Flying Snakes

Flying Snakes

Date: 01/04/2009 
The image of airborne snakes may be seemed like the stuff of nightmares, but in the jungles of South and Southeast Asia it is reality. Flying snake is a misnomer since these animals can’t actually gain altitude.
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Hello friends, how about an amazing fact? The image of airborne snakes may be seemed like the stuff of nightmares, but in the jungles of South and Southeast Asia it is reality. Flying snake is a misnomer since these animals can’t actually gain altitude. They are gliders using the speed of free fall and the contortions of their bodies, to catch the air and generate lift.

Once thought to be more parachutists than gliders, recent scientific studies have revealed interesting details about how these limbless tube shaped creatures turn plummeting into piloting. To prepare for takeoff a flying snake will slither to the end of a branch and dangle in a “J” shape. It propels itself from the branch with the lower half of its body which forms quickly into an “S”. And flattens to about twice its’ normal width giving its’ normal round body a concave “C” shape which can trap air. By moving back and forth in the air the snake can actually make turns. Flying snakes are technically better gliders than flying squirrels.

There are five recognized species of flying snakes found from West India to the jungles of Indonesia. Knowledge of their behavior in the wild is limited, but they're thought to use their aerobatics to escape predators, to move from tree to tree, and possibly even to hunt prey. The smallest species reach about two feet in length. And the largest grow to four feet. Their diets include rodents, lizards, frogs, birds and bats. They are venomous, but their tiny fixed rear fangs make them almost harmless to humans. The paradise tree snakes are one of the smaller flying tree snakes and the best glider. It has been known to travel up to 330 feet in the air.

Friends did you know that it in the paradise of Eden a speaking snake caused all of the sin and suffering that we see in the world today? Stay tuned for more as “Amazing Facts” brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live”.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Ross: Hello friends this is Pastor Jean Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening, but this is “Bible Answers Live”. If this is the first time that you have tuned into this program, as the name suggests, this is Bible Answers, so if you have a Bible related question we invite you to give us a call. Our toll free number here to the studio is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 1-800-463-7297. That’s 1-800-463-7297.

Before we get to the Bible questions this evening I’d like you to bow your heads as we have a word of prayer. Dear father we thank you for the opportunity to study your word and we ask your blessing upon this program this evening. Be with those who are listening and give us wisdom in the studio so we can search the word for truth. Thank you for hearing our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have you ever wondered or perhaps even been asked the question? If God is love why do bad things happen to good people? Why do innocent children suffer and die? And if God is all powerful why doesn’t he put an end to all of this heartache that seems to be around us? Well the answer to that very important question is found in the Bible.

And it has it’s beginning I a garden and it has to do with a snake and of course the snake I am referring to is none other than Satan himself. He disguised himself as a serpent and came into the Garden of Eden and there he tempted Adam and Eve. Genesis Chapter 3: verse 1 tells us the devil speaking, “Yea hath God said you shall not eat of very tree of the garden?” And the woman that is Eve said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the Garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the Garden you shall not eat of it. Neither should you touch it, lest ye die.” And the serpent said unto the woman, “You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat thereof that your eyes shall be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Well you know how the story went. Eve listened to the temptations of Satan and she ate of the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband Adam and he ate. In their act of disobedience in choosing Satan’s way over God’s way. The devil has held sway in the earth and that’s why there is heartache and suffering and pain and death.

But, the good news is that God is a God of love. And that one day He will put an end to all of the heartache that we see. The Bible promises us in John Chapter 14: 1-3 that Jesus said that He will come again and receive those that love Him to Himself. One day all things will be made right. No more pain, no more sorrow. The Bible says that God will wipe away every tear from every eye.

Well friends I am so grateful that we have a God of compassion and a God of love, not only is He going to make things alright but, even now He can sustain us and strengthen us through this very real battle that we find ourselves in between good and evil. We have a study guide that deals more with where did evil come from. It’s called, “Did God create a Devil?” It’s free and it’s an “Amazing Facts” study guide that will help you in your study of God’s word and to receive a copy of the free study guide “Did God Create the Devil?” call our resource line that’s 1-800-835-6747. That number again is 1-800-835-6747 and asks for the study guide, “Did God create a Devil?” and we will be happy to send that to you.

The number here in the studio is 1-800-463-7297 that’s 1-800-463-7297 or the acronym is 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

Our first caller this evening is Beth from Ohio. Beth welcome to the program.

Beth: Well thank you Jean it is so nice to—I stayed up late it is 10 o’clock here in Ohio to talk because I usually go to bed at 9 o’clock.

Pastor Ross: Well thanks for staying up.

Beth: Oh thank you so much for being on the radio we really appreciate it.

Pastor Ross: And your question this evening?

Beth: Well I struggle here lately and it’s exciting because we see what’s going on and we shouldn’t be discouraged because we know that Jesus is going be here sooner than we think because of all of the strife and all of the junk that’s going on. However, it is disturbing especially raising a family how—even in a Christian environment—whether it is in a church or even a church school, how corrupt and deceitful and just plain mean people are becoming who call themselves Christians. And it’s very hard because you want to be a light and you want to share after church services and you are more torn down than you are built up and the promises in Hebrews and Philippians and Ephesians that we need to be like-minded and united and full of love and the progress that we should be seeing is in the love that we have for one another and then going out and winning souls to Jesus.

And so I struggle with the fact that I worship on the Bible Sabbath, but then should I dare go out and find fellowship in another church that is worshipping on Sunday?

Pastor Ross: Well let me first address the point that you raise, there is a polarizing that is taking place. As we get closer and closer to the coming of Christ. Jesus told a parable about wheat and tares or weeds growing up together. And there was a ripening that took place just prior to the harvest. The ripening being the second coming of Jesus Christ and so today in the world there is a ripening of the righteous and there is a ripening of the wicked. And so we are beginning to see this polarization taking place.

Now we want to go to church to be encouraged to be strengthened to be in instructed in the word for fellowship and so on. But, what about going to church in the day that we know the Bible has not called upon us to worship on? For an example should we go on the first day of the week or the second day of the week? You know to go for—I guess the question is why would one go? If one is going to try to be a blessing to those there to speak encouraging words, to strengthen their faith, I think that is more than acceptable. But, if one in going is adding sanction to what they are doing it is probably not the right reason t go. Do you understand what I mean?

Beth: Yes I know exactly what you mean.

Pastor Ross: So if you are going to be a witness and encouragement absolutely. But, if we are simply going and we know that this is not what the Bible tells us to do what type of a witness are we being?

Beth: Exactly.

Pastor Ross: We don’t want to be compromising in our faith.

Beth: That’s exactly the word and what I don’t want to do and I struggle because I love my husband very much, but I really—you know God really doesn’t mind, but in my heart I believe He does care because He put remember and He put a specific seventh day and so I just—it is really difficult.

Pastor Ross: Well I guess—

Beth: Don’t go by your feelings go by faith and I want to, but I’m a very hands on person that wants to be active, but unfortunately it’s just that it is diminishing very quickly.

Pastor Ross: Well you know Beth if you can be a blessing and an encouragement and draw people closer to the Lord and closer to the understanding of Hid word, that’s one thing. But, it is just a matter of your going and by your presence being there that you’re not really testifying to what you believe to be true. So that’s something to bear in mind.

Beth: That’s very true.

Pastor Ross: Well thanks for your call Beth we appreciate it and hope that helps. To those of you who are listening, who might have questions about dealing with the Sabbath, what does the Bible say about the day of Worship we have a study guide called “The Lost Day of History” and that we will make available to you for free call 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide “Lost Day of History”. It talks about the Sabbath filled with great information and filled with information to help clarify that important subject.

Our next caller is Jason and Jason is calling from Maryland. Jason welcome to the program.

Jason: Thank you Pastor and thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Ross: You are welcome.

Jason: I wanted and I hope you can help me with some clarification on—and give me the answer that I need for my own revelation because I’m—I’ve heard and there has been preachers preach before. And even my own Pastor he has a different take on it. But, I have searched the Scriptures as well. I need to know in dealing with salvation, now once you receive your salvation can you lose that salvation? Or there’s some that believe that once you are saved you are always saved and that I’ve heard some say, no that is not the case you can lose so I’m trying to get some understanding because I’ve got my own understanding of what believe the Bible says and what I believe the take is. And of course, my Pastor has said something and others have preached on it. I need to get your clarity on that.

Pastor Ross: Sure, okay. First of all let me ask the question for you and for all of those who are listening, Will God force someone to go to heaven, who doesn’t want to go?

Jason: No, God isn’t going to push you to do anything.

Pastor Ross: He isn’t going to force us to do anything especially when it comes to salvation. Right? So if someone receives Jesus as their personal Savior. They confess their sins as 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins. He is just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If a person does that and in sincerity they receive Jesus as their personal Savior their names are written in the lamb’s Book of Life. They are headed towards heaven. They have salvation. But, just because they have surrendered their self to Christ doesn’t mean that at some later point in life, choose another master or choose another direction. If a person chooses to separate himself from Christ then of course God is not going to force him to be saved. But, if that person maintains a saving relationship with Christ and exercises faith in Jesus, he can have assurance that when Jesus comes he will be taken to heaven. So it is not that God changes his attitude toward a person, rather it is that the person changes his attitude towards God.

Jason: Right and that was my understanding of it, too, when I actually read the Bible and my pastor has that same take on it. But, the person actually is the one that can choose to thwart that invitation of eternal salvation. Is that what I am hearing?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. God is not going to force anyone to go to heaven.

Jason: I’m sorry.

Pastor Ross: God is not going to force anyone to be saved. You know, just a verse that—

Jason: Well you know because I heard that some lady had said, and I heard them talking and this lady was really talking a bunch of stuff that was crazy and said, “Well the Bible says that if you sin 100 tomes that God will forgive you and you still get into heaven and.” And I told her that I don’t believe if you read the Scriptures correctly and interpret it that it also says that you are not supposed to practice sin and so what are you saying, what if you die and have sinned and did not ask for forgiveness of that sin, I said are you saying you still can go to heaven? And she said yes so I had to stop the conversation because she was really off base, but there are a lot of people that do misunderstand that and believe that once they give their life to the Lord, oh well okay, whatever I do it doesn’t matter and I’m going to heaven anyway. And I think they need to come to that clarity of understanding and realize that’s not really the case.

Pastor Ross: Umm-hmm.

Jason: Very quickly one more question.

Pastor Ross: Go ahead Jason. On that situation of that Scripture that talks about blasphemy because there is one sin that is unforgiveable, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Correct?

Pastor Ross: Correct.

Jason: Now exactly what is that saying and how come that particular sin is not forgiven?

Pastor Ross: Alright. Well let me read it. For those who are listening it is Matthew 12:31 Jesus is speaking, “Wherefore I say unto you that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” So the sin that cannot be forgiven is what the Bible calls the sin against the Holy Spirit or sometimes referred to as the unpardonable sin or the sin of blasphemy. What we need to recognize is that the Holy Spirit is the one that leads us to repentance. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks to our hearts and convicts us of sin. When we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness we receive the gift of salvation. But, if we continually reject the promptings of the Holy Spirit, through our conscience speaking to our hearts and speaking to our minds, if one continues to do what the Holy Spirit is telling him not to do there reaches a point where the Holy Spirit can no longer convict the heart. There is hardening of the heart so to speak. He is becoming deaf to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When a person reaches that point where he has so hardened his heart, there is nothing more that God can do to lead that person to repentance. He has then committed the unpardonable sin. It is not a particular sin, but it is a series of rejections, a continual rejecting of the Holy Spirit and walking further and further away from where God would want you to be. And you do this knowingly and there is hardening of the heart and that is what the Bible means when they talk about the unforgiveable sin. Does that help? Jason does that help?

Jason: Yeah, I was just asking you if that is what it meant when a person just keeps sinning over and over again, willingly is that basically what you are saying?

Pastor Ross: You know if someone continues to sin willingly over and over again that’s dangerous. We don’t want to stay in that type of experience. Now praise God He does forgive when we sin repeatedly even when we do it on purpose. But, if our attitude is genuine repentance and we say Lord give me the strength give me the victory and our heart is genuine then we’re still in a relationship with Christ.

Jason: Exactly that was my point.

Pastor Ross: But, if we keep making excuses—

Jason: And I thank God for you and Pastor Doug, you do a wonderful program. This is my first time calling, but I do listen to you all the time.

Pastor Ross: Well thanks so much for listening. And thanks for calling Jason. And for anyone who is listening, wanting to know more about the subject we have a book called “Can a Saved Man be Lost?” It’s free. Call our resource line 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book “Can a Saved Man be Lost?” The number here in the studio is 1-800-GOD-SAYS that’s 1-800-463-7297.

Our next caller is Carl calling from North Carolina. Carl welcome to the program.

Carl: Yeah here from North Carolina.

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Carl: My question comes about because the editor of our local paper here in Cherokee County. The Cherokee Scout had a very interesting article the other day, “Do Dogs Go to Heaven?” He lost a cat here recently and then it reminds him of a dog that he lost about 15 years ago and then he penned a poem and actually it has 7 verses here and maybe if there’s time I’ll read one of the verses. It’s like too long to read it here.

Pastor Ross: Yeah in the interest of time come to the question on that one.

Carl: The question is do our pets go to heaven? Is there any Biblical evidence to indicate that maybe pets go to heaven?

Pastor Ross: Alright. Good question. Do pets go to heaven, we have that question all of the time. You know there is a wonderful relationship with their dogs, with their cats, with their birds and other pets. And when you lose a pet it is difficult. We know that in heaven there will be pets. In the earth made new there will be animals. In the Garden of Eden there were all kinds of animals. And Adam had a good relationship with these various animals. The very same pet we had here on earth, I don’t think will be resurrected and taken to heaven. However, having said that, God is quite capable of creating a pet just like the one we have here. But, without the contamination of sin. You know, human’s animals have borne the curse of sin. You look at the lion killing to eat and the viciousness of dogs and so on. But, in heaven there won’t be any of that if you have a pet that you have really loved. It is quite possible that you get to heaven God will have a pet just like the one you had here. It would be a great blessing and enhance your blessing in heaven. But, Jesus didn’t die to save dogs and cats. Jesus died to save people.

Carl: You know the big question is if God is capable of creating an animal just like the one we have in appearance, but would he create it with the same personality?

Pastor Ross: Yes He could. He could do that in the same way as He recreates or I should say resurrects people from the grave when He comes again and they have their own personality. God can create animals in heaven that have the same personality and character traits of animals that we have here on this earth.

Carl: Now here there is another related question. Here in Revelation Chapter 22 you know that a dog is called man’s best friend?

Pastor Ross: Umm-hmm.

Carl: How it began it starts with verse14 of Chapter 22, “Blessed are they who do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life and enter into the gates of the city.” And then verse 15. “For without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and are idolaters and who so ever loveth and makes a lie.” That doesn’t give a dog a very good reputation.

[Laughter]

Pastor Ross: That’s right, at least not from the verse here. What we need to recognize is that Revelation is of course symbolic. A dog back in the Old Testament is an unclean animal it is not one anyone is to eat it could be used in a sacrificial service for ancient Israel. It was considered an unclean animal. It was used in the phrase here without the city of dogs or was sorcerer’s those who were unclean those who are the rejecters of the salvation that God has provided. It is not referring to literal dogs. But, rather it is speaking to unclean people.

Carl: One more thing that might be interesting to the listeners is I have a friend named Steve Wilberg and he has written a book on this very subject “Will Pets Go to Heaven” so he was so popular that the American Tract society actually did a very brief things on one of their tracts and it goes by the same name.

Pastor Ross: Well you know Carl we actually carry that on our “Amazing Facts” we carry that book by Steve Wilberg on our website so if anyone is listening to this and would like to get a copy of that book I’d encourage you to go to the Amazing Facts website and you can look it up right online and you can order the book. Unfortunately we cannot provide that to you for free. But, it does address the fact will my pet be in heaven. It is a very good book. Carl thanks for your call.

Our next caller is Dora and she is calling from California. Dora welcome to the program.

Dora: Good evening.

Pastor Ross: Good evening.

Dory: My name is Dory. My question is I was reading the Bible and my understanding is Elijah and Enoch were ascended to heaven correct?

Pastor Ross: Correct.

Dory: Okay when I was reading John 3: 13 it said, “No one has ascended to heaven except he who came down from heaven that is the son of man in heaven.” Now my thoughts were stuck on the thoughts, no one, so now I am confused.

Pastor Ross: Yeah so what does it mean? Now remember the context her that Jesus is talking to Nicodemus and he said unto Nicodemus that verily a man must be born again and Nicodemus said well how these things can be and so on. And Jesus said if I have told you earthly things and you do not believe how would you believe if I have told you heavenly things? Then Jesus goes on to say, “No one has ascended into heaven and come down from heaven to give truth to explain these things, but the son of man.” which is what Christ was talking about.

Dory: Oh okay He is talking about somebody coming back.

Pastor Ross: Somebody coming back and sharing or revealing truth. Now Enoch is in heaven. Elijah is in heaven, but they weren’t coming back to explain this to Nicodemus.

Dory: Okay, I got confused on the no one.

Pastor Ross: Right.

Dory: Okay. Yeah I understand it now.

Pastor Ross: Okay great.

Dory: Thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: Well you’re welcome. Thank you for calling.

Dory: Okay, bye-bye.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Sandy calling from Illinois. Sandy welcome to the program.

Sandy: Hi thank you so very much. I was reading Isaiah Chapter 7 and within that context and my question is I was curious in regards to Isaiah Chapter 7:14 but, the Lord and I was calling and I was just trying to get some input.

Pastor Ross: Okay and let me read the verse for those who are listening. It is a well known verse Isaiah 7:14 “therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call His name Emanuel. Now you have of course in the context the prophet speaking to the king back in those days and a sign of what the prophet says will come true is that in this reference the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call His name Emanuel. Now in the New Testament in Matthew that verse is referred to as a prophecy of Christ. So there is no question of the fulfillment of that in its prophetic sense related to Jesus. But, it very well could have had a literal fulfillment in the time when it was given, that prophecy was given. Some have even suggested there was some kind of miraculous birth that took place to validate what the prophet was saying. We don’t have that in the Scriptures itself so that is what theologians have added to it. But, the primary focus of the verse itself is Jesus and the promise of the Messiah coming. So does that help Sandy?

Sandy: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Alright. Well thanks for your call. Friends we are coming up on our half an hour break and don’t go away. We still have another half an hour of “Bible Answers Live”. If you would like to call in with your Bible question you can do so during the break that number again is 1-800- GOD-SAYS that is 1-800-463-7297. You might want to get a pencil handy because when we come back we will give you some additional resources that will be able to help you in your study of God’s word. Don’t go too far, we’ll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Ross: Hello friends and welcome back. If you have a Bible related question the number to call is 1-800-463-7297. My name again is Pastor Jean Ross Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening. But, the phone lines are open so this is a good time for you to place that call.

Pastor Ross: We are going to go right into our Bible questions our next caller is Joseph calling from New York, New York. Joseph welcome to the program.

Joseph: Good evening Pastor.

Pastor Ross: Good evening.

Joseph: Pastor there is a statement in the Bible concerning Moses saying that he was 110 years of age.

Pastor Ross: Joseph speak a little closer to your phone there. You are a little soft. That’s great.

Joseph: Moses was 110 years of age and his natural force wasn’t abated. Are they referring to his virility or his muscular strength?

Pastor Ross: They are referring to his physical stamina and strength. It is of course in the context here in the time of his death. Moses climbs a mountain and then lies down and dies.

Joseph: It has to do with his virility?

Pastor Ross: No it has to do with his physical strength and stamina and now you might ask why. He’s 110 years old. I think a big reason why is because he ate for forty years heavenly food. He ate manna and that manna must have been very healthful not only to him, but to all of the Israelites. You know just eat that for forty years and drink this water that came miraculously from this rock this spring of water. That would be excellent for your health. So 110 years old and he was still in good physical form and he was healthy. It says his eyes were clear and he could see distinctly and he could hear and had good physical strength.

Joseph: Well I think everyone there were vegetarians there anyway weren’t they?

Pastor Ross: That’s right back in the Garden of Eden, you’re right.

Joseph: There is something else I want to ask you.

Pastor Ross: Sure.

Joseph: The proclamation by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus. When was that written about that gospel?

Pastor Ross: The gospel of Luke.

Joseph: Was he the first that wrote it?

Pastor Ross: Well yes. We find that the gospels all in some effect describe the announcement that Christ was coming. But, it is Luke that kind of fills in more of the details for us there.

Joseph: Was Luke alive during the time of Jesus?

Pastor Ross: Luke was he spent most of his time though with the Apostle Paul. And he did quite a bit of traveling with Paul when he went on his missionary journeys. And of course Luke also wrote the book of Acts. And that came quite a bit later. So I would estimate the timing for Luke that would probably be somewhere if Steven was stoned in 34 A.D. that would be probably be as much as 50 A.D. somewhere in that ballpark. I don’t have that number exactly in front of me.

Joseph: Now before that was written Pastor, did the people know about the virgin birth?

Pastor Ross: You know word had gotten out even before the time of the pregnancy of Mary that there was something different going on here. Even Joseph was wondering if he should proceed with this marriage because suddenly Mary is pregnant. And of course the angel told Joseph that this is from the Holy Spirit. And so those that were close to the family were probably wondering about this. They thought something special and of course you have the Sheppard’s that came. You have the wise men that came because of the child. And you had the angels announcing the birth of Christ to the Sheppards. And so at His birth people realized that something special had happened, but as the thirty years had passed of Christ growing up there in Nazareth before His public ministry I think many had forgotten the miraculous birth of Christ. And that is repeated in the gospels which were written after Christ.

Joseph: Okay and so they recognized he was the son of Joseph didn’t they?

Pastor Ross: Yes they did.

Joseph: That is why it was kept so quiet Pastor. Why didn’t they shout it from the roof tops?

Pastor Ross: In fact the Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about Christ’s childhood and early manhood indicates that Jesus didn’t make appoint of revealing himself during those first thirty years.

Joseph: Did you say he didn’t?

Pastor Ross: He didn’t no. He didn’t perform a miracle that we know of. He worked in a carpenter’s shop. People knew him as Joseph’s son. It wasn’t until His baptism and he was thirty years old and He started His public ministry that Jesus really began to reveal Himself as the son of God.

Joseph: Can you understand why He did that?

Pastor Ross: I think it was part of God’s plan. It was part of God’s purpose. For one if Jesus had not been thirty the people of Israel and to a large degree the leaders wouldn’t have paid Him that much attention. To the Jew manhood begins at thirty as far as being apt to teach and being able to teach. And so when Jesus was thirty He was then in a position where He could teach and I think for that is one of the reasons why Jesus waited until he was thirty.

Joseph: Thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: Thank you for calling Joseph and appreciate your call. Our next caller is Heather listening on WMCA from Bronx, New York. Heather welcome to the program.

Heather: Welcome. Hello. How are you?

Pastor Ross: Great.

Heather: Great. I am calling about angels and the sexing of angels being male and I also heard about another ministry where there was a debate about where there were single angels as well and I just wanted to question the validity of that.

Pastor Ross: Alright. In the Bible angels are revealed as male. I mean there are many accounts of that where an angel is described as a man. But, what we also need to recognize is that the angels are of a different order than humans. Jesus was asked the question at the resurrection whether people will marry and be given in marriage. And Jesus said no they are going to be like the angels. So the angels are different. They are not one or the other, they are a unique entity. There is no need for angels to be either male or female because angels don’t procreate.

Heather: Okay. They don’t multiply and they don’t diminish in number?

Pastor Ross: Right. They don’t have children.

Heather: Okay, my last question to you is if that be the case how is that in Genesis the fallen angels were able to procreate with the women on earth?

Pastor Ross: Are you talking about that verse in Genesis where it talks about the sons of God in Genesis 6:2? “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair and they took unto themselves wives?”

Heather: Those weren’t fallen angels?

Pastor Ross: No those weren’t fallen angels those were the descendents of Seth. There were two groups of people and even in the New Testament you’ll find it. Two groups of people we have the redeemed those who are faithful to God called the sons of God sons or daughters of God. And then we have the sons of man, those would be the worldlings.

What had happened is the descendents of Seth, who remained loyal to God and then you have the descendents of Cain that rebelled against God. As time passed the descendents of Seth, the sons of God, took wives from the daughters of men or the descendents of Cain and iniquity spread in Europe until finally the flood came.

Heather: Okay.

Pastor Ross: So it is not talking about the angels because Jesus made it very clear when He said angels don’t marry, neither are they given in marriage. So it would be impossible for an angel to marry a human being.

Heather: So the sons of men were the ones who procreated with the women on earth and they gave birth to like monstrous creatures?

Pastor Ross: Well the sons of men are simply the descendents of Cain. And the sons of God are simply the descendents of Seth. They were all humans.

Heather: Okay. Okay.

Pastor Ross: All humans. But, you had the righteous now intermarrying with the wicked. And as a result iniquity multiplied in the earth. But, the Bible also says there were giants in that day. You had this influx of genes now from these two groups intermingling and you had this increase in stature you had giants.

Heather: And these were the ones that had the voracious appetites, and—

Pastor Ross: Yes and they brought about iniquity in the earth to the point where God said my spirit shall not always strive with man. And that they will have 120 years and then of course after that the flood came.

Heather: Oaky well thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: You are welcome and thanks for calling. Our next caller is Anita listening on the internet from Illinois. Anita welcome to the program.

Anita: Hi. I’ve got a question about the gifts of the Spirit the word of knowledge that we find in 1 Corinthians 12:8 because I’ve heard some people say like if a Pastor gets like a word of knowledge from God and then they know that someone has a bad hip or something. Is that what a true word of knowledge is or what is it?

Pastor Ross: Alright let’s me just read the verse for our listeners. 1 Corinthians 12:8 it says, “For one is to gift by the Spirit the word of wisdom and to another is the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.” So having wisdom in the things of God is a gift of the Holy Spirit which gives it. And all of us can have wisdom in the things of God, but there are ones who are given an even greater measure and they are able to explain and teach the word. So that is the gift of wisdom, but the gift of knowledge God also gives some is the ability to retain more information than others. I wish I was one of those that could memorize tremendous amounts of things. But, some have the ability to gather and retain tremendous knowledge. That’s a gift of God. But, when you talk about in the church and the spiritual sphere there are people who are able to retain tremendous amounts of Scripture and they are a blessing to others. So when we are talking about wisdom we are talking about the ability to explain Spiritual things and when we’re talking about knowledge it’s the gift of being able to retain large amounts of Spiritual truth. It is not having secrets revealed about somebody else. That is not what is being referred to here.

Anita: Yeah because I was thinking of the just regular knowledge of course anyone can get that, but to have the gifts of the Spirit it would be something different.

Pastor Ross: That’s right. It’s the Spiritual understanding and retention of knowledge. And that is a gift of the Holy Spirit. And God gives it to individuals in church as needed.

Anita: Can you think of a reference in the Bible of someone who might have that?

Pastor Ross: The gift of knowledge? Well I think one that just stands out to me is the Apostle Paul. Now you have all of the other Bible writers. But, when you get into the New Testament, Paul, imparticular, seems to have this wealth of knowledge. He is the one that talks about the heavenly ministry of Jesus as our high Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. And he connects that with the earthly sanctuary and the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Just tremendous insight and knowledge that’s a gift that God had given him and he used that in the furtherance of the kingdom.

Anita: Okay. Good, thank you.

Pastor Ross: Alright. Thanks for your call, appreciate it. Our next caller is Tommy calling from Pennsylvania. Tommy welcome to the program. Tommy and your question. You are on the air.

Tommy: Yes Tony it’s Tony.

Pastor Ross: Tony I’m sorry. Tony I am glad you are responding.

Tony: That’s okay. How are you and Happy New Year to you, Pastor?

Pastor Ross: Thank you.

Tony: I just have a question on like what does the Bible have to say about like entities. I watch a lot of shows with like spirits and how people actually capture on film that they are supposedly dead, but they are because of the history that may have been in that house or that area that their spirit has to be forced over to the other side. I remember Doug saying once that once you’re dead you’re asleep and there’s really no way you can have like a haunted house or nothing. But, what do you have to say about the people who actually capture some entities on the film? Is it possible that even when you’re dead you’re still--your spirit doesn’t really rest?

Pastor Ross: Well the Bible tells us when a person dies, he dies. He doesn’t know what is going on around him. But, what we do know is that the devil is out to deceive. And he’s got a whole host of fallen angels that we refer to as demons and what is happening in these haunted houses is with things being moved and all these strange noises. That’s demons. That’s the hosts of Satan that is out there masquerading as dead loved ones in some cases for the purpose of causing fear and alarm and deception. It’s not the dead loved ones.

Tony: But, what about these little girls and children that they say they actually see and there might have been a child that died in there.

Pastor Ross: Yeah sure.

Tony: But, then they say I saw that little child come out and hang around.

Pastor Ross: Again that’s the devil. That’s what the Bible tells us that the devil can be transformed into an angel of light. So the devil can transform him self into the image of all kinds of people. And he will do that to try to deceive. Let’s say a dead loved one suddenly appears at night and says I’m so and so and this is the message that I have for you. That is the devil masquerading as the dead loved one for the purpose of deceiving. And we have to be very careful of that.

Tony: Would that be like by being dead the devil in other words I hear these outcomes of exorcisms that work and as soon as the exorcism is performed then it’s successful they have and seems to be a peace and a nice fragrant smell to it. It is like that entity or possession has left is that possible with the exorcisms?

Pastor Ross: Well there is a real power and that power of course is the devil. There are demons that are out there. There is Biblical casting out of devils. But, there is also a counterfeit casting out of devils. There’s a casting out of devils that the devil himself does or is happy to have done. But, there is a true Biblical casting out of devils Jesus himself would cast out devils from people on the earth and his Apostles did and so on and so forth. There are devils. There are demons that can take possession of people that can haunt houses. The good news is if we are one of Christ’s then we can have assurance that God will take care of us and protect us. The Bible does admonish us in Ephesians Chapter 5:11 not to have any fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. In other words, don’t go looking for these devils. Don’t go to these haunted houses because if we step outside the boundary of what god has told us we’re opening ourselves up to these influences.

Tony: Yeah the devil could be as basically anything.

Pastor Ross: He is very powerful that is right.

Tony: Yeah and I appreciate your time and how long did it take Noah to build that ark?

Pastor Ross: About 120 years.

Tony: To build the ark?

Pastor Ross: Yeah 120 years.

Tony: Literally 120 years wow, I thought it was like 40 years.

Pastor Ross: No. It took him 120 years. I mean it’s a big boat. And it’s made of real solid wood. And it had to have apartments for the animals and it took him 120 years and I am sure his family helped and there were some other righteous people who died before the flood came that also helped Noah in the building. For example, Methuselah was one who died just prior to the coming of the flood I am sure he also helped in the building of the ark.

Tony: Oh that is hard to imagine that somebody is working on something for 120 years.

Pastor Ross: That’s a long time, isn’t it?

Tony: Wow it is. It is amazing and all architected by God.

Pastor Ross: That’s right God drew the plans and Noah followed God.

Tony: And thanks a lot. I want to wish you guys a happy New Year and you’re always great in knowledge and spirit thank you.

Pastor Ross: Thank you so much and thanks for calling, appreciate it. Our next caller is Brandon calling from Bakersfield, California and listening on KAHL. Brandon welcome to the program.

Brandon: Hi, thank you. I was reading in Daniel Chapter 7:25. I have a pretty good understanding of what it is saying. It says God’s people will be given into his hand for a time times and a dividing of times. If you look in Daniel Chapter 12:1 where it talks about Michael standing up when Jesus finishes with judgment on the world. It says there is going to be a time of trouble.

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Brandon: Wouldn’t it stand to reason that why the year for a time in Daniel 7 would apply to the same principle today of Daniel 12:1?

Pastor Ross: Alright well first of all let’s talk about the principle here that we have in Daniel 7:25 times we’re talking about in this context is a time, a times and a half a times. A time represents a year. There were 360 days in a Hebrew year. And if you have times then you have two years and half a times is a half a year. So we are looking at a time period of 1260 days. And one prophetic day is equal to one literal year. So that is a very significant time period that has its fulfillment during the dark ages from 538 A.D. all the way through to 1798. Now in Daniel 12:1 it says, “And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” That’s talking about the close of probation that precedes the second coming of Christ. That “time of trouble” the phrase or the wording there, the time of trouble is in reference—it’s a descriptive term in reference to the trouble, not in reference to the duration. In other words it is going to say that when Michael stands up there will be trouble, there will be a period of trouble.

Brandon: In this time of trouble this is going to be after Jesus has judged the world right? And once this happens there is going to be a time of trouble and everyone’s going to so called sentence passed guilty or saved or not saved.

Pastor Ross: Sure, Sure. Right, right. Now that happens before the second coming.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, when that happens and once Michael stands up, once Jesus has judged and that time of trouble happens you’ll either be saved or lost for eternity from that point on correct?

Pastor Ross: Correct.

Brandon: Okay.

Pastor Ross: Probation is closed just like the door on the ark that closed seven days before the rain came. Now if you want a cross reference for that where it talks about the closing Revelation has a description where Jesus says, “He that is holy let him be holy still and he that is filthy let him be filthy still.”

Brandon: Yeah, yeah. I know that one.

Pastor Ross: That pronouncement is made in the point in time when Michael stands up or when Jesus stands up.

Brandon: Okay well what about the 144,000. The Bible says there is going to twelve tribes and 12,000 from each tribe. If those tribes are the tribes of the tribe of Judah and yet the 144,000 are going to be in the last days how does that work?

Pastor Ross: Okay. Remember in the Old Testament God made a covenant with literal Israel. It is called the Old Covenant. In the New Testament we have the New Covenant. And the New Covenant is made with Spiritual Israel. So in the New Testament when it is talking about Israel especially in the book of Revelation it’s referring to Spiritual Israel. As Paul says, those who believe in Christ they are the seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise.

Brandon: Okay it’s not the literal descendents of the tribes?

Pastor Ross: It’s not the literal descendents of those tribes. It is Spiritual descendents and now you might ask the why is it listed for the names of the tribes? Each of the names of the tribes is significant they give characteristics of those people and so in that way we have the names listed of the tribes in Revelation 7.

Brandon: Yeah and that makes a lot of sense because I’ve been doing a lot of Bible studies on Daniel and Matthew 24 and James Chapter 5 and there’s a lot of things that have happened in the last year and that are happening as we speak that I mean would it be wrong for the Christian to assume that it is going to happen very, very, soon? There is so much that points to the return of Christ that it’s got to happen in the next 5 to 10 years I would figure.

Pastor Ross: Friend I agree with you. And no man knows for sure when Christ is coming, but there are a lot of signs out there that seems to be indicating He’s coming very near. Alright well thanks for your call.

Brandon: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Kennard and he is calling from Brooklyn, New York. Kennard welcome to the program.

Kennard: Good evening Pastor and Happy New Year.

Pastor Ross: Thank you and yourself.

Kennard: I’m calling and my topic is on the Holy Spirit. And for the past few weeks I haven’t had a lot of real peace. And my question is how do you commit your ways to the Lord? You know I can tell you I haven’t been a person that has been real obedient. And like I‘ve been having a real hard time. And I just want to commit my ways to the Lord and I don’t want anything to pass and just know it is a coincidence that when I turned the radio on you were talking on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And it bothers me and I’m like—

Pastor Ross: First of all let me give you some hope. You have not committed the unpardonable sin which is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and the reason I can say that is that someone who has committed the unpardonable sin they have no desire for Christianity, no desire for God, no desire for that which is spiritual, they have so hardened their heart that anything that relates to the Bible or relates to God, they dislike. So if someone has a desire and someone whose conscience is bothering them, then that is a clear indication that, that person has not committed the unpardonable sin.

Kennard: And that’s what I understand because Pastor Doug he has like these has here in New York a program that comes on at 6:30 A.M. and he was talking about the very thing that I was going through. And I’m like alright, but now what do I do? I just don’t know what to do.

Pastor Ross: Now don’t get discouraged let me give you a few little things that you can bear in mind. God does not ask us to do something that we cannot do in the work of salvation. And we need to recognize that God is not going to require something impossible in order for us to be saved. Secondly what we need to understand is the power of the will. That’s the power of choice and the power of decision. Everything depends upon you choosing to serve God. You see to have a desire to be a Christian is good, but if all we have is the desire and we never come to the point of surrendering ourselves fully and by faith accepting Jesus.

Kennard: How do you do that?

Pastor Ross: That is denying self and saying Lord I am going to trust in God’s sustaining power to give me the strength to do that. And when you confess your sins and you give yourself to God then you must believe that God accepts you and that God will empower you and that God will strengthen you. Keep your mind ever fixed upon God. Fill your heart with spiritual truth, if you fall you make a mistake, don’t get discouraged, just get back on your knees and say please Lord forgive me. And then go right back to what you know God would have you to do. And as we do that God is able to work within us and actually change our hearts and recreate us into the kind of people that He wants us to be.

Kennard: Alright well one of the other questions I had is I fill my heart with a lot of spiritual truth, but I haven’t totally committed myself to walk totally in it. And now—

Pastor Ross: Well that will prove eventually to be a stumbling block to you. If you know what is right and the Holy Spirit is convicting you you need by God’s grace to make the decision to do what God asks. And remember that God never asks you to do anything for your harm and when we make that full surrender there is nothing we can do that brings more peace and I just want to encourage you to make that full and complete surrender. I tell you what I hear the music playing in the background. Kennard, but let’s just have a little word of prayer.

Kennard: Yes, please.

Pastor Ross: Dear Father, I just want to lift up Kennard before you this evening and You’ve been speaking to his heart through the Spirit he’s been feeling the promptings and Lord I pray you give him the strength to make that full surrender and commitment and give him the peace and the joy to know that he’s forgiven and loved and is accepted with You. We pray dear Lord that you would bless him and give him wisdom and for this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Kennard: Amen. Thank you Pastor.

Pastor Ross: God bless you. Well friends the music is playing and we’ve come to the end of another “Bible Answers Live” and I want to thank you for joining us and if we didn’t get to your call, this evening try again and call us next week. And we’ll try to get your call on the air.

For more information about: “Bible Answers Live” and for a number of great resources please visit the website. God Bless.

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