Where Your Treasure Is ...

Scripture: Luke 12:15
Date: 11/25/2007 
Luxury took on a new dimension this month as Saudi billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, signed a deal to buy the world’s first and largest privately-owned Airbus 380 aircraft. Prince Al-Waleed, billed as the 13th richest person in the world, emerged from his personal 747 to purchase the new A380.
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, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? Luxury took on a new dimension this month as Saudi billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, signed a deal to buy the world’s first and largest privately-owned Airbus 380 aircraft. Prince Al-Waleed, billed as the 13th richest person in the world, emerged from his personal 747 to purchase the new A380. To the end of the double-decker behemoth has twice the space of the 747. The Prince plans to have the corporate jet converted into a virtual flying palace with private suites, boardroom, theater, game room and much more, incorporating all of the most modern amenities to ensure maximum comfort and luxury.

In keeping with the Middle Eastern custom, the design is expected to create separate living areas within the aircraft for men, women and staff. The deal is valued at $319 million before any of the customizing interior work is done. Al-Waleed already owns a 282-foot yacht called the Kingdom 5KR which he bought from Donald Trump for $40 million. He travels between his private jets and his yachts, driving one of his thirty-eight cars. The most recent automobile the Saudi Prince purchased is a totally diamond-clad Mercedes SL550; this bejeweled car is worth a whopping $4.8 million dollars. If you can’t afford to put this on your shopping list for Christmas, don’t worry. The Prince will allow admirers to touch the royal car for a mere $1,000 per person.

This is a good time of year for us to remember what Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” Stay with us friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug Batchelor: In my opinion, when the Lord invented the technology that allows words to travel through the airwaves, this was the best possible use of that technology, to communicate the word of God, the truth. This program friends is a live, international, interactive program, it’s called Bible Answers Live. You’re invited to participate. If you’d like to call in with your question we have a couple of lines open. That number one more time is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. The Bible is our foundational source book here, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends, we’re glad that you’ve joined us again for another hour of Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug, before we get to the phone lines and the questions, let’s start with prayer. Dear Father, once more as we open Your word we ask for Your leading and guiding. Be with those who are listening and those who will call in. Father, we pray that because of tonight’s program, Your truth in Your Word will be revealed. For this we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You opened the program this evening Pastor Doug, talking about someone who has more money than he probably knows what to do with; and he’s spending it the in finest things that money can buy, this enormous airplane that’s going to be a flying palace. I mean just what else could a person get?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, I expect that some of our friends listening, if they’re anything like me, for a fleeting moment thought, “What would I do if I was the 13th richest person in the world and I could afford a personal flying airbus?” Can you imagine that, a private jet big enough to have a little swimming pool in it? And I’m not saying that they’re going to but, I mean, it’s that big. Yeah, it’s just absolutely enormous, fifty percent more space than a 747. What launched this thought for me, someone emailed me a picture of his most recent car, which, where most cars have paint, this car has diamonds, completely covered with diamonds, a Mercedes. And he thought, “What would make a person want that?” I mean, someone asked me, “What do you get for the person that has everything?” And the answer is, “A burglar alarm” [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Because Jesus said if you lay up treasures on earth where thieves break through and steal and rust and moth doth corrupt, nothing is really secure here. The only safe place for us to put our treasure is in heaven. And especially, Pastor Ross, this time of year when people are making out their shopping list of all the gifts, we sometimes forget how much we already have to be thankful for.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We begin to think our treasures are down here. At the same time, there are God’s people who become so caught up in the frenzy of the buying and the capitalism and the merchandising this time of year that they’ll go into debt to keep up with the gift list, and the cause of God languishes. It’s strange when you think that, theoretically this time of year, people are remembering the gift that God gave in giving His son and people have resources for just about everything, but Jesus.

And so we just wanted to introduce that thought with this program to help us keep perspective and remembering the promise, the word of God where Jesus said, “What profit is it if you gain the whole world and you lose your soul?” You might have a personal airbus and a diamond-studded Mercedes and your own yacht with a helicopter landing pad, but if you die lost, what good is it? If you’ve got Jesus, you’re rich. In heaven--none of the treasures on earth can be compared with what God has for us in heaven--every one of the redeemed will be a veritable billionaire through eternity, when you think about it. Maybe your priorities have been...you’ve been struggling with those issues. We've got a lesson that will help address some of that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s an Amazing Facts' study guide entitled “In God We Trust” and it deals with the subject of money. Of course, money is a great asset that we could use for a number of things. We can use it to advance God’s cause. How do we use our money? It’s all covered in this study guide “In God We Trust” and it’s free; just call the resource number, it’s 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, we have two questions this evening that’s come in via the email. First question is this, "Is killing permissible in regards to self-defense?"

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, that is a hot topic of course. Jesus said, “If someone smites you on your right cheek offer him the other.” If someone is approaching a Christian and threatening to take their life and if the cause of God and the glory of God will be expanded by your laying your life down, then I think a Christian should lay their life down. We’ve heard stories about missionaries who refused to defend themselves against hostile natives because they didn’t want to misrepresent Christianity.

But then, if there is some nut on the street and he came to assault me or my family, well there’s no glory in that, the fellow needs to be subdued somehow, or stopped. And you’ve got that verse in the Bible where it says in Romans 13:4, speaking of the custodians or the police force in their day, “For he is the minister of God for you to do good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain.” In other words, God allows them to be armed; so in our culture we’re thankful that the police are armed. Can you imagine the bedlam that we’d have in our society if only the thieves were armed, and the criminals.

We’re glad that we have a military that defends our freedoms and our border; and those are all issues that are addressed in the Bible. But on a personal level, I think if someone slaps you on the cheek, you can turn to them the other. But I think the Lord wants us to use common sense in these situations, especially when it’s the defense of others in our family.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. The next question that we have deals with Proverbs 8:22, and the question is, "This sounds like God made Jesus according to this verse, Proverbs 8:22. Could you please explain?"

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah. If you read here--and it depends on what version you’re reading--in the King James Version it says, “I was set up from everlasting from the beginning or ever there was.” Some are thinking that this means that it’s speaking of Jesus being created or set up. Well it’s talking about wisdom. If you go to the beginning of the chapter, this is a discourse. Solomon says in Proverbs 8:1, “Does not wisdom cry out and understanding put forth her voice?” And it goes through the whole passage in verse 12, “I, wisdom dwell with prudence.”

So it’s wisdom speaking as "I." So later when it gets to this part where it says, “...being brought forth,” well Christ was the Word of God incarnate. So when it’s talking about Christ being brought forth, the wisdom of God being brought forth, that’s talking about His birth on earth, but He has existed. "From everlasting to everlasting thou art God." [Psalm 90:2]. Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and Omega," and He is without beginning or end.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. John Chapter 1, verse 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: What the slam dunk is for me is it says, "All things that were made were made by Him." Well, if He was made by somebody else, then that isn’t true anymore. So, in order for all things to be made by Him...

Pastor Jëan Ross: He must have pre-existed all things.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, exactly.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, our phone lines, we’ll go to the calls. Max is listening on the internet from New York, New York. I guess that’s Manhattan. Max, welcome to the program.

Max: Hi, good evening Pastors.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Max: Yes, Hi. My question comes from Amos chapter 5, verse 8.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Max: I was reading the passage and I saw the mention of seven stars and I was wondering what was it referring to exactly? I thought it was, perhaps, the planets but I wasn’t too sure, so I just need some clarification.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well the verse in the New King James version, it says, “He made the Pleiades and the Orion.” The Pleiades is, they call it “The Seven Sisters.” There are seven stars out in the constellation that are very close together and that’s how it got its name. And it’s simply saying that He made everything. It goes on to say the Orion. But while you’re on the subject, if you go to Revelation it talks about God has the seven spirits of God; and then you have the seven messages to the seven churches; the seven angels of God, and they’re referred to as stars in the hands of Jesus. When you go to Isaiah 11:2, and I don’t know if you’ve got a Bible handy with you...

Max: Yes, I do.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ... it seems that the character of God, of God’s Spirit, is identified with these characteristics. It says, “The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Well, if you count the spirit of the Lord as one and the other six together, that makes up seven characteristics, or facets, to the Spirit of God. Now, we all know that wisdom is one of the characteristics of the Spirit. This is what Solomon was asking for. We just talked about that in our earlier question.

So, in regards to your question about Amos 5:8, the seven stars, I think the emphasis there is really talking about the constellations in the heavens. But it does refer to the seven spirits of God and the seven stars and the seven eyes in the Lamb in Revelation; and these are all telling about the all-knowing Spirit of God and the characteristics of God’s Spirit.

Max: Okay. But it’s not really mentioning about planets in general, right?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: No, not there. I think it’s just telling us that God made--matter of fact, the Pleiades, the seven stars and Orion are outside of our solar system. It’s just letting us know that God made the heavens of heavens.

Max: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. Hey good question. I don’t think I’ve had that one before. Thank you, Max.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, our next caller is Ariel listening on the internet from Brooklyn, New York. Ariel, welcome to the program.

Ariel: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: How can we help you tonight?

Ariel: I’m calling about Exodus 24:10-12. It’s a two-part question. The first part is, does the sapphire stone mentioned in verse 10, is that referring to the two tablets in verse 12, the Ten Commandments? And...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well,--go ahead.

Ariel: Okay, and the second part of it is, the same sermon that I heard this, the person said that there’s an article, the word "the", that's missing in a certain version and it’s there in another version of the Bible; that that word "the" shows the relationship between the sapphire stone and the two tablets. I don’t know, well [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well now first of all, the sapphire stone is a blue stone. It’s next to the diamond. It’s one of the most beautiful and durable stones that they had back then. It is true that the priests were told to wear a border of blue on their garments, on their sleeves and on their hems, to remind them about the law of God and being obedient to His law. So there’s connection there between the color blue and loyalty to the law. When we read about the Ten Commandments, keep in mind, the first set of stones it says God cut them and gave them to Moses. When they found the Golden Calf experience, Moses threw those down and God said, “Hew thee two stones like the first.” So God cut the first two, Moses cut the second two. It doesn’t tell us where he cut them.

Ariel: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Now, I’ve heard it hypothesized that these were taken from the foundation or from the throne of God. There are good reasons for that. In the Ark of the Covenant was the Ten Commandments. The Shekinah Glory or the Mercy Seat which is a symbol of God’s Throne, it was above the Ten Commandments. So someone might easily argue--and I would have no reason to argue against it--that the Ten Commandments were written on blue sapphire stone, and that’s beautiful to think about. I don’t where it would affect our theology about our lives at all. It’s a beautiful thought.

Ariel: So the word "the," like I’m saying, like I think in verse 12 is, I mean, yeah, verse 12, it says in one version, “Give you the tables of stone,” and in one version it says, “Give thee tables of stone,” like that word does not have any implication on the sapphire stone and meaning that it's the Ten Commandments?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. The versions I’m looking at right here, it says, “I will give you" or "thee." It doesn’t say "the." So I'd have to research that. That’s Exodus 24:12 we’re talking about.

Ariel: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah.

Ariel: Okay, was that in a version that's found that in, or…?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well no, I haven’t researched that. You know, there’s probably, in English--well what you want, you don’t want a translation. You want to go to the original Hebrew. Matter of fact, if you got a second more I’ll take you to the original Hebrew right now, Exodus 24 and we’re looking at verse 12, you got it?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah. While you’re looking that up, the word "thee" in the original Hebrew is not there so it seems to be added just to make sense, to kind of fit in to the sentence structure. I’m speaking about the King James Version. The word "thee" there in the Hebrew is not there.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I’ve got the original Hebrew and it says, “I will give," and for "thee" here it’s "thee," not "thon."

Ariel: Say it again, I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh no, I’m sorry. I was grabbing the wrong word. Ayth, A-Y-T-H. It’s “I will give thee.” It’s not "the." So, someone may have a Hebrew Bible that has it differently but we don’t have that before us.

Ariel: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Anyway, hey, if they’re blue and they’re sapphire, that’s fine with me. I hope they find them some day. Appreciate your question Ariel. We do have that lesson called “Written in Stone” we’ll be happy to send you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right, that’s a good book dealing with the law of God. For anyone wanting to know more about the law of God, about the Ten Commandments, call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide “Written in Stone” dealing with the Ten Commandments. Our next caller is Martine listening on the internet from Brooklyn, New York. Martine, welcome to the program.

Martine: Hi, Pastors. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good. Evening.

Martine: Alright. My question is coming from Genesis 32:32, and I’m not too sure about this verse. It talks about the sinew which shrank.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Martine: And also the hollow of Jacob’s thigh and the sinew that shrank.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. The word there for "sinew," it’s a tendon in the back of the thigh; that it tightened up somehow and he could never completely straighten his leg and evidently he walked with something of a limp the rest of life. So for the remainder of the history of Israel the Orthodox Jews and his family, when they slaughtered an animal, they would not eat that tendon in the back of the leg. Every creature has it, most mammals I should say. In commemorating Jacob’s wrestling with the angel they would set that aside for their sacrifices. It's not talking about eating people.

Martine: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. It’s talking about "the hollow of the thigh unto this day, because the angel touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, the sinew that shrank." The angel sort of crippled him a little bit when they were wrestling together. So the rest of his life, he remembered.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, I’m just reading here in conjunction with this verse, the Talmud, which was later written as sort of a commentary on the Hebrew Old Testament by the Jews, they regarded this custom of not eating the sinew of the hip so strongly that if someone did violate this custom, they would be punished with stripes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: They’d be whipped, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So they took it pretty seriously.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: They took it pretty seriously. Don’t eat that tendon!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Of course, that’s not in the Bible. That was just added on later on.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The Talmud, right. Hey I hope that helps. It’s a good question Martine, appreciate that.

Martine: Yes, thank you. Alright, bye-bye.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: God bless.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Mel listening on WJHE from Newark, Ohio. Mel, welcome to the program.

Mel: Thank you. My question is this, in the last chapters of Genesis dealing with the story of Joseph, are Israel and Jacob one and the same?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes. The only way you might find it different is that as time goes by, "Israel" not only means "Jacob," it meant his posterity, his offspring, the nation that grew from him, his children, but his original name his parents gave him was Jacob. We were just talking with our previous caller. His name was changed from "Jacob" to "Israel," which means “over-comer" or "prince with God” when he wrestled with the angel. So for the remainder of his life, his official name was then "Israel," but most people, after a hundred years of calling someone Jacob, they still used Jacob even after he wrestled with the angel.

Mel: I see.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So yep, same individual.

Mel: I was reading that in the New International Version and I just got to wondering. I’m trying that one out for size for a while and I just got to wondering.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Well you’re on the right track. Jacob and Israel are the same person. You know, we’ve got a book that goes into this a little more we’ll send you for free. It talks about literal Israel, Jacob, and spiritual Israel and his nation. It’s called “Spiritual Israel,” we’ll send you…

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll be happy to send that out.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you need to do Mel is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747 and ask for that book “Spiritual Israel.” We’ll be happy to send that out to you. Cindy is our next caller, calling from Canada listening on the internet. Cindy, welcome to the program.

Cindy: Thank you very much. Good night both of you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Cindy: I’m calling because I had a question from 1st Corinthians. I think it was 1st Corinthians he just told me. It’s talking about a woman’s role, saying that if a woman wants to speak in church, she should not, that a woman ought to be silent in church and she should not speak. And if she has anything to ask, she should inquire from her own husband because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes. First of all, you only find that in one place, and Paul is talking about a situation, you’ve got to understand how things looked. Matter of fact in our Amazing Fact, I don’t know if you heard the opening comments of our program about the Saudi Prince who is converting an Airbus 380 into a flying palace, they’re going to have separate quarters for the men and the women, separate dwelling places for the men and the women. In the Middle East, and you still find this in places I’ve traveled, when I was in India--you’ve probably seen this Pastor Ross--the men and the women don’t sit together in church.

And the idea being that they might be tempted to think impure thoughts if they’re co-mingling, even with your spouses they don’t sit next to each other. So what was happening in the days of Paul that was still a custom in the Roman Empire, the women were calling over to their husbands and answering questions their husbands might have been asking Paul or the teachers that day. And Paul was saying, “Look you’re embarrassing your husbands publicly. If you’ve got a question for your husband, he’s the priest of the family, wait until you get home.”

He wasn’t making an arbitrary statement that a woman was never to speak in a religious gathering, because you’ve got other examples where God obviously filled women with His spirit and they spoke in those settings. When Jesus was born, you had a woman named Anna in the temple who took Jesus up in her arms along with Simeon. And then you have Deborah who was a prophetess, and others. So, reading that in its context is, I think, important. You there?

Cindy: I’m still here, I’m still here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, just to add something to that, I was reading a little more on this verse. The custom of the day...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, which verse are you reading?

Pastor Jëan Ross: 1 Corinthians 14:35.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The custom of the day back then was for women in public gatherings to take the background and to remain in silence, not only for religious services, but for any type of gathering where you had men and women. And Paul recognizes this and he wants to make sure that in the church things were not done that would be offensive to others in the society and culture.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In the culture, yeah. Or to not to offend the culture and alienate them to the Gospel, he said, “Look, you need to respect.” Let me give you another example Cindy. If I had a hat and I walk into the church with my cowboy hat in my hand, and as soon as I enter the church I put my hat on my head, most people would think, "You’ve got that backwards. When you walk into the church, you take your hat off. When everyone says, 'Alright time to pray,' you take your hat off.” That’s our culture. It’s considered respectful. You’d wonder about people who put their hats on when it’s time to pray. But the fact is in the time of Christ, the Jewish men cover their heads when they pray. You know those Yamakas?

Cindy: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So here, you’ve got actually opposite customs, but they’re customs of respect and Paul is saying, “Look, we need to recognize these customs of respect in the culture so that we don’t misrepresent Christianity in the environment socially."

Cindy: Okay. Alright.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But there is in the Bible a system of leadership where men were to be the priest leaders in the families, but there's not really a biblical injunction that God cannot speak through a woman in church. Now that’s a separate thing from the ordination of women. We’re talking about two separate things. Okay?

Cindy: Okay. Well I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t read it out of context, that I took it literally for what it meant, because I know that some things in the Bible are to be meant literally and other things are useful to interpret it spiritually.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, they all should be read in their context. And I think the other key is to remember who is Paul speaking to at this time.

Cindy: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey, I appreciate that. I’m writing a book right now, Pastor Ross, dealing with the subject of women in ministry and some of these questions that Paul wrote about. Oh, the other thing I was going to say Cindy is, you never want to build a doctrine on one verse, a Scripture. It says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let everything be established.” So when you find one verse like this you might say, “Alright now, is this a blanket statement that women are never to speak in a public religious gathering? If that’s so, then let’s find those Scriptures that support that.” Otherwise, you end up building a whole theology around one verse. It could be misunderstood.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, on that same line we do have in the New Testament in Acts 21:9, a gentleman by the name of Philip who had four daughters who prophesied.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now if they had the gift of prophecy where did they prophesy? Was it at church? Was it at home?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well, probably were allowed to speak up in those gatherings…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. That makes sense.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Matter of fact, you read also in 1st Corinthians 14 when he talks about people prophesying in public, women...

Pastor Jëan Ross: Happens at church.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. That was in the context of a church there. Friends, we’re going to take a break for just a moment. I always like to about this time remind you, this program is sort of a springboard for us to get people into the Word. We just have two to three minutes to answer these questions. Some of you ask questions that--to do them justice, we need an hour. But we just try and give a brief answer and then we direct people to the free resources, to the books that we have, to do deeper study.

We don’t want you to just be getting the cream or the milk of word, but the meat of the word. That would AmazingFacts.org. Check out the Amazing Facts' website. We’ve got a lot more depth in the materials that are in our online, free library. We’ll be right back.


Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome back. For friends who may have joined us along the way, if you hopped the train, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live and we’re on our way to the destination of truth. If you have a phone call or if you’d like to know the number again to call in your question, that number is 1-800-463-7297. We’re not going to delay but get back to the phones. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, let’s go straight to the phone lines. Our next caller is Josephine and she is listening on the internet from Wichita Falls, Texas. Josephine, welcome to the program.

Josephine: Hi, good evening Pastors.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Evening.

Josephine: I actually have two questions and the first one is with regard to circumcision. I know Jesus Christ Himself was circumcised. Now is that still applicable in our day and age?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well Paul is pretty clear, and he says--and Pastor Ross might look up some of the references--where he says, “Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments is what matters." There are so many references where he makes it clear circumcision is not required. Now, when you’re asking that question, you really have to divide this subject. I know this maybe delicate for some people but you’ve got to divide the subject of circumcision two ways.

One is the spiritual significance is not required. It is important for circumcision of the heart, and that even goes all the way back to Moses. Circumcision represented not being a couple of things, not being led by the flesh, but being led by the spirit. Furthermore, when God gave circumcision to Abraham He was saying, “The Messiah, the Promised Seed, would come through your line,” and there’s an obvious connection there. Now there’s a whole medical view on circumcision. They say there are some benefits and so that’s a different issue.

So a lot of hospitals, little boys are still circumcised today regardless of their religion because there are proponents that say there are some medical advantages there. Well, I won’t get into that, you can go online and find that. Anyway, so...

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give some of those verses dealing with that just very quickly.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh yeah, on circumcision not being required.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. Galatians 5:2.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well go ahead and read that for me.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Paul says, “I indeed say unto you," sorry let me reread that. “I indeed Paul say to you, that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.” And then again in Galatians 6:12 he speaks of circumcision, “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised; only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.” So he’s speaking of the Jews compelling the Gentiles. He says, "You don’t have to be circumcised." But that’s the reason why the Jews are trying to compel the Greeks to be circumcised. Then Galatians 2:3 is another verse dealing with that same subject; 1 Corinthians 7:18 is another one.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That's quite a few.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So there’s quite a few.

Josephine: Okay, I’ll look those up, thank you. Then the last question is found on Matthew 24:20, and it says, “But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.” I understand the context of this particular verse, but I wanted to know why specifically God is saying for us not torun on the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well there are two things. He was saying there would be a day to flee. The word "flight" there is not talking about an airline flight, it means fleeing. So there’s an up and running kind of picture there. Matter of fact, in other Gospels Jesus says, “When you see this day come, if you’re on the roof, don’t even go back in the house. If you’re in the field, don’t go back to get your coat but run for your life.” So He says, “You ought to pray now that you don’t have to flee like that when this time comes in the winter.” Why? Well for one thing, there is not much food in the fields to glean in the wintertime.

At least in the harvest they could pick through things and eat; and the weather is not very [unintelligible] in the winter or on the Sabbath Day. One reason they wouldn't to flee on the Sabbath day is because, well, running for your life is typically not consistent with the rest. So there are some that say, “Well He said this to the Christians because in Jerusalem the city gates were shut on Sabbath and they could not flee.” Well that’s really not true. In the Roman time, Nehemiah’s day, they shut the gates. When the Roman’s ran the city, they did not shut the gates on the Sabbath. So Jesus is just saying, you know, He expected His people to be keeping the Sabbath.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, of course, the context of that is the destruction of Jerusalem which happened in 70 A.D., and before the city was actually destroyed the Romans surrounded Jerusalem so the gates were shut, not just on the Sabbath but for a long period of time.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah.

Josephine: Well thank you very much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, good question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Bruce listening in on KNDL from Pacifica, California. Bruce, you’re on the air with Pastor Doug.

Bruce: Thank you. Now, Revelation chapter 16 is kind of amazing. But from verses 13 to 18 where the frogs were coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, they're coming out like frogs, and then they’re gathering for battle. And then again in verse 17 the angel who poured out his bowl into the air says, “It is done,” and apparently even maybe a nuclear war has just happened in front of, you know, in John's eyes in the vision. But, “It is done,” is that the same as, “It is finished” when Jesus was on the cross, the same statement? And then, you know, the frogs and stuff, can you explain anything? Is this chronological, the book of Revelations all the way through to where we are now? And then there’s more taking place after these events?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, you've asked several very important questions and I’ll do my best to touch on them. I won’t be able to give you an exhaustive answer. Is Revelation chronological? The first segments of Revelation give an overview of time from several different perspectives. For instance, the seven churches, the vision of the seven churches, that gives a religious history from the first to the second coming. So it is chronological.

From the church of Ephesus, the first church, to the church of Laodicea covers a chronological history of the church. But then you go into the seven seals, that gives a political chronology of the church and it covers some of the same ground as the seven churches. Then you go into the seven trumpets. In other words, what God does in Revelation is He rotates history on a pedestal, like a lazy Susan, so we get to see the chronology of history through a series of visions.

Is it chronological? Yes, but it is a bunch of different perspectives of that chronology. It doesn’t start with chapter 1 and chronologically move through chapter 22. Then when you ask about the three unclean spirits, you’ll find that there are three angels’ messages in Revelation 14 that are communicating a message of truth to the world. When you get to Revelation 16, you've got three unclean spirits that are communicating a message of deception to the world. Now Pastor Ross had a thought.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, on those three unclean spirits. Notice that one comes out of the dragon; the other out of the mouth of the beast; and the other out of the mouth of the false prophet. We find a counterfeit trinity, a man-made trinity.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The dragon tries to take the place of God the Father; the beast, the place of Christ; the false prophet, the place of the Holy Spirit. It also says that they’re like frogs. They come out of the mouth of these things like frogs. Of course a frog catches its prey with its tongue, and Satan is a liar and a deceiver from the very beginning. So these deceptions that Satan has...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Out of the mouth.

Pastor Jëan Ross: ...comes out of the mouth, words, for the purpose of deceiving the world.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. And of course frogs were considered the epitome of an unclean abomination on the Jewish menu.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And those were worshiped in Egypt.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In France, they eat frog legs.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It was worshiped in Egypt.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well that’s part of it. Yeah, Bruce I hope that helps a little bit. You’ve asked a lot of questions and I don’t think we can cover all that. Anyway, we have some advanced studies on Revelation. If you go to our website or if you call our resource number, we have a study that deals with the beast. It talks about the beast, the dragon and the false prophet, and it’s called “The Mark of the Beast.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll be happy to send that to you Bruce. All you’ll need to do is call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, ask for the study guide “The Mark of the Beast” and we’ll try and get that out to you. Our next caller is Jim and he’s calling from Washington. Jim, welcome to the program. Jim, you there?

Jim: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright.

Jim: I was just calling to ask if the apocryphal books were valid because First and Second Maccabees, they seem to be very valid historical books and I was wondering why they weren’t in the Bible.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, good question. For our listening friends, if you look at the typical Douay Version of the Catholic Bible, there are additional books you will not find in the typical Protestant Bible. The books that are different are called the apocryphal books. Some of the reasons for that is there were no references to those books in the other 66 books that are in the regular Protestant Bibles so they were of a questionable origin. One exception would be, Jim, the Maccabee books that you’re referring to, they probably do have a fairly accurate history and most historians look at them that way.

Jim: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But something being accurate historically, or at least fairly accurate, and something being inspired by the Holy Spirit, they’re two different things.

Jim: Because, you know, from Malachi to the New Testament, I would think that they would have them in there because that fills in that gap.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It does provide some very important history. The people who assembled the Bible, more specifically the Protestant Bibles, they thought that there was--some of the spiritual inspiration in the Maccabees was very questionable. And so to put it on the same level of history, yes.

Holy Spirit inspired, holy men moving by the Holy Spirit, they saw a lot of personal bias that was written in the book, a lot of patriotic bias that was in the book, and so they didn’t include it in the Protestant Bibles. And there’s no reference. In other words, if I want to know if a book is inspired or not, Jim, here is the bottom line: Jesus quotes from Daniel. Jesus quotes from Isaiah. Jesus quotes from Ezekiel. Jesus quotes Amos.

I mean, I could go through all of the typical--He quotes from Malachi. Ten percent of everything Jesus said was quoting the Old Testament. We know that all of the books that are included in the Protestant Bible are quoted by Jesus or the Apostles. There is no reference really, that I know of, to the Maccabees or some of the apocryphal books in the New Testament.

Jim: Yeah. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So that was another criteria they used. Good question.

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

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Vilma, are you there?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Vilma, sorry Vilma.

Vilma: I’m here, I'm here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Vilma: Excuse me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You’re on the air, your question?

Vilma: Okay, my question is I’d like to know which is the right day that we celebrate the Sabbath, the right day, which is Saturday or Sunday?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, real simple question, which is the right day to celebrate the Sabbath. If you look in the Bible, in Genesis chapter 2 when God created the heaven and the earth, the Bible says, “And on the seventh day, God rested from all His work" and He blessed and He sanctifies the seventh day. Then if you want to know, "Well what day of the week is the seventh day?" Well, the Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified on the Preparation day, or Friday. He rested in the Tomb on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath was about to begin, which is the seventh day. He rose the first day of the week--and most Christians agree Jesus rose on--they call it Easter Sunday, the first day of the week.

So, if Jesus died on the preparation day, Friday the sixth day, and He rose on Sunday, and He was in the tomb resting on the seventh day, well Saturday is the seventh day. And not only is the Bible clear on that, if you look in the dictionary it will say, "Saturday, seventh day of the week." If you look at a normal calendar, and there’s all kinds of squirrely calendars out there, but if you look at a normal calendar Vilma, you’ll see that Saturday is the seventh day of the week. Even on my Microsoft Outlook, if I ask them to order the week normally, it has Sunday the first day, Saturday the seventh day. Then you can ask your computer to set it up for a business week and it will start with Monday.

Pastor Jëan Ross: By the way, the verses you mentioned there Pastor Doug, that’s Mark 15: 42, speaking of the Preparation day. The day that Jesus died was just before the Sabbath. Then the first day of the week when Jesus rose from the dead, that’s Mark 16:1-2. Those verses make it very clear which day of the week is the seventh day.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We have a lesson that covers that in much more detail that we can send out to Vilma dealing with the Sabbath day, and it’s “The Forgotten Day of History.” We’ll be happy to send that to you Vilma, if you just call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for “The Lost Day of History” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you. Our next caller is Eric and he’s listening on WFBS from Pennsylvania. Eric, welcome to the program.

Eric: Thank you. How are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good.

Eric: Good. My question is Luke 10:25.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, we’re going there and what’s the question?

Eric: The question is what is the subject being discussed between the lawyer and Christ?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. It says, “And a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him saying, ‘Teacher what shall I do toinherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said unto him, 'What iswritten in the law, what is your reading of it?'" Now, lawyers were supposed to be well acquainted with the law. He said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.' And Jesus said, 'You rightly answer. Do this and you’ll live.'”

Eric: Okay. “Do this and you will live.” The question was, “What must I do for eternal life?” The question seems to be--and I’m not being tricky here, this is something I’m genuinely asking--the question seems to be a question about salvation.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right.

Eric: Okay, well, “Do this and you will live” implies that you will live from this point forward, does it not?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: No. I think that every Jew understood that real life, eternal life, might be interrupted by death. An example of this would be in Ezekiel 18 where he said, “If the wicked man turns away from his wickedness, he will not die, he will live.” Well it didn’t mean he wouldn’t get old and die. It meantthat he would have eternal life. If you want, I could look that up and read that to you.

Eric: No, that’s alright. I understand that. Well then the other implied message here is, or it’s not implied, perhaps, but it’s inferable, that um--maybe I’m misunderstanding the question that the lawyer is asking but if the question is about eternal life, and the answer from Christ who is God is, “Love your neighbor and God,” that’s not exactly election.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well yeah, I agree. Yeah, we do have a choice.

Eric: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. I’m agreeing with you.

Eric: Okay good. I struggle with the lawyer. Okay, so we do have a choice.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Why else would God say, “Choose ye this day whom you will serve,” if we have no choice? And why would the Lord say, “Whosoever, let him come and take the water of life freely”? The Lord is inviting whoever feels stirred by the Spirit and wants to come. Wedo have a choice. We all feel that some can resist the Spirit, they can choose to resist it. That’s why Paul says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit." God is drawing people everywhere. So yeah, it's too big for our listening friends. What Eric and I are talking about is there are a couple of big divisions within the Christian church, good people on both sides.

You got the Calvinist view, predestination, election … that really God has sort of arbitrarily picked who He’s going to save and the others don’t really have a choice. And then you have what they call the Armenian, or the free will people, that believe that God has given all a free will to love Him, to choose to follow, believe, or not to; and I think that Eric has seen in this story that we can choose to love God and love our neighbor.

Eric: And what I’m also seeing is that through loving God and through loving your neighbor, you’ve chosen eternal life.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well you know, I’m going to say to you what Jesus said to the lawyer Eric, "You are not far from the kingdom."

Eric: [Laughing] well, and one of the things that muddies the message here is that this is typically referred to as the story of the Good Samaritan, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Good Samaritan.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. People miss the dialog at the beginning to get into the parable.

Eric: Yeah, right, right. So they get into the parable, and even the parable has nothing to do with Good Samaritans. It has to do with who is my neighbor?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And loving your neighbor.

Eric: And, well, and defining what your neighbor isn’t.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup.

Eric: It’s not a Levite and a priest.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, we’ve got a lesson that we’d be happy to send you Eric that deals specifically with the relationship between law and grace and salvation. And it’s the study guide we’ve got on salvation that talks about our part and God’s part.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think it’s called, “Rescue from Above.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and we’ll be happy to send you a free copy of that Eric. It has a lot of Scripture in it. Just ask for that and we’ll send it to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide on salvation, “Rescue from Above.” And I think the study guide on the law, “Written in Stone” will also be a great help dealing with that same subject.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup, that’s right, because that’s what the lawyer was asking about.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller then is Jeff. Jeff, welcome to the program. You’re on the air. Jeff, listening on 3ABN from Washington. Jeff, are you there?

Jeff: Yes, I’m here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome.

Jeff: And my question has to do with Genesis 48 where Jacob was blessing Ephraim and Manasseh.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Jeff: And if you go down to verse 17 where it says that Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head it displeased him. And he grabbed his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head and Joseph said to his father, "Not so, this is my firstborn," and so on and so on.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Jeff: But then it says that his father refused and said, “I know my son, I know he shall become a people, and he shall be great; however his younger brother shall be greater than he and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Jeff: Now, I’m doing a Bible study with a man and he told me that this blessing of Ephraim was for the United States.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, that’s a stretch. I think if you can apply this blessing of Ephraim here to the United States, you could probably do some theological gymnastics and apply it to any country. Really what’s happening here, the two sons of Joseph were given equal status among the other sons of Jacob. They were going to be treated, not as grandsons but as sons, because Joseph had been separated from his father for years. When you trace the history of Israel, Ephraim grew so much bigger than Manasseh that in the latter history of Israel, then ten northern tribes were called Ephraim.

The Southern Kingdom was called Judah. The Northern Kingdom was Israel, or Ephraim, because they had grown so much. Then it was largely the Ephraimites that got scattered among the Assyrians and they did sort of dissipate into many different nations. But to trace that history to the U.S., I guess I’d have to be fair, I’d have to hear this man’s presentation; but, you know, I don’t want to be critical but that sounds like kind of an old hobby horse that Herbert W. Armstrong used to believe.

Jeff: Yeah, he talks about him a lot.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. Well you know, bless his heart, the man probably did a lot of good things, but he was very confused on who Israel was, in my opinion.

Jeff: Okay. Because I thought that this has nothing to do with prophecy whatsoever. I mean, this prophecy as far as I understand it, but...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. This was a prophecy about the future of the Israelites. It really had nothing to do with America. I think that’s a leap in logic.

Jeff: Okay. That’s what I thought but I wanted...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey but, you know what we should send you Jeff? We’ve got a study guide called “The U.S. in Prophecy.” If you really want to know, America is in prophecy and we’ll show you where. We’ll send you a free copy if you call the number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you need to do Jeff, call 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide “The United States in Bible Prophecy” and we’ll be happy to send that to you. Our next caller then is Conrad, listening on the internet from Brooklyn, New York. Conrad, you’re on air.

Conrad: Yes, good evening.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Conrad: My question is on meat, dealing with meat. Is there any specific command on like we shouldn’t eat meat in the New Testament? Because, to my knowledge, somebody told me that when God destroyed the earth the first time with the flood, that vegetation was destroyed so He incorporated us to eat meat, and told us the healthy meats to eat. Was that done away with? Or there’s nothing wrong with eating meat in these times? Because I know in times to come, meat is going to not be good to eat.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, you’re asking a couple of different questions. The first question--let me answer sequentially. God’s original plan was not for humans to kill any of the animals. There was not to be any death. So, as a result of sin and including the flood, all the vegetation was destroyed, man began to eat meat and eat more of it. There is no requirement in the Bible to eat meat, except when the priests were eating sacrifice, and we’re not under that system anymore.

They were to only eat clean meats and the clean meats, of course, among the mammals, it needed to have a cloven hoof and chew their cud. Now in the New Testament times, there’s no command that says, “Thou shalt not eat meat.” God does still perpetuate the command not to eat the unclean meats. You can read in Acts chapter 10 where Peter has his vision and he says, “I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” He refused to eat any of the unclean meats. Matter of fact, it says in Acts 15:20 they not only were not to eat [unclean] meat, they were not to eat the blood of any animal, clean or unclean.

So the dietary laws that promote health are still in effect. Then you look at just the health basics. Obviously, Adam and Eve in paradise did not kill animals. In heaven, Conrad, we’re not going to chase animals around and butcher them, right?...

Conrad: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...in the new earth. Set that aside for a second. If you listen to what’s happening in the background of all of the dependable health information, they’re saying that if you avoid animal products, you’ll very likely avoid a lot of the principle causes of death, namely cancer, heart disease, diabetes. All of those things go up with the consumption ofmore animal products. So, milk is probably not as bad as meat. If you’re going to eat meat, certainly don’t eat the ones that God says are unclean, the biggest offender in our culture. Most of our people don’t eat unclean food, meaning they don’t eat vultures, and buzzards, and mice and rats. I’ve been in the world where people eat dogs and all kinds of things.

But in America the big offender that hurts people is pork. Pork is considered unclean, not only by Bible Christians and Jews and Muslims, but a lot of the world recognizes that it’s very high in nitrates and salt and oil. So you’ve got the spiritual reasons where you’re better off, and you’ve got the health reasons, and then you’ve got preparing for eternity reasons. Probably cheaper too, financial reasons [laughing].

Conrad: So in other words, there’s really nothing wrong with eating clean meat?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well biblically, it says if you’re going to eat meat you need to stick with the clean meat; but I’m just telling you that, practically speaking, you’re a lot better off moving towards a vegetarian diet. The Bible tells us that’s where we’re going to end up and the sciences are supporting that more and more as time goes by.

You know, you can hear the music chasing us. I want make sure and offer you our lesson on the subject of health. It’s called “God’s Free Health Plan” Conrad. Call the number. They’ll be picking up the phones for, oh, another couple of hours after this broadcast if you would like to ask for these free resources we’ve mentioned, “God’s Free Health Plan.”

Everybody out there, you ought to find out what the Bible says about health. If you don’t have that study guide, what are you waiting for? It’s free. It’ll save you money on--boy, talk about health care crisis!

Well, the producer is telling me we’re out of time Pastor Ross. AmazingFacts.org, AmazingFacts.com. Please go to the website friends. Our broadcast time is running out. We’d love to hear from you again, but we’re going to have to communicate via the website and put these things into your hands. If you haven’t checked out the new website, one more time, it’s really easy to remember, Amazing Facts. You’ll find a virtual tree of life there. God bless until next week.


Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question