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Swimming the English Channel

Date: 07/27/2008 
The first woman to swim the English Channel was 19 year old American Gertrude Ederle. On August 6, 1926, she crossed the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes, two hours faster than a mans record, setting a women's world record that stood for 35 years.
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Jean Ross: Hello friends. This is Pastor Jean Ross. How about an amazing fact? On august 24, 1875, Matthew Webb slipped into the water at Dover, England and 21 hours and 45 minutes later touch landed in France, becoming the first person to conquer the English channel. Swimming the English Channel became the greatest swimming challenge of the day. Since Webb's triumph, there have been over 6,200 known attempts to swim the English Channel, more than 470 people have been successful including a 12 year old boy in 1979, and a 12 year old girl in 1983. The first woman to swim the English Channel was 19 year old American Gertrude Ederle. On August 6, 1926, she crossed the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes, two hours faster than a mans record, setting a women's world record that stood for 35 years. Then came Alison Streeter known also as the queen of the channel.

She has swum the chilly channel more times than anyone else, 43 crossings to date. Streeter first swam the channel at 18 and was the first woman to swim the double from England to France then back to England and is the only woman ever to complete the 3 way from England to France, back to England and then to France again. But possibly the greatest triumph of endurance is held by Benoit Lecomte who swam across the Atlantic Ocean. On the 16 of July 1998, he set out from Cape Cod with 8 wet suits, a snorkel, and some flippers ... navigated through the 40th and the 50th latitude by two French sailors on a 40 ft. sail boat and protected by an electronic force field. Lacomte swam 6 to 8 hours a day over 3,736 north acre miles of relentless waves. Seventy-two days later on the 28th of September, he swam ashore exhausted but heroic in France. Did you know friends that the Bible teaches that at the end of time Christians will also need to have a high degree of endurance?

Stay tuned for more as amazing Facts bring you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Jean Ross: Hello, friends. This is Pastor Jean Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out today. and you're listening to Bible Answers Live. This is a live national and international Bible study. and if you have a Bible related question we would like to hear from you this evening. It’s a free phone call. our number is 1800-GOD-SAYS that's 1-800-463-7297. 1-800-463-7297 well before we open up the phone lines and start taking calls, let's begin our program with a word of prayer.

Dear Father, we thank you for this opportunity to study your word. We ask your blessing upon our time together, be with those who are listening and be with those who call in. I pray Father for wisdom as we search your word to find truthful answers. For this we ask in Jesus name. Amen.

Jean Ross: I opened the program this evening by talking about an amazing feat of endurance. Benoit Lecomte who happened to cross the Atlantic Ocean and that takes tremendous endurance. And when I read this fact, I thought of a verse in Matthew 24 verse 13 where Jesus is talking about those as the very end of time. I would begin reading in verse 11, just to give you the context. That's Matthew 24 beginning with verse 11, Jesus said "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceived many and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." And here's the point verse 13, “But he that endures to the end the same shall be saved.” To be a Christian living at the very end of time requires a certain amount of endurance. Now what do we mean by endurance? Endurance we mean faith. To be a Christian living his final moments requires faith, faith in Jesus. In Revelation chapter 12 and verse 17, the Bible describes a group of people down at the very end of time and gives them two characteristics. Revelation 12 verse 17, the Bible says “And the dragon,” that's Satan, “was enraged with the woman,” the woman is the church. “And he went to make war with the remnant of her offspring,” those living at the very end of time, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. The same group in Revelation chapter 14 is described as keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus. in order to be faithful at the end of time, we need to have endurance. Now remember friends, faith is a gift. We can ask for faith and God will give it to us. How can we be sure not to be deceived by the devil? Well, by exercising faith in God and following the teachings of his word.

We have a free offer this evening that we like to make available to all of you. It is entitled "The Armor of God." It's a book written by Pastor Doug Batchelor and it gives you tips to how you can resist temptation, how can you make sure that you are not deceived by the devil. The book is "The Armor of God." It's free. Call our resource line 1-800-835-6747. That number again is 1-800-835-6747. The line here to the studio with the Bible questions is 1-800-463-7297, that's 1800-GOD-SAYS and phone lines are open.

We have some that are still available. Say if you like to get your question in, this would be a good time for you to call. Often there is a commonly ask question and that is how can I be sure that I will not be deceived by the devil, especially in light in what Jesus had said that there'd be many false prophets. They would deceive many. In Isaiah chapter 8 verse 20, the Bible says, “To the law and to the testimony, if they do not speak according to his word, it is because there is no light in them.” So they ask a test to anyone claiming to be a prophet or claiming to speak for God, do they speak in harmony with the law and the testimony? Now, the law represents the first 5 books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch. And the testimony, which Revelation chapter 19 tells us, is the spirit of prophecy represents the rest of the Bible. So someone must speak in harmony with the Bible. If they are going to be trustworthy, Jesus also gave us certain warnings concerning the manner of his Second Coming. In Matthew 24 verse 25, Jesus said "See I've told you beforehand, do not be deceived." Verse 26, Jesus said that if someone says that he is Christ and he appears in the dessert or some secret chamber, do not believe it. Jesus said, when He comes, it will be as lightning shining from the east all the way to the west. And in Revelation chapter 1 verse 7, the Bible says "Behold he comes with clouds and every eye will see him." In other words, you won’t wake up one morning and open the newspaper and read about the Second Coming and got, “Oops! I missed it." When Jesus comes everybody will see Jesus come again. We wanna make sure that we testing everything by God's word.

Jean Ross: Going to the phone lines. Our first caller is Vicky calling from Grants Pass, Oregon. Vicky, welcome to the program.

Vicky: Good evening Pastor Ross. How are you?

Jean Ross: Good thank you.

Vicky: I have a question. Why do some churches have crosses on their buildings and others do not. And is there any Scripture, references, that support either the crosses on these buildings or no crosses on the buildings?

Jean Ross: All right. Good question. There is no Scripture that supports the idea of putting a cross on your church neither is there a Scripture that clearly tells us not to put a cross on the church but what the Bible does tells us about the cross, Jesus in Luke chapter 9:23 says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." In Scripture, the cross is far more than just an emblem. It's more than just a profession but it is a denying of self. And that is to happen each and every day. So as far as the church building itself, I know some Christians have a cross that kind of point out that they are a Christian group. Others don’t feel the necessity of having a cross on their building to be Christian. And so you have many good Christian congregations that choose not to put crosses on their churches and you do have those that do.

Vicky: Okay. Thank you very much.

Jean Ross: All right. Well, thanks for your call, Vicky. Appreciate it. The number here to the studio is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Joan calling from Denver, Colorado.

Joan: Hi. Hello, Pastor.

Jean Ross: Hi. Welcome to the program.

Joan: Thank you. There is 2 sentences in Matthew 24 that I've never been able to find any other biblical passages that would refer to that. And I wonder if maybe you could shed some light on it. It's Matthew 24: 19 and 20 where it says "And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days but pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day." It seems like two different events going on at the same time. But I can't find any other biblical references that talk about this particular instance.

Jean Ross: Okay. Good question. If you look at the beginning of chapter 24, it talks about Jesus coming out of the temple with his disciples and they draw His attention to the buildings. and of course the temple itself is a beautiful structure with white marble, with gold. It must have been shone in the light of the sun. The disciples point out the beauty of the temple to Jesus. And Jesus in verse 2, this is Matthew 24:2 says, "I say unto thee, see all of these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be cast down or thrown down."

Joan: Yes.

Jean Ross: The disciples were surprised by what Jesus says. So later when Jesus goes up in to the Mount of Olives, the disciples come to him privately and they say, "Tell us, when shall these things and what shall be the sign of thy coming at the end of the world?" And so the question that was asked of Jesus is when will be the destruction of Jerusalem which Jesus had spoken of. and of course the destruction of the temple that would be included in that event. and they equated the destruction of Jerusalem with the Second Coming of Christ. And so in the rest of Matthew 24, Jesus is addressing signs for the destruction of Jerusalem which happened in 70 AD, but he's also giving signs connected with the Second Coming. And the verse that you spoke about there in Matthew 20 verse 24 verse 20, Jesus is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. And he said pray that your flight be not in winter and neither on the Sabbath day. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and they came and besieged the city and then for some reason they withdrew from that besieged. The gates of Jerusalem were open. The Christians remembering the words of Jesus fled to the mountains. The Romans came back a short time after under Titus and completely destroyed Jerusalem and the city and thousands of Jews lost their lives. And so that's the event that Jesus eluding to. It would be difficult for them to flee if it was winter time. It would be difficult for them to flee if it was the Sabbath because it's difficult to rest and receive the blessing that God intended for the Sabbath when you are running for your life. Tradition has it that the Jews, the Jewish Christians, didn't have to flee in winter, neither did they have to flee on the Sabbath.

Joan: I see. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Jean Ross: Thanks for your question. Our number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 1-800-463-7297. Daniel is calling from Big Bear, California. Daniel welcome to the program.

Daniel: Yes, hello. Can you hear me okay?

Jean Ross: Yes.

Daniel: Yeah, my question is regarding Revelation 14:9 to 11 regarding what happens, the wrath that had happened to those that received the Mark of the beast. And before I get to my question, I wanna say thanks to Pastor Doug Batchelor at Amazing Facts because of this ministry I’ve come to the truth of the Sabbath and the seal of God.

Jean Ross: Amen.

Daniel: Okay, but in this Scripture specifically in verses 9 through 10, it says “A third angel followed,” I'm reading out the New King James, “saying with a loud voice that anyone worships the beast in his image and receives a Mark on his forehead and his hands, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out full strength in to the cup of his indignation and he shall be tormented with fire brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb, and the smoke of the torment ascends forever and ever and they have no rest day or night, who worships the beast in his image, whoever receives the Mark of his name.” So my question, Pastor, I'm assuming that is the wrath of God on those who receives the Mark of the beast, correct?

Jean Ross: Yes, those that receive the Mark of the beast will experience the wrath of God.

Daniel: So here's my question.

Jean Ross: Yes.

Daniel: My question is this; I have come in to this new truth. I have many family members and friends who are Christians I consider mature Christians who love God but they do not accept this truth that I tell them about and they continue to worship Sunday versus the true Sabbath. So my question is this wrath for them if they do not accept this truth?

Jean Ross: You know before Jesus comes, there will be two groups of people in Revelation pictures. Revelation 7 describes those that have the seal of God in their foreheads. And then Revelation 13, and over here in chapter 14 talks about those who have the Mark of the beast. so at the end of time, there's two groups. Right now, nobody has the Mark of the beast. The Mark of the beast is enforced when the image of the beast is set up. You can read about that in Revelation chapter 13, the second part of the chapter. We actually have a whole study guide that deals with the beast and the image of the beast. A time will come where the issues are clearly laid out before everyone. People will be able to see whether it is to worship God as the creator and what it is to worship the beast, to worship according to the commandments of man. And so to that point that people make the decision. After everyone has made their decision as to who they will worship, then probation closes for the human race. In other words, everyone's chosen which sides that they're gonna stand on. Then we have the wrath of God that is poured and the wrath of God is also described as the 7 last plagues as you can read about in Revelation chapter 15. So right now, God knows the heart and God is speaking to people. People are making their decision either to serve and to follow God with sincerity, to follow the truth of God's word or they're hardening their heart against the truth. So you know we don’t know right now where people are; but as time goes on, there will be this polarizing. You’ll have two groups of people.

Daniel: So my family members at this present time that doesn’t accept this truth, they're okay as far as God’s eyes.

Jean Ross: Probation hasn't closed.

Daniel: Okay.

Jean Ross: Yeah, probation hasn't closed. All right well thank you for your call. Daniel, by the way, we do have a free offer dealing with the subject of the Mark of the beast that is a study guide called "The Mark of The Beast" and it's free. You can receive it by calling our resource line, that's 1-800-835-6747, 1-800-835-6747. Maybe you've wondered what is the mark of the beast, is it some tattoo? Is it a barcode on the forehead? Well, get the study guide and it's got great information, lots of Bible verses that will help you understand that important subject. Our number is 1800-GOD-SAYS 1-800-463-7297.

Jack is listening on WROL from Boston, Massachusetts. Jack, welcome to the program.

Jack: Hi, how you doing?

Jean Ross: Good. Thank you.

Jack: What I want to ask you is that I’m trying to keep this I was dealing with anxiety and depression and fears and all that kind of crazy stuff. And I went to a counsel you know. I did what I thought would be right. I had a full book from you know from the insurance company and all that. and I was horrified. I actually went into what I personally believed this council that didn’t… they really didn't care. They were just taking money you know what I mean from the insurance company. and my question is this and I notice this is a lot of questions is that (better?) just a background from just, I mean I'm trying to renew my walk with Christ and just kind of like you know really leave it in his hands because I know there's certain things that you know people get up and do for themselves and there's other things I mean you just don’t know where to turn you know. And I know I'm locking and trusting. and I’m trying to you know build on that but it’s these things that I find out that it’s just in my spirit that I finally lack of trust and stuff. It’s very devastating for me. I find it hard to overcome. So in these types of areas I'm because I wouldn’t call anybody else because I just feel like I just really horrified by the responses of these people that call themselves professionals you know.

Jean Ross: Yeah, let me give a few things on that. You're dealing with depression. That’s a very real disease. And one wants to approach it two ways. Number one, you wanna do whatever you can physically to take care of whatever it might be. In that way, you know there's exercising. You need exercise and good nutrition. and there are some excellent materials out there dealing with that. One that comes to mind is a book written by Neil Nedley called “Depression: the way out.” and you can get more information by that or on that book by going online looking up Neil Nedley, Dr. Neil Nedley and you can get his book “Depression: the way out” which is a great resource. So you do what you can in that area but you also recognize that Jesus is very present help in trouble. We’ve got wonderful promises in God's word for example, 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 7 says, “Casting all of your care upon him for he cares for you.” So whatever the difficulty, whatever the challenge, whatever the burden that you be bearing, you can bring it to Christ. You can lay it on his feet. He doesn’t want you to bear these burdens alone. So in one hand you take care of the medical side of depression and anxiety or whatever it might be, but you also want to recognize that there is spiritual healing that it comes from Christ and claim that promise. Take time to pray. spend time on your knees. Cast all of your cares upon Christ. He cares for you.

Jack: Yes.

Jean Ross: So if you haven't heard about that book or seen the book I highly recommend it. It’s called “depression: the way out” written by Dr. Neil Nedley.

Jack: Is that N E D L E Y?

Jean Ross: N E D L E Y, I believe so. Neil Nedley, I'm just checking with someone on the back here to make sure the spelling on that. That’s also amazing fact's sells this book. They just gave me a little note on that. If you go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org, you can contact there and have this book. They’ll give you more information.

Jack: Okay.

Jean Ross: All right.

Jack: I appreciate it very much. thank you.

Jean Ross: Thanks for your call, Jack. I appreciate it. Mark is listening on 40-90 AM Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Mark: Thank you. good evening.

Jean Ross: Good evening.

Mark: My question is about Numbers chapter 20 verses 1 to 12, Moses regarding striking the rock twice on water.

Jean Ross: Yes.

Mark: I was just having a children’s Bible study today and the lesson plan it was on chapter 20. And this is the passaged that was used to talk about self-control and mentioning that Moses was angry with the Israelites are wining, this and that and having no water. And he got mad and struck the rock with (inaudible 22:43) when God told him to speak to him. Well, the lesson today said (inaudible 22:49) heard another message years ago at a church was different. I just wanted your opinion on it because there was a two…

Jean Ross: Sure

Mark: The one today was talking about self-control and that Moses because of course he didn’t get to go to the promise land and personally got to see it (inaudible 23:05) on the mountain but what I learned before was that he was by himself self-importance and God punished him for that. I don’t know if it’s major punishment. I was wondering was it either of those really. What do you think?

Jean Ross: Okay. Well, there's several things. First of all, remember the rock represents Christ. You know Paul speaks of that in the New Testament. It talks about the rock that followed Israel and wilderness and it's been a symbol of Christ. Jesus said “If you ask of me” speaking to the woman at the well in John 4, “I will give you living water” and the rock and the water that came from the rock was a symbol of that. But in order for that water to come out and provide this nourishment and this strength of Israel, God, first of all, told Moses to strike the rock but after the rock had been struck, from then on he was to speak with the rock. Now again, that rock was a symbol of Christ. Jesus died on the cross in order to provide that living water, that spiritual refreshing that comes from God, the Holy Spirit. He only died once. He was broken just once on the cross now it is our privilege to go to him and ask and he will give. Jesus said if anyone ask or needs the spirit, ask God will give it to him. So it's our privilege now to ask. So that's what God was teaching Israel through the symbol of the rock. And by Moses striking the rock after God had told him that he was to speak to the rock, it created a false impression as it relates to Jesus the Messiah and this strength, this spiritual strength that will be provided. Part of the reason why Moses struck the rock, he was frustrated with the children of Israel. He was frustrated with their backsliding especially so close after God had done so many things for them yet they were still stubborn. They weren't following. And I think also, he took the glory for himself and he said “do you want us to bring water from the rock?” So he shouldn’t have taken the glory to himself. He should have pointed people to God as being the one to provide the water for them. and he just got frustrated with the people.

Mark: He got angry and threw the tablets down the first time too. I mean the first time he came down from Mount Sinai, I mean it wasn't... God didn’t punish him for that. There was a reason. I mean there’s a reason…

Jean Ross: Well, the reason why he threw it down because they had broken the covenant, symbolized by the 10 Commandments but this was different. God had told them to speak but he didn't. He struck. And then he took the glory on himself. And he said “We will bring you water from the rock.”

Mark: Okay. It was self-importance. Was this the second time he said that? So the first time God told him to strike it back and that was in the dessert, too.

Jean Ross: Sorry, say that one more time.

Mark: You said that he had… God did tell him to strike the rock one time.

Jean Ross: The first time, yes. Moses was to strike the rock the first time and then from then on, he was to speak to the rock.

Mark: Oh, I got you. Okay. Can I ask you quickly (inaudible 26:11) of the rock?

Jean Ross: Sure.

Mark: Jesus was the rock. Petros and petra’s the Greek word.

Jean Ross: Yes.

Mark: Peter is called the rock but really isn’t Jesus the foundational rock, petrose or petros, and one’s a pebble and Peter's more like the pebble.

Jean Ross: Yes, you're referring to over there in Matthew, I believe it’s 16, where Jesus says to Peter. Peter, petros, the little rock, “But upon this little stone but upon this rock I'll build my church." and of course the rock which upon the church is based is Jesus. Peter himself never acknowledge to be the foundation of the church. Peter said that Jesus was the rock of the fence. Jesus is the cornerstone. Both in his sermons that you can read about in the book of Acts and also in the book that Peter wrote bearing his name. He clearly says that Jesus is the foundation, the corner stone of the church.

Mark: I mean Peter was considered by many the rock, like you could be a rock you know and so like a lot of people can be a rock but the cornerstone, of course, in that passage was referring to Christ.

Jean Ross: Yes, Now remember in the passage Jesus asked the question, "He said what do people think of me?" The disciples said "OH well some say Elijah. Some say you're Jeremiah, one of the prophets.” Then Jesus said “But what do you think?” And it was Peter that responded to Jesus and said, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” then Jesus said you know upon this rock I'll build my church and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it. So the declaration that Peter had made that Jesus was Christ that's really the foundation of the church. That’s the foundation of the Christian church.

Mark: So on this rock he was talking about himself, not about Peter.

Jean Ross: That’s right. He wasn't talking about Peter as the foundation of the church.

Mark: I could see why people get confused. Okay.

Jean Ross: Right.

Mark: Thank you very much.

Jean Ross: Well, good. I'm glad I could help.

Friends, we'll be coming a half an hour break here. Your can hear the music playing n the background. Don’t go away. We still got another half an hour of Bible questions. It looks like we have 3 lines that are still open. So in the break, if you’d like to call with your Bible question, the number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 1-800-463-7297, 1-800-463-7297. We’ll try to get your question when we come back from our break. Also, if you close to the internet, close to your computer, you might want to take a look at amazingfacts.org. That’s our flagship website filled with all kinds of great content that will help you as you study God's word. When we come back, I’ll tell you some other great websites as well that you'll find very helpful in your study of God's word. So don’t go too far, you might want to get a pencil. Be sure to join us after these announcements.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Jean Ross: Good evening friends. This is Pastor Jean Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening but this is Bible Answers Live. And if you have a Bible question, the number to call is 1-800-GODSAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. we have two lines that are open at this point in time. I mentioned before the break that we have some other great websites that we'd like to let you know of. One of my favorite websites is prophecycode.org.com. It's a website filled with information on Bible Prophecy. Perhaps you've wondered about the symbols in Revelation. Well, there on prophecy code is a list of all of the symbols that you'll find the key symbols in Revelation as well as what they mean. Of course, the Scripture is also listed there alongside the different symbols. Also numbers in the Bible. Numbers in the Bible, especially talk about prophecy how’s it significant. So on prophecycode.org website, there is a list of numbers as well as their significance so I encouraged you to take a look at that website. Another great website that we have is sabbathtruth.org filled with great information on the Bible Sabbath. A lot of folks asking questions what which day is the Sabbath. How do I keep the Sabbath? It’s all in that website, sabbathtruth.org, and of course, amazingfacts.org that's our main website. we have our free library at that website you can go and read study sign up for our online Bible course that will help guide you through the study of the most important prophecies or Scriptures so be sure to visit us and take a look at some of those resources.

We're going to the phone lines now. Joseph is calling from New York, New York listening on WMCA. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Good evening, Pastor.

Jean Ross: Good evening.

Joseph: I hear a minister say something today that I find puzzling and contrary to everything that we’re taught and believed. And what the person said was that there's nothing that you can say or nothing you can do to earn heaven. You get it by grace. To me I find it very puzzling because if there's nothing you can do why bother to adhering to the commandments? Why bother going to church? Why bother living a good life if I'm just as well go on (my daily life?)? Because my problems about this minister said there's nothing you can do.

Jean Ross: Well, you know that's not what I--

Joseph: By the way, pardon me for one second.

Jean Ross: Yeah.

Joseph: That seems to be contrary to when they used to say believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. That is the person said there's nothing you can do to be saved, that will save you. Is that not contrary to...?

Jean Ross: That is. I'll give you a couple examples

Joseph: (inaudible 33:26).

Jean Ross: John, the Baptist, said repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus went about preaching saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And after Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and it says “the people were pricked in their hearts. The Holy Spirit convicted them, they said ‘Men, brethren, what shall we do?’ and they said repent and be baptized and your sins will be blooded and washed away." so there is something that we need to do. We need to repent.

Joseph: Well, why don’t they tell us that, pastor?

Jean Ross: Sorry.

Joseph: Pardon me, sir. Why don’t they tell us that?

Jean Ross: You know I don’t know. Maybe because repentance isn't as popular as some like it to be because it requires the humbling of one’s hearts. It's surrendering oneself to God. And in this age where there's a lot of (promotion to?) self and look out for number one to talk about humbling oneself is not always popular.so that might be part of it. But you know it's true that we can’t do anything to save ourselves as far as works go. but we must repent. we must surrender to God.

Joseph: Well, after we baptize and I’m sure we’re all (saved?). But why don’t they just say, all they have to do is repent and be baptized and you'll be saved. And then they make it sound so positive as opposed to there's nothing you can do at all.

Jean Ross: You know I’m concerned about that because that is deceptive. Many people--

Joseph: That is very deceptive.

Jean Ross: --get the idea that there's absolutely nothing they need to do. They can keep living like the devil.

Joseph: It's actually a turn off, Pastor.

Jean Ross: Yeah. And you're claiming that they're gonna be going to heaven.

Joseph: Why bother going to church if it says (inaudible 34:55)? why keep the commandments?

Jean Ross: You know there's a great little book that we have called "Does Grace Blood Out the Law?" which I think addresses this very point that we're talking about.

Joseph: (inaudible 35:06), Pastor?

Jean Ross: As far as what?

Joseph: How you're saved?

Jean Ross: How you're saved?

Joseph: Yeah.

Jean Ross: We're saved by grace through faith but that comes to us when we repent, when we surrender ourselves to Christ, when we accept Jesus both as savior as well as Lord. Now, there's a difference there. You know that don’t you? I mean for one to accept Jesus as savior, we say “Lord, please forgive me of my sins” but for us to accept him as Lord means that we're gonna humble ourselves and do what he's asking us to do. Jesus said that if you love me, keep my commandments. So--

Joseph: Does that explains people from all that (inaudible 35:36) the Christian truth?

Jean Ross: The Bible tells us says no other name given among men whereby we must be saved and that's the name of Jesus.

Joseph: Okay. Yeah, I do understand. Thank you very much, Pastor.

Jean Ross: All right. Well, thank you for your call, Joseph. We appreciate it. Again that book that I mentioned earlier "Does Grace Bled Out God’s Law?" Great resource. It's yours free. All you need to do is call 1-800-835-6747, 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book "Does God's Grace Bled Out the Law?” And we'll be happy to send that to you.

Terry is listening on WMCA from New Jersey, Terry welcome to the program.

Terry: Yes, Pastor. Thank you for taking my call. I was question in there's a verse in Matthew. I've read a Bible for quite a while and I love it. It’s the word of God. And I believe every word is true. But there's certain verses I guess is because of my personal experiences and the things I'm going through in life and say "God why did you have to put that in there?" The question I have is from Matthew chapter 10. Its verse 34 through I guess 36-37 where Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth. I’ve came not to send peace but a sword. I have come to set a man of variance against his father, and her daughter against her mother, and daughter in law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be those of his own household." I have some problems with my family growing up and even now as a Christian. That's like my biggest issue. And I feel like you know sometimes I think "Oh, it's Satan trying to defeat me and keep me down because I'm burdened about the family old time” but then I read this and I said, “Why would you put that in there God? Are you the one that causes this sword here? Is this part of my Christian growth to understand this and deal with it?" Some of the verses that you read in the Bible say why is that there you know.

Jean Ross: Okay.

Terry: I wonder if you could comment on that.

Jean Ross: Sure. What Jesus is talking about is friction brought about by someone in the family choosing to follow Christ.

Terry: I was the first one in my family to become saved.

Jean Ross: Right. And this verse is being fulfilled time and time again. We have a believer in our home but the rest of the family are not believers. They wanna pursue the way of the world but this person wants to pursue the way of God. and there's friction in the home. There’s no peace. And that’s what Jesus is referring to. And then he goes on if you're looking verse 37, Jesus says "He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy then me. Then he who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” So when we find ourselves in the situation, we wanna do everything that we can to preserve peace within our home; however, we don’t want to compromise for the sake of peace. In other words, when it comes to compromising truths, when it comes to us compromising principle, we don’t wanna do that. We wanna put Jesus first but we still want to try and maintain peace as far as possible. And we need to pray for wisdom every situation is different.

Terry: Oh, I've been doing that.

Jean Ross: Every home is different so you know Lord give me wisdom. Sometimes we could say something but it's better not to say it because it will create friction but other times we must stand up for what we know to be true. What we know to be right and we pray that through our Godly life, through our compassion, through our hopefulness that we will be able to be a positive witness for Christ in the home.

Terry: Thank you. If I may trouble you can I have ask you another question?

Jean Ross: Sure.

Terry: I read the King James version and one of the other complex between that translation and most of the modern ones, Philippians chapter 2 verse 5 it says "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus the King James Version say "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation took upon him the form of a servant." Some of the modern versions said "Let this mind be in you did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” That seems like a real big contradiction between the two translations. I don’t know if it's just my own understand that's lacking. Or do you have any thoughts on that?

Jean Ross: Yeah. Let me see if I can address that a little bit. In the King James Version versus speaking of Christ "Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God thought not robbery to be equal with God." In other words, Christ didn't have to take something away or do something wrong in order to have equality with God. He was equal with God. That’s the point that's being emphasized.

Terry: That’s what (if you?) believe.

Jean Ross: That's right. And being equal with God, he humbled himself and became a man even to the point of death and died on the cross and so on. So that’s really the (inaudible 40:00) of what the verse is saying. Now you brought up a different translation of that, tell me that one again.

Terry: I believe that… I don’t have it with me but I believe it says, "Who being in the form of God brought equality with God a thing not to be grasped."

Jean Ross: Okay.

Terry: I think it's a New American Standard.

Jean Ross: Right.

Terry: I don’t have it with me cause I’ve got all (inaudible 40:15) just the King James but it seems like the greatest contradiction there.

Jean Ross: Well, the word grasped there, the King James translates that as robbery. And these newer translations translate it as grasped or something to grabbed a hold of or something to take or something to cling to. The essence is the same. Christ was equal with the father, it wasn't something--it wasn’t wrong for him to claim equality with the Father because He was equal.

Terry: Oh, thank you very much.

Jean Ross: Okay. Well thanks for your call. Appreciate it.

Terry: all right. Bye-bye.

Jean Ross: Next caller is Simone calling from Brooklyn, New York listening on WMCA. Welcome to the program.

Simone: Hello. Good night, Pastor Ross.

Jean Ross: Hello.

Simone: Could you explain Matthew 10 verse 7 for me please.

Jean Ross: Matthew 10 verse 7, Jesus says "Go he and preach saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Now your question is what did Jesus mean when he said the kingdom of heaven is at hand?

Simone: Yes.

Jean Ross: Okay. There are two forms of the kingdom of heaven: the kingdom of heaven; or the kingdom of God, as it's translated in other places, is anywhere and everywhere where God rules supreme.

Simone: Okay.

Jean Ross: When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We become citizens of the kingdom of God. So in that sense the kingdom of heaven was at hand when the disciples went and preach and they said “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was that spiritual kingdom. That was that kingdom that takes place at conversion when somebody gives their heart to Jesus. But not only is there a spiritual kingdom, there is also a literal kingdom. And the literal kingdom is established here on this earth at the Second Coming of Christ.

Simone: Okay.

Jean Ross: So first you have the spiritual and then that's followed by the literal. And the citizens of the literal kingdom of heaven must, first of all, be citizens of the spiritual kingdom of heaven. Does that make sense?

Simone: Yes.

Jean Ross: So when Jesus, as well as John the Baptist, and some of the others spoke about the kingdom of heaven, that was referring to that spiritual kingdom that came through repentance and confession sent.

Simone: Okay. Thank you so much.

Jean Ross: All right well thanks for your call.

Simone: Okay.

Jean Ross: Our number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Steven is calling from San Diego, California listening on KPRZ. Steven, welcome to the program.

Steven: Yes, Good evening. How are you doing today?

Jean Ross: Good. Thank you.

Steven: My question is this. I see several crosses in you know various different people wearing different types. And I wonder if you could explain to me the difference why some crosses would have Jesus depicted crucified and others are just plain.

Jean Ross: Okay. Well, first of all, let me just back up. I'm not suggesting or encouraging the wearing of crosses. The Bible speaks about us taking up our cross. That’s not a cross made of gold or silver but rather that's the denying of self and surrendering all to Jesus. But why do we see crosses where you know one with Christ, one without Christ? Typically, the ones that have Christ on the cross are from more of a catholic perspective. Those without Christ are more from a protestant position although it has become blurry nowadays. My concern with having a crucifix with Christ on it is that it tends to be reverence and the Bible speaks about reverencing something that's man made.

Steven: Okay. Okay. I understand that... I can see the understanding. now I just begin following Christian ministries and I see the difference and you know from what I’m reading, I'm trying to find the difference in the Bible and you know it's kind of glad that you could shed some light on it for me pastor.

Jean Ross: Good. Well, I hope that help. And again the point that I want to emphasize with the cross, what really is important is the surrendering of self to God. That’s the true cross, not something that we wear or something that we put on our church.

Steven: Thank you very much Pastor. Have a great evening.

Jean Ross: Thanks for your call, Steven. Our next caller is Malfred calling from Oakland, California listening in KDIA. Malfred, welcome to the program.

Malfred: Thank you. My phone is going out; I’ll make it a breeze. In Hebrews--and thank you-- In Hebrews 13:2, it says "Be sure to welcome strangers into your home, by doing this, some have welcomed angels as guests without even knowing it." And then seen also in the King James, it says "Be sure to entertain strangers." Can you speak on that and is that literal or is that just a figure of speech?

Jean Ross: Okay. The point that's been addressed there is hospitality. The Bible tells us that we need to be hospitable. if someone has a need, we wanna be there to help them. We don’t want to turn away from them. An example that's given is some folks in the Old Testament that showed hospitality and in turn they're actually privilege to have angels visit them. Now I'll give you a few examples, we have Abraham in Genesis 18: 1 to 8. You have Lot in Genesis 19: 1 to 3 and that particular one in Genesis chapter 19. It’s because of Lot's hospitality that the angels that came to sought them and invited them to come to his house, his life was actually spared as a result of his hospitality. Then you have Gideon in Judges Chapter 6 11 through 20. And then you have Manoah in Judges 13. And you know there's many other examples where folks showed hospitality. And we see that especially in the New Testament church, not so much to angels but just to fellow believers showing hospitality has been an important quality and characteristic of a Christian.

Malfred: And even though we do among strangers today that’s sort of like serving God himself.

Jean Ross: Or Jesus said “If you do it to the least of these my brethren you've done it unto me."

Malfred: Okay. And one quick question, is it true that--I can’t find it in the Bible--that Jesus Christ that have to die for us, he could have been saved by angels and if so can you give my answer in the air and tell me what chapter and verse that's in?

Jean Ross: All right. If I understand the question correctly, Jesus did not have to die for us. While if Jesus did not die for us, there would be no salvation?

Malfred: Right.

Jean Ross: But Jesus was not forced to die. It was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus said “No man takes my life from me. I lay it down of myself. I've vowed to lay it down. And I've vowed to take it up again."

Malfred: Okay, and that had nothing to do with angels taking him away if he did not want to die for us because God ask him if you don't want to die, you don’t have to.

Jean Ross: Well, Jesus did say, I believe it was with Peter, when Peter wanted to... when Jesus was arrested and Peter drew out his sword and chopped off the high priest's servant’s, Jesus said “Put that away. Do you not know that even now I can ask of my Father and he will send 10,000 angels?" So, yes, the angels could have come to save Christ but he chose not to do that because he was dying for the sins of the world.

Malfred: Thank you very much.

Jean Ross: Okay. Well, thanks for your call. Appreciate it. Our next caller is Terina listening on the internet from California. Terina welcome to the program.

Terina: Hi.

Jean Ross: Good evening to you.

Terina: Good evening. I was calling about Jeremiah chapter 3 particularly verse 14 but really it’s in reference to the whole chapter. It's about God speaking to Israel about backsliding and in Isaiah verse 14, “eternal backsliding (inaudible 47:53) I am married to you.” Can you explain what that verse mean?

Jean Ross: Okay.

Terina: What is the chapter about?

Jean Ross: Sure.

Terina: I have someone in my family that's actually (inaudible 48:01) but been living a very sinful life for probably the last 20 years and I was trying to speak to a family member saying, “I'm not sure if he's converted.” But he said that he's backsliding and “I’m saying show me the Scripture.” And then they gave me this reference.

Jean Ross: Okay.

Terina: I don’t know if it's referring to Christians who backslids or if it’s specifically speaking to (with Israel?).

Jean Ross: Okay. Good question. Well, backsliding means when we lose our first love. We drift away. Hebrews chapter 2, the first four verses, you can read about it there, it talks about us not drifting away. Do not drift away from the truths that you've heard. So when we receive Jesus as our personal savior, we accept him as our Lord. We have the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven. We are heaven bound. But because we accepted Jesus sometime in the past, it doesn’t mean that today we have surrendered our life and accepted him. We wanna do this every day. Paul says "I die daily." He dies daily to self and accepts Christ. So when somebody ceases to do that, they drift back or they are backsliding. And that was one of the problems of ancient Israel. They would say "All right Lord. Now we're gonna follow you. Now we're gonna obey you,” then as time went on, they would drift back and they would begin to worship the way the pagan nations around them worshipped. They build idols and so on. And so that would refer to backsliding or drifting back. And that is something that can happen to Christians today and we don’t want that to happen.

Terina: So in this case if he's not, let’s say 15 years living obvious sins according to the 10 commandments (inaudible49:38), if he's still staying in 20 year backsliding condition, if he's not converted, how would we be able to tell because the Bible says you know them by their fruit?

Jean Ross: Right.

Terina: If he keep and continue to…

Jean Ross: To be in a backsliding condition is not a safe condition to be in. As a matter of fact if we continue in a backsliding condition, there comes a point where we commit the unpardonable sin. And the unpardonable sin is where we hardened our heart where we don’t even hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us. The Bible says that it's the goodness of the Lord that lead us to repentance so if we harden our heart against the Holy Spirit, where we don’t want to repent. There does come a point where the Holy Spirit can’t get through to us and that's the unpardonable sin. The sin against the Holy Spirit. So to remain in a backsliding condition is very unsafe thing. We want to be converted and committed. You want a verse for that if you'd read Revelation chapter 3, the last part of the chapter talks about the church by the name ofLaodicea. Leodicea's problem was backsliding. Jesus says to the church of Laodicea, "You think you’re rich. you increase with goods and you have need of nothing but you don’t realize that your wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked there in a luke warm condition and Jesus says if you don’t repent, I will spit you out of my mouth." So to be in a luke warm condition, to be backsliding is not a good condition at all.

Terina: So to be married to the backsliders, does it refer to God or Jesus being married to him like connected even though people drift away?

Jean Ross: Well, you know God doesn’t leave us.

Terina: right.

Jean Ross: It's we who leave him.

Terina: Okay.

Jean Ross: And so God is reaching out to us until the point where we so hardened our hearts and we don’t know. We really don’t know. We can’t tell if someone has hardened their hearts to the point of committing the unpardonable sin. I've seen some incredible conversion experiences where you would think that person had gone so far for so long, surely they've committed the unpardonable, no God was able to reach them and they gave their life to him when they reconverted. So we don’t know when a person committed the unpardonable sin but Gods always reaching out. The Holy Spirit is always trying to convict us.

Terina: (inaudible 51:47), right?

Jean Ross: I would share Scriptures with him. I try to encourage him to renew his commitment with Christ6 because it is a serious condition. You don’t wanna stay in a backsliding condition.

Terina: Okay. That sounds good for me.

Jean Ross: All right.

Terina: Thank you.

Jean Ross: Thanks for calling. Appreciate it.

Terina: thank you.

Jean Ross: Our next caller is Ron and he's calling from Washington listening on KECA. Ron, welcome to the program.

Ron: Thank you.

Jean Ross: How may I help you?

Ron: I have read in Deuteronomy 26:12 and through the balance of the chapter. It reads like this. I don’t have the Bible open right now. I’m on the road when I heard your program. In the third year which is the year of tithe, it is to be divided amongst the Levite, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger and through the balance of the chapter; it seems to indicate that that becomes our responsibility, personally. For many years, we've given our tithes to our local church and it's been used for whatever space being valid but this verse continues to haunt me. I want to get your comment, please.

Jean Ross: Okay.

Ron: First two things, two questions.

Jean Ross: Sure.

Ron: It says third year, which is the year of tithe, that's one of the questions; what does that mean? And then the responsibility of (inaudible 53:08), the widows and then the (stranger?) as well as the Levite get there share.

Jean Ross: Okay good. Well when it talks about the third year let me begin with that. God had made provisions to take care of the needs of the poor and the orphans especially in Israel. And he set aside the third year when an additional tithe had to be given for the poor and that was in addition to what had to be paid for the Levite. so wasn’t taking the tithe portion that regularly went to the Levites and then taking that and giving it to the poor but in addition to the tithe that was given to the Levites. There had to be the second tithe that was used to take care of the need of the poor.

Ron: Like 20% every third year.

Jean Ross: 20% every third year.

Ron: Okay.

Jean Ross: Now as far as how they divided that up, there had to be some sort of guidelines and that tithe that came in that was in Mark, that special amount for the poor, that was administered according to the needs of the people. And they had through the priesthood a responsibility to make sure that that would take place, that that would happen.

Ron: Okay. Rather than… ‘Coz they didn’t'... and I read that I would to guard that through the year and see that it wasn’t used for anything but those purposes, what kind of interpretation is (inaudible54:31). That was the way I took it.

Jean Ross: Right, so your question is was it the individual that gave the tithe to the poor or did it go through the priesthood?

Ron: Yeah.

Jean Ross: it would appear as though it goes through the priesthood. Now, the guarding of that tithe throughout the year that is setting it aside and making sure that you have that tithe but the tithe was administered by the priesthood.

Ron: Okay, thank you.

Jean Ross: All right. Well, thanks for your call, Ron. Appreciate it. Our next caller is Doug and he's calling from Long Beach California. Doug welcome to the program.

Doug: Good evening. How are you?

Jean Ross: Good thank you.

Doug: Got a question. I was reading a Bible for wife yesterday. We’re going through Revelation and I read some verses about the 144 thousand.

Jean Ross: Yes.

Doug: And it's making me wonder in Revelation 124, tells us that this group gets the seal of God in their foreheads. And then because during the 7 trumpets, there'll be some plagues and they seal in their foreheads so that they wouldn’t be hurt by the plagues. And then if you go to Revelation 14:1 to 3, talks about how they’re the only ones that's seen the song of Moses.

Jean Ross: Right.

Doug: And when you go to Revelation 15, trying to describes the I mean the 7 angels with the 7 last plagues and then he talks about the 144 thousand on the sea of glass, singing the song before the (temple?) of God.

Jean Ross: Right.

Doug: And then in verse 5, “And after that I looked” and then it starts talking about the beast that gives the 7 (lies?) or the 7 plagues, the 7 angels.

Jean Ross: Right. You know what we're down to one minute, what's the question real brief.

Doug: it seems to me like they were there before e the (time?) of God, before the 7 last plagues went down.

Jean Ross: Okay.

Doug: but they were present on earth on the 7 trumpets.

Jean Ross: Yes. Well here’s where it is. It’s just before the close of probation, the ceiling takes place, described as the 144 thousand. After the sealing takes place, you have the outpouring of the 7 last plagues. Now, those who are sealed that are protective from the plagues just like the children of Israel who put the blood on their door post who were protected when the angel of death passed over the land so they were protected. Well, I’m sorry Doug we're running out of time. It’s the best that I can do right now. I would encourage you to go to the website. We do have a book called "Who Will sing the Song of the 144 Thousand?" And you can read that online there and I think you'd find it very helpful. Again friends thank you for joining us. This has been Bible Answers Live. I encouraged you to take a look at our website. And let's make an appointment for next week, same time, same place. God bless.

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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
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