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What Goes Up Must Come Down

Date: 03/23/2008 
Few people have had more high adventure with balloons than Joseph Kittinger. In 1950, Kittinger joined the US air force and quickly got into experimental aviation. In 1953, he was assigned to New Mexico where he joined the unique mission called, “Project Manhigh.”
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Few people have had more high adventure with balloons than Joseph Kittinger. In 1950, Kittinger joined the US air force and quickly got into experimental aviation. In 1953, he was assigned to New Mexico where he joined the unique mission called, “Project Manhigh.” This venture took men up in high altitude balloons to study if humans were capable of going into space. On June 2nd, 1957, Kittinger made his first high altitude ascent in a balloon. It took him up to 96,760 feet in a pressurized suit, nearly out of earth’s atmosphere and it lasted almost 7 hours.

After this flight, Kittinger transferred to “Project Excelsior,” meaning “ever-upward.” For this assignment, those who went up took the fastest route down by jumping out of the balloon. In 1959, Kittinger successfully jumped from the balloon 74,700 feet high and set a record for the longest free-fall— 55,500 feet. On August 16th 1960, Kittinger made his most famous free-fall. He reached the altitude of 102,800 feet where he stayed for about 12 minutes which was very challenging. It was minus, 94 degrees below zero. Then he jumped and he fell towards Earth for almost 5 minutes before opening his main parachute. As he fell to the ground, he reached 614 miles per hour breaking the sound barrier. And he achieved the fastest speed by man through the atmosphere.

In 1962, as part of the “Project Stargazer,” he spent over 18 hours in a balloon at an altitude of 82,200 feet researching the effects of high altitude on man and telescope. Later in life, Kittinger went on to fly 483 missions in Vietnam before being shot down and held as a POW for about a year in the Hanoi Hilton. A Christian, Kittinger was sustained by prayer. But Colonel Joseph Kittinger could not stay away from balloons. In 1983, he set a record for flying a balloon from Las Vegas to New York in under 72 hours. To increase distance, he expelled all available ballast and landed only in his underwear.

A year later, he became the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon setting a record for the longest solo balloon flight at 83 hours and 40 minutes. As of this report, Joseph Kittinger is still flying balloons in Orlando, Florida and still holds the record for the highest balloon ascent, the highest parachute jump, the longest free-fall, and the fastest speed by a man through the atmosphere.

You heard it said before, “What goes up must come down.” But did you know, the Bible teaches there is one man who came down and went back up? Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to Bible Answers Live brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7292. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Well friends, we’re very thankful that you have found it in your schedule to tune in once again to Bible Answers Live. And we are coming to you live; we’re very thankful that you are listening to this international, interactive Bible study. We invite you to participate. You can listen and pray as I do my best to answer the Bible questions that people phone in or you can phone in a Bible question. The number is a toll-free call— 800-GOD-SAYS. We still have a few lines open so now is a good time to pick up your phone with your Bible question. It’s 800-463-7292 and if you have a pencil in your hand, keep it nearby. We’re going to be sharing the number for other free resources and websites where you can glean as much biblical truth as we can possibly serve up tonight.

This evening, Pastor Jëan Ross is still in South Africa. And so, by the grace of God, I with our studio crew will be manning the program and we want to begin with prayer. Loving Father in heaven, we’re very thankful for the truth and for the word. We’re very thankful, Lord, for Jesus and that He is alive and at the right hand of the majesty in heaven as our Intercessor and Advocate. Father, we just ask that the presence of Christ and His Spirit will take charge of this program both for me here in the studio as well as those who might be listening in their cars or at their homes. And that You’ll guide us to be more like Your Son. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Well, we started with what I thought was a fascinating, amazing fact about Colonel Joseph Kittinger who just all through his life has had this interest in flight in balloons in particular. But every time he went up, he had to come back down. And it made me think about that verse in the Bible about one Man who came down and went back up. And of course, you know who I’m talking about. Jesus, who was a 100% God and a 100% man— that’s a mystery for us. He often referred to Himself as the Son of Man— one of His favorite terms— because He fully identified with humans by taking on the nature of man, by the incarnation and being born as a man. And then after He completed His mission— God came to the earth in the form of a man, His name was Jesus. He lived a perfect life, He set an example for us of how we should live and love each other. He came to show us what the Father was like. And then He became our Substitute when He died on the cross taking what we deserve and offering what He deserves. He took our weakness and He offers us His strength. And then, He ascended back up to heaven with a promise He will return.

You know, there’s a special offer if you’d like to know more about this Jesus. When God came to earth to save man in order to show us what He’s really like, to teach us what the truth is, and then die as our Substitute. We have a beautiful book that we’ve not offered before and it’s called, “Down from His Glory.” “Down from His Glory” written by the popular author, Joe Crews, and we’ll be happy to send this to you simply for asking. It talks about, “What happened when God became a man? How was Jesus like us? How was He different?” And this… in this book, you find keys for a victorious new life and a new heart. If you like a free copy of “Down from His Glory,” – I don’t know why you wouldn’t want this book because it’ll only inspire you. Call the toll-free number, this is the number that goes to our resource center— it’s 800-835-6747. That’s a little different than the number for our studio right now. And we get so many calls, we have to split the flow of traffic. If you want a free resource, it’s 800-835-6747. And ask for the book, “Down from His Glory.”

Well friends, we also want to remind you that if you go to the Amazing Facts website, not only can you listen to this program anywhere in the world at the Amazing Facts website, but a lot of the resources that we share with you, you can download many of them— probably half of them— for free and read them. We want to disseminate as much truth as we possibly can. Some books, we are not able to give away for free because they are owned and copyrighted by others and there’s different arrangements. But everything we can possibly put into your hands, we want to put into your hands. And just go to amazingfacts.org.

Now, tonight in the absence of Pastor Ross, I thought we’re just going to go right to the phones. We’re going to skip, if you don’t mind, the Internet questions. If you want to send in an Internet question, also right there are the Amazing Facts website, it’s just go to “Contact Us” and you can submit your questions there. Going to begin by talking to Cindy who’s calling from Alberta, Canada and a first time caller. Welcome to the program, Cindy.

Cindy: Hi, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Get real close to your phone.

Cindy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And your question.

Cindy: My question is, is it possible to lose your salvation? I’ve been hearing both sides of that debate and peop… some people say that, you know, if you are in a backslidden state or if you fall away from God, it’s possible to lose your salvation and you have to become saved again. Or, once you’re a child of God, are you always a child of God?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. This is a big debate. It’s… a lot of churches have argued over this and, you know, can you have assurance of salvation? Do you have a roller coaster experience? Let me set this up by approaching that a little differently but this will answer your question. Do you believe that we have freedom to choose to accept Jesus?

Cindy: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. So He doesn’t force us.

Cindy: That’s correct.

Pastor Doug: Okay. And you can’t really force someone to love you or it’s not love anymore.

Cindy: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: If we have the freedom to choose, then let’s suppose we do choose Jesus. We choose to follow Him. And then, for whatever reason, along the way we get discouraged and decide, “You know, I just really want to go towards the world. I don’t want to live for Christ.” Are we free not to follow Him?

Cindy: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Then, if God was to say, “No, but you’re going to heaven whether you like it or not because you are saved once and no matter what you think now, you still must be saved.” Really then, we have lost our freedom! So, Jesus will never forsake us. And there’s promises in the Bible where He says that, you know, “I will never let go of you. I will never forsake you.” But He never says that we don’t have that freedom. The history of the Old Testament is God’s people often forsook the Lord but He never forsook them. And He is reiterating that truth. Now, there’s a lot of verses I need to share about this. You have examples in the Bible, of course, of a number of people who had a saved relationship with the Lord then turned away.

One verse would be Ezekiel 18:24, “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live?” Let me rephrase that—once there… if there’s a saved person, he turns away from following the Lord and decides to live like the world, is he still saved? Here’s what the Bible says, “All of his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned in his trespass that he has trespassed and in his sin that he has sinned. And then he shall die.” I mean, there’s just so many verses in the Bible that explain, you know, God saved the children of Israel out of His grace. But those who continued to rebel never made it to the Promised Land.

You’ve got Judas who was one of the Twelve. Jesus sent him out preaching, he came back with the other Twelve saying, “The demons are subject to us,” and God’s Spirit was using him. But he would not submit, he turned away and I don’t expect to see him in the kingdom. Peter was saved but he sinned. When he repented, God forgave him. And so, sometimes we, you know, we can have a little bit of an up and down relationship—that’s the history of God’s people and that shouldn’t discourage us. But it doesn’t mean that we’re saved and lost, saved and lost every day. There are promises in the Bible where we can have assurance. “He that has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the Day of the Lord.” But at the same time, if a person’s saved, it is dangerous for us to presume that means that we can’t be lost.

Let me give you another verse, Cindy. Hebrews 10:24-26; I’ll start with verse 23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering for He is faithful to promise. And let us consider one another to provoke unto loving good works. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins but a certain fear for looking forward to a judgment.” You know, these verses talk about God is able to keep us from falling. When Jesus wrote the message to the 7 churches, He said that if they did not repent, their candlestick would be removed out of its place. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24 through 27, “But I keep my body and bring it in subjection lest by any means, when I preach to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Paul says, “I’m guarding against falling away and being cast away after I preached to everybody else.”

So, you know, Jesus said, “Not everyone that says, ‘Lord, Lord!’ but they that do the will, he that endures unto the end…” There’s a continuing to nurture that saved experienced. We’re always free to turn away from the Lord. He doesn’t force us to love Him. See what I’m saying?

Cindy: No, I understand. Now, I’m more confused.

Pastor Doug: Why? What about it?

Cindy: So, if your name is written in the Book of Life, can it be taken out then? So…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it can be. If you look up the word… I don’t know if you have a computer program with the Bible, but if you look up the term, “Book of Life,” Moses prayed when the children of Israel sinned. He said, “Lord, take my name out of Your Book.” And in Revelation—in the message to the 7 churches—Jesus talks about not taking some people’s names out of the Book of Life. So, you know, the Scripture seem to say that there are people’s names who are not only entered, there are people’s names who are removed.

I’m typing that in right now. Does that make sense?

Cindy: So then…

Pastor Doug: What do you… what’s your concern? Are you afraid that that… you lose assurance?

Cindy: Yes, because then, how many sins… like I’m not looking for some space to do what I want. That’s… it’s just like I thought, “Okay, the story of the Prodigal Son, I thought that was kind of letting us know that yes, he had a son that turned away and just basically blew it, but he…

Pastor Doug: But he was received back…

Cindy: …came back and he was welcomed…

Pastor Doug: Exactly.

Cindy: …with opened arms!

Pastor Doug: That’s a perfect story. He was a prodigal son, he was a son of the father. Could he leave when he wanted to?

Cindy: But he was still a son.

Pastor Doug: Well, not until he repented and came back. He was still a son but he didn’t enjoy the benefits of the father’s house until he came to himself and returned home, correct?

Cindy: Right, but…

Pastor Doug: Any time… if you’ve got a backslidden Christian, while they are in their backslidden condition and they’re living like the world, they can’t say, “I’m saved because I went to the altar when I was 10 years old.”

Cindy: Right.

Pastor Doug: I mean, you know, let me give you that verse and I want to send you a free book on this. The verse is Revelation 22:19, “If any man takes away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take his part out of the Book of Life.” By the way, that’s the 3rd to the last verse in the Bible. So you know, it’s pretty potent. You know, we have a book that deals with, “Can a saved man be lost?” And it actually—don’t let the title scare you—it’s an encouraging book.

I think Christians can have assurance but we shouldn’t have a reckless presumption. That’s what’s very dangerous because I’ve met people who say, “Well, I was saved when I was 13,” and they’re living for the world now and they still… they’re deluded into thinking they’re still saved. And that’s really dangerous. Of course, they’re destroying the witness, they say they’re Christians but they live for the world, and they say, “Well, as long as I was saved at 13, I can live any way I want because once I’m saved, I can’t be lost.” That’s really an insult to God when we live like that.

Cindy: Yes, I agree with you. But I was under… I believed that you have to account for all your misuse of time and your deeds at the judgment but that… so you would be judged on your actions and it wasn’t going to be pretty, you know, once you went over your life. But…

Pastor Doug: Well, you mean you get punished but you’re saved?

Cindy: Yes, kind of.

Pastor Doug: Well, that sounds like purgatory. That mean… the Bible doesn’t teach that. You’re either saved or lost. Oh, you know, this is a very important subject, Cindy. And I want to talk to you more about it but I… the first thing I’d prefer is please send for the book, “Can a Saved Man be Lost?” We’ll send it to you free. It’s… just call the resource number, 800-835-6747. It’s a good question, it’s a very important big question. I hope that others will send for that book. Thank you for your call, Cindy. I’m going to try and get in a couple more here before we have our break.

We’re going to go to Daniel who’s calling from New Jersey listening on WMCA. Thanks for waiting, Daniel, you’re on the air.

Daniel: Yes. Hello, God bless you. Yes, I will repeat a question in reference to Luke 5:27-32.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Daniel: And it talks about… I don’t… would you like me to read it for you or?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ve got it here. Or if you want, I can read it.

Daniel: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: “After these things, He went forth and saw a publican named Levi…” that’s the one you’re talking about?

Daniel: Yes, sir.

Pastor Doug: “…sitting at the seat of custom and He said unto him, ‘Follow me.’ And he left all, he rose up and he followed Him.” Do you want me to read all the way to 35?

Daniel: 32.

Pastor Doug: 32? Well, let’s see here. I don’t want to read all of it just because… and he goes to… alright. “But the scribes and the Pharisees murmured and complained against His disciples saying, ‘Why does your Master eat and drink with publicans and sinners?’ And Jesus answered and said, ‘They that are whole need not a physician but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’”

And your question? Are you still there? You still there Daniel?

Daniel: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Sorry, yeah. Try it again. And so, what is your question on the verse?

Daniel: Yes. Were the Twelve aligned with that as far as… because sometimes people see you other… being than I believe as a Christian, when is it proper for you to like eat here like the… He was going…

Pastor Doug: Ah, good question! So in other words, you know, Jesus ate and drank with sinners, is it okay for Christians to do that?

Daniel: Yeah, I mean, get back… in what context is this because, you know, that’s all I need to know. When do you draw the line? When is the appropriate time when… you know what I’m saying? Like…

Pastor Doug: That’s… you see, that’s a very good question because Christians need to know how can I be in the world without the world being in me?

Daniel: Right. Exactly!

Pastor Doug: How can I reach worldly or lost people without being one of them? I would, you know, I think it’d be fine to go to dinner with friends or acquaintances that are not Christians and to eat with them and to talk about the Bible. I would not go to the bar with them because the bar is principally a place of, you know, taking a drug is what it is. And that’s not the best witness. I might witness to somebody that had a problem with prostitution but I wouldn’t go to their place of business. You know what I’m saying?

Daniel: Right.

Pastor Doug: So you know, there’s sometimes in environments where you can safely be a good witness and witness to the lost. But you don’t want to go walking in their ways. That’s where you go to the verse… you know what the first Psalm says, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor sits in the seat of the scornful; that stands in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of the scornful.” You don’t want to walk in their ways. So there is that medium area where you meet them and you try and witness to them but you don’t walk in their sins with them.

Daniel: Okay, I understand that part of it and I agree with you on that per se. But I thought if they don’t want you to witness and they just want to talk or whatever—hangout—I mean, what do you say on that situation?

Pastor Doug: Well, sometimes you need to spend enough time to… with a person to be a friend. Jesus, you know, He healed people’s diseases. He didn’t just preach to people. He fed people, He healed them, He associated with them and listened to their concerns. But if you see you’re not making any progress and they’re not open, then I would, you know, Jesus said don’t give that which is holy to the dogs—meaning, don’t waste all your time witnessing to somebody that is showing no interest; otherwise, you’re scattering your seed on stony ground. And then you want to move on to people whose hearts may be open.

Daniel: Right. Now, how… because there are clues they would… if that’s being considered. You know what I mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, they can call it what they want but if you believe that the Gospel is the serum for the disease the world is dying from, then we have a very urgent job in giving it to those that will receive it. It’s a matter of life and death, right?

Daniel: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And so, yes. I think that if Christians have no confidence about what they believe and that the Lord has revealed eternal life to us, some people might perceive that as arrogance but hey, if you’re not sure about your faith, then you shouldn’t be sharing it! Yeah, so sure, people might call you all kinds of things and that’s what they said to Jesus. Don’t let that discourage you.

Daniel: Okay. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

Pastor Doug: Alright, Daniel. I appreciate your question. Alright, let’s see here. We’re going to talk next to… is it Flighter? Calling from McCollin, Texas. Let me see if I’ve got you there. No, that’s… oh, there we go! Is that right, Flighter? McCollin, Texas?

Flighter: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Flighter: How you doing?

Pastor Doug: I’m doing good, and your question tonight?

Flighter: My name is Flighter. Genesis 35:19 and 20.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Flighter: The question is—you can read it later—but the question is, does the pile of rocks in Rachel’s grave still exist on this world called Bethlehem? What is the town, I guess, now called? There’s several instances that the Bible mentions land, locations, and states that particular location still stand today. Can we really go and see today all these places that the Bible state that they, you know, are they there? Or is it just…

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. Now, I don’t know that the pillar or the marker of Rachel’s grave is still there. The name “Bethlehem” actually means “House of Bread.” There were two or three Bethlehems in the land of Israel. That’s why it calls it, “On the way to Ephrathah.” The Bethlehem, Ephrathah is the one by Jerusalem which is it’s actually mentioned in the prophecy of Micah 5:2, “But thou Bethlehem, Ephrathah.” That’s where King David was born, that’s where Rachel died, that’s where Jesus was born. There, I think that some of the churches have markers there that say, “This was Rachel’s grave,” but you know, most of those were set up hundreds of years after Christ and were not exactly sure that that’s the exact spot…

Flighter: Okay. So when the Bible says you can see it until today that means back then.

Pastor Doug: When… at the time when Moses wrote this in Genesis, it was still there and visible. The marker that had been left by Jacob for Rachel’s grave was still visible but, you know, that was 3,500 years ago. So just because it was there when Moses wrote it doesn’t mean it’s still there today.

Flighter: Okay.

Pastor Doug: A lot of these markers have been weathered by time and earthquakes and have been obscured. And some of them, the Muslims, when they took possession, tried to efface some history, some of them were obliterated. So it’s hard to know exactly some of the locations.

Flighter: Got you!

Pastor Doug: Good question! I appreciate that, Flighter. Alright, God bless. We’re going to talk next with Lisa who is listening from Lehigh, Pennsylvania. Welcome, Lisa, you’re on the air!

Lisa: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi, and your question.

Lisa: And my question is where is the Bible… and where in the Bible is found that the Sabbath is from Friday night to Saturday night?

Pastor Doug: Well, it doesn’t say. You don’t find the word “Saturday” or “Friday” anywhere in the Bible. In the Bible, the Jews numbered the days and you’ve got the first day, second day, third day, and so forth. Today, people are celebrating Easter Sunday in, you know, it says in the Bible Jesus rose the first day of the week—there’s no question. You look in the dictionary, it will tell you Sunday, the first day of the week. I just did it today, Webster’s Dictionary.

And if you look up the 6th day was also called the Preparation Day by the Jews and a matter of fact, you look in John 19:42, “There they laid Jesus because of the Jews’ Preparation Day for the sepulcher was nearby.” Jesus was on the cross from about 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon alive. He was there about one more hour dead. So about 4 in the afternoon, Joseph took His body down. They wanted to take it somewhere nearby and bury Him before the Sabbath. You remember, they were very close to the Sabbath hours because they hadn’t finished embalming Him that’s why they came back Sunday morning. And so, you know, the Catholic Church calls it Good Friday. And that’s the 6th day of the week—the Preparation Day. And the day after Friday is Saturday and so if you look anywhere in the dictionary, encyclopedia, most normal calendars will show you 7th day of the week is Saturday.

Now, we use the Roman names today. Sunday was the “Dia del Sol,” the day of the Sun, when the pagans worship the sun. Monday was the moon day. Saturn was… Saturday was Saturn. So, you know, we’re using old Roman names because the Roman calendar’s what we’re following now. That’s why July’s named after Julius Caesar, August after Augustus Caesar, and… so you can’t really use the Roman names for the week and the Roman names for the month to decipher the Bible because the Bible writer didn’t use the Roman names.

Lisa: I understand. Yeah, that answers that question really well.

Pastor Doug: Well, I appreciate that. That’s a good question. And you know, we’ve got a book that we’ll send you for free if you’d like a copy that deals with the subject of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the Bible and when they appeared and what they meant—if you’d like a copy of that.

Lisa: Sure.

Pastor Doug: Alright. You just call the resource number and ask for the book on, “When Sunday was Three Days Late,” and it’s 800-835-6747, and we’ll be happy to send that to you. As for the…

Lisa: 1-800-835…

Pastor Doug: 6747.

Lisa: …6747.

Pastor Doug: And…

Lisa: What’s it called?

Pastor Doug: Well, I tell you what. I’m looking right here at the list of books that we can offer you. And probably a better book that would deal with your question about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is a book called, “Why God Said Remember;” “Why God Said Remember.” You ask for that and we’ll send that to you. Alright, I appreciate that very much, Lisa.

Lisa: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Oh, I got one minute left. You know, I’m going to… before we go to the break, friends, you just stay tuned. If you’re holding for your calls, I see your names. Larry and Jason, Paula, Zach, Mike, you hang by and we’ll come back to your phones as soon as we can. In the meantime, friends, I want to remind you, make sure and look up the Amazing Facts website. Write that down, it just branches off into a thousand different directions.

Oh! You know what, I need to tell you friends! We got a big announcement. Just as of Thursday, there’s a new website called amazingfacts.tv. You could be watching Amazing Facts programs 24 hours a day plus all the archives of a number of different messages. If you want to see what I look like, because radio doesn’t torch you that way, just go to amazingfacts.tv and you could see our new website. This is a beta version so take a look at it. Tell me what you think. And then drop us a note during the… in the Contact window and make any suggestions. And once again that’s amazingfacts.tv.

We’re just taking a break now. We’ll be back in a couple minutes with your questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible-related question, you can call us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time on Sundays and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. Now, please join us as we look to God’s Word for more Bible answers live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome back, listening friends! If you joined us along the way, you are tuned in to Bible Answers Live, a live, interactive Bible study. And my name is Doug Batchelor. Our normal co-host, Pastor Jëan Ross, is in South Africa right now but he should be back with us next week. And without hesitation, we’re going to go back to the phones, talking next with Mike who has been waiting patiently, calling from Atlanta, Georgia. Welcome, Mike, you’re on the air!

Mike: Hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Mike: I had a question for you about music. We have gone through quite a bit of our selections of music and got rid of a lot of stuff that I’ve felt hasn’t drawn us closer to the Lord. And one of the categories I wasn’t sure on, I looked around and I haven’t found a lot on this classical music. I know that, you know, a lot of people says good for… delve out mental or the brain. We have little boys and I didn’t know if you have any biblical basis or some other basis that could help us in our decision making. I know the music itself seems okay, I know. I’ve heard a lot about some of the artist and have been great stories about so many artists but I’m just curious on your take on that.

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a question—a good question—and you know, as you’re speaking there, I’m thinking of course, you’re not going to find any Scripture that says anything about, you know, “Please avoid or please embrace classical music” because…

Mike: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …that’s a style of music that really grew out of a renaissance era over a thousand years after Christ. So the Bible is not going to mention that but there are principles there. Of course, in Philippians 4:8, it says, “Finally, brothers, in whatsoever things are true, honest, pure, just, think on these things.” And I’m paraphrasing that verse there. So the music we listen to, if it’s just music without the words, you sometimes have to be a little subjective. I think everyone knows that there’s a kind of music that puts the body at rest and makes it… it’s good music for contemplation and meditation—that your body has certain rhythms with it. And there’s some music that will soothe those rhythms.

And then there’s music that is calculated to excite them for aggression like war music would. You know, some of the music is deliberately, you know, war dance was just that. If someone play the lullaby at a war dance—no words, just the music—people will say, “How do you expect them to go to war listening to Braham’s Lullaby?” And at the same time, you know, would you put a baby to bed listening to, you know, war dance? So, music—and that has obviously the words aren’t even there. And then there’s romantic music. That is again different. Some music is sexually suggestive and people know what that is. It seems to stimulate the gyration of your torso rather than your extremities. March music, you’ve got your extremities. Your arms and legs are going up and down. It’s like… music affects the body is what I’m saying.

So with classical music, the Bible does say, “Try the spirits and hold fast to that which is good.” In other words, investigate things. The studies and investigations seems to indicate that most classical music appeals to the higher powers of the brain. And was it Dr. Ben Carson, a Christian brain surgeon you may have heard of, he frequently listen to classical music as he did brain surgery because he felt it would have a calming influence—maybe subconsciously on the patiently—but on him and his hands as he perform very delicate surgery. You wouldn’t want to listen to the typical worldly music. Wow! [Laughing] I wouldn’t want any doctor operating on my brain while listening to rap music or something.

Mike: Right [laughing].

Pastor Doug: So, you see what I’m saying? Using that criteria, I have no… my conscience does not convict me that I should not listen to classical music. When I’m driving in a car, sometimes I rent. I’ve got rental cars, they don’t have tapes or CDs with me. I can’t find a Christian network like probably what most people are listening to right now. And I’ll find a… well, they call it easy listening. It’s usually classical music station. And I find I can think, I can pray, I can meditate while I’m listening to that. And that to me is a good test.

Mike: Okay, great! Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless and hey, keep in mind, you pray about this and do what the Holy Spirit says. I’m just giving you my subjective thoughts.

Mike: Yeah, definitely.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless, Mike.

Mike: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Bye-bye. Alright. Talking next to Larry, calling from Hendersonville, North Carolina. Welcome, Larry, and thanks for waiting.

Larry: Thank you, Doug.

Pastor Doug: Your question.

Larry: The question I have is, I don’t know, 1 Samuel… I’m driving my car so I don’t have the Bible with me but you can find it, I’m sure.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Larry: It’s where God tells Samuel to go… that He’s turned His back on Saul and Samuel has to go to the family of Jesse and to anoint the next king.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Larry: And so, Samuel says, “But if I go, then Saul will kill me.” And so God said, “Well, just saddle a mule and if Saul asks, just tell him you’re going to go make a sacrifice.” Now to me, that’s the equivalence of a white lie. And when I was reading that, that bothers me greatly because God is much more powerful than to have to resort to, you know, to deception in order to accomplish what God wants to accomplish.

Pastor Doug: So when Samuel was telling the Lord, “Saul is, you know, going to be coming after me if he knows I’m going to anoint another king.” And the Lord says, “Well, you know, say you’re going to offer sacrifice.” That was entirely true. It wasn’t just partially true. Samuel did go to Bethlehem and he did have a feast and he did offer sacrifice. And part of the work of the priest—see, Samuel took the place of Eli when Eli and his household died and he effectually became judge, prophet, and high priest all wrapped up in one—is they would go from district to district and offer sacrifice in behalf of the people.

So he came to Bethlehem and offered sacrifice there. In other words, God was saying, “Don’t emphasize that you’re going to pick another king. That would be imprudent! Emphasize that you’re going to consecrate the people and you’re going to have sacrifice,” which he did do.

Larry: Well I… for instance, I was an officer in a military—in the airforce—and we were taught that, “Okay, if you go to the… if you go out, you go to the post office and then you’re telling yourself you’re an officer that I’m going to… I need to go out.” So you go to the post office but when you go over to the Officers’ Club and you know, and enjoy yourself for a little while, and you come back and your officer and commanders says, “Where have you been?” And you said, “Oh, I went to the Post Office.” And that’s all you say. They consider that being dishonest.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me ask you another question. If you lie to your commanding officer or if you withhold information from your commanding officer—and, you know, you’re on the same team—that would be. But if you were in a war and you’re being interrogated and asked for information and you don’t divulge that information, are you a liar?

Larry: No.

Pastor Doug: Alright. So that does make a difference but you’re still withholding information. Let me give you a verse of Jesus in John 16:12.

Larry: Yeah?

Pastor Doug: Jesus said, “I have many thing to say to you but you cannot bear them now.” Now, Jesus was not lying to them by not telling them everything. He just said, “Look, you can’t handle it now.” Just like when a child says to his pregnant mother, you know, “How was this baby made?” And you know, you got a 5-year-old child and well, mom and dad know that that child isn’t quite old enough to understand the birds and the bees and they don’t need to be deceptive but they can say, “Well, you know…” and give a vague answer because they can’t bear it.

Larry: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So yeah, what I’m getting at is God knew that if Samuel into the village and he announced, “I’ve come to anoint another king” with Saul on the throne, that would be imprudent because Saul had now become an enemy of God. And he would go…

Larry: So he wouldn’t have to announce that he’s come to anoint a king. I guess the part that bothered me was that part the God told him, “Well, just tell him this part. Leave out the others.”

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s exactly what Jesus…

Larry: But later on, you know…

Pastor Doug: That’s what Jesus is saying. He says, “There’s other things I can tell you but you can’t handle them now.”

Larry: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: The people of God couldn’t handle it. Saul couldn’t handle it and so the Lord said, “Samuel, what I want you to emphasize is that you’re going to offer sacrifice.”

Larry: Okay. Yeah, because I know later on, you know, after David is anointed and Saul starts trying to kill him, Saul finds out that both Samuel and David are in this one town. So he sends a bunch of soldiers and God puts His Spirit on them and they start to prophesy. Then Saul comes, and it says Saul takes off his clothes and he starts to prophesy.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the Lord was able to stop him in his tracks if He wanted to.

Larry: Yeah, stop him in his tracks. So, it’s just bothered me there that it seem like it was… God was saying a lie but I can understand that, you know, what you’re talking about where, you know, God said… Jesus said, “I have many things and you can’t understand... can’t bear them now.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, I think that the Lord is just letting us know that first of all, He’s a 100% honest—God is the Truth. So in His wisdom, He told Samuel, “You better emphasize just the sacrifice part because it would be imprudent to emphasize the other.” In the matters of war, you’ve got those examples where even Joshua used deception to allure the people of Ai out of the city. They pretended they were retreating. So, when it came to matters of war, Jesus said, “Be as wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.” And I think this was a case where they were practicing that.

Hope that helps, Larry. We want to give another couple of callers a chance here. And so we’re going to go to Jason in Orlando, Florida, listening on WTLN. Welcome, Jason!

Jason: Hey, how you doing? Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes sir!

Jason: May I ask concerning marriage. Well, most specifically divorce. In the Bible… since I’m working, I just want a wise opinion. Me and my wife is divorced and I’m… but for some reason, I’m still obligated to continue to make sure she’s, you know, happy and things are going right for her. She’s going through a little something now. Instead of turning away, I feel that what Christ would have me do is continue to show love and continue to just even though she doesn’t want it, you know, just show love and kindness and generosity. And I was just trying to see anywhere in the biblical content on God’s eyes. Does He recognize divorce as far as He’s con it or, you know, how does that work?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let me read the verses to you and then we’ll talk about your question more specifically. Of course, Jesus—we’ve read this many times—Matthew 5, chapter 31… I’m sorry, Matthew 5:31, “It has been said, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.’ But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication…” meaning marital infidelity, “…causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Now, if you and your wife are divorced and you’re saying she doesn’t want you in her life but you feel like, you know, she’s still your wife and you want to still be in her life, that’s not I don’t think the Lord’s will for you to try to win her by annoying her. In other words, if she’s saying, “Look, you know, our relationship’s over. I don’t want you around.” And you’re trying to show kindness and love to her, you’ll probably just going to start annoying her. So I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying.

Jason: No, not like that. It’s just not pursuing a relationship. This is still having a concern for her because you know, we have…

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah, well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a concern for anybody. You know, saved or lost, their welfare—God wants us to love people. But what do you mean by having a concern? Are you talking about being involved in her life?

Jason: Not like that. But she’s just… she’s going through issues and it’s like what she go through is she just takes my children which affects me and then I’m still, you know, I don’t want to see her unhappy, you know. I feel like when she’s…

Pastor Doug: Is she remarried?

Jason: No, she’s…

Pastor Doug: Are you remarried?

Jason: No.

Pastor Doug: Are you talking with her? Is she talking with you about reconciliation?

Jason: We just really just talking about just raising our children the best way we can—being, you know, friendly.

Pastor Doug: Well, by all means, especially if you have children together, you should try and be as cordial and supportive as you can be. You know, the more your kids see that you are friendly and supportive, the less damage. Divorce is damaging for kids but the less damage it’ll have. You can mitigate that a little bit by being kind and friendly. It’s when parents are sometimes brutal and running each other down to the kids, it’s very destructive.

Jason: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So…

Jason: And, okay, in the biblical content also does like once you’re divorced, does God recognize that divorce unless one gets to marry or like if divorcing a wife…

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah. The first and, you know, you also find this in Matthew 19:18. He says, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce.” But the only biblical grounds for divorce was what they call “fornication” or “adultery.” If, you know you don’t need to go into this, but if you or your wife were unfaithful in that regard, then the opposite partner has biblical grounds for not only divorce but re-marriage.

Jason: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The guilty party really has no grounds to ever re-marry.

Jason: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Alright? That’s what the Bible says. I know it’s not really popular in this day and age but that can’t change the word.

Jason: Yup, yup. Thank you. I need… I was just trying to get some sound thought on things.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thank you, Jason. And by the way, if you’d like to call, Jason, we do have a booklet called, “Keys for a Happy Marriage.” And we’ll be happy to send that to you. It’s just got some ingredients and who knows, your relationship—if she’s not re-married and you’re not re-married—God can work miracles. You might get reconciled.

Going next to talk with Paula who’s been waiting patiently on line 9. You didn’t know you’re on line 9, Paula, calling from Miami, Florida, listening on the Internet. Welcome, Paula!

Paula: Hi, hello. I have a question in regards to Mark 12:18-25…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Paula: …where the Sadducees had questioned Jesus in regards to marriage and…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Paula: Yeah. Alright, the lady marrying like her brother…

Pastor Doug: Right. She ends up marrying all 7 deceased brothers and…

Paula: Right. And they questioned, “What will happen to her,” I mean…

Pastor Doug: In the resurrection.

Paula: In the resurrection, right. Will she be married… my question was will there be marriage in heaven and the new earth or will God do away with marriage altogether?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let me read the verse to you. Jesus’ answer to their hypothetical question, they said, you know, “Suppose the woman marries a brother and he dies and she ends up marrying that brother and she marries all 7 brothers and they all finally die. In the resurrection, who is she married to?” And they taught that they would stump Jesus. And Jesus answers them by saying in verse 24, “Do you therefore not err because you do not know the Scriptures neither the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but like the angels which are in heaven.”

So, evidently, Jesus is saying here, there are no new marriages in heaven. Keep in mind it’s… He says, “Neither do they marry.” Now, that doesn’t mean when Adam and Eve get to heaven that God’s going to hand them divorce papers. Marriage is God’s plan—it’s part of His perfect plan. Marriage is not only for the purpose of procreation, you know, having children. But that certainly was part of it. And that’s why I think it’s very odd that some groups are clamoring for the rights for gays to marry because, it’s really absurd, most laws of most states regarding marriage have nothing to do with recognizing the marriage. They have more to do with recognizing the protection of the children and inheritance rights for the children and a lot to do with the children.

But in heaven, there are probably no new marriages according to this verse. People will not be getting married in heaven. That doesn’t mean a person can’t have friends. And I don’t know if… a lot of people ask this question, Paula, and you may be coming from a whole different angle but my wife and I were talking about that this afternoon. So many people think, “Oh, you know, if Jesus comes before I get married, I’m going to feel cheated because I want to get married and have children before Jesus comes.” And it’s almost as if when they get to heaven, if they didn’t get married and have kids in this life, they’ve been robbed somehow and they’re going to be up there moping around through eternity and they’d have no idea about what heaven’s like. They’re going to be so happy to be with Jesus.

Ultimately, everyone saved is married to Christ—that the idea of the marriage right on earth and procreating on earth is not going to… it’s going to just fade into the shadows in the glory of heaven. So it’s just totally irrelevant. When I meet this young people and they’re so afraid that, “Oh, I want to grow up first and get married before Jesus comes.” And they don’t need to worry about that. I promise, anybody who gets to heaven, they’re going to be happy.

Paula: As a single person, is not marrying… alright. As a single person…

Pastor Doug: It seems difficult here.

Paula: Yeah. Once you’re single and, I mean, there’s not going to be any marriage?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Let me try and touch on that from a little different angle. God designed us in this life, Paula, where men and women are attracted to each other—or if they’re normal and healthy, anyway. And if that attraction is not fulfilled, it can be frustrating. And to think, “Well, we’re in this human bodies. We might have to go through eternity frustrated,” is a disturbing thought. In heaven, we will not be frustrated. It’s just in this life we think, “Oh, how could I bear the idea that here, I had this opportunity on earth and I never got married.” No, don’t worry about it. I mean, if God opens a door in this life, praise the Lord! And don’t get discouraged. I know a lot of single friends that were about to despair and… I had one dear friend that she was 50 and she just about… I think she pretty much given up. And happily married now. So, it’s just don’t worry about it and trust the Lord. You’ll be happy in heaven, I promise you that, Paula.

Paula: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Paula: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless and well, trust the Lord to lead you in this. Okay, who do we have waiting patiently? Is that Leander? Listening from Adams, Wisconsin. Welcome to the program!

Leander: Thank you, Pastor, for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes sir!

Leander: Mark 4:11 and 12. It seems to me when I read that, it’s saying that there’s a group of people outside of His circle that He does not want to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven that they may be converted. Tell me what your take is on that, please?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let me read this to our friends listening. “And Jesus said unto them, ‘Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables that seeing they might see and not perceive, and hearing they might hear and not understand, lest at any time, they may be converted and their sins should be forgiven them.’”

Jesus taught in parables for a number of reasons. One is, people think in pictures. And when Jesus would illustrate principles of salvation with stories—verbal pictures, if you will—it reinforce it in their memories whether He was talking about sheep or sowing seeds or fishing for men or a lost son or a lost coin—whenever people saw these daily activities, they think about the truths that He had been teaching in parables. So that’s one reason.

But Christ often had enemies following Him trying to trap Him in His words. And so, many of the truths were put in parables to protect them, so to speak, from those who really didn’t want the truth—they were just trying to twist His words. Now, one more thought on this same subject—many of the prophecies in the Bible, for instance, Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel—they were given their prophecies in symbols because they were occupied by a foreign power.

Daniel’s prophecies came while Babylon was in power and they had conquered the Jews. To protect those prophecies, they were given in symbols because some of the prophecies talk about the fall of Babylon. Ezekiel—Persia was in power. He had many apocalyptic or symbolic visions. When John, in Revelation, had his visions, he was a prisoner of Rome. Some of his visions talk about the fall of the Roman Empire. So to protect those truths, they were given in a symbolic form.

Many of the truths of Jesus were given in symbolic forms. So those who were praying to understand, they’d be revealed. The symbols are easy enough to decipher. But for those who didn’t have the Holy Spirit that weren’t going to follow, it was hidden from them.

Leander: So He is saying that He didn’t want them to be converted? Is that what He’s saying?

Pastor Doug: No. He’s saying He didn’t want them to understand. Let me take it one more step. The more you know, the more you are accountable for. Do you understand…

Leander: Yes.

Pastor Doug: …what I’m saying? In other words, if I did something wrong and I didn’t know it was wrong, God doesn’t punish me the same way as if I did know. The Bible says, “To whom much is given, much is required.” The more that the lost understand about God’s will and they’re not willing to do God’s will, the more severely they’re punished. So out of love for the lost, those who are unwilling to seek and find the truth, they’re shielded from it because it’s just going to mean more severe judgment for them. See what I’m saying? That’s even an act of love that He does this.

Leander: I see what you’re saying but do you understand? What I’m saying is it seems like He’s saying, “I don’t want them to hear and understand because they may be converted and should be forgiven their sins.” And that’s what it seems like He’s saying.

Pastor Doug: Well, when He says, “And their sins should be forgiven,” He’s saying basically, you know, “Lest they soften their hearts and receive the truth, they’re sins won’t be forgiven.” He wants them to be forgiven because it tells us the Son of Man, He’s come to seek and save the lost. He’s not willing that any should perish. But…

Leander: Right. So…

Pastor Doug: …even this very teaching evidently is a little bit of a parable because I think a lot of people struggle with this.

Leander: Oh, I thought it was just me.

Pastor Doug: So, Jesus says… no, no, no, no. You know, I’ve wondered when I first read it, too. So don’t feel bad. I’ve pondered this verse. He wants everyone to know the truth. He wants everyone to be forgiven and to be saved. God is not willing that any should perish. God would have all men to be saved.

Leander: That’s why I wanted this question because it doesn’t seem to fit in my understanding with that major teachings of the Scripture.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, He’s simply saying that until their hearts… the context of what He’s saying is until their hearts are softened where they’re willing to receive the truth and be forgiven, they’re not going to understand. That’s why the Bible says, “Seek and find; knock and it will be opened; ask and you’ll receive.” There needs to be an effort and those who aren’t seeking to know, it’s going to stay a mystery and parables if they’re not willing to obey.

I hope that helps a little bit, Leander. We need to move on to another call. Thanks for your question. Going to talk with Michael calling from Houston, Texas. Welcome, Michael! You’re on the air.

Michael: Hello, can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: I do. Loud and clear!

Michael: Okay. Pastor, I was going to ask a question… this is around daily devotions and worship.

Pastor Doug: Get a little closer to your mic. You’re starting out okay.

Michael: Okay. Yeah, I was going to ask about daily devotions and worship.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Michael: You see, the thing is I like to… I do go to church and I do worship amongst other Christians but sometimes, in my home, I like to worship in the morning or at night time with, you know, with my… at my own altar and things like that. And one of my friends was saying, “Well, you go to church to worship. You don’t need to be worshipping at home additionally.” But, you know, I don’t understand what’s wrong with me wanting to worship at home after my daily devotion and stuff. It’s…

Pastor Doug: No. Well, there’s nothing wrong. A matter of fact, Christians should live in an attitude of worship. We should worship God every day. We don’t reserve worship just for church. There is a more formal corporate worship that happens at church. You know, in the Sabbath commandment—and a matter of fact, you find this in Leviticus 23—it calls the Sabbath a holy convocation. And so when people came together to worship God on the Sabbath, it was to convene in the assembly. But we ought to have private worship individually and family worship in our homes. And you can worship God in your car, at your work—I think it’s a good thing to worship God all day long.

I hope that helps a little bit with your question, Michael. I appreciate your question. And if you go to the Amazing Facts website, we’ve got a couple of books that talk about the subject of worship. One is on the “Three Angels’ Messages.” And you can read many of these things online at the Amazing Facts website. Simply amazingfacts.org. I apologize if we did not get to all of your calls tonight, friends. By the grace of God, we’ll be back next week. Give us another chance. Please remember, before you change the dial, we’re just a faith-based ministry and we appreciate hearing from you if there’s anything you’d like to recommend or send us your questions.

Once again, go to the website and fill out where it says “Contact Us.” While you’re there, if you make a donation to help keep this program on this station, we appreciate it. Remember, Jesus is the Truth that will set you free!

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Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor
God's Promises




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