James Bartley - A Modern Jonah

James Bartley - A Modern Jonah

Date: 03/30/2008 
In February 1891, the whaling ship, Star of the East, was off the Falkland Islands when the lookout spotted a huge 80-foot sperm whale. Two long boats were filled with crewmen and launched to hunt the monster.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

In February 1891, the whaling ship, Star of the East, was off the Falkland Islands when the lookout spotted a huge 80-foot sperm whale. Two long boats were filled with crewmen and launched to hunt the monster. Closing in, they harpooned the whale which quickly dove down pulling 800 feet of line after it before slack showed that it was climbing back for the surface again. Suddenly, the huge mammal resurfaced right under the first longboat throwing the broken vessel and its men into the air.

As the whale went down again, the remaining longboat rescued the survivors and they counted two men were missing and presumed drowned. Soon after returning to the ship, the dead whale floated to the surface. So the somber crewmen began the grizzly job, removing the blubber from the dead beast. By midnight, the task was still unfinished. And so, the sailors went to bed. In the morning, as they resumed their work, the unexpected happened!

According to a reporter in Paris, suddenly the sailors were startled by something in the stomach spasmodically moving. Thinking it might be a giant squid, they cut the stomach open. Inside was found one of the missing sailors—James Bartley—doubled up and unconscious. He was placed on the deck, treated to a bath of sea water and he soon revived. But his mind was not clear and he was placed in the captain’s quarters. As he recovered, Bartley recalled being hit by the whale’s tail and then encompassed by a great darkness.

Next, he felt that he was slipping along a smooth passage that seemed to move him and carry him forward. His hands came in contact with a yielding slimy substance which seem to shrink from his touch. He could breathe the stifling air but the heat was terrible. Then the next thing he remembered, he was in the captain’s cabin. Except for the fact that his neck, face, and hands had been bleached white, Bartley survived the belly of the monster. We can understand why he left whaling and spent the remaining 18 years of his life working as a cobbler in his native Gloucester. When he was buried, his tombstone featured a brief account of the above adventure and a footnote—James Bartley, 1870-1909, a modern Jonah.

When people in Jesus’ day asked for a sign, the Lord said, “No sign would be given but the sign of Jonah.” 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 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, friends, to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live. And we’re very thankful that you have tuned in. For the next hour, we’re going to be taking your Bible questions. If you have a Bible question, we’ve got lines open right now. Good time to pick up the phone and ask your question. It’s a free phone call and that number is 800-GOD-SAYS; 800-463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor. Pastor Jëan Ross is on vacation tonight and so with the help of our studio crew and engineers, we’re going to man this program. We always begin with a word of prayer so I invite you to join me.

Loving Lord, we dedicate this program to Your glory and honor. We pray that You will help us to better identify and understand the truth of Your word. And Lord, we ask that You be with every person participating either by listening where they might be in their homes or car, those who are calling in questions, those here in the studio, and the one who’s to answer the questions. We pray all is done in accordance with Your word. And it’s in Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.

Well that is some whale of a tale about a person who was swallowed by a modern-day whale and survived. Now, in the Bible, it talks about Jonah being swallowed by a great sea creature. In the New Testament, it translates that “whale” but probably was not a whale. Even in spite of James Bartley’s story, sperm whales don’t usually frequent the Mediterranean. But it just goes to prove along with the number of other accounts from history that there are people and other mammals that have been swallowed by sea creatures and survived for a number of days. And James Bartley is one more modern example.

But it made me think of the words of Jesus. You find in Matthew chapter 12, beginning with verse 38, “Then certain of the scribes and the Pharisees answered saying, ‘Master, we want to see a sign of Thee.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign and there shalt no sign be given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so the Son of Man will be three day and three nights in the heart of the earth. And the men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment with this generation and condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, a greater than Jonah is here.’”

So what is the sign of Jonah? I mean, Jesus could have said, “No sign will be given but the sign of David” who was a type of Christ, or the sign or Joseph, or the sign of Moses. But He mentioned Jonah—one of the small, Old Testament minor prophets. Well, the story of Jonah is an incredible story. And by the way, friends, if you doubt the truth of Jonah—that he was swallowed by the sea creature and came out alive three days and three nights later—you probably cannot be a Bible Christian because Jesus said it was true. And so, if we believe the words of Christ, we need to believe the story of Jonah and I gave you one of many examples this evening of facts where it could happen. Even if those examples weren’t in the Bible, I would believe it, because God said in the book of Jonah, “The Lord prepared a fish.” And the Lord could have created a whole fish just for Jonah’s sake. Obviously it was a singular and unique experience but I believe every bit of it.

But what was the sign of Jonah? Well, in many ways, Jonah is a type of Christ. Think about it for a moment—Jonah was asleep in a boat—and by the way, you can read Jonah in about 12-15 minutes. It is 4 chapters. He was asleep in a boat during a storm. And he was awaken by the crew in the boat and through sacrificing him, they were saved. Very much like Jesus who was asleep in a boat during a storm. The disciples woke Him and said, “Master, do you not care that we’re perishing?” It’s interesting, the captain, when he woke up Jonah, said the same thing. You know, “Pray to your God that we perish not.” And Jesus came that we might not perish, friends.

And of course, Jonah’s coming out of that death sentence of the whale 3 days later, is very much like the resurrection of Christ—a miracle that something dead could come back to life! Furthermore, the Bible tells us that Nineveh was an exceeding great city of 3 days’ journey. Jonah enters the city a day’s journey, meaning for half a day, and he starts preaching that in 40 days, it would be destroyed. Well, Jesus preached for 3 ½ years and said that in 40 years, Jerusalem would be destroyed because they did not repent where the people of Nineveh did repent and so they were spared—very important sign of Jonah. And there’s a lot more to it, friends. But I’m not going to tell that all to you. I’d like for you to read the free book we’re going to offer tonight by the same title called, “The Sign of Jonah.”

If you’d like a copy of this book that helps unpack this very important prophecy in the Bible that Jesus made and what the meaning is—it’s filled with incredible meaning—the study that I’ve just given you and much more, all 800-835-6747. And that’s our resource number. Tell them you’re listening to Amazing Facts and you’d like to request “The Sign of Jonah.” And we’re going to skip the Internet questions—Pastor Ross is gone—and just get to the phones right away. And so, let’s do that without further delay. We’re going to begin with Robert who’s calling from Frankfort, Indiana. First time caller. Welcome, Robert, you’re on the air!

Robert: Good evening. God bless you and quite a blessing with your amazing fact [laughing].

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] Yes, quite a story! And how can we help you tonight?

Robert: Yes, I have a question from Daniel 4. He’s told to shut up the words, seal this book until the end of time. Where is that opened out in the Bible? I’m sure it’s opened somewhere and what precipitated it to be opened in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: Well, around the 19th… 18th to 19th century, there was a great revival among Christians in connection with most of the Protestant churches in the study of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. And for years, many—Jews and Christians—because of course, both Jews and Christians have the book of Daniel. It’s in the Old Testament. They believe that the book was hidden and sealed but through comparing Scripture and scholars standing on the shoulders of one another, a great deal of light came out. And so, we believe that in the 1800s, the book of Daniel seem to just unfold—and there’s a lot of very clear exposition of Daniel. And many of the prophecies in Daniel did not come true until we entered that time. And so, that was an obvious time for the Lord to unfold it and basically give the people the glasses of interpretation where they could decipher these things and recognize where…

See, Daniel is a prophecy, Robert that covers the panorama of the earthly kingdoms contrasting with God’s heavenly kingdom. You’ll hear the word “kingdom” appears as much as just about any word in Daniel. And it shows sort of the march of kingdoms upon earthly history with God’s kingdom in the background. And that ultimately God’s kingdom will inherit the earth.

Robert: Is this little book… in Revelation 10, it says, “A little book is opened up in his hand…” Is that Daniel’s book in Revelation 10?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I believe that that is an example of the prophecies being opened and unfolded during that time. Of course, it says, “A little book,” it’s not the “only book.” And when it says “book” there, in the Greek, it’s really what we would call a scroll. They did not bind books the way we have them today. You read in Ezekiel, “And God gave Ezekiel a scroll and he was told to eat it.” That’s very much what happens with John in Revelation. He’s told to eat the scroll. And of course, that means the word of God in the mouth and the messages to be given.

I hope that helps a little bit…

Robert: Yeah, it does. Thank…

Pastor Doug: …we give… we’ll try to… okay, I appreciate that. And by the way, Robert, we do have some studies on Daniel at the Amazing Facts website and we’d invite you to go there. Next, going to talk with Mark who is calling from Ontario, Canada. Welcome, Mark, you’re on the air!

Mark: Hi, Doug. I really… it’s a privilege to be able to speak with you like this. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for quite some time.

Pastor Doug: Well, my privilege, also. We got about 3 minutes to talk now. What’s your question?

Mark: Thank you. A lot of confusion about the 144,000 in the book of Revelation 14.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Mark: I am, I guess, convicted that the 144,000 is a literal number and I don’t know if you’ve heard of Pastor David Gates. Have you heard of him?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Mark: David Gates says in one of his seminars that he believes of that right now, the worldwide Adventist population is about 14 (point) some million. He’s looking at Scripture from John… from I think it was Joshua that sent out—I don’t know the story exactly but I recognize…

Pastor Doug: Well, let me ask you a question here. Do you believe that the 144,000 are the only ones saved?

Mark: No, not “the only” but that they’ll be the only ones that will be able to see the face of Jesus because they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. I just want your opinion on that and also Revelation 13:15 says that, “Whosoever does not accept the mark of the beast will actually be killed.” So I’m just trying to get it in my mind.

Pastor Doug: Well, alright…

Mark: …define what salvation is. So I just like to know if it’s only going to be one… a 144,000 or is it symbolic because the book of Revelation is a symbolic book.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, let me give you… let me give you what I believe is a pretty well-supported answer from the Bible. The key in the 144,000, Mark, is in the number. It’s 12 times 12,000. Now, the number 12, through the Bible, is a number for the leadership of God’s people—12 patriarchs in the Old Testament, 12 judges in the Old Testament, 12 apostles in the New Testament. Woman in Revelation 12—12 stars above the head—meaning leadership.

When Jesus came the first time, He discipled in a special way. He trained 12 men who followed Him wherever He went. Then He empowered them through the Spirit to reach a great multitude of people through their influence. When He came the first time, He told the disciples when they began their ministry, “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The 144,000… I’m sorry, the 12 apostles were all literal Jews.

When you get to Revelation, you’ve got God’s last day spiritual apostles. They are the leaderships of a great revival. They followed Jesus wherever He goes like the apostles did. They’ve got this close relationship, they’re filled with the Spirit. Through their influence, a great multitude is converted—you’ll find that there in Revelation chapter 7, I believe it’s verse 9. So, you know, there’s a book I’d like to send you, Mark, and it’s called, “Who Are the 144,000?” I wrote this and I do believe it’s a literal number but they’re not the only ones saved. They are representing the last day apostles, if you will, that are now going not just to the Jews before the Second Coming, they’re going to the whole world. And so, if you call the resource number, 800-835-6747, we’ll send you a free copy of “Who Are the 144,000?”

Thank you. Appreciate your question, Mark. And moving on next to Elizabeth who’s calling from Leavenworth, Kansas. Welcome, Elizabeth, and welcome to the program!

Elizabeth: Hi, Pastor Doug. I just want to say thank you for all that you do. God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Elizabeth: I have the question about Exodus 23:19. I have it here. It says, “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Elizabeth: What exactly does that mean? And is that applied now? And I just have a question about that.

Pastor Doug: Yes. And you know, you said that’s… oh, I see, Exodus 23:19. I went to the wrong verse here.

Elizabeth: And I… yeah. And there… it’s again in Exodus and other place in Exodus and also in Deuteronomy, I read.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Think about it for a minute. The purpose of a mother lamb’s milk—a used milk—is to nurture and save the lamb—the baby. To then boil the baby in the milk of the mother—“to seethe” means to boil—in other words, they will butcher the lamb and then they boil it in the milk of the mother. There’s something wrong with that picture.

Elizabeth: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so, God is saying, you know, “This is unnatural.” And so… and He goes through a number of laws here where He talks about not mixing, you know, cotton and linen or linen and flax, and different fabrics. And He’s really talking about purity and even in some of these laws, He says, “Look, if you’re going to take the eggs from a nest, do not kill the hen.” And it’s just showing respect for life through a lot of these things and you’re not to corrupt what God has made pure. And just the idea, there’s something unnatural about boiling a baby lambs in its mother’s milk.

Elizabeth: So it’s not mixing meat and dairy together?

Pastor Doug: No.

Elizabeth: No.

Pastor Doug: Because if you noticed, it doesn’t say, “Don’t boil a lamb in milk,” it says, “in its mother’s milk.”

Elizabeth: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So it’s not… I mean, there might be good reasons not to eat any animal product but that’s not what’s in this law.

Elizabeth: Right.

Pastor Doug: I think this law… there’s a number of laws here Moses is talking about doing what is right and what is pure. And you know, the Bible is compared to milk. It says that we should desire the milk of His word and I think there’s probably a spiritual application there. I’ve seen some baby Christians boiled in the milk of the Word…

Elizabeth: Wow.

Pastor Doug: …instead of giving it, you know what I mean? [Laughing]

Elizabeth: Right. Exactly.

Pastor Doug: Giving it to them little by little as they can handle it, they heat it up and they scull them.

Elizabeth: Okay. Okay, great!

Pastor Doug: So there’s, you know, spiritual applications here, too.

Elizabeth: Okay, thanks.

Pastor Doug: I appreciate it. Good question.

Elizabeth: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thanks, Elizabeth. Talking to Darryl calling from Gulf Breeze, Florida. Welcome, Darryl.

Darryl: Hi, Pastor Doug. My family and I really appreciate Amazing Facts and my question is, what attitude should Christians have toward the participation in warfare like joining the military, going to war, and all that?

Pastor Doug: This is a complicated question and let me tell you why. First of all, I am so thankful for the military and the freedoms that we have enjoyed because of the battles they have fought and the sacrifices they have made to protect those freedoms to worship. I think Christians need to be very careful about condemning people that feel called into military service. But at the same time, I think as a Christian personally, I would not want to do that. I went to Tudor for military school as I was growing up so I kind of got it out of my system even before the Vietnam War was over. So fortunately, I was not drafted. But two of my kids have been in the military and that, of course, has nothing to do with a justification for it.

But when you do enter the military as a Christian, you need to realize that you’re going to have someone else making moral decisions for you. And you really surrender a lot of your rights to make these decisions to the authorities which are very absolute. It’s not like, you know, your typical government authorities—you have a lot of freedoms and preferences. When you’re in the military, they say, “John, please say, ‘How high?’” They tell you what to do, when to go there. Worship of God is something you fit into the military schedule. You don’t say to your commanding officer, “I’m going to see if I can fit my military training into my worship schedule.” And that creates… that can create real conflict.

Now, a number of Christians have joined the services or been drafted and then they said, “Can I serve in some capacity? I want to serve my country but I don’t want to take up arms to take another human life.” And so they’ve served in the capacity of a medic or in some other capacity. Not every soldier, you know, fires bullets. And so, it’s a little complex and I’m trying to give you some principles as we look at the panorama of it. But, you know, I greatly respect that I would not condemn a person if they feel like that’s what the Lord is calling them to do. I think it can be a real moral dilemma for a Christian if they’re very serious about their commitment when they get into that environment because really, you become a servant of the Armed Forces and their will for your time. That makes sense?

Darryl: Yeah. I… yes. I… you know, my view is, you know, such that I don’t think you should join the military but, you know, I really respect what you had to say. And like, you changed my views on some things so I wanted to hear what you had to say about that, so…

Pastor Doug: Well, it is a complex subject because the reason every believer in North America has freedom to worship according to their conscience is because of the blood of soldiers. But at the same time that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be one of them. I’m very thankful for the phone company but I’m not going to go work for the phone company. You know what I’m saying?

Darryl: Right.

Pastor Doug: And maybe that’s not the best analogy. Anyway, I’ve probably said too much. Hope that helps a little bit, Darryl.

Darryl: Okay, appreciate your answer.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless. Next, talking with… we’ve got time here? We’ve got time for one or two more calls. Carlos from Leavenworth, Kansas. Welcome to the program! You’re on the air.

Carlos: Hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you doing?

Carlos: Good. How are you?

Pastor Doug: And… good. Your question tonight?

Carlos: Okay. If you’re serving in Iraq or say you’ve gotten into—I don’t know—say you’ve gotten bombs by roadside bombing, right? And your body is blown up into junks of pieces, you’re not like your body was never recovered. Pieces are still scattered around. At the Second Coming, how would you be resurrected?

Pastor Doug: Okay. Good question. First of all, when we get our new bodies, if you’re saved, does God use your old body to… and He just kind of gives you an injection of glory or does He give you a new body?

Carlos: He gives us a new body.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Bible says in Revelation, “All things are made new.” And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that “we’re transformed,” and again, in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 that “the dead in Christ rise.” We’re given this glorified new bodies. So God is not using any of the old parts in the new body. It’s a total upgrade. And so… and not only, you know, you talked about somebody who might have been blown up or what about, you know, people that are there, you know, they drown at sea and their bodies are, you know, disassembled. Really, when anyone’s buried… yeah, I don’t want to get too ghastly with this but when a person dies and they’re buried, they’re bodies decompose. If they’re cremated and they toss their ashes to the wind—it used to be during the Dark Ages that some of the pagans that were persecuting Christians would say, “Well, we’re going to make it so they’re God cannot even resurrect them. We’re going to burn them and we’re going to scatter their ashes 10 different places and they’re God is not powerful enough to find all the parts and to put them back together again,” like Humpty Dumpty.

Carlos: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But they don’t understand, God makes us… He can speak and poof! You’re back! And so, you know, He can recreate us from anything. He knows who we are. What God has… let me give you an example real quick.

Carlos: Alright.

Pastor Doug: I just came back from working out of town today. I have most of my writing, my work is on my home computer. But I’ve got a laptop. When I travel, I’ve got this little jump drive I plug into my home computer. I transfer all the important files I want to work on to my laptop and I plug it into my laptop. I can go buy a brand new computer and I can download all of the important files. Everything about the computer’s new but the programming, which is really is a philosophy, is put into the new computer. God knows who you are, He knows who I am. And when He resurrects us and gives us a glorified body, He then downloads who we are into this new body and we’re up and running. So I don’t really care what happens to my body if I should die before the Lord comes. You know, I told my wife, “Do whatever is economical.”

Carlos: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Carlos: Okay.

Pastor Doug: That makes sense?

Carlos: A lot!

Pastor Doug: You know, Carlos, I’ve got a free lesson I’ll send you that might help you with this subject a little bit. It’s called, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” It talks about the resurrection. It talks about the body and the new bodies we’re going to get. And I think you’d enjoy it. Have you seen that before?

Carlos: I think I have. I just haven’t really gotten around to it.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, if you want we’ll send you a free copy and anyone listening, you can also get this on the Internet. You just go to the Amazing Facts website and ask for the lesson called, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” You can download that information through the Amazing Facts studies or you can order one so you can hold the real thing in your hands.

I don’t think… nope! I’m being told we don’t have time for another question before the break but we do have time for more questions so if you’re holding—our friends that are standing by—don’t get discouraged, we’re coming back. We’ve just got a couple of important announcements that we’d like to make. I’d also like to reiterate that at the Amazing Facts website, we do have a growing number of archives of some of the more popular questions that people ask. We get a lot of repeat questions. People ask about salvation and all kinds of issues and a lot of common questions. You might think you’re asking a strange question but it might be the same question a lot of other people have about the Bible so don’t be embarrassed.

I wonder how many times someone has asked us, “Who did Cain marry and will my pet be in heaven?” So if you go to the Amazing Facts website—that’s simply amazingfacts.org—and under “Media,” you cannot only listen to the archives of Bible Answers Live but we’ve got our TV programs that are on, well, daily. Somewhere in the world, you can almost find Amazing Facts programs and so we invite you to go there. Also, when you’re on the website, click on the “Links” button. You’re going to see that we have specialized websites that are dedicated to a lot of different websites or different subjects. And if you want to study a subject in depth, you’re going to see websites for that. Don’t go away, we’ll be right back!

[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: We are back, friends, with Bible Answers Live and this is the second half of our broadcast. If you’ve joined us along the way, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. And you can call in your Bible questions. We still have a couple of lines open. That number is 800-GOD-SAYS; 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor and I am going to go right back to the phones talking next with Larry who’s been waiting patiently from Hendersonville, North Carolina. Welcome, Larry.

Larry: Hi, Doug. I have a question for you regarding Psalms 119.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Larry: And hope I’m hearing you pull up my metal sheet. Basically, there’s a number of terms that have seemed to be constantly repeated throughout the Psalm. And if you look in verses 33 through 40 and then also in 43, it covers all 7 of them—7 terms of this interest event. And I wrote them down real quick for you. It says statutes, laws, commandments, testimonies, judgments, precepts, and ordinances.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Larry: And I was wondering if you could give me a real brief definition or description of how to distinguish these from the others—of each other.

Pastor Doug: Alright. I appreciate that. I think when you look at Psalm 119, the whole song is dedicated to the Word of God. And the author here finds many beautiful ways without being redundant because it’s the longest chapter in the Bible of referring to the Word of God. He refers to it as “Truth” in verse 30, “Testimonies” in 31, “Commandments” in 32, “Statutes” in 33, “Law” in 34, “Commandments” again, and it does some repetition all through the Psalm. But you’re right, this is a section of Psalms 119 where he tries to break it up. But really, I don’t know that in this particular Psalm, God is dissecting all the different categories. He’s talking really about His Word and then all, you know, the different ways of referring to the Word, it says, “Delight.”

Now, when you say the “Commandments of God,” or when He says, for instance, in 119:35, “Make me go in the path of Thy commandments.” Well, that would at least include the 10 that, you know, were written in stone. But those are not the only commandments. God had a number of other commandments that were extensions or more detailed interpretations of the 10. A matter of fact, every law you can think of, in some way, falls under one of the 10.

Let me give you an example, Larry. Can you name a sin—name any sin and I’ll bet you I can tell you some commandments that it falls under—smoking?

Larry: Yeah, I’m fine… yeah.

Pastor Doug: “Thou shalt not kill.” I mean, you know, just any sin falls under one of those 10 so that’s a little different. Now, the ordinances that could have been related more to some of the ceremonial laws. The judgments could have been more of the civil laws. There’s a number of laws about your neighbor and his property and your borders and, you know, those were the judgments of God. So, the testimonies was the Word of God. The law and the testimony was… the writings of the prophets were often called the testimony. So, yeah, I’m trying to give you a little more detail.

But I don’t think when you look at Psalm 119 that it’s really making that division. I think it’s talking about the Word of God in its entirety.

Larry: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: I appreciate it.

Larry: Alright.

Pastor Doug: It’s a beautiful psalm.

Larry: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Thank you…

Larry: And one more…

Pastor Doug: Yes sir.

Larry: One more very quick thing. I don’t get to listen to you live. I listen to you on a radio station that’s only during the day. And they re-broadcast, you know, pre-recorded session.

Pastor Doug: Oh, okay. Yeah, a number of stations do that.

Larry: Where’s David?

Pastor Doug: Oh, you know, Pastor David retired.

Larry: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: He was a little bit older than me. And, yeah, just keep him in your prayers, okay?

Larry: Oh, okay. Alright. Well, you have a good night. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much, Larry. God bless. Talking next to—I want to say this right—Marlow who’s calling from Tigard, Florida. Did I say that right?

Marlow: It’s Tigard, Oregon.

Pastor Doug: Tigard, Florida. Okay. And your question.

Marlow: Okay. I hear a lot of people teach that the Ten Commandments were, you know, in part of the Old Testament. And I find when I read Exodus 24 that it was more so of a book that Moses wrote that was or one could argue the Old Testament. So, my question is, is the book of the law that Moses wrote the actual Old Covenant and what part of that book is still applicable to Christians today?

Pastor Doug: Alright, that is a good question. The writings of Moses are not the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is in the writings of Moses. The writings of Moses include, of course, the 5 books from Genesis through Deuteronomy and probably also the book of Job. Most scholars believe that Moses is the author of Job. But in the book of Exodus principally, you find where God gave the covenant. It says, “I gave them My covenant, even 10 commandments.” That’s what we call the Old Covenant. That’s when the Lord wrote the Ten Commandments on stone, He read it to the people, He gave it to the people. The people said, “All the Lord has said we will do them,” and made an agreement. That’s a covenant. But they broke the covenant.

So, in the Old Testament, you find God saying, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel,” and you read about that in Jeremiah 31. So both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are mentioned in the Old Testament. Now, did that make sense so far?

Marlow: Kind of, because the thing I’m hung up on is Moses took the blood and he sprinkled it on the book and then he took it and sprinkled it on the people. And they once again repeated all what the Lord has commanded with zeal. So couldn’t one argue that that would be the signing of the contract, so to speak?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. The Covenant was ratified with blood. But the truth of Moses’ 5 books, it is still the Word of God and it is still truth because Jesus… are you wondering whether the Old Testament is still in effect?

Marlow: Well, I have… I often have debates with people about meat and, you know, eating unclean meat. And they always tell me that that’s part of the Old Covenant. And I know that the handwriting was nailed to the cross. So if we want to say that unclean meat was nailed to the cross, then one could argue that it’s okay to have relations with… because that was also part of the Old Covenant. And I would like to know where I could find out what part of the Old Covenant is still applicable to us today.

Pastor Doug: Oh, okay. Now, that makes it a little easier for me to come at that. And you’ve asked the big question. I wish I had more time. But if you go to the New Testament, it tells us that wiping out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us—Colossians 2:13 through 16. The ceremonial laws that dealt with the sanctuary and its services, circumcision—this is a covenant that God made with Abraham—they were all pointing to Christ. Christ fulfilled those. He was the reality of that. But someone was asking you more specifically about some of the health laws.

The distinction between clean and unclean meat… animals goes back before Moses and before Abraham, all the way to Noah. They are health laws and Jesus come in and dying on the cross did not make pork healthy food. The idea that we might pray over our food doesn’t mean we can mock God and deliberately eat something that we know is bad. God wants us to use our heads. So, you know, the health laws—you can find them all the way from Genesis to Acts of the Apostles. And Peter, after 3 years of following Jesus said, “I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

So, I wouldn’t even worry about trying to separate from the laws that were nailed to the cross. The health laws are basic laws about sanitation and cleanliness and diet are just good common sense and they’re not related to the law of sacrifices and circumcision and blood and ordinances. They’re really are in a separate category.

Marlow: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So, you’re on the right track. And for our friends listening, you know, I… Marlow, you probably read this, but at our website we’ve got a study guide called, “God’s Health Plan.” A matter of fact, we’ll send you a copy if you call the toll-free number. Anybody who would like a copy on what the Bible says about health. These are great biblical secrets. 1-800-835-6747. Ask for “God’s Health Plan” and then we’ll send that to you.

Next, we’re talking to Michael in Houston, Texas. Welcome, Michael, you’re on the air!

Michael: Hello Pastor. I had a question concerning mental illnesses. I have a couple of friends who were in the Iraq war and today, they’re in mental institutions and, you know, I’ve been really concerned about them because they’re afraid to come to church and sometimes when they do, they break off and get sick. And, you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever… I haven’t found anything in the Bible that talks about people who have personality disorders, schizophrenia, or you know, these things that psychologists talk about. And you know, I’m wondering, are these people lost? Are they going to go to hell or is there any hope for them?

Pastor Doug: Well, of course, there’s hope. Yeah. The Bible tells us that, you know, where there’s life, there’s hope in Ecclesiastes. And not only did Jesus heal all kinds of different physical ailments including death itself. And you can’t get much more sick than being dead! I mean, if He can raise the dead, Jesus can also heal mental illness. Sometimes God uses doctors to heal people physically. Sometimes He uses doctors to heal people mentally. Sometimes healing takes place with time. Our bodies get cut or injured—and I hurt my back once and the doctor said, “You just got to take some time for it to heal.” And mental illness can also heal with, you know, good therapy and time. And people can find relief. So… and of course, Jesus can do it miraculously. Sometimes the combination. But certainly, there’s hope for these people.

And you know, there are cases where a person… they’re good Christian, they have a car accident, they get hit on the head, their whole disposition changes, and then, you know, someone wonders, “Will they be judged by who they were before this brain injury or is God going to judge them for their, you know, spasmodic behavior after?” God is love and He wants to save as many as He can. He’s obviously going to judge them by who they were prior to the injury.

So, I think with mental illness, same principle would apply, Michael. Does that make sense?

Michael: Yeah, I think so. It’s, you know, I’ve heard of some ministers that see that as a demon possession or something like that and things that these…

Pastor Doug: Well, no. I don’t want to rule that out. I do believe that the devil does harass and demons do harass and torment people. And I know some people have been tormented by a spirit of fear. And it could be something psychological, it can sometimes be something chemical, and some are just a plain old-fashioned devil and his minions. So, you know, I’m not a prophet. Jesus had the discernment to tell whether something was physical or spiritual and there’s certainly, you know, we should always pray for these people that God will heal them and then do what other practical things we can do to try and encourage them physically.

Michael: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Michael: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I appreciate that, Michael, and I hope that helps a little bit. Talking next with Susan calling from the Virgin Islands. Welcome, Susan! You on the air? Yeah, there you are.

Susan: Hi. Yeah, good evening. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Evening! How can we help you tonight?

Susan: I want to thank you very much here with your program and your ministry. I have a question. The Bible says we should honor our mother and father and we should also give our enemy. But we have… in a situation where you have relative who may have power to turn enemy of your mom and because of greed and selfishness—she’s not quite Christian—she would… it’s difficult to see your mom, interact with her socially, and she has a wealth at stake equally. What do you do in a case like that? You don’t bring to court, you pray for them, and you hope and trust God would save them and turn the heart to the Lord and become more Christ-like. But it’s been years and years and it’s difficult for me to have a healthy relationship with family members who are like that. So what do you do?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, those are very difficult circumstances and I think that as Christians, as far as possible, we should try to avoid going to court. You know, sometimes you have to ask what is going to bring glory to God but, you know, Paul is very clear—believers should not bring believers to court, especially before the laws. And you can read about that in 1 Corinthians 6 over 6, 7, 8. A matter of fact, he says in verse 8, “Nay, you do wrong that you defraud your brother.” In other words, it’d be better off that we suffered loss than to, you know, people go to court and Christians suing Christians in. Even if Christians sue… yeah, there are cases, you know—I’ve seen some things before where I believe that a person needed to take some secular agency or whatever to court in order to get vindicated somehow. But I think Christians, as far as possible, should turn the other cheek to try and overcome evil with good and not overcome evil with evil. And pray that God’s power will help them to get vindication rather than go into the laws of the land.

So it’s… going to court is also very painful business.

Susan: Right, right. Right. Well, I hope that one day, the Lord just touch his heart and things would get better. And I think the only…

Pastor Doug: That’s what you want to do. You want to pray for it. Alright. Hey, I hope that helps a little bit, Susan.

Susan: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you and God bless. Alright, we’re going to talk next with Lena calling from Canada. Welcome, Lena, you’re on the air!

Lena: Hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Lena: My question for you today is a credible author once wrote that Jesus had older brothers but…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Lena: …we know that Mary was a virgin so can we back that up biblically somehow?

Pastor Doug: I think we can. And for our friends listening, a lot of people are surprised to learn this but the Bible’s pretty clear that Jesus’ brothers and sisters were not younger brothers and sisters. These are actually older brothers and sisters. Joseph probably was married before he married Mary, his first wife died. Now, “Pastor Doug, how can you say that?” Well, most scholars I think agree with this. The reasons are, for one thing, when Jesus is hanging on the cross, He commits the care of His mother to the apostle, John. Why would He bequeath His mother to John if He had… if Mary had, you know, 4 other brothers, and it says He had sisters—we don’t know how many but there’s at least two of them.

Secondly, Joseph dies early in Jesus’ ministry. After Jesus is 12 years old, you never hear of Joseph again. By the time Christ has begun His ministry, Joseph seems to be referred to in the past tense—meaning, well, he was older when he married Mary. He may have had a family—it was not uncommon for a man to sometimes outlive a couple of wives. Abraham went through 2 or 3 wives. And Jacob outlived all of his wives—near as we can tell. So the women worked very hard. They’re a lot… if you go to Middle East today, you see these dear ladies. They’re carrying great big old stacks of wood on their head and the men are plain checkers. [Laughing]

So it’s not inconceivable that… sure Joseph didn’t play checkers but that he had… he was older than Mary and he had a family prior to marrying Mary. And then the other reason is if Jesus was the oldest, it would have been very unlikely for the older brother who usually got a double portion of the blessings—he usually took over the family business—to leave home and to become an itinerant preacher. The older one was sort of responsible for assuming the father’s role. That would have been considered disrespectful. You look in the Bible and of course, the older brother is the one who always stays home. Esau—older brother—stays home. Prodigal son story—older brother stays home and younger brother leaves.

And you’ve got that example. And then the types of Christ in Bible—the people in the Bible that represent Jesus. Moses, for instance… Moses, Miriam, Aaron—Moses was the youngest. David, was he the oldest or the youngest of his brothers? He’s the youngest. Joseph, another type of Christ in the Bible, youngest. Well, next to Benjamin, he was the youngest. So Christ was actually Mary’s only child and his siblings were older from Joseph’s first wife. Now, that ruins most of the Christmas cards people see of Joseph, Mary, and the baby riding into Egypt. They probably… it was a silhouette of an oogle of little kids there with them. But you never hear about that in the stories.

Lena: Okay, so like, when you first started to answer my question, you said about Jesus giving…

Pastor Doug: He committed the care of His mother in the gospel of John…

Lena: Right.

Pastor Doug: …He commits the care of His mother to the apostle John. He says, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” And it says, “From that moment on, John took Mary into his home,” and even Christian tradition says that he cared for Mary until she died in Antioch.

Lena: So basically, you’re saying that because the other brothers obviously died already?

Pastor Doug: No, I’m saying the other brothers were half-brothers.

Lena: Half-brothers.

Pastor Doug: They were not Mary’s blood children.

Lena: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: They know… they continued to live because one of Jesus’ brothers, James, sort of became the chairman of the board for the early church. And then another of Jesus’ brothers wrote the book of Jude. It talks about a brother that Jesus had by the name of Judas or Jude—same thing.

Lena: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So, I’ve given you just kind of a… you got to do a little detective work but the answers are there that reasons for the scholars to believe in this.

Lena: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, I hope that helps a little bit.

Lena: It sure did.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Lena. Oh, Roland has been waiting patiently! I didn’t know, Ronald, I’m sorry. Line 3, calling from Palmdale, California. Welcome, Ronald, you’re on the air!

Ronald: Hey, Doug. How are you tonight?

Pastor Doug: I’m doing well. Praise the Lord!

Ronald: Yeah. I listen to this show on my iPod so it’s a great blessing to have that, to download and listen to all the archive shows.

Pastor Doug: Good.

Ronald: And when I was doing that, there was a caller that called in—I think it was like a month ago—and he was asking a question regarding the seal of God…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Ronald: …and in the question, it was stated that the seal of God is the Sabbath. And then he brought up Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 where it says we’re sealed by the Holy Spirit upon, you know, our conversion. So my question is this, is it both? Is it one before the other? Is a Christian who is converted? When you receive the seal of God, is it like Sabbath-keeping or by the Holy Spirit sealing you upon that day? I’m kind of confused here.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, of course, Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit wherewith you are sealed.” The seal of God is principally the Holy Spirit. Now, those… there’s two seals in Revelation—you got the seal of God, you got the mark of the beast. One groups get the seal of God on their forehead, the other groups got the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead. Those who have the mark of the beast, whose spirit do they have, Ronald?

Ronald: Oh, you… I got the answer here. You’re down to they have the spirit of the devil.

Pastor Doug: Well, but what… do you agree with that?

Ronald: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Okay. So obviously, those who were saved have the opposite spirit. So there’s no question about what the spirit is in the mark of the beast and in those who have the seal of God. What I was telling people is that in the law of God, there is one time the word “holy” appears. The only commandment that begins with the word “remember,” the longest of the Ten Commandments, one of the most neglected of the Ten Commandments that talks about worshipping God is the Sabbath commandment.

Now a seal in the Bible… any government seal even today contains three categories. It’s got the title of the person, you know, when they stamp a seal on an official document, it’ll have the person’s name, their title and their domain—their territory. I mean, even President Bush, when he gives a speech, he stands in front of the podium and it says, “George Bush: President, United States of America.” When Darius puts his seal on the lion’s den, it said, “Darius: Medo-Persia, King.” So you got those three characteristics of the title, the territory, and the name.

In the Sabbath commandment, you’ve got the components of the seal of God—that’s what I’m saying. It says, “For the Lord,” that’s His name, Jehovah, “created,” that’s His office, He’s the Creator, “the heavens and the earth,” that’s His territory—all the universe. So that’s what I’m telling people that it’s in the Sabbath commandment is a unique commandment in that it talks about our time of worship. It’s the only commandment where you find the word “holy.” In the middle of God’s law, it is unique in that respect. And the devil hates it because we can have a love relationship without time and the devil knows if he can attack our quality holy time with God that our relationship is affected.

Ronald: So, what I’m hearing you say though is by keeping the Sabbath, the first day of the week on Saturday, then you are sealed with the Holy Spirit? In other words, a Christian like myself, I keep this… I choose the… I’m sorry the seventh day, I choose the first day, which is Sunday, okay? So I am not sealed with the Holy Spirit until I keep the Sabbath like you do?

Pastor Doug: No, there’s a lot of people that have the Holy Spirit and people have had the Holy Spirit all through history. There’s a lot of people that don’t understand the truth. That doesn’t mean that they may not have the Holy Spirit in their lives. I don’t believe that.

Ronald: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But I’m just saying that there is a truth and, you know, you just set it to second and go, “I keep the first day.” What day does God command us to keep in the Bible?

Ronald: In the Old Testament, it says the seventh day.

Pastor Doug: Where in the New Testament are we commanded to keep the first day?

Ronald: Where does it say not to?

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] Why would… when God created the Sabbath commandment, was it before sin or after?

Ronald: Well, the law came to… before sin, right?

Pastor Doug: Well, no.

Ronald: Without the law, there’d be no sin…

Pastor Doug: In the Garden of Eden, man had not sinned yet. On the seventh day, God rest and He blessed and He sanctified the Sabbath before man even sinned. And it tells us in Isaiah chapter 66 from one new moon to another, even in heaven, we’re going to be keeping the Sabbath. Why would God change it and if there’s no record of a change, my question is, you know, even though Christians… you know, it’s through traditions slowly changed it hundreds of years after Christ, biblically—and that’s what we stick to in this program—biblically, there’s no reason, there’s no commandment anywhere to keep the first day holy. There’s hundreds of commandments to remember the seventh day.

Ronald: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Hundreds of times it’s repeated. So, you know, there’s a lesson I’d be happy to send you. We’re running out of time here. It’s called, “The Almost…” “The Lost Day of History.” “The Lost Day of History.” We’ll send that to you for free if you’d like a copy, Ronald. It’s got some good information on that day of blessed rest.

Oh, I wonder if I can get one more call in here. I got 1 ½ minutes. Okay, real quick, going to talk to Neil. Neil, you’re on the air! We’ve got about a minute. Can we do a question?

Neil: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You’re up!

Neil: My question is for the people who is using drugs, and I just want to know how to tell the people how to stop using drugs.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, it is a challenge when you’re trying to witness to people who are either under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you try to share with them, often their minds are so clouded that, you know, as soon as they sober up, they… it evaporates. But you know, I’ve found that God’s Spirit is so powerful that I’ve shared the gospel with people who are inebriated or on drugs and some of it got through. And when they sobered up, God began to work in their lives little by little. I’ve seen some of them start giving it up. They’ve thrown away their drugs, gotten victory over their addictions, gotten rid of their alcohol, and the Holy Spirit can reach them. And so you pray for them, be a good example, share information if they’ll listen through those combined things. It can make an eternal difference. I appreciate your question, Neil.

Friends, if we did not get to your line, I apologize and I hope by the grace of God, we’ll be back next week. You’ll give us another chance. Also, you can go to the amazingfacts.com website and you’ll see a lot of Bible answers there and information. Well, in the last few seconds, please indulge me as I remind you, we’re a 100% listener-supported, and you’re listening. We’d love to have your support. God bless you, friends! Remember, Jesus is the truth!

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