life. Yeah. I would love you to send that to me.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, when we go to heaven, it's going to be a glorious procession.

Helen: Right

Pastor Doug: We all go to heaven together.

Helen: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: And it's not like we pop up there one at a time and are looking down at what's happening here on earth. The Bible doesn't teach that.

Helen: I see.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, one text for me that makes it very clear, Pastor Doug, is in Acts chapter 2, verse 34, speaking of David.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: And the Bible says, "David has not yet ascended unto heaven." Now, we believe that David will be saved, that uh, you know--

Pastor Doug: That's good King David.

Helen: Uh-huh

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's good King David; we expect him to be in heaven. But the Bible says that he, like the rest of those that died in faith, will be resurrected when Jesus comes the second time.

Pastor Doug: Yup, good point.

Helen: I've heard that too, but I don't know where all of us thought when they died, they're gone.

Pastor Doug: You know, you've heard of urban myths. It's a common myth among many churches that just needs a little explanation for Biblical theology; but Biblically, it's so clear that people are not conscious in the interval. They're not floating around as a spirit in between the death and the resurrection.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Helen, you probably want to call that resource number and get those free resources. The number is 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide, "Are the Dead Really Dead?"

Pastor Doug: Or, "Absent From The Body"

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, the little booklet, "Absent From The Body." Both are great resources to deal with the subject. Our next caller is James and he's listening on 103.5 from Michigan. James, welcome to the program.

James: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for calling.

James: Yes, good evening. I'm not familiar with your show. I'm just visiting up here in Michigan and heard your show. I just wanted to call and ask you a question. I heard you say something on the radio. You referred to the Jehovah's Witnesses as your brothers. How can that be? They teach a different doctrine than--

Pastor Doug: I thought you were going to ask a question about the anti-Christ?

James: Oh, oh yeah. That was my first question, actually. I was going to change it, but I forgot I had changed it because I was still thinking about the first question. I wondered why you referred to that because, my understanding is their doctrine teaches that Jesus did not come in the flesh, that He's not the Son of God.

Pastor Doug: Well let clear it up for you, I think I was probably just trying to be kind and gracious. The Jehovah's Witness theology--and I try not to make it a point to attack any specific denomination on this program--

James: I wouldn't call it attacking. I mean, we're suppose to represent the truth

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well what I'm getting at is, I would agree that the Jehovah's Witness theology, much of it is very unbiblical, and that they are a cult. But there are dear people that are mixed up in this that need the truth just like everybody else. And so I feel an empathy, or an affection for them. I don't see them as--

James: You referred to them as brothers. Wouldn't that give them a false security, as though they might have the truth?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well I don't--

James: If they were to hear you say that?

Pastor Doug: I may have said "our friends," just trying to be gracious. I don't consider the Jehovah's Witnesses our brothers and sisters. I said "friends." I don't believe I said "brothers."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah. You didn't say "brothers." You said "friends."

Pastor Doug: Our engineers, they were listening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs] Alright.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, we've got a lot of questions waiting James, so we're going to take that as your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller then is McKenzie listening on WMCA from Queens, New York. McKenzie, welcome to the program.

McKenzie: Yes, good evening Pastor Doug. It's a blessing to hear you. But I became so fascinated when you said there might be a possibility that there is other life on other planets--

Pastor Doug: Yes

McKenzie: --and expound unto that; because I became scared.

Pastor Doug: Well it doesn't mean there are UFO's. I don't think the Lord allows any of His creatures from other worlds to come to our planet because, just like a hospital ward that is quarantined, sin is contagious. But there are, obviously, angels--

McKenzie: Okay

Pastor Doug: --yeah, let's just call them our "hospital staff." I mean, if you've got a hospital and some people are highly contagious, you don't have people going in and out visiting.

McKenzie: Right

Pastor Doug: But you do have the hospital staff going in and dealing with the patients.

McKenzie: Praise God for that!

Pastor Doug: Our world has a disease of sin--

McKenzie: Right

Pastor Doug: --and it tells us in Hebrews chapter--

Pastor Jëan Ross: 1 verse 2

McKenzie: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: God made--

Pastor Jëan Ross: --the worlds

Pastor Doug: --the worlds.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Plural.

Pastor Doug: And then again, you read in Job chapter 1 that the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord; and they're not on earth when they have this meeting. It's some heavenly meeting. So there is life in other worlds, but you don't need to worry McKenzie. The only alien life we need to be concerned about is Satan's fallen angels.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right

Pastor Doug: And God will send His good angels to take care of you; because there's two of them for every one bad angel.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright McKenzie?

McKenzie: Yes

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Todd calling from Chico, California. Todd, welcome to the program.

Todd: Hi Doug. I had a question tonight that was posed to me by my brother-in-law and I didn't have an answer or any Scriptural reference for him. So I was hoping you could help me out. He was saying in the garden of Eden, if Adam had a perfect relationship with God, why did he have a need for a woman to be created? Why was there that void?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, creation was not complete until Eve was made. God wanted man to recognize that, in some respects, he is incomplete in sharing love without another equal intelligence. God is composed of God the Father, the Son, the Spirit; and They have a love relationship between Them, through interaction.

And Their minds are stimulated through that love relationship, and challenging their thinking and questions; and man was missing that. Now God didn't make Eve until after Adam had named the other creatures. And that's when he keenly felt this yearning. There was this vacuum; and it wasn't until after he felt this vacuum God said, "Okay, I've got a surprise for you. I'm going to now fill that vacuum by creating your help mete, your perfect alter ego."

Todd: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alter ego is probably not the right word [laughs]

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs]

Todd: Alright. That works.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, thanks a lot Todd.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Conner listening on WMCA from Brooklyn, New York. Conner, welcome to the program.

Conner: Yes, thank you. God bless you all.

Pastor Doug: God bless you. And your question tonight?

Conner: Yes, my question is on the unpardonable sin. I did the study online but I don't quite get it. What scenario, like if someone that believes, would lead to it? Like, say you go somewhere and you felt you should have spoken to somebody and you didn't speak to them, is that, like, grieving the Holy Spirit, so to speak?

Pastor Doug: Well no. Grieving the Holy Spirit is a process. Of course, you can find reference to this in Ephesians 4, verse 30, where it says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby you are sealed." Now, we might grieve the Holy Spirit thousands of times in our lives and still not commit the unpardonable sin. Every time we sin, it doesn't please God. It grieves God.

Conner: Okay

Pastor Doug: But it is the persistent refusal to listen to the Holy Spirit. What we really do is we harden our own hearts by that habitual resistance of the pleadings of the Holy Spirit. We can grieve away the Holy Spirit. We develop something like a callous on our spiritual ear. It's like you keep turning down the volume of the radio, or you ignore your alarm clock so you can sleep through its ringing.

You just don't hear it anymore. And that's when you've committed the unpardonable sin, when you can no longer hear the voice of the Spirit.

Conner: Okay. Is that over a period of a time, or...?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Generally it happens. You look in the Bible and King Saul grieved away the Holy Spirit. He's a pretty good case study of doing that. He committed the unpardonable sin. God would not speak to him anymore; but it happened over a period of years. He went against his conscience. He chased David. He was proud and stubborn.

And Judas, three and a half years he was in the presence of Jesus; and he would never humble himself and confess his sin. Until finally, at the end, at the Last Supper, it says, "Satan entered him." I think Judas could have been saved right up to the Last Supper if he had repented. And both Judas and King Saul committed suicide.

Conner: Yeah. I was just about to get to that.

Pastor Doug: They self-destructed.

Conner: Alright. That's a little bit clearer because I didn't quite understand it too much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, well hey, we appreciate that; and hopefully it'll help. We've got a book on the Holy Spirit. If you'd like to ask for that, we'll send you a free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you'll need to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book on the Holy Spirit. You can also ask for the study guide, No Turning Back, that deals with that same subject as well.

Pastor Doug: That's right. That's true.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Joey listening on Radio 74 from Washington. Joey, welcome to the program.

Joey: Hi

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

Joey: You know when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego--

Pastor Doug: Yeah?

Joey: Uh, where was Daniel at that part of time?

Pastor Doug: Oh good question. In Daniel chapter 3 where it talks about the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we know that Daniel was one of their friends. Why wasn't he there at this inauguration of the statue? And it could be, Joey--the Bible is silent--we don't know, but we can speculate. Daniel may have known what the subject of this party was.

The other people were just called and they may not have known what was going on. Daniel could have been, because he was prime minister in another part of the kingdom administering the king's business, so we're speculating a little bit--

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's possible the king knew of Daniel's devotion to his God; and might have known that Daniel would never bow down.

Pastor Doug: He left his name off the invitation list.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. He forgot about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego though.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's right. So yeah, the king may have said, "I'm not bringing Daniel because Daniel interpreted the dream of the image I saw,"

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: "and I don't want to go with that dream, that my kingdom won't last. I'd rather go with the idea that Babylon will last forever." So, that's a good point. Yeah, the king might have just not invited him.

Joey: Alright

Pastor Doug: Good question.

Joey: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Gary listening on the Internet calling from Atlanta, Georgia. Gary, welcome to the program.

Gary: Thank you Pastor Doug. I've been listening to Amazing Facts about 10 years. I just have a quick question.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Gary: My question is, is the Ark of the Covenant, do you believe it's still here on earth, or do you believe it was taken back to heaven?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Matter of fact, I saw a program on the History Channel the other night where they were talking about the treasures of the Jews, and they were asking where the Ark was.

Near as we can tell, it is still on earth. It's probably hidden in a cave not far from Jerusalem. Jeremiah the prophet knew Nebuchadnezzar was going to destroy the temple. Just before it happened, we think he and some of the priests probably hid it and protected it; because it never appears among the articles that were stolen from the temple. It just disappears from history.

So we think it was hidden. And it probably still is in a cave somewhere. Thanks for your question, Gary. Friends, if we didn't get to you tonight, thanks for your patience. Give us another chance next week. Keep in mind, Amazing Facts is a listener-supported ministry 100%. People like you, who sometimes are stirred by the Holy Spirit, say, "I'm not going to just listen forever. I'm going to help them stay on the air."

We'd love to hear from you. Go to Drop us a line. You can donate at our website. And most of all remember, Jesus is the truth that will set you free.


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