Israel : a Nation on the Move

Date: 06/17/2018 
Hermit crabs are comical looking crustaceans found around the world. However, unlike crabs, lobsters, and shrimp, hermit crabs are born with no exoskeletons on their soft abdomens.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, would you like to hear an amazing fact? Hermit crabs are comical looking crustaceans found around the world. However, unlike crabs, lobsters, and shrimp, hermit crabs are born with no exoskeletons on their soft abdomens. This leaves them vulnerable to predators so to survive, hermit crabs must scavenge for abandoned shells of various snails. When they find one that fits, they tuck themselves inside for protection and carry it with them wherever they go. There are over a thousand different kinds of hermit crabs. Some live in the sea, others on land.

Hermit crabs get their name because they live in borrowed shells but in reality, they're very social creatures that enjoy living in large groups. Some groups up to a hundred. As hermit crabs outgrow their shells they have to go shopping for a new one. During this time they can be very fussy about the new shell they choose. They want a strong shell with a little growing room so they can fully retreat into it when threatened. When a new larger shell becomes available, several hermit crabs will sometimes form a line by it from the largest to the smallest and they play a serious game of musical chairs, all furiously scrambling to upgrade their shells at the same time.

For an extra layer of protection, some ocean-going hermit crabs like to decorate their shells with sea anemones. This helps with camouflage, not to mention that anemones are poisonous, so other creatures usually leave the hermit crab alone. While most hermit crabs are small, some as small as a grain of rice, one species of hermit crab holds the title as the largest land dwelling crustacean in the world.

The coconut crab or the robber crab living in the Indian Ocean can grow to spread over three feet, weigh more than nine pounds and live up to 60 years in the wild. It's been estimated that some hermit crabs will change their shells as many as 90 times over the course of their life. It must be tough to have to move so frequently. The Bible talks about a people that stayed on the move for 40 years. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: Welcome friends to Bible Answers Live. If you're tuning in for the first time, this is a live international interactive Bible study and you are invited to participate. Give us a call with your Bible questions. Here's the number 800-GOD-SAYS. We've got phone lines open right now so call with your question. Good chance we'll be able to address that on tonight's program. For Bible questions give us a call. Here's the number again, 800-463-7297. Get your pencil, give it to you one more time. 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor. Pastor Jean Ross is on the road this weekend and so with the help of our team here, we're going to fly solo. Let's start the program with a word of prayer.

Loving Lord, we just thank you again for the blessing we have in the Bible, and we just pray that your presence will be here, take charge of this program and we ask that the people that call in will hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them through the holy book. We thank you and ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Well friends, I was fascinated by what I was reading

about hermit crabs. I've traveled a lot and seen them in the Pacific and the Caribbean and they are comical. They are fun and curious little creatures to watch both under the water and you see them on land, and that's fun how you see them quickly retreat into their shells when you pick them up. They sometimes fight with each other over, you'll see two or three hermit crabs, fighting with each other over a new vacant shell that they've found.

They're a lot of fun to watch. Some people get them as pets because they'll keep the aquarium clean. They eat the algae but constantly moving and upgrading and changing houses. Well, in this last year Mrs. Batchelor and I have moved and it is stressful to move to a new home. I can't imagine what it would be like to move 90 times over the course of your life. But you know, the Bible talks about a people that were really a nation on the move. Of course, we're talking about the children of Israel. Because they did not have enough faith right away, God said that they were going to have to wander for 40 years in the wilderness.

They'd stay in some places for a few weeks, some times as long as a year. God's way, He would say, "Then pack up, we're moving to a new spot," and they moved and moved and moved over a period of 40 years, but God took care of them the whole time they were moving. God will take care of you as you journey through life. You can read in Deuteronomy 2:7, "For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand, He knows about your trudging through this great wilderness. These 40 years the Lord your God has been with you and you have lacked nothing."

Through all their wanderings, God wandered with them and He took care of them. When the Lord directs you from one place to another, you can be sure that the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God is not going to supply and keep you. We have a special offer we'd like to share with you. It talks about the children of Israel and how we can apply some lessons that we've learned from ancient Israel to the church today. You'll really enjoy this.

It's called Spiritual Israel, written by myself and Pastor Steve Wohlberg. If you'd like a free copy of this book, we will send it to you. It's free under the condition you do read it and then share with a friend. Here's the number for the free resource. Now, this is a different number from the calling number. You ready? 800-835-6747 to get your free copy of Spiritual Israel. 800-835-6747. Still see a couple of lines open. If you have a Bible related question or a question on living the Christian life, that number is 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297. I think with all that, it's now time for us to go back to the telephones. We're going to start talking with Jim. He's calling from Celina, Ohio. Welcome Jim, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Jim: Yes. How are you this evening?

Pastor Doug: Better than I deserve.

Jim: [laughs] Yes, me too. I was wondering, I knew someone that was seeing demons and he wasn't in his right mind. He committed suicide. What does the Bible say about that?

Pastor Doug: Well, of course, it's pretty tragic. There is actually a king of ancient Israel. He began to have demonic harassment and his name was King Saul. He ultimately fell on his own sword. Now, I don't want to say that everybody who commits suicide is automatically lost because the Bible doesn't teach that. Your God knows the circumstances and some people have just gone through such suffering. They're not in their right minds and they're not really responsible and they may have lived a life where they committed themselves to Christ and just were overwhelmed by something.

But in most cases, when a person takes their life, it means they've lost hope and they've lost faith which are not good harbingers of a person's relationship with the Lord. You do have someone in the Bible like Samson who, the last act of his life, was to be filled with the spirit and then basically, he pushed the house down on himself and the Philistines, so you could call it a suicide. It's a very difficult subject and as a pastor, I've had to do funeral services before for people that took their own lives. It can be very challenging, but we just got to know that the Lord loves people infinitely more than we do and the Lord is going to do all that He can to save as many as He can.

I also want to make it clear because if there's people out there thinking, "Well, I'm toying with the idea of suicide because my life is so difficult." That's a bad idea because when you commit suicide you'll lose all of your options. When you're alive, the Bible says, "A living dog is better than a dead lion" and your circumstances could turn for the better in a day and God gives us grace one day at a time. Who knows what you're going to miss if you were to check out, so to speak.

Some people think I'm going to improve my circumstances by committing suicide. If the Bible's true and I believe it is, the lost person's next conscious thought is waking up in the great judgment and facing the lake of fire. So how suicide would improve their circumstances, that's a lie. I know that's a long, convoluted answer, Jim. I hope some of it made sense. Did that register okay?

Jim: Yes, it's just he was a close friend.

Pastor Doug: Yes. It's heartbreaking, isn't it?

Jim: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Just I put it in God's hands, we don't know. We just have to put it in God's hands. We don't know what that future means and just know the Lord loves your friend infinitely more than you do. He is also a just God. I appreciate your call. By the way, I do have an article where I talk about suicide at the Amazing Facts website. You can just do a search there on the word suicide. Go to Appreciate your call. Speaking next with Alan who's calling from Scottsdale, Arizona. Alan, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Alan: Hello Pastor Doug, I'm talking about John three, five and six. Using the idea of parallelism, except a man be born of water in five, corresponds to that which is born of flesh is flesh in six, and of spirit in five is born of the Spirit, is spirit. That's being born of water is not water baptism, is it?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think it is. Now, I'll tell you why if you're ready for me to share that with you.

Alan: I'm ready.

Pastor Doug: The whole emphasis in the beginning of John's Gospel, he's talking about John the Baptist, first couple of chapters. If Jesus said, "Unless you're born of the water and the spirit," and he didn't mean baptism. Some people thought babies in an envelope of water before it's born. Maybe Jesus is saying unless you're born of the human birth and the spiritual birth, but then you have to ask, "Why would Jesus say that?"

Because that would be the same as saying, "Unless you're born of a woman and born of the Spirit you can't--" Well everybody's born of a woman. The reason I think Jesus is saying, "Unless you're born of the water," meaning, you choose to commit your life to the Lord and be washed and born of the Spirit is God's choice.

Keep in mind the last thing Jesus says as he sends out his disciples is, "Go and teach. Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." In Mark 16 he says, "Whoever believes

in is baptized." Baptism was a priority to Jesus because it's in his closing address. I think Christ is saying unless you commit your life to the Lord, baptism is as important to a Christian as a wedding is to a marriage. It's the moment when it becomes a covenant. I think he's saying you need to make a covenant, born of the water and God will then promise you the spirit. Now, when Jesus was baptized he went out of the water and the Holy Spirit came down. He was born of the water, born of the Spirit.

The children of Israel, who we were talking about a minute ago, when they came out of the wilderness, that the Bible says that they went through the Red Sea born of the water, and that's First Corinthians 10, and the pillar of fire came down, born of the Spirit. They were born in the sea and in the cloud. fire-water baptism. I think that this is what John is talking about, but I have a book on that. I'll be happy to send you a free copy, Alan.

Baptism isn't necessary. If you call the resource number which is 800-835-6747, tell him you're listening to Bible Answers Live and we've offered you that free book on baptism. Is it necessary that we'll go through all these verses and I think you'll really be blessed by that. Appreciate your call very much. With that, we do open up another phone line. If you have a Bible question, 800-463-7297. I'm going to talk next to Pamar calling from Riverside, California. Am I saying that right Pamar?

Pamar: Yes. Thank you so much for taking my question. I just wanted to find out about this system of tithing. It's kind of new to me. I hear you are claiming federal taxes on tithe. I just wonder if that is biblical, and if so, how?

Pastor Doug: Well, the provisions that are made in the taxes regarding offerings, whether it's tithe or offering. If you're giving to an organization, a non-profit organization of the government actually, and it's a very old law, they're saying that you have made a commitment to something that is out of your house to humanitarian purpose. It doesn't need to be a church, it could be in an orphanage. You could be an atheist and you could give to the non-profit ASPCA. But if you're giving to something outside of your help, they're not going to count that as your income and they give you a credit for it.

There's nothing wrong. There's no moral problem with taking advantage of the legal accounting that the government does for non-profit donations. There's no moral challenge to doing that. It's a government law and the idea was the government did not want to tax. Some countries are different and America is one of the most generous countries in the world with charitable organizations because of our laws. I've been to countries where the people say, "We get taxed so heavily that the government takes it before I can give to a charity." So Americans say--

Pamar: I'm talking about tithe.

Pastor Doug: Well it doesn't matter, tithe or offering. Well, are you asking if you're supposed to tithe on your income tax return?

Pamar: Yes, your income tax return. When you're claiming your income tax return, are you putting tithing on that?

Pastor Doug: No, I'll tell you. I wouldn't think you would need to because if you're paying tithe as you get your income through the year, when you get a tax return you've already paid on that. That's your income you've already paid on so you'd be paying twice on it now. There's no problem if you want to try and pay an extra tithe, but if you pay tithe on your income when you first get it, in other words, the gross of your income, then when you get your tax return you've already paid tithe on it. If you're only paying income on the nett, you're not counting for what the government's taking. Then, when you get your tax return it's a new income then you'd pay taxes on it. The idea of tithe is you're paying on your increase is the principle. Now, did that make sense?

Pamar: I think we're talking about two different things. What I wanted to find out, when you're doing your tax return some people put the tithe and the receipts from your church on that and they're saying you could get back tax returns from that. I'm wondering if that is correct. If you're giving to God your tithe, you're returning to [unintelligible 00:16:48], why would you want to get it back?

Pastor Doug: Well, you're not getting it back. What you're doing is the government gives you credit for donations to charities. This is what I was telling you the first time, tithe is part of a donation to a charity. I have a lesson that deals with that. We'll send you a free copy, Pamar. It's called In God We Trust. It's got a whole Bible study with all the scripture references on the subject of tithe and offerings and I think your question's addressed in there. So, yes, you're just claiming the deduction and there's nothing wrong with that.

Thank you very much, we appreciate your call and hope that helps a little bit. That does open another line. Again if you have a Bible question, 800-463-7297 brings your question into the studio. That's 800-463-7297 and lines are open. We're going to talk next to Ray who's calling from Burlingame, California. Ray, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Ray: You can hear me okay?

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear.

Ray: Yes. I want to ask you, in your opinion, why there's a gigantic surge in the predestination court that Calvin taught and all that. I'm not saying denominations but it seems everywhere now you're looked at weird if you don't believe that but I don't see it in the Bible most--

Pastor Doug: Well, I'm with you. I don't see it in the Bible. Most of the great Protestant preachers you talk about, Wesley and Luther and many others, they did not believe that once you're saved you could not be lost. They did believe that if you live in faith you could have assurance if you walk with God. There are promises in the Bible, that if you continue, that's what Paul said all the time. He says faith is something that must be nurtured, you must continue in it. Peter talks about the dog that returns to his vomit and the pig that was washed to wallowing in the mire and in Hebrews, it talks about if a person was enlightened and has tasted of the heavenly gift and they turn away--

Ray: [unintelligible 00:18:57] I mean save though, I don't at all. I think it's the people that were Judaizers that believed in Jesus but then you're going back sacrificial stuff, that would be unforgivable.

Pastor Doug: Yes, but you--

Ray: Otherwise we're all going to hell because we sin on purpose. No such a thing as [inaudible 00:19:11].

Pastor Doug: You believe that a person can be saved, but then they have to nurture that relationship to maintain salvation. You can't be saved once, accept the Lord and then, you turn back the world and still be safe.

Ray: Yes, I know. I mean it's through God but I can't do nothing because even Peter said you kept by the power of God. If I have to do it all then everybody's going to hell because what's enough? You don't know if you did enough or any of thatbecause there's a standard on that. When Christ died, he took all sins away. "It's finished", he said.


Pastor Doug: There is something you need to do. That what separates the safe from the laws is something you do, and what that is.

Ray: But you believe in [unintelligible 00:19:51]. I'm a sinner, I can't do nothing.[inaudible 00:19:54]

Pastor Doug: No, that's right, but that's what I'm saying. Believing in the Lord, trusting in him, repenting of your sins.

That's something you need to do, but Paul said I die daily. In other words, every day we need to renew our relation-

Ray: Also, the things you don't want to do he does anyway, and da da da. He never said he cut that out either necessarily. I mean, it just depends, but I mean, I'm just saying it's not by our trying. No man is made righteous [unintelligible 00:20:19] to the law, that's what's the problem with so many denominations. They go by the law. There's no gospel. It's a lie, because either Christ did or he didn't do it, he can't halfway do it. He's got to do it totally. It's either finished or it ain't. Just like a Catholic. They do the mass over and over and over. That's blasphemous. We offer him. He made [unintelligible 00:20:37] but no, they don't believe that.

Pastor Doug: We are saved entirely by grace through faith, but when we are saved, we'll want to do everything we can humanly do to follow God. Paul said, that even for the Christian, there is wrestling, there is running, there is fighting, there is striving. The idea that there is no effort to surrender, I mean, the greatest battle that Jesus fought was in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said, "Not my will, thy will be done."

Everyday, Christians have to say, "I'm going to be crucified with Christ." And there's a struggle in there. You say, "No, not my will, thy will be done." Our struggle is to trust him and surrender to him on a daily basis. Then the Lord, he gives us the power, but we need to keep placing our will in his hands. I do have a book, if you'd like a free copy that talks about salvation and assurance. It deals with the once saved, always saved and the relationship between law and grace.

Matter of fact, I have a study that talks about Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law? You'll really appreciate that. We'll send you a free copy. Just call 800-835-6747. 800-835-6747. We do have another line open. I like to just keep people lined so that we have lots of phone calls coming in, and we'll get to your questions. That number again 800-463-7297 with your Bible questions. Appreciate your call very much, Ray. With that, we're talking to Saro who's calling from Brooklyn, New York. Saro, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Saro: Yes, hi. Now see, I've been wanting to talk to you for a long time, because a few weeks ago you were talking about a loving God would not throw people in fire. Some people were having difficulty understanding that.

Pastor Doug: Well, no, I do believe you may have misunderstood me. I do believe there's a lake of fire, and I do believe a loving God will send the wicked to the lake of fire. The Bible is very clear in Revelation about that. What you may have heard me say is I don't believe that he tortures them for eternity for the sins of one lifetime.

Saro: Okay.

Pastor Doug: According to the Bible, it says the wicked are consumed, they're burnt up, they're ashes, they perish, they're destroyed. The language in the Bible is pretty clear that God makes all things new and there's no more pain. Yes, so I believe there's a lake of fire. We have a lesson on that that explains some churches don't believe that the wicked are going to suffer at all. Some believing in universalism that everyone will be saved.

Some believe in what you call annihilationism which means that there is punishment, there is a lake of fire, but the scriptures where they say that you burn for 10 million years and you stick your head out of the sulfur and you're still burning, and you've not even begun after 10 billion years. A zillion years, you're still burning. That I don't believe is Biblical.

Saro: I have a quick point. You see, the Bible teaches that God will bring back a lot of people, not everybody. It says he will bring back a lot of people from the dead. We'll have to assume that God is not so [unintelligible 00:24:09] so much that he will only bring back the bad people to put them in the fire, and this is on people in the ground. If he said that he's not going to bring back everybody, we have to assume that he'll only bring back his own people and leave the wicked one in the ground.

The wicked of sin, is what? There. That's it.

Pastor Doug: Well no, I'd have to respectfully disagree because when Jesus was being tried, he told the High Priest who was a wicked person, "Hereafter you will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven." [unintelligible 00:24:41] was going to be resurrected to see Jesus come again. We all must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Christ was pretty clear that there is a Judgment Day and all that are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth.

They that have done good the resurrection of life, they that have done evil, the resurrection of damnation. Two resurrections. Dead in Christ rise first. Revelation 20 says, "The rest of the dead live after the 1,000 years. The wicked are clearly coming out of their graves and there is a judgment." Hey, but I got to move on and try and get one more call before the break, Saro. Appreciate your call very much. We do have a lesson that talks about the lake of fire.

We'll send you a free copy. It's called Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? That resource line, if you want a free copy anybody, if you want to understand this subject, 800-835-6747. 800-835-6747. You ask for that, you'll hear the good news about hell. That's called an oxymoron. All right. With that, how much time we have left? Two minutes. Let me see what I can do in two minutes. I'm going to talk to Sharon calling calling from Yakima, Washington. Sharon, you're on the air. Can you hear me?

Sharon: Yes, I can.

Pastor Doug: Let's see if we can get started on our question before the break.

Sharon: Okay. All right. Do you want me to repeat my question?

Pastor Doug: Yes, go ahead please.

Sharon: Okay. My question is this. I know it's been asked before. I've never heard what I felt was an adequate or successful answer. Why did God create Lucifer? We talked about free will, that same stuff. From a human standpoint, a way to have people choose free will to be with the Lord when there is such incredible, incredible beyond belief, sorrow in this world. Why would He create people to suffer so there would be a select few that could make the right choice, a free will choice to be with Him?

Pastor Doug: Let me ask you a couple of questions just before we're going to take a break here in a moment. Do you believe the Bible is true?

Sharon: Well, as much as I know.

Pastor Doug: Do you believe God is love?

Sharon: I have. I'm questioning.

Pastor Doug: All right. Well, stand by, Sharon. We're going to come back in just a moment, but I want to be able to get to your question. It's a very important question. A lot of people think if God is a good God, if He's all powerful, why would He make Lucifer later became Satan and the devil? Couldn't He have changed that? Was there some problem in the wiring at the factory? Did God make a mistake? Why would God want to make a creature that would tempt and torment and bring all the suffering into the world?

That is one of the big really important questions. We're going to deal with it in just a moment. Stay tuned.


Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. For those who may have tuned in along the way, this is Bible Answers Live, and we invite you to call in with your Bible questions. We do still have a couple of lines open. Here's the number if you want to call in with a question, 800-463-7297 free phone call. 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor. Pastor Jean Ross is on the road tonight and we're going to go back to a question in our last half. We were just getting a great question from Sharon that was dealing with the subject of, if God is a loving god, why would He make a devil? Is that right Sharon?

Sharon: That's simplified, yes. For all of this, the suffering and all that is going on. Why did he bother to create and have all these people die? I just aptly, I don't understand--


Pastor Doug: You struggle with that. Yes, it's a good question. It's a great question because obviously, God's powerful and if He knows everything, and if He knew that He was making this angel that was going to rebel, and become proud and obstinate, and lead a number of others to become proud, and he was going to hijack a world. Why didn't God just say, "Well look, I'm going to not make that one"?

The greatest evidence that God is love and that He gives his creatures freedom to love Him or not love Him, is what happened with Lucifer. God said, "I'm not just going to make creatures that are robots," that automatically say, "I love you God, I love you God." He said, "I'm going to make creatures that are really free, moral, intelligent creatures. They have to choose if my attributes are worthy of their love or not."

Lucifer chose to love himself more and he persuaded one third of the angels, according to Revelation, to follow him. God could have destroyed Lucifer with a bolt of lightning as soon as that happened, but he said, "Then the other angels and creatures will follow me out of fear and not love." The Lord had to allow this terrible rebellion and experiment with sin to play itself out, so that all the creatures would know He really is a God of love.

Sharon: Okay. Now I fully understand that and to maybe possibly interrupt you quickly here, when He knew the suffering that would ensue, why did He just not stop the entire process? Just so He could have a select few of free willed people to love Him?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It's not just about people in this plan--

Sharon: [unintelligible 00:33:24] I mean, how does He watch this mess?

Pastor Doug: It breaks His heart. That's why God came into the world--

Sharon: Why did he do it? Why did he not just not?

Pastor Doug: Because then God would be a dictator that forces creatures to love Him, and if you don't love Him, He's going to destroy you.

Sharon: Why did He create anyone?

Pastor Doug: Why did He create people?

Sharon: This was going to be the case--

Pastor Doug: Do you have any children Sharon?

Sharon: Yes, exactly. My son just passed away.

Pastor Doug: Oh. But when you had children, did you get a guarantee when your children were born that they would be obedient and cooperative?

Sharon: Well heavens no, but God knows better than I do.

Pastor Doug: You took a risk when you chose to have children. That you wanted to love them and you were hoping they'd love you, that they may not, because they're free.

Sharon: Yes, but does not God know everything? That He knew that there was going to be a certain portion of the population and the people that He created or allowed?

Pastor Doug: He did know.

Sharon: He created were going to suffer often.

Pastor Doug: Yes, there's terrible suffering. I want to remind you, it bothers, it hurts God more than anybody and with you I've lost a son. I know the grief that you're feeling and it's an awful thing.

Sharon: I know you do. I mean, from the very beginning, why would he even start out on this entire- what's the word I'm looking for?

Pastor Doug: Why would he go on with the experiment of making humans?

Sharon: The experiment. This is an experiment. Why?

Pastor Doug: Because there are other creatures, Sharon, that are throughout the universe besides man and there's angels and the Bible indicates it. There are other unfallen worlds that God has made that are holy and they all see that God is love and through the infinite ages of eternity when all the saved exist, they'll never question that God is love, because Christ is going to have the scars in His hands because of the rebellion and because of what sin did. No one will ever experiment with sin again, but He allowed even creatures to rebel to show that they're free.

Please let me send you, we have a lesson called Did God Create a Devil? It's right up the alley and you can read it online. Just go to Amazing Facts, ask for the study guide, Did God Create a Devil? It's a great study. It shows you the scriptures. We've got a new video we produced at Amazing Facts called Cosmic Conflict. We'd love for people to order the DVD. It dramatizes why there's this rebellion. The whole thing is about your question Sharon, but you can probably even watch it for free on YouTube right now [laughs] if you want to see it right away. Everything ends up on YouTube.

Hey, but we need to keep going to some folks that have been standing by, so we appreciate your understanding. All right. With that, we're going to talk next to Raymond. He's been waiting very patiently. Raymond, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Raymond: Hello, Pastor Ross. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Hey, thank you very much. This is actually Pastor Doug, but that's okay.

Raymond: Pastor Doug, yes. Sorry about that.

Pastor Doug: That's all right.

Raymond: Pastor Ross is on the road, right?

Pastor Doug: Yes, but a couple of weeks ago, he introduced me as Pastor Ross, so we get mixed up. And your question tonight?

Raymond: My question is, I think you've pretty much answered it--

Pastor Doug: Oh, with the previous question?

Raymond: Previous question. My question was; since God is all-knowing, why did He create Adam and Eve and knowing that they were going to sin? I think you pretty much answered my question with the last caller when she asked about Lucifer.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the answer of course is, yes, He did know and because they were made free, God showed his love in that He gave them the choice. The neat thing is if Adam and Eve weren't made, in spite of the rebellion, you and I would not exist and we'd now have an opportunity to live forever in paradise with God if we embrace His plan of salvation.

In spite of the terrible things that have happened, I'm thankful that I exist. Of course if I didn't, I would never know that I wasn't thankful [laughs] but it's nice to be here. Anyway Raymond, please take a look at that Cosmic Conflict video. You can either order a copy at Amazing Facts or watch it on YouTube. Cosmic Conflict, just type that in it'll come up. Appreciate your call. With that, were going to talk to Kevin who's calling from Palm Springs, California. Kevin, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Kevin: Yes, how are doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Doing great.

Kevin: I just had a question about, is cremation wrong? My wife was cremated and she was a lady of faith and her mom wasn't, but I guess it's a choice. I've always said if your heart is with the Lord, when you draw your last breath, your soul is with him. The rest of it is just a shell. I've heard people say that you should be cremated [unintelligible 00:38:37]

Pastor Doug: Let's talk about that.

Kevin: Toying with that for awhile.

Pastor Doug: Let's talk about that for just a moment. A lot of Christians lost their lives at one of the many persecutions in history, whether it was the inquisition or one of the other battles or purges that happened. Some were burnt at the stake. Faithful Christians, they died singing, praying, burnt at the stake for their faith. Even ISIS has not only beheaded people, but ISIS has burned some alive.

If you're a Christian and you're burnt, is that going to prevent God from creating a new person? Not at all, because when the Lord comes back, He's not looking for the old parts. He's not reassembling and he's not going to come down and say, "Well, that person died at sea and they'd been eaten by the fish. Where am I going to find all the pieces to put him back together?"

Of course, nothing is too hard for the Lord but that's not the issue. God is going to create a new person and we have glorified bodies. If we're alive when the Lord comes, we're transformed to a new body. Typically, in the Bible, people were buried but there were also a couple of cases of people that were burnt. Jonathan, who was a godly man, a hero in the Bible, he was killed by the Philistines and later, the men of Jabesh-Gilead, they rescued his body and they cremated it.Well I'm sure Jonathan's going to be in heaven.

Typically in the Bible, they were buried. A cremation is a lot more cost effective, but I don't think there's any Bible law, no commandment where it says, "Thou shall not cremate."

Kevin: Right. I've heard that. There's more people who've said that and I've talked to some people with real strong faith and my wife was one of them. That's the way she choose but you answered my question that was in my mind. I like to ask around. That's how I get my conclusion.

Pastor Doug: That's good. Tells us in the multitude of counselors there's safety.

Kevin: Well, I listen to you all the time. I listen [unintelligible 00:40:38] I'm a driver. I'm out here in California going through the desert now just listening to your show.

Pastor Doug: All right. When you drive through Palm Springs look up at that mountain. I used to live in a cave up there.

Kevin: Well, I'm going out on Highway 62 to the [unintelligible 00:40:50] Valley and then 247 that goes out so [unintelligible 00:40:52] road and there's church out here and there's a cross right on top of a mountain at the the top of that church. It gets lit up at night [unintelligible 00:41:01]

Pastor Doug: Yes. Beautiful landmark. Thank you very much, Kevin, appreciate your call. I hope you give us a call again. All right. We're going to talk next with Phil. He's been waiting patiently. Phil, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live. No I hit the wrong number. Phil, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Phil: Thanks for taking my call. Could you hear me okay?

Pastor Doug: I do now.

Phil: Great. My question is this. What do you think ever happened to the Ark of the Covenant? You think it's been destroyed? You think it's intact? If so, you think it could ever resurface? What do you think about it?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, I tell you what I believe is if you look in the Bible the Ark of the Covenant is mentioned shortly before the children of Israel are carried away captive to Babylon. Jeremiah told the king, Zedekiah, "The Babylonians are going to break through the wall, they were besieged." They're going to destroy the temple and he said, "You need to surrender." Well, Zedekiah wasn't going to surrender. It's believed that Jeremiah and some of the priests, they took the Ark before Nebuchadnezzar. They knew a few days before he broke through that it was hopeless.

They hid it in a cave somewhere probably underneath Jerusalem and I've been there. It's just honeycombed with caves. They buried it in a cave and sealed it off and I don't think it's ever been found because when Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Jerusalem, it itemizes the articles they took from the temple but it never mentions the Ark because the Ark was gone at that point. The Ark was there up until Nebuchadnezzar so it's pretty clear that Jeremiah and some of the other priests, they hid the arc to keep it from falling into pagan hands.

There's nothing in the Bible that says it went with Solomon down to the Queen of Sheba, that's one rumor, but years later you find out it's still in the sanctuary in the days of Hezekiah. It mentions it specifically. That I think is the best will it surface again? I don't know. It'd be wonderful if it did. If anyone had any doubts about the Ten Commandments that would probably settle the issue. Yes, it'd be neat if they would find it but they're doing all kinds of excavation around Jerusalem. Who knows?

Phil: That's dangerous. That could start World War III.

Pastor Doug: If they found the Ark of the Covenant?

Phil: No, if they did some damage to the noble sanctuary or by trying.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, I know that they're doing some excavation underneath the sanctuary. I've got a friend that just returned last week and they found some of the original foundation stones from the days of Solomon. They got one stone that weighed more than a loaded 747. One stone in the temple, they were huge. Anyway, Phil that's a great question. I don't know exactly where the Ark is hidden but I know what was in the Ark and I've got it in my Bible.

It's called the Ten Commandments. We have a lesson that talks about that and if you'd like a free copy it's called Written in Stone. Written in Stone, we'll send that to you. Just call 800-835-6747. Now, I'm going to jump back. I just rudely had picked up on Joshua and then hung up again. Joshua, are you there?

Joshua: Yes sir. I am.

Pastor Doug: Thanks, how you doing? You're on the air.

Joshua: Pretty good. How you doing?

Pastor Doug: Great.

Joshua: Good. My question was basically I'm trying to get it down to a sentence but it's hard. You know we have different denominations and stuff. Where do you think doctrinal distinction can be okay with denomination but then there's a line to draw to where somebody is outside of the Christian faith. A debate with baptism and all that kind of stuff. We can all debate those things but the essential with Christ, with faith, through grace right? Not of works and all that, but then there's other people who don't embrace the doctrine of hell or don't embrace the doctrine of original sin or that they can earn their salvation with grace. Semipelagianism and stuff that Augustine, battles and stuff like that.

Pastor Doug: How do you draw the line between what is tolerable differences and which differences are non-negotiable?

Joshua: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: I think that the fundamentals of Christianity are believing in the inspiration of the word because as soon as someone started doubting that they believe in evolution and all kinds of heresies. Believing in the divinity of Christ, Jesus was not just a good man or a prophet. That we are saved by grace through faith because you don't want to corrupt salvation by works which is the antithesis of salvation. Now, having said that, I can't obviously. You could go through about 60 different nuances of doctrine. Having said that I want to make it clear while I respectfully disagree with my friends that are Roman Catholics, I believe I'm going to see plenty of Catholics in heaven.

Joshua: Yes, for sure.

Pastor Doug: I think that there's a lot of very dear sacrificial people. They love the Lord, they surrendered to Him. They trust by faith in God but they're mixed up on the role of the Church and the Pope and the priest and a lot of issues we disagree with. One reason I say that is you look in the Old Testament. God winked at the ignorance of some of the patriarchs that had multiple wives. Now, today if a church is teaching you can have multiple wives, we'd call that a heresy. But, they live in a time back then when they just didn't know. You know what I'm saying?

Joshua: Right.

Pastor Doug: I've got pretty strong beliefs about drinking alcohol. I think it's a drug, it's more deadly than any drug but I know there's going to be good Christians that disagree with me on that. I'm going to see them in the Kingdom if they live by faith and they trust in the Lord. Man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. The Lord knows if a person is fully surrendered to Him. We've got some surprises when we get to heaven. Someone said there's three surprises. One surprise is that we're there.

The other surprise is there's going to be people there that we didn't expect to see. The third surprise is going to be people missing we thought would be front and center. I think it's going to be interesting when Steven gets to heaven and he sees the Apostle Paul there. You know what I mean?

Joshua: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Anyway, hey I appreciate your question. Hope that helps a little bit and we appreciate your patience also. That does free up another line. We probably have time for you to call in with your Bible question before we close. One more time, here's the number. 800-463-7297. Going to talk next to Efrank who's calling from Astoria, New York. Efrank, you're on the air.

Efrank: Yes. Nice to speak to you again, Pastor Doug.

Doug: Likewise.

Efrank: My question for you tonight is, can pastors or church leaders lead you to enter into understanding the Biblical standing or the Biblical meaning of what salvation is? Because I had to be forced in my local church to be an Operational Committee Chairman to help a local 19th century priest named Reverend Father. I'm sorry I had to say, Father. Reverend Curran from 1841 who founded a church here locally.

He insisted that people can be saved only by works and through worshiping scripture and some dogmatic understanding of what Christianity is. He would actually go on ferries to convert people with the Holy Bible. Do you think that's the proper way to actually accept salvation or is this just a process that you go through in time?

Pastor Doug: No, I would respectfully disagree with what you said he was saying. I think that pastors can be the vehicle to salvation in that it's through the proclamation of the word when people learn about the goodness of God through the Gospel. The goodness of God in Jesus, it leads us to repentance. We love Him because we see through the proclamation of the word that He first loved us. As pastors or anybody, doesn't have to be Pastor, is sharing the word. They can be a vehicle through which the Lord reveals truth that a person is lead to salvation.

It's not through the book with the letters in it. It's not that the Bible is some kind of sacred oracle. It's not a good luck charm or something like that. It's through the message that changes hearts. Through the preaching of the word. Jesus said, "The words that I speak, they are spirit and they are life." And so that's what brings people salvation. Thank you Efrank. I hope that helps a little bit and with that we're going to be talking to Angelica who's calling from Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Angelica, you're on the air.

Angelica: Yes. Hi Pastor. I have a problem with forgiving myself for something that I did in my youth. I grew up in a church when I was a child. When I were in my 20s I backslid and I had an abortion and didn't understand what I was doing at the time. I've just been battling with forgiving myself. I asked Him to forgive me, I asked Him to forgive my sin and I believe that He has, but I'm just having problem. I'm trying to forgive myself--

Pastor Doug: Try to forgive yourself. Yes. I'll tell you what. There's a statement where Jesus talks about the unpardonable sin and everybody wonders what that is, but let me tell you what he says before he talks about it. All manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven under the Children of Men. All manner. Nowhere does the Bible say that abortion is the unforgivable sin. Which means that it is among the forgivable sins and I'm quite sure that whenever we confess our sins and repent, that God'll forgive us.

There is a king in the Bible, and I hope you'll even pardon the analogy, but there was a king in the Bible that offered his children as sacrifices. You would say he was guilty of infanticide. His name is Manasseh. He repented and God forgave him and heard his prayer and he actually sacrificed several children. He also killed the prophet Isaiah too. He was a bad guy. But obviously the Holy Spirit has spoken to you. You're sorry. You've confessed. You've repented. Now you need to believe.

The Lord says if we confess, if we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If He's cleansing us from all unrighteousness and by the way, that's First John 1:9. If He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, then we're cleansed and you need to just thank Him for that. It doesn't mean the devil is not going to remind you. I've asked God to forgive me for things. I know He's forgiven me. The devil still brings them back to my mind and I grit my teeth and say, "Oh, what was I doing?" And then I remember Jesus forgave me. It's under the blood, and you need to believe that too Angelica.

Angelica: Okay. Never [inaudible 00:53:12]

Pastor Doug: Can I pray with you?

Angelica: Are they in heaven somewhere?

Pastor Doug: You mean like an aborted baby?

Angelica: Yes.

Pastor Doug: The Bible tells us there are going to be children there and I want to be a bit surprised if when you're in the resurrection or if you're alive when the Lord comes, if you don't experience angels bringing that child to you. Don't you worry. I promise you're going to be happy when you see Jesus and you will not be disappointed. Let me have a prayer with you real quick, if that'd be okay, Angelica?

Angelica: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Father in heaven, I just pray you'll be with my dear sister and Lord, I know she represents hundreds if not thousands others like her out there that were deceived by the culture and made a terrible mistake and she's sorry, Lord. Help her to just experience your grace and mercy and forgiveness. I know you're a loving God and remind her that the new birth is just that she is also born again, and becomes a new creature with a new beginning. And so bless her with that now. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen. All right Angelica.

We have a lesson that deals with the subject of salvation. That God's love is still there. If you call our resource line, we'll send you a free copy of that. You can even read it right now online. About his love still being there. Just go to All right, I think we're going to try and take-- let's see here. Kay has been waiting in San Luis Obispo. Kay, you have a question?

Kay: Yes. Thank you for that prayer with that lady. That truly touched me. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: I know many others were joining me in prayer for her.

Kay: Yes. Pastor Doug, I listen to you. I listen your Sabbath classes and to your TV programs and 90% I agree with you. But when I read Zechariah 14:16 and on, talks about holy days that Jesus kept and Paul kept after Jesus. Why is it that you don't--

Pastor Doug: Why I don't believe in keeping the Jewish feast days?

Kay: Yes, yes. Because Jesus kept it. Jesus kept the Sabbath. Jesus kept the holy days and Paul kept it and--

Pastor Doug: Before we run out of time, I want to try and give you some answer. Just because Jesus did something, does not mean it's a law for all Christians. Jesus was also--

Kay: [inaudible 00:55:54]

Pastor Doug: Let me finish my sentence. Jesus was also circumcised and there's nothing wrong if someone wants to be, but the Bible's pretty clear that it's not required for a Christian to be circumcised. You read Paul's circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping the commandments is what matters. We believe that the ceremonial laws, they were nailed to the cross and you read about that in Colossians Chapter Two.

The Bible tells us in Second Corinthians that Christ is our Passover which is offered for us and so to keep the Old Testament feasts is a whole different category than the Ten Commandments. If someone wants to, they're fine, but they shouldn't mandate it for others. They all pointed to Jesus. Jesus came. By embracing Jesus, it's much more than the feast, and we don't sacrifice lambs anymore. Oh-ho friends, we're out of time. If we didn't get your question tonight, I apologize. Give us another chance.

God willing we're going to be back again next week and there's so much more that we offer. Just take a look at 24 hours a day. There's programming there and if you enjoy the program, keep us on the line and donate. God bless.

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