Mighty Men of God - Questions & Answers

Mighty Men of God - Questions & Answers

Date: 10/01/2016 
Mighty Men of God - Question & Answer session

Steps to Christ (UN Building) by Ellen White

Steps to Christ (UN Building) by Ellen White
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[Music] Jean Ross: well, again, we want to welcome you to this special program, "Mighty Men of God." And we do have some questions that came in, Pastor Doug. So, we're going to take the next 15, 20 minutes and try and answer as many of these questions as we can. Doug Batchelor: all right. How is everybody? You had a good lunch, you awake? Check and see if the guy next to you is awake. Say "you awake?" All right, got that settled.

Jean: all right. Okay, the first question that we have, the important question, "how do we resist temptation?" Doug: well, you know, I wrote a little book called, "12 tips to resisting temptation," and I can't go through all 12 of them with you right now. But one of the most important things you can do is recognize the areas where you are tempted, and avoid a rendezvous at those places. Try to avoid those places in your thinking, whether it's-- you know, if you're an alcoholic, don't push your cart back and forth through the liquor section of the grocery store. You want to avoid the areas of temptation.

If there's a person flirting with you and you're married, avoid them. We'll talk more about that in the presentation later. But strengthen your faith. The Word of God is how Jesus met temptation. Every temptation, Jesus said, "it is written.

" And then you fortify yourself with prayer. But there's a number of strategic things you can do, and you might want to take a look at that book. You can read it for free online, it's called "tips for resisting temptation." Jean: all right, the next question that we have is, "are there any biblical tips for a person struggling with a hot temper?" Doug: you know, they say that the more shallow the pot, the quicker the water boils. You will increase your perceived iq if you don't fly into a temper tantrum quickly. A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up strife.

I was visiting with my neighbor this week, and he was stunned because he just talked to another neighbor in the neighborhood and said, "you know, if you could please try to keep your pit bull on a leash or in your yard, but you really shouldn't have him--" boy, as soon as he said that, the neighbor just flew off the handle, went into a rage. And soft words turn away wrath, grievous words stir up strife. And so, you can help avoid someone else losing their temper often by just dealing gently with people. A man who can control his spirit is stronger than one who captures a city. You know, mike tyson lost his temper and bit off a piece of holyfield-- evander holyfield's ear, and he lost $300 million worth of fights because of that.

That's an expensive temper. And so, people have lost a lot more. I can tell you a number of stories. You got some in the Bible, where people have went and flew into a rage, and made terrible decisions. And so, just pray that God will give you rule over your spirit.

Jean: all right, we have another question, it says, "what is the best system that you have found for personal devotions?" Doug: very good question, practical question. And one of the keys for being a mighty man of God is the personal devotions. We're going to talk in a little bit about the armor of God. What does that represent? The sword, the Word of God. You have several Scriptures.

"The Word of God," chapter 4 of Hebrews, "is quick, and sharp, and more powerful than any two-edged sword." And the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6, "the Word of God--the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." And in Revelation, Jesus is pictured coming with a sword coming out of his mouth, meaning the words of Christ are like a sword. And so, this is one of the most important ways for us to resist temptation. In your devotional life, the Bible says, "give us this day our daily bread." It's not just talking in the Lord's prayer about eating food every day. But for the believer, the Word of God, daily devotions should be just as important. And you'd be surprised, a little bit can go a long way.

You don't have to read ten chapters of the Bible. Sometimes you get low blood sugar, all you need is a granola bar and you're good to go for a while. And so, read a few verses if you don't have a lot of time every day. But have a regular plan going through the Bible. Now, some people, I think martin luther is one who said, "you can read the Bible the way you pick apples.

First, you shake the whole tree and see what falls." Because apples drop when they're ripe. "And then you shake the branches, and then you shake the limbs, and then you go behind every leaf." First, get the overview of the Bible, the story of the Bible. Shake the tree. And then you might want to take a different book, study a book of the Bible, compare it to other books. There's so many great Bible study tools now online with computers that it's actually been spoiling me because I can find things so quickly now.

I used to have to go back and forth through the Bible to find a verse. Or I used to use those old, big--any of you remember the big concordances? Big "young's analytical exhaustive concordance." And you'd search through the word "the" 6,000 times. It's in there, you know, "the." Find all the references. And but now with computers, you can really search very quickly. I read my Bible every day on a computer, part of my Bible reading.

I always use a computer program. There's free ones online like e-sword, and it has a regular Bible reading program. So, I'm always reading through the Bible every day except Sabbath because I'm touching up my sermon. You know, the manna fell days a week, but none fell on the seventh day. So, that's my excuse anyway.

But you can study a topic in the Bible. You want to know faith, take the word "faith," go through all the studies on faith. It can take you all the way from beginning to end. You can talk about the Spirit, do a study on the Spirit, that's topical. You can do character studies in the Bible, learn a lot about people.

And so, there's just some ideas. Get into a Bible study group. Matter of fact, our church here, we're just launching a bunch of small groups, and several of them are studying different realms of Scripture. And so, there's just some ideas. And there's some great Bible study outlines you can also find online.

Jean: all right, the next question is, "is it wrong to own a gun to defend your family?" Doug: okay. You know, this is in the news a lot lately, people all talking about gun control. Now, what I'm sharing I am saying by permission and not by commandment. This does not represent the official position of my church or anybody but me. But for me, I've always believed that a gun is a tool.

That--granted it is a very powerful tool, but it is a tool. People can be killed with screwdrivers and knives. A terrorist just slashed a bunch of people and killed them in--oh, I forget, it was overseas somewhere with a knife. I think people need to be very careful. If you are a man and you have a firearm, you want to make sure that it is not loaded and near children because it is a powerful tool.

But we live up in the country, we got a place up there, and we quite literally have lions, and tigers, and bears. We don't have tigers. We got skunks and rattlesnakes, and I mean--and so, if you live on a ranch, people don't ever ask this question out in the country. But there's nothing in the Bible, I believe, that says there's anything wrong with a person defending their family. The idea of turning the other cheek if someone smites you doesn't mean that you need to allow a home invasion, you know what I'm saying? If you're a man--matter of fact, even Jesus talks about in a parable a strong man defends his house.

If you want to take the strong man's house, you must bind the man, why? Because otherwise, he won't let you ransack his house. And so, it's, you know, a pretty practical understanding that if somebody's trying to invade your home and there's a criminal, first thing I'd do is, if I had a firearm, I'd try and fire it into the air and scare them off. I'd use it in a defensive way. And then you wouldn't want to use it lethally until a very last resort, but I think that that's just practical knowledge. Now, if you're uncomfortable with that, it's like we said, you're asking me what I think.

Jean: all right. The next question is, "how do I show support for my spouse if she is unwilling to support me?" Doug: well, aren't we glad that God supports us even when we don't support him? And aren't you thankful the Lord protects you and remembers you even when we forget about him? You know, isn't that a good thing? And so, I think it's--we need to be loving and supporting. You know, give and it will be given unto you. Sometimes you got to be the first one to take the initiative to be loving, to be supportive, to give. And yes, even if your spouse you don't feel like is supporting, you don't overcome evil with evil, you don't retaliate, you don't play the silent game.

You overcome evil with good. You be loving, you be considerate. And you know, one of the hardest things, maybe even a little harder for men than women, is when there is a dispute in a marriage to take the initiative and say, "let's talk, I'm sorry." And sometimes, you need to learn to say you're sorry even though you may not believe you're totally wrong about whatever the issue is. It's not unethical, you're not lying. You can mean, "I'm sorry we've had a disagreement.

" But if you take the initiative, and you humble your heart, and you say you're willing to talk, you'll often find the other party will say, "well, I'm sorry too." And so, it's good to take the first step and say, "let's make peace." Jean: all right, we have another question that's come in that says, "how do I balance work and family time?" Doug: well, you might be asking the wrong person. Because I still struggle with that all the time. We're all in this together, amen? You know, men are task oriented. You know, in the Garden of Eden, God told adam--he made adam, said, "I made this world, it's wild. It's beautiful, perfect, but it's wild.

" God planted a garden, everything else was un-gardened. And he said, "go forth, subdue, conquer the world." And the world was a big adventure to adam. And you know, men are created wanting to conquer something, to take on an adventure, to do something great. And we are very task, work oriented. And so, problem is sometimes, especially if we're having problems in our relationships, we want to feel fulfilled, we say, "well, look, I can't control things in the relationship, and I'm having trouble communicating it at home, so I'm going to compensate by trying to be successful in my work.

" There's an old Jewish adage, "if you're lucky in work, you're not lucky in love." And it's often because people are working so hard that they're neglecting the personal relationship. It is a constant, ongoing effort that a person needs to make to spend time with your family, to spend time with your spouse. And you know, probably one of the best things is you need to look at your calendar, carve out time in advance. You know, I really respect Mark finley. He was talking to me one time, I said, "how do you deal with the pressures of doing, you know, evangelism, and your speaking appointments, and here we got the church as well?" And he said, "as I'm planning my year, first thing I do is I look at the calendar, and I say, 'what are the vacations? When are the graduations? When are the family events and the holidays?'" He said, "I circle those first.

" So, you get them out of the way first. Then he said, "then you can fill things in with work, and then you leave a little spare time for emergencies that could go either way, whether it's a family or work." But he said, "first, you got to block out-- you know that old adage, 'if you want to fill a bucket with rocks and gravel and everything, you got to put the big rocks in first.'" And so, carve out that time in advance, plan it in advance, and you'll preserve it. Jean: all right, here's a practical question, "how old is too old to spank your kids?" Doug: your kids shouldn't spank you once you're about 30. No, that's a good, practical question. You know, in some countries, it's illegal now.

And you watch, just give it a little time, it'll start being illegal in North America. Probably is in some places right now. I don't know if any of you ever remember a book written by James dobson, it really is the book that made him popular, it was called "there to discipline." And he talked about the balance, and I think the book is still for sale, of how to love your children and guide them. And there was even a time for measured corporal punishment. If you have a young child, and they don't understand the principle of sticking a metal object in the outlet, and you say, "no," and they continue to do it, at some point you'd want to swat their hand.

And you make an association between pain, "when I stick the screwdriver in the outlet, or the paperclip, I feel pain. Don't do that." If they're walking, if they keep riding their little tricycle out into the street, and you say, "do not go out in the street," I tell them, "do not," you can't just tell them to have quiet time. If you want to save their life, you might have to paddle them on that place that God has prepared. But at some point, they get a little older, and you communicate with them, then-- and you know what that age is? It's probably a little later for boys than girls. You know, girls have tender hearts.

And often you just-- you raise your voice, and they melt, they start to cry. And that just--you know, admonishing them is all it takes. Boys sometimes can be a little more strong willed, and so it might be a little later. What that age is, I don't know. I'm just guessing, I'm not an expert, seven, eight.

What do you think? Huh? Yeah, somewhere in this. We're all in this together. I don't have all the answers. What do you think, Pastor Ross? Jean: I don't know. Doug: you're still spanking yours, huh? Jean: I was listening to find out when I was supposed to stop.

But anyway, we can--all right, next question is, "I work so hard during the week. Is it okay from time to time to stay home to rest on Sabbath?" Doug: well, and I understand. You know, there's some people that are just working 6 days a week, and then they wake up, "man, I got to get up and get dressed again." They might not even have to get dressed for work, or dressed up. And "will God understand if I just sleep this one through?" You know, there may be exceptions where you are physically--you really are exhausted. But something's got to give.

You got to do something about your work because if you don't have time for your worship, then your work has become too important. And you're setting an example for your family that work is not optional, but worship is. And so, it's--you know, if you've got a car--men, if you've got a car and it only starts three out of four times, would you work on the spark plugs or timing or something? If every time you turn the key, it started, but that fourth time it wouldn't start, you'd say, "something's wrong with the car." And if a person is only making it to church three out of four times a month, then there might be a problem in the relationship. Going to church is not really just an option. You know, it actually says in the Bible, Sabbath is called a holy convocation.

That means a holy-- a holy assembly. We're called together. Paul said, "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, and all the more as you see the day approaching." So, as we near the end of time, we need meetings like this where we come together and we gather strength. And I have a friend that has told me several times, "you know, doug, I was so tired. I work all week long, and I was just--this was the week I was going to stay home.

I said, 'oh, I was just too tired, I'm not going to go.' And I almost didn't come, but a little voice told me to come." He said, "boy, did I ever need what I heard today." And it seems like the days the devil's going to tell you stay home are the days he's afraid you're going to go to church because you're going to get just what you need. And so, you never know what you missed if you miss it. Jean: all right, the next question up we have is a little more of a serious question. It says, "I once was unfaithful to my wife, but she won't let it go. She brings it up from time to time.

What do I do?" Doug: yeah, that is serious. And of course, you know, that could work both ways. And I'm happy to hear that, even though there was a case of infidelity, it did not end the marriage. Often, people say, "well, that's it," and they throw in the towel. So, it's good that the person is willing to stay and try and work things out.

And so, that's a good sign. What I would do is I would appeal to my spouse and say, "what are your expectations for me to regain your trust? Is it ever going to be possible?" Do everything you can-- don't expect there not to be consequences. So, if it has damaged trust, and if it has damaged the relationship, you earned it. There's going to be consequences. Accept that, and then do your very best to try to prove that you still love them, and that you are a new person, a new creature, and to do everything you can to regain that confidence.

And so, you know, people sort of come to the table in relationships with a certain amount of trust. That can be added to or taken away from. If you violate trust, you've heard the expression about, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." You violate that trust, it takes a long time to win it back, but it can be done. I've seen it done. And you just have to be patient, pray, and you have to overcompensate with love.

Jean: all right, the next question that we have is, "what is the relationship between faith and works for the Christian?" Doug: well, of course we are saved. You want to be careful not to leave a person with the impression that we are saved by works. But if we are saved by faith, which we are, it'll be seen in works. It's like James--yeah, James and Paul almost sound like opposites, but they're talking to different groups. Paul is talking to legalists that think they're working their way to heaven, and he emphasizes faith.

James is talking to people that are talking about faith, and they don't think that their actions mean anything because alas we believe. And so, he starts to emphasize the importance of having practical Christian works. Really, both should be in the life. The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith, for works. And so, works is not a dirty word.

Works means your actions. And so, there should be actions. I remember c.d. Brooks, who passed away this last year, used to tell an illustration about this man who struggled with drinking, and his wife was getting exasperated. He'd come home drunk, and she'd get tired, and she'd lock him out.

And then he'd stand downstairs, and he'd bellow up to the second story, and say, "honey, let me in. I'm sorry," waking up the whole neighborhood. And then he'd say, "I love you." I mean, three words, "I love you." And she'd get tired and open the door. This happened often. And she kept relenting when he'd start to be out there howling, three little words, "I love you.

" And then one time she just got so tired of it, and he said, three little words, "I love you." He's staggering outside drunk. And she opened the door, she says, "I have two words for you, prove it," and shut the window. So, if you love, you demonstrate that love. We shouldn't be loving in word only. Jesus talked about those who draw near with their mouth, but their heart is far.

It's easy to talk about God and love for God, but it's like that bumper sticker. It says, "if you love Jesus, honk." Any of you remember that one? Yeah, you got to be careful because it might be a lady that's a Christian with a bumper sticker, and then her husband's got the car, and he's not. And you come up behind and go toot-toot, and smile, and he may not be happy. But I saw another bumper sticker, it said, "if you love Jesus, tithe. Anyone can honk.

" If you love Jesus, tithe. Anybody can honk. And so, there's a lot of honking Christianity out there. But if you really love the Lord, it's not just your faith, it's your works. You show your love.

Jean: amen. All right, Pastor Doug, I think we got our final question for this afternoon, "who is melchizedek?" Doug: melchizedek the King. You find him mentioned in the book of Genesis, when Abraham is coming back from this battle, lot was captured by these five Kings, north of Israel. And Abraham rallied all of his soldiers. He had, like, 300 I think, and 18 soldiers among his clan.

And then he got together with two other sheiks in the country, and they went and they attacked these-- chedorlaomer and his Kings. They totally routed them, they rescued lot, and all the people who had been captured from sodom and gomorrah. You know God saved the people in sodom and gomorrah before he destroyed them? And on his way back to hebron, all the bounty of war really belonged to Abraham because he led the whole battle. And it says, "he stopped in a place called salem," which was later known as Jerusalem, or shalom, means peace, "and there was a king there whose name was melchizedek." Now, he's referred to several times in the book of Hebrews as a type of Christ. He was a real person.

It says, "like Christ, there's no genealogy." In other words, no beginning or end. We don't know where he came from, or it doesn't tell what happened to him afterward. He suddenly appears and disappears. So, Paul says he's almost like everlasting to everlasting in that he doesn't have beginning and end. It says, "melchizedek, when Abraham came, he brought forth bread and wine.

" It's a symbol for, like, the new testament, Jesus has the bread and he's got the grape juice. And the name melchizedek, it means king of righteousness. And he was a king over a place called salem, which means peace. And so, here's this melchizedek, he's a type of Christ, he's king of righteousness, king of peace, he's a high priest, and Abraham pays tithe to him. Now, the big question is, who is he? He's somewhat of a mystery.

It doesn't say what people he was from. I've heard some speculate, and I think there's some ancient Jewish writings that say melchizedek was shem. Well, I can't prove that, but it is true shem, The Son of adam, was still alive and very old during that time. And the theory is that, as they went further and further into paganism, in ur of the chaldees, that shem had heard that God had called abram to worship jehovah in the land of canaan, and he and his family came and settled in salem. And the only person who would be greater than Abraham that would be called a priest of the most high God is someone who worshipped the same God.

And so, that's one solution I've heard for the mystery of who was melchizedek. It's a very interesting theory, can't prove it one way or the other, but he was a type of Christ. Doug: you know, friends, one of the fastest-growing forms of crime out there right now is identity theft. That's where these unscrupulous people will capture a person's social security number, their driver's license number, personal information. And with that, they're able to take over their bank account, loot all of their assets, and sometimes just take over their lives.

Well, you know, the devil is a master of identity theft. And this is so important to understand because Jesus said it's crucial that we have faith to be saved. Without faith, you can't please God. The just will live by faith. And the devil has been stealing the identity of God's people for 6,000 years.

Well, that's why I wrote this recent book called "who do you think you are?" We think it's so important for people to understand who they are in Christ, how to have saving faith and peace, knowing that you belong to God. If you'd like a free copy, we'll send it to you. All you have to do is contact the number on your screen, and then promise when you read it, you'll share it with someone else. [Music]

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