Heaven's Pearly Gates

Heaven's Pearly Gates

Date: 09/18/2016 
August 2016, it was announced that a fisherman in the Philippines discovered what is probably the world's largest pearl. The man found the immense pearl within a giant clam while diving off of Puerto Princesa City on the island of Palawan. Now catch this, the monstrous mineral measures 2.2 feet by 1 foot and weighs 75 pounds.

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews
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Recording: 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 like answers to your bible questions, you've come to the right place. Now, here's your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor, President and Speaker of Amazing Facts.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello, friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? August 2016, it was announced that a fisherman in the Philippines discovered what is probably the world's largest pearl. The man found the immense pearl within a giant clam while diving off of Puerto Princesa City on the island of Palawan. Now catch this, the monstrous mineral measures 2.2 feet by 1 foot and weighs 75 pounds.

This greatly surpasses the former record of 14 pounds. Now keep in mind, this pearl is not round but shaped more like a giant glazed croissant. Even more incredible, the man discovered the pearl in 2006 then stored it under his bed and forgot about it for 10 years until he had to move. Now, it's true record-breaking value is coming to light.

You know the bible talks about pearls that are so humongous that the gates of heaven are made from a single specimen. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Doug: 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 Doug Batchelor and our co-host Pastor John Ross.

Pastor Doug: Hello, listening friends. Welcome once again to Bible Answers Live. And as you probably gather from the title, this is a live opportunity for you to ask bible questions. Just pick up the phone and give us a call. We have several lines open right now. Good chance you'll get your call on tonight's program. That number is 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297. And one more time, 800-463-7297 brings your phone call into the studio with your bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening friends and Pastor Doug. Before we go to the phone lines, let's start with prayer. Dear Father, once again we thank you that we can take a few moments to study the word together. We ask your special blessing upon this program this evening, even those listening Lord. And as we open the scriptures, we ask that the spirit would lead us into a full understanding of your will for our lives. For we asked this in Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jean: Pastor Doug, you opened the program talking about this incredible find, a pearl. That's almost hard to imagine, a pearl that was over two feet. And imagine trying to make that into a necklace and wear that on your neck. But it's just a gigantic pearl, you wonder what the value of something like that is.

Pastor Doug: Well, there's still going to bring in a Gemologist that will authenticate its size. It's been pretty well substantiated by just the people of the region and leaders in the community. It's not uncommon to find giant pearls in the giant clams around that part of the Philippines, were some of the largest in the world, but its value I guess is still remains to be determined.

That thing that struck me was, I think if you see pictures of this online, it does look like a giant, beautifully glazed croissant. It's kind of elongated [laughs] and it's kinds of strange looking, but I'd hate to have been the clam that had that growing inside. If it says in the bible, when it describes some of the glories of heaven and it talks about the foundation of the city made of precious gems and the streets of gold and the gates of pearl, people have said, "Well, those are just metaphors."

But keep in mind, the bible says, and you can read about this in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "The eye has not seen nor the ear heard, neither has even entered into the heart or the imagination of man, the things that God has prepared for those that love him." We can't even imagine it. Let me think about some of the incredible things in the world that God has made that we can see, we shouldn't be shocked by things that God declares he will have in the world to come.

Nothing is impossible for God and people always wonder, "How could you get a pearl big enough to make a gate that people can walk through?" And well, now it's becoming more believable if you can have a 75-pound pearl found there off the Philippines. And the Lord wants you in that city.

Friends, you might be thinking that what the bible says about that city is just too good to be true or just too fantastic to believe but it is very real. And there's a lot more detail in the bible that tells you about the reward for the redeemed and the earth made new. And we'd like to send you this copy. If you want to be encouraged, read some of the promises that God has made.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek and they will inherit the earth." But what in earth it's going to be. Take a look and we'll send you a free offer on that.

Pastor Jean: We have a study guide this evening. It's called A Colossal City in Space. It's talking about the new Jerusalem, the place that God is preparing for those that love Him. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for this study guide called A Colossal City in Space. Once again, that number is 800-835-6747.

And if you have a bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 463-7297. We're going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Michael, listening from Henderson, Kentucky. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Hello, Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, thank you for your call. And how can we help you tonight?

Michael: Yes, my question is, what is the Second Coming and why is it important?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, in sequence it's called the Second Coming because the first time that Christ came to our world was as a man, as a baby. He pretty much came as a lamb. John the Baptist said, "This is the lamb that takes away the sin of the world." He was our sacrifice. He was our example but he's coming next time to take possession. He's coming as a lion. He's coming as a king, and he's going to put an end to rebellion and sin and the devil.

Devil's bound at the time when Christ comes as a resurrection. And those who are alive when the Lord comes will be caught up to meet him in the air. They're transformed and given glorified bodies and you find that 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. But would you like, we have a free study guide that deals with the themes of the Second Coming and we'll be happy to send you one if you like that, Michael.

Michael: Well, do you have The Day of the Lord magazine?

Pastor Doug: We do. I think we could probably send you one of those. They're hot off the press. I hadn't even thought of that.

Michael: I'd love that

Pastor Doug: Yes, we'll be happy to send you one. So, we'll just make a note. You call the number Pastor Ross is going to give and say that you are listening to Bible Answers Live, and we promise to send you a Day of the Lord magazine.

Pastor Jean: Again, that number to call Michael is 800-835-6747. You can ask for our new magazine talking about the Second Coming called The Day of the Lord. We also have a website that goes along with the subject of the Second Coming and actually goes along with the new magazine, and it's called rapturetruth.com. Again, that website is just simply rapturetruth, all one word, .com. That will take you to our brand new website that's filled with all kinds of great resources.

There's video there as well, a number of scripture references, so should you take a look at that. Again, that website is just simply rapturetruth.com. Our next call is David and he's listening right here in Sacramento. David, welcome to the program.

David: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, David. You're on. Your question tonight?

David: My question is about Revelation 20:5. It goes, "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection." How can the first resurrection ever possibly be involved with the rest of the dead? I thought the rest of the dead were all the lost people of all time.

Pastor Doug: All right. Well, let me answer that for you. This is telling us that the-- When the Lord comes, that the dead in Christ are caught up, they meet him in the air. It says, "Blessed and holy is he that has part on the first resurrection." So that's what happens in the first resurrection. The rest of the dead are the ones who are in the second resurrection and they don't live again until the thousand years are finished, and you read that in verse-- Yes, it's verse 3.

It says there that the rest of the dead, if the righteous of the first one's raised, who is left? The wicked. So the rest of the dead don't live until the thousand years are finished.

Pastor Jean: Yes, you know, that is an interesting verse, verse 5, that phrase in particular to this, "But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years are finished. This is the first resurrection." The first resurrection is not talking about those who did not live again until the thousand years are finished. Actually, if you go back to verse 4, it's talking about those who live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Those are the ones who are resurrected in the first resurrection. It's still talking about the first resurrection, then it answers the question what happens to the rest? Well, they're not going to live until the thousand years is finished. Then he finishes up on that thought of the first resurrection. I know it's confusing in verse 5 in particular, but the phrase "the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years are finished," that's not connected with the first resurrection. The phrase is different.

Pastor Doug: Paul was just closing off his first thought by saying this, as the first resurrection, meaning the ones that come forth when the Lord returns.

Pastor Jean: Yes, those who live and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Appreciate your question, David. We have that at the website, you'll enjoy. Also, we can send you our special offer for tonight.

Pastor Jean: That's right. He's talking about A Colossal City in Space. We also have a-- I just thought of that now too, Pastor Doug. We do have a study guide that deals specifically with a thousand years, the millennium, called A Thousand Years of Peace. We can send that to you as well, David. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide calledA Thousand Years of Peace and we'll be happy to send that to you.

Then of course, take a look at our new website. rapturetruth.com. We have Jamie, listening in West Frankfurt, Illinois. Jamie, welcome to the program.

Jamie: Hello, thank you for having me.

Pastor Doug: We're glad you called. Your question tonight.

Jamie: Okay. Basically, I'm almost there, but I've been struggling practically with all of the New Testament. Everything that apostle Paul is teaching. You might get this a lot for newcomers. Paul's teachings, I get there and I believe everything, then I keep going into Paul's teachings like in Hebrews chapter 8 through 10, Romans chapter 14-

Pastor Doug: Those are deep things.

Jamie: - basically talking about when he got mad at the Jews for wanting the gentiles to keep the laws, to please God, and he just talks about all that quite a bit in the new testament. I'm just trying to figure out where you guys come from on that. What do you make of it, because it's hard for me-- each time I read the New Testament, I keep thinking we are free and Christ is in us to not have to obey these commandments in that type of way.

Pastor Doug: All right. Let's see what we can cover here, Jamie. First of all, don't feel bad. Even the apostle Peter said, sometimes Paul, and this is second Peter chapter three. I think it starts with verse 15. Sometimes Paul says things that are hard to understand. Knowing who Paul is writing to, a lot of what Paul is doing is he's dealing with the problem of the Jewish converts to Christianity, telling the new gentile converts around the Roman empire, you need to keep all this ceremonial laws.

Paul had to spend quite a bit of time saying Jesus was the lamb, we don't need the sacrificial system anymore. Circumcision was a covenant of Abraham promising that the seed, the messiah would come through his descendants. He said that's not necessary because Jesus is the lamb. Jesus fulfilled the seed of Abraham. But that doesn't mean the ten commandments which were given, they're for all men.

When God spoke his covenant, we're all saved based on the new covenant. The old covenant was the ten commandments written on stone, the new covenant is the ten commandments written in the heart. The law is still there. Jesus made it pretty clear. Thou shall not commit adultery. Once you become a Christian, it's not suddenly okay to commit adultery. We can't lie, we can't steal, we shouldn't pray to idols.

The new testament is very clear on idolatry. John says keep yourself from idols. The ten commandments is called the moral law. Even way back in the days of Cain when there was no Jew or no Gentile, murder was wrong and God called murder a sin. When Joseph was tempted to sleep with someone else's wife, he called it a sin. Adultery was a sin. Those commandments are part of the law of love.

Pastor Jean: Yes. It's interesting in the old testament, Paul is talking about various laws in the old testament. The old testament law is divided up roughly to four categories. You have the moral law as pastor Doug mentioned, the ten commandments which really define what sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law, the ten commandments. You also have the ceremonial law that had to do with the sacrificial system and certain services associated with the sanctuary. All of those services and those laws pointed forward to Jesus.

Then you have some health principles that we find in the old testament which were given so that we could be healthy. God wants us to be-- Our bodies are the temple of the holy spirit, so we want to take care of these bodies. Then you have some civil law which helped to govern the nation of Israel under theocracy.

When you look at those four clusters of law, the moral law is definitely binding today. The ceremonial law, which pointed forward to Christ, that was fulfilled when Jesus came. That's sort of the burden of what Paul is saying. But there are health principles that are true today. For those who follow those health principles, they live a healthy, strong life. Then the civil laws, nations that follow those principles typically tend to do better than those who don't. Those are the four families of law that we find.

Pastor Doug: Jamie, are you still there?

Jamie: Yes, I'm here. I definitely believe all of that.

Pastor Doug: We have a lesson we can send you on the law, we will send you a free copy if you'd like that.

Jamie: Yes. That would be good.

Pastor Doug: What's your question when you talk about Paul's writings, was it principally about the law?

Jamie: Yes, it's just it seems like he-- I get there and then it's almost like okay, I know that we're not supposed to lie, but even if we're a believer and we don't keep these commandments, Christ is still enough to-- I don't know.

Pastor Doug: Of course, if we sin, the bible says if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father. If a believer sins, we repent, we tell the Lord we're sorry. We turn to Jesus and believe that He's forgiven us. Bible says that if we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But if we love the Lord, we should never feel good or comfortable about sinning. Sin is what nailed Jesus to the cross, so that of course should pain us as well.

Pastor Jean: Just one additional thought on that, if you have a child that they're growing up and they're learning, and they take something that they're not supposed to take, they steal, you confront them on the issue and they say, "I'm sorry." They realize the error of their ways, you're not going to kick them out. But if there is ongoing theft all the time and they keep stealing, well that's evidence that there's a deeper problem that has to be dealt with. So it is with the law of God.

It's not the occasional time that we break God's commandment. But if we are looking for an excuse to continually break God's law, well then that's evidence that there might be a deeper problem that has to do with the heart.

Pastor Doug: We'll send you that free lesson that talks about the law of God, it's called Written in Stone. It also talks about His love as well as His law.

Pastor Jean: The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is the resource phone number and you can ask for that study guide called Written in Stone. We'll be happy to send that to you Jamie or anybody who calls and asks. Again, that's 800-835-6747. The phone line here to the studio with your bible question is 800-463-7297. Our next caller is Rita listening from New York, New York. Rita, welcome to the program.

Rita: Hi, my question is on the Sabbath Day. The bible says to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. That day is what?

Pastor Doug: It says in the commandment, if you look in both Genesis chapter 2 and in Exodus 20:08, it says that the seventh day, God rested from all his work which He created and made. So there's nothing that could be more clear and emphatic in the bible that God says I've blessed the seventh day, I've hallowed it. It's the seventh day which is the Sabbath.

Rita: Which is Saturday, right?

Pastor Doug: Yes, it's the same day that God gave to the Jewish nations.

Rita: Right. Why is it that we have most church goers on Sunday? Who changed it to Sunday?

Pastor Doug: That's a good question. You can't find bible evidence for that. Some people point to some meetings that evidently happened on the first day of the week and they say this is proof of a new commandment. But there is no commandment you can point to in the bible to keep the first day or the third day. The only commandment you can point to is to keep the seventh day holy. We should worship God everyday of the week, but not everyday is a day of rest.

Rita: Right, but the commandment says to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. And also in Revelations, it talks about we can't add or take anything away from the bible. On Judgement day--

Pastor Doug: Right, without grave consequences anyway, trying to do that. It even goes on to say the beast power, if you look in Daniel 07:25, it says he will think to change times and laws. Sounds like you're in the right track. Of course, there's a lot of sincere Christians that go to church on the first day and many of them, they even call it the Lord's day. And nowhere in the bible does it say that the first day of the week is the Lord's day. That's just sort of an assumption that's made.

We're not saying that people who have previously spent their Christian experience going to the church on Sunday are lost. But if you want to be biblically accurate, it's hard to prove any other day than the seventh day is the Sabbath.

Pastor Jean: We do get a lot of questions on this. It seems like there's a lot of Christians that are coming to a clear understanding on this Christian on the Sabbath. We have a website called sabbathtruth.com. That gets into some scripture references. There are some videos there talking about this subject.

For anyone listening who wants to learn more about the-- what about that fourth commandment? That says, "Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy? What is that all about?" Take a look the website. It's just simply sabbathtruth.com. sabbathtruth.com, a lot a great information.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Rita, we'll be happy to send you, we have a special study guide on the Sabbath. If you call Amazing Facts, it's The Lost Day of History.

Pastor Jean: That's right. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Lost Day of History in 800-835-6747. Ask the study guide The Lost Day of History. Our next caller is James. He's listening in Dallas, Texas. James, welcome to the program.

James: Yes, hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, James. Thanks for calling.

James: Yes. My question is, well, on Revelation when it talks about the Last Judgement, it says that, "Those who were not found in The Book of Life, was sent to the lake of fire." It give me an indication that-- it really sound like if someone was found in The Book of Life at the Last Judgement. Is that right or--?

Pastor Doug: Well, yes. Moses prayed and he said, "Lord, if you won't forgive Israel, then take my name out of your book." Evidently, Moses' name is one of those who were written in The Book of Life. Evidence through that would be Moses actually appears to Jesus along with Elijah. Their names are both in The Book of Life because they're already in the heaven. There are people whose names are written in The Book of Life.

Now, in The Great White Throne Judgement, some people have their names entered into The Book of Life. They can be excluded if they're found to be unfaithful. In Revelation chapter 2 or 3, one of the messages to the seven churches, Jesus said something about taking their name from The Book of Life, speaking of the church that was unfaithful. People could have their names entered and evidently, through persistent rebellion that could be stricken from the book, so to speak.

James: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The names of the redeem, I think, those who have reached out in faith through the ages to trusting in the blood of the lamb, if you're in the Old Testament, they knew it was the Messiah that was coming, for us it's the Messiah who came. We have our names entered in The Book of Life.

James: Okay. Yes, I was wondering being at the Last Judgement that, well, of course, all believers have their name written there. I guess, what I'm saying is after the First Judgement, seat of Christ, of those who belong to Christ will be just there. The way it reads for the Last Judgement is that there would be some-- after the seven year of tribulation, there would be some that's would be saved.

Pastor Doug: Well, Pastor Ross has a verse on that he's going to read you.

Pastor Jean: Yes. Talking about the names being blotted out of The Book of Life? Revelation 3:5. This is the one that Pastor Doug was referring to. He says, "He whoever come shall be clothed in white garment," talking about the redeem, the saved. "I will not blot his name from The Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my father which is in heaven." In heaven, there are different books. You've got The Book of Life, which those who are redeemed, their names in the book. You also have a book of inequity. Those who have done evil deeds and are unrepentant.

Pastor Doug: Yes. It says we're judged according to our works, so somewhere those works are recorded.

Pastor Jean: Sure. There would be those evil works that we could have done. Yes, there is a record in heaven.

Pastor Doug: Yes, and then it says, "The judgement was set and the books were opened."

Pastor Ross: Yes. [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: I don't know if God uses a book made with leather binding and a paper pulp. I mean, you know exactly how the books are recorded in heaven. Maybe different from what we have on earth. But there's a record is what God is saying.

Pastor Ross: That was their system of reckoning in those days.

Pastor Doug: Now, we do have a lesson. We'll be happy to send you, James. It's talk about Facing the Judge. If you call the resource line, we'll send that to you for free.

Pastor Ross: The number again is 800-835-6747. That is the resource phone number. You can ask for the study guide called Facing the Judge. It's talking about the Judgement. How we can make sure our names will remain in the Lamb's Book of Life. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297, with your Bible question. Next caller is Garry listening in Arkansas. Garry, welcome to the program.

Garry: Good evening. How are you all doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Doing well.

Garry: My question has to deal with-- I experienced the near death experience in a surgery. Is there anywhere in the bible where it shows that God showed people or someone what hell was like in order to get them to change their ways and to turnaround and start serving him more?

Pastor Doug: Well, there's no scripture that says that God showed somebody hell other than what John saw in Revelation. It is entirely possible that God could communicate personally to an individual about an experience in a dream. God could give a dream to someone to impress them.

Pastor Jean: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You have the experience where Paul, says, "I knew a man who was caught up to the third heaven." Paul's probably talking about himself. He saw things that he hadn't even talk about. We don't even know what Paul saw when he was caught up to the third heaven, maybe it was something between God and Paul.

God can give anybody a personal experience but we must not base our theology upon a dream or in a experience or a near death experience that person may have on the operating table or following an accident. I think we all know all of over the world people have all kinds of dreams and experiences. If our theology is based on everybody's dream, we got to base it on the word of God, that needs to be a solid unchanging source of truth.

Otherwise, where it will be carried around with every wind of doctrine. Everybody will be having dreams, some will be real, some will be manufactured.

Garry: Yes. I understand it. Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: All right, good question. Appreciate that, Garry.

Pastor Jean: Our next caller is Maureen listening in New York. We have Maureen, welcome to the program.

Maureen: Hello. Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: We can. Let's get started on your question. We might have take a break before we're done.

Maureen: Okay, yes. What I would like to know is, I know it's from the New Testament but I don't know what exact verse it is. It is appointed onto men once they die and then the Judgement. My question is what exactly is meant by appointed?

Pastor Doug: Well, what that's meaning, and it's found in the book of Hebrews, that everybody is going to have to face death, and then in the resurrection, there's a the Judgement.

Pastor Jean: Yes, that's Hebrews 9:27 is the verse.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Maureen: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Hey, I'll tell you what Maureen. If you could hold on when we come back after the break, we'll talk more about it. Thank you.

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

Pastor Doug: I love the quote, "The greatest want of the world is the want of men. Men who will stand for the right though the heaven's fall." Yet, studies are showing, for several years now, the secular media and culture have sought to portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reach an all time low.

Now, as the dispirited men abandon the roles of godly leadership, it's not surprising that we're experiencing a more free fall in a 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 men of God in the family, church and nation.

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

Recording: Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at aftv.org. At aftv.org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Write from you computer or mobile device. Visit aftv.org.

Recording: 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.

This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you'd like answers to your bible-related questions on the air, please call us next Sunday between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM Pacific time.

To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747, once again that's 800-835-6747. Now, let's join Pastors Doug Batchelor And John Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jean: If you have a Bible question as pastor Doug mentioned, we do have some phone lines open. If you would like to get your question on the air, good time to give us a call right now. It's 800-463-7297. Just before the break, we were talking with Maureen in New York.

Pastor Doug: Maureen, you’re back on the air.

Maureen: Hello

Pastor Doug: Yes

Maureen: Yes. It implies to me that we are birthed at-- our birth, our life, our death is predetermined by God.

Pastor Doug: Well, for you know 99.9999% of people, as that old adage says, "A few things are as certain as death and taxes." People grow old statistically and we end up dying. And after that, the judgment. So Paul is saying this life is short and during this life, we're deciding how we're going to spend eternity.

Now, there'll be a small exception. Of course, Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot. Enoch was translated without dying. It says, "He walked with God and God took him," and some will be alive when Jesus comes that will not die. It says we are transformed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air, that's First Thessalonian chapter four. Are you troubled by the idea that we are predestined to die most people? It's not really predestined, it's a consequence

Maureen: No, I'm not troubled. I'm just puzzled by that verse.

Pastor Jean: It’s not that God arbitrarily says you're going to die today and there's nothing you can do about it, otherwise, why would He tell us to take care of our bodies and live healthy lives. But ultimately, everyone will die if Christ does not come before they die. So there is a day when our life will be over, our probation will close. And then Paul saying the next thing is the judgment

Pastor Doug: That's an appeal that Paul is making that we could all prepare for what they call the Day of the Lord, when eternal destinies will be awarded based on our faith in this life and if we've follow the Lord.

Maureen: Okay. I think you've answered my question. I do thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you, Maureen. Appreciate your call and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Pastor Jean: we have Esther listening in Michigan. Esther, welcome to the program.

Esther: I have a question about what are the foods that are okay to eat. I mean meat, I’m referring to what I heard and I’m not sure

Pastor Doug: The Bible has a few passages, of course, the original diet for man was a vegetarian diet. And then after that, after sin, God added vegetables. Then after the flood, the Lord said if you're going to eat meat, then make sure that you eat what they called the clean meat. There were some animals that principally were vegetarians and their diet was a little safer, and God did not want us eating things that were scavengers.

There, you've got things like skunks and dogs and pigs and vultures. Those things were declared unclean. Now, there's three rules. There's so many different animals. You say, well, is there a big long list of animals? Well, some of them are listed in the Book of Ezekiel but there are three rules. The fish that were clean to eat needed two characteristics, fins and scales. If it had fins and scales, they were safe to eat.

The animals or mammals, they needed to have a cloven hoof, a split hoof, like a deer or cow or goat, and chew the cud. That's where they've got a very elaborate digestive system. They eat grass, they chew it up, they swallow it and then they might re-chew it and then swallowed again. They were clean among the animals. Among the birds, it was the foraging birds. Those are the birds like turkey and chicken and quail and dove.

They go around and they pick through seeds and bugs and they forage, not your birds of carrion or your raptors. They were unclean. Science is pretty well-established, that if a person is going to eat meat you're a lot better off eating the meats that God designated as safe or clean. By the way, it's also true that you could never offer an unclean animal in the sanctuary, that was considered an abomination.

And our bodies is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Hey, Esther, we do have a book that talks about some of the health laws you’d find in the Bible and I think it's called God's Free Health Plan. We'll send you a free copy.

Pastor Jean: All you'll have to do is just give us a call on our resource phone number. The number is 800-835-6747 and ask for the Amazing Fact study guide on health. It's called God's Free Health Plan. It's one of our favorite studies. It's very practical. It's got some great biblical principles. Again, that number is 800-835-6747, ask for the study guide called God's Free Health Plan. We'll be happy to send that to you, Esther, or Anyone who calls and asks.

Our next caller is, let's see. We’ve got Holly, listening in Ontario. Holly, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Holly, you there? Hi, thank you for calling and your question tonight.

Holly: I want to know what--

Pastor Doug: Is it blasphemy?

Holly: Yes. What is blasphemy against the Holy spirit?

Pastor Doug: Blasphemy is when a person speaks something that is considered sacrilegious. Usually, they are putting themselves in the place of God or putting someone else in the place of God, and that was called blasphemous. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and the reason many people ask this question, is because it says it's the one sin that cannot be forgiven, is when a person basically puts themself in the place of God and they refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit when God's Spirit brings conviction.

If we continue to grieve away the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is a person of the Godhead that is instrumental in softening our hearts and leading us to God. And if we resist that, there's nothing God can do to save us. That's why it's a sin that can't be forgiven because it's a sin we refuse to repent of. You're still there?

Holly: Yes.

Pastor Doug: We do have a book, Holly, we'll be happy to send you a free copy about what is the unpardonable sin. Are you worried that you've committed that sin?

Holly: No. I'm just wondering because I have a Bible and it's NIV. It's different from another one that I have.

Pastor Doug: Sometimes a little harder to understand maybe.

Holly: Yes.

Pastor Doug: One of the versions that I like, and I think Pastor Ross uses frequently, is called the New King James Version. Of course, we love the King James Version. New King James is a little more modern English but it's pretty much the same translation, so it's going to be familiar. Some of the translations, they became very creative. Some of the verses don't even sound the same when they translated it from the original.

You might find that it's easier to understand in one of those translations, like King James, the New King James. Appreciate your call. We do have a book that talks about what is the unpardonable sin and it's called Beyond Mercy.

Pastor Jean: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book entitled Beyond Mercy and we'll be happy to send that out to you, Holly, or anybody who calls and asks. Again, that number is 800-835-6747 and the phone line here to the studio, if you have a Bible question is 800-463-7297. We have Saber listening from New York. Saber, Welcome to the program

Saber: Hi, Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean. Thanks for taking my call. My question is I just got baptized over a month ago and I've had the experience of joy and peace and all the happy stuff. Now, it seems like I'm struggling with knowing when God is leading me or not, or if I'm doing my own work. I'm also having a difficulty judging others and how do I not judge others and when do I speak to them and when do I not. I'm just all over the place.

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, congratulations and you'll never regret the decision to come to Jesus. Do not be discouraged if there are challenges and temptations and questions. Jesus had the devil come to him after his baptism to get him to doubt his faith. You remember in the wilderness, Christ was tempted after his baptism. And so, sometimes we are attacked then there's some confusion. Just hang on and you'll get through the rapids, and there'll be calm water again.

In each case-- first of all, the Bible doesn't say it's never right to judge. Even Jesus said, when you judge, use a righteous judgement. We shouldn't judge and condemn people but God wants us to use good judgement. Paul even said to the Corinthian Church, he said, "Look, you're going to judge angels. Can't you judge small matters?" So when there was disputes among the members, Paul said the church should judge those things and not take it to secular courts.

So it's not wrong to use judgement. You always want to pray that you'll have grace and do it like Jesus would. What's the other question you were asking?

Saber: I want to make sure that I'm being a-- How can I know that God is leading me and I'm not doing my own works?

Pastor Doug: Well, you may not always feel that the holy spirit has a leash on you. But as long as you're asking those questions, it means you're sensitive to the spirit which is very good. Measure what you're doing by the Word. You will have the inner voice of the spirit and the Bible talks about that. Get Christian Council.

When you have Christians and you can talk to them. In a multitude of Christian Council, there is safety. And look for the providence of how God leads you. God, sometimes you'll see Him intervene in your like in amazing ways. Doors will open and doors will close. And if you say, "Lord, I'm willing to do your will," He'll guide you.

Pastor Jean: You know we have the book that I think you'll find very helpful. It's called Determining the Will of God and it deals with this very subject. What are some of the things we ought to look for in order to know, is this what God wants me to do. There's some great principles there. We'll be happy to send this to you, Saber, if you just give us a call on our resource phone number and ask for the book called Determining the Will of God.

The number to call is 800-835-6747, ask for the book Determining the Will of God and we'll be happy to send it to you or anybody who calls and ask.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jean: Our next caller is John, listening from San Diego. John, welcome to the program.

John: Hello, Pastors is you there?

Pastor Doug: We are. Thank you for calling, John.

John: Yes. I've been enjoying this show for a little over a year. I appreciate it. I had a lot of fun listening to it and learned a lot. I'm a long time Christian and I just had one question that I-- it's seem to keep popping in back in my mind every once in awhile and it is, what is the meaning of the verse, "Be still and know that I am God"? Is that verse meant for individual Christians or individual people or is it meant in a context in some biblical narrative that really doesn't pertain to people in this day and age?

Pastor Doug: Well, no, I think it applies to every believer and you find that in Psalm 46 verse 10 if I'm not mistaken. But you also can look for instance in Psalm 4:4 and David says there, "Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still." Being still means don't be anxious. It's like Jesus said, "Fear not." Paul says, "Be anxious about nothing."

When the children of Israel were at the Red Sea, God said, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord." And so, sometimes God just basically said, "Look, I'm in charge. I'll take care of you, trust me." And so, this appeal of being still meant be at peace, trust me. And it's when Jesus did to the storm, he said, "Be still, be at peace," and the storm calmed down.

Pastor Jean: The bible also says, "Be anxious for nothing." Meaning that we ought to take all of our cares and place it before the Lord in prayer and then trust in his leading and his providence.

John: Yes, I like that. It's almost like a meditation of sorts. At times, I do get a certain peace, almost like I'm letting God catch up with me in my you know.

Pastor Doug: You know someone told me once, I've not done the count myself bit I believe it's true. I think it was Dwight Moody counted that there are 365 times in the Bible when the lord says, "Be at peace" or "Fear not." And the God doesn't want us to live in fear or anxiety or stress. And often angels showed up and people were terrified, they said, "Peace." Even when Jesus came into the world, the angel said, "Peace and goodwill."

And so, there in Psalm 46, "Be still and know that I'm God." Be at peace and God is not ringing his hands wondering what he's going to do. He is a 100% in control and He's not anxious about anything. He doesn't want us to be. Thank you very much, John, for your question. And don't know if we-- don't really have a book on--

Pastor Jean: Well, you know, Determining the Will of God might be helpful as well, because it does talk about how do we have that peace in our heart when we are trusting in the lord lead. The number to call for that free resource is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Determining the Will of God. Our next caller is Marty listening from Savannah Tennessee. Marty, welcome to the program.

Marty: Hey, how are you tonight?

Pastor Doug: Doing well. How can we help you?

Marty: Good. I have a question for you here. My question is, it says in the New Testament that-- and my question is on baptism, and it says that, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." And then it also states further on that, "Call upon in the name of the Lord and you shall be saved." So I just have a little confusion with that. Do you think you might be able to clarify that up for me?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Are you wondering what the criteria for salvation is?

Marty: Well, is baptism part of the plan of salvation?

Pastor Doug: Well, certainly, baptism is part of the plan. I mean the last words of Jesus were, "Go teach and baptize." And when the disciples-- when the people of Israel said to the disciples, "What do we do?" They said, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you." And of course, it's in John chapter three, "He that is born of the water in the spirit." Unless you're born of the in the spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, it's very important.

So now, Jesus isn't saying there'll be nobody in heaven unless they were baptize because that would eliminate lot of old testament characters. But baptism is as important to a Christian as wedding is to a marriage. Baptism is the ceremony, it is the right. It's the covenant in which we're publicly saying we accept this forgiveness of Jesus sins and want our sins washed away.

But there'll be people in heaven like the thief on the cross who could not be baptized. And of course, Christ, they'll give him credit for his baptism. Jesus was not baptized for his sin, he was baptized as an example for us. So yes, baptism is important. It is not that you have to be baptized, you can't be saved. But if you are saved, you'll want to be baptized because the Lord commands it.

Pastor Jean: We have a book called Baptism, is it Really Necessary? It gets to this very subject and I think you'll find this interesting, Marty. Again, if you'd like to receive this book, just call us on our resource phone number. And that number is 800-835-6747. We'll be happy to send you the book. You can also read it for free online at the Amazing Facts website. Just amazingfacts.org.

Pastor Doug: Amen. Thank you, Marty.

Pastor Jean: Our next caller is Nelson listening from Washington State. Nelson, welcome to the program.

Nelson: Hello. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. Thank you for calling.

Nelson: Yes. Thank you for having me. I have a question. I was reading the bible and I read the verse that says basically, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." So that got me thinking, why are there so many churches if there's supposed to be just one faith, one Lord, one baptism?

Pastor Doug: Yes, the Lord only wants one lord, one faith, one baptism. Matter of fact, in John 17, Jesus said in his prayer, "All men will know you're my disciples by your love for one another." Well, if you were the devil and you heard Jesus say that, you'd think, "Well, if everybody's going to believe by their unity, I'll try and divide them as much as I can."

And there is no religion in the world that has more different fragments and divisions than Christianity by far. I mean, there's a lot of divisions in Hinduism and there's many divisions in Islam, but Christianity takes the cake. There're like thousand different denominations. And so our sex and--

That doesn't mean there isn't a truth out there. And many of the churches would overlap on the primary teachings of the bible. The best way to hide a diamond is if you throw it in a pile of broken glass. The devil is trying to hide the diamond of truth that Christ gave to his people by fragmenting it and hiding it amongst the bunch of counterfeits. So it's hard to spot. So yes, unfortunately there are a lot of divisions of Christianity but that doesn't mean there's only one-- there is one truth, one lord, one faith, one baptism.

Pastor Jean: You know we do have a book called The Search for the True Church, really dealing with some biblical principles. When we're looking for a church, what are some of the guidelines that the bible gives? We'll be happy to send this to you, Nelson, or anybody wanting to learn more about this. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Search For The True Church. Again, that number is 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Dominic, listening from New York. Dominic, you're on the air.

Dominic: Yes, thank you, Pastor Doug, for doing what you do.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you for calling.

Dominic: My question is, in view of God's omniscience, and this is the question for you, do you think that he could have done or he could do a better job of making himself known and what He wants?

Pastor Doug: Since God-- well, since you say omniscience is, His all-knowing, you could also say God's omnipotence. But obviously, I'm not going to say, "God, I've got some advice for you." There you've got the creature telling the creator how to run things [laughs] and that would kind of be backwards.

Dominic: All right. I know, it is--

Pastor Doug: But there's reasons mankind has sort of separated himself from God and the Bible promises that, if you search for me you'll find me, if you search for me with all your heart. God wants us to love Him and He wants and Him. This world has, for the most part, rejected God and the devil sort of has hijacked the planet but Jesus came into the world. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.

The Lord wants to save as many as He can. And so, if we want to see God, you can sometimes see the Lord in a newborn baby or in a beautiful sunset or in the things of nature and the evidence for God is everywhere. So I think He is making Himself known.

Dominic: In other words, couldn't He do a better job?

Pastor Doug: Could God do a better job?

Dominic: Yes, of making Himself known? And what He wants, so that we wouldn't have unbelievers and--

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that God doesn't want to force anybody to believe in Him. If he wanted to, the Lord could suddenly appear in the heavens. From what I read in the Bible, if God appeared to us right now in His unveiled glory, we could not handle it. That's why Jesus came into the world so that He could reveal God to us, veiled in humanity so we could say, "What is God like? Who is He?" And Jesus said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father."

He came to show us what God is like. In the Bible, we've got the record of his life and His love for us, and it's pretty clear who Christ is and what He's like. So I would never say, "God could do a better job." I'm sure in our minds, we could imagine the Lord doing something like that. But that's why we've got to be careful because, in the last days, I think the devil's going to try and impersonate God. If our faith is not in the Word, we'll fall for the counterfeit.

Pastor Jean: You know, Jesus, when He was here on the earth, he performed all kinds of miracles, even raising the dead and yet that didn't convince those who were just stubbornly refusing to believe. I'm thinking of the religious leaders, in particular, Jesus said, "They won't believe even if someone was raised from the dead." And of course, He did raise people from the dead and they still didn't change. So even if God was to do something extraordinary to reveal Himself, those who refuse to believe will still refuse to believe.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, friends, you hear the music coming up, we're going to be wrapping the program in a little bit but don't go away because following this announcement, we do have another amazing fact for you. So stand by and don't forget also, there's a lot more you can see at the website, which is simplyamazingfacts.org. Check out the new rapture truth website.

Recording: Thank you for listening to today's broadcast. We hope you understand your Bible even better than before. Bible Answers Live is produced by Amazing Facts, a faith-based ministry located in Sacramento, California.

Pastor Doug: I love the quote, the greatest want of the world is the want of men, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. Yet studies are showing, for several years now, the secular media and culture have sought to portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reached an all time low. So now, as the dis-spirited men abandon their 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.

Recording: 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.

Pastor Doug: Have you ever heard a mouse howl like a wolf? Well, what would you expect would happen when a creature changes its destiny from the hapless prey to mighty predator? From the outside, they look very much like just an over-sized field mouse, cute brown fur, light on the underbelly, nice little beady eyes, but that's where the similarities stop. Grasshopper mice are very unusual, making them the objects of great interest for animal researchers.

These furry little creatures are found in the harsh deserts of North America. They are very territorial in nature and they will monopolize and fend off 25 acres. They don't build their own homes but sort of confiscate the burrows and the homes of other creatures. They are 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 the grasshopper mouse gets into a fierce battle with a snake or a scorpion or 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 and the venom to pain killer.

I think you can understand why this information would be of special interest to 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 are defending their territory or celebrating the victory over some adversary, they'll throw back their head and let out this earth shaking howl. That's a mousy howl. Check it out.

[howl]

The grasshopper mouse is not the only member of creation that can survive encounters with venomous predators. In Luke 10:19 it says, "Behold, I will give you authority to tramp along serpents and scorpions and over all 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.

Now, 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 scriptures say, 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?

Recording: 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 and caring individuals like you.

If you've been blessed by Amazing Facts, would you please consider partnering with us to reach others with the Bible truth. Your financial support today, will help keep programs like this on the air so the blessings you've received can be shared with others. To find out more about becoming a ministry partner, please visit our website at amazingfacts.org.

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