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Chameleons

Date: 05/03/2009 
Chameleons are among the strangest creatures on earth. There are more than a 160 different species of chameleons; most are found in tropical regions such as Africa and Madagascar with a few species native to Europe and Asia.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Chameleons are among the strangest creatures on earth. There are more than a 160 different species of chameleons; most are found in tropical regions such as Africa and Madagascar with a few species native to Europe and Asia. At first glance, their appearance leaves the impression they’re visiting from another planet. To start with, chameleons have bizarre bulging eyes that are mounted like little gun turds. Their eyes can rotate and focus separately to observe two different objects simultaneously, giving them a full 360-degree arc of vision all around their body.

It’s always a little weird to see them looking with one eye going forward and the other one looking backwards. They have very good eyesight for reptiles, so they can see even small insects from a distance. Their toes are fused together into one bunch on either side of the foot, forming a pair of grasping-tongs. To stay camouflaged, they move very slowly with a rocking movement, grasping small branches with their feet and tail. Even though they are harmless to humans, chameleon bodies are often ornamented with menacing crests and horns and spines— these has helped make them popular props in low-budget science fiction movies.

Chameleons come in a wide variety of colors and can slightly change the original color of their skin because of specialized cells called chromophores. But contrary to the popular myth, they do not change their skin to blend in with their environment. This color changes are related to light, temperature, and motion, and contests between rivals. A frightened or angry chameleon, for example, would become extremely bright in color. The color changes also play a part in communication. Then, there is the famous chameleon tongue.

It is a highly specialized tool used to catch insects from a long distance. In fact, most chameleons can shoot their tongue one-and-a-half times the length of their body. So a chameleon that’s about eight inches long can extend its tongue to 12 inches to catch insects. When stalking a bug, that tongue will slowly emerge just past the lip line—that’s when they’ll fire it off like a missile. Usually, it hits the target in about 30,000ths of a second. As the ball on the end of its tongue strikes its prey, it rapidly forms a small suction cup that sticks to the prey. It’s then drawn quickly back into the chameleon’s mouth and casually devoured.

Chameleons are not the only ones with fast and deadly tongues. Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to Bible Answers Live brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends, to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live and we’re very thankful that you are tuning in either by chance or by providence or plan. We believe that it’s God’s design and if you have a Bible question, you can call right now because we have lines open. As you probably gather, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. And if you want to call in with your question, that number, once again, is 800-GOD-SAYS; and that stands for 463-7297. We have several lines still open. If you have a Bible question, that’s what this program is for! My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross, and good evening, listening friends. And Pastor Doug, let’s start with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank You again that we’re able to study Your Word, and we ask for Your blessing tonight as we open the Bible. Give wisdom, not only to us here in the studio, Lord, as we answer questions, but to those who are listening on the radio. Thank You for Your promise to be with us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you spoke about chameleons, and originally, from South Africa, we have lots of chameleons there. And I had several pets growing up, and they make real nice pets— these chameleons— but they’re the strangest-looking animals. And their tongue is somewhat long and sticky and fast, and, you’ve mentioned deadly. Now, what did you mean when you said there are other things that have deadly tongues?

Pastor Doug: You know, I’ve found a verse in the Bible in Jeremiah 9:8. It says, “Their tongue is an arrow shot out.” And it made me think about the chameleon—the way he shoots out his tongue. Except, here, Jeremiah is talking about people who use their tongues in a harmful way with the words that are spoken—either speaking damaging words, gossip, or even deceit, which is what it identifies here in this verse. And James—in the book of James chapter 3—it talks about how the tongue, even though… human tongues, of course, can’t shoot out as far as a chameleon tongue, but we could do a lot more damage with our tongues. Through careless words that are spoken, wars have been started. Sometimes, through careless words, scars are formed in marriage that almost never heal. And people forget that every idle word that we speak—in Matthew chapter 12, Jesus says, “We’ll give account of every idle word.”

And so, you know, the Bible has a lot to say about this power of speech, and how the tongue can be a great blessing. When it’s the word of God—you think about the tongue of Jesus—what a blessing that is to the world. And also, there’s a venom in the tongues of many with the gossip and the back-biting, and things that they say that maybe aren’t true or harmful. And the Bible has a lot to say about this, and maybe you have been injured by cruel words or gossip. Maybe you have trouble bridling your tongue. And if our friends out there want to know more about what the Bible says regarding this subject, we have an offer that I don’t think we’ve offered for years. It’s an excellent Bible study resource and… tell us about it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s a book, and it’s entitled “Tiny Trouble Makers.” It deals with the subject of what we say and how it can affect not only others but even ourselves. So it’s free. Call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, “Tiny Trouble Makers;” “Tiny Trouble Makers.” And we’ll be happy to send that out. Well, Pastor Doug, should we go to the phone lines then?

Pastor Doug: Yes!

Pastor Jëan Ross: First caller is Hector listening on the Internet from Chicago, Illinois. Hector, welcome to the program. Hector, you there?

Hector: Yes. Yeah, hi, I’m here. Sorry, I have to rock…

Pastor Doug: You’re on the air, Hector. Your question?

Hector: Yes. I thought I might have heard this in, basically… I thought I heard it from a preacher. But, basically, the question is— is it anywhere in the Bible that states that there’s no sin without the knowledge of sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, it is true that the Bible tells us we are more culpable when we sin after knowing. And that’s Hebrews 10:26, “If we continue to sin after we received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin.” Now, there is also a verse in John 9:41 where Jesus says, “If you were blind, you should have no sin. But now, you say, ‘We see,’ therefore your sin remains.” And so, when a person knows God’s will and they know what the truth is and they sin against that knowledge, they are more responsible than if they didn’t know. So there are some verses in the Bible that bear this out. Can you hear me okay, Hector?

Hector: I can hear you just fine.

Pastor Doug: And does that make sense?

Hector: Yeah. And the reason why I bring that up is we had a marriage ministry meeting today, and we were going over Mark 10 because people were confused about adultery and what Jesus was saying about adultery. And we found out… one of our members actually confided with us that she was married before and she married again but she didn’t know that if you were married and then had a divorce and then marry again, that’s still considered adultery. And, you know, basically, we didn’t want to condemn her. You know, we didn’t want to say, “No, you are an adulterous woman.” So we were trying to find…

Pastor Doug: Well, there’s one more… if you don’t mind, there’s one more Scripture I can offer you now that you’ve given me a little more precision on what the issue is. When the Samaritan woman came to Jesus—I think that’s John chapter 4—and He revealed to her, of course, He was the Messiah. Now, the Samaritans did not have the same knowledge of the truth that the Jews had. She had had five husbands—she was living with a man she wasn’t married to—and Jesus accepted her. He not only accepted her, He basically sent her out telling others that He was the Messiah. He revealed to her He was the Messiah.

So let’s suppose a person is a pagan, and they’re out there in the world. And maybe they’re getting married and divorced. And like the world often does today, and they don’t know. And they come to Christ. You can’t unscramble scrambled eggs. You come as you are. And then, you get a new beginning from that point on. So, you know, we can’t always undo all of the baggage that we bring with us to Jesus. The Lord just kind of meets us where we’re at. You know what I’m saying?

Hector: Yeah, and that’s exactly what we were trying to tell her. We asked her, “Did you know that it was a sin to remarry?” And she said she did not know. And we were, you know, and that’s when I brought up, you know, can it really be sin if you don’t know… if you don’t have the knowledge of the sin? And I just couldn’t find it in my own studying.

Pastor Doug: Well, now there’s… I think that for whatever reason… You still there, Hector? Yeah. You with us?

Hector: I’m still here.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, sometimes the phone lines play tricks on us. But the Scriptures do tell us that we have a conscience. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. For instance, you don’t have to be a Christian to know that it’s wrong to kill.

Hector: Sure.

Pastor Doug: And I think that even people, there’s a certain amount of common sense law where they know that adultery and fornication is not right. You don’t have to be a Christian to know these things. And so… but there are varying degrees of knowledge. There’s a lot of things that I knew before I ever became a Christian. I was an atheist. But once coming to Christ and reading the Bible, I said, “Wow. Yeah, that makes sense but I never thought about it.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you know, Acts 17:30, the Bible says, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at.”

Pastor Doug: Good verse.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And so, God, in His mercy, will forgive the times of ignorance but that doesn’t excuse what has happened as far as, you know, it’s still sin but God will forgive that sin.

Hector: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And then He asks us to follow Him.

Hector: Correct. And that’s Acts 17 verse…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Acts 17:30.

Hector: 30. Okay. So in you guys’ opinion, do you feel that, you know, I mean, I don’t understand… I guess that… as you said earlier, you know it is still sin but God will… in her… after the knowledge…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, she’s married again now, right?

Hector: Correct.

Pastor Doug: Well, she needs to just, you know, come to the Lord where she is and serve the Lord with all her heart in her capacity right now. And she’ll have a new beginning. By the way, you know what, Hector, we’ll send you a study guide on the “Keys to Happy Marriage.” And when you get that, I hope you give it to this lady that you are visiting with.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, “Keys to a Happy Marriage.” And it will be a great blessing but not only to the person that Hector is talking to but anyone out there who would like “Keys to a Happy Marriage.” Call the resource line, 1-800-835-6747. Jeff is listening on the Internet from Edmonton, Alberta. Jeff, welcome to the program!

Jeff: Yes. Hi, Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Jeff: I just wanted to know if I had this end-time scenario of the world right. And if you could kind of correct me if I say something wrong. So basically, the end times signs lead up to a small time of trouble, which is in Daniel 12:7, in which it’s 3 ½ years. And the mark of the beast is enforced by the United States in the world. And then at the end, there will be a 30-day period of approximately, according to Daniel 12:11, in which he masquerades as Christ and before the Christians are exterminated. Then the 7 last plagues fall within one year or the 45 days, and then Christ returns. Is that kind of accurate?

Pastor Doug: Well, what I will… the way I’m going to comment on that, if it’s okay, Jeff, is I’ll say the sequence of what you’ve got there is small of time trouble—it says in Revelation 13 that they can’t buy and sell, there’ll be economic sanctions—when that doesn’t work, then it goes on to say that ultimately there’s a death penalty. And you even have that same timetable in Esther. It tells about there was pressure and that pressure led to a day for a death decree. And then, yes, the 7 last plagues begin to fall after probation closes when Michael stands up—that’s Daniel chapter 12. What I want to avoid doing in the scenario you just gave, the dates—you could be right about the period of time, the 3 ½ years and the time of the plagues—those are speculation. And I have my own personal speculations, too, but I don’t think we can be adamant about how long this small time of trouble will be. And I do believe the 7 last plagues are going to come within a year, the Bible says. Well, that could mean a year or less. And I’ve said before that could be 45 days and I’ve given reasons for that. But I don’t teach that dogmatically. That’s just… that’s an educated guess. I really don’t have strong Scripture for that.

Jeff: Okay. And in Matthew 24, just concerning this end-time scenario is something that’s boggled me because I know there’s a dual application for the 1260 prophecy as well in the last days…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Jeff: …but here in Matthew 24:21 says, “For then, there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time no nor ever shall be.” If this is a dual application and it primarily is looking at the 1260 period, how can it also apply to the last times?

Pastor Doug: Well, if you consider that what happened during the persecution in the Dark Ages—time of Great Tribulation—that was a shadow of what’s going to happen when the 7 last plagues fall. I mean, let’s face it! That’s called the wrath of God poured out without mixture. That would be the Great Tribulation. And when Daniel stands up… I’m sorry…. Daniel 12… when Michael stands up, it says, “Then there’s a time of trouble such as there never has been,” so when Jesus quotes Daniel, He must be referring to that last time of trouble is the crescendo of trouble.

Jeff: Oh, it’s not referring to the small time of trouble?

Pastor Doug: No, no. The time of trouble such as there never has been is, I think, the 7 last plagues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. Just to add to what Pastor Doug’s saying, it says that, “Except that time be shortened, there shall no flesh be saved.”

Pastor Doug: No human life would survive. And so, it’s shortened by Christ’s coming. That’s why it says for the elect’s sake, it will be shortened and again, in the same chapter, it tells us if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. But He’s going to come and rescue us before the world becomes uninhabitable because of the… everything imploding all at one time.

Hey, you know, we have a study guide that talks about the Time of the Ends or the “Time of the End,” I should say. And it sounds like, Jeff, you’ve been studying all that. I don’t know if there’s anything we could send you that you don’t have. But we do have on Armageddon and that deals with the time of the end and the last plagues. And just ask for that, we’ll send it to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And the number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide dealing with the subject of Armageddon. And we’ll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Loretta, and she is listening on WDNX from Savannah, Tennessee. Loretta, welcome to the program!

Loretta: Yes, thank you. Good evening, Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Loretta: I’ve got a question about concubines in the Bible.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Loretta: In Genesis, it made reference to him, I guess, sleeping with his father’s concubine. And my question is, what was their relationship to the concubines? And what was the issue if they weren’t actually married?

Pastor Doug: Well, technically, a concubine was a wife. But they were not wives—they did not have the same status or stature as a regular wife. And I could give you a number of examples. Abraham, when he took Sarah’s handmaid, he took her for the purpose—and I know this seems really crass—but to procreate, to have a child. Well, she ended up getting, you know, the privileges of a wife to some extent. But even Abraham said to Sarah, “Look, she’s still your servant. She’s in your control.”

And then Jacob, when he married Rachel and Leah, each of them came with a bridesmaid that ended up also being adopted as wives because they were having problems having kids. And so Bilhah and Zilpah, the handmaids, they became concubines. Ruben ended up sleeping with his… one of the handmaids that his father had married—that Jacob had married—and he got cursed for doing that.

And then when David fled from the persecution of Absalom, he took his wives with him but he left ten concubines to kind of keep the palace while he was gone. Well, Absalom went and basically, took his father’s wives. But it was usually… not every man had a concubine. Man could have two wives but they both had the status of wives. You really had to be a sultan, you know, a patriarch or king to have concubines for the purpose of procreating.

Who was that? Solomon, of course, he’s the one that has a gold medal. He had, what, 300 wives and 700 concubines? I mean, you just can’t even comprehend how you deal with that on a practical level. But that was so… kings used to have as many…

Loretta: He was a bust man.

Pastor Doug: …children as they could. Yeah, well, the idea was they wanted to make sure that the monarchy went on forever. And so…

Pastor Jëan Ross: And also as a part of a status symbol as well amongst the other nations. The more wives, the more concubines, the more prosperous, the more successful you are as a king.

Pastor Doug: And they would often take these extra wives to form alliances with countries. But the primary wives, you know, they get special allowance, special… they get different kind of credit card basically than the concubines got. And so, you know, they had the protections of a wife in that they weren’t, you know, they only had one husband who was the man and they were provided for. But they didn’t have the same status in the family, which is I know it sounds terrible to us but that’s what it was.

Loretta: Okay. I got just one other quick question. I know there’s nothing written in the Bible that doesn’t have significance. It has a reference to an Anah who fed the mules in the wilderness, and he did something to the herd with someone else. If you look that up, I'm just trying to figure out why that reference was there to him with the mules and the herd…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, I remember reading that and right now… do you have it, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: No. You know, I’m looking. I looked up Anna and, of course, Luke 2:36…

Loretta: It’s in Genesis.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …talks about Anna the prophetess…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I know.

Pastor Jëan Ross: But I haven’t read the reference there.

Loretta: I think it’s Anah…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I remember reading that, and keep in mind when Moses was writing Genesis, he evidently is referring to a story that other readers knew about, but it’s sort of has been lost to time.

Loretta: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And, you know, right now, when I talk to this new generation about, you know, things that happened in my generation, they look at me and their eyes glaze over and they don’t know what I’m talking about. But anybody in my generation will know what I’m talking about if I say, “Stingray with a banana seed.”

Loretta: [Laughing] So it was basically there to…

Pastor Doug: And the kids today, they don’t know what that is [laughing]. You know what I mean? Yeah, so something evidently happened that became notable during that time and Moses is alluding to it. But what I would do, I believe every word in the Bible has meaning. I would go, and I can’t do it right now because of time, I’d look up the name. Names often have a meaning. Find out what does that name mean. And sometimes there’s a symbolic meaning even of a very brief verse.

Loretta: Yeah. Well, okay, well thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: And but, you know, you have to call me back after I look that up.

Loretta: [Laughing] Thank you so very much! Have a blessed week.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks a lot, Loretta. You, too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sharon is calling from New Jersey. Sharon, welcome to the program.

Sharon: Hi. Hi, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Sharon. Now, you tell me the name of your town you’re in.

Sharon: Premith.

Pastor Doug: Premith? Okay. Well, Pastor Ross wasn’t and couldn’t even give a venture or stab at that. I wasn’t either. But I thought I’d find out. And your question tonight?

Sharon: Well, like the previous church that I went to, like they taught that women had to like cover their heads with scarves. And they got it from 1 Corinthians 11:6. And, like, what is that? What was that referring to? Do we still need to, like… do women still need to cover their head?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, whenever I read this verse, a little voice says to me, “Be careful not to be dogmatic, Doug.” Now, when I say that, I mean I shouldn’t be dogmatic one way or the other. If the Holy Spirit is telling a church or a woman, you know, when you pray in public… and this is not talking about all the time. It’s not talking about, you know, wearing a veil or hat all the time. It’s talking about especially public worship and prayer. And many churches, you’ll notice that especially European churches, all different denominations, the women cover their head when they pray.

I remember going to a sister’s house and doing a Bible study, and at the end, when I said, “Let’s kneel and pray,” she looked very nervous. And she reached around and grabbed the curtains she was kneeling by, and laid them across her head because she said, “You know, I want to have my hair… head covered.”

But most scholars, they believe this was actually Paul saying this is a custom for respect. And because of this custom, women should observe it. Also, the prostitutes back in Bible times were considered very bold and outspoken. They did not cover their heads. And so he said, “Look, so you don’t look like them…” A woman’s hair is her glory, and so the idea was cover your head when you’re in the presence of God out of a sign of humility.

Now, it’s interesting for me— just to give you an example of why I think this could be a custom— my mother’s Jewish, and when I go into a Jewish synagogue, you cover your head. A man puts his hat on. I remember going to the Wailing Wall in Israel, and even when you walk within the barricades of the Wailing Wall, they hand you a paper yamaca. It’s considered disrespectful to walk to this holy place with your head uncovered for man. But in a Protestant church, if I walk in with my baseball cap on that I wear almost all the time, it’s considered disrespectful not to take your hat off! See what I’m saying?

Sharon: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So, what Paul was saying is make sure and demonstrate respect and humility. I think that’s the central lesson. So, you know, in the churches today, if it’s considered respectful for a woman not to have her head covered, then that’s the idea. You want to be respectful and humble.

Sharon: It comes from like… my previous church was an Indian church so… a Pentecostal Indian church.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Sharon: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I’ve attended Pentecostal Indian churches. Now, if you read on in this passage, and Pastor Ross might help me find it, he specifically says, “If anyone contests this, we have no other custom.” He uses the word “custom.” And, there it is, it’s verse 16, “But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom.” So just the use of the word “custom” there tells us maybe this is not a law, because there’s no other law in the Bible that says, “Thy women shall cover their heads when they pray.” He’s alluding to it seems like a custom that was understood in the empire at the time.

Sharon: Alright.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, different customs. If you go to the Middle East and they greet you with a kiss on the cheek, that’s great. I prefer shaking hands, that’s our custom. So, you see what I’m saying? But there’s no law in the Bible, “Thou shall not shake hands.”

Sharon: Yeah. So just customs.

Pastor Doug: Paul says, “Custom to whom custom is due.” When I go to church at some parts of the world, they all take off their shoes when they walk in the church. And I’m going to take mine off, too. You know what I’m saying?

Sharon: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So show respect wherever you go.

Sharon: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. We appreciate your question. We have time for one more before our break, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. George listening on WMCA from Bronx, New York. George, welcome to the program!

George: How you doing?

Pastor Doug: Hi! We’ve got about two minutes before we have to take a break, so can we squeeze a quick question in?

George: Yeah. I do want to talk about 1 Corinthians, I think 5:9, where Paul talks about, you know, “Do not associate with any sexually immoral people.” So I’m wondering if there’s a lot of fornication going on in the church, what you should do about that?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, you can’t bring a revival into a church by leaving the church. And so, you know, if I was living back in Paul’s day, I would want to go to the church that Paul went to. Paul went to this church in Corinth when he was there. See what I’m saying?

George: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: But Paul tried to revive it. So Paul never suggested that the members withdraw. What Paul said was that they needed to raise the standard and they needed to deal with, in the appropriate church procedure, people who were violating Biblical principles. That means you visit them one-on-one, you pray with them, you encourage them to reform, and if they don’t, you have to deal with their membership and officially remove their name from the books of the church.

So, if you’ve got… if there’s infidelity in the church, you know, you might talk to the Pastor and say, “Pastor, you know, we need to pray that there’ll be a revival in this area and maybe there’s specific people that needs some encouragement.” But just saying, “Well, I’m not going to church anymore because I saw someone there that was being immoral,” you think about it. Even back in the days of Christ, Jesus had a Judas that was stealing from the treasury. But I still would have supported Christ when I was there back then. I wish we had given you more time, George. I hope that helps a little bit.

George: Alright. Thanks a lot!

Pastor Doug: God bless you. And by the way, we do have that lesson also that deals with the subject of marriage that we’d be happy to send you. And we’re going to take a break here in just a moment, friends. Before we do that, get a pencil handy. If you haven’t already written this down, you can write down “Amazing Facts.” You type in “Amazing Facts” in Google, Yahoo, it will take you usually to our website first page, amazingfacts.com, .org, and that’s where we’ve got the bulk of material to continue your study. There’s radio programs, you can watch online, TV programs, and much more. Be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible-related question, you can call us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time on Sundays and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. Now, please join us as we look to God’s Word for more Bible answers live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: We’re back, friends and if you’ve joined along the way, you are listening to Bible Answer Live. This is one of those live programs, but we’re dedicated to talking about the Word of God. And that’s where real life comes from. If you have a Bible question, we do have some lines open. Pick up your phone right now and call the toll-free number. It’s 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s not because we claim to be divine, but we go to the Book of God, and that’s where He says it. 800-463-7297.

And before we go back to the phones, Pastor Ross, we give a little update on an experiment we ran a couple of weeks ago. We put up a little YouTube video. It’s called “666 Revealed.” And in August, it’s been a little more than two weeks now…

Pastor Jëan Ross: August… fantastic, yeah!

Pastor Doug: ...24,000 visits and counting. And if you’ve not seen it yet, friends, it not only gives you some very interesting facts about the number 666 and then directs you to a website called, “666 Truth,” where there’s just videos on, “What does 666 mean? What is the beast?” See that people always want to know about 666 and the mark of the beast but first you’ve got to know, what is the beast that is giving out the mark? And so, we have a sermon on the beast, we’ve got Bible studies, there’s audio programs, and there’s even… I think I mentioned this but what’s really in is you can type in names and see what does my name add up to? It’s that quiz on your antichrist knowledge. What does the Bible say and not say about the antichrist? It’s got some of the suspects. It’s got like a bunch of mug shots of people that are suspected to be the antichrist [laughing]. And it’s very interesting and a serious subject but… so go to YouTube or just go to Google. If you type in “666 Revealed,” you’ll see the second or third line down, there’ll be a YouTube video that’s got a street sign on it. It says 666. And link that to your friends. Tell them about it because it really gets them into Bible studies, and that’s why we push it. We’re using the inflammatory potential of the number 666 to get people to study the Bible. But we do give some interesting information.

Pastor Jëan Ross: By the way, Pastor Doug, that whole 666 little video clip that you put together for YouTube, that began right here, Bible Answers Live. It was part of the amazing fact…

Pastor Doug: Yes. It was an amazing fact. We’ve had a lot of response and I said, “Why don’t we put that on YouTube and see what happens?” And just we grabbed our cameras one day when we were taping some promotions for our TV program and said, “Let’s try this.” And boy, it’s just gone into orbit!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, it’s exciting.

Pastor Doug: It’s just fun.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Next caller is Trina and she is listening on the Internet from California. Trina, welcome to the program!

Trina: Hi there, Pastor. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good and thank you for waiting. Your question?

Trina: My question is, you had a gentleman caller earlier that asked a little bit of the question I had about the Tribulation, but I was confused about a couple of things. The mark… the beast making war with the saints— is that something that hasn’t occurred yet?

Pastor Doug: No. Well, the final war, no, it has not occurred yet.

Trina: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The beast, when you read about the spirit behind the beast is, of course, the devil.

Trina: Right.

Pastor Doug: The devil has been making war with the saints since he had Cain kill Abel back in…

Trina: Right.

Pastor Doug: …the beginning. So, you know, in that sense, that war has been going on for a long time. But the final push of the devil to exterminate all Christians from the planet with this death decree and this law… see, right now, Trina, there are people in the world that are… some are totally sold out for God, some are totally rejecting God, and a lot of people are on the fence.

Trina: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You know, Jesus said, “You’re either with Me or against Me,” but people are still on the valley of decision.

Trina: Correct.

Pastor Doug: And, but when these final issues are forced, everybody will have to have either the seal of God and be saved or the mark of the beast and be lost. And there will be no middle ground.

Trina: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so, that’s the final war with the saints.

Trina: Okay. I understand, Sir.

Pastor Doug: That’s future…

Trina: And lastly… I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: That’s future.

Trina: This ties… yeah, this ties in with the question. I know that you had said, you know, Jesus is coming soon and I recognize that we’re in some times that are really apparent to Christians. But I just need to get some clarification because there’s a Scripture that says, you know, before Jesus comes, people will be marrying, given in marriage, and eating and drinking and life was going on as normal, and then Jesus is going to come as a thief in the night…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Trina: …and on the other hand, the Tribulation’s going to come, and then He’s going to come after that. So with what season is this going to happen?

Pastor Doug: Alright. First, let me tell you, I’ve got something I’d like to give you for free…

Trina: Okay.

Pastor Doug: …and then I’m going to give you a brief answer. When we’re done with our call, there’s a book called, “Anything but Secret.” In the book, it talks about the Second Coming. People… we believe in what they call—some people call it the rapture when the saints are caught up—we don’t believe in the rapture the way that the more popular…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Secret idea.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah. The idea it’s a secret. It’s a little bit sensational, and I don’t find it very biblical. We believe…

Trina: Okay.

Pastor Doug: …in the traditional Christian view of the Second Coming and… so that book, it’s called, “Anything but Secret,” talks about the sequence of the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the order in which that will play out. So, I want to make sure you get that in your hands because there’s a lot more Scripture in the book than I can give you. By the way, anyone listening, if you want a copy of “Anything but Secret,” you’ll understand that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you that number. It’s 1-800-835-6747. And the book, “Anything but Secret.”

Pastor Doug: Now, back to your question, Trina. The way that the Bible tells us this is going to happen is as we near the end of time, sin is going to abound. You just mentioned the eating and the drinking and the giving in marriage.

Trina: Right.

Pastor Doug: Now, those things will be worse than they’ve ever been. People have always ate and drank, people always have gotten married and got divorced. But there will be an acceleration of that. And I read a Reader’s Digest article that said, “We’re now living in the first time in the world’s history when there are more people that are over-nourished than malnourished.”

Trina: Right. Sure.

Pastor Doug: People are eating more now, more calories…

Trina: It’s all accelerating…

Pastor Doug: …than any other time in history. Yeah. And that’s why you get an epidemic of diabetes and other things… heart disease. And the marriage statistics…

Trina: …and the acceleration of those things, Pastor, and then the end?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Trina: Then the Tribulation?

Pastor Doug: Well, then what happens, where sin abounds, grace abounds. And so God’s going to pour out His Spirit, the Gospel’s going to be preached in all the world, and then Jesus said the end will come. That end is going to look like a great persecution against Christians, it’s going to turn into, you know, the small time of trouble, the great time of trouble.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now, of course, the Bible does say that before Jesus comes, you have the 7 last plagues, one of which is the water turns to blood, and so on. I think it will be pretty evident, especially, you know, to those who have studied the Word of God, that when the plagues begin to fall out that will come that Jesus is almost here. But I think the thing that’s going to catch the world off-guard, even Christians off-guard, is going to be the close of probation, which…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …precedes that terrible time of trouble described in Daniel chapter 12—there’s going to be eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage all the way up to the close of probation. And once that happens, well, destinies are sealed.

Pastor Doug: You know, one more thing I’ll add to that, Pastor Ross, everyone’s wondering if this economic meltdown right now is the end of the world. And I said, no. I mean it’s pretty blatant to say that, but the reason is Jesus said that such a time as you think not…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: He said not only eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. He said building. There’s going to be an apparent economic boom! And what we’ve seen now for this economic crisis the world is going through is there’s been a shift of control away from people to government. And that is a fulfillment of prophecy because we know this beast’s power is going to be controlling buying and selling. So there’s going to be tremendous power in the government.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And there’s also a lot of discussion about peace. The Bible says when they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them. And there is a lot of talk about the need for peace.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. So we are moving towards the end, but I think we’ve got a little time left, not much. Hey, don’t forget to send for that booklet, Trina, “Anything but Secret.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, the number: 1-800-835-6747 and the book is “Anything but Secret.” Cathy is calling from Michigan listening on 103.5. Cathy, welcome to the program!

Cathy: Hi! How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing well! And your question tonight?

Cathy: Well, my children and I have been discussing ghosts. And they believe in ghosts and I wanted to know if I could find Scripture to teach them about what the Bible says about ghosts, spirits—those kinds of things.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, first of all, Pastor Ross, spirits of devil’s working miracles, you looking that up for me?

Pastor Jëan Ross: I am.

Pastor Doug: There are fallen angels in the world, Cathy. When Satan was cast to the earth, in Revelation chapter 12, it says, his angels were cast out with him. There are not only good angels that God has, there are evil angels that fight. And the dragon and his angels fought against Christ and His angels. And so, these fallen angels, they’re called many things. They’re called the devil’s minions; they’re called demons; they’re called evil spirits; they’re called ghosts. They can impersonate the dead. You’ve got an example of where they impersonate the dead in 1 Samuel where one of them pretends to be Samuel the Prophet having come back and he gives Saul such a discouraging message that he commits suicide the next day in battle. So, these are fallen angels that impersonate the dead, but the Bible says that when someone dies, nothing in Scripture tells us that dead come back to haunt the living. They are sleeping in their graves waiting for their resurrection. They don’t interact with humans at that time. Pastor Ross, you have other verses?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, the verse is Revelation 16:14. It says, “Thou the spirits of the devil’s working miracles.” So, you know, these evil spirits can even perform miracles. And then 1 Timothy 4:1, it says, “Now, the spirits speak of expressly that in the latter times,” the time we’re living in, “Has some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the darkness of devils.” And so, you know, we have a real foe out there— the devil and his fallen angels— and the devil is going to try deceive as many people as he can, and he works through these demons, through his fallen angels.

Pastor Doug: And then you’ve got 2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” Well, if the devil can appear as an angel of light, he can appear as a ghost. He is an angel that has the power to create illusions and... So, please send for the study guide. We’ll give you a free study guide called, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” That will answer with no question for your kids. You go through that study guide with your kids. They’ll have no questions about ghosts because it talks about ghosts in the study.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have a set of lessons, Pastor Doug, just for kids, and we deal with the subject in the lesson called, “Whistling through the Graveyard.”

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah, that’s a good one. [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: I don’t think we can send that out for free because it’s the entire set of lessons but one can get it from Amazing Facts…

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …right on the website.

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That will be great for children.

Pastor Doug: And they’re called, “The Amazing Adventure” Bible study guides. How old are your kids?

Cathy: Well, Eric is 15 and Kyle is 13.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Perfect.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that will work fine for that age, and they’ll understand the lesson we’re offering also on… we’ll send you a free copy of “Are the Dead Really Dead?” They’ll enjoy because it’s full of pictures, colored pictures.

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” We’ll send that out. Lenny is listening on WMCA from New York. Lenny, welcome to the program!

Lenny: Hello Pastors. I would like to know, in Revelation chapter 4, it talks about the 7 Spirits of God…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Lenny: Where are the 7 Spirits of God?

Pastor Doug: You’ve got your Bible handy?

Lenny: Actually, I don’t. I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: Well, then just your pencil. If you’ve got a pencil, that will work.

Lenny; Yes, I do. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And you look in Isaiah 11:2. It says, “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him.” Alright, that’s one. “The Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of the Fear of the LORD, the Spirit of Might, and the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the LORD.” You add those up, if you include the Spirit of The LORD as one, you come up with 7 different facets of the Spirit. So, it’s talking about characteristics, the way God the Spirit manifests Himself. So, it’s not that God has got 7 separate Spirits fooling around His throne; it’s talking about the 7 different ways that His Spirit is given. Like, if you were to say, “What part of God’s Spirit was especially given to Solomon?” I’d say, “Wisdom.” “What part of God’s Spirit was given to Samson?” I’d say, “Might.” You know, so we’ve got different aspects or facets of the Spirit of God. And that once again is Revela… I’m sorry. Isaiah 11:2.

Lenny: Verse 2. Sweet! Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: You’re welcome! Thank you for calling.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Rebecca and she is calling from Saint Louis, Missouri listening on KJSL. Rebecca, welcome to the program!

Rebecca: Hi! Thanks for taking my call. I hope this question won’t seem trivial comparatively. The book of Genesis talks about God looking at Adam’s life. And he’d been in the garden for a while, and God said, “It’s really not good for man to be alone, but I will make a help-mate for him.” And coming from a single person’s perspective, I know that there are large groups of people who are in my shoes, and we’re wondering, maybe you could give us some insights into why so many people are remaining single on the planet right now. Just because it seems as so being married would be an ideal situation, but so many of us—God asked us to stay single.

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a good question. There’s a couple of things God is saying to Adam. First of all, when He said it’s not good that man shall be alone, that also is a very broad, comprehensive statement that man is a social creature. And, of course, people who are single is far as marital status can still be very socially fulfilled creatures. My wife loves a room full of people. She just thrives on the interaction and the communication and I’m a little more of a, believe it or not, hermit sometimes. I don’t mind company, but then I like, love being alone. I was up in the hills by myself the last two or three days, and it was great. But, you know, after a while, you start to get real lonely. I actually lived as a hermit for a year and a half in a cave; that’s another story. But you get what you miss people. A man needs to interact or you become eccentric. We bounce and balance ourselves by our interaction with each other. A person who is always by themselves ends up becoming eccentric.

And so, we need each other. But then marriage is another thing in that men and women are different creatures, and it seems like men with their task-oriented, conquering sort of attitude are balanced out by the relationship, tender-side of the feminine nature. And, of course, I’m generalizing now. And, you know, that is difficult in single people’s lives, that they’re missing that. But, you know, Christ is the ultimate compensation. And, you know, I know that there’s a lot of single folks out there. They feel lonely. I’m a Pastor. We’ve got a lot of singles in our church that they kind of feel like, you know, “What’s happening? My life’s going by. Am I ever going to get married?” You know. And it’s a struggle! But, because God created us with…

Lenny: I just wonder…

Pastor Doug: …this desire…. excuse me?

Lenny: Very briefly, I just wonder, some people will tell you as a single person, “Well, you know, it’s just not God’s will for you right now,” and I do understand that God has timing. But basically, it’s very difficult to wait on the Lord. It just is. And if you have any other insights that you can help us single people with, that would be appreciated.

Pastor Doug: Well, being single with no person is much better than being married to the wrong person.

Lenny: That’s true.

Pastor Doug: And so, being with the Lord, and saying, “Lord, I’m going to wait on You,” and it’s really hard, but trusting Him that waiting on the Lord for his timing is a lot better than rushing into the wrong relationship.

Lenny: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you know, there are some advantages to being single when it comes to doing the Lord’s work.

Pastor Doug: Paul says that, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. The Apostle Paul says that, I mean, he was traveling, he was ministering, he was teaching the Word. It was easier for him to do that than if he had a family. And I, you know, we have a whole team of evangelists that travel around the country and do meetings. It’s difficult to take the family on the road. And so, there are advantages in sharing the Gospel and ministry and caring for the needs of others to those who are single, and I think until the Lord brings the right person into your life, spend your time doing as much for God as you possibly can.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You’ve got an advantage for ministry right now, and say, “Lord, I’m going to exploit this while the time lasts to serve You with this extra time.”

Lenny: Good advice!

Pastor Doug: Wish we could say it was ours but it’s actually Paul’s [laughing]. Thank you for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is John listening on WMCA from Brooklyn, New York. John, you’re on Bible Answers Live.

John: Yes! Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

John: I tuned in a little late and I heard part of a call and it involved knowingly or willfully sinning against God or committing a sin knowingly.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

John: Now, I didn’t get it all. Is there forgiveness for that type of sin? Or once you cross that line, it doesn’t look good?

Pastor Doug: Well, if there is not forgiveness for knowingly sinning, then the speaker right now is in big trouble. I think everybody listening has sinned knowingly. So what I was reading—you said you tuned in late—let me read the whole verse for you. In Hebrews 10:26, and this is written by Paul, “For if we sin willfully after that we’ve received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking forward to judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” Paul is talking about someone who continues to live a life of sin after they know the claims of Christ has on their life and the sacrifice He’s made. After we know what Jesus has done, and after we’ve, you know, understood the truth, and we say, “Well, I don’t really want to follow the Lord,” the word “sin” there is not an incident, it’s not one deed, it’s a lifestyle. So if a person does choose to continue to live a life of sin after they know about Christ calling them and inviting them to repent and they don’t, yes, there is no forgiveness if they don’t repent! See the difference?

John: Yes. If I may…

Pastor Doug: Pardon me one second. Just a thought came to me. Eve, the first one who sinned, and then, of course, Adam followed, they both knew what they were doing was forbidden. Both of them. It was a willful sin.

John: Yeah. It’s true.

Pastor Doug: They were aware. God said, “Don’t do it,” and they did it!

John: Right.

Pastor Doug: So it wasn’t like they ate a piece of fruit and God told them later, “You know, that was the one you weren’t supposed to eat. I forgot to tell you.” They knew.

John: Right.

Pastor Doug: So… I’m sorry. You were saying something? I interrupted.

John: Yes. Say someone has an addiction whether it’s… well, I was going to say alcohol or drugs, but alcohol is a drug, how can you overcome that? Like if you have an addiction, and it’s… you’re sinning against God, and you know you are, but you cannot help yourself.

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, I know a lot of people struggling with an addiction, and it could be… some people are workaholics. It could be a drug or alcohol or tobacco or whatever. In the same way, I used to drink and smoke, and God delivered me from those things. Praise the Lord!

John: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And He can do that for anybody.

John: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So, the same way that you overcome that sin by trusting the Lord, someday you may fall again, but that doesn’t mean that God forsakes you. You know, when you’re struggling against something like that, you’re trying to gain the victory, God’s with you through the whole process.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, there’s some practical things that a person would do to gain victory over an addiction or over sin. I mean, for one, you dedicate yourself to God and the Bible says, “Make no provision for the flesh.” In other words, you remove the temptation as far as possible from you. And then you need to have a plan of escape that when that temptation comes—when the devil comes to you—that there is something you do immediately to distract your mind to focus on Christ, to claim His promises… and you know, you can’t wait until the devil comes and the temptation is upon you, then to try and figure out a way of escape, you need to have a pre-planned way of escape that you can take when the temptation comes. And if we would follow what God has told us to do, we will gain the victory.

Pastor Doug: A matter of fact, there’s a book we’ll send you for free if you like a copy, John. All you got to do is call, and it’s called, “Tips for Resisting Temptation.” What it really deals with, how do you get the victory over an addiction?

John: Right.

Pastor Doug: And I’m glad you asked that question because I bet you there’s thousands listening that have the same question. We’re all…

John: It’s such a struggle.

Pastor Doug: We’re all sin-aholics.

John: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: We’re all sin-aholics. We’re all addicted to sin, and it’s only through a miracle of God’s grace we get the victory in these various areas.

John: Right, right. I know I’m not strong enough to do it on my own.

Pastor Doug: Yup. But remember, through Christ all things are possible. You know, there’s another book, we haven’t offered this but it’s an old book but it’s a classic. It’s called, “The Power of a Positive No,” and it talks about how to get the victory over an addiction. A matter of fact, the cover shows a person resisting alcohol. “The Power of a Positive No.” We’ll send you a free copy of that as well if you just call the toll-free number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book on resisting temptation, it’s “Tips on Resisting Temptation.” And you can ask for the book…

Pastor Doug: “The Power of a Positive No.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “The Power of a Positive No.”

Pastor Doug: I like that title. “A Positive No.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: It’s like a definite “maybe.” [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. David is listening on WMUZ from Windsor, Ontario. David, welcome to the program!

David: Hi. How are you doing tonight?

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

David: I’m actually just calling for a question that I’ve had some discussion on lately. Just wondering about the difference between the words “election,” “ordained,” “the called,” and “predestination.” And just a question about like predestination versus free will and what’s the biblical doctrines on that?

Pastor Doug: Wow. Well, let me… you’ve asked some of the big questions of Christian theology and apologetics. Free will, which you’re Methodist, for instance, would fall in that category—I put myself in the category of free will—that means that God, while He knows what everybody is going to choose to do, they still do have a choice. The Calvinist who believe in predestination—and a number of churches fall under that category—dear people on both sides, they believe that God is sort of pre-decided for people, whether or not they are going to choose Him. And He has chosen certain ones and they’re the “elect.” Where “free will” Christians—and there are even free will Baptists; there’s a denomination called Free Will Baptists along with the Methodists—they believe that we have a choice, that many are called, that everybody’s invited to the gospel feast. Those who respond are elected. They become the “elect.” See what I’m saying?

David: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So everyone’s invited. Christ says, “Whosoever will.” That’s why I don’t think that God has predestined that some are going to be saved and some aren’t. He wants everyone, He doesn’t want anyone to perish, the Bible says.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now the Bible does in Romans 8… Ephesians 5 talks about God predestinating those who believe in Jesus to be conformed into the image of Christ…

David: To the image of His Son, right?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. So that’s God’s purpose, God’s plan that everyone who responds to the Gospel, that they are transformed into the image of Christ. And if anyone believes and trusts and surrenders His life to Christ, that will be the ultimate result—he will be transformed because God has predestinated that that person become like His son. But that’s different than God chooses something to save and something lost…

David: It’s predestination according to His foreknowledge though, right?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’m not sure by what you mean by that.

David: Well, right in that verse that you’re quoting from Romans 8, it says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate…” Right, so you’re talking that God knows, He’s not ultimately going to force you.

Pastor Doug: Exactly. And you know the bottom-line, the reason this is such an important question, David, is because we’re basically saved because God loves us and He wants us to love Him. If He has chosen and pre-wired us to love Him, you cannot make a robot love. You cannot pre-program something to say “I love you.” Love is something made by an intelligent choice. And that’s why it’s such an important question to understand that we are free will agents and we can choose or not choose to love. Otherwise, if God forces us to love, there’s another word for forced love, and it’s called rape, and that’s how it works.

Wow, time goes fast, friends. There’s a lot more to this program left. But you can go to the Internet. It’s amazingfacts.org. Until next week! God bless.

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