The Largest Home in America

Date: 10/28/2007 
In 1888, George Washington Vanderbilt, 26 years old at the time, visited the smoky mountains of North Carolina with his mother. He loved the scenery and
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Hello friends! How about an amazing fact? In 1888, George Washington Vanderbilt, 26 years old at the time, visited the smoky mountains of North Carolina with his mother. He loved the scenery and the climate so much that he decided to build a summer house in the area.

However, this would be no ordinary summer house. George's idea was to replicate the working estates of Europe. His summer house, completed in 1895, contained 250 rooms and was 175,000 square feet. The dining room table alone could seat 64 guests.

Intending that the estate be self-supporting, George set up forestry programs and cattle farms, hog farms and a dairy. The estate included its own village and even a church. In 1898 while in Paris, George married a young lady by the name of Edith. In 1912, he and Edith booked passage on the Titanic, but canceled due to a premonition of Edith's mother.

It was too late, however, for them to get their servant and baggage off the ship. Both were lost when the Titanic sank. George spent more money than his annual income for the upkeep of his colossal house; and he began to deplete his once enormous inheritance.

Some of the rooms of his house were never fully completed. After his unexpected death in 1912, George's widow, Edith, sold much of the land around the estate to the United States Forestry Service at $5.00 an acre until only 12,500 acres were left from the original 125,000. In 1963, the estate was designated a national historic landmark. And today, it is still the largest home in the United States.

Friends, how would you like to live in a mansion? Did you know that one day you can? Stay tuned for more, as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello friends. This is Pastor Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening. And I'd like to welcome you to this live, national and international Bible study. This is Bible Answers Live, so if you have a Bible-related question, we welcome your call. If you'd like to get your question on the air this evening, the number to call is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

But before we go to the phone lines, let's begin our program this evening with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once more as we open up Your Word, we recognize that it's Your Book. And in order to rightfully understand it, we want to have Your Spirit to lead and guide. So we ask Your blessing upon this program this evening. Be with those who are listening and those that call in. For this we ask in Jesus' name, amen.

Well friends, I opened the program talking about this colossal house that was built back in 1895, containing 250 rooms and covering 175,000 square feet. Now this is, indeed, a mansion. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a mansion? Did you ever think of yourself living in a mansion?

Back in Bible times when a young man proposed to a young woman, and she accepted his proposal for marriage, the young man would often return back to his father's house and would begin to add on. He would build a room onto his father's house. When that room was complete, then he would come with much pomp and fanfare and many friends.

He would come to his bride's home. He would escort his bride back to the father's house, where the actual wedding ceremony would take place. They would then live in that room that had been added onto the father's house, while they built their own.

Now, the reason I mention this, for three and a half years, Jesus had been with the disciples. They had walked with Him on the dusty roads of Galilee; and they had stood by and watched as Jesus opened the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf. They stood proudly beside their Lord when He looked into the darkness of Lazarus' tomb and said, "Lazarus, come forth" and Lazarus rose from the dead.

And now, Jesus had just told His disciples that He is to leave them and ascend to His Father in heaven. When Jesus saw the sadness on the faces of His disciples, He said these words recorded in John chapter 14, from verse 1 through to verse 3. Jesus said, "Let not your hearts be troubled: if you believe in God, believe also in me.

"In my Father's house," He said, "there are many mansions: and if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again," Jesus said, "and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

Here Jesus is speaking concerning His second coming. And he couches the promise that He would come back in the imagery of a wedding. Jesus said, "I'm going to go add onto my Father's house. I'm going to prepare a mansion for you; and when the mansion is finished, then I'm going to come and receive you, and take you back to My Father's house."

In Scripture, Jesus is often represented as the Bridegroom and His church as the bride. The good news is that Jesus is preparing a mansion for those that love Him. And soon Jesus will come to take His faithful children home to be with Him forever.

Friends, if you'd like to learn more about this place that Jesus is preparing for those that love Him, we have a free offer we'd like to make available to you this evening. It is entitled, A Colossal City in Space. It is an Amazing Facts' study guide. And all you'll need to do to receive that is call our resource number.

The number is 1-800-835-6747, and ask for that study guide, A Colossal City in Space. That gives so many wonderful truths about heaven. It's inspiring to see what God is preparing for those that love Him. Now, don't get that number that I just gave you confused with the number for here in the studio.

If you'd like to ask a Bible question this evening, the number you need to call for the studio is, 1-800-463-7297. We also like to take a few Internet questions that come in from time to time.

This evening, I'd like to take two questions. The first one is this: "Will little babies who die be saved in God's Kingdom?"

Now friends, we don't have a specific Bible answer to this question. But there are some hints in Scripture that those children will be saved. You see, in the Bible, we read about this king by the name of Herod slaying all of the male babies in Bethlehem who were two years old or younger. The Old Testament foretold this tragic and cruel incident.

But God also told the mothers to stop crying because of their children, for they would one day be restored to them. We read about this in Jeremiah 31, verse 16. The Bible says, "Refrain thy voice from weeping, for they," that's the slain children, "shall come again from the land of the enemy. Thy children shall come again to their own border."

So this is an obvious reference here to the resurrection. Based upon this promise in Jeremiah 31, verses 16 and 17, many believe that those tiny babies who have died will be resurrected when Jesus comes and will be reunited with their mothers, those God-fearing mothers, and spend eternity with them.

The second question that came in, "Do I understand correctly that heaven is the home of the saved, but will heaven be right here on earth?" Well, yes! Although the Holy City that God is preparing right now is in heaven, the Bible does tell us that God is going to move the New Jerusalem down to this planet at the end of the 1,000-year period in Revelation chapter 20. And this world, cleansed from sin and sinners, will be recreated and will become the home of the redeemed.

Now you can read about this in Revelation chapter 21, as well as chapter 22, verse 1 and verse 3. In other words, this planet, cleansed and restored back to what it was intended to be in the beginning before sin and Satan, before Adam and Eve fell, this planet will be the home of the redeemed.

That's why Jesus said, "The meek shall inherit the earth." This earth, cleansed, and beautiful, and just this beautiful paradise, will be the eternal home. It will become the capitol of the entire universe. Friends, if you have a question that you'd like to email to us, you can do so by going to the Amazing Facts website. It's

There is a link on that website that says, "Contact Us." And you can type in your question and we'll be happy to try and give you an answer from the Word of God on our program here. Well, we're going to go to the phone lines now. Our first caller this evening is Brian listening on the Internet calling from Hobbs, New Mexico. Hi Brian, welcome to the program. Brian, are you there?

Brian: Yes sir, I am. How are you doing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good, and your question this evening?

Brian: Yes. Well my main question comes from, we'll say John 1:18 and Exodus 33:20. In both of these texts it pretty much says that we can't see God's face and live. In Exodus 33:20, it says, "And he said, 'Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.'" And then John 1:18 says, "No man hath seen God at any time." And then I read in Exodus 33:11, then it says, "The LORD spake unto Moses face to face." I'm having trouble with this [chuckles].

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Good question, good question. You know, based upon the Old--well the New Testament, we discover that Jesus played a very important role in the Old Testament in leading the children of Israel up out of Egypt. It was Christ who led them in the cloud and in the pillar by fire by night. And it was Christ who communicated with Moses. And it could very well be Christ who spoke to Moses face to face.

The truth is that no man has seen the Father, because of sin. We believe that Jesus played a very important role in leading the children of Israel, bringing them up out of bondage.

Brian: Okay. So Pastor, when you read in Exodus on 33:11 is before 20, and it says--yeah--so, you know, that could have been Jesus there. But why does it go on to verse 20 and then say, "Thou canst [call drops]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Brian, are you there? [cross talk] I'm sorry Brian?

Brian: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Are you still there?

Brian: Yes sir

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh I'm sorry. You missed the last part of that question. The phone went dead there for a minute.

Brian: I said in verse 11 in Exodus, it does say Moses spake unto--I mean--yeah, Moses spake unto God face to face. But then it goes on to verse 20, and then it says, "Thou canst not see my face."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Brian: So, I don't understand why does it say he saw His face, but then it goes on to say he can't see His face?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, if you tie in what you quoted in John a little earlier, we believe that no one has been able to see God the Father. We can't see His face and live. But Jesus, that's different. We can communicate with Jesus. And, of course, Jesus played a very important role in leading the children of Israel up out of Egypt.

And it says, "You can't see My face." It's referring to the Father; but yet, Jesus spoke to Moses face to face. He communicated with him. Now, also let me just add a little bit to the phrase there, "face to face." That doesn't necessarily mean in the sense of Moses being able to see the face of God. But God communicated with him, person to person, directly.

Brian: Not looking directly at him?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Possibly not looking upon the face of God. You remember when Moses was in the mountain and he asked God to show him His glory? God said, "You can see My back, but you cannot see My face"--

Brian: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: --and He put him in the cleft of the rock. So to speak face to face with God directly, God communicated directly with Moses. But the face of the Father was not seen.

Brian: Oh great man. Okay. That helps.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well good question. Thanks for calling. Our next caller this evening is Max; and he's calling from Brooklyn, New York. Max, welcome to the program.

Max: Hi, good evening Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening

Max: Hi, ah yes, my question comes from Genesis chapter 3, verse 14. I was reading when the serpent was cursed by God in the garden. And later on I read in Isaiah 65, verse 25 and it's speaking about the New Earth and the state of the animals. And in it, I saw that the serpent will remain to eat dust as his meat. So my question is, will the serpent still be cursed in the future in heaven?

Pastor Jëan Ross: In the world made new. You know, I don't believe there will be anything left of the curse in the earth made new. We know that the lion will lay down with the lamb; a little child shall lead them. So the animals won't be mean. They won't be aggressive; even the serpent won't have poison.

There are some who conclude, based upon Genesis chapter 3, verse 14, that snakes in the garden of Eden could probably fly. They had the ability to fly. And now they were cursed because they'd become a symbol of Satan and sin and have to go about on their bellies. Are they going to be able to fly in the earth made new? Possibly. We don't know for sure. We'd have to wait and find out about that.

But I think all things will be restored back to its former glory, back to what God intended it to be.

Max: Okay. So in Isaiah 65, verse 25, where it says, "And dust shall be the serpent's meat." And when you compare it to Genesis chapter 3, verse 14, when God said, "And dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life," was that a curse there? Is that still remaining, basically?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. Well in Genesis chapter 3, the curse is they were going to go about on their belly. And in Isaiah, it appears, also, that dust they shall eat. I don't think it's relating to the curse there, but rather it's relating to the fact that they will not hurt.

It speaks of the lion eating straw like an ox. So they won't be ferocious and dangerous. That's the aspect that's really being brought to light in Isaiah.

Max: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Not necessarily the curse. Does that make sense?

Max: Uh yeah, pretty much. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Thanks for your call Max. We appreciate it. Our next question this evening comes from Syracuse, Utah. And Renny is on the phone. Renny, can you hear me?

Renny: Yeah I can.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi, what is your question tonight?

Renny: Yeah, my question was about the Sabbath. What day is the Sabbath? Is it Saturday or Sunday?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well that's a good question. We know from Exodus chapter 20 God says, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." But which day is the Sabbath? Let me give you just a couple of verses here. If you look in Matthew chapter 28, beginning with verse 1, it talks about the end of the Sabbath.

Let me just read it, Matthew 28, verse 1. It says, "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,...." And then, if you read on in Mark chapter 2, verse 27, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." It talks about the preparation day; Mark chapter 15, verse 42 being the day that Jesus was crucified on. Mark 15:42, "It was the preparation day, that is, the day before the sabbath."

So if Jesus died on the preparation day, the day before the Sabbath, and He rose again the first day of the week, and we know Jesus rose on Sunday, the preparation day preceded the Sabbath and He died on Friday, then it was place Saturday in between as the day which God has set apart as the Sabbath. Does that make sense?

Renny: Yeah, it does; because I actually do believe in the Sabbath.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Uh-huh

Renny: But I was, like, wanting more explanation about it so I could, like, show other people why do we believe in the Sabbath, you know what I'm saying?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. You know, I would show them those verses in Luke chapter 23, verse 54--

Renny: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: --Luke 23, verse 56; and then the one that we read in Matthew chapter 28, verse 1, speaking of the resurrection. And that clearly tells us that the day Jesus died was the preparation day; the Sabbath was coming. And then Jesus rose the first day of the week. Does that help?

Renny: Yeah it does help.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we've got a study guide on that that deals with the Sabbath in more detail. It's filled with all kinds of great Scriptures. You might want to take a look at that. All you'll need to do to receive that is call our resource number. It's 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide, The Lost Day of History, and we'll be happy to send that out to you.

Ask them for the study guide on the Sabbath and we can send that out to you. Thanks for your call. Again friends, if you would like to get your question on the air this evening, the number you'll need to call is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Carl and he's listening on WKRK from North Carolina. Carl, welcome to the program.

Carl: Yes, it's Carl Hardman.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Carl. Hi Carl.

Carl: I'm glad to talk with you on this end of the world.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well thanks for calling.

Carl: My question is this. There are many texts in the Bible that make it very plain that salvation is dependent on believing and receiving Jesus as Savior.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Correct

Carl: Now, my question is this. There are many children that have been born to Christian parents who are totally incapable in making a decision like that. Some who have Down Syndrome who are on the lower side of that, especially. I know a family that has a child that's brain damaged and never has--while it's an adult now--it has never spoken a recognizable word. And they're seriously handicapped mentally.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Carl: And so they're not capable of making a decision.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Carl: What happens to them in the resurrection?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, that's a good question. You know, we find that in Scripture, there are promises concerning children under the age of accountability. Now, what we mean by the age of accountability is when someone is able to choose right from wrong. They're able to ask for forgiveness, confess their sins and receive Jesus as their personal Savior, the age of accountability.

It varies from child to child, but usually it's somewhere around the age of 12. Now, for those who are severely handicapped, I believe that they remain under the age of accountability and God treats them as little children. And so we have hope that in the resurrection, little children, babies will be resurrected and reunited with their family.

At the beginning of the program, I gave the verse in Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 16--

Carl: Oh, tell me that reference again, John what?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Jeremiah chapter 31, verses 16 and 17. And the context of that is this is concerning Herod destroying the baby boys in Bethlehem. And then the promise is given to the mothers that they need not weep, for their children will return from the land of the enemy. They shall come again to their own borders.

So this is reference to the resurrection. The mothers will, once again, be reunited with their children. So there is--

Carl: So are there any others that are just on the tip of your tongue?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well we'd have to look it up. I mean, I don't have time to do too much of a search on that.

Carl: Oh, well that's fine [cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: But we do know that little children have the hope of the resurrection.

Carl: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, you know, God is in the business of saving people. He wants to get as many people in the Kingdom as He can. And I think, for severely handicapped people, who--

Carl: Would be the same as a child--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: --would be the same as a child.

Carl: --the same size of the age of three months, or something like that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right

Carl: Alright

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, of course, even older children. As I mentioned a little earlier, the age of accountability is somewhere around the age of 10, 12, somewhere in there, where someone can make a purposeful decision to serve God and to trust in Him; to give their lives fully to Him.

Carl: You think that the parents' life would have a little, um, would be a factor in that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think that parents can have a great influence on their children, and try and encourage them. But ultimately, the parents' decision to serve God--or let me back up--the child's decision to serve God or not is a decision that they need to make, if they pass the age of accountability. Every individual has to make a decision for themselves.

Carl: If they're capable; and before that time, the parents...and then, well let me throw this in. What I'm thinking is, let's say the parents are totally non-believers--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Carl: --and that complicates the question, so we better not go there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know even in that case, once again, children, they can have--for example--even if an unbelieving person loses a child, that child will be resurrected when Jesus comes because it hasn't reached the age of accountability. So whether the parent is believing or unbelieving, there's hope for children that die.

For example, there's a natural disaster, there are floods, there are all sorts of things happening around the world where many children are perishing. They've never had an opportunity to choose God. They are under the age of accountability.

Carl: Very good. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well thanks for your call. We're going to go to our next caller who is listening from Brooklyn, New York. Angel, listening on WMCA, welcome to the program.

Angel: Praise the Lord Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi

Angel: Yes, Hi. I think you answered this question last week, but I wanted clarification because I wasn't sure. What happens to the soul, mind, or body, or the conscious after we die? I know the body is resurrected at the end, but what happens to the conscious or the mind?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, that's a good question. Let me give you a few verses that speak concerning that. Psalm chapter 6, verse 5 says, "In death there is no remembrance of thee," speaking about those who die. They don't remember God. Psalm 115, verse 17 says, "The dead praise not the LORD."

Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 6 say, "The dead know not any thing, the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." So from these passages, and many more, the truth of what happens when a person dies, the Bible refers to death as a sleep, an unconscious sleep.

Someone who dies and they have faith in God, the very next thing they know is the second coming. Jesus is coming, and they are resurrected.

Angel: Okay. But are we under the new covenant, or new uh--where St. Paul said uh, "absent from the body, present with the Lord."

Pastor Jëan Ross: "Is present with the Lord." Yes. What Paul is referring to is the moment a person dies and he's believing in Christ, the very next thought he has is he's in the presence of the Lord. Jesus is coming, and he's resurrected.

Angel: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: For example, when a person has worked hard all day and they lay down and go to sleep, the very next thing they know, the alarm clock is ringing. It's time to get up and go to work.

Angel: Yeah, but some of us dream too. What about the dream state?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah. Well death is different in that way. It is a dreamless state. But the very next, conscious thought a person has is Jesus is coming.

Angel: Okay. What about the thief on the cross? "Today you will be with Me in paradise"?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well that's a good question. Let me ask you, what was the question the thief asked Jesus before Jesus said, "Today you will be with Me"?

Angel: "Remember me when we get to--remember me when I die," or something like that, I'm sorry.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, the thief said, "Remember me when you come in Your kingdom."

Angel: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: In other words, the thief wasn't expecting to receive his reward that day. He wanted to receive his reward when Jesus would come in His Kingdom. When does Jesus come into His Kingdom? At the second coming.

Angel: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: So the thief wasn't expecting to go to heaven that very day. Jesus, hanging up on the cross, gave the assurance to that thief, that very day, that he would be with Him in paradise.

Angel: Um-hm

Pastor Jëan Ross: In other words, even though Jesus didn't look like the King, He promised that believing thief that He would remember him when He came.

Angel: Yeah. It is very controversial and I don't agree completely. Is there a book or some literature you have on this subject?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. We do. And there are a number of verses on that and it explains the story of the thief on the cross and some of these other verses. To receive it, all you'll need to do is call our resource number. Let me give it to you, it's 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, "Are the Dead Really Dead?" and they'll be happy to send that out to you.

Angel: Yeah, because one thing is that Jesus, He's of the now, of the present, and eternity. When it says, "Today," it means today, you know. When He died, that's it. He's not of the past or the future. He's of the present, of the now.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. And Jesus was given the assurance to the man, that very day, that he would be with Him in paradise. In other words, when we put our faith in Jesus, we have assurance right now, today, that salvation is ours. And that's what the assurance Jesus was giving the man.

You know, I hear the music playing there in the background, Angel. That means we're coming up on our break here in just a few moments. But I'd encourage you to take a look at that study guide. There's also a website that we have called, The Truth About Death, just, that is filled with all different resources to help a person understand this important Bible topic.

Well friends, we're coming up on our half an hour break; and we do have a few lines that are still open. So if you'd like to call during the break, you can do so. The number to call is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297, and you can get your call on the air this evening.

There are some important announcements we want to give you during the break; and then we'll be right back in just a few moments.


Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello friends, this is Pastor Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening. And yes, this is Bible Answers Live. If you have a Bible-related question, we welcome your call this evening. The number to call is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297.

We have, probably, about three lines that are still open. So if you'd like to call now, there's a good chance of you getting your question on the air tonight. We're going to go to the phone lines. Our next caller is Kevin, and he's calling from Warren, Michigan, listening on WAVZ. Kevin, welcome to the program.

Kevin: Hi Pastor Jëan

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi Kevin

Kevin: Number one, I love your show. I love the Word of God. And I have a question for you. Now we know that the Bible was Holy Spirit-inspired, written by man, correct?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, inspired by God, but written by man.

Kevin: Yes sir. We agree on that. That's great. Now the question I have is a topic of much debate between me and some of my brothers in Christ. The question is, who wrote more words in the Bible, Luke or John?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, that's a good question. Of course, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke. John wrote the Gospel of John. Then Luke also wrote the book of Acts. But John wrote the book of Revelation; and he wrote 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.

So, probably what one would have to do is just count the chapters in the Gospel of Luke and then count the chapters in Acts of the Apostles. And you'll come up with how many Luke wrote and then do the same for John, like the Gospel of John. Count the chapters in the Gospel of John and that of Revelation; and then 1st, 2nd and 3rd John. And my guess, I haven't done that, but my guess would be it's John.

Kevin: Okay, because my brother in Christ is...he stands that it's Luke. So I guess I'm going to have to get a cow going and count them up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, I think you can definitely find the answer to that. It'll just take a little bit of time. Just count it up. If you have some software, you can look up, for example, Luke and see how many verses there are. And then you can do the same for John; and then the other books in the New Testament written by them.

Kevin: Pastor Jëan, would you allow me to ask one more quick question please?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure

Kevin: What verse is believed to be the exact center of the Bible?

Pastor Jëan Ross: "What verse is believed to be the exact center of the Bible?

Kevin: Do you know?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know, I guess it would depend on what translation you're working with. If you're dealing with, for example, the original languages, talking about Hebrew, talking about the Greek, there's a little bit of Aramaic in the book of Daniel, you'd be able to work it out that way.

It's probably a hard thing to come up if you're including the title of the book, the subtitles. I can't give you an answer; but I'd guess it would be somewhere in Psalms. And I think it's somewhere around about Psalm 119, if my memory is correct.

Kevin: Yes sir. You're very close.

[Cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: What verse did you come up with?

Kevin: Can I it to you please?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure

Kevin: For all your listeners out there across the nation and around the world, Psalm 118:8. "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. Well that's a great promise isn't it?

Kevin: Isn't that amazing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs]

Kevin: That's thought to be the center verse and that's so like...that's just how God is. He makes it so poignant, you know?

Pastor Jëan Ross: He puts a good promise right in the middle of the Word.

Kevin: Praise God. Listen Pastor, I'm going to continue to listen and God bless you heart. And I pray that the latter years are greater than the former.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well thank you Kevin; and God bless you as well. Thanks for your call. Our next caller tonight is Robert listening on WMCA from Bloomfield, New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening

Robert: Okay. My question is concerning about the clean and unclean foods--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Robert: --in the bible. Now, if I understand that that is still beholding upon Christians, because it doesn't say anywhere in the New Testament that we should refrain from it exactly.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Robert: But also um, I remember somewhere--I think it's in Mark where Jesus told the Pharisees, I'm paraphrasing here a little bit, something to the effect of it is...something goes into a man's uh, that goes into a man, that makes him unclean. It's what comes out of a man's heart--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Robert: --and out of his mouth. And as far as the clean and unclean foods are concerned, I mean, should our salvation be held on something as unsure about that? Like--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well let me try and address that verse. The one you're speaking about is Matthew chapter 15, verse 11, where Jesus says, "Now that which goeth into the mouth does not defile a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."

And the context of what was happening here, the Pharisees were accusing Jesus, or rather not Jesus, but His disciples, of eating with unwashed hands; and so they were ceremonially defiling themselves. Jesus says it's not about eating food with unwashed hands.

The more important thing is the heart and what comes out of the heart; because that was the real issue that the Pharisees had a hard time with Jesus, because of His high standard of righteousness and purity. So the issue that Jesus is relating to has to do with the washing of hands, not so much what food to eat, and what food not to eat.

You see, in the Old Testament, we have four different groups of law. You have the moral law, which is the Ten Commandments written by God on tables of stone. Then you have the ceremonial laws; and this involved the sacrificial system in the sanctuary, and the like. There were some civil laws that governed the nation of Israel as a theocracy. And then there were some health laws.

Now the health laws were given so that God's people could be healthy, and they're just practical. Some of them have to do with food; others of them have to do with dress; some have to do with even waste, you know, cleanliness, and that type of thing; practical principles in order for a person to be healthy.

Now in the New Testament dispensation, or under the new covenant, the moral law, the Ten Commandments is binding. I mean, it was wrong to steal back in the Old Testament. It's still wrong to steal today, and so it is with all of the Ten Commandments.

The ceremonial laws, those relating to the sacrificial system, they pointed forward to Jesus; and they came to an end when Jesus died on the cross. Remember when Jesus died, the veil was torn in the temple from top to bottom? Of course, Jesus said, "It is finished" when He

died on the cross. So all of those pointed forward to Jesus. They came to an end when Christ died.

The civil laws, the principles are still relevant today. And in many countries, the principles, to some degree, are followed. But today we are not under a theocracy as the Jewish nation was back in the time of Moses. And then, of course, the health principles, the health principles are still binding, because God wants us to be healthy. Our bodies are the temple of God.

And so, you know, just because we moved from the Old Testament to the New Testament, it doesn't mean that things that were unhealthy to eat in the Old Testament suddenly became healthy in the New.

Robert: Then how come it's not stressed in the New Testament? And how does it affect your salvation?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well first of all, I believe it is stressed to a certain degree, maybe even more so, because the New Testament speaks a lot about "presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God."

Robert: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it's the spirit that dwells within us. You're a holy nation. And the New Testament is full about holiness. Our bodies are the dwelling place of God, and the like. We also have the principle in the New Testament about not eating blood, which was part of the health principles of the Old Testament.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, of course, not eating anything sacrificed to idols. So we do find sufficient evidence in the New Testament for health and the health principles of the Bible. Does it affect our salvation? Well you know, the Holy Spirit communicates to us through our mind; and the way we eat, the way we live, the things we do, that can affect how well we can hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us.

Robert: Oh okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: And so it does have an affect, the way we eat, the way we live, it does have an affect because it has an affect on our mind. If our minds are beclouded with whatever, it's going to be difficult to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Robert: That makes sense to me. Thank you Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well thank you for calling Robert. Good question. Our next caller is Michael and he's calling on his cell phone from New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: How are you doing tonight?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good, thank you.

Michael: Good. It's my second time calling.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright

Michael: I had a discussion with a friend of mine the other day about something in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve were in the garden.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Michael: And the question was that did God really say not to touch the tree lest you die?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. You know, we have reference before that of God saying that they weren't to eat of the fruit. But then this is Eve speaking, and she speaks to the serpent, and, of course, Satan is impersonating this serpent, or has entered the serpent. And she says God has said that we shall not touch it. Now--

Michael: So is that statement true because it's in the Scripture?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well let me ask you, is telling a lie sin?

Michael: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Had sin entered into the world at that point?

Michael: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, in the world? Had Adam and Eve sinned?

Michael: Oh no, no. Not at all. So they couldn't see that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. So if--yes. If Eve is saying God has said we shall not touch it, and it's a sin to lie; but yet, Adam and Eve hadn't sinned at that point, even though it's not recorded early in the Bible, God must have said to them you shall not touch the fruit.

Michael: Well that was my point. I believe that to be true also because it's in the Scripture but--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah

Michael: --the debate was because God didn't say to Adam, that Eve may have just been ad-libbing to the statement. But then the serpent wouldn't--didn't lie either. He deceived, but he wasn't lying. He said, "Did God really say?" He didn't say, "God didn't say."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right, right. He's calling into question what God said; you know, and he's implying certain things. Yeah, we have no doubt that Eve didn't make this up, especially on such an important point. God must have stressed to them that they were not to eat the fruit.

Michael: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: And for Eve to come up with this thing, "Well God said we shouldn't touch the fruit" when God didn't say that, I think it was pretty clear in their minds that God wanted them to stay away from that tree.

Michael: I mean, she said that God said this, so--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Michael: --the discussion was that maybe she wasn't, she didn't have all the information when she was saying that; but, then it came to the point where, if it's in the Scripture and she said that and it's a lie, then it's almost a little bit of a contradiction. If it was there and she said that, so then she'd be lying, and then that would have, like, defaulted.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right; and lying is sin. So, no.

Michael: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: We don't believe that she made that up.

Michael: I'll have my friend--I'll replay this for my friend on the web so she can hear it. And I think you very much Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, you're welcome. Thank you for calling Michael. Conrad is listening on the Internet from Brooklyn, New York. Conrad, welcome to the program.

Conrad: Yes, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, Conrad, could you speak up just a little bit?

Conrad: Yes um

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. I can hear you now.

Conrad: My question is I was reading The Great Controversy--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Uh-huh

Conrad: And on the topic of the final hour of temptation my question is, probation is closed and we're going to go through the final hour of temptation, can the saved still be lost, um, at that time? Because I know it's going to be, kind of, hard?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Let me quickly talk on that. The topic you're relating to is the close of probation and what happens after probation closes. You know, Jesus said in Matthew 24, "As it was in the days of Noah, so also it shall be when the Son of Man is revealed."

In the days before the flood, God told Noah to build the ark, and he did. And then the day came when all the animals entered into the ark. Noah and his family entered into the ark; and then the door was shut. But it didn't rain right away. Noah and his family were in the ark for seven days before it started to rain.

After the door was closed, before the rain came, probation had closed for those outside of the ark. They couldn't enter, even though they were still alive for the next seven days before the flood came. So likewise, just before Jesus comes, there is a closing of probation, where every person's destiny is set. And you can read about this in Revelation chapter 22 where Jesus says, "He that is filthy, let him be filthy still...he that is holy, let him be holy still."

The destiny of the human race is then set. Every person has made their final decision for God, or against God.

Conrad: So what's the hour of temptation?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The hour of temptation--after probation closes for the human race, then we know that, just before Jesus comes, Revelation describes the seven last plagues that will come upon the earth. Just like the children of Israel, they were in Egypt; before their actual deliverance, we had the 10 plagues that came upon Egypt. That was a time of testing for the Israelites. That was a testing of their faith.

So likewise, after probation closes, we have the seven last plagues coming upon the earth before Jesus comes. And even the righteous, those who are holy, their faith will be tested; their faith will be tried. It will be proven true that they're faithful to God. But it will be tested in the same way that Elijah, after Mount Carmel, his faith was tried and tested when Jezebel the queen said that she was going to destroy him. He was going to be killed and he fled unto the wilderness.

His faith was tested. The same way Abraham's faith was tested when God said he had to sacrifice his son, Isaac. So likewise, just before Jesus comes, the faith of the righteous will also be tested.

Conrad: By the grace of God, we'll be able to hold on.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely, absolutely. He'll provide the strength necessary to stand the test.

Conrad: Are there any resources on this?

Pastor Jëan Ross: On this whole subject?

Conrad: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. There is a study guide that we have called, No Turning Back, that deals with the subject of the close of probation. To receive that, all you'll have to do, Conrad, is call the resource number. It's 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide, No Turning Back. And by the way, you can also go right to the Amazing Facts website and you can read the study guide right online.

Conrad: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright?

Conrad: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for your call, appreciate it. Our next caller is Kay listening on 89.7 from Kingsburg, California. Kay, welcome to the program.

Kay: Thank you

Pastor Jëan Ross: And your question tonight?

Kay: My question I have is if the body is cremated and when Jesus comes back, how are our souls--where's our soul? Like, if a body is cremated and thrown in the ocean?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm. Well you know, in the Bible we find some examples of holy people, people that loved the Lord, who died in some other interesting ways. For example, Jonathan, who was a good friend of David, he, with his father, were in battle against the Philistines and he died. The Philistines got a hold of his body and, kind of, mutilated it somewhat.

But then there was some brave men in Israel that went and gathered the bones and burnt them and buried them. So, in essence, Jonathan was cremated; but he was a good man. God is not dependent upon preexisting matter to resurrect someone. I mean, you think back, for example, Adam has been dead for almost 6,000--well, about 5,000 years. There's nothing left of him.

Kay: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: But yet when God comes, God is able to resurrect him. Most of the types of burials in the Bible were in a cave. And they'd roll this big stone over the cave, the opening of the type of tomb. There wasn't very much earth burial as we have today. But whether a person is lost at sea; whether they're cremated; whether they're buried, if they had faith in Jesus and loved the Lord, they will be resurrected when Jesus comes again.

Kay: Okay. I often wondered about that because I haven't seen anything in the Word where it speaks about cremation.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Kay: And I have loved ones that have been cremated; and I just--I wondered about it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. You know, the Bible doesn't have a lot to say on the subject, but there is enough. For example, Joseph, just another one that came to mind. Joseph died in Egypt, but he asked his brothers to make a covenant that they would take his bones up out of Egypt and bury them in the promised land.

And, of course, 400 years went by after that happened before Joseph was carried out, his bones were carried out. There wasn't much of him left at that point in time.

Kay: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: So God is not dependent upon preexisting matter in order to resurrect people at the second coming.

Kay: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright?

Kay: I thank you much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, you're welcome. Friends, we have just a few more lines open. And if you would like to try and get your question in here, we've got about 10 more minutes left. You can do so by calling 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Wonda, listening on WMCA from Brooklyn, New York. Wonda, welcome to the program.

Wonda: Yes, hi, how are you?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good, thank you.

Wonda: I have a quick question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure

Wonda: I'm not familiar too much with the Bible, but I came across something and uh...I can't remember it now because I ran into it on Thursday.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Wonda: It was talking something about in the Old Testament that when people had to do a sacrifice to the Lord God that they couldn't be blind or have any kind of a physical problem with them?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Wonda: And I was wondering, well, if God made them that way, then why wouldn't He accept that,--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, that's--

Wonda: --that had that kind of a problem?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's an interesting observation. Well, first of all, who does the lamb represent in the sacrificial system?

Wonda: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: The lamb represents Jesus, right?

Wonda: Right

Pastor Jëan Ross: Remember when Jesus was coming to be baptized, John the Baptist says, "Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world"? So for one, Jesus--there was no blemish; in particular, there was no sin. And for that reason, the lamb had to be without blemish.

There was another reason why God didn't want blind or crippled lambs to represent Him. God wanted to impress upon the minds of Israel how much their sin really costs; that it would actually require the death of a Substitute, the Son of God, the Messiah would have to die for their sins.

It would have been a tremendous temptation for a Jew if he had a sheep that wasn't worth very much to say, "Well, I'll give that one to God." But God wanted the Jews to have to take that which was good, that which was worth something to them, and offer that up as a sacrifice to impress upon their minds the cost of their sins.

It couldn't be just something that wasn't worth very much. Does that make sense?

Wonda: Yes. That makes sense.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So even in their sacrifice, even in the lamb, it had to be worth something. It had to cost them something in order for them to give it.

Wonda: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well thanks.

Wonda: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Appreciate your call Wonda. Our next caller is Jason and he's listening on WMUZ from Shelby, Michigan. Jason, welcome to the program.

Jason: Oh thank you. My question was in 1st Corinthians chapter 7 on marriage.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay

Jason: I'll just read in there. Verse 1 is, "Now about the questions you have asked in your letter: yes it is good to live a celibate life. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband." I'm just wondering, like, as Christians, you know, why some of us have lives where it's difficult to find that other person--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Jason: --and we end up living single lives; but we have a desire to be married?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. Alright. Well the admonition given to us here by Paul, just to give a little bit of the context, Paul was on the road much. He was traveling, he was preaching, he was establishing churches. And in order to be effective in doing that type of missionary work, it was better in Paul's situation to be single.

By no means is he saying, though, that everyone must be single. We know from the very beginning, God said it's not good that man be alone and so He created a help meet, speaking of Eve for Adam.

Jason: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: So in the case of mission work, there are times when it's easiest, more convenient, for a person to go by themselves to some mission field; maybe before they get married take some time and go to some mission work. It's not saying that you shouldn't get married. But it's depending upon the type of ministry, the type of work it's doing, it could be to an advantage to help in that work.

Jason: Alright

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now the second part of your question?

Jason: Yeah, just wondering, you know, I guess just why people try to find a spouse but have such a hard time; and, you know, as a Christian, it makes it pretty lonely, you know?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure, sure. That is something that one needs to pray about. God is a God of purpose and a plan; and I believe that He's got someone for you, or for anyone that is looking for a spouse. But God has got His own timing. And we want to pray and trust in Him, that He will bring it to pass in His timing.

And God knows. God knows the heart. And He wants to bring joy and happiness to persons, to people. So I think you can trust in Him and pray and allow Him to lead and guide.

Jason: Alright

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, get involved in a good, God-fearing church where people interact with each other and get to know people. Do what you can, but ultimately, trust in God. He will bring the right person to you at the right time.

Jason: Alright, thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright Jason. Thanks for your call. Our next caller is Fran listening on 570 AM from New York. Fran, welcome to the program.

Fran: Hello

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi

Fran: Hi. The question that I wanted to know is earlier you talked about Moses seeing the back of God?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Fran: And I always wondered why--I know the Word says, "God is a Spirit" and that we're made in the image of God. What--did God look human to Moses when He showed the back of God?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well that's a good question.

Fran: [Laughs]

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it seems as though that God definitely has a form similar to us. Now, grant that He is a Spirit; we have the Holy Spirit; and He's--you know, we can't fully grasp everything about God. But the pictures that we have of God in Scripture that are portrayed, it does describe a Being like unto us.

For example, in Revelation chapter 4, we have a picture of God the Father sitting upon the throne. And it describes Him as a Person, as a Being, sitting upon the throne. And He's holding in His right hand a scroll of these seven seals. So He's got hands; you know He's got a face, you can't see the face of God.

So from the context of Scripture, we're created in God's image. In some way, He's like us.

Fran: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Does that make sense?

Fran: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright

Fran: Yes

Pastor Jëan Ross: Even though we don't exactly know what He looks like; but we can be pretty confident that He has hands, and feet, and a face just like us. You know, comprised of a body.

Fran: Oh okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright?

Fran: Right. And I'm from New Jersey, not New York [laughs].

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, well I'm glad you're able to pick that up. Thanks Fran, appreciate that.

Fran: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller then is Frank listening on--oh actually it's Idona, listening on WMCA from New York, New York. Idona, welcome to the program.

Idona: Hi, yes, how are you?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good, thank you

Idona: My question was um, you were speaking about when you die--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Idona: --you are in, like, a state of sleep.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes

Idona: My question is, can you explain Lazarus and the rich man?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. That's a good question. That is a parable. It's in a series of parables. And Jesus is illustrating a very important point to the Jewish leaders concerning this.

In the parable, just to, kind of, give folks a little bit of a background on that. Recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about this beggar by the name of Lazarus. And then there is this rich man. And the rich man, he feasts sumptuously; but he doesn't help the beggar, even though the beggar is lying at his gate.

Then it talks about both of them dying. Then the beggar, Lazarus, is taken to a place called Abraham's bosom and the rich man is in hell. And the rich man calls up to Abraham from hell and says, "If you can just have somebody come and put a drop of water on my tongue to relieve me because of the torment."

Then he says, "I have these," and there's discussion that goes back and forth; I'm just conveying this. He says, "I have these other brothers and if someone would be resurrected from the dead and go tell them, I don't want them to come to the same place." Then the point at the end of the story is, they have Moses and the prophets. If they don't listen to them or won't listen to him, they won't believe, even if one is raised from the dead.

Now here's the point. Just after this, Jesus did raise someone by the name of Lazarus. But even the resurrection of Lazarus, the Jewish leaders still refused to believe in Jesus. That whole parable is illustrating the point of the stubbornness of the Jewish leaders. It's not a doctrinal discourse on what happens when somebody dies. It's a parable.

Well you know, I hear the music playing in the background. I'm sorry we had to rush through that last answer there. Again friends, I want to thank you for joining us tonight for Bible Answers Live. If you have any Bible questions, be sure to join us next week, same time, same place, as we continue to study God's Word.

Take a look at our website, It's filled with all types of great resources. Until next week, God bless.


Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question