Nancy

Nancy

Date: 10/25/2009 
On August 23, 1799, the American ship, Nancy, was captured in the Caribbean by the English Navy and taken to Jamaica. At the time, Britain was at war with France, Spain, and...
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Hello friends! How about an amazing fact? On August 23, 1799, the American ship, Nancy, was captured in the Caribbean by the English Navy and taken to Jamaica. At the time, Britain was at war with France, Spain, and Holland, and the royal maiden was active in preventing neutral countries from trading weapons with its enemies or their colonies.

The English claimed that Nancy had been supplying weapons to a Dutch colony in the Southern Caribbean and that the ship should be confiscated as a prize of war. But the court could not find any real evidence against the Nancy and was about to release the ship, when an English lieutenant rushed into the courtroom.

He had proof, he said, that the Nancy was guilty of smuggling arms to the Dutch. Then he held out several wet papers that had just been taken out of the stomach of a shark. Those papers did, indeed, prove the Nancy guilty. The captain of the Nancy had thrown them overboard, when he realized that his ship was about to be captured.

But a passing shark had swallowed the papers and the damaging evidence was found when the big fish was caught and cut open. Did you know, friends, that a time is coming when the hidden deeds of men and women will be open for the investigation of the entire universe? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hello friends, welcome to Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is out this evening, but this is a live, national and international Bible study; and we are delighted that you are joining us.

We'd love to hear from you this evening. Our number here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. If you have a Bible-related question, that's the number to call. Working the phones for me this evening is Pastor Tim Jones. Pastor Tim, welcome to the program.

PASTOR TIM: Thank you Pastor Ross. I'm happy to be here with you tonight.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well Pastor Tim before we go to the phones, would you start us off with a word of prayer?

PASTOR TIM: Certainly. Father in heaven, we are grateful for the opportunity that we have to study Your Word. Thank You for the blessings of Your Word to our hearts and lives. Bless the program tonight and every caller. We ask in Christ's name, amen.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Amen.

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, I imagine that captain thought that that evidence was gone forever when he threw it into that vast ocean.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Laughs) Absolutely! He thought, "Ah, I have a way out." He threw the papers overboard and he thought nobody would know; but a passing shark apparently had a different idea. He ate the papers and actually proved his guilt. You know, I think there are a lot of people that, well, they might think that they can hide things from others and think that it's gone and buried and forgotten. But according to the Bible, whatever happens here on this earth, even if one thinks to hide it from the eyes of man, it is not hidden from the eyes of God.

Matter of fact, in Luke chapter 8, verse 17, Jesus said, "For nothing that is secret will not be revealed; nor anything hidden, that will not be made known or come to light." And when will that happen? Second Corinthians 5, verse 10: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or whether it be bad."

And then of course, in Revelation chapter 20, verse 12, John writes, "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged, according to their works by the things that were written in the books."

Yes, according to the Bible, there is a day of reckoning. There is a day of judgment. Now, you know, when you think about judgment, sometimes it sends a fear through the heart; but the good news is, according to the Bible, for the Christian who puts his faith in Christ, he need not fear the judgment.

The Bible says, "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And if we would confess our sins and trust in Him, He has promised to intercede for us and minister on our behalf. Friends, if you'd like to learn more about this grand, heavenly judgment that the Bible speaks of, we have an Amazing Facts study guide that we'd be happy to send out to you that explains more about the judgment.

But even more important, it tells you how you can face the judgment without fear. And that study guide is entitled, "Case Closed." "Case Closed." Pastor Tim, what number do they call to get this free resource?

PASTOR TIM: You can receive that study guide by calling, 1-800-835-6747. That's 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well, let's go to the phone lines then Pastor Tim. Who's our first caller this evening?

PASTOR TIM: Our first caller is Don. Don is calling from the island of Guam. Don, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Don, can you hear us?

DON: Hello Pastor Ross. I wanted to ask if isn't any Scripture which would suggest that it was ever wrong to have a public display of the Ten Commandments, a public monument? Would it be seen as an idol of some sort?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well no, I don't think it would be seen as an idol. I think you understand that the most important place where the Ten Commandments need to be is written upon the heart. But having said that, to place the Ten Commandments in a place that it can be seen, and hopefully remind people of the importance of the Ten Commandments, no, that would not be wrong. However, just to have the Ten Commandments displayed somewhere is no guarantee that the Ten Commandments is in the heart.

DON: That's true.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: So to have it in a public place, sometimes it can cause more controversy than good, but the most important place the Ten Commandments would be to be written in the heart. In many courtrooms today, there is a copy of the Ten Commandments hanging on the wall; sometimes even etched in stone over the top of the courtroom.

As you go through the stairs, the Ten Commandments have been recognized as the standard of right and wrong. But the most important place to have the Commandments is in the heart.

DON: Thanks. I appreciate that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, we do have a study guide that deals with the Ten Commandments. And for anybody who would like to learn more about the Ten Commandments, of course, you can find it in the book of Exodus; but the Amazing Facts study guide that deals with the Ten Commandments is called, "Written in Stone." "Written in Stone." Pastor Tim, that resource number again?

PASTOR TIM: Again, you can receive that resource by calling, 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And ask for the study guide, Written in Stone, and we'll be happy to send that out to you.

DON: Thank you.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thanks for calling Don. Our next caller tonight?

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Frank. Frank is an Internet listener; and Frank is calling us from Finland, California. Frank, welcome to the program.

FRANK: Hi Pastors

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Frank, and your question this evening?

FRANK: Well, lately I've been feeling like I've gone away from God; and I feel like that I've just completely drifted away. And I've gotten to the point where I've taken His day of worship and I've just kept it as any other day. And I want to know what I can do to get back.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, well that's probably one of the most important questions that anyone can ask, what can we do to get back to God if we've drifted away. First of all Frank, let me tell you that there's hope. Nobody has gone so far that God can't reach them. The Bible says that God can save to the uttermost, those who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Where do we begin? We begin on our knees. First John chapter 1, verse 9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

FRANK: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And so we begin by having a heart-to-heart talk with Jesus. We come to Him just the way we are. You know, you can't wait until you become good to come to Jesus. You'll never be able to clean yourself up enough to be accepted by God.

FRANK: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You've got to come to Him just the way you are. Also, you want to remember that it's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. You know, repentance isn't something that we can generate in and of ourselves; and yet, we mustn't wait necessarily to feel sorry before we come to Jesus. We need to come to Jesus just the way we are.

Come to Him right now and say, "Lord, here I am. Please forgive me. Please cleanse me." And just as surely as we do that, in faith, trusting that God will hear and answer our prayer, He will forgive us. Not only do we ask for forgiveness Frank--and that's very important--but also you need to ask for the strength and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Not only do we need God's forgiveness, but if we're going to live a life that brings honor and glory to God, we need a supernatural power working within us, to keep us from those sins that so easily ensnare us.

So, two things, number one, come before the Lord; confess your sins; ask Him to forgive you; give Him your heart; and then ask Him for the Holy Spirit. Say, "Lord, I don't want to live a life that brings dishonor to you. Give me Your Spirit and help me." You know Frank, if you do that, you can have confidence that God will hear and answer your prayer.

FRANK: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: We do have a book that will help you in this process. It's called, Three Steps to Heaven, and it's absolutely free. If you call our resource line, we'll be happy to send that out to you.

FRANK: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Don't necessarily wait until the book arrives in the mail, but go to the Lord in prayer and say, "Lord, please forgive me, cleanse me." And believe that He'll do that, and He will.

FRANK: I will. Thank you.

PASTOR TIM: And Frank, it's important to understand that, even though we've fallen away and have committed sin, that God still loves us.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely!

PASTOR TIM: God still loves you Frank, and He has not abandoned you.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's right, especially if you're feeling a need to come back to Him, wanting to make your life right; well that's evidence that the Holy Spirit is still working upon your heart. Pastor Tim, what's that number that Frank can call for that book? Again, it's called, Three Steps to Heaven.

PASTOR TIM: You can call 1-800-835-6747, and we'll send that book to you Frank.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Again, just ask for the book, Three Steps to Heaven. For anyone listening, it's a great book. It talks about how you can either come back to Jesus, or maybe come to Jesus for the first time. Let's go to the next caller.

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller is Carl. Carl is listening on WKRK, and he's in Andrews, North Carolina. Carl, welcome to the program.

CARL: Yes, good evening.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Good evening Carl.

CARL: My question has to do with Ezekiel 28:18 and 19.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

CARL: And you mentioned judgment tonight in your early part of the program. Most Christian churches believe that one of the results of the judgment is an ever-burning hell for the wicked; and of course, the devil will be there suffering in the flames with them.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

CARL: Now if this common belief is true, how can Ezekiel 28:18 and 19 be interpreted, which says that there will be a fire coming out of the midst of the devil. "It shall devour thee, it will bring thee to ashes on the earth." And in the next verse it says, "Never shalt thou be anymore."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

CARL: How do you reconcile those?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Well I must say that the best way to reconcile that is just to take the Scripture as it reads. The Bible is pretty clear that Satan will come to an end. He will

be destroyed in the fires of hell. You can read about it also in Malachi chapter 4; it speaks about the wicked.

"They shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, it shall leave them neither root nor branch"; the root being Satan, the branches being those who have followed him. The Bible is pretty clear. Matter of fact, Jesus said that the fires of hell was for the devil and his angels. And it's never God's purpose or plan that the fires of hell were to be used to destroy the wicked. Of course, if they choose to follow Satan, that will be their fate.

But the purpose of the fires of hell is to cleanse the universe from sin. God is not always going to have some smoldering spot in the universe where people are continually being burned.

CARL: I was in a discussion with someone on this, and they said they thought that maybe this was symbolic. Of course, they believed in the ever-burning hell idea. They thought that this might be symbolic here in Ezekiel 28. But, I would agree with you, we need to take the Bible as it reads.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, there's more than this passage of course, that talks about the destruction of the wicked; it talks about the destruction of the devil. If you look at the weight of evidence that the Scripture gives on this subject, it becomes very clear that God's purpose and plan is to cleanse the earth from sin.

And that day will come. He will then create a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. Well thank you so much for your call, Carl. For anybody listening who would like more information about that subject, we do have an Amazing Facts study guide called, "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?"

And you know Pastor Tim, Amazing Facts has a website called, helltruth.com; so anyone listening, if you have access to the Internet, you can go to that website and take a look at it. All the Scriptures are listed there; some excellent studies on the subject. Even in what the Bible says about hell, it reveals God as a God of compassion.

He does not take delight in the death of the wicked. And that's brought out rather clearly in Scripture. So, call if you'd like more information about that study guide. Again, it's called, "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?" And the number again?

PASTOR TIM: You can receive that by calling 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, and our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Lenora. She's an Internet listener, and she's calling from Greenville, North Carolina. Lenora, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Lenora, can you hear us?

LENORA: Hi, yes I can.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And your question this evening?

LENORA: Um, my question tonight is concerning the dead sea scrolls or the book of Enoch that was uncovered?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

LENORA: My question deals with the passages that talk about the angels marrying the, you know, the people then, and having children?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes. Alright uh--

LENORA: I thought that angels didn't procreate with humans.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes, well you're correct on that. That's probably part of the reason why the book of Enoch is not included in the Bible in the Canon as we know it, because there were some things written in the book of Enoch that were questionable. They didn't match up with the rest of Scripture and so they were not included, along with some of the other apocryphal books in the Bible.

But that idea found its way into, well even some translations, or paraphrases of the Bible, to suggest that there were angels that had sexual relations with human beings. Based upon a passage that you find in Genesis--

LENORA: Right, I understand that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --where it says that, "the sons of God saw that the daughters of men, that they were fair, and they took unto themselves wives." But in the Bible, the sons of God simply referred to God's people. You have two lines--

LENORA: Yeah, I understood that, but I just got a little confused when...and I understand that the book of Enoch quotes, or Jude, quotes the passage in the book.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: He does.

LENORA: So that's why I was kind of confused about that,

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes, he does quote a passage--

LENORA: if it's authentic, or, if it's not authentic, you know.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right. He does quote a passage in the book where he refers to Enoch prophesying concerning the coming of Christ, even before the flood to those that were alive at that point in time. But he only uses just one portion of the book.

We also find Paul calling from even some of the pagan philosophers of his day to make his point. So under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, when Jude was writing the book, that particular part of the book of Enoch was true, and he used that. But the rest of it, there were some questions as to its validity; and so it was not included.

LENORA: Okay. So we just don't know whether or not, or, do we know that it's not authentic?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's right, yes. There's sufficient questions about the book and the contradictions that are there in Scripture; that's why it's not included in the Bible. And, whenever we're in question on that, it's always wise to go with the weight of evidence. Go with what the Scripture presents on a particular subject.

LENORA: Okay. I just had that question. I was just wondering about it.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure, good question.

LENORA: Thank you very much.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thank you for your call.

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Kevin. He's listening on WTLN, and he's calling from Orlando, Florida. Kevin, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Kevin

KEVIN: Hi Pastors. Thank you for taking my call.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And your question this evening?

KEVIN: My question this evening is, Adam and Eve, they spoke to God face-to-face in the garden of Eden. When they got kicked out of Eden, how did they know praying was the only way Adam could talk to God after their act itself?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's a good question. After they fell, according to the account given in Genesis chapter 3, we find God coming to the garden in the cool of the day and He's calling for Adam and Eve; and then God talks to Adam and Eve. So, even after they sinned, there was still direct communication with God.

They were then separated from the garden of Eden. God did not want them to eat of the tree of life. He didn't want sin to be perpetuated. At that point in time, the communication with God probably was not as open as it had been before. I'm sure that God had explained to Adam and Eve what His plan was.

Matter of fact, the Bible says that there's the prophecy where Jesus says that the seed of the woman would eventually bruise, or crush, the head of the serpent; but the serpent would bruise the seed's heel, speaking of the coming Messiah. So they had an understanding of the plan of redemption and the Gospel. And they also understood--God must have told them how to communicate with Him after the fall.

So I'm sure there was prayer; there were also sacrifices. We know the story of Cain and Abel, they brought their sacrifices. Most likely, they brought those sacrifices to the gate of the garden of Eden where the angel stood with the flaming sword. They probably would gather by the gate to worship God.

And the garden of Eden was on the earth until sometime before the flood; and we're not quite sure when, but it was taken to heaven.

KEVIN: Okay, thank you Pastor.

PASTOR TIM: And Kevin, it's also important to realize that, even after the fall, God did not abandon Adam and Eve.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

PASTOR TIM: He kept the lines of communication open between them. It's an expression of His love to them; and the fact that He allowed them to relate to Him still, even after they had fallen, was an indication that God was planning to redeem mankind.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely! You know, God, right from the very beginning, set a plan in motion that mankind could be saved. As time has gone on, I'm sure the communication has, to some degree with the increase of sin, prior to the flood, there wasn't as much direct communication, except for those faithful men and women.

For example, Enoch walked with God and communed with Him. But because of sin, mankind was separated from that direct communication, for sin does separate a person from God. Kevin, thanks again for your call. Again friends, if you would like to get your call in here at the studio, the number to call is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Who do we have next?

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Bruce; and Bruce is listening on KFIA and he's calling from Pacifica, California. Bruce, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Bruce

BRUCE: Thank you very much and God bless you all. Hey, you know, just Pacifica, a little historical question. Two friends of mine, a guy at UC Berkeley, helped decipher and interpret the dead sea scrolls, (unintelligible) and one of those guys was smart enough to try. Anyway, hey but, this is my question--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

BRUCE: Okay now, it's Matthew chapter 3, verse 16. It says, "After this," I've got all the translations. Right now I've got the Living Bible. It has large print. Anyway, "After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and setting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with Him." And then it says that Jesus was lead out into the wilderness; I don't know if it's chronological, but the Bible I read, the Early Bible, is chronological. But anyway uh, then Jesus was lead out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. For 40 days and 40 nights He ate nothing and He became hungry. Now Luke chapter 11, verse 14 is about Jesus casting out the demon of a mute. And then, the other one I had was where Satan enters Judas in Luke chapter 22, verse 3?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

BRUCE: But, I mean, the voice of God speaking and the dove, now first of all, is this the only way Satan would have found out that this was God's Son, by announcing it like that at the baptism? Maybe Jesus was there demon possessing somebody else? And could God possibly possess a dove the way Satan possessed Judas?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, great, good question. Did Satan first recognize Jesus at His baptism? I think, from the birth of Christ, the devil was very much focused on Jesus, for a number of reasons. Number one, because of His miraculous birth, the devil was aware that the Messiah was soon to come. And then the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin. He was born in Bethlehem, which was a fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy.

And then also, you have an amazing time prophecy given in Daniel chapter 9 that actually predicted the time of Christ's baptism. It's referred to as the 70 weeks of Daniel chapter 9. So the devil was very familiar, I'm sure, with these Old Testament passages of Scripture. And so right about the time when the Messiah was to come, he was looking and looking in Bethlehem. There was a virgin that conceived and gave birth to a child.

And also, during the early life of Jesus, it was very evident that He had the Spirit of God upon Him. He lived a spotless life. So Satan was aware of that. I'm sure Satan even tried to trip Jesus up in His childhood and youth; but it became evidently clear, beyond any shadow of a doubt at the baptism of Christ, that this was God's son.

Now, what about the dove that came upon Him? The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We find that quite a bit in Scripture. Not that the Holy Spirit necessarily possessed a dove, but He could manifest Himself in the form of a dove. The reason being is the dove is a very docile and peaceful bird; and the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the Comforter, to reveal Christ to us, and to lead us into a fuller understanding of God's will.

So for that reason, the Holy Spirit in Scripture is identified as a dove. But Satan knew before the baptism that it was Christ, and it just made it real clear when He was baptized.

BRUCE: You think Jesus had to prevent Himself with special prayers from being possessed by Satan, who's now starting to follow Him around to take Him down and watch Him go through a fast and get really weak in the wilderness, until an angel came and brought Him back with water and bread and revived Him, like they did Elijah in the desert? But I'm just saying, is there a point of weakness Jesus could have reached, where Satan could have gone into Him?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Oh absolutely, absolutely. Well that's why the devil was trying to tempt Him. I don't think the devil could have possessed Christ because God would not allow the devil to possess a being without the being's consent. We can be grateful for that, otherwise the devil would possess every person.

So the devil probably could not have possessed Christ, but he definitely wanted to tempt Him. And Jesus was praying in the wilderness and God was strengthening Him, sustaining Him. It was a real struggle, a real battle.

BRUCE: You've filled my heart with a smile, and I thank you very much.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well Bruce, thank you so much for calling. We appreciate it. Do we have time for one more call before we take the break? Tim, who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Okay. We have Angela from Discovery Bay, California, and Angela is listening on KFIA. Angela, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Angela. Let's try that again and see if she's there. Angela, can you hear us? Hi Angela, welcome. You're on the air.

ANGELA: Yes, thank you for taking my call.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

ANGELA: So often I hear pastors and other Christians say, or they'll reference something, "Well that was the Old Testament. We're living in the New Testament." And my question is about tattoos. What does the Bible say about, for me guiding my son, who wants to get a tattoo, say about marking your body today? There's nothing I can find in the New Testament that says about marking your body.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, good question. In the Old Testament, we'll get to the New Testament in just a moment; but in the Old Testament, it's fairly clear about the subject. Leviticus 19:28 says, "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh," so it was never God's purpose that we fill our flesh or skin with tattoos.

In the New Testament though, the Bible does say that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; and that we ought to give glory to God, whatever we eat, or drink, or whatever we do, we want to do it to the glory of God. So, if our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we want to keep it in a way that God would want us to have it. And that, I'm sure, would include not tattooing ourselves.

ANGELA: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Does that make sense?

ANGELA: Oh yes it does, most definitely. It does make sense. For my son, it didn't make sense because he has a pastor now that told him that's the Old Testament—

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

ANGELA: --not in the New Testament.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well you know Angela, we're coming up on our break here. And for those of you who are listening, we're just taking a break; and we'll be back with more Bible questions in just a few moments. Again, our phone lines are open, and we look forward to hearing from you right after break. God bless, we'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hello friends, welcome back. The number here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. We have some phone lines that are open. This would be a good time to call. Again, the number is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297.

Just before we took our break Pastor Tim, we were speaking with Angela, and she had some questions with reference to what does the Bible say about tattoos. And we gave her one verse from the Old Testament there in Leviticus 19, but you had another verse.

PASTOR TIM: Yes Pastor Ross and Angela, if you're still listening. The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 12 and verse 1, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

So God wants us to present our bodies to Him. He wants to be in control, or in charge, of our entire lives, including our bodies. So often when we are making markings and tattoos and things like that on our bodies, we're expressing ourselves, rather than allowing God to be His expression through us.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely, good point. You know friends, we've got a great, what's the right word, Pastor Doug uses plethora, of websites that Amazing Facts has to try and assist you in your study of the Bible. I'd like to share a few of those with you before we take our next caller. If you have a pen or pencil handy, you can jot some of these websites down.

Of course, amazingfacts.org. That is our main website; and you can probably get a number of the links to these various websites from our main website, amazingfacts.org. We have a website entitled, amazingfacts.tv. And Pastor Tim, this is 24-hours of Bible preaching right there at your fingertips. You go to amazingfacts.tv and you can watch the word being preached.

PASTOR TIM: Total immersion in the Word of God!

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's right. A lot of folks just go to that website and leave it on in the background and they pick up bits here and there. We have another website. A lot of folks are wondering about this mystic number 666. What does the Bible have to say about that. We have a website entitled, 666truth.org, 666truth.org.

And let me give you one more before we go back to the phone lines, bibleuniverse.com. As you know from time to time, we will suggest that you call for one of the study guides that Amazing Facts has. But you can actually view all of these study guides online; and actually participate in our online Bible school by going to bibleuniverse.com.

Again friends, the number here to the studio, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Pastor Tim, who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is John. He has been holding for quite some time. He's listening on WMCA in Jersey City, New Jersey. John, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi John. John, can you hear us?

JOHN: Yes. I have a question on the word "hope" that Paul writes in most of his epistles.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

JOHN: And in Ephesians he goes on to tell the Gentiles that, "Before you had God, you had no hope."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

JOHN: And he goes on in Colossians and he comes on there and says that, "The hope that you had is laid up for you in heaven."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

JOHN: And no one ever talks about this word "hope;" and would you give me your assessment on the word "hope"?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes!

JOHN: Because I'm not just thinking about Jesus Christ coming back and saying, "I hope this and that...."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

JOHN: I'd just like to know what your assessment is on the word "hope"?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely. You know, sometimes we think of the word "hope," but at least in our terms today, as a "maybe." You know, we "hope" something will happen. But there's a chance that it won't happen. But when Paul uses the word "hope," he's not talking about something that might happen, or is hoping that would happen. Rather, he's talking about what will happen.

JOHN: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And because it's going to happen, he has faith, he has courage, he has hope, because of the reality that has been offered to the Christian. Now, there are a lot of things that the Christian can have hope in: the second coming of Christ, as you mentioned.

Paul talks about the resurrection of the righteous at the second coming; and that is something that we take hope and courage in, especially if we lay a loved one to rest, we have hope in the second coming of Christ.

We also have, "Christ in you," Paul says, "the hope of glory." So we also trust that, if we ask Jesus into our heart and lives, that He will work within us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So, hope is not a "maybe" in the Bible. It's a definite. And it's putting our faith and confidence in the promises of God.

JOHN: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: I'm reminded of 1st Corinthians 13:13. You've probably familiar with this verse.

JOHN: Yes I am.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Paul says, "And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Hope, faith, and love; these are the three vital ingredients for the Christian. If we want to live a victorious Christian life, we need to have faith in the promises of God; we need to have the hope of salvation; we need to be trusting in Jesus; and we want the love of God to work within our hearts and our lives, shining forth to others. So three very important components of the Christian life.

JOHN: So in 2nd Corinthians, in 5:7 I think he says we're walking by faith and not by sight.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

JOHN: "And I'm confident" [Cross talk]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That "confident" would be hope, yes absolutely!

JOHN: Yeah, confidence would be hope.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Exactly.

JOHN: Right, okay, very good.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yeah, there's a confidence. Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: Yes, and the Bible tells us in Romans 5:5 that, "Hope makes us not ashamed"--

JOHN: Um-hmm

PASTOR TIM: --"because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us." And it also says in Romans 8:24 that, "We are saved by hope." So hope is a powerful, spiritual force that works in us, along with faith, along with love, the verses we just read in 1st Corinthians 13. But hope is a key ingredient in giving us our hope for salvation.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, I like the verse that you mentioned Pastor Tim where it says, "And hope will not make us ashamed." If we put our hope, our confidence, in the Word of God, we will not be ashamed.

PASTOR TIM: Amen!

JOHN: Right. So I'm getting from what you're saying here, is that the hope that we have is the hope we have in Jesus. We have confidence that He's coming back because of what has already been done and said.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes. The hope of the Bible is not a hope that it'll happen; but rather, it's the aspect of comfort that we have from knowing that it'll happen.

JOHN: It's the comfort that we get from that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Correct.

PASTOR TIM: And because we have that comfort, Romans 12:12 says we can rejoice in hope.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Rejoice in hope.

JOHN: Right, um-hmm. Okay, very good.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thank you for your call John, appreciate it.

JOHN: Thank you.

PASTOR TIM: And Pastor Ross, our next caller is Victor; and Victor is calling us from Frisco, Texas. Victor, welcome to the program.

VICTOR: Thank you for taking my call. Specifically, my call is about Matthew chapter number 12, verse 38, 39 and 40, where Jesus talks about, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign given to it, except a sign of the prophet Jonah."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

VICTOR: Okay, I have been talking to a Christian and, by the way, I'm not a Christian. So, but I have been talking to a Christian about this particular verse. And she sent me a link to this

particular verse; and I believe that this is Bible prophecy, Jesus talking about Himself never dying.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: And because it's...when the scribes and the Pharisees come to Jesus and they ask Jesus for a sign; they want to be shown a miracle from Jesus.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

VICTOR: That's what the sign is. As a matter of fact, in the New International Version of the Bible, it says, "a miraculous sign."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

VICTOR: A miracle.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: And what is the miracle of Jonah? The miracle of Jonah is that he had never died.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: See, when he was tossed into a raging sea, he ought to have died. He did not die; but he was swallowed up by the big fish. He ought to have died. He did not die. He was taken around in the sea for three days and three nights in the belly of this big fish; and he ought to have died and he did not die.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay

VICTOR: He was vomited up on the seashore; he ought to have died, but he did not die.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, so let me see if I understand. Your question then is, if you use what Matthew says here that Jesus is going to give the Jewish leaders the sign of Jonah, "three days and three nights as it is in the belly of the whale, so also shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," that that means Christ couldn't have died?

VICTOR: Yes

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay. Well first of all--

VICTOR: Because He's saying that He will be like Jonah.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay

VICTOR: My miracle, if you're asking Me for a miracle, My miracle is the miracle of Jonah--as Jonah was, so shall the Son of man be.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Well let me address that here. If you look at the actual verse that Jesus says, He doesn't say that He's going to be dead for three days and three nights. Jesus says, "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so also shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth."

VICTOR: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: What do we understand that to mean?

[Cross talk]

VICTOR: Well--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You see, whenever in the Scripture you find the "heart of the earth," the "heart of the earth," we would assume at first, well that would be the tomb. But Jesus was not three days and three nights in the tomb. That's pretty evident from the Biblical account.

The "earth" would be the opposite of heaven. For three days and three nights, Jesus was in the clutches, or under the influence, or in the hands, you might say, of those who wished to destroy Him.

God withdrew His protection from Christ and for three days and three nights, that brought all the way up to the crucifixion, and then until Sunday morning when Christ was resurrected. Jesus was at the mercy, if you like, of the wicked, at the mercy of the devil. He was in the heart of the earth. He was in the midst of the kingdom of darkness, so much so that Jesus cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

So when Jesus says, "As was the sign of Jonah, so also shall be the Son of man," He's not referring there to His death; because, like you pointed out, Jonah never died. But Jonah was encapsulated by the whale. He was down at the depths of the sea, furthest from the sun. And so likewise, for three days and three nights, Christ was surrounded by His enemy, surrounded by the devil, by the Jewish leaders; mocked, and ridiculed, and beaten. He was in the clutches of the evil one; and yet, He overcame in the same way that Jonah finally made it out of the belly of the whale.

VICTOR: Okay. Can I interject right quick?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure

VICTOR: Do you mind? Okay. The scribes and the Pharisees, in Matthew chapter 12, verses 38, 39 and 40, they're coming to Jesus. They're asking Jesus for a sign. "Show us a miracle."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: The miracle of Jonah is that he never died. That is the miracle.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: They want to see a miracle, something like, they want Jesus to fly like a bird, maybe walk on water, do something out of the ordinary that would prove to them that He is the Messiah.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

VICTOR: "Show us a miracle." Jesus says to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign," a miracle--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VICTOR: --but if you're looking for a miracle, My miracle is the miracle of Jonah.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well hang on a minute [Cross talk] Let me interrupt you here, Victor, real quick. Jesus does not say that the miracle is going to be the sign of Jonah. Rather He says, "You're looking for a sign, but no sign will be given you, except the sign of Jonah." But it does not say the miracle of Jonah. Again, the experience--

VICTOR: That's what the word "sign" means, the word "sign means.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well they were looking for a miracle--you know--hopefully Jesus would do some great miracle to prove His divinity. Christ says, "The only way you will know My divinity is, after I go through that experience of being in the clutches of the evil one for three days and three nights, I will come forth victorious in the same sense that Jonah was spared and came out of the whale.

PASTOR TIM: One of the things, Victor, that we run across as we are studying and reading Scripture is the best thing to do to understand Scripture is to let the Scripture speak for Itself; because the Bible becomes Its own interpreter. And in the two verses that we're studying just now, Jesus says that the sign is going to be as Jonah; just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly.

It had nothing to do with whether he was dead or alive. The sign was that he was in the whale's belly, or in the heart of the earth, for three days and three nights. That's the sign. Now, what you're doing, and it's common; I mean, I do it sometimes myself, is I interject into the text what I think the miracle is, as opposed to what it's actually saying.

What Jesus is saying is that the three days and three nights, that is the sign; and that's exactly what happened to Jesus.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Excellent point Pastor Tim. You know Victor, we do have a book that Pastor Doug wrote on this very subject. And I think you'd find it very interesting. It's called,

The Sign of Jonah; and I hope that you'll call our resource line and find out more about that. The number again Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: It's 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And again, ask for the book, The Sign of Jonah. Well, let's see if we can get a few more callers in here. Who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller is Kristen; and Kristen is listening on KTIE in Palm Springs, California. Kristen, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Kristen, can you hear us?

KRISTEN: Hello?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi, yes, you're on the air.

KRISTEN: Yes, hi. Thank you for taking my call. My question was, Adam and Eve. And the question was, Eve was the one that ate the apple; and why is it that because one person made that terrible mistake, that all of mankind has to pay for her sin. And why didn't she ask for forgiveness?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Aright, good question.

KRISTEN: And if not--and I'm sure she asked for forgiveness--and if God is about forgiveness, why didn't He forgive her?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well, that's a good question. Of course, God ultimately did because we have confidence that Eve will be in heaven. But, God couldn't just say, "Well you know what? I'm sorry you messed up. I'll give you another chance." God had told them beforehand and said, "You can eat of all of the trees, but don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." And He had given them plenty warning.

They had to reveal who they would willingly choose to obey; and it was a question of freedom of choice. They choose to disobey God and chose to obey they devil. And even though God had warned them, God still reached out to them in love and gave them a second chance; gave them a probationary time period. And that's why the whole plan of redemption was set in motion. Jesus had to come to die to pay the penalty of her sin, and Adam's sin, and our sins as well.

But why is it then that, after Adam and Eve sinned, that their descendants also received a like, selfish heart, or a sinful heart? Here's the verse: Genesis chapter 5, verse 3, speaking of Adam. It says, "And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."

The descendants of Adam and Eve received from their parents their own likeness. And so, that sin that started with Adam and Eve was passed on from generation to generation to generation, all the way through til today.

KRISTEN: That's what I don't understand, like, it says, I believe, that, you know women were going to then feel pain in childbirth. And I just feel, like--you know--why, because of one sin by one person, did God punish the whole world.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm. Well remember, each person commits their own sin. We, in a sense, have the same opportunities that Adam and Eve had. God reveals to us what we need to do, that which is pleasing to Him; but very often, we choose to do contrary to what God would have us to do.

And so in one sense, we're just as guilty as Adam and Eve. Even though they were the first ones to sin, all of us have followed their example in one way or another. The good news is that God has provided a way of escape. He has provided a plan of salvation for all of us.

And you know, once we accept Christ and we accept the promise of salvation, and Jesus comes and all things are made right, we will be, once again, restored back to that perfect, beautiful home and condition that Adam and Eve had before they sinned. So despite the sin, God worked a plan of redemption to restore man back to his former position.

KRISTEN: Well, I am a believer in God. I don't know that I'm a Christian. The one thing I...when I was younger God...because um, you know, there are so many different faiths. And I used to worry about what if I'm believing in the wrong one? And I used to think of God as a wheel and God is the center of the wheel; and the spokes are the different paths. But how do you know, like you know, there are so many conflicting, you know, paths to God, it's just, it's confusing sometimes.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well you're not alone. Take courage. There are a lot of folks who are wondering, "How can I find truth? How can I find my way to God?" That's where the Bible comes in. The Bible is the road map to heaven. It reveals to us God.

How can we trust the Bible? The reason we can trust the Bible is because of the evidence found in Scripture that it is, indeed, God's Word. There is prophecy in the Bible, all of which has come true, just the way the Bible has said. There are a number of other evidences, archeology and the like, that testify to the truth of the Bible.

So if we take the Bible and we say, "Lord, I want to find truth." We need to go to the Word of God. And as we study the Word of God, we see, or Christ is revealed to us, through His Word, through the Bible. You know, we have a study guide, Kristen, that I think you would really enjoy. It's called, "Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?" and it deals with this very question, how can we find truth, how can we find our way to God. And we'll be happy to send that out to you for free. All you'd have to do is call our resource line.

PASTOR TIM: And our resource line, Kristen, is 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Let's see if we can get a few more callers in. Thank you for your call Kristen. Who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller, Pastor Jëan, is Jerry. And Jerry is calling us from Dallas, Texas. Jerry, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Jerry. Jerry, you're on the air. Can you hear us? Jerry, are you there? Well, probably need to try Jerry maybe a little later on. Could you try the next caller Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: Okay. Our next caller would be Vincent. Vincent is calling us from New York, New York. Vincent, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Vincent, can you hear us?

VINCENT: Hello?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Vincent

VINCENT: Yes, God bless you. I just want to ask you a question. And I heard you say something before about the devil, about being, you know, burned up.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

VINCENT: And I was reading Revelation chapter 20; and verse 10 says, "The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." And then I was reading Revelation chapter 19, verse 20. It says, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Could you explain that?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure, absolutely. If you look down in Revelation chapter 20, verse 14, speaking of the lake of fire, it says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." So here, you find death coming to an end in the lake of fire.

Now what does it mean when it says, "the devil and the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, and they were tormented day and night for ever and ever"? They were tormented, or they suffer their just punishment, until they die. The word "for ever and ever" in Scripture, not only refers to endless ages as we think of it, but it means as long as life shall last.

For example, people get married and they'll say, "I'll love you forever." How long is that? Well it's as long as they live. In the Scripture in the Old Testament, we find many instances where someone wanted to make a vow or a covenant, and they would promise that, whatever the vow was, that they would keep it forever and ever; that is, as long as life shall last.

In other words, what we find here in Revelation 20 is the assurance that this punishment that comes upon the devil, and the false prophet, and the beast, will ultimately result in their complete annihilation; and they will have to pay the penalty of that until they die, until death comes to them.

VINCENT: But isn't the devil a...the devil is a spirit, so if the devil is a spirit and human beings are spirits, how does a spirit um, you know, just stop existing? Because everything that God makes is eternal.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm. Well you know, in that sense, God will bring to an end; I mean, we don't fully understand the realm of the unseen angels and the devil himself. We don't know. But what we do know is that the devil is not going to last forever.

Let me balance out Revelation 20 with another verse, Isaiah 47, verse 14. It says, "They shall be stubble; the fire shall burn them up...there shall not be a coal to warm at." Ezekiel 31:15 and 16 says, "In the day when he went down to the grave, I cast him down to destruction," or to the grave, to hell.

"The day cometh," Malachi 4:1, "that shall burn as an oven; and it shall burn up the wicked, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." So the Bible speaks of complete and total destruction of the wicked; and the devil will suffer prior to his final destruction in the fires of hell. But he will come to an end. And that's the promise of Scripture.

PASTOR TIM: And also, Scripture tells us about God destroying both body and soul. In Matthew 10:28, and I'm just responding, Vincent, to your comment that what God makes, He makes it to last forever. But Jesus said, "Fear not them who can kill the body, but not kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: So there is a final destruction that comes for the wicked. You know Vincent, we have that study guide called, "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?" and it has a lot more Scriptures that we don't have time to go into. But if you'll call our resource line, we'll be happy to send that out to you. And Pastor Tim, that number?

PASTOR TIM: Our resource number is, 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Let's see if we have time for one more call Pastor Tim.

PASTOR TIM: Okay. We have Rosemary. Rosemary is calling from Pacifica, and she's a first-time caller. Rosemary, welcome to the program.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Rosemary, can you hear us?

ROSEMARY: Hi. I listened to the question earlier about the possibility of Joseph being with a litter of children when he married Mary. And um, it was an interesting insight about the culture of the day, and how, you know, maybe Jesus wasn't respected as much as an older brother should have been respected, if He was, in fact, older, and so forth.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

ROSEMARY: And then of course, at the cross, He didn't, you know, give His mother to James or anything. He gave her to John's care and so forth. But I can't help but think that, you know, when they journeyed to Bethlehem, that it didn't seem, like, very practical to take a huge family. And then, sounds like they stayed in Bethlehem for awhile, which seems funny if they had a home in Nazareth, and um, you know, with a lot of children, and that established. And it didn't seem like they would abandon the children for very long. And when the wise men came, it might have been a few years; and there's never a mention of, you know, any other children. And then, when the angel warned Joseph--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know Rose, I hate to interrupt you Rosemary, but I hear the music playing in the background and we are going to be running out of time. Let me give you a quick response before we go off the air.

You're right. There are some questions raised as to was it just Mary, Joseph and Jesus that went down to Egypt? It could have been, perhaps, the children of Joseph were staying with somebody else, and extended family member during that time. When they finally settled back in Nazareth, it was very possible that Joseph and his older children were there working with him in the carpenter shop. Jesus was there.

And then, of course, we do have some accounts later on in the Gospel that speaks of the brothers of Jesus that came along with Mary, seeking to speak with Christ. Well friends, we have run out of time. We want to thank you so much for being a part of the program. Until next week, God bless.

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