Origin of Evil

Scripture: Luke 22:36-38, Luke 14:26, 1 Corinthians 11:1-34
Date: 09/11/2016 
The image of flying snakes might seem like the stuff of nightmares, but in the jungle of South East Asia it's a reality. Flying snakes are actually gliding snakes. Using the speed of free fall and the contortion of their bodies to catch the air and generate lift. Recent scientific studies have revealed interesting details about how these limbless tube-shaped creatures turn plummeting into piloting. To prepare for take-off, a flying snake will slither to the end of a branch and dangle in a J sha
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Announcer: Welcome to Bible Answers Live, where you'll get honest answers to your Bible questions. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With 66 books and more than 700,000 words, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. If you'd like answers to your Bible questions, you've come to the right place. Now, here's your host, Pastor Jean Ross, Vice President of evangelism for Amazing Facts.

Pastor Jean Ross: How about an amazing fact? The image of flying snakes might seem like the stuff of nightmares, but in the jungle of South East Asia it's a reality. Flying snakes are actually gliding snakes. Using the speed of free fall and the contortion of their bodies to catch the air and generate lift. Recent scientific studies have revealed interesting details about how these limbless tube-shaped creatures turn plummeting into piloting. To prepare for take-off, a flying snake will slither to the end of a branch and dangle in a J shape.

It propels itself from the branch with the lower half of its body. Forms quickly into an S and then flattens to about twice its normal width, giving it's normal round body a concave C shape which can trap air. By moving back and forth in the air, the snake can actually make turns. Flying snakes are better gliders than flying squirrels. There are five recognized species of flying snake, found from Western India to the jungles of Indonesia. Knowledge of their behaviour in the wild is limited, but they are thought to use their aerobatics to escape predators, to move from tree to tree and possibly even to hunt.

The smallest species can reach to about two feet in length and the largest grow to about four feet. Their diet includes rodents, lizards, frogs, birds and bats. They are venomous, but their tiny-fixed-rear fangs make them almost harmless to humans. The paradise tree snake is one of the smaller flying snakes but it is the best glider. It is known to travel to up to 330 feet in the air. Did you know, friends, that in paradise of Eden, a speaking snake caused all the sin and suffering that we see in the world today? Well, stay tuned for more, as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Announcer: You're listening to Bible Answers Live. Honest answers to your Bible questions. Our phone lines are now open. If you have a Bible related question, call us at 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. Let's get to our first Bible question with Pastor Jean Ross.

Pastor Jean: Hello, friends, yes this is Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug Batchelor's away today but this is a live interactive international Bible study. If you have a Bible question, let me give that phone number just again and give us a call, we have phone lines that are now open. The number here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. Again, if you're ready, (800) 463-7297. That'll get you here to the studio. If the phone is busy, just hang on, give us another try and we'll get your call on the program this evening.

Now we opened the program by talking about this incredible flying snakes. It's interesting in the Bible, snake or a snake or serpent is sometimes used as the description of the devil. Way back in the very first book of the Bible, The Book of Genesis, we're introduced to a talking snake. Later on, we find out that it really it's the devil impersonating a serpent that led to sin and really the downfall of the human race.

Genesis 3:1, it says, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made, and he said to the woman," that's Eve, "'Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' and the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat up the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shalt not eat it, nor shalt you touch it, lest you die.' Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You shall not surely die.'"

And that is the first lie recorded in scripture, actually the first lie spoken on the earth. And then verse five, the devil went on and said, "For God knows in the day that you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." And of course, we know the rest of the story. Eve reached out and took the fruit and ate even though God said that they were not to eat. She gave it to her husband and he ate and that brought about sin and suffering in our world. Jesus came to redeem us and to forgive us and provide a lane which we could once again be with Him in paradise.

Now, a lot of people have questions about the origin of evil. One of the questions that people ask is, "Well, did God create a devil?" We know that the devil was at one time an angel. But did God create the devil with these selfish propensities? Well, we have a study guide that deals with that very subject and it's called Did God Create A Devil? That is our free offer tonight if you just call us on our resource phone number, we'll be happy to send this out to you. The number is (800) 835-6747, that is the resource phone line and you can ask for the study guide called Did God Create A Devil? Again, that number is (800) 8356747, and we'll be happy to send that study guide out to you this evening.

If you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. Good time for you to give us a call and we'll line up your calls so that we can take in on tonight's program. But before we actually opened up a Bible, as we always do, we want to ask God's blessing upon our time and pray that the spirit will lead us into a clear understanding of truth. So, let's just start with prayer.

Dear Father in heaven, once again we are grateful that we are able to study together and we ask your blessing upon this program, be with those who are listening and lead us, Lord, into a clear understanding of Bible truth. For we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friends, we're going to go to our first caller this evening. We have Jeff who is listening in Florida. Jeff, welcome to the program.

Jeff: Hi. How are you?

Pastor Jean: Doing well, Jeff. And your question this evening?

Jeff: My question is, the mark of the beast is it physical or is it spiritual? Or is it both?

Pastor Jean: It's spiritual first and foremost, in The Book of Revelation there are two marks. We always think of the mark of the beast, but there is also a mark for those who are faithful to God. Revelation 7 talks about the seal of God which is received by those who are loyal to Him. So at the end of time, everybody's going to have either the mark of the beast or the seal of God. The seal of God is described as being in the forehead, the mark of the beast is described as being in the forehead and the hand.

Now remember,Revelation is a symbolic book we're not talking about some tattoo or computer chip that is placed under the skin. But, the forehead in Bible represents the mind or the character. Sometimes referred to as the heart. So it's in the mind that people choose either to serve God and obey Him and keep His commandments, or people will choose to obey the beast power and keep the commandments of the beast. Now that'll be manifest as to how they worship. In Revelation, the key issue deals with worship. So, yes, it is a symbolic mark but it's manifest in obedience to God's commands.

Jeff: Okay. So, the reason why I asked was because if you read in Revelation 13:17, it says, "So that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name." I asked because how would the government know, whoever the government power is, know if we have the mark in our Bibles?

Pastor Jean: Yes. Good question. The mark of the beast is going to be certain legislative action that is done. Certain laws that have to do with worship will be passed. Those who do not go along with these laws, the first penalty is they're not going to be able to buy and sell. Meaning that their bank accounts will be frozen. That's not something difficult for the government to do, it's done it in the past, especially with the threat of terrorism. We see, at times, the government freezing the accounts of different groups or individuals.

So those who don't comply with these religious laws, that getpassed. The first phase is that they're not going to be able to buy and sell. Somehow their accounts will be frozen. It's going to be manifest in who you obey. Are we going to obey God, or are we going to obey a commandment by the State, or a law by the State that contradicts one of God's commandments?

We have a parallel story in Daniel 3, where King Nebuchadnezzar created this giant image and the three Hebrews Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego-- everybody else bowed down to this image but they stood firm and it became quite obvious who are ones who are faithful to the God of Heaven. And so at the end of time, the whole world, it tells in the Revelation, will eventually give in and follow certain laws dealing with worship, except those who choose to be faithful to God. So it will become quite evident who's on God's side and who's not.

Jeff: Okay. What about in cash? Cash is still in use today. How will they froze cash?

Pastor Jean: Yes. What about cash? We're moving more and more to a cashless society. I think cash can only go so far. People get paid now typically by direct deposit into their checking account and using debit cards and credit cards. Everything seems to be electronic. It would be very difficult to get paid your salary in cash on an ongoing basis. They are the reasons why the government prefers that there be like electronic transfer, for tax reasons and the like. There might be some cash available but even so, eventually a person will run out of cash.

If the government has control on your account or your Social Security number and and you can't open an account or cash or check over a period of time, you won't be able to buy and sell.

Jeff: All right. That makes sense. I have no more questions.

Pastor Jean: All right. Good. It's a good question. We do have a study guide that I think you'll find interesting. We'll send this to you for free, Jeff, if you just give us a call on the resource phone number and the number is (800) 8356747. Ask for the study guide called the Mark of the Beast. It'll get into this in much more detail. The number again is (800) 8356747. That is our resource phone number and ask for the study guide called the Mark of the Beast. We'll send that to you, Jeff, or anybody that's listening. We'll be happy to send that to anyone.

If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. (800) 463-7297. The next caller is Dwight listening from North Carolina. Hi, Dwight, welcome to the program.

Dwight: Hi, Pastor Jean, thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Jean: Yes, and your question this evening?

Dwight: My question is about 1 Corinthians 11:4, 5, and also verse 10. I'm wondering if that was cultural thing, Or does that apply to us today?

Pastor Jean: All right. Let me read the verse for those who might be driving. 1 Corinthians 11 and you mentioned verse four? Says, "Every man--"

Dwight: Verse four and five.

Pastor Jean: Okay, "Every man praying or prophesying having his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who pray or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For that is one and the same as if her head was shaven." And then you said the other verse was 17, "For those reason, the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angels."

Now, a little bit of the context here, Paul is writing to the Church of Corinth and Corinth was somewhat of a melting pot of cultures. There were people there with different languages, the City of Corinth was a crossroads, so people traveling from North to South would often come through Corinth. The Christian Church in that city was comprised of many different backgrounds, cultures and individuals.

There were some that came with their cultural background as to what is a demonstration of reverence and what isn't a demonstration of reverence, and it appears as though this is a point of controversy. It was culturally connected, for example, in our time if somebody would go Church and he would wear a baseball hat, the right thing to do would be to remove it as a sign of respect and reverence.

In Bible times, if a woman were to stand up or speak at Church or pray, the right thing for her was to cover her head as a sign of reverence and respect. So it was a cultural application of that time, but the principle is still valid today. We want to show respect when we go the house of God.

Dwight: What about it was because of the angels? What do the angels have to do with that principle?

Pastor Jean: Yes. It's not that the angels are offended because she doesn't cover her head. But even in Heaven, there is a recognition of God's Holiness. The Bible describes the angels that stand in the presence of God and they cover their faces, and they cover their feet. With two wings - they're angels that have six wings - with two wings they fly and they say, "Holy, holy, holy."

So the demonstration of reverence of the angels is the covering of the head and the covering of the feet. That same principle Paul is addressing here in saying, "We ought to show reverence to God when we come to worship Him." And that is connected somewhat to culture. I've been in India a number of times, and when you go to Church in India, the sign of respect is to take your shoes off when you go to Church. As you go in, there's a big pile of shoes right there at the front door, but that might not something we do in Western culture. But we have other way of showing respect.

Dwight: So basically for the most part, it was certainly cultural in principle and it doesn't really apply globally.

Pastor Jean: The principle we need to ask, "How do we show respect where we are now in our culture?" That's what Paul was addressing. In his culture, that was the right way to show respect.

Dwight: Okay. All right, Well I appreciate it.

Pastor Jean: All right. Thanks for your call, Dwight. Appreciate it. The phone line here to the studio if you have a Bible question is (800) 463-7297. (800) 463-7297. Our next call is Billy and he's listening from North Carolina. Hi Billy, welcome to the program.

Billy: Hey, thank you for taking my question.

Pastor Jean: Sure.

Billy: I got one, Luke 22:36 through 38, I'll read it, "Then said he unto them, 'But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.' And they said, 'Lord, behold, here are two swords.' And he said unto them, 'It is enough.'"

My question is, is that a clearance for Christians to take up arms?

Pastor Jean: Okay. Good question. Jesus often said things and the disciples at first didn't understand exactly what he meant. On another occasion, Jesus said, "Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you." And there were many people that followed Jesus and finally they left. Finally, Jesus said to the disciples, "So you're also going to leave me?" And they said, "Lord, we have nowhere to go but this is a hard saying, what do you mean eat your flesh, drink your blood?" And Jesus had to explain its meaning, And he said, "The flesh profits nothing, but the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."

Jesus, again, here is illustrating an important spiritual truth. The time had come for him to be betrayed, and the gospel to be taken to the world. After the resurrection, the Holy Spirit was to come upon the disciples, they were to go to the world. And he mentioned several things, a money bag, a knapsack and a sword. Spiritually speaking, the money bag would be the treasures that Christ had given to his disciples to share, which was the gospel. The knapsack represents they were to travel, they were to take the gospel to the ends of the world. And of course, the sword in scripture represents the word of God. That image is used over and over again.

And the disciples didn't quite understand the spiritual explication of what Jesus was saying, because they responded and they said, "Look, Lord, we have two swords here." And Jesus said, "Well, that's enough. I'm not encouraging you to arm yourselves. Rather I'm speaking about the importance of the sword of the Spirit, the word of God." Again, Jesus's not telling us to run around with swords or with weapons, but we are to be armed with the sword of the Spirit. Meaning the word of God.

And it took the disciples a while to fully understand that. Because you remember in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter pulled out his sword, when Jesus was to be arrested, and chopped off the High Priest's servant's ear and Jesus told Peter, "Put it away." And then Jesus healed the servant. Jesus was not talking about physically taking up arms. He was talking about the sword of the Spirit or the word of God.

Billy: Okay. I must have taken it out of the context, I guess.

Pastor Jean: Yes. Don't feel alone. Often when Jesus would speak in parables, it took a while for people to fully understand. And then compare in different passages of scripture to get the full application of what Jesus is saying.

Billy: Right. Can you take get one more quick one?

Pastor Jean: Sure.

Billy: Satan, when he came to Jesus, he said, "If thou be the son of God change this stone into bread." Now, why did Satan say if? If Jesus was there in Eden when Satan was cast out, why did he say, "If thou be the son of God"? [crosstalk]

Pastor Jean: Yes. Good question. The Devil did know that Jesus was the son of God. But what the Devil was trying to get Jesus to do is to use his divine power independently from the will of the Father. Jesus had fully surrendered himself to his Father's will. And he trusted that his Father would provide for all of his needs. He had fasted for 40 days, he had gone up there because the Spirit had led him to a place so solitude, where he could pray and contemplate his mission. And he trusts that God would meet all of his needs.

So when the devil came and said, "If you're the son of God, turn these stones to bread." The devil was tempting Jesus to do to do something that Jesus knew He wasn't to do. He wasn't to rely upon his own power to sustain Himself. He was to rely upon the power of the Father. So the devil was trying to get Jesus to do something that Jesus knew the Father would not want Him to do.

Billy: He knew that He was Son of the God?

Pastor Pastor Jean: Jesus knew that He was Son of God, remember at the baptism which just preceded Him being in the wilderness, when Jesus has baptized there was a voice heard from heaven, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." And the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove. So Jesus knew about His mission and who He was but the devil was trying to tempt Jesus to distrust the goodness and the care of His Father in taking care of Him.

And you know, by the way, the devil does the same thing even to us. He will lead the person to distrust God's goodness and God's love especially when they find them self in a difficult situation and he was trying to do the same thing with Jesus.

Billy: Thank you so much.

Pastor Pastor Jean: All right. Absolutely, thank you for your call. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. That's (800) 463-7297. Our next caller is, Barbra and she's listening from Washington. Barbra welcome to the program.

Barbra: Hello.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Hi, Barbra, you're on the air.

Barbra: Yes, I have a question concerning the Old Testament. It would be in Exodus 17 and it's about Moses when he's leading the people out of the Israel, and then it goes into Chapter 17:8, where it says, "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim." So what was the problem with Amalek?

Pastor Pastor Jean: Okay, Amalek was the leader of the Amalekites, and the Amalekites were one of the tribes that were settled in the area of Palestine. Now, if you go back about 400 years prior to this event, you have Abraham who was living in the area of Palestine, and then there was a terrible famine in that country, in that area. And the descendants of Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob ended up in Egypt, and they were there for 400 years.

Now, during that 400-year-time period, God had given the Amalekites and many of the other nations in Palestine an opportunity for them to respond to the witness that Abraham and Isaac had given. Abraham was well-known in that area, he was a worshiper of the true God, and those nations had about 400 years of probationary time for them to respond. Now their time was coming to an end, the children of Israel were coming up and they were going to occupy the land of Palestine.

The Amalekites knew something of why the Israelites were coming up. And so they decided to preemptively try and stop them by attacking the Israelites. So they were the ones that came up and they attacked them, particularly elderly and the children who lay behind as a the big group moved along. And so as a result of that war broke out, and God did finally give Israel a resounding victory over the Amalekites.

Barbra: Okay, thank you. I was wondering just the story around on it, and how God would be against them for every generation. And wondering what country that would be today, in modern time and what was going on? Yes, is there such a place and the people today?

Pastor Pastor Jean: They don't have modern ancestry. Most of the tribe of Amalekites were eventually, completely uprooted or destroyed or ended up inter-marrying with other groups but they were from the area of Palestine as we know it now, where Israel is. In that territory is where their-- there were number of tribes that were originally in that area before the children of Israel went up there from Egypt. So they occupied part of that land.

Barbra: Okay, so it sounds like they were just a part of history.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Yes, they are a part of history. As I said most of their tribe, those who survived, ended up inter-marrying with other tribes in the area.

Barbra: Okay. Well, thank you for giving me some clarity on that.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Absolutely. Thank you for your call Barbra. And friends, if you have a Bible question we have, looks like, two lines open at the moment. Give us a call, the number is (800) 463-7297. Again, (800) 463-7297. Our next caller is Nancy, listening from South Carolina. Nancy, welcome to the program.

Nancy: Thank you. Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Absolutely.

Nancy: I always believed that the Sabbath was Saturday and I finally found out through your ministry. My problem is, listening to your broadcast almost every night, I'm learning that if I wear jewelry, or are to have a glass of wine or shrimp cocktail, I'm really sinning against God, and I never was taught that in regular denominational churches. It was simply be born again, water baptized, and you're saved. My sister once said, "That's Old Covenant, that isn't New Covenant." Is there such a thing that-- because I know in the New Testament, Jesus only talks about keeping the commandments, and doesn't mention these other laws from the Old Testament.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Well, that's a good question Nancy. Let me see if I can give you a little bit of a background, in the Bible we find four categories of law in the Old Testament. You have what we call the Moral Law which is the Ten Commandments, and they were written by God on tables of stone, and the Sabbath is part of that commandment. Then we have what we call the Ceremonial Law, and that have to do with the sacrificing of the animals and the various feasts associated with the temple and the services that pointed forward to Jesus.

And all of those laws came to an end when Jesus died on the cross. We don't have to sacrifice lambs anymore. But there were also a set of law the governed the civil part of Israel. How they were they to govern as a nation? And even though we don't follow those civil laws, the principles of those laws are still very valid and countries that follow those laws to some degree, they typically prosper. And then we have another category, we call it the Health Laws. And the Health Laws were given because God wants us to be healthy. So when Jesus died on the cross, it didn't make something that was unhealthy, suddenly healthy.

So when it comes to the law, the Ten Commandments is still binding. God doesn't want Christians to steal, or kill or commit adultery. The various health laws God has given us, he wants us to keep those because he wants us to be in the best possible condition that we can be in. The Bible says, "Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." So when we talk about the New Covenant or the Old Covenant, we're talking about those ceremonial laws, the sacrificial system, the various feast days connected with that. They were all pointing to Jesus. And when Jesus died on the cross, that came to an end.

So that's the part of the law that was done away with at the time of Christ's crucifixion. You know we do have a study guide dealing with this, and I think you'll find it interesting. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks about the study guide talking about the Sabbath, and we talking a little bit about the law of God and the various kinds of law that we find in the Bible. So friends give us a call and ask for that we'll be right back.

Announcer: Stay tuned Bible Answers Live will return in a moment.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I love the quote, The greatest want of the world is the want of men. Men who will stand for the right till the heavens fall. Yet studies are showing, for several years now, that secular media and culture have started portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reached an all time low. So now, has dispirited man abandoned the roles of godly leadership, it's not surprising that we're experiencing a moral free fall in our country.

That's why starting September 30, I'll be presenting a new program called Mighty Men of God. Using biblical principles, this encouraging four part series will address how to be a loving father, faithful husband, and all around man of God in the family, church, and nation.

Announcer: Please plan to join Pastor Doug Batchelor, starting September 30th at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. For more information about this live event, please go to amazingfacts.org. Again, that's amazingfacts.org

Announcer: Every Bible question you have answered, moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life. So what are you waiting for? Get the answers you need for a fuller, richer, more confident life. You're listening to Bible Answers Live. We still have a few phone lines open, if you have a Bible related question, call us at 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Now, let's join Pastor Jean Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jean: Hello, friends. Yes, this is Bible Answers Live, an international Bible study, and if you have a Bible related question we would love to hear from you this evening. The phone number here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. Again, that's (800) 463-7297. And just before the break, we were speaking with Nancy, and we were talking a little about the law that we find in the Old Testament and the New Covenant in the New Testament. Nancy, are you still there?

Nancy: Yes, I am.

Pastor Jean: All right. We're able to catch the end just before the break. We’re talking about the different sets of law in the Old Testament.

Nancy: Yes, you did make it very clear to me and I appreciate it. I really appreciate your ministry. I have learned so much. I’ve been a Christian for 50 years and I have learned so much through your ministry. I listen to you every night and it’s just so helpful. I already sent the Study About Prophecy Bible and I can’t wait for it to be received.

Pastor Jean: Great.

Nancy: Thank you so very much to your ministry.

Pastor Jean: I think you’ll enjoy it very much.

Nancy: Appreciate it.

Pastor Jean: Well, thank you for your call Nancy. We appreciate it. Our next caller is Gene, listening from Wisconsin. Gene, welcome to the program.

Gene: Hello, pastor Jean.

Pastor Jean: Hi there.

Gene: My question is, why do you think Jesus would use the word hate in Luke 14:26?

Pastor Jean: Well, let me read the verse for those who are listening. It says, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Now, the word there, hate, is a strong word. And there are times when Jesus will use some very strong language to emphasize a point. You remember another time where Jesus said, "If your right eye offend you, pluck it out. And if your right hand offend you, chop it off, for it is better for you go into the Kingdom blind or maimed than to miss out on everlasting life."

Now Jesus is not literally telling us to pluck out our eye or chop off our hand, but he’s emphasizing the importance of making a decision to separate from sin. The same principle applies here. Jesus says, "Whoever doesn’t hate his father and his mother." That means, one who puts his father and his mother above his commitment to Jesus. And sometimes, it can be a real struggle, especially if a parent is wanting their child to do something that they know is out of harmony with God’s will.

It can be a real struggle in the home or in the family when a parent tells a child or even a grown up child to do something contrary to the will of God. It’s a difficult thing and yet Jesus says, "I need to be first in your life. Don’t allow your family to take the place that I need to take in your heart."

Gene: That makes sense. I was always wondering why it would be changed from love to hate. But that does make sense.

Pastor Jean: That’s right. Sometimes, it can be a challenge when we have conflict in the home and we need to choose between doing God’s will and doing what our parents might want or a family member might want, but we want to put God first.

Gene: That makes sense. Thank you for your answer.

Pastor Jean: Thanks for your call, Gene. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. We’ll try and get your question in on the last part of our program tonight. Our next caller is Tara, listening from Michigan. Tara, welcome to the program.

Tara: Hi, thank you. So I’m a believer, but I have some friends who are having another religion and one of the arguments they try to make is that Jesus is not God. One of the verses they point to is the verse where Jesus was asked whether He’s good and He says, "I’m not good. Only the Father is good." And they use that verse to say, "Look, He’s even saying He’s not good, He’s not God." How, as a believer, would you respond to that particular question?

Pastor Jean: All right. Well, of course in that verse that you’re referring to, Jesus doesn't say that He is not good. The question was asked and Jesus responded and said, "There is one good and that is God." Now the point that Jesus was trying to make was to help the one asking the question to recognize that Jesus was God. Matter of fact, you can read this in Matthew 19:16, where Jesus said, verse 17, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is God."

You see he had come to Jesus doubting of Christ’s position as being the Christ or the Messiah or sent from God. And the first thing that that man had to understand was that, Jesus was not just a good teacher, but He was the Messiah. He was sent from God. So by Jesus saying there is none good but one that is God and the fact that He refers to Jesus as good teacher, Jesus was trying to help him understand who He really is and who He really was.

Jesus never said that He was not good. Matter of fact, to the contrary, Jesus said before Abraham was, "I Am." Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me." Jesus said, "I’ve proceeded from the Father. He who has seen me has seen the Father." There’s many references as Jesus recognizing His position. But it was important in this discussion with that man, that the man understand who Jesus really was. That’s why Jesus phrased it the way He did.

Tara: Okay. All right, thank you.

Pastor Jean: All right. Well, thanks for your call. Phone line here to the studio is (800) 463-7297. We have Linda who is listening from Orlando. Linda, welcome to the program.

Linda: Yes, hi. I'd just like to ask a quick question. It’s about the rapture. Once Jesus takes us up in the rapture, I feel that we’re saved. So do we have to stand before the white judge?

Pastor Jean: No. Everyone who is saved when Jesus comes again and everyone that’s taken to heaven, they’re saved. The great white throne judgment that you read about in the book of Revelation, Revelation 20, actually occurs at the end of the 1,000-year period called the millennium. The great white throne judgment is really connected with the wicked. Let me just quickly give you the sequence as we find it in Revelation.

We have the close of probation. Now what do we mean by the close of probation? That’s when Jesus says, "He that’s holy, let him be holy still. He that’s filthy, let him be filthy still." Every decision is made, either for Christ or against Christ. After probation closes for the human race, then we have the seven last plagues and Jesus comes. The righteous are caught up to meet Jesus in the air and they go to heaven for 1,000 years. The wicked are destroyed with the brightness of Christ’s coming when He comes to the second time.

Then at the end of 1,000 years, the Bible in Revelation 21 says, the new Jerusalem come’s from God out of heaven. And with the new Jerusalem Christ and all the redeemed, they come back to the earth. It’s at that point that Jesus sets His foot upon the Mount of Olives and it opens up and forms a great valley and the new Jerusalem comes to rest in that valley. All the wicked are then resurrected and they’re outside the city, and the righteous are inside city.

Then we have what we called the great white throne judgment, where every person who is outside the city, will, in essence, have an opportunity to say, "Well, why am I not saved?" And God will reveal to that person how throughout their life God was trying to reach them, but they purposely turned against Him. At the end of that judgment, every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.

So that’s what the great white throne judgment is about. Now that confession that Jesus is Lord, that’s not a change of heart or repentance. Because the Bible says, No sooner do they say that, Revelation 20, they mount an attack upon the new Jerusalem, fire comes and devours them. So it’s not an acknowledgment of their sin. Rather, it’s just an acknowledgment of the evidence that God has done everything He can to try and save people.

Linda: You just answered another question I was going to ask you when you said every knee shall bow. That’s where I got confused. I said, "Every knee shall bow." So that’s going to be including us that He takes up. So when you say every knee shall bow, it’s not going to be pertaining to the ones that was caught up in the rapture.

Pastor Jean: Well, I’m sure those who are caught up in the rapture, the redeemed, they’ll be bowing before God in heaven. But in a broader sense, it’s really referring to the wicked at that great white throne judgment, where even the devil himself will finally acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord, that God has done everything He can to save mankind. Now again, that’s not an act of repentance. Meaning, that the devil now is sorry for all the bad things he’s done. He's just acknowledging the evidence.

That’s like somebody who is being arrested for a terrible crime and then finally they just admit to what they’ve done, not because they’re sorry, but they’re just overwhelmed by the evidence. They have to acknowledge it. So that’s the same thing. Remember when Judas betrayed Jesus? He eventually went back to the religious leaders and said, "I have betrayed innocent blood." But then he went out and he hung himself. So it wasn’t an act of repentance. It was just the acknowledgment of what he had done wrong. The wicked end up doing the same thing.

Linda: The wicked do the same thing. Okay. You clarified that for me because I was really worried about that. So that does clear it for me.

Pastor Jean: Absolutely. Do you know the good news is-

Linda: One more thing, when Jesus takes us up into mid-air, He’s coming back. He’s going to come, he’s coming back on this white horse and he’s going to be going over to stop that war in Israel.

Jean : Well, let me give you a little bit of a broader picture. Remember Revelation is a symbolic book and in Revelation 21 Jesus is described as coming, actually Chapter 19, as coming on a white horse. When Jesus comes again, he’s coming on the clouds of heaven, the bible says and he comes to redeem his people. He comes to rescue them and take them up and the dead in Christ are resurrected. It’s a glorious event. Sort of a culmination of earth’s history, is when Jesus comes back the second time. We do have a study guide that will give you all the scriptural references to the second coming of Christ.

I think you’d find it very interesting. We’ll send this to you for free Linda, if you just give us a call on our resource phone number and ask for the study guide called Ultimate Deliverance. It’s about the rapture. Again, the number to call is (800) 835-6747 and ask for the study guide called The Ultimate Deliverance. It’s all about the second coming. About what happens to the righteous when Jesus comes, what happens to the wicked when Jesus comes, I think you’ll find it very interesting. The number again is (800) 835-6747. That is the resource phone number and the phone number here to the studio with your bible question is (800) 463-7297.

Thanks for your call, Linda. Our next caller is Felix and he is driving in Tennessee. Felix, welcome to the program.

Felix: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. I have two questions if I may. When we die, you know the bible says, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." But it also says, "When Jesus comes back the dead in Christ shall rise." And when Jesus raised Lazarus, he said he was just asleep. Where are we at and if we’re in our bodies, just what happens to the people that are cremated?

Pastor Jean: Well, good question. Let’s take the first part of the question. What does it mean when it says, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord"? When a person dies, the next conscious thought that they have, is they are in the presence of the Lord. Now, when does that happen? The bible is clear that that happens when Jesus comes the second time, because that’s when the resurrection takes place. A person who is dead, they are like asleep. Jesus spoke of Lazarus as saying, "He is sleeping."

In Ecclesiastes 9:5, this is what the bible says, "For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing." So there is no consciousness in the grave. When a person breathes his last, at that moment when he breathes forth his breath, his life sort of hits the pause button. He does not know what’s going on around him. The next thing he knows, he’s resurrected when Jesus comes the second time. He might not know that a hundred years has passed, or a thousand years has passed. To him it seems but just an instant and that’s why the bible likens death to sleep.

Somebody is very tired and they go to bed at night, they fall asleep, the next thing they know the alarm is going. It’s time to get up and go to work. They don’t realize 8, 10 hours has passed. So it will be with those who die in the Lord. They are trusting in the Lord, the next thing they know, Jesus comes again and they are resurrected. Does that help a little bit, Felix?

Felix: Yes sir, it does and that was the reason I wanted to ask the second part of it.

Pastor Jean: Sure. And the second part is, what happens to those who are cremated?

Felix: Yes.

Pastor Jean: Okay. You know Christ is not going to have to use anything left over from these current bodies at the resurrection. The bible speaks of the resurrection when these mortals must put on immortality. So you’ve got people who have been dead for a very long time. For example Adam, he’s been dead and buried. There’s pretty much nothing left. Maybe just a few bones, but maybe even that’s gone by now. God’s not needing to use existing matter in the resurrection. God has got a perfect print of our DNA. He knows who we are, he knows what makes us who we are. He even knows the thoughts in our mind, in our heart.

Now when a person is resurrected when Jesus comes again, they receive this brand new body and God will make them even with the same thought that they might have when they died. They see Jesus coming. So whether a person is buried or whether a person is cremated or whether somebody might suffer a terrible accident -- you know during the dark ages, many of God’s people were burnt to death. There were some who were even fed to wild beasts, but they still have the hope of the resurrection when Jesus comes.

Felix: Okay, well see that’s the reason why I'm confused. Our consciousness, say, is what? Kind of in a limbo?

Pastor Jean: Well the bible says it’s like sleep. When a person goes to sleep they don’t go anywhere. Their consciousness, they’re not aware of their surroundings, they are asleep. A person who dies, he or she is not aware of their surroundings. The very next conscious thought they have is the resurrection when Jesus comes again.

Felix: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

Pastor Jean: Yes, absolutely. We do have a study guide that I think you’ll find very interesting. It’s called Are the Dead Really Dead? It deals with the resurrection, it talks about what happens when a person dies. Felix, we’ll be happy to send that to you. The number to call is (800) 835-6747. That is the resource phone number. Just ask for the study guide, we’ll send it to you for free. Are the Dead Really Dead? Our next caller is, let’s see, we have Denise who is listening on 3ABN Radio. Denise, welcome to the program.

Denise: Hello?

Pastor Jean: Denise, yes, you’re on the air.

Denise: Yes, I was just wondering when your loved one, like when my husband passed and when I leave this world here, will we know each other? Or the bible says that you can have, when God created Adam and Eve, he put man to sleep and he brought that rib from that woman. Was that my soul mate? Just to have one husband? Then when we die, will we know that person in heaven again? Or can you have more than two spouses? But the Lord says you only have one spouse?

Pastor Jean: Well that’s a good question. The bible does allow for multiple spouses in the case of death. Or if for example, one of the members of the marriage was unfaithful and they left, the bible does allow re-marriage. But the question was asked to Jesus with reference to after the resurrection. They came to Jesus and actually made up this little story. They said there was a woman whose husband died and then she married another and another and another. And they all died until eventually she had married seven and then she died. Then the question was, in the resurrection who is she going to be married to?

Jesus answered the question and said, "You don’t know the scriptures nor the power of God, but in the resurrection they shall be as the angels. Not marrying, nor given in marriage."

We want to have marriage as we have it now on the earth when Jesus comes, but having said that, that doesn’t mean that suddenly we don’t know our spouse who we’ve shared our lives with here. I think we’ll have a very special ship and connection with family members and with our loved ones in the resurrection, but it will be a little different than what we have now. We don’t know exactly what that’s going to be like.

The bible says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those that love him." But what we do know is that those that we love here on this earth, if they believe in Christ, they will be resurrected and will be reunited with those that they love.

Denise: We all will be like angels?

Pastor Jean: We will be like angels. Meaning there won’t be a marriage in heaven in the way that we think of it here.

Denise: And our children?

Pastor Jean: We won’t be having children in heaven either, but -

Denise: No, no. Our children that we have here on earth?

Pastor Jean: Oh absolutely. We’re still family. We’ll still know our family, we’ll still know our children, we’ll still know our spouse. We’ll have a very special relationship with them, but it won’t be the same type of marriage relationship that we have here on earth. It will something better, something different. Now again it’s hard for us to imagine because the person that has a happy marriage, indeed that’s a wonderful blessing given to us by God and we think, "Wow. What could be better than being married in heaven?" Well God has got something better.

He’s not going to take away something that we’re going to go, "Oh no, I wish we could be married still." No, it’s going to be something even better. Something special that we’re going to have in heaven.

Denise: Than what we have here?

Pastor Jean: Even better than what we have here, absolutely. Again, those that we love on this earth and if they resurrected when Jesus comes, we will still love them. We’ll still have a special connection with our family in the resurrection.

Denise: Well, that is good to know. That is so good to know because I wonder about that. My husband’s been passed about 18 months and I was just wondering. A lot of times-- it’s like I can hear his voice, but then I heard you just speaking to the other person and you said that the dead know nothing. They just sleep, like their conscience, so that really don’t be my husband that is trying to talk to me?

Pastor Jean: Well, you know what? Sometimes our memories will come back and they will be overwhelming it will seem as though we are actually listening to a loved one. But according to the Bible, your husband, the next thing he knows is Jesus is coming it’s gonna be a glorious event. And if you remain faithful to God you can be a part of that glorious reunion when Jesus comes back the second time.

Denise: I will be. I will be.

Pastor Pastor Jean: Alright. Well, praise the Lord, Denise! That's the hope that we have as Christian is the glorious resurrection of Jesus. Again, thanks for your call, Denise. And friends if you have a Bible question, the phone number here to the studio is (800) 463-7297 and our next caller is Charles listening from Missouri. Charles, welcome to the program.

Charles: How are you doing?

Pastor Pastor Jean: Doing well.

Charles: Okay. I would like to know since there is supposed to be a separation of Church and State, and God invented marriage or it’s in the Bible that God invented marriage, how can they go and change that? How can the government change what the Bible--

Pastor Pastor Jean: Government changed [unintelligible 00:51:06] marriages. Well, marriage is something very special it’s not only an institution recognized by the state but even more importantly it’s an institution God created and God ordained. So if God is the one who created marriage we should let God define what marriage is? And it’s a sad state of affairs when a government will set aside what God has defined as being marriage and kind of come up with something that they feel is more politically correct. So, yes, I think I might know what you are referring to but we want to go with what the Bible says because God is the creator of marriage and He defines what marriage is?

Charles: Churches and state. How can they walk into the religion on what the Bible says and then change it that is how I was [inaudible 00:51:53].

Pastor Pastor Jean: Exactly. Exactly. God is the one who defines what those things are. Alright, thank you for your call, Charles. We appreciate it. I am gonna see if we can maybe get one more caller in before we ran out of time here. You know what I am looking at our engineer who says that we have but one minute left and we would hate to cut somebody off. So friends, if you don’t mind, if we didn’t get to your question tonight give us a call next week we will have another live program and we will try take your questions.

In the meantime, I'd like to remind you about some excellent resources that we have at the amazing facts website. It’s the amazingfacts.org or amazingfacts.com. The various free offers that I mentioned this evening they’re also available at the websites amazingfact.org. If you go to our free library and you click on the link there, you'll be able to read the various study guides, there is also a number of books that you can download and these great videos to watch dealing with different subjects.

And friends by the way AmazingFacts has just produced a brand new magazine all about the second coming. It’s called The Day of the Lord. So go ahead to our website and take a look at that be sure to check out the new magazine called The Day of the Lord it might be something you want to read and then maybe share with a friend. Until next week, God Bless.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to today’s broadcast. We hope you understand your Bible even better than before. Bible Answers Live is produced by AmazingFacts a faith based ministry located in Sacramento California.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I love the quote, The greatest want of the world is the want of men. Men who will stand for the right till the heavens fall. Yet studies are showing, for several years now, that secular media and culture have started portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reached an all time low. So now, has dispirited man abandoned the roles of godly leadership, it's not surprising that we're experiencing a moral free fall in our country.

That's why starting September 30, I'll be presenting a new program called Mighty Men of God. Using biblical principles, this encouraging four part series will address how to be a loving father, faithful husband, and all around man of God in the family, church, and nation.

Announcer: Please plan to join Pastor Doug Batchelor, starting September 30th at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. For more information about this live event, please go to amazingfacts.org. Again, that's amazingfacts.org

Announcer: If you would like to enhance your study of God’s word visit our website at www.amazingfacts.org and sign up for our free bible study course. And make sure to check out our online bookstore at afbookstore.com which offers thousands of inspiring books, DVDs and more to help you get the most out of God’s word. To take advantage of the offers you’ve heard on this broadcast call us at (800) 835-6747 or visit our website at amazingfacts.org. Did you enjoy this program? Make sure to tell your family and friends. Tune in next time for more Bible Answers Live, honest and accurate answers to your Bible questions.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Have you ever heard of mouse howl like a wolf? What would you expect would happen when a creature changes its destiny from the helpless prey to mighty predator? From the outside they look very much like just like an oversized field mouse, cute brown fur, white on the under belly nice little beady eyes. But that is where the similarities stop. Grasshopper mice are very unusual making them the objects of great interest for animal researchers.

These fury little creatures are found in the harsh desserts of North America. They're very territorial in nature and they will monopolize and fend off 25 acres they don’t built their own homes but sort of confiscate the burrows and homes of other creatures. They’re not called grasshopper mice because they hop around but it’s because they eat a lot of grasshoppers. In fact, scientists have discovered grasshopper mice are the only mice that are purely carnivorous.

They hunt much like cats or weasels stalking their prey in a predatory fashion and when they pounce they are ferocious sometimes even taking on snakes, and scorpions and centipedes. When a grasshopper mouse gets into a fierce battle with a snake or a scorpion or a centipede, they may be bit or stung several times but what is amazing to researchers, is they've noticed, when they are bitten they somehow shake it off because they convert the toxin in the venom to pain killer.

I think you can understand why this information would be of special interest to the scientists that are trying to discover new ways for people to deal with chronic pain. One of the most intriguing characteristics of these little creatures is when they’re defending their territory or celebrating their victory over some adversary they’ll throw back their head and let out this earth shaking howl, it’s a mousy howl. Check it out.

The grasshopper mouse is not the only member of creation that can survive and encounters with venomous predators. In Luke 10:19 it says, "Behold I will give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and overall the power of the enemy. Nothing will by any means hurt you." We don’t have to be the biggest and the strongest to defeat our enemy and let out that victory roar.

When God called David to be king no human would have guessed that he had it in him. He was young and insignificant from the outside he looked like there was no greatness in him but when God looked at his heart he saw courage, humility, compassion and love. David wasn’t perfect and he made mistakes but through God’s power he was able to conquer giants.

Friend, God does not intend that you live out the rest of your life cowering and trembling like a little field mouse. If God can take the grasshopper mouse and give him courage so that he fights snakes, and scorpions, and centipedes. If God can put in the heart of David the courage to fight giants like Goliath then he can give you that same courage. The scripture says, "God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind." And you can have that peace in your heart when you invite the prince of peace in your heart why don’t you do that right now?

For over 50 years Amazing Facts has shared the wonderful news of salvation and provided millions of Bible resources to people all over the world. We've built churches in India, proclaimed God’s word in China, and have sent free Bible studies around the globe. Today’s program and free resources were made possible by our ministry partners, caring individuals like you.

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