Stingrays

Stingrays

Date: 02/22/2009 
Stingrays, sometimes called “pancake sharks” are unique fish that looks like a flat flying wing, and can be found in the temperate coastal waters around the world. It’s hypnotic to watch stingrays swim as they undulate their bodies like a wave or gently flap their sides like wings.

The Life of Victory by Meade MacGuire

The Life of Victory by Meade MacGuire
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? Stingrays, sometimes called “pancake sharks” are unique fish that looks like a flat flying wing, and can be found in the temperate coastal waters around the world. It’s hypnotic to watch stingrays swim as they undulate their bodies like a wave or gently flap their sides like wings. They actually spend the majority of their time stationary, partly buried in the sand, with only their eyes peering out. There are more than sixty-five different kinds of stingrays in the world, and their coloration commonly mimics the sea floor to help camouflage them from their hungry relatives, the sharks. Depending on their habitat, rays can live up to twenty-five years.

Like sharks, the stingrays outfitted with electrical sensors called ampullae, located around its mouth. These perceptive organs pick up the electrical impulses of potential prey that might include any small sea creatures or molluscs. The largest stingray is a rare freshwater version found in the Mekong River that can grow to more than twenty feet in length and weigh over one thousand pounds. This is only surpassed by the stingrays’ deepwater cousin, the manta ray. One of these gentle giants was found twenty-five feet across with a weight of about two tons. Stingrays normally are gentle creatures, but they are named for their menacing barb or stinger located at the base of its whip-like tail. The largest spikes can grow fifteen inches long.

But most are about half that length. With the tip as sharp as a spear, and serrated edges, the barb can easily pass through skin and even penetrate bone. When frightened, larger stingrays have been known to drive their spines through the hole of a wooden board. The barb is covered with a sheath of toxin that is injected into the wound that can be deadly to humans. In 2006, Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, died in a freak occurrence after his heart was pierced by a frightened stingray. Strangely, he had spent his life protecting these animals. Did you know the Bible tells us about someone else who had their heart pierced? Stay with us friends, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends, to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live. We are very thankful that you have decided to join us, either by design or providence. If you’re tuning in for the first time, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study, and for the next fifty-four minutes we are going to be taking phone calls from people all over North America, and perhaps even other parts of the world, just asking Bible questions. I think this is the best possible use of the technology of radio, that you might search the Word of God. If you have a Bible question, now would be a good time to pick up your telephone and call the station. The number to get your question on the air tonight is 800-GOD-SAYS. We have a few lines open, so pick up the phone with your Bible question, 800-463-7297.

And you’ll want to keep a pencil handy, because we’ll also be giving away another phone number that tells about our free resources and some of the websites that we’ve got out there that will help enhance your Bible study experience. My name is Doug Batchelor, and Pastor Jëan Ross is out of state tonight, speaking on the East Coast. But as always, we’re going to begin our program with a word of prayer. Father in heaven, we’re very thankful for this opportunity and privilege once again to just gather together with our friends that are listening, and to seek to better understand Your will as revealed in Your Word. So Lord, take charge of every aspect of this program tonight. We pray that it will glorify Your name and make the truth crystal clear. And we pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Well friends, in the opening Amazing Fact I was talking a little bit about stingrays and they are generally gentle creatures. I was just scuba diving with stingrays in Central America a few weeks back, or probably a couple of months ago actually; and never been frightened by them. It’s very rare when one will use their stinger. But I think most people know when Steve Irwin, the famed Crocodile Hunter died in that strange accident where he swam over a stingray that was frightened and the barb just managed to pierce his heart and brought about just about instant death. It makes me think how sad that was because he really dedicated his life to protecting and preserving animals.

And then I think in the Bible of the story that tells us of someone who had their heart pierced with a spear, someone who came to save the human race was then received by having His hands and His feet and ultimately His heart pierced. You can read about this in John 19:34, it says, “To prove that Jesus was indeed dead, Pilate had sent the soldiers to test,” and it says, “One of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith there came out a flow of blood and water,” and that generally indicates that someone has died of a ruptured or broken heart, when the blood and the water separate, the serum and the blood separate. Jesus died from a broken heart, and when His side was pierced and His heart was pierced, out came those two distinct flows of blood and water. Meaning, we must be washed in the blood--that’s a cleansing from sin--and the washing in the water represents a sanctification that’s experienced through the rite of baptism.

Tonight there might be some listening that want to know what does it mean to accept Jesus, and what did He really give when He offered His life, when God so loved the world that He sent His Son. We have a book that I think will really inspire you in your faith regarding the Word of God and Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s a book called The High Cost of the Cross. And we will send that to you tonight simply for asking. All you need to do is pick up your phone and call the resource number--that’s a separate number from the one that brings you here to the studio--it’s 800-835-6747. For tonight’s broadcast, that number is 800-GOD-SAYS or 800-463-7297. And if you want to call for the free resource, once again, The High Cost of the Cross, by Pastor Joe Crews, a classic, it will encourage and inspire you. Call 800-835-6747, we will send that to you for free.

Also if you want to find out more about the other Amazing Facts resources that are available, it’s easy to find our website. If you just Google Amazing Facts, we’re the first name that comes up; or amazingfacts.com, amazingfacts.org, and you’ll see that we’ve got a kaleidoscope of Bible study materials that are there to enhance your experience. We’re going to go to the phones now without further delay, and beginning by talking with Mark, who’s calling from Knoxville, Tennessee, listening on WITA. Welcome Mark, you’re on the air.

Mark: Yeah, my question is a little bit involved but I’m wondering why the Bible supports a practice, it’s called the corporal punishment or spanking when it can cause like, hematoma, damage to the sciatic nerves and maybe even S&M tendencies later? Why would the Bible support it? And it talks about using the rod on the bull’s back and then using the rod on children.

Pastor Doug: Alright, you’ll find that in Proverbs 22:15 where Solomon says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Now when you think about the rod, they didn’t beat the children like they might try and beat off an attacking bear. They would be spanked, but I don’t believe they were leaving marks on them. You know, when you talk about spanking and the medical reactions that you just described, I think there’s all kinds of different variations of how a parent might apply what they call corporal punishment. Mark, do you have children?

Mark: No, I don’t. I’ve been also reading about S&M, how childhood spankings can cause a person to develop a spanking fetish when they’re growing up.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that would be a pretty rare--I’ve had six children and grandchildren. My dad spanked me, probably didn’t spank me enough. But, you know, if it’s done in love and if it’s done without, you know, injuring the child--I mean, obviously you don’t ever want to do it in anger. I think Christian parents should always wait until they’re calm and children ought to understand what the consequences are if parents are spanking their children because they’re angry at them, then they can turn to brutality. But if its done in love and if it’s, you know, not done in a brutal way, you know, time has proven that sometimes corporal punishment is the best and most appropriate way and I think that the Lord has prepared a spot to receive it.

Mark: Sir?

Pastor Doug: Yeah?

Mark: I’ve also read that the buttocks are an erogenous zone, and when you strike it, it can cause sexual arousal, and I’m kind of wondering how could the Bible support that?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, there are probably exceptions. You’ve got, you know, some nice pit bulls and you’ve got all kinds of exceptions in nature out there. And I can’t explain why somebody would find that arousing. You know, there’s a book I’d recommend you to take a look at, Mark. It’s a classic that has proven the test of time and it’s called “Dare to Discipline” by Dr. James Dobson.

And in these cultures where they neglect to correct their children and sometimes, you know, they get to an age where you don’t do that anymore. But when they’re young and they’re sticking their, you know, screwdriver in an electrical socket, or when they are riding their tricycle out into the traffic and you say “no” and they’re not listening to your words, you need to resort to sometimes that’s something more severe.

It’s better to, you know, to put a little bit of pink on their rear end than to pick them up at the hospital or the morgue. And you can just take my word for that. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit, Mark. And I can tell you that the Bible, when followed the way it’s intended, is a safe book for child rearing. It has been well proven. I’m going to talk next to Pam, who is calling from Tulare, California, listening on KARM. Welcome Pam, you’re on the air

Pam: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Pam: I am studying Leviticus and I am a little confused. I understand about the sin offering being the holy offering or the most holy offering. But can you explain to me what--I don’t understand, we’ve got the peace offering, the whole burnt offering, the wave offering, and then there is the offering where you can cook the grains. I really don’t understand that.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, first of all, I won’t pretend to understand it all. But what I have seen as I have read through Leviticus many, many times, the sacrificial system and the various offerings they did not all exist before Leviticus-- before Moses, I should say. Abraham and the patriarchs, they had the sin offerings. But they had offerings as a nation. There were offerings that were given to show their gratitude to God for blessing the crop, for sending the rain, for giving them an abundance of children. You know, they had an offering for when you had a healthy child they would bring an offering for that. They had one for a boy and one for a girl.

Pam: Yeah, the first time?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, exactly, the first born of every creature whether it was from your cattle or from your family, there was an offering for that. Now that all typified when God gave His only begotten Son. So, each of these offerings had little windows to tell us something about the plan of salvation. And when you go through the ministry of Christ, especially in the gospel of John--I’m not an expert on this, but I’ve seen some others do it--they take a look at the different Levitical offerings and then they look at what Jesus did, like where Jesus says, “I’m the bread of life,” they connect that with the grain offering. Jesus said, “I am the living water,” they connect that with one or the other feasts.

And each of the statements of Christ in John correlates with one of these unique offerings. And so these offerings--like it says in Colossians chapter 2--they are shadows that were to help us recognize Jesus when He came in His ministry. Now obviously, you know, we still have offerings of thanks, I mean, that’s what thanksgiving … and we have offerings for just our tithe. But all the offerings revolved around the sanctuary pretty much came to an end--those exclusive offerings after the time of Christ. But I think the principles are still good, you know. If you have a big harvest, you would want to set some aside for the poor and share it.

Pam: Sure. What is the whole burnt offering? Do you know what that one is?

Pastor Doug: Well, in the whole burnt offering, of course, the animal offerings were for sin and the whole burnt offering would be-- like Passover was a whole burnt offering. They would burn bake the entire lamb, basically, and then they’d eat it. The whole burnt offering was an entire sacrifice. Sometimes they would divide the sacrifices and burn the fat. You know, I’d like to send you a book that would help a little bit with this and it does cover some of this, Pam. It’s called Feast Days and Sabbaths.

And it talks about the Jewish feast days and what the purpose of them was. And you read through that. We’ll send it to you for free. Call the number 835-6747, we’ll be happy to send that to you. And it’s a deep subject and I wish I had more time for it and I wish I had more experience in Leviticus in explaining it. But I’ve seen some beautiful illustrations, just can’t put my fingers on all of them right now. Next we’re going to talk to Jeffrey. He’s calling from Alberta, Canada, and listening on the internet. Welcome Jeffrey, you’re on the air.

Jeffrey: Hi there. I had a question about the scientific concordism in the Bible. My professor has this notion of Message-Incident Principle where basically he says you have to separate the message and the incident or the science in the Bible. And I’m just wondering to what extent is the Bible a scientific book?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think it’s a very scientific book and the reason that some scientists have-- they say, you know, the teachings in the Bible are so beautiful but you can’t take the science in the Bible literally because after all, we know there’s no such thing as miracles, and we know the world couldn’t have been created in six days, and this is what they say. Well, I believe there are miracles. Just because you don’t see something-- that’s why a miracle is called a miracle, because it’s unusual, doesn’t happen very often.

Jeffrey: Yeah, he said that many times when Jesus was casting out demons, he said that, that was actually epilepsy but they just called it demons for the sake of, you know…

Pastor Doug: Well, but even today, while I believe that epilepsy can be brought on by a medical condition, who is to say that devils can’t be involved in afflicting or agitating that? I mean, the devil can carry a germ to you the common cold. You know what I’m saying? But yet you can still take medicine for the cold to get better.

Jeffrey: What about certain statements in the Bible? Like you said that Jesus said the mustard seed was the smallest seed but we now know that the orchid is a small seed and the…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, let’s take them one at a time. When Christ said, “The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds,” He was speaking in, you know, a language people then could understand. He meant by comparison to, you know, the other seeds that they worked with on a daily basis, the mustard seed was the smallest. It didn’t mean it was the smallest seed in the world. He was speaking in general terms for His audience. But what He said was practical. I mean, if someone is going to start dissecting the Bible like that and say, “No, actually we’ve found spores that are smaller, and Jesus should have said there are these microscopic spores, people, but you don’t have microscopes yet, but they are the smallest seeds”--wouldn’t have made any sense to them, right?

Jeffrey: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So Christ was talking about what they knew back then.

Jeffrey: What about like geocentricism? And I know Martin Luther said the Bible taught geocentricism, but we now know that through the Galileo affair that the sun is the center of the universe.

Pastor Doug: Well, I don’t know that the Bible taught geocentricism. We still say today “When the sun comes up,” right? Does that mean we don’t understand that the earth actually goes around the sun? From our perspective, we all speak, you know, “Hey the sun comes up and when the sun goes down,” we still say that today in the 21st century. So, because you’ll find references like that in the Bible, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t understand that the earth went around the sun. I don’t know any statement in the Bible that says that the sun goes around the earth. There is no statement, I can tell you.

Jeffrey: Okay. Do you have any study guides that might help with the…

Pastor Doug: I do. I’ve got something. I’m glad you asked that. There is a book that, I think, is perfect for you, Jeffrey. It’s called When Evolution Flunked the Science Test. It goes through and shows that the Bible is a scientific book. It’s called When Evolution Flunked the Science Test. We’ll send you a free copy if you simply call the toll free number 800-835-6747, and we’ll send that out to you right away. Next we’re going to talk with--who is next? Let me look here. Tina, calling from Visalia, California, on KARM. Welcome, Tina, you’re on the air.

Tina: Hi, good evening, Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Tina: I love your program. My question is basically, I surrendered to God when I was eighty years old. I believe in Him, I believe that Jesus is my Savior. I know He takes care of me each and every day. However, as we know we’re all sinners and I have a sin of smoking that I have tried everything to give up. And I just have not been able to. I’ve, you know, quit for a short period of time and I’ve gone back to it. A lot of it, I know, has to do with worldly stuff as anxiety and depression and things like that. But where is it in the Bible that shows how to truly surrender? I know, because that’s what I have to do. I have to surrender that to Christ in order for Him to take hold of it and just get rid of it.

Pastor Doug: Well, there is a book I’d like to send you--and then I’ll talk to you about smoking and it’s called The Surrender of Self. It sounds like exactly what you’re asking for. The Surrender of Self. And you can call the number we’ve been giving out, 800-835-6747 and tell them that you’re asking for the book just listening to Amazing Facts Bible Answers Live, and you’d like to get a free copy of the book The Surrender of Self.

But first of all, let me just tell you that I struggled with smoking, I can relate. I quit several times before I quit for good. And by God’s grace, now it’s been over thirty years since I smoked, haven’t picked one up. But let me tell you, Tina, you’ve got to quit. And the reason I’m saying that is, I’ve got a dear friend that just had a funeral and this person struggled with smoking. And they said, “Well, you know, it’s just not that important.” And they kind of gave up trying to quit. And a couple of years later, it took him. And then I know people who did quit and they say that when you do quit, for every year that you quit you’re adding years back, your lungs will start to heal and repair. The human body is amazing, but you’ve got to do it. First of all, you weren’t born smoking.

Tina: No…

Pastor Doug: At some point…

Tina: …but I started when I was eleven. I’ve been smoking for a very long time.

Pastor Doug: You’ve got to unlearn. My dad started smoking, like, nine. He smoked fifty years and he quit. And he was smoke-free for the last ten or fifteen years of his life. You can do it. My grandfather smoked fifty years, he quit, he lived to ninety-three. You can do it. And don’t get discouraged because you get tempted and you get weak. Keep praying, and keep--you know, the Bible says that Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene, and the first time I read that I thought that meant all at one time He cast out seven devils. And I read a commentary that says, “No, seven times she fell back into the same old pattern.” Matter of fact there’s a Scripture in Proverbs, it says, “A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.” Don’t get discouraged, get back up again, try again, pray, ask your friends to pray.

You know, we even have some material at Amazing Facts that can help you get more information on how you can quit, and if you call the Amazing Facts office, there is somebody there by the name of Susan, if you call during working hours--she struggled too, and she’ll tell you how you can get the victory. Just call Susan at our office. If you call the Amazing Facts number Monday through Friday. And also you can check some of the health material that Amazing Facts has. At our website, we’ve got things that’ll tell you about how to get the victory. But you can do it. Can I pray with you right now, Tina?

Tina: Please do.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Father in heaven, I just want to add my prayer to others that are offered, and we’d like to invite those who are listening to join in praying on behalf of Tina. And I know that she’s got friends out there like her that are struggling with an addiction, whether it’s smoking or something else, and they keep falling back into the same pattern. Help her to have victory, know that she can be free of it forever. And so just bless her and give her grace and I pray even right now she’ll experience the courage to try again. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Tina: Amen.

Pastor Doug: You can do it, yes you can.

Tina: The 835 number, what was the last four?

Pastor Doug: 835-6747 will take you to the free resource we mentioned, talking about The Surrender of Self by Joe Crews; we’ll send that to you. Alright, thank you very much, Tina. We’re going to see if we can get one more call in, talking next to is Turina, on the internet from Torrance, California. Welcome, Turina, you’re on the air.

Turina: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening. And your question? We’ve only got about four minutes before our break.

Turina: Okay. I was calling about the great white throne judgment.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Turina: And lately I’ve heard two different ministers say that eventually everyone is going to get into the kingdom and that concerned me when I heard that and it’s not (Unintelligible) with your ministry at all, it’s two other ministers that I was--you know, I followed them for a while. And I guess a replacement on the fact that at the time of the second resurrection takes place that the books will be opened, and then the Scriptures in Revelation also says that the Book of Life would also be opened. And they were saying there are many people who have been sitting under, maybe, false ministers or going to church that they aren’t teaching the truth or people that have a belief in maybe voodoo or different type of--under different type of ministry that those people aren’t actually exposed to the truth of the Jesus. And that’s the Second Resurrection, they would actually be ministered to at that time and that would give them an opportunity to...

Pastor Doug: No, sorry. “It’s appointed unto man once to die, after that the judgment.” We do not get saved after death. There’s a few churches that teach that. You think about how dangerous that is. That’s like telling someone you can get on the plane after it leaves the airport. No, once it leaves the airport, you’re not getting on. And when we die, that hope--the Bible says in Proverbs--Solomon says, actually it’s Ecclesiastes, “A living dog is better than a dead lion because where there’s life there’s hope.” You’ve heard that expression?

Turina: Yes.

Pastor Doug: When a person dies, they then take to the grave their record with them. When they are resurrected, that’s the great white throne judgment, and they are judged and rewarded according to what’s in the book. Not according to how they respond when angels or Jesus preaches to them in heaven. This is the life where we make the decision for our eternity, and the devil would love for people to think “I don’t have to take it seriously now because I’ll get preached to later.”

Turina: What about those-- I’m sorry, go ahead.

Pastor Doug: Well, I was going to also say, in Hosea, the Book of Hosea chapter 4, there the prophet says, “My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” So people have a responsibility in this life to find the truth. They can’t just go to any old church and say, “Well, we’ll all be saved eventually even if I’m sitting under a false ministry.”

Turina: Okay.

Pastor Doug: We do have a responsibility. Jesus said, “Seek and you’ll find, knock and it’ll be opened, ask and you’ll receive,” we need to make an effort. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will search for me and you’ll find me when you search for me with all your heart.” There needs to be a real urgency in that search. So, Turina, yeah, this is the life where we are going to make that decision and it’s so important that people find the truth. By the way there’s a study guide that I’ll offer you or anyone else listening. It’s called Search for the True Church. If you call Amazing Facts, the resource number 800-835-6747, and ask for the booklet Search for the True Church, helps you use Bible criteria to discern the between genuine and some of these counterfeit ministries that are out there.

We’re going to take a break in just a moment, but before we do, I also want to remind our friends about some of the Amazing Facts websites. There’s a lot of places that you can go to where you can get a special series of Bible studies and I’d like to recommend Bibleuniverse.com. You just type it in like it sounds, Bibleunverse.com, you’ll find a whole series of Bible studies in multiple languages. We’ll be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Hello friends, thanks for standing by. And if you’ve joined us somewhere along the way, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live. It’s a live, international, interactive Bible study and we’re delighted that you joined us. If you have a Bible question, you can call our toll free number 800-GOD-SAYS, and we have a couple of lines open to take your Bible question. Going to go back to the phones now and talk with Donna, who’s calling from Detroit, Michigan, listening on WMUZ. Welcome, Donna, you’re on the air.

Donna: Oh hello, how are you? Praise the Lord.

Pastor Doug: Very well. How can we help you tonight?

Donna: Oh, I’ve got two short questions. One, I was reading in the Bible “when you speak in tongues,” I notice--I’m coming from one faith, and I’m new to Seventh-day Adventists. I’m trying to get an understanding, is there someone supposed to be in the room to interpret what you are saying when you speak in tongues?

Pastor Doug: No, the gift of tongues Biblically, there are a couple of different views out there in the Christian world. One view is that people will pray and this is ecstatic language. The other view is the purpose for the gift of tongues is to preach or teach in another language. Some people receive that gift miraculously as they did in Pentecost. When Peter and the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit of Pentecost, they began to preach and teach about Jesus in the languages of these visiting Jews from other countries. And Paul, in First Corinthians 14 says if someone is preaching or praying in an unknown tongue, meaning a language that those in the room don’t know, someone should translate.

And I think that’s what you’re saying, is that--you know, I’ve been to other countries where I’ll preach in English and I might have up to two translators on the platform with me that are then translating what I say in French and maybe another language. So, you know, there’s a book on tongues I’ll send you. And it’s called Understanding Tongues. The name of the book is Understanding Tongues. I believe in the gift of tongues, I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit, I believe this gift has been misunderstood, as you probably know, different preachers have some very strange understandings about what tongues means and how to use it. But if you’d like, Donna, we’ll send you a free copy of that. But you said you had a second question.

Donna: My second question is, when you-- like I said, I came from another denomination to Seventh-Day Adventist, where is it in the Bible--I had a preacher tell me it was an apostasy for me to leave one denomination and join Seventh-Day Adventists and I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Can you help me? I thought it was…

Pastor Doug: Well, the word apostasy comes from a Greek word meaning “to stand away from.” And there’s nothing in the Bible that says that it’s an apostasy to leave one denomination and join another denomination. It’s an apostasy if you stand away from Christ or the truth. So if you leave one church some pastor might say, “This is apostasy” because you’re leaving the truth, but if you’re coming to a church where the truth is, well, it’s not apostasy.

So, you know, people might call it that, but there is no Scripture in the Bible that accuses someone of apostasy because you’re going from one church to another church. And you would also enjoy that study we mentioned earlier called “Search for the True Church.” So there’s two that you might want to ask for when you call 800-835-6747. That one book, Donna, is Understanding Tongues, and the other is called--it’s a lesson--what Bible criteria do you use searching for the true church. We’ll be happy to send it to you. Appreciate your call. Going to o on to our line number 9, talking with Jane, calling from Searles, California, listening on KADV. Welcome, Jane, you’re on the air.

Jane: Thank you, Pastor. How are you tonight?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

Jane: Good. In Revelation 9:6…

Pastor Doug: Okay. I’m there.

Jane: The Scriptures--okay--it says, “In those days, men will seek death and will not find it. They will desire to die and death will flee from them.” Is that something that’s actually going to happen or is that something in symbols?

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that some prophecies have what you call a dual application. There is a historic application--a literal historic application--and then there might be also a future spiritual application. When the wicked are resurrected at the end of the one thousand years and they’re judged, they probably wish they could commit suicide, but they’ll not be able to. Every man is going to be rewarded according to his works. And you know, even today, some people think, “You know, my life’s difficult,” or maybe, “I’m in physical pain, so I’m going to kill myself so I won’t feel pain any more.”

Well, you know, that’s really not a smart thing to do because if the last act of a person’s life is self murder--it’s what suicide is, breaking one of God’s commandments--they’re probably not going to be saved. And the next conscious thought they have is being resurrected in a lost condition, being judged and punished for their sins. That’s not an improvement of circumstances, see what I’m saying?

Jane: Right.

Pastor Doug: But there is even a time in history, during the dark ages, in Revelation 9 it’s talking about some of the trumpets that blew and these plagues that went against the church. And the wave of the Ottoman Empire and the onslaught of Islam it really plagued Christianity. And there were many that were wishing for death and it did not come. They were wishing for any kind of relief because they were being decimated by the persecution from Islam that had swept through Europe during this time. And so there’s a historic application. I don’t have time to go into all of Revelation 9, but then there’s also a future example. When the wicked are resurrected, they won’t be able to kill themselves before the judge, will they?

Jane: No.

Pastor Doug: There you have it. Seeking death and can’t find it.

Jane: Okay. Well thank you very much, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you. Appreciate that, Jane. Talking next to Linda in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Linda is calling on WITA. Welcome, Linda, you’re on the air.

Linda: Hi.

Pastor Doug: How are you doing?

Linda: I’m doing good.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Linda: My concern was about cousins or first cousins, where’s it in the Bible where it’s okay for first cousins to marry or to date?

Pastor Doug: Let me just give you a quick history on this. In the very beginning, with Adam and Eve--Adam and Eve really had the same parents, didn’t they--God.

Linda: Okay, God made them both.

Pastor Doug: So what I’m getting at is you could even argue Adam married his sister. She came out from his rib, so I don’t know what you’d call that. But anyway, then when Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters--you read that in Genesis 5--in the early stages of history, when man’s blood line and his genes were perfect and full of vitality and no defects, Cain married his sister; Abel and Seth, they married sisters. When you get down to the time of Abraham, Abraham married Sarah who was his half-sister. Jacob married his cousin, Isaac married his cousin.

Linda: And all this happened before the law, right?

Pastor Doug: Exactly. By the time of Moses, it was being discouraged, of course, to marry a sister …. it says, “You’re not to look on the nakedness of your sister” and so forth. And that was another way of saying that. And of course, we know today that there’s higher probability of genetic problems when there is incest, you know, if you marry too close to the tree. So it could be perfectly fine for cousins to marry. You know, the law’s actually vary…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, like the first cousin? Because that’s supposedly blood.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me share with you that--and I’m saying this now hesitatingly because I’m not an expert--but I believe that the different states, even in the United States have variations in their laws regarding marrying of kin. Some do not allow the marriage of a first cousin, others do. The probability of defects…

Linda: But what does the Bible say?

Pastor Doug: The Bible doesn’t address it. Once you get to Moses where it says “You’re not to look on the nakedness of your sister,” it just lays on a law that you’re not to marry a sibling. But you do have examples in the Bible of cousins marrying and there is no commandment I can tell you pre-assertively in the Bible where it says “Thou shall not marry thy cousin.” Now I don’t recommend it.

Linda: I’ve read that in Leviticus, where it talks about, you know, different people in your family which you’re supposed to stay away from and all that.But then I notice that didn’t say anything about, you know, your sister’s child, you know. I’m like, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, they pretty well understood genetics back then because for one thing, they did a lot of-- they were shepherds and they did a lot of cattle breeding. They understood that if they did not mix up their flock a little bit, they had genetic defects and they understood that also played out in humanity. So it’s never very smart to marry too close…

Linda: Too close to the tree. It makes sense.

Pastor Doug: Yeah exactly. So, you know, it’s been done without any problems.

Linda: Is there place in the Word of God for a man to be a deacon in the church and not be married?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you know, I don’t believe that there’s really an admonition against that. When Paul talks about deacons and elders being the husband of one wife, it was not a requirement that they had a wife. It was required that they not have multiple wives. And so when it says they’re to have one wife, it doesn’t mean that--you know, if someone’s forty and if they never married, but they’re a good Christian, you can’t say “Well, you can’t be a deacon because you never found a wife.” So I don’t believe there’s any admonition against that in the Bible and I think it’s safe as long as they meet the other criteria--being good Christians and they don’t have multiple wives, that shouldn’t be a problem. Hey, appreciate your question. We’re going to keep moving here and talk next with Marsha, who has been waiting patiently on wmuz. Welcome, Marsha, you’re on the air.

Marsha: Oh yes, good evening, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Marsha: Doug and Pastor Ross, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

Marsha: Good, good. Thank you for having me on the show and I love your show. And the question I want to ask tonight is one of my tenants wants to know when is Jesus coming back?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, Jesus gives us some signs so we can know when His coming is near, but no man knows the day or the hour. And some of the signs Jesus gives--there’s actually many signs so I can’t cover them all--He talks about of course, there being earthquakes and wars and rumors of war. We’ve always had that but when they start coming in closer proximity and they start happening with greater intensity and with greater frequency--I mean, just in the last few years there have been some earthquakes that have taken just thousands of lives. The tsunami that went through South East Asia, 250,000 people was certainly something people noticed. So you’ve got natural disasters.

I believe that some of the signs have also to do with the culture, morality. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Lot and Noah,” where there was depravity, the land was filled with violence, there’s immorality, rampant homosexuality clamoring for recognition as a normal lifestyle--I mean, that to me is another sign of the times--He said “As it was in the days of Sodom.” So that’s another example. And then, of course, for me, in Mathew 24:14, Jesus said, “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; then the end will come.” And now, through the miracle of even what’s happening right now, the radio frequency, this broadcast is going through the internet all over the world, it’s bouncing off satellites from California all across three hundred stations in North America.

And Amazing Facts is doing television programming that is going around the world by satellite and CD and the internet, printed page. There’s probably even a few videotapes, cassette tapes. So the gospel is going all around the world now and that’s one reason I think Jesus is coming very soon, Marsha. You know, there’s a book we can send you and it’s called Anything but Secret. It deals with the eminence of Jesus coming. Anything but Secret. If you ask for that we’ll be happy to send it to you. Also Amazing Facts has a study guide that talks about Rescue from Above. Rescue from Above actually outlines some of the signs of Jesus coming and if you call for that-- I said that wrong, it’s called The Ultimate Deliverance, that’s the one on the second coming, Marsha.

The Ultimate Deliverance has some of the signs itemized there and their fulfilment that tell us when Jesus’ coming is close. Anybody listening, if you’d like this beautiful four-colored lesson with pictures and Amazing Facts talking about signs of Jesus’ second coming, call 1-800-835-6747, it’s called The Ultimate Deliverance, ask for that, they’ll send it to you. And thank you for your question, Marsha. Going to talk next with Wanda, listening on line 3. Wanda, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live and you’re calling on WMCA, right?

Wanda: That’s me.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Wanda: Hi, how are you first?

Pastor Doug: Very well tonight, thank you.

Wanda: I’m glad to hear that. As you know the economy is going down and people are losing jobs all over the place. And so I was listening to a short sermon today and they said that it can be found in Luke 21--I guess, 11? And it talks about earthquakes and about various things happening, plagues and famines. Does that have anything to do with what we’re experiencing now?

Pastor Doug: Well, as I said in the former question, you know, these natural disasters and plagues and things are all signs of the times and there’ll be more. You know, they talked a couple of years ago, they admitted that if we have a flu epidemic, like they had in 1918, it could take out millions in the world, a pandemic, and they were worried about this bird flu. Those things were probably going to happen before the end. Your question more specifically is about the financial crisis that we’ve got right now.

Wanda: Yes, financial. Is there somewhere in the Bible that talks about that or…

Pastor Doug: Yes and no. Let me tell you why. I don’t think that a financial crisis is what happens just before Jesus returns. I think a financial crisis is something that prepares the way for the end. Because Jesus said just before He comes back, it will be as it was in the days of Noah, they were planting and building, eating and drinking, marrying. In other words, life was going on and civilization seemed to be booming. He said as it was in the days of Sodom and Lot. Well, you know, the community was very busy. Everything was going great. And it came upon them as a surprise. But what is happening is the loss of our freedoms from this economic disaster--I just was reading the news this morning about how the European banks are saying the governments need to take over the banks.And what that does then is it sets the governments of the world up for a very easy mechanism to control who can buy and who can sell, which is what Revelation says they’ll use to implement the beast. So this financial disaster is being used by the governments of the world to consolidate power to control the economies of the world in buying and selling. So, yes, it is a sign of the end, but economic catastrophe is not what happens just before Jesus comes back, or I should say, just before probation closes. Obviously when the seven last plagues are falling there is going to be an economic catastrophe.

Wanda: Now, is there anything--I mean, this kind of changes--is there anything that you have in an article that would help those that are depressed during, you know, times that they’re going to lose their jobs, that they know they’re going to lose their jobs, or…

Pastor Doug: Let me think about that. Yeah, you know what? I’d like to encourage you to read the lesson I mentioned a second ago, Rescue from Above. It talks about how God can intervene to save and to help you in miraculous ways. It’s actually got a beautiful picture on the cover of people--looks like the sharks are about to get them and a helicopter is plucking them out of the water. If you’d like a free copy of that, we’ll be happy to send it to you, Wanda.

Wanda: Sure.

Pastor Doug: It talks about the love of God and how He’ll take care of you. It sounds like what you’re looking for, a little encouragement.

Wanda: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Call that number 800-835-6747 and ask for Rescue from Above. And with that we’re going to talk to Irene, who is listening on KLRF, from College Place, Washington. Irene--oh, wait a second here--Irene, there you are. You’re on the air.

Irene: Okay. Good evening, Pastor. How are you?

Pastor Doug: I’m fine. And your question tonight?

Irene: Okay. Actually, I want to put in these two questions (Unintelligible) two questions and perhaps you can provide me the book specifically dealing with that topic. The first (Unintelligible)…

Pastor Doug: You know, Irene, your phone is cutting out and I’m having problems hearing you.

Irene: Alright, now is it okay?

Pastor Doug: Well, are you on the cordless phone?

Irene: No, I’m on the cell phone. It’s now better?

Pastor Doug: You know what? I think you’re going to have to call back, Irene, because we’re only getting every other word and it’s difficult to hear. I apologize you’ve been waiting for a while. Try us one more time and with that, I’m going to go to--I think I almost took Dennis a minute ago. Dennis, this is really mean, you’re on the air, calling from College Place, Washington. You’re there, Dennis?

Dennis: Yes, I am.

Pastor Doug: Hi. And your question tonight?

Dennis: Okay, I just had a--it’s something that concerned me and it has to with the Trinity doctrine that says that Jesus is--or all three members of the Trinity, or co-equal and co-eternal.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Dennis: But the testimony-- Jesus in the gospel of John, He says, “My Father is greater than I;” I’m just wondering if you could comment on that.

Pastor Doug: Well, when you think about God--first of all whenever I venture to answer a question about God I like to issue a disclaimer that His ways are higher than our ways as the stars are above the earth. So, you know, it’s always very dangerous for man to say, “I’m going to explain God to you.” But from what’s revealed in the Word, it tells us that God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, are all omnipotent, omniscient; God is all-knowing, He is self-existent. But at the same time, you’re right. Jesus does demonstrate, He does articulate that there is a variation of authority between the Father, and the Son, and even the Spirit.

It appears from the Scriptures that the ultimate authority is with the Father. He’s always mentioned first. It doesn’t say the Son gave Himself. It says the Father gave the Son. And so the one who owns is the one who gives, you see what I’m saying? So it seems like there is a supreme authority with the Father, that Christ recognizes that. You know, it’s something like in a marriage, a husband and a wife can be of equal intelligence; they can have equal health; they have equal value and respect and laws; but in the Christian family, it identifies that the man should be the patriarchal leader. And so while there’s an equality there’s still a difference in authority. You see what I’m saying?

Dennis: Sure. If I could say something real quick, I think I’m tagging on to what you’re saying there about the authority thing, is that what you think Jesus is saying when He says, “My Father is greater than I,” in an authoritative sense?

Pastor Doug: He’s recognizing that the Father is the supreme authority.

Dennis: Okay. Okay, thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, and by the way, I’ve got a little booklet on that where I address that. It’s one I wrote and it’s called The Trinity: Is it Biblical? And we’ll send you a free copy of that. It’s 1-800-935-6747. Call there, Dennis, and ask for The Trinity: Is it Biblical? Talking next with Karen, who is calling from Jackson, Tennessee, listening on WDNX. Karen, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Karen: Well, thank you, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Karen: My question is about remarriage after divorce and specifically text of Exodus 21:7-11.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Karen: We have a situation in our church now where our church school teacher and head deacon, who are both divorced, are entering into a relationship. The school teacher has freely admitted that her ex-husband has never committed adultery and from my study of Scripture, that is the only reason for remarriage. But this text is being used…

Pastor Doug: Alright, let me read this. Exodus 21:7, “And if a man”-- we’ve got a lot of folks driving down the road that don’t know what that text says…

Karen: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: “And if a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as menservants do.” “If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.” Now, of course, first of all, Jesus makes a sweeping statement that really preempts this. Jesus said, “Moses told you that if a man is unhappy with his wife, he should write her a bill of divorcement, but I say unto you, because of the hardness of your hearts, he wrote you this law.” And so right away we understand that these provisions were made because of the hardness of their hearts.

And so if we’re going to be Christians and live under the law of Jesus, Christ said there is no justifiable cause for divorce and remarriage other than fornication or unfaithfulness. So, you know, that hasn’t changed and so if a person is jumping by Jesus’ words to go back to Moses, well, they’re missing something. You see what I’m saying?

Karen: Yes. Seems like that to me. But our pastor is using this text to support their relationship.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, I’m not here to undermine a pastor…

Karen: No.

Pastor Doug: …but we actually have a study guide that talks about marriage and these principles, and it’s called Keys to a Happy Marriage. We could send that to you. Not that you need it but you might want some of the references that are in there, Karen. I’m going to try and take one more phone call. Oh, Shaun has been waiting patiently. We’re running short on time. Shaun, calling from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and your question?

Shaun: Yes, I understand there’s often-- or I guess as I’ve learnt recently, somehow the immortal soul--I understand that goes around a lot now. I understand that they’re saying it is not true, it’s not real, it’s a myth, and that people, you know-- but the only thing is how do you explain the Scripture that Paul says though with, you know, to be absent from the body means you are present with the Lord?

Pastor Doug: Alright, let’s start with what you asked about the immortal soul.

Shaun: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: There is no verse anywhere in the Bible that refers to an immortal soul. Immortal means you can’t die. The Bible does say the only one who has immortality is God. In 1 Timothy 6:16, speaking of God, the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, who only has immortality. When Jesus comes, 1 Corinthians 15--Paul says, “Then this mortal will put on immortality.” So when Christ comes and we get our glorified bodies, then we get an immortal body. Right now our bodies die. And then again, in Ezekiel chapter 18, it says, “The soul that sins will die,” so it’s not like we have an immortal soul either.

Shaun: Yeah, and that…

Pastor Doug: So when Paul says “To be absent from the body”---I don’t want to cut you off but I was trying to answer your second question before we run out of time.

Shaun: Yes.

Pastor Doug: When Paul says “To be absent from the body,” it is absolutely true that when a Christian dies and they are no longer experiencing life in this physical body, their next conscious thought is the resurrection in a new glorified body and being in the presence of the Lord. No time passes for them. It is the next thought that they have, is experienced that. And by the way, that’s in First Corinthians--I take that back--First Thessalonians chapter 4, when it says that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the Archangel, the trump of God and then the dead in Christ will rise.” When the Lord descends, then they rise. They’re not rising and floating around before the Lord comes.

We’ve got a study guide on that we’ll send you, Shaun. It’s called Are the Dead Really Dead? Call the toll free number 835-6747 and ask for that free study guide Are the Dead Really Dead? It’s got all the verses in there. Anyone out there, if you’ve got that question, call that toll free number. And don’t forget to make sure and check out the Amazing Facts website. We’d like to hear from you. There’s so many of you that listen. If the program’s been a blessing to you, just jot us a line and let us know. You can send us a free letter on the internet. Just go to amazingfacts.org, amazingfacts.org, “Contact Us,” and we’d love to hear from you. God bless until next week friends.

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