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Spiritual Heart Transplant

Date: 04/02/2017 
On June 21, 1963, marine pilot Cliff Judkins, was refueling in air on his way from California to Hawaii, when the shut-off valve on his F-8 Crusader Fighter Jet failed causing the tanks to overflow, spilling fuel all over his plane.
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Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. How about an amazing fact? On June 21, 1963, marine pilot Cliff Judkins, was refueling in air on his way from California to Hawaii, when the shut-off valve on his F-8 Crusader Fighter Jet failed causing the tanks to overflow, spilling fuel all over his plane. Flames quickly engulfed his jet and Judkins realized that he needed to eject as soon as possible.

So he tucked in his legs and pulled on the ejector handle, but nothing happened. He then pulled the backup firing handle and resit, but still nothing. His only choice now, was an old-fashion bailout. Nobody had ever bailed from an F8 Crusader before. But with a quick prayer, he manually opened the canopy and a 220 knots and 15,000 ft, he was quickly sucked out of the cockpit. His troubles however, were far from over.

When he pulled his parachute, the little pilot chute deployed, but the main parachute remained unopened. Judkins fell nearly three miles straight down into the Pacific, striking the water at over a hundred miles per hour. But amazingly, he survived with two broken ankles, a fractured pelvis and a collapsed lung. What helped his survival was an event that occurred in his life four years earlier. After a car accident, Judkins had a spleen removed during emergency surgery. If it had not been removed, based upon the angle of impact into the water, he would have most certainly ruptured and would have caused his death.

Did you know friends, that there is another kind of surgery that can save your life eternally? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. This is Bible Answers Live, a live international interactive Bible study and we're just delighted that you are tuning in for this very important hour of the week, where we talk about the Bible. We want you to be a part of this program. If you have a Bible related question, this is a good time to pick up your phone and give us a call. Our phone line here to the studio is, 800-God says. That is 800 463 7297. We have a few lines still open, so it's a good time to call now to get your question on tonight's program. I'm going to give you that number one more time so get ready. Here it is. 800 463 7297 and we'll be mentioning that number a little later on in the program, if you missed it.

I'm just delighted that Pastor Marshall McKenzie is joining me here in the studio. He's going to be working the phones. Pastor McKenzie is one of the pastors on the Amazing Facts staff. Marshall, we're just delighted that you're here, but before we get to our questions this evening, why don't you open with a word of prayer?

Marshall McKenzie: That sounds good. Father in heaven, we thank you so much that we have this opportunity to study your word together, to ask questions and to get answers, but we need your holy spirit to lead and guide our conversations. May You truly be glorified in all that is shared. In Jesus precious and holy name we pray. Amen.

Pastor Ross: Amen. Well, Pastor McKenzie, we opened the program by talking about a gentleman, pilot, by the name of Cliff Judkins, who experienced quite a fall, amazing, about three miles up across the Pacific somewhere. His main parachute doesn't open but the little pilot chute does open and he comes flying down and makes impact on the water at over a hundred miles an hour. They say about 110, it's what they estimate the speed that he actually hit the water and for him to survive is one thing. He broke both ankles and his hip a little bit, but nevertheless, he survived. After the fact, when he was visiting with the doctors and they were kind of looking through what happened and how he actually survived, they found out that because his spleen was removed four years earlier, based on the impact and the angle of the water, they were certain that that would have caused his death. The spleen would have ruptured.

Kind of interesting. He went through a very difficult experience four years earlier, but unknowing to him, that actually was an event that helped save his life.

Marshall: Yes. It was really amazing to me as you read that story. The different shapes that God's grace takes in our lives. It doesn't just come in one way all the time. Sometimes we may not understand what's happening, but God has a reason and a purpose and His grace is very evident at each stage in our life. It's really amazing in that story.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Yes. Surgery, many years before ended up saving his life. Well, after reading that fact, a verse came to mind and I want to share it with you because I think it's a very important verse. It's a type of surgery- you'll see in just a minute- a type of spiritual surgery that can actually save our lives for eternity. The verse that I'm thinking about is Ezekiel 36:26, and it's God speaking. God says, "I will give you a new heart and I'll put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." In essence, a heart transplant. This is what God is offering. A spiritual heart transplant in order for us to survive the events that are coming on the earth before Jesus comes. In others, it's going to be a time of trouble, as we read about in the book of Daniel. We need to have that spiritual heart transplant in order for us to be prepared for what's coming and with them, the promise of course is, when Jesus comes, we get caught up to meet him in the air and we're with him forever throughout the lives of eternity. We're with God and those love Him.

God wants to give this heart transplant to anyone and everyone who comes to Him in faith and asks.

Marshal: Amen.

Pastor Ross: We have a book that deals with the theme of what do I have to do in order to have God transform my heart, to change my life. It is a great read. It's a book called, Three Steps To Heaven. This is our free offer. Anybody who wants to learn more about this important subject, please give us a call on our resource phone line and you can ask for a free offer tonight. It's called, Three Steps To Heaven and we'll be happy to send that to you for free. So let me give you the number. This is our resource phone number. The name of the book again is Three Steps To Heaven. The number to call is 800 835 6747, that is the resource phone number. 800 835 6747. You can ask for the book, Three Steps To Heaven, we'll be happy to get that out to you right away in the mail so you'll be able to read that.

If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio with your Bible question tonight is 800 463 7297. 800 463 7297. Now, Pastor McKenzie, I believe we have an email question that came in from one of our listeners. So I think we'll start the program with that.

Marshall: We do, Pastor Ross. This is that question. The Bible says, Jesus was in the ground like Jonah, three days and three nights. Considering how days were thought to begin and end at sundown, when did he die?

Pastor Ross: That's a good question. We often get people asking that and it's based upon a verse that we read in Matthew 12:40. Jesus was talking to the religious leaders and this is what it say. I'm going to read it. It says, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." A lot of people think of the heart of the earth and immediately they think, "Well, that must be referring to the tomb." But knowing the scriptures, do we read of the heart of the earth, meaning tomb or grave? As a matter of fact, when we read in scripture about the earth and the heart of the earth, we read about the prince of this earth or the power of this earth and it's referring to the Devil.

So what Jesus is referring to here when he says, three days and three nights, he's talking about Christ being in the power in the corruptions of the Devil. Meaning God's protection, the Father's protection was being withdrawn from Christ and that begun on Thursday evening. Right after the last supper with the disciples after Judas went to betray Jesus, Christ began to feel that separation from his Father. We have the story there in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, it's not my will but thy will be done." So you have Thursday evening and Friday evening and Saturday evening that Christ is in essence, in a clasp of the enemy. Jesus bore our sins and died in our place.

It's not talking about the grave here when it talks about the heart of the earth. It's referring to Christ under the- or being vulnerable, you might say, to the powers on the enemy.

Marshall: Kind of like the experience that he was going through and when that started and when that ended.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. He started bearing our sins on Thursday evening, going through that experience. We do have a book that Pastor Doug wrote on the subject. It's called, The Sign of Jonah. For anybody who wanted to study the subject further, we'll be happy to send you that book. Just ask for it. It's called, The Sign of Jonah. The number to call is, 800 835 6747. Again, you can ask for the book called, The Sign of Jonah and we'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks.

Well, Marshall, who do we have first on the phone lines listening?

Marshall: PastorRoss, we have Sandra from Calgary, Alberta, calling in. Sandra, are you there? You're on Bible Answers Live.

Sandra: Hi, there.

Marshall: Hi.

Ross: Hi, Sandra.

Sandra: Hi. Good evening.

Ross: How are you tonight?

Sandra: I'm great. How are you?

Ross: Doing very well. Thank you for your call.

Sandra: How are you both?

Ross: Doing good.

Sandra: Good.

Ross: And your question tonight?

Sandra: So, it's more to do with 1 John 3:9, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin for his sin remains in him. And he cannot sin because he is been born of God." So, does this happen? Is this what being born again truly means?

Ross: Yes. Yes.

Sandra: I was wondering what that verse--

Ross: Sure.There are three parts to our experience of salvation. I'm going to go through it quickly with you and then I'm going to be more specific on this verse. The first phase is when we come to Jesus, we confess our sins and by faith, we receive His forgiveness. And the theological terms, that's often used for that experience is called justification. Where we are accepted by God. Because of what Jesus did for us, we're accepted just as if we've never sinned. But after we come to Jesus and we receive His grace, He also gives us His Spirit.

But after we come to Jesus and we receive His grace, he also gives us His Spirit. And the Holy Spirit begins to work within us, to transform us, to empower us, to set us free from sin. And sanctification is the work of a lifetime. It's not something that happens instantaneously. But as we learn to depend more and more upon Christ and we trust more in His grace and in His power, he transforms our characters, we experience that spiritual heart transplant, as mentioned, and we become more and more like Jesus. We reflect Him more and more.

And then the third phase of salvation is glorification. That happens at the second coming. When these mortal bodies put on immortality. So, when it says, "Those who are born of God, they do not sin," now, it's not saying that we don't occasionally make a mistake, for we all sin and fall short of the glory of God as the Bible says. But when we come to Jesus, and by faith, we claim His power and His grace, we have the privilege of being set free from the control of certain sins that have controlled us. For example, when an alcoholic comes to Jesus and receives His grace by faith, not only is he forgiven, but he receives power to resists alcohol.

And we have wonderful testimonies of people who've been delivered from certain addictions by exercising faith in Jesus. So, that is the power of God working within the person, but it doesn't mean that there's no further growth that they experience. But as God reveals to them in needand they confess, God gives them the victory. So, it's an ongoing experience. As long as we're abiding in Christ, we might not be where we want to be spiritually but by God's grace, we shouldn't be where we started. There should be progression in our lives.

Sandra: Yes. This almost sounds insane that we reach a point where we will no longer sin only if we remain in him, I guess.

Ross: Yes. As we abide in Christ, sins that once controlled us, cease to control us. They don't have any more power over us and we become more and more reflecting Christ's character.

Sandra: I see. I think I understand. It's just kind of--

Ross: I know that it's a verse that can be a little hard, yes, at first, when you read it and we look at some of the other verses on the subject of sanctification. That's what is being emphasized here by the Apostle John is, as we abide in Christ- You know, Jesus puts it this way, John 15, "He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit." It says, "Without me, you cannot do anything." So, as we learn to abide in Christ, we receive more power and sin loses its hold on the believer as they trust in God.

Sandra: And eventually all sin.

Ross: Absolutely. Yes. If the Son sets you free, you can be free indeed.

Sandra: Sorry. The Lord delivered me from many addictions in my past too but I still struggle with certain sins today. So, doesn't mean that I won't never have victory over those areas.

Ross: No. We have the promise that as we trust in Him, he will finish the good work that he has begun. So, I don't want anybody to get discouraged and think, "Oh. There's just no way I can gain victory over this sin." With God, all things are possible. And we need to learn to trust Him even more. Well, thank you for your call, Sandra. Good question. Very important question. Who do we have next?

Marshall: We have Robert from Boston, Massachusetts. Robert, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Ross: Hi, Robert.

Robert: Hi gentlemen. The question tonight is, who, in your opinion, is the restrainer?

Ross: The restrainer. Now, can you give me a little example of the reference that you're referring to here in this context?

Robert: He's holding back something and he has to be taken away before.

Ross: So, there are two restraining powers that you can read about in the Bible. There's the prophetic sense, then there's the spiritual sense. Let me begin with the spiritual. Revelation 7 talks about four angels holding back the four winds of strife, "That the wind should not blow upon the earth or upon the sea until the servants of God have been sealed in their foreheads." Now, those four angels there in Revelation symbolize the agents of God. Good angels holding back the powers of the devil to bring total chaos upon the earth.

But there is another restraining power that I think you're referring to, where Paul talks about, "He that restrains now will be taken out of the way." And he's talking about the rise of the Antichrist power that you read about, that Paul refers, I think is Thessalonians, I think you can look that up for me. In that case, Paul is referring to pagan Rome. It was during the time of the emperors, Nero, Diocletian and others who were holding in check, the rising up of a power, a religious, political power during the dark ages, which would actually bring prosecution upon God's people. And that religious power is sometimes referred to as the Antichrist power.

So, depending upon the context of the passage that you're reading, it could refer to several things.

Marshall: The verse you're referring to is 2 Thessalonians 2:6. 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

Ross: Why don't you read that for us?

Marshall: It says, "Now you know that what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time--

Ross: Right. The Antichrist power.

Marshall: Correct. --for the ministry of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way."

Ross: Right. And a number of scholars see that as being pagan Rome under the emperors, until the conversion of Constantine in 313.

Robert: See, Pastor Ross, and that wouldn't have any reference to contemporary times, would it?

Ross: Well, I think Revelation 7 definitely relates to our time. We're talking about angels holding back the winds of strife. And I think in a very real sense, God, in his mercy, is allowing us to have the freedoms that we now have, so we can preach the gospel and share the good news with as many people as we can. But we do know that before Jesus comes, Daniel 12:1 talks about a time of trouble. It's when those four angels let go and this Antichrist power will again arise in a persecuting fashion. And that is yet in our time, even in the future.

Robert: Terrific. Thank you so much for your guidance.

Ross: Absolutely. Thank you for your call, Robert. You know, by the way, we do have a study guide at Amazing Facts and we'll be happy to send that to you if you just call and ask. The number is 800-835-6747 and the study guide is called Who is the Antichrist? We get right into it there. The number to call, 800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide called Who is the Antichrist? We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks.

Our phone line here to the studio, if you have a Bible question, looks like we have two more lines open, friends. Good time to give us a call now if you want to get your question on the first half of the program. It's 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297.

Marshall: Pastor Ross, our next question is from Rob, Charlotte, North Carolina. Rob, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Rob: Hi. How you guys doing?

Marshall: Good.

Ross: Doing well.

Rob: My question is basically Zachariah 5:5-11. And it's talking about this woman that's in a basket. I just want you to elaborate on it a little bit.

Ross: Yes. Let's look at a few verses now. You're thinking Zachariah chapter five. Was there a specific one you were talking about?

Rob: Zachariah 5:5,6,7.

Ross: All right. Let me read that for our listeners and the number of folks who are driving in their cars. It says, "Then the angel who talked with me came out said to me, 'Lift up your eyes now and see what is that goeth forth.' So, I asked him, 'What is it?' And he answered, 'It is a basket that goeth forth.' And he also said, 'This is the resemblance throughout the earth.'"

Verse seven says, "Here is the lid disc lifted up and this is a woman sitting inside the basket. Then he said, 'This is wickedness.' And he thrust her down into the basket and threw the lid over its mouth." So, in Bible prophecy, and of course, Zachariah is a prophetic book. In Bible prophecy, we have a number of symbols. The first symbol that's very prevalent in scripture is the symbol of a woman. A woman in Bible prophecy can represent a church. In Revelation 12, you have the description of a pure woman which represents the true church and in Revelation 17, you have the description of a corrupt woman that represents an apostate church or wickedness.

In Zachariah, a woman is sometimes referred to as the nation of Israel. When they're true to God, they're described as the bride of Christ but when they apostatize, they're described as a wicked woman. Here in the symbolism of the vision of the woman, in a basket, it is worth talking about wickedness especially in the guise of religion. It does have a prophetic application because we know that the opposition to the truth, both in the time of Israel, in the time of Christ, and especially in our time comes from a religious institution from a church that claims to be the bride of Christ, but in reality, she is spreading wickedness upon the earth. Now, the basket is interesting too because often bread was carried in a basket. That's where you store your bread. Bread in the bible is a symbol of the word of God.

The way that wickedness is pushed back is through the preaching of the word, and that's the symbol the lid placed upon it. Our weapons of warfare is the word of God.

Robert: All right. One more quick question--

Ross: Sure.

Robert: Why is it that in the earth's made new, mankind, human kind has to eat from the tree of life to stay alive, but it doesn't seem the angels have to eat from the tree of life to stay alive?

Ross: Well, good question. When it comes to the eating of the fruit of the tree of life in the new world or even in heaven, the tree of life is in heaven, the eating of the fruit of the tree is an exercise of a faith in God that he is the one sustaining, giving life. All life is dependant on God. In the earth made new, if you happen to skip one month fruit from the tree of life, you're not going to start growing weak and die, but the eating of the fruit is a demonstration of our confidence in God. Our trusting in Him has been the sustainer as the one giving us life.

Robert: We have to eat but the angels don't.

Ross: Well, no, the angels also exercise faith in God to sustain them, but I think the tree of life is unique in our experience as humans here on the earth. The angels have a different test, but they do demonstrate their faith in God, and the tree is our exercising of faith in God that he's the one who sustains us and gives us life. Again, the Bible doesn't tell us for sure. Obviously, angels have the freedom to choose, then we have fallen angels that chose to rebel against God. They also have something they do that exercises faith in God and their obedience to Him.

Robert: Okay.

Ross: That's a good question. We don't know what they do, but we know the trees for us. Thanks, Rob, good question. Who do we have next?

Marshall: All right. Our next question is from Jeff, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Okay. Revelation one and two. Jeff here on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jeff: Hi, good evening. Thank you for taking my call.

Ross: You're welcome, Jeff.

Jeff: I want to make this quick question because I only have three minutes. First, I want to reference the Genesis 1:14, that God created the light into fewer men for signs, for seasons, and for days and years. Now, in Revelation 12:1-2, there was a vision and there appeared a great wonder in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under to her feet, and upon her head, a crown of 12, and she's being with child in birth.

Now, on September 23rd, 2017, this vision is going to literally appear in the sky. The constellation Virgo is going to be in the sky with the sun on her head, the moon on her feet and Jupiter in her belly. Actually, it's in her belly right now, but on September 23rd, it's going to come out in there. At her head, there is Leo constellation that has nine stars, but because of the Venus, Mars, and Mercury, that will make it 12. Would this be the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2? According to the Jewish people, 2017 is pointing towards the generation from the time they got Israel back in 1947 to 2017. It's 70 years which is one generation. From 1967--

Ross: Let me try to say a few things about this before we run out of time coming up to our break here. Good question. Yes. In Revelation chapter 12, we have a description of a woman standing upon the moon. She has a crown of 12 stars, and that woman in Bible prophecy represents the church. Now, it is interesting that the stars reveal to us the handy work of God and some have seen some connection between the plan of redemption, God's plan for mankind as revealed in the stars, at least the constellation of stars that we have. But if you look in Revelation chapter 12, that prophecy had a literal fulfillment at the time of Christ.

The woman represents the church. The 12 stars represent the leadership of the church. The number 12 is significant in bible prophecy, represents the church 12 tribes the old testament, 12 apostles in the new, and it say she's is with child, about to give birth, and her child a s male child that's caught up to God into His throne. That is definitely a symbol that has reference to Jesus, and then the church is persecuted for 1260 years, and she flees to the wilderness that's referring to the dark ages when the church was in hiding. It's got a definite fulfillment of representing God's people at the end of time.

Could there be some connection with the constellation of the stars? Maybe, but I think there's a clearer explanation for these prophecies if we allow the Bible to interpret itself. Hopefully, that makes sense, Jeff. We do have a study guide dealing with that called, "The Bride of Christ" and I think you'll find it very interesting, kind of goes into Revelation chapter 12 in more detail and helps to identify some of those symbols that we have. I think we might have time for one more quick call here before the break. Who do we have next?

Marshall: We've got Aaron from Carl Michael, California. Aaron, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Ross: Hi, Aaron. We got with a couple of minutes.

Aaron: Hi. I just have a question in regards to original sin because I have talked to some friends who don't believe in original sin or the concept of it. I'm just wondering, other than Roman chapter 5, I don't where else to point to it for him.

Ross: Well, first of all, probably, we need to define what do we mean by original sin. There's probably several definitions. We recognize that because of Adam's sin, we're all born with a propensity towards evil, but we are not saying that we are born with guilt. Meaning, a tiny baby that is born, it might be self-sancted, and we learned that fairly quick,but the child, the newborn baby is not guilty of sin because he doesn't the difference between right and wrong. We're born with a bent towards sin. We need to experience the rebirth experience and experience God grace, and then we are born again, and we have a new nature.

We share in the consequences of Adam sin, but we don't share in his guilt. We get our own guilt based upon our own actions and our own words, and the deeds that we do. That symbol, correct understanding of sometimes when you think of the original sins. It's not the guilt that we get from Adam but it is the nature of the bent towards sin. Well, friends, you can hear the music playing there in the background. We're coming up on a mid show break. Don't go away. We got another half an hour of Bible questions. A good time to give us call, 800-463-7297. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. Yes, this is a live international interactive Bible study and if you like the Bible, right here at the right place. If you like talking about the Bible well, give us a call on our resource- actually, phone number here to the studio. I'll tell you about another resource number in just a minute but the phone lines to the studio with your Bible questions looks like we got four lines open 800-463-7297, 800-463-78297. Working on the phone this evening is Pastor Marshall McKenzie. Marshall and I were just talking during the break there about one of the caller who asked about angels. How the angels are eating the tree of life, you brought a good point. I guess there's nothing stopping them from eating because we do have examples in the old testament--

Pastor Marshall: That's right.

Pastor Ross: --of angels eating.

Pastor Marshall: Abraham specifically came to mind when the angels came to him before they went on to Sodom he actually fed them and they suddenly participated.

Pastor Ross: And they ate.It appears as though angels can eat, but I don't think they have to eat because they are not governed by the same laws that we're governed by. Of course, we are going to be governed by some different laws when we get to heaven. It's not going to be the same these mortal bodies put on immortality the Bible says. Things are going to be a little different up there but was a good question about angels and the tree of life. All right, let's go to our next caller, who do we have?

Pastor Marshall: We have Katie from Grandeur California, Katie you're on air with Bible answers live and as usual John Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hi Katie, thanks for holding.

Katie: Hi. I have a question regarding my husband. His weakness is gambling, he has to drive me to Reno,Nevada because there is a clinic there where they treat which I'm suffering from. You know how Reno is like Las Vegas. He told me he doesn't gamble but I know he does. Am I responsible for his behavior because he drives me to Reno? I'm concerned.

Pastor Ross: No, you're not responsible for his behavior, you're responsible for your behavior. Based on the medical basic need, you have to go there to get treatment.

Katie: Yes.

Pastor Ross: I think you want to keep encouraging him. Gambling is a temptation and it can become an addiction and I think you're doing the right thing trying to encourage him to stay away from that. Ultimately, each person makes their own choice and be the best example you can be. You don't want to be a nagging spouse, but you want to share your concerns and then just put them in God's care. Pray for them, be the best example that you can, but you are not responsible for the decisions that a spouse or a family member makes. Each person makes those decisions independently.

Katie: Yes, I'm just concerned, I know Christians should not go to gambling.

Pastor Ross: Right, it's not a good idea.

Katie: I cannot stop him, I just have to pray for him. So thank you for your answer.

Pastor Ross: That's the best you can do. Sometimes the hardest people for us to witness to are those who are closest to us, our family members.

Katie: Yes, I--

Pastor Ross: That's where we want to intercede with prayer and just to place them in God's hands and trust for His leading and guiding. Well, Katie, thank you for your call and yes, pray for your husband. I know there are many listening who might find themselves in a similar situation that you are in. Our next call this evening?

Pastor Marshall: Is David from Queens New York. David you're on the air with Bible answers live.

David: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Hi David? May I hear your question this evening.

David: Okay, I have a question basically from first John 3:1 concerning the statement that's made there.

Pastor Ross: Yes, let me read it for those who are listening. It says, "Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed upon on us that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us because they did not know him."

David: I want to ask, basically do you have any practical truth that literally implies that? I understand it means me to appreciate in a sense about the extend of love that God has for us, but is there a way to make that practical?

Pastor Ross: Good question. All right, how do we come to appreciate or know the love of God even more? It's more than just intellectual understanding of what happened. There are many people that recognize Jesus being the son of God, that He came and died on the cross for our sins and we received forgiveness through Him. Yet it doesn't move them, it doesn't lead to a life of willing obedience. I think the best thing we can do to follow the admonition that John gives us in John 3:1 is to spend time contemplating the life of Christ. One of my favorite books is actually written by John, it is the gospel of John. Where you can look at the life of Jesus and it's a good practice for every christian to spend some time every day in contemplation of the life of Christ. Take a teaching of Jesus, spend a few moments reading a parable or a miracle that Jesus performed or some occurrence in His life that's recorded in the gospels. Take time to meditate upon that and study it and pray about that and as we behold Christ and the great love that was demonstrated in His life, there will be a change that will occur in our hearts and lives. It's the spirit of God that moves upon us so that's why the verse says behold. Behold means to look, to consider, to understand. As we take time every day in contemplation of the life of Christ we will experience more of the love of God. It is exhaustless, it's a fountain that never ends. The more we learn, the more we see the more we cultivate the love. That's very good question, very practical.

Marshall: I just want to say that following up with what you are talking about, we see evidences of God's love everyday. The fact that we have breath, the fact that we can move, that's very practical. From our day to day basis in relationship to the love of Christ since we're learning from the word of God we're seeing it played it out on a day to day basis.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. I'm going to mention a book, I don't mention this book too often but there's a book on the life of Christ that has just been a great blessing to me. I already mentioned the gospels it can be those. There's a book by the name of Desire of ages and I believe you can actually find it online for free and it is just a fantastic book on the life of Christ. It actually takes those passages in the gospels, goes through it, presents it in a way that you can really grasp it and understand it and see it in your minds are the occurrences. I would encourage anyone, check out the book called Desire of ages you can find it online. I trust it'll be a blessing, been a blessing to me. I like to read that from time to time, it kind of helps me in my understanding of God's great love. Thank you for your call David, appreciate that. That opens up another phone line if you have a Bible question, the number is 800-463-7297.

Pastor Marshall: Pastor Ross, the next question is from Rick from Fort Lauderdale,Florida. Has an interesting question. Rick you are on air on Bible answers live. What's your question?

Rick: Hi. Good evening, Pastors.

Pastor Marshall: Hi Rick.

Rick: It says in the Bible that John the Baptist came eating locusts and wild honey, are the locusts the fruit that is locust or is that the natural like grasshoppers?

Pastor Ross: [laughs] Believe it or not, grasshoppers fall in the clean category of the old testament. If you have an inclean for grasshoppers stew, you can write it here that means you can eat it but- I don't think that John the Baptist could really sustain himself for a long period of time eating grasshoppers because since he is in the desert. In Bible times in that region there would be the swarms of locusts that would come through but they wouldn't be year round. You could feast on locusts for a couple of months then you would be starving for the rest of the year. But there is a tree that has a part like bean that you can live on, you can eat it, you can cook in different ways and that was also referred to as the locust bean. A number of bible scholars feel like that's really what was being referred to there not grasshoppers.

Rick: So you think it was more of the fruit not the insect?

Pastor Ross: It was this kind of bean part fruit type thing on a tree and still you can still see them up there in the same area that John the Baptist was preaching.

Rick: Perfect, thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: All right, thanks for your call, Rick. Appreciate it, who do we have next?

Pastor Marshall: We have Kerry, from Royal Oaks, Michigan. Kerry, you are on the line with Bible answers live.

Kerry: Hello, I just want to say thank you for taking my call. I appreciate it so much.

Pastor Ross: You're welcome. Thanks for calling, Kerry.

Kerry: This is my first time I'm talking with you guys. My question is that, right now I know that the world and everything around it is just so really confused and that I'm actually starting to learn the beginning stages of the Bible. I read through it and read through it and I know that some of the verses is still confusing a little bit, but the question that I'm telling from is, I just want to know what could be some verses that can help assure me and be able to make me feel that and you know why? I know His is there, but there are times where I go to bed but feel like, "Oh, my gosh. I have all the struggle thing, anxiety because I do suffer from anxiety and depression. There are times where I'm just- well, what can I do to help alleviate that, and what verses can I read or help--

Pastor Ross: Well--

Kerry: --help me?

Pastor Ross: -very good question. You know, we need to feast upon the word of God because that gives us spiritual nourishment just like we need to eat good food in order to be physically healthy. Well, first, a couple of verse we'd give here just a moment, but let me begin with I think an important principle. The Bible says, "We walk by faith, not by sight" and that means that we have to trust in the word of God, in the promises found in the scriptures, and not to the way we feel because our feelings change. Our feelings change based on circumstances, our feelings change based on what somebody might say or do to use, but the word of God never changes. The God- the love of God is constant, it's neverending no matter how we feel, God still loves us and it's the promise, to be with us.

The Bible says, Jesus said to his disciples, " I will never leave you nor forsake you." He said, " I will be with you to the very end of the age." meaning, end of the world. God has promised to be with us, so when you feel discouraged, don't think that God doesn't love you anymore, that is a bad idea. The thing to do is spend time and pray with him and say, " Lord, I am just feeling really down." The nice thing about God is, you can't over burden it. Sometimes the family member when our hearts are breaking, we express and we talk to them. Well, sometimes you don't want to talk to family members because you don't want to burden them with your problems, but you can't burden God. He knows the end from the beginning.

He invites us to come to Him, to lay all the cares that is for you and trust Him. You know, it's been many times in my life where I've been frustrated over the long to some thing, and I've taken to the Lord in prayer. I spend some time just spoken to Him as I would to a friend, and at the end of that prayer, it's a different way because I've been lifted up my shoulder. I think, "You know what? It's not that bad, I could claim the promise of God." I encourage you to walk by faith, not by sight. Take God to these promises, and then communicate with Him through prayer telling everything that troubles you. Ask Him to give you a peace and the assurance of His love, and then move forth in faith believing that He answered that prayer. I think, Marshall, you got some good Bible promise verses there?

Mckenzie: I know we don't have a lot of time to cover then, but just a couple- Isaiah 26:3 talks about how if we trust in Him, He keeps us in perfect peace, whose--

Pastor Ross: Absolutely.

Mckenzie: --mind is stayed on thee, that's Isaiah 26:3. Also, Isaiah 41:10 is one of my favorites says, " Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for, I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Pastor Ross: What a wonderful promise that is. God can strengthen us. God can uphold us with his right hand. Let me say one thing, just- what's on their mind talking about that right arm. In the bible, the right arm of God is often associated with Him defending his people. The right arm was the arm in which His sword was carried for a soldier in the old testament and it brought deliverance. God will deliver us from our foes as we learn to trust in Him. The other thing you might want to do, Kerry, is find the good bible promise book. There are available at the Christian bookstore, and you just list a bible promises for different situations and circumstances. You can actually look up in that book puppets like discouragement. You can see some wonderful bible promises to help in times of discouragement, or fear, or whatever it might be.

Mckenzie: A matter of fact, we just did a bible promise book. We had that on our bookstore--

Pastor Ross: We had that on Amazing facts [crosstalk]

Mckenzie: --at Amazing facts. You can look at our bible promise book, Kerry, and there's lots of promises you can learn.

Pastor Ross: You mention that important point there, Pastor Mckenzie. Kerry, if you are not familiar with the Amazing facts website, you need to take a look at amazingfacts.org. There is such a wealth of bible information there, videos you can watch, stuff you can read, bible studies you can even do, great resources. If you want to just feed your mind with spiritual truth that's a good place to go. Thank you for your call, Kerry. I think we're waiting for our next caller.

Mckenzie: We are, this is Phil from Old Bethpage, New York. Phil, you're on the air with Bible answers live.

Phil: Thank you very much. Can you hear me okay?

Pastor Ross: I can, yes. Loud and clear.

Phil: Just want to say you got a great show. I mean, the way you really explain, but you're speaking common sense terms. I think you get it just right.

Pastor Ross: Praise the Lord. Thank you.

Phil: You're welcome. My question is this, I'm seeking something about which- with disagreement even among prominent evangelicals. My question is, in order for the third advent to take place- to be possible, is it necessary that will be- for the second advent rather, is it necessary that could be a third Jewish temple, or is it Jesus himself is the third temple?

Pastor Ross: Good question. Is the temple going to be rebuild in Jerusalem or does it need to be rebuilt in Jerusalem? Of course, you know that currently, on the ancient site where the Jerusalem temple used to be, there is a Mosque--

Phil: I've been there.

Pastor Ross: All right, you've been there. It is the second most holiest, I guess Shrine or Mosque to the Muslim community. In order for you to rebuild a temple you're going to have to do something with their Mosque, and you can just imagine the back flash--

Phil: So it's not

Pastor Ross: Yes, they brought bulldozers and they removed that there be--

Phil: That would be the end.

Pastor Ross: There would be war, but as far as the bible goes, does the temple have to be rebuilt in Jerusalem? The answer is no. Will the temple be rebuilt? May be, but it's not critical for bible prophecy. Let me explain, in the bible there are five types of temples. Five type of temples, I'm going to go through it quickly: The first is the heavenly temple. Now, according to the book of Hebrews, Jesus is the high priest, and He's ministering in the heavenly temple, one that is built by God, not by man, so there is a temple in heaven. Then there was the earthly temple, and when I say earthly, I'm talking about the one that Moses built in the world, and the one that Solomon built, and the one that is rebuilt after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity.

I called it the earthly temple that was the one that Jesus entered in to, that was the one there at the time of Christ. It was eventually destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., I called that the earthly temple but there's three others, and the three others are very important. Jesus said, speaking of himself, " Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up again, and Christ is talking about Himself. The next temple that will be found in the scripture is the individual, about- this is knowing that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so in the we are the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and then the final temple that we read about it in the New Testament is the church, where old living stone put together in the temple of God.

Now, here's the point of the whole temple, the reason why there's even a temple. Why God told Moses to build a temple in the Old Testament was -- so that He could dwell amongst His people that's the purpose of the temple. Why do God need a temple in order to dwell amongst his people? It's because of sin, that's why we had the sacrificial system that presented in the temple. The sacrifice took care of the sin problem so that God could dwell amongst His people because if God came to dwell amongst his people without a temple, the people would have been consumed because of their sin. Now, the purpose of the temple is the same, the heavenly sanctuary, the earthly sanctuary, the individual. Why is the Holy Spirit dwelling within us? Well, is to take care of the sin problem in our hearts and lives.

Jesus came to die on the cross, to take care of the sin problem so that we can be forgiven and dwell with God forever. The purpose of the church in the world today is to preach the gospel, so the sin problem could be taken care of so that God can dwell with his people, that's the supreme purpose of the temple. Sometimes people look at the earthly temple, they think that a physical building has to be rebuilt when God wants us to understand the deeper, fuller understanding of what the temple is all about. It is about cleansing the people on the earth so that when He comes, He's carried that could be reflected through his people. Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem, I don't know. May be, may be not but it's not critical to bible prophecy.

Phil: Okay. It was a brilliant answer, absolute brilliant. Thank you so very much.

Pastor Ross: Well, thank you for your call, Phil. That opens up another phone line. Who do we have next?

Mckenzie: We've got Ronald from Rialto, California. Ronald, you're on the air with Bible answers live.

Pastor Ross: Hi, Ronald.

Ronald: Hello. Hello.

Pastor Ross: Hey, how you're doing tonight?

Ronald: I've just started reading the Bible.

Pastor Ross: Great.

Ronald: Matthew 12:31, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." Now, is that forever or- I don't understand that.

John: Okay, very good question. Sometimes that refers to as the unpardonable sin. The same verses translated or at least presented in some of the other gospels as the unpardonable sin. Jesus said, " Every sin shall be forgiven except one, that is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit." Here's what we need to understand, the unpardonable sin isn't single sin that a person might commit. Let me give you a little bit of the background, the word blasphemy in the bible, in the New Testament means two things: number one, that means claiming titles that belong to God. In other words, claiming that I am--

Ronald: Can you speak louder? I cannot hear you.

Pastor Ross: Let me try that with this mic a little close here. The word blasphemy in the bible means two things: number one is claiming to be God or claiming the names or titles of God. The other one is claiming to be able to forgive sin or excuse sin. The Holy Spirit- the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin. But when a person rejects the convicting of the Holy Spirit and says, "I don't need to follow the Holy Spirit. I don't need to do what God's asking me to do", what we are doing is we are sinning against the Holy Spirit. We are rejecting the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that it's the Holy Spirit that brings us to repentance. If we keep rejecting the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is not going to be able to bring us to a point of repentance, and if we don't repent than we can't be forgiven. The unpardonable sin or the sin of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, is when a person continually over an extended period of time rejects the Holy Spirit to the point where they don't feel sorry for their sins, where they don't ask for forgiveness, where they don't care about God, where they are not interested in doing anything God is asking them to do because they've hardened their heart. That's what it means, the unpardonable sin. Sometimes people ask us, "Maybe I committed the unpardonable sin", and we tell them, "Good news, you probably wouldn't even worry whether or not you committed the unpardonable sin, if you really have committed the unpardonable sin". But the fact that a person is even wondering, means the Holy Spirit is convicting them.

Ronald: I understand that.

Pastor Ross: You don't have to feel that you committed the unpardonable sin. If you are seeking to do God's will, that's proof that the Holy Spirit is convicting and working in your heart.

Ronald: Good, thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: All right, great question. Thanks for calling. Who do you have next?

Ross: We've got Paula, from Canada. Paula, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Paula: Hi, good night Pastor. How are you?

Pastor Ross: Hi, doing very well, thank you. Your question this evening?

Paula: My question is about the sealing of God'sresonant people, at the last period of the probation. For a clear understanding, could you expand a little bit?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely.

Paula: I have been meaning to understand.

Pastor Ross: Let me give you a passage of the scripture that talks about this. Revelation Chapter seven, talks about the Seal of God. In the book of Revelation they have two marks or seals. The righteous, God's people had the seal of God. The wicked have what's called the Mark of the Beast. The Seal of God is something that the righteous received in their foid, it's not a literal mark, but it represents something. The foid represents the heart or the character, it's the mind. These are those who are fully surrendered to Christ, they're committed to Jesus, they want to do those things pleasant to Jesus. They are sealed or marked with the Holy Spirit. Then, at the end of time they will those who turn aside from God's commandments, to follow man made tradition. They are the ones that end up receiving the Mark of the Beast. Two distinct groups at the end of time. After these two groups have been formed and you have one group with the Seal of God, and another group with the Mark of the Beast, then it is that probation closes. Daniel, Chapter 12 it says, "Michael stands up, the Great Princes stands watch over the sons of their people and there will be a time of trouble worse than the world has ever seen. But at that time by people will be delivered everyone found written in the book". After the sealing is all finished, then at some point Jesus closes His high priestly ministry in preparation for Him coming as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. There's so much I can say about this, Paula. Just real quick, there are three phases to Christ ministry. He is our sacrifice, He is our priest, and He is our King. When Jesus was on the earth, he came to bear our sins and die in our place, he was our sacrifice. When He is sent into heaven, He is ministering into heavenly sanctuary, He is our high priest. But when He finishes his work as our high priest, He removes his priestly robes, puts on His kingly robe and comes back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When He finishes the work as priest that's when probation closes. You have the civilized plagues and then Jesus comes. Did that help a little bit? I know I went through that fast, but you know we do have a study guide called the Seal of God. We’ll be happy to send that to you, as a matter of fact you can even read it for free online if you just go to the Amazing facts website at www.amazingfacts.org. We are going to try to get another call in before we run out of time. Who do we have next?

Ross: We've got Joe from Las Vegas. Joe you're on the line with Bible Answers Live. What is your question this time?

Pastor Ross: Hi Joe, we just got a couple of minutes here before we are pushed off the air, what's your question?

Joe: I'm trying to reconcile your answer about the temple in the end time with the abomination of God's desolation. Because from my perspective the temple is necessary for the abomination of desolation to take place.

Pastor Ross: Great question. Let me quickly address that before we run out of time. You're referring to Matthew 24. When Jesus says speaking to his disciples, "When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him that be in Jerusalem flee, in Judea flee out of the city. Well, that had a historicalapplication in 70 A.D, with the destruction of Jerusalem. But there is a spiritual application. Remember I mentioned the temple? The temple represents the church, when there is a power in the church claiming to be God, claiming to be able to forgive sins and forcing people to worship a certain way, in a symbolic or spiritual sense, that is an abomination in the temple. We are not talking about a literal building here, but we are talking about the church at the end having the Antichrist power, also known as the abomination of desolation, manifest in the church, and as a result people are lead astray. That’s what the Mark of the Beast issue comes from, that we mentioned a little bit earlier. There’s a lot more we can say about that, but you know, we do have a study guide that I think you’ll find interesting dealing with that same subject about the abomination of desolation; it’s the Mark of the Beast. Just call for that and we’ll be happy to send it to you. Resources phone number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called The Mark of the Beast, and we’ll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks, or go to the Amazing Facts website. www.amazingfacts.org.

I’m looking at the engine here Pastor McKenzie and he’s showing us one minute. We probably don’t have time to take another caller; we won’t do justice to their call. But friends, we want to thank you so much for listening tonight and hopefully we’ve got you thinking a little bit. Our whole goal of this program is to inspire people to go back to the Word, to study it for themselves. We’ve been mentioning different resources throughout the program. Call us in our resource phone number if you’d like any of the free materials that we’ve been talking about this evening. The number is 800-835-6747. You can call that number after the program. You can ask for any of the study guides or any of the books that we mentioned this evening and then also go to the Amazing Facts website. Just www.amazingfacts.org. There is just a wealth of information. There are videos you can watch in different Bible topics. There is additional study resources, and you can sign up for the free Amazing Facts Bible calls. It’s free, just go to www.amazingfacts.org. Until next week, God bless.

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The Blueprint: God's GPS Lesson Set by Ivor Myers

The Blueprint: God's GPS Lesson Set by Ivor Myers
God's Promises




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