Preparing for Christ's Coming

Preparing for Christ's Coming

Date: 12/11/2016 
Back in 1942 a British forest guard in Roopkund India, while patrolling 16,000 feet up in the Himalayan mountains made a shocking discovery. There at the bottom of a small valley was a frozen lake absolutely full of human skeletons.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello, listening friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? Back in 1942, a British forest guard in Roopkund, India while patrolling 16,000 feet up in the Himalayan Mountains made a shocking discovery. There at the bottom of a small valley was a frozen lake absolutely full of human skeletons. During that warm summer the ice melted revealing even more skeletal remains floating in the water and lying haphazardly around the edges of the lake. Obviously, something horrible had happened here. Was it a war, landslide, avalanche, mass suicide, plague?

For years, no one knew what caused this carnage. However, in 2004 an expedition to the site seems to have finally settled the mystery of what caused those peoples' deaths. Even though many of the bones still had flesh and hair it turns out after testing the skeletons were over 1,000 years old. The cold dry climate helped preserved the remains. All the bodies have evidently died in a similar way from blows to the head and the shoulders as if all the blows have come from directly above.

Rings, spears and leather shoes and bamboo stakes were found leading the experts to believe that the group was comprised of pilgrims heading through the valley with the help of some of the local guides that's because the DNA testing indicated 70% of the victims were related to Iran and the remainder of the ancestors the local Indian population. After much research, the 2004 expedition came to the same conclusion, all 300 people died in about 850 AD because they were caught unprotected in the open during a sudden severe and violent hailstorm.

This is not very hard to believe when you consider 92 people were killed in Bangladesh in 1986 by a hailstorm that contained stones weighing up to a pound and half. The Bible talks about a plague were hundreds of people were killed by giant hailstones. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

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Voice Recording: You're listening to Bible Answers Live. Honest answers to your Bible questions. Our phone lines are now open. If you have a Bible related question, call us at 1-800-God-Says. That's 1-800-463-7297. Now, let's join our host, Pastor Doug Batchelor and our cohost Pastor Jean Ross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Wecome listening friends, to Bible Answers Live and you join a live international interactive Bible study. If you got a Bible question, we've got several lines open now is the best time to give a call with your Bible question. It's a free phone call. 800-God-Says. That's 800-463-7297. Maybe you weren't ready, I'll give it to you right now one more time. 800-463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross, good evening, listening friends. Pastor Doug, let's begin the program with a word of prayer. Dear father in heaven, what a privilege to be able to study the Bible together and once again we ask for you to guide our discussion and our study lead us into a clear understanding of Bible truth. Fully ask this in Jesus name, amen.

Doug: Amen.

Jean: Pastor Doug, you opened the program talking about this group of people travelling that ended up being killed as a result of giant hailstones just coming down upon them and it doesn't sound like there was cave nearby that they could ran into or something that they could cover-

Doug: No trees.

Jean: -themselves with and they were just-- there they were just being hammered by this hail and kind of sad, but every now and again on the news you'll hear about some big storm somewhere and tremendous hail and they'll have pictures of hail about the size of an orange or sometimes golf ball. That's more typical, but maybe you get big chunks of hail that's quite something.

Doug: Yes, I think I went online as I prepare for this Amazing Fact and saw that the record, again, is record for the largest hailstone in the world is actually in America. I think it was North Dakota and it was like eight inches around. The ones that someone captured it, froze it they measured it [chuckle] and so that gets pretty big. If you're out unprotected and you're getting pounded by something that big it will break your skull and it can be lethal. The Bible talks about some hailstorms like this. Of course, one of the plagues that fell on the Egyptians when they continued in their reveling you can find in Exodus 9.

It says, "There was hail." This is Exodus 9:24. "There was hail and flashing fire continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail such as it never been in the land of Egypt since it became a nation." The hail struck down everything that was in the field and all the land of Egypt both men and beasts and the hail struck down every plant in the field and broke every tree of the field. That must have been some big hailstorms. It's like canon balls raining from the sky.

Then when the children of Israel were entering the Promise Land and they were involved in a battle with some of the Canaanites it says, "As they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of the Lord threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as they seek and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstorm-- hailstones than were killed by the soldiers of Israel. Of course, this also is an echo of something the Bible says is coming in the last days. It tells us in the Book of Revelation that there's going to be a tremendous hailstorm connected with the destruction at the Lord's second coming.

Some of the hailstones are going to weigh about a talent. Now, a talent is anywhere between 52 and 70 pounds. They all argue about whether it was the-- an Egyptian talent and whether Israeli, Babylonian talent. They all kind of have different scale, but anyway you don't want to get hit by a 50 pound block of ice. You and I were talking just before we went on the air that I think that the largest hailstone North America weighed and it's the record.

Weighed about 1.8 pounds and it was like I think eight inches around or something, but people might want to know, how do you get ready? Where do you run and hide? These people in that pilgrimage group all-- they had nowhere to hide in that valley. They were just trapped in this Himalayan hail. Where do you hide from 50 pound hailstones in the last days? The Bible tells us the only place to hide is under the shadow of the Almighty and we've got a book that talks about how to prepare for the last days.

Jean: The book is called, The Last Night on Earth talking about the second coming of Jesus and some of the events that ought to occur just before Jesus comes. This is the free offer this evening all you'll have to do is call us in our resource phone number. The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called, The Last Night on Earth. That number again is 800-835-6747 ask for the study guide, The Last Night on Earth. Actually it's a book and if you have a Bible question our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. Our first caller this evening is Michael listening from, well, long, long away from New Finland. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Hey, how's it going, Doug?

Doug: Good, thanks for calling and your question.

Michael: My question tonight would be are you allowed to remarry.

Doug: Well, is a person ever allowed to remarry? Of course, the Bible, there's different circumstances under which people get divorced and Jesus has some pretty clear stipulations about what would qualify as Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage. You can read about this in Mathew both chapter 5 and 19 and it says if a person marries somebody-- there's been divorce without Biblical grounds and Biblical grounds would be Bible calls it fornication or adultery, a break in the marriage vows with some else, they're then guilty of adultery. Another case in 1 Corinthian 7, if you are an unbeliever and you find the Lord while you're married. You're married to someone.

You're both unbelievers one of them finds the Lord and the unbeliever abandons or divorces, you are then be free to remarry according to Paul in 1 Corinthian 7, but if a person doesn't have Biblical reasons for the divorce or if they've been unfaithful and their spouse divorcing they don't have the right to remarry. I don't know if that's answering specifically what you're asking.

Michael: Yes, well, specifically what I was asking was like two believers like myself and if my girlfriend was a believer then-- if either one of us divorced, are we free to go and get remarried or is that going against the Bible?

Doug: If you're divorcing just because you feel you got incompatibilities those are not Biblical grounds for divorce. It's a delicate subject. I want to make sure everybody knows anybody can come to the Lord. It doesn't matter what your marriage baggage might be. If a person gets divorced without Biblical grounds, the Bible never calls that the unpardonable sin, but if they do it, it is a sin. Jesus talked to the woman at the well, and He said, "You had five husbands." Obviously, she had done something wrong along the way, but He still forgave her and she found the Lord. I want to make that clear, but let me send you a copy.

We have a book I've just written. It seems like I just wrote it, but it's probably been over a year now. It's called Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. It answers all these questions and it will give you the Scriptures, the references.

Jean: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask the book Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. Again, 800-835-6747. I believe you can also read that book for free online at the Amazing Facts' website.

Doug: I'm not sure if that's posted yet.

Jean: That book's not there? Okay. [crosstalk] It's a call for it. We'll be happy to send it to you. 800-835-6747. Our next call is Sebastian, listening from Florida. Sebastian, welcome to the program.

Sebastian: Hey, good evening, Pastor Ross and Pastor Doug. I love you guys. This is our show and the Amazing Fact Ministry.

Doug: Well, thank you for calling. How can we help you tonight?

Sebastian: Yes, thank you. My question tonight is in regards to the heavenly sanctuary truth and the judgement. How does a person know if they're marked righteous or not?

Doug: If a person is surrendered to the Lord, and they've accepted Jesus, and they're walking in the will of God, then we can have that assurance that we're under the blood. Of course, if you're under the blood, you've accepted the Lord. Your name is written in the Book of Life the promises, but it's really a question of faith and submission, to submitting to God's will. When you completely surrendered your heart and you submit into His will, you're not living in rebellion. You're His. We'll never get a fax of what's going on in the heavenly records here on earth.

Here on Earth, we live by faith and His Word, and this promises in His word that help us know what's happening in heaven. We know Jesus lives in the heavenly temple to ever make intercession for us as our High Priest. As we confess our sins and repent of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us from all of our sins. If we've been forgiven from all of our sins, then our names are in that book. We're among the ones that will be sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Sebastian: Okay, I understand. Thank you.

Doug: All right. Thanks. Appreciate your question, Sebastian. Next call is Peter and Peter is listening in Nebraska. Peter, welcome to the program.

Peter: Hi. Thank you.

Doug: Peter, you got to get a little closer to your phone. You sound like you're in Nebraska.

Peter: [laughs] Yes, I'm in Nebraska. Can you hear me okay now?

 Doug: It's faint. We're going and ask your question. I will do our best to repeat it for everybody.

Peter: Okay. I don't know which verse it is, but there's a verse in the Bible that says that if they told them, let's not forgive another person, then God also will not forgive that person.

Doug: Yes.

Peter: I wonder if you could clarify the meaning of that verse. Is that actually the same that God won't forgive a human being, another human-- [crosstalk]

Doug: You'll find it several places. The question Peter is asking is, does the Bible say that if you refuse to forgive someone else, God will not forgive you? Yes and no. [laughs] It sounds like I'm running for office. The reason I say that is, it is true that if after we've been forgiven by the Lord, we refused to pass on that forgiveness. Our forgiveness does not stay. In the Lord's Prayer, it says, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who sin against us," or "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." At this one commentary that Jesus makes on the Lord's Prayer and He says there that if you will not forgive men their trespasses, then neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you.

You also find this in the parable of the unmerciful debtor that you find in Matthew 18, where this man who was forgiven by the King refused to pass on the forgiveness and the king withdrew. He revoked his forgiveness because his servant would not pass it on to his friends. He ended up paying the debt which we don't want to pay our debt. This is the reason I said yes and no. God is not saying to us. I'll make you a deal. You go forgive everybody and then I'll forgive you because He's got to forgive us first for us to have that in our hearts, but after He forgives us, and we experience His love, He expects us to pass it on.

If we do not pass it on, what happens is, our bitterness destroys the love of God in our own hearts and we lose it. After receiving it, you need to pass it on. Hopefully, that helps. By the way, Peter, I've got a message online that you can watch that's talks about the unmerciful debtor. It's on that parable in Matthew 18 and I have several illustrations there. I think you'll find it a blessing. Appreciate your question. By the way, we do have that book The High Cost of the Cross. It talks about forgiveness.

Jean: All right. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is a resource phone number and you can ask for the book called The High Cost of the Cross. Again, 800-835-6747. If you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. Looks like we've got three or four lines still open. Our next call is Emma, listening from Illinois. Emma, welcome to the program.

Emma: Hello?

Doug: Hi, Emma. How are you doing?

Emma: I am blessed and I enjoy your program. I have a question on re-baptism. John the Baptist baptized with immersion. Later on, when the Christ was preaching the-- I just want to know if the people that were baptized by John the Baptist were re-baptized when they heard the message of Christ.

Doug: Good question. Most of them know. The Apostles for instance, were baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and where Christ begin His ministry. There's no record that they had to get re-baptized. As a matter of fact, there was an overlap for several years where Jesus and John the Baptist or His disciples, after John was in prison, were still baptizing people who were repenting and coming to the Lord. Jesus never said that John's baptism was not qualified, but there was one example in Acts 19. Some disciples that talks about 12 Ephesian believers that they had heard the message of John.

They've been baptized, and then they left and went back to Asia before they heard about Jesus and His ministry. They said, "I just missed out on the whole thing." Paul preached to them about Jesus and re-baptized them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit because of so much they had missed that they were re-baptized. That's the only case. I don't know if Pastor Ross knows of another one, but the only case I know of a re-baptism like that in the New Testament.

Jean: I think that's the one.

Emma: Okay. Then the other question is like parents dedicate their children and have them baptized two or three, four, five, six years old. Is it their discretion to get re-baptized when they are adults.

Doug: If a person is baptized as a child, and it depends on the age, persons baptized as a baby. They really don't know what's going on. Earth are baptized in five years old. They really don't have their own devotional life. They don't understand the themes of the Gospel. They're not repenting of real sin. They would probably need to be baptized Biblically. The Bible says, of course, before you baptized, Jesus said, "Go and teach all nations." We need to be old enough to be taught what the Gospel is. They need to be able to repent of their sins. The Bible says, "They're not be able to believe." If they can't meet those criteria, then they should be re-baptized when they're old enough to understand those things.

Emma: I appreciate your understanding of that. I appreciate your program. You clarified some things in my mind and just to help me when somebody else directs your question to me about that. I really appreciate it and God bless you.

Doug: Well, thank you. We appreciate your call, Emma. By the way, we do have a book on Baptism, Is It Necessary? and it gives you those Scriptures. We'll send you a free copy.

Jean: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can just ask for the book called Baptism, Is It Necessary? The number again is 800-835-6747. If you have a Bible question, a phone line here to the studio this evening is 800-463-7297, and we have Gary listening from, looks like Michigan. Gary, welcome to the program.

Gary: Yes, good evening.

Doug: Hi, Gary is there a Houston, Michigan.

Gary: It's Mississippi.

Doug: Okay. We're glad you called. Your question.

Gary: I have a question on divorce as well. I want to know in the Bible, does it not say that the woman leaves her husband, she must remain unmarried and until his death or whatever that she's been living in adultery. I want to know what it says about the husband if the wife abandons the marriage and leaves the marriage bed for over 12 months and the man now files divorce, which, that's what happened to me. Then you go and you have a relationship with another woman. I want to know if the Bible says anything about where is adultery and when is it forgiven or when is it not adultery when you marry again or does it define saying, when someone's heart leaves you and they no longer love you and they can go, there's no connection anymore there.

Doug: You're describing something that is not that uncommon and it is a very difficult situation to be in where one of the spouses abandoned the marriage while they're still in the marriage and if the other person gets so lonely that they often develop another relationship or it ends in divorce. Then the question is, if they go out and get remarried, is there ever hope for redemption or they forever caught outside of God's will? You've got the example in the Bible of, well, a couple of examples. One would be the Samaritan woman who had been married five times. She was living with someone she wasn't married to, and Jesus forgave her.

Then you've got the example of David, who did a terrible thing and committing adultery with Bathsheba. He had no Biblical grounds to take her as his wife. He basically killed her husband. That's not good Biblical grounds for remarriage, but after he was punished for his sin and he repented of his sin, God had been calling Bathsheba Uriah's wife after David repented, it's as David knew his wife Bathsheba. They had another son named Solomon who ended up becoming king.

He evidently forgave them, but the consequences of their disobedience stayed with David the rest of his life. Is there forgiveness? Generally, if there's genuine repentance there is. It is very difficult. I don't want to undermine how lonely some people are in bad marriages. That's why you have to be very careful when you pick who your partner is going to be for life because it's not something God wants us to just jump in and out of as is so often done these days and in particular in Hollywood.

I'll be happy to send you Gary, a copy of our book, a free copy of the book, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. I really spent some time on this because I wanted to answer the most common questions and we give you Bible samples.

Jean: The number to call is 800-835-6747. Again, you can ask for the book called Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. If you have a Bible question, a phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297, 800-463-7297. Next caller is Debra listening from North Dakota. Debra, welcome to the program.

Debra: Hello.

Doug: Hi Debra. Thanks for calling.

Debra: Hi. Thank you for taking my call. I had a question on Numbers 20:1-13 where there was no water and then people were complaining and Moses and Aaron went before the Lord and then they go and get water from the rock. Then God said to Moses, because he didn't trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the side of Israel. You will not bring this community into the land by giving. He was basically punished severely. I don't understand that and then I don't understand, is there a correlation to us today?

Doug: Yes, that's a good question. Why was Moses punished and not allowed to lead the people all the way into the promised land after he'd brought them 40 years? Moses as their leader and as the mediator between God and man. He was even a type of Christ according to both his prophecy and Jesus. When God told him that you are to go and speak to the rock, and you can read that in Numbers 20:8. He was to take the staff and go and tell the rock before them and it will yield water, but instead, Moses and Aaron became upset and they struck the rock twice. He said to the people, must we bring you water out of this?

It wasn't them that did it. They didn't give God glory, they basically lost His temper. He says, "Here, now you rebel, shall we bring you water out of this rock?", You are taking credit, like we're going to bring water. Well, he struck the rock and water came out, but he wasn't supposed to strike the rock. He was supposed to speak to the rock. He's supposed to say God has given you the water, not Moses and Aaron. God could have been very severe.

He could have done what he did with the sons of Aaron when they died instantly, but God said, look, I love you, Moses. I'm going to save you, but you can't be the one that's going to lead the people into the promised land, but God did say, look, I'll meet you halfway. He'd brought them up to Mount Nebo and before Moses died, God gave Him a vision, a panorama where he could look across the Jordan with supernatural vision. He showed them, he showed him the promised land. It was almost like he gave him a spiritual flyover of the land and he got to rejoice in that.

In one sense he saved Moses the headache of having to bring the people into the promised land. He got to finally rest. You think about it and God performed Moses Funeral. Talk about having someone important at your funeral. It says God buried Moses and no one knew where his grave was. He honored him in that way as well. The Lord felt a very tender love for Moses, but he did need to set an example that God expected obedience. Moses was the example and when Moses disobeyed, there was a consequence for that. 120 years old. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit Debra, we appreciate your question and I was just trying to think.

We do have that study guide, the talks about written in stone, talks about the law. I've got a group of sermons online, Debra, the deal with a subject of Christ and the types of Moses is a type of Christ in the Bible. You can find it's Jesus and all the Bible and you go to the amazing facts website, you'll see that there, Jesus and all of the Bible and before friends that are listening, we just going to take a break at the bottom of our program and you can also go to the website. A lot of the resources that we send people for free, you just go to amazingfacts.org and you'll see them there. If you have Bible questions, we still have some lines open. Pick up a phone and give us a call. That's 800-463-7297.

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Every Bible question you have answered moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life. What are you waiting for? Get the answers you need for a fuller, richer, more confident life. You are listing to Bible answers live. We still have a few phone lines open. If you have a Bible related question, call us at 1-800-God-Says. That's 1-800-463-7297. Now, let's join pastors Doug Batchelor and John Ross, for more Bible Answers Live.

Doug Batchelor: Welcome back listening friends, if you joined somewhere along the way, this is Bible Answers Live, and you can call in with your Bible questions. One more time. It's 800-463-7297. Pastor Ross and I think we're about ready to go back to the phones.

John Ross: We have Ray who's listening in Michigan. Ray, welcome to the program. Ray, in Michigan.

Ray: Hello. Sir, how are you doing? You are both doing a very good job.

Doug: Thank you for your patience.

Ray: I have a question. If in the beginning, there was just God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Before he started created everything, he's the Alpha and Omega. He knows the beginning and the end. He knew that the human race we fell and somehow knew that Jesus Christ would have come to earth and die on the cross. Why would he? We need God more than he needs us? Why would he even created the human race?

Doug: All right, that's all. Yes, you're asking the really the big question, which is if God is love, and if he's all powerful, and if he's all knowing, and he knew that this rebellion was going to happen, why would he make the human race or why did he make Lucifer this angel that turned into a devil? Did God not know that this devil would go bad? This angel would turn into a devil?

This is the greatest demonstration that God makes his creatures free and intelligent is that he will make you a creature that will even choose not to love him. God went ahead and he made these creatures and he made them free and they really did have a choice. Lucifer chose to love himself more and he became proud, and the more he nurtured his pride, it just got worse until he became so self-centered. He rebelled against God.

Brought his rebellion to our planet, and our first parents followed in his footsteps and, and now this spirit of rebellion and sin has spread to all the creatures. There's really two motives in the world. One is love, one is selfishness and God is love. The devil is selfish. Loving parents will have kids, they never know if the kids are going to obey or turn out difficult, and they still have the children. God is a loving father and he had these children, he wants to redeem as many as will be redeemed and that's why he sent his son.

We have a DVD that people, they can ask for the DVD, but we also have it free online now. It's called Cosmic Conflict. You just type in the words Cosmic Conflict and go to YouTube, I think you can probably watch it in several languages now. People have uploaded the DVD, so it's there. It explains why there is sin and why did God go ahead and make the world in spite of the fact that he knows all things? I think you'll find encouragement in that, Ray. Thank you for your question, and appreciate your call.

John: The next call is Phil listening from New York. Phil, welcome to the program.

Phil: Could you hear me okay.

Doug: Loud and clear, Phil.

Phil: Great. Thank you for taking my call. My question is this, I'm reading the papers that the combined Russian, Iranian and Syrian government forces are just about destroyed global organized opposition. My question is, are we seeing biblical prophecy in today's newspapers? Is this the beginning of the war of Gog and Magog?

Doug: Well, you asked a question and I'd have to say yes and no again. That yes, are we seeing prophecy fulfilled in the papers? I do believe we are. I would disagree that Russia is Gog and Magog. That's a popular teaching that was circulated. I think it may have started in the Scofield Bible before that. Most people didn't identify Russia as Gog or Magog. From Scofield Bible, how Lindsay repeated that and it became a very popular teaching among charismatic Christians and is gone from there.

The old Protestants believe Gog and Magog, you first find God and Magog in I think Genesis 10, they represent the enemies of God's people in the Old Testament. It's repeated in Ezekiel, I think 37 that talks about-- Is that right Pastor Ross, 37 talks about God and Magog? Even in 38, as well. When you get to Revelation 20, and it says, "The wicked cover the earth, God and Magog." Gog was the enemy of God's people, Magog means from the matrix or the children of Gog. In Revelation, you got Babylon, and her daughters, the children of Babylon. It's just talking about the wicked and the children of the wicked.

John: In the context of a final showdown and God's deliverance and the historical situation, you have the children of Israel who were being pressed on either side by their enemies, and God came to their deliverance. Likewise, in the book of Revelation, you have this final showdown between the forces of good, God's people and then the wicked rising up against them, and God comes to their deliverance.

Phil: The Russian-Ukrainian Alliance is not so closely associated with it as most people believe it. Is that the case?

Doug: Yes. I think some sinister things are happening right there in the Middle East. There is a clamoring for control of that territory. I think personally, I think that America has lost ground while Russia was occupying the Crimea, giving them another naval base in the Mediterranean and what they're doing in Syria and a coalition between Syria and Iran. I think some very sinister things are happening, that they're looking to consolidate power there, but I'm not sure that that's pointing to Gog and Magog.

Phil: Okay, I understand you exactly. You really clarified something that is, as you indicated, a popular misconception, and I'm pretty much disabused of it at present. I do for your excellent, thank you very much, sir.

Doug: Thank you, Phil. Appreciate your call.

John: Next call is Edwin and he's listening in Texas. Edwin, welcome to the program.

Edward: Hello, there. It's Edward here.

Doug: Edward. Hi. That's my name. My name is Douglas Edward, so I should know that. All right. What's your question tonight?

Edward: Pastor Doug, is great to actually be talking to you.

Doug: Likewise.

Edward: My question tonight would be, well, let me just give you a little bit of information before, because I'm 16 years old, but I see my friends, they have all these things that they do. I go to a charter school, which is four hours a day. Pretty much, I have time on my hand, a lot of time, and I catch myself watching way too many of your sermons Pastor Doug. Well, it's not a bad thing. I know that's not a bad thing.

Doug: Well, I've got mixed feelings, but I'm glad you're watching.

Edward: Sure. Basically, my question would be because I've been avoiding working out and spending time in the gym because of my experience with that I used to be very much into bodybuilding. I've grown up with really a good physique, a good muscular built, as I've been growing up. Lately I've been, for the past two years, I've neglected it ever since I've been trying to-- ever since I became like a baby Christian, and all these things I just been neglecting. I didn't want to fall into pride or selfishness. I guess my question would be how much time should a Christian or yes, I guess a Christian, so how much time should a Christian spend in the gym lifting weights?

Doug: Good question. Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with exercise. I was at the gym today, playing a few games, a racquetball about seven o'clock this morning and just wakes you up, makes you feel good. Virtually, all people, if they're honest, have a certain amount of consciousness of their health and their body.

Everyone's looked at themselves in the mirror. You don't want to become vain, to where you're preoccupied with that it turns into self worship. There's nothing wrong with exercising and you might wonder, am I gaining any strength and you look in the mirror and say, "Oh, it looks like I'm filling out." That's a good thing. It's like someone said, "Perfume is for sniffing not for swallowing." Being aware that your health is improving or that you need to lose weight or you are losing weight, whatever the question. It's good, it's important to be aware of your body, your health. You don't want to become where you're pre-occupied with it and you read the muscle magazines and flexing in the mirror [chuckles]. There is a balance there, my big issue is when I go to the gym, I can't wait to get inside the record book because this is walking through the gym. The way people dress is never very modest and then the music they play is always just kind of a pounding exercise music.

I don't care much for that but there is certainly nothing wrong with being an exercise program using weights. You got to have a balancing moderation in that area, does that make sense?

Edward: Yes, but I guess we're to care for that really is individually because some of my friends from Church, I'm 16, it's weird calling them my friends, they're like 30 years old, they're 20. They spend time, like 30 minutes in the gym or so but should that be an individual thing or should I keep track of my time because they say 30 minutes would be good, 30 or 40 minutes would be good. More than that I guess I'll be not bad but you don't want to spend too much time because then you'll be outside of, you might not find time for God and things like that.

Doug: Well, I wouldn't tell you what the time would be. I think it's okay to schedule some time in the gym. It might be 30 minutes, it might be an hour just whatever you need. I know people that are going through different training programs to try and get through their body in shape. They'll go from one system to another and they'll do leg exercises and then arm exercises and torso exercises. It might take an hour to get through the different sessions.

Whatever you need, I wouldn't spend a lot of time. I tease my friends that play golf and I think where in the world do they get four hours a day [chuckles] to play golf, I can't. I never get that much time. That to me seems like it goes overboard but maybe when I retire I'll change my mind. Hey, I appreciate your call, Edward. You stay close to the Lord. Keep listening to the right kind of videos. God bless you.

Jean: Our next caller is Julie listening in California Upland. Julie, welcome to the program.

Julie: Hi, good evening Pastor Doug.

Doug: Yes.

Julie: And pastor Ross.

Jean: Hello.

Julie: Is Pastor Ross there too?

Ross: Yes, this is he. I think he's the first one.

Julie: Hi you two. Anyway, I have to say that I find myself watching too many Doug Batchelor's same as myself. I really liked the one on your addiction to ice cream.

Doug: Cool confession.

Julie: That was a good one but especially right now I'm loving the ones on luck. My question to you is earlier today, you put on something about where we are in this history. You went to the and what we've been expecting to happen is going to happen. I want to know a little bit more about it.

Doug: Was that a video that you saw on the computer on Youtube?

Julie: Yes.

Doug: Yes, we just posted that I think Friday, so it's only been up, it has several thousand views. It's been up for a couple of days. I was talking about Islam and prophesy and the king of the North and 11.

Julie: Right.

Doug: If people want to see that video, I think it's called Islam and Christianity in prophecy.

Julie: Do you have it?

Doug: It's in Youtube, yes you can just watch it on Youtube. If you go to your computer just type in Christianity, Islam, Doug Batchelor it will probably bring it up on Youtube.

Julie: Okay, great.

Doug: Everyone can watch it for free.

Julie: Do you have any approximate time?

Doug: No, we don't know when these things are going to happen. I'm very careful not to set dates but I do see that it seems like there is a consolidating of Christianity and Islam. It seem to be polarizing right now in the world.

Julie: I would have thought that it would have been Catholicism.

Doug: Well, Christianity Catholicism is, of course, the leading group in Christianity.

Julie: Well I don't consider them Christians because of what I think of the Pope and what it's pretending to be.

Doug: I'm sure there are a lot of Catholics that are very sincere in their belief of Christ. I would respectfully disagree with some of the conclusions that Roman Catholics have about the forgiveness of sin, confessing to a priest, praying to Mary and some of that to me is a violation of the 10 commandments and idolatry and so forth. I got to be careful, you don't want to judge and say they're not Christians, I know Catholics are Christians.

When I talk about the Christians of the world, I'm talking about statistics. I'm not talking about really what the Bible says of the two major world religions, they are about 1.7 billion Muslims and there is 2.2 billion Christians. That includes Catholics, Evangelicals, Charismatic, Protestants, the whole thing together. Among the major religions of the world, they fall under the banners of one under Christianity being the largest.

There is many branches of that including Catholicism and the other under Islam and there are several branches of Islam. It seems like these religions are polarizing and I was speculating that Daniel 11 in the last days this may talking about the King of the North or the King of the South. I don't know all the answers but it's looking like it's shaping up that way.

Anyway take a look at that Julie and I don't' know why we're getting some feedback when you and I talked at the same time. Just go to Youtube and look at that prophecy. Islam, Christianity, and prophecy. Thank you, I appreciate your call.

Ross: We have Joseph listening from New York, Jopseh, welcome to the program.

Joseph: How are you doing? [clears throat]. I'm sorry about that. My query is about Christmas and how we knowing that the Messiah wasn't born in that time or at this time. Are we allowed to sanctify a pagan ritual?

Doug: Well this is always, we get this question at this time of the year and it's a good question. Everyone, most Bible students recognize that it's pretty clear Jesus was not born the December 31, or 25 date. The reasons being three main reasons, one is it tells us that Jesus ministered for three and a half years from his birthday. He was baptized on his 30th birthday, that's Luke chapter three.

We know when he died he died in Passover, that's Spring. You subtract three and a half years that puts the birth of Christ in the Fall. Furthermore, the Shepherds were in the fields with the climate in Bethlehem the shepherds would never be in the fields the 25th of December. The Ceasar Augusts would never issue everyone to travel for a census in the middle of Winter when there is no food in the fields.

It's pretty certain Christ was born in the Fall, we don't know the date. It is also pretty certain that the date of the 25th of December it comes to us from a pagan Roman holiday, Mithraism in Rome they celebrated the day of worshiping the birth of the sun on the 25th of December because the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere is the 21st of December. The days are not noticeably longer until the 25th.

It became a holiday among many pagan countries. The Christians adopted that date trying to reach pagans as the date of Christ birthday. Now, what you do after you know that as a Christian? For one thing I just say be educated if you're going to celebrate the birth of Christ, let people know that you're thankful that God gave His son since we're not certain on the date, we're going to go ahead and buy into the date.

Saying buying is a wrong phrase but we'll go ahead and participate in remembering his birth during this time of the year. It always seems strange if you're going to celebrate the birth of Jesus in July but if I'm there preaching about the wise men in February, it seems odd. Anyway, and there is nothing wrong with Christians exchanging gifts. God is the biggest giver so in theory, there is nothing wrong with the principle.

I think Christians ought to stay away from the Santa Claus, log and the pagan aspects trapped into Christianity.

Joseph: You're saying that we could sanctify it?

Doug: No, I'm not saying we sanctify anything. I'm just saying that there is nothing wrong with Christians exchanging gifts and remembering Christ's birth because that's all in the Bible. You read Mathew chapter one.

Joseph: It's okay we do it on the 25th?

Doug: Yes, why not? Since we don't know the day.

Joseph: Your answer is yes. We can sanctify it.

Doug: Let me give you Romans 14 says, "One man regards one day above another. Another man regards every day alike. Let each man be persuaded in his own mind." If you're going to regard the day, regard it to the Lord and if you don't regard the day, you don't. No one's required to do it. If you're going to do it, do it to the Lord. Hopefully, that helps a little bit and I appreciate your questions, Joseph. We do have a book called 'Baptize Paganism' and I think that it will show on more light on that for you. We'll be happy to send you our free copy.

Jean: The number to call is 800-8356747. You can ask for the book called Baptized Paganism. Again, 800-835=6747. Our next caller is Keisha, listening from Troy, Michigan. Keisha, welcome to the program.

Keisha: Hi, how are you?

Speaker: Good. Thank you for calling.

Keisha: Yes. Thank you for having me. My question is surrounded of behind of aback stories very quick. Basically, I was listening to another station. The program was similar as to this one. A young man asked the question where did Jesus go after He died on the cross? I know that He was with two criminals. He said, "You'll be with me in paradise on the other side." Long story short, the pastor said, "When Jesus died on the cross, He went immediately to be with His Father in heaven, and that He's next to Him-- with Him. Then three days later, He rose with His glorified body. Then once He ascended, He went back up."

My question is where did He go after the crucifixion? I've heard the things about Abraham's bosom.

Speaker: All right. Let me jump in and try and help you with that a little bit. First of all, I'd have to respectfully disagree with any pastor that said after Jesus died on the cross, He immediately went to the Father's presence. They're not reading the whole Bible.

Keisha: I really hear that.

Speaker: Yeah. You go to John chapter 21, when Mary is at the tomb, she goes to grab Jesus by the feet and worshipping. Jesus says, "Don't touch me." I think the New King James is "Do not detain me because I have not yet ascended to my Father." That's Sunday morning. When Jesus died on the cross, the Bible is really clear, He died and He didn't go anywhere. The Bible has no record of Jesus going and appearing to anybody. When Christ died, He was dead until He rose Sunday morning. It doesn't say He went to the Father. Now, what Jesus said to the thief that confuses people-- This is in Luke chapter 23, I think, Pastor Ross. I hope I'm-- Am I getting that right? Yeah, but I guess it's Luke 23. He said to the thief, "Verily I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise."

Now the emphasis is, "I am telling you today, you will be with me in paradise." He's not saying, "You will be with me in paradise today." He said, "I'm making a promise today. Even though I don't look like a king, and I don't look like a Lord, I'm promising you paradise." The emphasis is "I'm making a promise today." He's not saying, "Today, you and I are going to paradise." Because a day in the Bible doesn't even begin and end until sundown. Now Jesus died before sundown, but they've had to break the thieves' legs because they wanted them to die before sundown, and they weren't dead yet.

Does that make sense?

Keisha: Yes. The second part of the question is, where do we go until the Second Coming? Do we just fall into asleep or?

Speaker: Yeah. The Bible actually tells us Jesus said when Lazarus died, He said, "Our friend Lazarus is asleep and I go on wake him." The disciples said, "Oh, if he's sleeping, maybe he'll get better." Jesus said, "No. Lazarus is dead." Jesus called death asleep. After he rose Lazarus, after being dead four days, Lazarus did not come back to life and say, "Oh, Lord, I was up in heaven. Why did you bring me back?" He didn't say, "I was in Abraham's bosom." He didn't say, "I was in hell." In fact, there are about a dozen resurrections in the entire Bible. No one who is resurrected ever comments on being anywhere. They were all asleep. It doesn't seem like that for the saved when they die.

Jean: Just one more thought on this verse. They'd be talking about hearing at Luke 23:43. What a lot of people miss is the question that the thief asked Jesus. Verse 42, he said, "Lord, remember when You come in Your kingdom." The thief wasn't expecting to receive his reward right away. He was looking to a future event and said, "Remember me when You come again; when You come in Your kingdom." Just an important point to remember when studying that verse is to look at the context.

Doug: Yes. Keisha, we would like to give you a copy of our study guide that just makes it very clear on the subject of death. It's called Are the Dead Really Dead? We'll send you a free copy.

Jean: The number to call is 800-8356-747. You can ask for the study guide called Are the Dead Really Dead? Our next caller is Joe, listening from Eugene, Oregon.

Speaker: Hey, Joe. We've got about a minute and a half. Can we get a question in?

Joe: Of course, sir.

Doug: You're on.

Joe: Okay. I was I-- I read your book The Richest Caveman. Great story. Thank you for that. I was wondering, how did you, having no educational-- necessarily educational background, first take up the Bible on the cave, and then read it and understand and comprehend it? I'm starting to read it. I'm a junior in college and I don't necessarily understand the whole lot of it. That's what we're relying on your videos and go to church stuff for the clarifications. I was just wondering how you do it, sir?

Doug: For one thing, I didn't understand it all. When I first picked it up, I was 17 years old, and a lot of things I didn't understand. In my book, I think I mentioned that I had some real, wild misconceptions about the Bible, but you keep reading and you get better. I read some great commentaries. One of the best things I ever read that helped me understand the Bible was a book called Patriarchs and Prophets. I read it along with the Bible. I even don't know if you heard of that book but it's just a classic. You just type in Patriarchs and Prophets. I think you can probably read it for free online because it was written in a lot around the last century. Getting some good, inspired commentaries, that will make it pretty clear for you.

Joe, we do have a-- We got a lesson we can send you a free copy. Actually the book that we wrote called The Ultimate Resouce. It talks about the Bible and how to study the Bible. I think you'll enjoy that. Stay at it. It's like learning any new thing. Learning a new language. It's takes a little time to study.

Hey, friends, I apologize. I don't think we've got time for another question. At least not to do it justice, but God willing, we're going to be back again next week doing more Bible questions. Some of you hear these programs reruns. We may be back in three hours doing more Bible questions. Whichever it is, we're just so glad to study with you. Keep in mind, specially this time of year, we are a non-profit organization. The only thing that keeps us on the air is people like you who are listening that say, "Hey, I like this program. I wanted to stay on this station." You can send a donation online to amazingfacts.org. Just click the link that says donate, and we do appreciate it. God bless. We'll talk again next week.

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