The Methuselah Tree

The Methuselah Tree

Date: 04/12/2009 
In 1963 archaeologists exploring the ancient fortress of Masada, found some date seeds that had remained undisturbed for millennia. Masada was a historic mountaintop fortress above the Dead Sea, built by Herod the Great.

The Life of Victory by Meade MacGuire

The Life of Victory by Meade MacGuire
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Doug Batchelor: Hello Friends this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact. In 1963 archaeologists exploring the ancient fortress of Masada, found some date seeds that had remained undisturbed for millennia. Masada was a historic mountaintop fortress above the Dead Sea, built by Herod the Great. Where in 78AD 900 Jews held the Roman army at bay for three years, rather than surrender or becoming slaves, the besieged Jewish zealots committed mass suicide.

The date seeds were found among the skeletons of those who died during the siege. For the next 40 years, the seeds languished in a drawer in Tel Aviv Israel, then in 2005 the Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, initiated an experiment planting three of the seeds. Incredibly one of the ancient seeds sprouted, at first its leaves were plagued by white spots which the researchers believe was due to insufficient nutrients in the seed material.

Now after 26 months the sapling has healthy leaves and it's nearly four feet tall, Oddly the young tree has been dubbed the Methuselah tree after the oldest person in the Bible. Ancestor of the modern day palm this a little sapling, is the lone survivor of a variety called the Jew day and date which is now extinct, researchers are hoping that by reviving the plant they might be able to study its medicinal value because of the location and age of the seed, is entirely possible that Jesus himself ate dates from the same original tree, it's nothing short of a miracle that this very old seed should be resurrected 2000 years later. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as amazing facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Doug: Welcome listening friends to a fresh installment of bible answers live, we're thankful that you're joining us today, if you have a Bible question right now we have lines open, it's a good time to call in, that number once again is 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297 and my name is Doug Batchelor.

John Ross: My name is John Ross. Good evening listening friends and pastor Doug, it's good to be back and once again Bible answers live, before we go to the phone lines let's begin with prayer. Dear lord we thank you again for this opportunity to study a word me ask your blessing upon this program we recognize that the Bible is your book and in order to correctly understand it we need the Holy Spirit's guidance be with us this evening in Jesus' name amen.

Doug: Amen.

John: What an amazing story about a date seed, that laid dormant for 2000 years and then sprung to life, who would have guessed the seed that one would think was dead could actually come to life.

Doug: I know it is safe to say the seed was resurrected because after being in one of the driest parts of the world for 2000 years, they're 1300 feet below sea level. I've been to Masada where they found the seed. You would never dream and then stuck in a drawer for 40 years, that the essence of life could still be hidden there, spring up again, and you've basically had a resurrection of an extinct species of day tree. Of course this is the day when many around the world are remembering and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is a reminder of a greater resurrection that will transpire, when the Lord descends from Heaven. Now there's a lot of confusion about the subject of what happens when a person dies, of course when Jesus resurrected Lazarus it was to encourage us, that because he is the resurrection and the life, that we don't have to be afraid of death. If a person has Christ the Bible says, “He that has the Son has a life” but friend listening, if you do not have the Son You do not have life, if you do have eternal life you don't have anything to fear from death.

The resurrection of Jesus is a reminder, there's some confusion is a person resurrected as soon as they die, or does the Bible say that the resurrection is still in the future. As you study the word, you'll find that the great resurrection morning transpires when Jesus comes, you can read about that in first Thessalonians chapter four. Paul tells us in verse 13, that he's not willing that we should be ignorant regarding this subject." What's going to happen is when the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout in the voice of the archangel in the trump of God, then the dead in Christ those who have died believing in Christ will rise. A lot of confusion about when a person dies now is some part of them alive, is it the soul and the spirit in the body separate or how does this work, how conscious are they is it a dream like State, are they in some form of limbo or Abraham's bosom. I have heard many interesting theories, if you want to find out what the Bible really teaches on this subject friends about what happens when you die, witness the resurrection, we have a special offer for you today and it's free.

Ross: It's called Are The Dead Really Dead, it's an amazing fact study guide filled with important passages of Scripture, just a lot of good information to receive this free offer call our resources line, 1-800-835-6747 that's 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide, Are The Dead Really Dead?. We'll be happy to send that to Pastor Doug we've also got a website that deals with this very subject.

Doug: That's right

Ross: Truth about death.

Doug: Anybody who would like to study this on their own, you don't even have to wait for the offer to come, you can just click assuming there everybody in the world on the Internet now, you can just click on the internet and go to truth about death dot com. You'll find a plethora, always look for a reason to use that word, a plethora a kaleidoscope of information on the subject of death and the resurrection, we want people to have hope.

Ross: Well let's go to the phone lines, our first caller this evening is Kirk, calling from Farmville Virginia. Kirk welcome to the program.

Kirk: Thankyou sir.

Doug: Hi get real close to your phone.

Kirk: Okay can you hear me?

Doug: That’s good and your question tonight?

Kirk: All right, a lot of people have a picture of Jesus in their homes and they look at it all through, maybe write to it and the second Commandment says, "you should not make yourself a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above." Would that be considered as a idolatry?

Doug: That's a good question and it's a common question, the Bible does not say that it is a sin to make any a representation of something, it says it is a sin to make a representation and bow down to it, now the reason we know this is true, if it was a sin to make for instance a statue of an angel, then why would God tell the children of Israel to put statues of angels on top of the Ark of the Covenant.

If it was a sin to just make a statue of a cow, then why would God tell Solomon to put 12 cows underneath the altar or the laver rather in Solomon's temple, of course there were engravings of pomegranates and flowers and bells in the temple, God didn't say don't make any reproduction of anything, he said don't make it and bow down to it. One more example would be Kirk, when God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole that was not a sin, in the days of Hezekiah people had begun to idolize that brand serpent, Hezekiah said nope you've missed the point and he ground it to powder. If a person's got a photograph in their wallet It's, certainly not a sin to have any representation or a facsimile of something, it becomes a sin when we begin to worship or reveal it when people are burning candles in front of a picture, they are bowing down to a statue that's idolatry.

Kirk: Okay. All right then I'm going to keep my picture and enjoy.

Doug: Yes, just don't bow before and pray to it. [laughs]

Kirk: It's what it represents then okay well thank you much.

Doug: All right God bless

Ross: Our next caller is Maileek and he is calling from Los Angeles California. Maileek Welcome to the program.

Maileek: how is the going Pastor Doug. My question is actually kind in line, what you were speaking on earlier, I want to ask how do you prove to someone using the Bible, that when a person dies their spirit is inactive, or not somewhere in the spirit. People try to use 1Peter 3:19, Corinthians 12:2 to say the spirit is conscious after death somewhere on earth.

Doug: Yes, well we'd have to go verse by verse. What was the first one 1Peter you said?

Maileek: 1Peter 3:19.

Doug: Yes and that's where it says, "Christ preached to the spirits in prison in the days of Noah." It's telling us that Jesus preached through the Spirit and back in the days of Noah there are not spirits in prison in some kind of , it's talking about imprisoned by sin. Paul tells us in the scripture says "Whoever sins is a servant of sin, a slave of sin," that's Roman 6. That verse is not really talking about the state of man and death at all.

Maileek: Okay.

Doug: In Corinthians where it says, "To be absent from the bodies to be present with the Lord."

Maileek: Yes.

Doug: Well that's true. When a Christian dies their next conscious thought is the resurrection and being in God's presence. But here in this world, we live in a dimension of time and according to the continuum of time we live in, the resurrection hasn't happened yet. When our loved ones die, they sleep in a dreamless sleep. They have no awareness of time. For them the next conscious thought, if they're saved, is the resurrection of the just.

The best thing is you look at the verse it says in Ecclesiastes chapter nine, "The living know that they'll die but the dead know not anything." Then in Psalms, 146 says, "Put not your trust--" I think it's verse three Pastor Ross. "Put not your trust in princes neither in the son of man in whom there is no help. In the day that he dies his breath goes forth and his thoughts perish." There's hundreds of scriptures.

Ross: That's Psalm 146:4.

Doug: Verse four thank you. If you ask for the study guide that we mentioned tonight, Are the dead really dead? You can also go to the website that we mentioned earlier, Truth about death. We may have lost that color because we got a recording somewhere along the way. I think we answered his question anyway.

Ross: I think so. I think we're ready for our next caller. Elliom is listening on the Internet from Chicago Illinois. Elloim welcome to the program.

Elloim: Thank you very much.

Doug: Hi and your question tonight.

Elloim: I am wondering-- I have a question regarding the Sabbath. I've looked through the vast archives and resources on the website concerning it but none directly answer my question. Which is, isn't the Sabbath really from the start of Saturday evening to the end of Sunday daytime or the afternoon as we now call it since God

relates a day in his time as the evening to the day verses the day to be evening.

Doug: Well, the scriptures tell us that from evening to evening shall you celebrate your Sabbaths. That is in Leviticus and the verses escaping me Pastor Ross from evening until evening you should celebrate your service. Then in the book of Mark when Jesus was healing it says, "At sundown when the Sabbath was over, the sick came unto him and he healed them."

Elloim: Do you have this specific scriptural reference for that?

Ross: In Mark chapter two in reference to the end of the Sabbath when the sun was set the people brought those who were sick to Jesus.

Doug: Yes.

Elloim: Okay.

Doug: Yes you find that in Leviticus chapter 23 and it's in verse 24 rather 33-- 32 sorry. Leviticus chapter 23 verse 32. "From evening until evening shall you celebrate your Sabbaths."

Elloim: Evening until evening. Okay.

Doug: Hopefully that helps a little bit.

Elloim: It's from evening until evening how do we know it's from Friday evening to Saturday evening versus Saturday evening to Sunday evening?

Doug: Well the Bible says it's the seventh day and there's no question about what day the Jews kept this as the seventh day. They still keep the same day today and universally Christians agree that Sunday the day Jesus rose is the first day of the week. The day before Sunday Saturday. It would be from the evening of Friday night and of course, Orthodox Jews around the world still celebrate Sabbath from evening to evening, sundown to sundown.

Elloim: Okay.

Doug: I hope that helps a little bit. If you go to the website that says-- We've got a website called sabbathtruth.com. That'll have a lot more information on it.

Ross: We also got a study guide dealing with the subject of the Sabbath and I believe that specific point is raised, it's called-- What is the name of our study guide on the Sabbath Pastor Doug it slipped my mind?

Doug: The last day of history?

Ross: The last day of history that's right. Last day of history and it's recall our resource line it's 18008356747 you can ask for that study guide called The last day of history all about the Sabbath. Rodney is listening from Florida. Rodney welcome to the program.

Rodney: Hi hello how are you, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross?

Doug: Very well how can we help you?

Rodney: My question is regarding the Holy Spirit. I have heard some people refer to different measures I guess being poured out from the Holy Spirit. Is it safe to say that they are different degrees of the Holy Spirit?

Doug: I believe there are. The reason I say that is, do you believe Jesus had the Holy Spirit when he was born and through his youth?

Rodney: [laughs] Good question. I never thought about it that way. You have me thinking, do I believe he had the Holy Spirit when he was born?

Doug: Well you don't even need to start with when he was a baby, do you believe he had the Holy Spirit from the age of 12 when he went to the temple and he's answering questions until he was 30?

Rodney: Of course yes.

Doug: He had the Holy Spirit but when he was baptized a special anointing of the Spirit came down on him to empower him for his life of ministry.

Rodney: Right.

Doug: The Apostles heard the Holy Spirit in the upper room when Jesus breathed on them but they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Even Jesus said, "You'll receive the Holy Spirit." He gave them the Holy Spirit in the upper room but he says in Luke chapter 24 and Acts chapter one, "Don't leave Jerusalem until you receive power from on high." They receive a mighty feeling of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is compared to wind, fire, water in the Bible. You can have a little wind and you can have a hurricane, you can have a little fire and you can have an inferno and you can have a little water and you can have a tsunami. I do believe that the Holy Spirit does come in varying degrees in a person's life.

Rodney: Well let me also ask this brief question, where is a good place you would suggest I should start to definitely study in depth about-- I mean I have studies on the Holy Spirit but where can I start to really get more scriptures about that? Because I mentioned that one day in church and people looked at me as if I was crazy.

Doug: Well, we have a book we'll send you that has a great start it's called Life in the spirit.

Rodney: Okay.

Doug: We'll send you a free copy of that and all you got to do is call the resource number and ask for Life in the spirit.

Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 that's a resource line and ask for the book Life in the spirit Rodney oranybody else- [crosstalk].

Doug: There's another book that deals-- We don't get to Rodney's questions specifically very often about varying degrees. Joe Cruz wrote a great book called Man's flicker God's flame and if he asks for that we'll send that as well Man's flicker God's flame.

Ross: Again the number 1-800-835-6747 that's our resource line. Loretta is listening on WDNX from Tennessee. Loretta Welcome to the program.

Loretta: Yes thank you, pastors. I've got a question I'm still through the Bible here. My question is regarding Jacob and Rachel and Leah.

Doug: Yes.

Loretta: Now when Jacob wasn't given Rachel initially should his proper response have been, "Well that's okay I'll just take Leah because Got did not condone polygamy." Also, how did he manage to go through the whole ceremony and not realize until after the feast that he had Leah?

Doug: Well. I've got a number of questions I plan on asking different people when I get to heaven. I've already got on my list to take Jacob aside and just have him help me understand how he could not know until sunrise that he had the wrong woman. But my guess is at the wedding feast that Laban spiked the punch and that Jacob was a little bit inebriated, the only explanation I can think of. You asked the first question is interesting should Jacob have said, "All right well I've been tricked, Leah is my wife and that's it I can't ever marry Rachel."

Loretta: Yes.

Doug: Well. He had worked with longing for seven years for Rachel and says he loved Rachel. What he really wanted was Rachel. Leban fearing that if you married off the younger daughter that Leah would never get married and wanting to keep Jacob around because he realized that God was blessing him for Jacob's sake, he said, "I'm going to tie him up for another seven years by making him work for Leah since I'm going to kind of Marriage keep in mind also Jacob had his black belt in deceiving people-

Loretta: Yes.

Doug: -and that's where he got his name and so the Lord was letting him experience a little bit of what he had done to his father and his brother.

Loretta: Why did he allow Racheal to be married with the end sisters like he did Leah?

Doug: Well, Jesus came through Leah and not through Rachel.

Loretta: Okay yes-

Doug: It's almost as though God said, "I need the DNA of Leah because she is going to be the ancestor of Jesus." I don't know why the Lord did it that way but when you trace the genealogy, it doesn't go through Racheal-

Loretta: Rachel who-

[crosstalk].

Doug: -Rachel’s two kids who were Joseph and Benjamin Leo's son was Judah.

Ross: If you look at the story between the two sisters, it seems that Leo was always trying to get the approval of Jacob she recognized that Jacob really loved Rachel more and so she had a difficult life in there God understood and so but –

Doug: It's interesting also that Rachel died as they were sojourning and she's buried in Bethlehem, Leah was buried in Hebron with Jacob and she ended up really living with him the majority of her life her sister died fairly young so Jacob came to love her the way that she deserved before it was over, hope that helps a little bit.

Loretta: Yes thank you so very much.

Doug: All right. God bless you and appreciate your question.

Ross: Our next caller is Wilfred and listening on WMCA from Brooklyn New York. Wilfred welcome to the program.

Wilfred: Yes pastor good afternoon.

Ross: Evening.

Wilfred: I would like to know why it is that people cannot perform the miracle that Jesus performed when he was on earth, when he told the disciples’ “greater works than these shall you do?”

Doug: Well first of all, he told the disciples’ greater works than these shall you do because I go on to the father virtually everything that Jesus did, the Apostles did. Jesus healed the sick, the Apostles healed the sick, Jesus raise the dead the Apostles raise the dead Peter raised Dorcas and Paul raised Yudecas pretty sure he was dead when he fell three stories so you do see evidence that they were being raised. They were performing those miracles, in the last days when the latter rain of God's Spirit is poured out you're going to see a duplication an echo of the miracles that you saw at Pentecost when the former rain was poured out.

When Jesus came the first time, there was a great outpouring of his spirit as Christ prepares to come the second time I believe you're going to see incredible miracles again and no doubt Satan will also seek to counterfeit miracles.

Wilfred: Do you have any books on miracles?

Doug: Well, let me think about that. I don't know that I have any specific on miracles but the book that we just offered about life in the spirit does talk about the spirit filled life and that's always accompanied with miracles and we do have something that deals with counterfeit miracles.

You might be interested in our study guide on, Does God inspire psychics and astrologers and some of the counterfeit miracles that you are going to see going around so hope that helps a little bit Wilfred and that frees up a phone line pastor also if anybody wants to call, we've got some lines open for a good chance they'll get their question.

The number again is 800 get a pencil handy 800-463-7297 will bring you into the studio and if you keep your pencil handy, we also give away--I’ll mention the number that has our resource line and the various websites so we try to see this program be a springboard to lots of other follow up study.

Ross: Our next caller is Jim and he is calling from Michigan, Jim welcome to the program. Jim you're there?

Doug: Jim in Michigan you're on the air. Jim? We're going to put Jim on hold and see who else is lined up.

Ross: All right we've got Jasmine who is calling from North Carolina Jasmine welcome to the program.

Jasmine: I thank you for having me.

Doug: Yes and your question tonight.

Jasmine: Yes. I have a question about working on the Sabbath Day.

Doug: Okay.

Jasmine: Normally on Saturday, I have a lot of housework to do I can’t avoid the little things I have to do like washing dishes or clothes and so when I stop working on the Sabbath they either begin to feel convicted or bad because I know that the Bible says that we’re not supposed to work on the Sabbath day, do you have any advice that you can give me any physical president to that?

Doug: You’re talking about just domestic work?

Jasmine: Yes.

Doug: Well obviously that is work there are certain necessary things that people need to eat on the Sabbath and the Lord knows that, the animals need care if you've got cows or goats that you milk, you milk them seven days a week and it's cruel not to let them get out and they get air or to feed them and take care of them and so there are certain necessary things but you want to get all of your cooking and baking done in advance. The idea of the Sabbath is to have some time of rest where you don't have all the hectic activity going on.

Ross: I’m thinking of that commandment the Fourth Commandment the next is Chapter 20, it says “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy and to truly remember the Sabbath that means that we got to think about the Sabbath before the Sabbath gets there and prepare so that we can keep it holy." We can’t wait until the Sabbath comes and then frantically trying to keep it holy but there is some preparatory work that's necessary.

Doug: We have that website that talks about how to keep and prepare for the Sabbath Jasmine if you go to sabbathtruth.com, you'll find more about the subject there that gives you some practical information and hope that will be a blessing and helped you.

Ross: Our next caller is Jeff and he's calling from Edmonton Canada, Jeff welcome to the program.

Jeff: Hi there pastors.

Doug: Evening.

Jeff: I had a question Revelation 11 I've heard what the amazing facts study guides have to say about the two witnesses but it often doesn't do much to explain verses seven to thirteen where it talks about when witnesses are killed we saw them in Egypt and there's an earthquake and they resurrected and so forth, I was just wondering if you could take as much time as we have just to elaborate on that?

Doug: Well, we've got two minutes so [laughs] it's hard to get through Revelation 11 but I’ll do my best let me tell you we do have a book that I'll send you I'm not sure you've read it, it's called The Two Witnesses and it's takes the story of the Mount of Transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus and it uses that a little bit to help understand the two witnesses which represent the word of God but the prophecies in Revelation are giving us a panorama of the history of the church from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus.

These two representatives, these two witnesses are the law and the prophets you can call it the new and the Old Testament, the Bible says in the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established, you look at the criteria of those two witnesses and says, "they've got power to shut up heaven they can command all manner of plagues." You’ve got both examples of that in the old in the New Testament and so take a look at that book will send you a free copy it's called The two witnesses and just call the toll free number and we'll send that to you.

Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and the book again is The two witnesses and for anyone wants to know more about the subject, give us a call.

Doug: We're going to take a break here in just a moment friends and we hope that you'll just get a drink of water come right back if you want to call a friend tell him to tune in, we've got another half of the program to go. Going to be filled with your Bible questions still have lines open once more it's 800-GOD-SAYS that's 800-463-7297 we'll be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Doug: Welcome listening friends, this is Bible Answers Live. If you just joined us along the way, this is a live international interactive Bible Study. We invite you to participate. If you want to call in your Bible question, the number is 800-463-797. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Ross: My name is John Ross. Pastor Doug, before we go to the phone lines, let's remind our listening friends about the great resources available at the Amazing Facts website and some of the other websites connected.

Doug: That's right, and if you go to simply amazingfacts.com or amazingfacts.org, you're going to find, as you click around, that there is a kaleidoscope of prethera-

Ross: They've used that already.

Doug: Yes, I've got to find that blizzard. There's a blizzard of resources that are available there. You can listen to archives of this program, you have videos, a lot of what amazing facts does is television programming. We have programs for children, we have a health program that's just all kinds of Bible-related Christian programs and materials to help you in your study.

Ross: Talking about programs, those who have not yet seen, I hope many of our listeners have but if you haven't, take a look at amazingfacts.tv.

Doug: That's right, we've got to evangelistic program in 24 hours a day. A lot of people keep it on in their homes whenever they're awake or they keep it on in the background of their computer, just a good evangelist of preaching to keep you inspired and charged up spiritually through the day. amazingfacts.tv.

Ross: Going to the phone lines, Judy is calling from Niles, Michigan. Judy, welcome to the program.

Judy: Good evening. How are you?

Doug: Very well, and how can we help you tonight?

Judy: Yes, I was listening and the previous gentleman, Mr. Wilfred from New York, he was asking about miracles. I wanted to know, were there specific characteristics of God-given or God-centered miracles as opposed to counterfeit miracle because the devil will be trying to deceive even the very alert. I just wanted to know, how will we be able to decipher which is which?

Doug: That is a good question. There's some criteria given in the Bible. If there is someone else involved in helping to perform the miracle, their lives will be in harmony with the teachings of the Bible and if a person obviously is swindling people out of their money and he claims that he has the power to perform miracles, that's somebody I would avoid. Nowhere in the Bible does a prophet. issue a bill to somebody in exchange for a miracle. They never say, "Can we please have your credit card number and we'll give you your miracle." Or, "If you make a donation, we'll give you your miracle."

That right away eliminates the majority of people who claim to have miraculous power in our age. The miracles of God, first and foremost, are redemptive in their nature. They're going to glorify God, they're going to direct people to the Scriptures, they're not going to conflict with the principles in the scriptures. The Bible is our best guide to discriminate between genuine miracles and counterfeit miracles.

Ross: In Matthew 7:20, Jesus said, "By their fruits, you shall know them." He said, "So many are performing miracles or claims to be performing miracles but their lives don't match up to the principles of truth to the Bible." You want to question that.

Doug: That's right. In Matthew 4, Jesus said that beware of false christs and false prophets. There will also be-- Mind if I-- Jesus seems to indicate there will be more counterfeit ones than true ones. Whenever he says there will be many, that helps you think that's the majority. That's a good question, and of course, in Revelation, it tells us about those three unclean spirits like frogs. They go forth to the kings of the earth performing miracles to deceive. Satan's miraculous power is going to be active in the last days.

Judy: Okay.

Doug: Good question.

Judy: Comparing them with the Bible will be the deciding factor?

Doug: Yes, and the Holy Spirit will guide a person to help understand what is the purpose of the miracle, what is it achieving. Is it distracting people from the word, is it trying to get people to follow a dubious leader, or is it redemptive in value, is it increasing people's faith in God and are they praising God for the miracles or is some human taking the credit for it or trying to exploit it? There is usually circumstantial credit-

Ross: Occurrence-

Doug: -evidence is the word I'm looking for, to help us recognize that. I appreciate your question Judy. You'll also appreciate the lesson that we mentioned prior about false prophets and astrologers, psychics-- n there, we talk about the shrew in the false miracles and how to see the difference.

Ross: Thank you for your call Judy. Our next call is Steve from Sacramento California. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Hi, how are you doing?

Doug: Very well Steve, how can we help you tonight?

Steve: I have a question about-- A Christian, apparently, their words are going to be tried by fire. Their word here is double . My question is, what happens to those precious stones of a-- A believer had a strong walk with the Lord telling people, "Come to Christ and did what they were supposed to do and the discouragement of sin. At the end, are those rewards going to be lost to the higher ones or--

Doug: The Lord doesn't really have a half-way program on salvation. If a person falls away in their faith and they turn from God, God will never let go of us and he'll never turn from us, we can turn our backs on him. There are people that will have their names taken from the book of life, but maybe they won somebody to the Lord at some point along the way. Those people will still be saved. In other words, let me give you an example in the Bible. It's easier to do it that way. Let's suppose Judas was out preaching. Jesus sent Judas out preaching. The Bible's very clear about that, he sent out the 12, and they came back and reported that even the devils were subject under them and they were casting out devils and performing miracles in the name of Christ. Judas was in that group too and there were people who were maybe healed and saved through God working through Judas, but Judas clung to his greed and covetousness and we know how he ended. In the judgment, God rewards everyone according to their works. I would think that a person that spent a good part of their life working to save other people, that's considered in the judgment. Their punishment will be mitigated by that. The ones who are saved by the influence of of Judas, they don't stop being saved because Judas went bad. An example would be if a pastor marries a husband or wife that love each other and then the pastor gives up his faith, is the marriage still valid? It doesn't affect the people who have been saved by the messenger.

Steve: That part wasn't my question. I realized that it presented very with regard to how they , but my question was basically about certain Christian losing all their rewards.

Doug: When you're either saved or lost, and so if you've got a back-slidden Christian who really is in a loss condition, then they don't get one foot in heaven in the judgement, but their punishment. There are varying degrees of reward for those in heaven, and there are varying degrees of reward for the lost. Jesus said, "He who knew his master's will and did not do it is beaten with many stripes, he that did not know his master's will and did not do it is beaten with few stripes."

There are varying degrees of both punishment and and salvation. I would think that a person who has worked through their life to save others, if they are lost, their punishment is mitigated by that. It's softened by it. Some of these things are mysteries that we're going to have to wait and see, but I don't want to be on that side of the equation. I want to be on the safe side of that equation.

Steve: I agree, I agree.

Doug: Does that help a little bit Steve?

Steve: Yes, it does. It opened up more questions but still, going back-

Doug: We do have a study guide that deals with the subject of the judgment, and in that study guide, it talks a lot about how God rewards and we'll send you a free copy of that if you ask for it. It's called Facing the Judge.

Ross:To receive that, call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747. That's 1-800-835-6747. I gave the old title.

Doug: It's called Case Closed.

Ross: Case Closed is a kind of-

Doug: We've redone our lessons, they're all fresh.

Ross: We also have a book Pastor Doug, dealing with the question Can a Saved Person Be Lost? and there might be some wondering about that- we have a book on that, Can a Saved Man be Lost. The number is 1-800-835-6747, that's our resource line. Going to the phone lines, Barbara is listening on WMCA from New York. Barbara welcome to the program.

Barbara: Thank you. My question is in reference to Genesis the sixth chapter, the sons of God marries the daughters of men. Who exactly were the sons of God?

Doug: We get this question frequently, because a lot of people of course start reading through the Bible and they to get to that and there's very interesting commentaries that seem to say the sons of God are aliens or they're fallen Angels or all kinds of theories. Is very simple, in the Bible the descendents of Adam and Seth they remained faithful to God before the flood, the descendents of Cain they were called the sons of men, they turned their back on God, Cain rebelled, of course he murdered his brother. He was not raising people to worship and trust in God, so his descendents were called the sons of men.

As long as there was a distinction, the sons of God were faithful to God then God had a remnant in the earth, but what happened is eventually when the sons of God, meaning the descendents of Adam and Seth, when they saw the daughters of Cain were beautiful. They began to intermarry just like Samson who was a Jew, went and married a Philistine girl and he got all kinds of trouble. Whenever the believers begin to marry the unbelievers, it usually corrupts the faith of the believers and/or their faith is marginalized somehow.

It says right after the sons of God began to intermarry with the daughters of men, that then wickedness in the earth was great. That's who the sons of God are.

Ross: We have a verse in 1John 3:1, and it says, "Behold what manner of love the fathers has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God."

Doug: The John, Gospel of John chapter 1:12, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become sons of God." Isaiah 56:5, "Even unto them I will give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters." The Lord adopts those that believe in Him, it confuses people. Sheryl are you still there.

Barbara: I'm still here, and it's Barbara.

Doug: I'm sorry Barbara.

Barbara: It's okay.

Doug: It tells us that the offspring, the children are descendents of these sons of God mirroring the daughters of men, were giants, they were mighty men. That's not that unusual, that's just a simple law of genetics called genetic vitality, that when two people groups intermarry the offspring usually have more genetic vitality, they're even taller and stronger. That's all that was happening there, it's a very common law of science.

Barbara: I must say it's an excellent definition because I've heard many, many different statements.

Doug: Probably all kinds of strange things. I wish I could take credit for it but the ancient Bible scholars if you look in all the old commenters, they all knew what this meant, the sons of God were the descendents of Seth. It's only recently you see some commentaries with very strange. For one thing Angels do not have intimate relations with human.

Barbara: That's what was puzzling to me.

Doug: God doesn't have aliens out there either that are doing that.

Barbara: Well, thank you very much.

Doug: All right, praise the Lord, sounds like a happy customer.

Ross: Our next caller is Kim and she is calling from Washington. Kim welcome to the program.

Kim: Hello?

Doug: Hi Kim, and your question?

Kim: My question is 1Timothy on 14 where it talks about with the land on the hands of, I'd don't know how to pronounce.

Doug: The that means the elders. That word, you probably heard of the Presbyterian church?

Kim: Yes.

Doug: In the new King James version it calls it the eldership and the presbytery is the word that you find in the King James version, and that's why the Presbyterian Church was a church that was governed not by a congregation like the Congregationalist church but it was governed by the elders of that church. That's where they got their name.

Ross: Literally that word means Council of Elders.

Doug: In the original. If you read for instance in James, when someone is sick they were to call for the elders to lay hands on them, that was usually the people of age and experience that were leading the church. Just like the apostles, were the leadership of the infant church back in the times of Pentecost, they were the elders. Hope that helps a little.

Kim: Yes. Can I get that, Can a Saved Person be Lost?

Doug: Yes, that book, call the resource number, we'll be happy to send it to you.

Kim: The other number?

Ross:No, let me give it to you, it's 1-800-835-6747, it's 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book Can a Saved Person be Lost and we'll be happy to send that out. John is listening at W MCA from New York, New York. John welcome to the program.

John: Good evening and happy Resurrection Sunday.

Doug: Likewise.

John: Thank you. I hope I can express this question clearly, but God has given us free will and some choose to follow His will and others rebel. This goes on for a lifetime for most people and yet God knows the outcome from when we're born what is going to be with our life.

Doug: How do we reconcile that God knows everything without having a free will?

John: Yes, we go through a lifetime with all kinds of challenges and struggles and we try to stay in the will of God, others rebel. It's a good 77 years for most people and yet throughout all of that God knows the results from when we're just babies. I don't even know what the question is.

Doug: Well, because God knows everything, does not mean we don't have a choice. Let me explain it this way, someone illustrated to me one time, picture if you will, there is a weather and a traffic helicopter and this traffic helicopter they're up in the sky and they're watching traffic on the ground and they're reporting live what they see to the radio station. They know that they see the road and there's a tunnel on top of a hill with two lanes going through it, just two lanes, and they see the little red Volkswagen it's following a great 18 wheeler up but it's getting impatient.

They see this red Volkswagen do something very reckless, it decides to pass this 18 wheeler in the tunnel. Well, the helicopter sees on the other side of the hill from their vantage point another 18 wheeler is entering the tunnel at the same time. That helicopter sees there's going to be a terrible collision inside the tunnel. The helicopter is not making it happen, that little red Volkswagen has a choice but the helicopter knows what's going to happen. Where does the choice lie, with the helicopter or with the driver of the little red Volkswagen?

We have a choice, and ultimately our choice to accept, embrace, have faith in Christ will determine our eternal destiny. The Lord knows the future, He knows what that event is going to be or what the results is going to be. Sometimes we wish that God would tell us.

John: It's like people go through all of it. I'm just wondering the reason why people have to go through all of it when God already knows what is going to be.

Doug: Well, a lot of it is because He wants us to trust our lives to Him, because we don't know the future, the best thing to do is to trust your life to someone who does know the future. If that red Volkswagen had a radio communication with the helicopter, and the helicopter said, "Don't pass right now," then you can say something, "Hey, he knows something I don't know, he'd be safe. We've got a connection with someone who knows the future, if we listen to God will make it.

John: It's developing trust and perfecting our lives to be more like Him?

Doug: Exactly, having faith in God.

John: All right, well thank you very much and again a blessed and happy Resurrection Sunday.

Doug: Same to you and thank you very much.

Ross: Our next caller is Martin listening from tiny oak California. Martin, welcome to the program.

Martin: Good evening Pastor Ross and Pastor Doug. I have a question, I was watching Amazing fact TV and the sermon and pastor Doug was referring to Moses fasting for 40 days and 40 nights and Jesus in the wilderness. I heard pastor Doug said He drank water, He had water. I just wanted to argue on that.

Doug: It tells us that Jesus was hungry after the 40 days and 40 nights, it never says He was thirsty. When a person fasts, most of the there are a few times when they fast, they are just not eating, nothing about a fast. There is a few times in the Bible when a person has a severe fast. When Paul realized he had been persecuting Christians he neither ate nor drunk. When Esther realized the whole nation was going to be executed she said, “Command them not to eat or drink” same thing for the people of Nineveh in the days of Jonah. With Jesus it never says he was thirsty. It is after 40 days he was hungered. Okay, we assume it was a normal fast we just don't eat. It is possible for a person to go 40 days without eating but no man can go 40 days without water, without supernatural assistance. Christ fasted as a real man fasts.

He suffered for our sins, he did not have supernatural help until his fast was over then angels came and ministered to him. The Bible tells us who may fed him just like the angels fed Elijah.

Martin: Okay, thank you Pastor Doug and pastor John, God bless.

Doug: Thank you, God bless you.

Ross: Our next caller is Alex and he's calling from New Jersey listening on KFIA. Alex welcome to the program.

Alex: Hi, my question is, is it necessary to believe that Jesus Christ our Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week given the fact that the Bible states that they came to the tomb on the first day of the week not that he rose from the dead on the first day of the week?

Doug: Are you out believing that Jesus rose towards the end of the Sabbath on the seventh day the week?

Alex: Yes.

Doug: Okay. Well, when does the day end and begin in the Bible?

Alex: From evening to evening as you said earlier?

Doug: You think that Jesus rose before the sun went down on Sabbath?

Alex: Yes.

Doug: Well, the Bible says that from the time of his betrayal he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. From Thursday night in order for him to be three days three nights in the heart of the earth he would've had to stay in the grave until at least Sunday morning.

Alex: It still doesn’t elaborate on him like on Jesus reading on the first day it says just that they went to the tomb on the first day. Even John gives us a little clearer depiction and it says that on the first day of the week Miriam, Mary from Mangalore came early to the tomb while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

Ross: Let me add one of the foot to this Alex. Remember there was some Roman soldiers standing guard outside the tomb and when Jesus did rise from the dead they immediately left their post and fled into the city. When the Jewish leaders found out about it they said, “Well, you know what you tell everybody that you were sleeping and they came and stole the body away.” It only makes sense that if that was the lie that they were sleeping you could assume that happen at night. If Jesus had resurrected late Sabbath afternoon during the daylight to the tomb would've been unguarded, people would have seen it.

Alex: I really don’t know how we know that it was on Thursday that he got crucified.

Doug: Well, I didn't say it was on a Thursday. He got crucified on Friday, he was betrayed on Thursday and then he was crucified Friday. It tells us it was a preparation day, he slept in the tomb on the Sabbath and then he rose on Sunday morning. The first part your question Alex, I heard you say is it necessary for one salvation. I don't really see anything in the Bible that tells us that it's necessary to our salvation to understand what day of the week Jesus rose or for that matter what day the week he was crucified. The important part that is necessary to our salvation is accepting Christ as the Lord of our lives and being submissive to his will.

Ross: Pastor you wrote a book called the Sign of Jonah where you talk about being in the heart of the earth-

Doug: The three days and the three nights.

Ross: That would probably help Alex.

Doug: We’ll send your free copy Alex.

Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and the book is the Sign of Jonah. Marsha is calling from Dearborn Michigan. Marsha welcome to the program.

Marsha: Yes, Hello.

Doug: Hi Marsha you're on the air.

Marsha: Okay, happy Easter and happy resurrection Sunday you even going to check but I how you’re doing well tonight?

Doug: We’re doing well and how the how are you doing?

Marsha: I'm doing alright and my question is how do you become a Christian. How does one become a Christian?

Doug: I love that question. When someone says what must I do to be saved? First of all, you’ve got to know something about where you've come from, what you’re doing here and where you're going. Our hearts are naturally selfish, God is love. The only way that our hearts can be transformed is by miracle of asking him to forgive our past sins to cleanse our hearts to give us a new heart. Salvation comes from a miracle of re-creation and it's through faith and believing that when you ask God to forgive you, he will forgive all of your past mistakes. You are born again like you have a brand-new record no matter what you've done, all your sins are forgiven.

He then gives you power to live a new life by moving into your heart and mind and through feeding on his word like a baby and breathing the Holy Spirit like a baby takes its first breath you then begin to live a new life, you feed on his word, you have new direction and that's the new birth. You come to Jesus and accept him as your Lord, you ask him into your heart and you believe he will come in your heart, he will forgive your sins. You repent of your sins, confess to him what your sins are and the Bible promises he is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Ross: We have a book called Rescue from Above which goes through not only what we have to do to be saved but what Jesus has done and what we claim by faith. Marsha we would love to send that to you, it's free just call our resource line 1-800-835-6747 and asked for that the study Rescue from Above.

Doug: Also for our friends that would like to know more about salvation, we have another book called Three Steps to Heaven. Three steps to Heaven we recommend it to anyone. Friends it's amazing how quickly this time goes when we talk about the word of God, when we ‘re having fun time flies and this is our favorite thing to do. As you know this program is not subsidized or underwritten by any organization or denomination but people just like you who are listening right now they're moved and inspired by what they hear and they want others to hear the word of God. If you'd like to let us know drop us a line, go to amazingfacts.org and just click where it says contact us. Until next time remember Jesus is the truth that will set you free.

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