SETI

SETI

Date: 03/15/2009 
Hidden nestled among the jungle, mountains of Puerto Rico, is a giant sentinel, an aluminum ear one thousand feet across. Located ten miles south of the coastal city of Arecibo, this enormous space-age parabolic dish is aimed into the sky, listening.

Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews

Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? Hidden nestled among the jungle, mountains of Puerto Rico, is a giant sentinel, an aluminum ear one thousand feet across. Located ten miles south of the coastal city of Arecibo, this enormous space-age parabolic dish is aimed into the sky, listening. Built in 1963 by Cornell University at a cost of nine million dollars, the Arecibo Observatory dish is the largest curve focusing antenna on earth. It also has the largest electromagnetic-wave gathering capacity. The colossal collecting bowl was constructed inside a natural crater left by a huge sinkhole. The dish surface is made of forty thousand perforated aluminum panels, each measuring about three feet by six feet supported by a mesh of steel cables. The vast antenna surface covers eighteen acres or the same as twenty-six football fields. Operated by the National Science Foundation, the facility requires a full-time staff of a hundred and forty, most of them are technicians and engineers and nearly thirty of the astronomers are from all over the world.

When the huge telescope switches to radar mode, it beams out a power signal of one million watts towards planets, moon, asteroids and comets. The faint echo of the signal bouncing off the astronomical targets is collected by the huge dish and then amplified, allowing scientists to create scanner like images and maps of the object. One of the other primary goals of this tremendous radio telescope is SETI. SETI is an acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. For over forty-five years, astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory have used the world’s largest radio telescope to study the radio signals emanating from the cosmos. While listening to the strange songs, buried in the hearts of distant stars and quasars, they’re also listening and analyzing every signal for signs of intelligent life. Yet in nearly half a century of listening, SETI has not identified a single radio signal that seems to come from extra-terrestrial intelligence. Perhaps they’re missing the forest because the trees are in the way. 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: We want to welcome you, friends, to Bible answers Live. This is a live, international, interactive Bible study. And I’d like to believe that either by choice or providence, you’re listening right now. If you have a Bible question you are invited to give us a call. It’s a toll free number here in North America. That’s 800-GOD-SAYS. If you have a Bible question now is a good time to pick up the phone, 800-463-7297. And for the next fifty-eight minutes or so we’re going to be doing our best to answer your Bible questions. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends. Good evening, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Evening Jean.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let’s start with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for this opportunity to study your word. We ask your special blessing upon this program. Give us wisdom as we open the Scriptures and be with those who are listening. For this we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you spoke about this massive satellite dish that is listening for intelligent life out there in space. Now they have been at it for over forty years, they haven’t found anything. Do you think they’re going to find something?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don’t know that they’re going to find anything listening for radio frequencies. There’s no question in my mind that there is intelligent life out there. Because, first of all, we know that the Bible tells us that God has angels that are in heaven. This world is not the only world that the Lord has made. You can read in Hebrews chapter 1; verse 2, “God has in His last days, spoken to us by His son, whom He has appointed heir of all things. By whom He also made the worlds.” And then, of course, there’s that story repeated at least twice in the Book of Job where there’s a heavenly meeting of the sons of God, and God asks Satan, “Where did you come from?” He says, “I came from the earth.” So there’s a meeting that is not terrestrial, meaning, not on earth. And you’ve got extra-terrestrials, these angels are sons of God, they could be leaders of other worlds that are meeting with the Lord.

And so there’s no question in my mind that God has other creatures out there. Matter of fact I just presented a message on this subject yesterday dealing with, is there life on other planets? And I don’t believe that humans are the only creatures God has made through the endless ages. This world though, is probably the only one that rebelled and Jesus, like the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep that are safe in the fold, He left the universe, the unfallen worlds and He came to save this one lost sheep, this world that had one. And, you know, Jesus said it’s not the well who need a physician but the sick. And the unfallen angels and other creatures that God may have, they don’t need the physician. This world is, we’ve got a pandemic of sin down here. So the Lord came down as a great physician to save us. But there’s Scriptures actually in several places in the Bible that talk about messages from outer space.

And I think about Revelation 14; verse 6, “Just before Jesus comes;” matter of fact you’ll read a little later in Revelation 14, after these messages go out, it says that “Jesus appears coming in the clouds,” and so it says in Revelation 14; 6, “then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue and people.” There’s a series of messages given there. Then you go to Revelation 18, “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven.” And many times in the Bible we are getting messages from heaven. And maybe our listeners would like to know more about specifically these angel messages that Revelation says, “Must come to earth before the second coming of Jesus.” We have a free offer that would help them understand that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s an Amazing Facts study guide and it’s entitled, “Angel Messages from Space.” It’s free. Call our resource line 1-800-835-6747. That number again is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide on the “Three Angels’ Messages” or “Angel Messages from Space,” and we’ll be happy to send that out.

Pastor Doug: Now before we go to the phones I just wanted to remind our friends they may have noticed that last week we had a rebroadcast program. You were in Nepal.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Iwas.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so tell us just a moment what were you doing over there?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We were doing some training there.

Pastor Doug: Vacationing and...

Pastor Jëan Ross: No we weren’t vacationing. We were working. They have just little bit of background. About a year and a half ago it was illegal to baptize someone into Christianity in Nepal. And so there wasn’t much Christian activity there but about a year and half ago the government changed and they have allowed freedom of religion. And so there’s a tremendous need for training and resources right now in Nepal and so that’s what I was doing there. And I spent nine days training Bible workers, about a hundred Bible workers trained that’ll be going out to the villages and the towns of Nepal, sharing the gospel.

Pastor Doug: That’s exciting. I bet you’re glad to be back home though.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I am.

Pastor Doug: So it’s nice to be home.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s a long way away but we did enjoy it.

Pastor Doug: Alright, are we ready for the phones then?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our first caller is Yovanna, and she is calling from Memphis, Tennessee. Yovanna welcome to the program.

Yovanna: Hi, how are you doing?

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

Yovanna: Well, I’m just wanting to start to study God’s words for myself and I’m kind of caught up on what version, I guess is best to study with.

Pastor Doug: Do you already own a Bible?

Yovanna: Yes, I own a...

Pastor Doug: Probably a couple...

Yovanna: King James’ version.

Pastor Doug: Okay. And that is certainly one of the classic versions of the Bible but the English, of course, is a little archaic in the King James. Believe it or not the King James’ version that you read is still an upgraded English version. The original English version would be very difficult for either of us to read. But, you know, there’s several good versions or translations out there. You want to stick with the translation as opposed to something called the paraphrase. A paraphrase is when any Christian wants to just take, maybe, the King James or the English translation and put it in their own words. They aren’t necessarily accurate for study. They might be enjoyable reading and informative but when you’re really studying you want something that’s pretty true to the original words in the Greek and the Hebrew. King James, of course, is great. The new King James, the New American Standard version is wonderful. I think there’s even a new revised standard version. Now this is my opinion, those would be some of my top picks. You have something you want to add to that, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know...

Yovanna: I guess with every kind of like the NASB I guess or yeah, New American Standard version, I’ve heard of that one.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the NA, the New American Standard version is I think a pretty good, a pretty safe translation. I preach from the New King James version because it’s still got the beauty of the English poetry, you find in the King James but some of the words have been modernized, that we use today. You know, there is a free booklet. We’ll be happy to send you on that and it’s called “The Faithful Witness.” It talks about Bible translation a little bit. And so if you just call our resource number, Yovanna, we’ll send you a free copy of “The Faithful Witness.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and again, the book is called “The Faithful Witness.” And we will be happy to send that out to you. You know, Pastor Doug, talking about different translations for studying the Bible, I know, you use this as well as I do, there are a number of outstanding Bible software programs that...

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: ...one could look at and that actually gives you the original translation from the Hebrew or the Greek. And one in particular is free because have it online.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well I don’t think the authors would mind our sharing their website, it’s called e-Sword. And we are not doing any advertising. We don’t get any royalties. But we’re just letting you know it’s a useful program, e-Sword.net and you can download free software there. They’ve got other versions that do have some cost connected to them because they’re copyright but you can get just about any modern version, plus the old versions of the Bible, the Greek, the Hebrew, the old commentaries and I frequently use that program.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Very helpful when studying a specific verse or...

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: ...theme in Scripture. Our next caller is Bridgette listening on the internet from Chesapeake, Virginia. Bridgette, welcome to the program.

Bridgette: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

Bridgette: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes, we’re here and you’re on. And your question?

Bridgette: My question has to do with 2nd Corinthians 4:3.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Bridgette: The God of this world, meaning, Satan, blinding people eyes so they’re not able to see the true gospel world, you know, Jesus, the light.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Bridgette: And I was wondering, you know, I know Jesus speak of repetitive praying the same thing over and over. And I’m always praying this particular one over my children. And I was wondering, do God hear that prayer because I’m repetitive with it?

Pastor Doug: No, that’s a good question but there are really two questions here, Bridgette. Let me see if I could...

Bridgette: I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: ...bifurcate them. Oh, it’s alright. First question about the God of this world blinding the eyes, the Lord came into the world bringing great light. But if people reject the light, Jesus tells us--I think this is John chapter 1--“They’ll walk in darkness and then the devil has the ability to blind them.” There’s also the passage that says that, “If we receive not a love of the truth, God will allow the devil to send strong delusion that we would believe a lie.” And you might look that one up.

Bridgette: Oh.

Pastor Jëan Ross: 2nd Thessalonians 2.

Pastor Doug: That’s 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2. So some people, because they’ve rejected the truth, God has withdrawn His protection and then Satan brings them a lie and they’re very sincere, they believe a lie but they’ve been blinded by the God of this world because they do not receive a love of the truth. Now on your second question about, is it praying in vain repetition? Well, let me tell you, I’m guilty of that too because I pray for my kids everyday and probably several times a day. And I see God answering those prayers. So, you know, when the Bible says don’t pray in vain repetition, I think the Lord is saying, you know, don’t sit down as the heathen do and sometimes they would repeat just right in one sitting over and over the same thing.

When Elijah had a showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, the prophets of Baal said the same thing all day long, “Oh, Baal hear us, Oh, Baal hear us.” But when Elijah knelt down to pray, he prayed a thirty second intelligible prayer from the heart and fire came down from heaven. I mean God answered that prayer. So God doesn’t want us to pray these repetitive prayers and I personally--it’s okay to have some repetition in a song but some of these praise songs just say the same thing over and over again and it’s almost like Eastern hypnotic chants. And I think we need to guard against that.

Bridgette: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But to pray the same thing, I think, it’s okay to pray every day for your children or maybe several times a day.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think emphasis there is vain repetition, it’s not that we can’t repeat a request especially if it’s heartfelt. But if we don’t really have faith or believe in God and we’re just repeating something to sort of win His favor, well that would be vain repetition.

Pastor Doug: Or to think that God’s going to give us credit because we just keep echoing the same chant. You know, God knows what we need before we ask. It’s sort of an insult for us to think He’s deaf and we got to keep saying it. You know, it’s a good question a lot of people wonder about that, Bridgette, and we’ve got a book, we’ll be happy to send you a free copy if you call the number, it’s called “Teach Us to Pray.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. And the book “Teach Us to Pray.” And we’ll be happy to send that out to anyone who would call the number. Our next caller is Donna and she is listening in WMUZ from Detroit. Donna, welcome to the program.

Donna: Praise the Lord. How are you doing?

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

Donna: I got a question, Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes, you’re on.

Donna: Okay. My question is this. I understand women can hold positions in the church in administering the gospel. But here’s my question. My question is, are women allowed to hold positions such as bishops, pastors, co-pastors, apostles, so forth and so on because when I’m reading the Bible it tells me what a bishop is and it tells me the usurping of women in the church? Can you give me a better understanding, please sir? And I thank you in advance.

Pastor Doug: I’ll do my best. I appreciate your question, Donna. There’s no question, in the Bible we see a number of examples of God calling women to different aspects of ministry. Women have been called as prophetess, for instance, like Miriam and Anna and Hulda and there’s a number in the Bible. Where you need to draw the line is biblically a woman never held a position that was of a priesthood, meaning, offering sacrifice. That would be a pastor, elder, apostle, those were patriarchal positions. Meaning, God had called for men to be the leaders in those positions. There’s a lot of instruction in the Bible about men should be the servant leaders in the families. And the church is an extension of the family.

And in the same way that Abraham and Job and these different patriarchs they would lead their families and offering sacrifice. It was a patriarchal priesthood. You find that even in the New Testament. That’s why Jesus chose the twelve apostles, they were all men. He could have chose Mary Magdalene or any women. But he chose men. And I have a book I can send you on that. Did that make sense, Donna? Or did you have any other questions on that?

Donna: Well, it does make sense. I’m just trying to get a better understanding when I read the Bible.

Pastor Doug: There’s a book that I’ve just written and it’s called “Women in Ministry,” and it’s hot off the press. Matter of fact, we just did a revision on it. If you call the toll free number we’ll send you a copy of “Women in Ministry.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and the book is “Women in Ministry.” And for anyone wanting more information on that, I encourage you to call 1-800-835-6747 and ask for that book and we’ll be happy to send it out. Jim is listening on the internet from Austin, Texas. Jim, welcome to the program.

Jim: Pastor, thank you very much. Hey, I was listening to the question earlier about the versions of the Bible.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Jim: And there’s one version I just got, it was the King James Easy Reader version. Are you familiar with that?

Pastor Doug: I am not. Do you mind my asking the publisher?

Jim: You know, I have it right here.

Pastor Doug: I mean, is it Zondervan or...

Jim: You know it might be. What it is, it’s Whitaker House. It says on the bottom of it.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Jim: And it’s the King James Version Easy Reader. They got the words of Jesus in the red and, you know, God in the red in the Old Testament. I think it says something about like a fifth grade version or something and up. But nothing has been changed. It’s got a lot of words underlined in there. And it will tell you like, what they mean and stuff like that.

Pastor Doug: Well, probably, you know, that’s what the key is right there. If they haven’t changed it, I’m thinking why they make it easier. What they do is they have definitions for some of the archaic words.

Jim: Well, in the book of Esther chapter 1, it says like one of the verses, “And the drinking was according to the law; and then none did compel,” was underlined. And then in the bottom it says not…

Pastor Doug: “No one was forced.”

Jim: Not comprehension or something.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, they...

Jim: “None did compel.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, they give you added definitions. Yeah, that’s interesting. I’ve never seen that.

Jim: I like it. I got it online and I’m like on my fourth time through the Bible. I did the King James, New King James, Holman Christian, now I’m doing the Easy Reader one.

Pastor Doug: Oh good.

Jim: My question...

Pastor Doug: Did you have a question?

Jim: Yes, my question today is--I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get offline there--is on the book of Ezekiel chapter 33…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Jim: …where it talks about the watchman. Is that kind of saying that the pastors of the church are in charge of like, the-- if like some of the members are sitting there to let them know their sins, bring their sin to them?

Pastor Doug: It is...

Jim: What is it they’re saying?

Pastor Doug: Well, that is true. Those who are called to gifts of teaching ministry, evangelism, pastoring, they’re given a mandate to not only speak the words of comfort but they are words of conviction. Not only are we to, you know, offer peace to the troubled soul but we’re also to offer warning to the complacent soul.

Jim: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And that’s why Isaiah says--I believe it’d chapter, oh, where is it...

Jim: 33:1.

Pastor Doug: …“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet. Show my people their sins and the sons of Jacob their transgression.” It’s in Isaiah and I’m trying to remember where that is. Pastor Ross is going to search for that. Probably if you search in the King James “Cry aloud.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Isaiah 58:1.

Pastor Doug: 58:1, that’s right.

Jim: Well, see, I got myself in trouble this week actually. And I was talking with the pastor. It was a commercials on TV, Jesus never turned anybody away neither do we. And I called this pastor and I introduced myself and I said, I just have a question. I said if you have members of your church that you know are willingly sinning, I asked him do you work with them and help them to get over their sin? And he told me, no, because then I would be judging. And, you know, I asked some more few more questions, I said, God bless you goodbye. I called him back a little later, left a little message on the phone with Ezekiel chapter 33; and the next thing I know I got a letter in the mail that I need to go talk to the police sergeant because I guess he took some things the wrong way.

Pastor Doug: Oh, my.

Jim: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah...

Jim: I have no reason. I was kind of thinking maybe some of the things that are going on in this church nowadays with the shootings and the stuff, but I was just very humble, I said I’m not calling to give you a hard time. And I said I’m just really curious about, because you know, I visit a lot of different churches. And I was just really curious about one Bible and one word but all these different denominations and either I hit a nerve with him because I pointed out Ezekiel. And I just told him, humbly I say that I just think it’s really sad that there’s all these different denominations and, you know, people are so confused anymore but.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. You know, and you see more of this everywhere you go that they are talking about the love of the gospel and acceptance but the part of the gospel that talks about conviction for sin is very unpopular. It’s considered judgmental, but that’s not what the Bible is talking about when it says “don’t judge.” And in Ezekiel 33, for our friends who are listening, there Ezekiel is saying or God is saying to Ezekiel, “You’ve got a responsibility to warn people of coming judgment and the dangers of a life of sin, if you don’t warn them you have their blood on your hands.” Paul near the end of his ministry said, “I’m innocent of the blood of all men.” Meaning, I have faithfully preach the gospel so that I don’t have your blood on my hands. And that’s why Pilate, he try to wash his hands when he condemned Jesus but that didn’t work. Anyway, thanks, Jim, we appreciate those thoughts. And who do we have lined up, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Tony is listening in the internet from Philadelphia. Tony, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Tony: Hi. How are you doing, guys?

Pastor Doug: Good.

Tony: Thanks so much, everybody. I just had a question for Doug, a few episodes ago on Amazing Facts you did a lesson where you taught that Jesus will protect us through the tribulations, not from it.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Tony: And I was reading Revelation 3:10; it says something about that, you know, “We keep faithful He will protect us from the temptation.” So I know you teach through it. Why this Revelation3:10 say like that, you know, we’re going to be protected like from it, from the temptation? You know, that actually has the word “from” not through.

Pastor Doug: Well…

Tony: I believe it’s Revelation 3:10.

Pastor Doug: Exactly this is the message. I believe to the church I visit Philadelphia, I’m just back in up here, but yeah, that’s the message to the church of Philadelphia. Do you understand the seven messages in Revelation? Seven churches, I mean?

Tony: Yeah, kind of.

Pastor Doug: They cover different phases of church history and the first one being the church of Ephesus, the last one being the church of Laodicea, which is just before the second coming the church is lukewarm. What God did in protecting the church of Philadelphia, there was great expansion during that time and He protected the church because they were sending missionaries and Bibles everywhere during this age of the church; it was like a second reformation. That’s different from when the seven last plagues fall, is very similar to when the plagues fell on Egypt. Matter of fact many of the plagues are identical. And the difference is that God-- the plagues destroyed the Egyptians--but God protected the Israelites through those ten plagues. In the same way when the seven last plagues fall God is going to protect His church during that time through those plagues. And He is going to take care of us.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And of course, if we look at the church of Philadelphia it precedes the church of Laodicea which would be the last church.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And so the people who are referred to in the church of Philadelphia, by now they have already passed away. They are waiting, in the grave, for the resurrection when Jesus will come. And in that sense God is keeping them from the hour of temptation, they depend upon the whole world.

Pastor Doug: Keeping them from this great tribulation. Whereas the Laodicean Church...

Pastor Jëan Ross: They go through it.

Pastor Doug: ...the survivors are kept through that tribulation. Now does that make sense, Tony?

Tony: Yeah, it does. It’s just that, when I hear you teach, you know, I get it that we’re being protected through. But, you know, I listen to like, Jack Van Impe and he always teaches that we’re going to be protected from it, not through it, you know and...

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, it’s a very popular teaching and you know what, it’s appealing. But what I share is actually what the Christian teachers have been teaching for five hundred years.

Tony: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, George Whitfield, John Calvin, they all taught that the church would be in the world during the tribulation. But they would be preserved during that time. And that’s why Jesus said, “He that endures to the end will be saved.” Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, a great reference for you to take a look at is Psalm 91.

Pastor Doug: Perfect.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It talks about God’s protecting His people. And let me quickly mention that verse there, it says that, “Because the righteous are trusting in God a thousand shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it won’t come nigh thee. Only with your eyes will you behold them and see the reward of the wicked.” And then it says, “No evil shall befall thee, neither shalt any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

Pastor Doug: And it’s not because they are taken out of the world, He says you’ll see it on your right and your left, they are there but it won’t bother them. We have a book we’ll send you that talks about the tribulation, Tony. And it’s called “Anything But Secret.” The last half of that book talks about the tribulation where the church will be, why we don’t have to be worried about tribulation and yet God will preserve us. It’s called “Anything But Secret,” we’ll send you a free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and again, the study guide is, “Anything But Secret.” Actually it’s a book.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It’s one of our sermon books.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll be happy to send out if anybody has any further questions on this.

Pastor Doug: Listening friends we are going to come back in just a moment. You hear the music in the background that just marks the time for us to take the halfway break. We still have a couple of lines open if you want to call in with your Bible question 800-GOD-SAYS. You may have noticed sometimes we just try to budget three or four minutes for each phone call but then we offer additional study material. We don’t want to be trite or too pithy with these profound truths of God, so we give you a brief answer and then we offer you a lot of background material filled with Scriptures because we want you to be grounded in the truth in the word.

And so that’s sort of our modus operandus here on Bible Answers Live. We also want to remind you there’s a lot more information you can access any time all week long at amazingfacts.org. If you go to the main website for Amazing Facts you’ll find out not only do we do this program, Bible Answers Live, but there is a number of TV programs, Bible school, a lot of literature and things that are designed to help strengthen you in your faith as well as help you witness to others. So stay tuned we’ll be back with more Bible questions in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We’re back, listening friends, and I’m guessing some have joined us since we began the broadcast. If you are not sure what you’re listening to, this is Bible Answers Live and it is just as the title suggests a live, international, interactive Bible study. And we’ve got a number of people that are sort of waiting to share their Bible questions. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jean Ross. And, Pastor Doug, should we go straight to the phone lines and we’ll get as many callers in as we can.

Pastor Doug: Sounds good.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Mark is listening from Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark, welcome to the program.

Mark: Yeah, my question, I don’t know if you’ve heard this kind of slather of the question but it’s regarding the lake of fire in Revelation 20:10.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Mark: I know forever and ever doesn’t mean eternal but does the phrase permanent day and night imply that some people will burn for a period of days and nights?

Pastor Doug: Yes, I believe so. It’s just the fact that it says that, obviously different people suffer different links of time and possibly different intensity because Jesus said, “Everyman is rewarded according to his works.” And then again there’s that passage, Pastor Ross, where Jesus said, “They that knew their masters will and did not do it will be beaten with many stripes. Those who did not know and did not do will be beaten with a few stripes.” What was that verse?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s Luke 12:48.

Pastor Doug: Luke 12:48. See, we work as a tag team here. I remember the verses but I forget the numbers and so he’s got his computer at his finger tips. But, anyway, so there’s variant degrees of punishment. If anybody deserves to burn more than twenty four hours, who would that be? I would think that’d be the devil who inspired all of the sin and evil in the world. And that’s why it says that, “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire.” And he’s going to burn probably the longest and the hottest because he is the most culpable for all of the misery in the world.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, God is the God of justice. And it would almost seem unfair if someone who has brought tremendous pain upon millions suffers the same ultimate punishment as someone who lived a fairly good life but just never really chose Christ. God is going to reward each person according to their deeds.

Pastor Doug: I heard someone compare it one time to, would it be fair to punish Adolf Hitler the same way as a fourteen-year-old who commits suicide? That may be lost because they passed the age of accountability but, I mean, God is just.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: And that’s why Job asks the question, “Will mortal man be more just that God?” You probably already know about our study guide that talks about, “Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?” Mark, have you seen that?

Mark: I’ve heard of it. I do have something to ask, if it can burn twenty-four hours, couldn’t it burn a year or a decade?

Pastor Doug: Theoretically it could. I personally don’t think that anyone’s going to go that long. God calls the punishment of the wicked His strange act. He has no pleasure in anyone dying.

Mark: So probably a period of days at the most.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I would think so and I don’t know that but...

Pastor Jëan Ross: Of course this distraction of the wicked happens just prior to the recreation of the earth and, you know, the righteous are inside the city at this point in time. The wicked are on the outside. The fire comes down and devours them.

Pastor Doug: Good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You wouldn’t think it would go on month after month.

Pastor Doug: How much are the redeemed going to enjoy the new city when they look out of the walls and they see people smoldering in the flames.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And it just keeps going on, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. So I don’t think anyone’s going to go more than a week.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know we have website called Hell Truth.

Pastor Doug: Oh, yeah, I’m glad you mentioned that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome.

Pastor Doug: I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. You know, Mark, there is an enormous amount of really interesting information on the subject of hell, well-organized. It’s a very popular website for people who are trying to understand this subject called helltruth.com. A lot of fables crept into the church during the dark ages that people have just got distorted ideas about God’s justice. Helltruth.com shows a perfect blend between the dependability of Scriptures and common sense on that subject.

MARK: So we got the longest and probably make the most sense?

Pastor Doug: would think so because, you know, God seems to work in cycles of seven and then there’s rest. So God will make a new heaven and a new earth and the Bible says no more pain, no more death and obviously sinners are not immortalize because there’s two choices everyone has, accept Jesus, believe in Him and have everlasting life or perish. So those are the two options. And check out helltruth.com, Mark, I think you’ll enjoy that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Susan calling from Sacramento, California, listening on KFIA. Susan, welcome to the program.

Susan: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Susan: Hey, in my repentance and walking back into the Lord, one of the things I had to repent of was road rage. And in that process I realize that that was some significant anger and the Lord brought me to, you know, absolutely to my knees in Genesis 49:6 when he spoke to the tribes of Simeon and Levi for their anger and in 49:6, he says, “Let my soul not enter into their council. And let my glory not be united…

Pastor Doug: United.

Susan: ...with their assembly.” And that was like, oh, I felt like, oh, my God. And then I thought, wait a minute, Simeon’s dispersed and Levi shows up and Moses seem like, four pages in the Bible, you know. And so I was like, Lord, let me be of the tribe, you know, let me follow the Levi. But how did God’s grief all from Jacob’s curse to...

Pastor Doug: To bless Levi the way he did.

Susan: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, just for our listeners, I know you know the background of this, Susan, but Levi and Simeon deceitfully basically slaughtered the city, someone in the city had raped their sister or slept with their sister--well, I don’t even think it was rape, before Dinah had married him and so they in their anger that they had done this. They went and they killed this whole city of Shechem. Years later when Jacob’s on his death bed in Egypt he says, you know, don’t enter into their council because in their anger they slew a man, they became so angry that they murdered. Well, all of the brothers of Joseph were very volatile young men. Remember they sold their own brother.

And Joseph sort of tested them and saw that they had all changed. By the time you get to Amram and Jochebed, the descendents of Levi they had become a very dedicated people. But even Levi, lost his temper and murdered a man and Moses lost his temper at the end of forty years and struck the rock twice when God told him to just speak to the rock. But there’s hope, you know, God obviously bless the Levites, there is hope. You remember the original name for James and John, Jesus had a nickname for them. It was called, “Sons of Thunder.”

Susan: Thunder, yeah.

Pastor Doug: And when the people of Samaria did not want Jesus to go through their town, James and John wanted to call fire down from God, Lord give us permission, we’ll burn them all up. I mean, that’s pretty brutal. But the Lord converted James and John and John became the apostle of love. So hey, you’re on the right track. And I have to struggle sometimes with frustration at irresponsible drivers but God will give you grace. Just wave a month through and pray for Him and don’t get upset. I hope that helps a little, Susan. Oh, by the way we do have an article at our website and it’s called the “Age of Rage” and it talks about anger. It’s one of our Amazing Facts magazine articles. So you’ll see that the website under the inside report articles, “Age of Rage.” And I hope that will be a blessing.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Cynthia is listening on WJOU from Huntsville, Alabama. Cynthia, welcome to the program. Cynthia, are you there?

Cynthia: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You’re on the air. You need to just turn down your radio because it’ll be delayed in the background.

Cynthia: Okay. Yes.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Cynthia: I was asking about Romans chapter 14; verse 5 and 6. I want you to take on that, because some people use this as, let’s say, it’s okay, it’s alright to keep any day of the week we like for Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Alright, well let me read this for our friends who are listening or driving down the road. Romans 14:5, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another man esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regards the day regards it to the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he doesn’t regard it.” And some have read this and they said, oh, well there you go. If a person wants to keep, you know, wanted the days holy, whether it’s Sunday or Saturday or Wednesday that’s up to them. If they don’t, they don’t. If they keep it holy, let them keep it to the Lord. Paul here--the context of Romans 14 has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath. It has to do with other days.

There were two kinds of holidays. There was the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments which was written by God, spoken by God, written in stone for the whole nation, for all people. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. But the Jews had received a number of annual holidays from Moses. They were written on papers spoken by Moses, by a man’s hand, not spoken by God’s voice. They were the ceremonial holidays. At the time of Paul a number of the Jewish believers in Christ were telling all the new Gentile believers, “You’ve got to keep Passover and you’ve got to keep Feast of Trumpets and you’ve got to keep Feast of Tabernacles and all these Jewish feasts.” Paul said, look, if you want to keep it keep it to the Lord, if you don’t to the Lord, you don’t keep it.

And he basically said, don’t judge one another about who does or does not keep the feasts of Moses, that was different than the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, because you-- can you imagine any pastor, any pastor, Sunday, Saturday, standing up in front of his church and saying, hey, those of you that want to show up on Sunday, that’s good. If you don’t, that’s okay. It’s just between you and the Lord. You’re never going to hear that. Obviously, that day of rest that God has prescribed in His law is for all man, we all need it, that day of worship we all need it. He’s not talking about the weekly Sabbath. There He is talking about the annual feasts.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And if you want to cross-reference for that in the Old Testament, it’s Leviticus chapter 23. That mentions these annual Sabbaths and uses the word Sabbath but it also talks about the seventh day Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: And it delineates that one first as separate and unique.

Pastor Jëan Ross: They’re separate, right.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, I hope that helps a little bit.

Cynthia: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We got a book on that called Sabbaths and Holy Days, is that right?

Pastor Doug: “Feast Days and Sabbaths.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “Feast Days and Sabbaths.”

Pastor Doug: You’re close enough.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. And call and ask for the book “Feast Days and Sabbaths” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you, Cynthia. Our next caller is Joseph listening on WROL from South Shore, Massachusetts. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: How can we help you?

Joseph: Yeah, you know, I was curious about my Christian church, if it’s alright to use that word, because it…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Joseph: You know, the thing is that--I’m from the East Coast--and the thing is, is that I believe from the Scripture that, you know, one of the roles in the church is to, you know, to help people to be very interested in them to try to make a connection with people that are hurting or whatever. And, you know, I’m going to churches but, you know, I don’t see it all. I don’t see the prayer. I don’t see them being concerned about people, you know, that are going through emotional stuff. And that’s just the churches I’ve been in, Doug, you know, and it’s very heartbreaking. And I don’t know, you know, you pray to God, you just search around but I don’t really get it because I believe that’s part of what Christ wants is a connection where people were more interested in the people than in their own programs.

Pastor Doug: Yup. Well, first of all, let’s be fair. Every church has a little different personality and a little different complexion, a little different makeup and I have been to churches. Matter of fact I became a Christian because I started to worship with a church where they were very sensitive to people’s heartfelt needs and their personal growth and how are you doing. And then we’ve all been to churches that’s sort of like fast food, you go in, you go through the ritual and you go out and nobody really connects. So, you know, we want to be careful not to over generalize and just say that all churches are this way. There’s a lot of really good churches out there and they’re usually an extension of the philosophy of the pastor. If the pastor exudes a care for people he usually reproduces that in the membership. If the pastor is just punching the clock and preaching the sermon, the people are going to get that impression too.

Joseph: I see.

Pastor Doug: So, yeah, there’s all kinds out there. It’s like the seven churches you find in Revelation chapter 2 and 3, they’re all different personalities and they still have all those in the world today.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the church is really a collection of individuals and it’s true there are some that are very caring and some that aren’t, but for our own personal responsibility we want to follow the example of Jesus and be as caring as possible whatever the church might be that we’re in. We can still reach out minister to the needs of others.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Joseph. Appreciate that question and I hope that was of some benefit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: David is listening on KTIE from Victorville, California. David, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Victorville, I know where that is.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to the program.

David: Yes, we saw before, Pastor, many times actually. I just had a quick question. In one of the publications that I receive, that I study for Sabbath, it’s said that the Sabbath was an arbitrary commandment and I just wanted to get your opinion on that. Do you believe that the Sabbath is arbitrary?

Pastor Doug: Well, I want to be careful not to judge whoever wrote that and without knowing where they’re coming from but my reaction would be no. Everything that God has outlined in His law is good and there’s a benefit. You know, Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. Now if they mean arbitrary, it means that God commands us arbitrarily to keep it. Well, you know, that’s one of those semantics you could argue. But I believe that the Sabbath was something that was a necessity that God commanded for man. It was a necessity for our relationship with Him, for our physical rest that God issues this.

And the Sabbath commandment is not only to rest, everyone always focuses on the day of rest. The Sabbath commandment also says six day shall you labor. So it’s not just outlining the day of rest, it’s outlining what we’re suppose to do the other six days. God created humans for activity and we’re not to try to work real hard for ten year so we can retire at thirty-one and, you know, just sit in the lounge chair by a pool the rest of our lives. People aren’t healthy. They’re not fulfilled unless they’re working. But we need that day of rest.

David: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, you know, just to add a little bit to the Sabbath, you know, there’s some people that will say, well, you know what, I’ll put the Sabbath in when it’s convenient for me. But in that sense when God commands us to keep the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments, in doing so we reap the benefits that God wants to give us. We can’t wait for the benefits to come and then say, well, I’ll keep the Sabbath but we step out in faith and obedience to God’s commandment, that’s when the blessing comes.

David: Amen.

Pastor Doug: You know, I looked up the word arbitrary, while Pastor Ross was sharing there and it’s says, “Determined by chance or whim or impulse, not by necessity.” So, based on that definition, no, the Sabbath commandment is not arbitrary. It’s not the whim of God or impulse or none necessary. So I’d have to respectfully disagree if that’s where they’re coming from.

David: Well, it’s difficult to know exactly, specifically where the author of this particular study or lesson is coming from in that regard, but he goes on to say it’s because God said so, that’s why. And that tells me specifically that the author is saying, well, we just keep the Sabbath because God said so, that’s why. And I don’t see the Sabbath that way.

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s the starting point. No.

David: I see the Sabbath as you described it as being an opportunity and a chance for us to commune with God’s specifically.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, all of God’s laws are a blessing. But even if we don’t understand where the blessing is, I think we ought to at least have the child like faith to say, well, He is God and He said to do this and I may not understand all the reasons to do it. But He is God. And so as you walk in obedience to laws we may not understand, He then generally reveals the wisdom and reasons for those things. But the fact that he’s God is good enough starting point for me to…

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a website dedicated to the subject of the Sabbath called sabbathtruth.org and I don’t know if we’re getting to this particular aspect of the Sabbath, but we do talk about the Fourth Commandment about what is the Sabbath, how do we keep the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug: Yup.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Very informative.

Pastor Doug: I think it’s actually dot com but either will work.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Either one, dot com or dot org will take you to the website. Again, it’s sabbathtruth.com. And you’ll be able to get a lot of resources there. Marsha is listening on WMUZ from Dearborn, Michigan. Marsha, welcome to the program.

Marsha: Yes. Hi, good evening, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are you both doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well. How can we help you tonight, Marsha?

Marsha: I was wondering if I could make a comment and a question.

Pastor Doug: Well, if it’s not too long because we got a few people lined up.

Marsha: Okay. Well, the first one concerns about the one that verse that they mention about, “One man esteemeth every day,” you know, “one day above another: another one was esteemeth every day alike.” Years ago when I first was introduced the Sabbath I try to keep it, but the church I was going to was kind of like, they didn’t like to give-- well, the people I was attending church within the Bible studies and I eventually fell away and I knew that’s (Unintelligible) was established that I wasn’t keeping it.

My brother was attending a Christian church at that time that was not a Sabbath keeping church. And they used that verse, I mean, when I told them it was a Sabbath and they know I couldn’t think of any kind of response. A few years later I started coming back to the Sabbath keeping church and then something came into my mind about what that verse really means, it says, “One man esteemeth one day above another.” But the Sabbath isn’t about what man esteems, it’s about what God esteems. That’s why that verse doesn’t affect the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Marsha: Seven day Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: That’s a good point. I appreciate that. Do you have a question?

Marsha: I’m struggling with that verse. Okay, now I’m asking my question. Can a person become a Christian at any time?

Pastor Doug: Well, as long as they’ve not grieved away the Holy Spirit by committing the unpardonable sin. You know, if they harden their heart through repetitively resisting the Spirit of God they can, as Paul says, you know, “Do despite to the spirit of grace until they see their conscience and they just don’t hear the Holy Spirit.” At that point they can’t be saved anymore than the devil; they’ve committed the unpardonable sin. But as long as the door of mercy is open and they’ve not committed that sin, Solomon says, “Where there’s life there’s hope.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: And of course, the best time to become a Christian is today. Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.”

Pastor Doug: Exactly. Hey, appreciate that, Marsha. Good questions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Henry and he is calling from the Bronx, New York, listening on the internet. Henry, welcome to the program.

Henry: How are you doing, Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Good. You’ll have to speak up a little, Henry. We can barely hear you.

Henry: Alright. Can you hear me now?

Pastor Doug: Sort of. And your question?

Henry: My question is about Matthews 11; verse 21 and 24, when Jesus was talking about origin and different places (Unintelligible) especially gospel over there. If He preached it to (Unintelligible) entire that would’ve repented and to me-- you know, where I’m coming from, to me, like, I don’t know. I’m not sure. He sounds like predestine just like, God’s only-- He didn’t choose to preach the gospel to them so they were lost. I don’t know. I’m not sure. I’m confused about the verse.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think what Jesus is saying in this passage is that these other cities like Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, but there were wicket cities to the north like, Tyre and Sidon, they were very worldly trade centers. They didn’t have the opportunities to hear the power of the gospel like the Jews did. Jesus came and He preached to His own people and they were not repenting as a nation. When the greatest preacher, the greatest revivalist who ever walked the earth was there, Christ is saying, these other cities if they had had this kind of opportunity they would’ve repented. And it doesn’t mean that God had predestined the others to be lost. Christ is just talking about responding to such a wonderful opportunity they were missing it. And they were accountable for it. Does that make sense, Henry?

Henry: Yeah. But I still wonder, you know, if God (inaudible 54:06) if they have received it, they would’ve repented.

Pastor Doug: So why didn’t they receive it? Or you mean why didn’t God give them that opportunity?

Henry: Right, right. That’s what I’m wondering.

Pastor Doug: Well, there was one time in the history of the world when Jesus came to earth and that was when God became a man. You know, Jesus could not go to every nation during every time in person. But Christ did send representatives and, you know, they are variant degrees of power that the message has gone to variant degrees of the planet and that’s why we need to cherish the life that we have. We can’t say, well, I’m not going to preach until Jesus Himself comes and tells me. So God had probably given Tyre and Sidon adequate light to make a decision but they had not responded to that light.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, in the case of Sodom you had a lot living there for a number of years. You had Abraham not too far away. And so the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, they knew about the God of Abraham.

Pastor Doug: The true God. That’s a good point. Do we have time for one more?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, let’s try. Abraham is listening from New Jersey on WMCA. Abraham, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: We’ve got about a minute, Abraham.

Abraham: Alright. I can do this fast. My question is, according to Revelation 14, if we live in the lost days what message do we have to preach and based on Revelation 14?

Pastor Doug: Well, if we’re going to go by Revelation 14, just before Jesus comes, we’ve got what is often referred to as the three angels messages and that would be Revelation chapter 14; verses 6 through 12 or even through the end of the chapter.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Through 14.

Pastor Doug: And a matter of fact it’s not a bad time for us to remind people what the free offer was that we mentioned at the beginning of our broadcast tonight dealing with “Angel Messages from Space.” Is that right?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. The number is 1-800-835-6747 and it’s all about the three angels messages, it’s called, “Angel Messages from Space.”

Pastor Doug: And those are the messages that are supposed to go to the world just prior to Christ coming. Those messages, of course, are the everlasting gospel, fear God and worship Him. The hour of His judgment has come. He’s the creator. And Sabbath, of course, is part of that. And then in addition to that it talks about come out of Babylon and don’t receive the mark of the beast. These are messages that especially focus on what is in the prophecies in the world just before us right now. Wow, Pastor Ross, time go so fast. It’s such a privilege studying with you friends.

And we call you friends, we’ve talk to some of you over the years and have come to know and love you a little bit and would love to hear from you. We would like to have you just go to the website, drop us a line, if you go to Amazing Facts where it says, “Contact Us,” send us a note. We’ll respond and tell us where you’re listening to the broadcast. And if you have any advice or things that we can do you think to improve the broadcast, we’d love to hear from you. Just go to amazingfacts.org and click the contact button. If you’ve been blessed, we can also help at that point to keep us on the air by making a donation. We truly appreciate it. Until next week, God bless you friends. Remember, Jesus is the truth.

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