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Cheng Lim

Date: 11/15/2009 
The record for hiding out was made by a young, college, Chinese student by the name of Cheng Lim. He was studying engineering at the University of Michigan, but was doing very badly in physics and math.
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Hello friends! How about an amazing fact? The record for hiding out was made by a young, college, Chinese student by the name of Cheng Lim. He was studying engineering at the University of Michigan, but was doing very badly in physics and math. If his studies did not improve, he would have to leave school, quit his job as janitor at the Ann Arbor First Methodist Church, and take the humiliating news of his academic failure back to his father, who was a school teacher in Singapore.

Finally, on one day in October 1955, Cheng disappeared. His friends, including the Reverend Eugene Ransom, pastor of the church, called the police; but they found no clues. Cheng's Methodist friends had another mystery to ponder. Strange bumping noises that came out of the deserted church at night.

Early one morning four years after Cheng's disappearance, a pair of private detectives called by Reverend Ransom, heard a trap door to the church attic slam. Together with the police, they climbed up, swept their flashlights about the attic; and there, crouched above them in the rafters, was Cheng.

For four years, the attic of the church had been his home. The bumping noises had been Cheng's skipping rope to keep in shape. During the day, he slept on padding from the pew. At night, he walked around the church and helped himself to food from the kitchen. Physically, Cheng seemed unaffected by his hermit's existence. But as police hauled him off to county jail, his four-year preoccupation with loss of face suddenly vanished.

"I've been a coward," he said. "I'm glad I was found." Did you know, friends, that the Bible speaks of a time when Satan will be forced to live the life of a hermit? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hello friends, yes this is Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is out this evening, and this is Pastor Jëan Ross. And friends, if you have a Bible-related question, our phone lines are now open. The number to call is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. This is a live, national and international Bible study; and working the phones for us again this evening is Pastor Tim Jones. Pastor Tim, welcome!

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

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well before we begin with Bible questions, why don't you start with a word of prayer?

PASTOR TIM: Certainly. Loving Father in heaven, we are grateful to You for Your Word that You have given us and the opportunity tonight that we have to study Your Word. We ask that You would bless us and every caller and let Your name be glorified as we study tonight. In Jesus' name, amen.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Amen! Well Pastor Tim, again, thank you for joining us this evening.

PASTOR TIM: Well I'm happy to be here Pastor Ross; and that was quite an amazing fact. I couldn't imagine that young man walking around in the dark but totally bound by his circumstances.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: For four years he hid out in this church. Apparently, he didn't want to face the displeasure of his father for his bad grades; but what an experience! You know, the Bible tells us of a time when Satan himself will be forced to live the life of a hermit.

And the passage of Scripture that I'm referring to is Revelation chapter 20. Let me read it. It says, "And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil, and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."

So, here we have a picture, a symbolic representation of the devil being bound upon this place called the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Now that one thousand year period we find in Revelation 20 is sometimes referred to as the "millennium," even though the word "millennium," we don't find that in the Scripture; but it's simply Latin for "a thousand years."

Now there might be some folks wondering, "Well when does this happen? Does this happen before Christ comes? Does it happen after Christ comes?" or, "What will the redeemed or the righteous be doing during this time?" or, "What will happen to the wicked?" Folks have a lot of questions on this subject of the millennium, the one thousand year period.

Amazing Facts has a study guide that deals with the subject, called, A Thousand Years of Peace. And we'd like to get that to anybody who would call our resource line and we'll send it out for free.

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

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Again, the study guide is, A Thousand Years of Peace. Friends, if you have a Bible question, again, the number to call here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. 1-800-463-7297. And we're going to go to the phone lines.

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Jëan, we have Mark from Nashville, Tennessee; and he's listening on WITA.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Mark, welcome to the program.

MARK: Yeah, it's Knoxville actually.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Oh, excuse us.

MARK: Yeah, my question is, it's concerning John chapter 9, the first three verses, as to why Jesus didn't rebuke the disciples for believing in reincarnation.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Well let's take a look at the verse here. John chapter 9, verse 1. It says, "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered and said, Neither this man has sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Now, your question there is why did Jesus not rebuke the disciples for reincarnation?

MARK: For believing in reincarnation, yeah, because the disciples knew that the man was born blind when they asked the question.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

MARK: And they thought one of the possibilities was his own sin, and the other, was his parents' sin.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

MARK: So how could the disciples even think that the man's own sin could be the cause of his blindness, since he was born with it?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, well that's a good question. That's the puzzle. That's probably why they raised the question. It was believed by the Jewish leaders that if somebody was suffering some type of sickness or disease, blindness, or leprosy in particular, that they were under a curse of God for some sin that they had committed.

And that's the way they explained these various diseases of people that, you know, they must have committed some great sin. But here is a man that is born blind; and so now the disciples are wondering, "Well, how could he be guilty of sin if he was born blind?" So that's why some had suggested, "Well it's because of the sin of the parent that the child is born blind."

MARK: Right, but that's the second possibility they offered. The first possibility was the man's own sin.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yeah. The question was, "Why was he born blind? What sin could he have committed? Was this, perhaps, a sin that God knew was coming, and for that reason he was born blind?" There was a lot of confusion about this.

And of course, the Bible doesn't teach that a person suffers that type of disease because of some sin. Now it is true that, based upon one's lifestyle, we can bring disease upon ourselves; but it's not because of the sin of the parent that the child is necessarily born blind in this case.

MARK: Yeah, so the only explanation might be a sin from a past life [Cross talk]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well you know, I don't know if that was something that the disciples had in mind. I know the Jewish leaders, at the time, did teach that it was because of some sin.

And they also suggested that it must have been his parents' fault for why he was born blind. So, the disciples are looking for some clarification on that.

MARK: And then when Jesus answered their question, you know, that he was born blind so that the works of God was made manifest?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

MARK: You notice that Jesus didn't rebuke the disciples from thinking it was possible to sin before birth.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well you know, I think as they spent time with Christ, they began to realize the mercy of God and what constitutes righteousness, what constitutes sin. Jesus didn't get into a discussion, really, of dealing with their question; but rather, directed their attention to what Christ had come to do--

MARK: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --and the man was healed from that experience.

MARK: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well thanks so much for your call Mark--

MARK: Well you have a good evening.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --appreciate it.

MARK: Thank you

PASTOR TIM: Interesting question, Pastor Ross. Our next caller is Lilly from Iowa City, Iowa; and Lilly is listening on the Internet.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Lilly. Welcome to the program.

LILLY: Hello?

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

LILLY: Okay. My question is the following. I know that when Christ came and died on the cross, He fulfilled a lot of the sacrificial laws of the Old Testament.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

LILLY: And so that's why we no longer have a sacrificial system today. But my question is regarding the civil laws and the health laws of the Old Testament, specifically the health laws in Leviticus 11. How can I Biblically differentiate to a person when giving a Bible study why the sacrificial laws, or the cleanliness laws, do not apply to us; but yet, the health laws do, which, and they're sometimes mixed together as, you know, closed in the same chapters, or in similar closed chapters. So I'm wondering how can I differentiate Biblically?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay, well, good question. Here in the Old Testament, we see four different groups of law, or clusters of law. You've got the Ten Commandment law, which is the moral law, which, of course, the Bible tells us the transgression of that law is sin. But then you also have certain civil laws that were set into place for Israel as a theocracy, certain laws that governed the nation.

Then you also find the health laws in Scripture that you made reference to. And then we find the ceremonial law. The ceremonial law had to do with the sanctuary and certain feast days associated with that; and of course, the sacrificial system, the sacrificing of lambs.

Now when Jesus died on the cross, He brought an end to that ceremonial law. He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The Ten Commandment law, of course, is still in effect today. It was wrong to kill before Jesus died, and it's wrong to kill today.

The civil laws that governed the nation of Israel, even though the principles are true and a nation that follows those Godly principles will prosper, but we don't function today under a theocracy the way the children of Israel did while traveling through the wilderness and when they dwelt in the promised land.

Now the health laws, you find practical, but Biblical principles that will help you to be healthy. Not only does it address issues with reference to what you should eat and what you shouldn't eat, but also some basic principles. For example, one of the laws of those that we find in the health laws is that you were to wash your hands under running water.

Back then, they didn't understand all of the significance of that, but today we understand that. If you're going to wash your hands and cleanse them from something, you want to have running water. And so, the principles of those health laws are applicable today. They might be a little different in the application for today, but those health principles are there so that we can be healthy.

LILLY: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Does that make sense?

LILLY: Thank you. Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And you know, we do have a study guide that deals with the subject of these health principles that we find in the Bible. It's an Amazing Facts study guide. It's called, God's Free Health Plan. If anybody would like to know more about that, give us a call. Call our resource line and ask for the study guide, God's Free Health Plan. The number to call for that Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: The number is 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And again friends, the number here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. We have a couple lines that are still open so this is a good time to pick up the phone and give us a call. Who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller, Pastor Jëan, is Mario; and Mario is calling from Brooklyn, New York. He's listening on WMCA.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Mario, welcome to the program.

MARIO: Hello?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi, yes.

MARIO: Oh okay, yes. I'm calling because, well I want to find out what is the best solution to give to a friend of mine who's smoking; you know, Biblical information?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright now, let me ask you, does he recognize that smoking is not God's will for him?

MARIO: It's actually a female.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay. Does she recognize that, you know, it's not something that God would approve of?

MARIO: (Sighs) Sort of. Yes, yes, that's correct.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay, so she does recognize that that's not something...and by the way, just to give you a verse for that, 1st Corinthians 6:19. Paul says, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost that is in you?" So if the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us, we want to take care of our bodies.

MARIO: Amen

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And as we know, smoking is not good. It's detrimental to the body. And so, if we want the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we want to have a clear mind, we want to have a healthy body. So, her question, or your question then for her would be, what can she do to quit smoking?

MARIO: That's correct.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay. You know, one of the biggest challenges that people have is to stop smoking, because it's a habit that takes a hold of a person. Not only is it just the nicotine addiction, but just the habit of smoking, of lighting up a cigarette. It's a difficult habit to break. But the Bible does give us good news.

There is hope and there is power in Jesus. Jesus said that He has come to set people free; and, "if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed." And so there is hope in Christ. A couple of steps that need to be kept in mind. First of all, we need to acknowledge that our bodies belong to God. As we look here in 1st Corinthians 6:19, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, we need to recognize that what we are doing is harming our body. And in that sense, we are hurting that which really is God's. We've given ourselves to Him; and then we say, "Lord, we need Your help to quit this bad habit." And we claim the promises that God gives us in His Word.

We claim the promise that God will sustain us, and strengthen us. We're told by the Apostle Paul that no temptation has come to us, except that which is common to man; and God is able to give us a way of escape. Now there are things that we can do to help that. We claim the promise, and then we take some definite steps.

For example, get rid of the cigarettes; change our routine; drink lots of water; get a friend that you can contact, someone who can encourage you through the process. In some cases, seek medical help. See if there's some help that a physician can give you for that. Do what you can, but ultimately recognize that your strength is in Christ.

PASTOR TIM: And also, Pastor Jëan, the Bible tells us that the thief comes, that's the enemy; and his function for coming is to steal, to kill, and to destroy. And almost everybody readily admits today that cigarette smoking contributes to the destruction of the body.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure it does.

PASTOR TIM: Now, the Bible tells us in James 4:7, that if we would submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, then he will flee from us. So part of the process of overcoming some of these habits is, one, submitting ourselves honestly and truly to God.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Amen!

PASTOR TIM: And then with everything that we can do, taking some of the steps that you've already described, resist the devil, and, according to the Bible, he will flee.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know Mario, we have a book at Amazing Facts called, Tips for Resisting Temptation, and that deals with these temptations. It talks about tobacco, how do we overcome it. And I think that's a resource that your friend will find very helpful, as well as the study guide that we mentioned a little earlier, called God's Free Health Plan.

Both of those would be a great blessing to your friend. To receive them, just call our resource line and ask for, Tips for Resisting Temptation and God's Free Health Plan; and we'll send that out.

PASTOR TIM: And our resource number, Mario, is 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And our next caller this evening Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller is Laurie; and Laurie is calling from San Diego, California, and she's listening on KPRB.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Laurie, welcome to the program.

LAURIE: Hello, KPRI. Hello. I have enjoyed your program immensely, and every day I feel the wonders of God (unintelligible). But I have a question that's come into my mind recently. And I'm just wondering, how come God made us so primitive in the beginning? I mean, we still are, in comparison to Him, but, in the beginning?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Now, what do you mean by primitive?

LAURIE: Well, the way that He created them and they were lost in sin, but, you know.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, the interesting thing is when you look at the Biblical account, you find that, in the beginning, Genesis chapter 1, God made man, Adam and Eve, in His image, according to His likeness. And He created a beautiful home for them, the garden of Eden. Everything that they needed was there.

There was no need for them to have air conditioned houses because the climate was just right. They didn't need cars to take them from place to place because everything that they needed was right there. Everything that they ever wanted, God had given them and provided for them.

Their intellectual ability was far greater than ours. They had come fresh from the Hands of the Creator. As times progressed, even though there has been an increase in knowledge, our actual intelligence has actually diminished over time. Our ability to retain information, as far as in our head, in our mind, has gone down; our ability even to communicate effectively orally.

We find evidence back in the time before the flood, there was meaningful, oral communication. People would be able to recall something word-for-word from what they had heard or what they had said; and there was no need for any written communication because folks were able to remember everything.

So there's actually been a progression going downhill since creation. Mankind hasn't improved. Knowledge has increased, but morally, man has not gotten any better.

LAURIE: I see. Okay. Well thank you.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well thank you again for your call Laurie. We don't have a book specifically on that, but I'm trying to think if we have a study guide that might deal with that subject. No, I can't think of it right now. We do have some resources at the Amazing Facts website that talks about creation; and I think it might address some of that as well. Well, who do we have next?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller, Pastor Jëan, is Rick; and Rick is an Internet listener. He's calling from Jackson, Tennessee.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Rick, welcome to the program.

RICK: Hello, how are you guys this evening?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Good, thank you.

RICK: I was curious; a subject that had come up at a Bible study sometime back. And I had heard on the radio some stuff about it later on. But was curious with the original 12 disciples, or the original followers of Christ, being Jewish, celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

RICK: And as Christians, we, of course, have Sunday where we celebrate, or, we honor it as the Sabbath. Just curious, when was the transition made?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's a good question. Now if you go to the Bible and you look at the Old Testament, you find that, indeed, the Sabbath was observed on the seventh day of the week, which would be Saturday today; and we find Christ's example. He kept the Sabbath. We also find in the New Testament that the disciples followed the example of Christ, and also kept the seventh-day Sabbath.

The way that we can explain the change, or the shift, from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, we actually have to go back in history. We begin to see a gradual shift starting to take place in the 300's; 300 A.D. or so after Christ there was a shift. And there were several reasons for that.

Number one, there was the Roman empire that was beginning to fall apart around that time period. And in order to try and expand the influence of the church, certain ideas that were common to the pagans was slowly introduced to the Christian church at the time and, sort of, became the norm as time progressed.

One of those was, not only keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, but also celebrating on Sunday because that was the day that the pagans would worship on, because they worshiped the sun; and that's why the name Sunday.

And so there was a gradual shift of time where more emphasis was placed on the first day of the week, versus the seventh day, or the Sabbath. But following the Bible, we don't have any Biblical evidence, or any command anywhere in Scripture, that tells us to observe the first day in place of the seventh.

RICK: Okay. Yeah, I was curious. I had heard one commentary on a different program who had even referred to, I believe it was Tertullian, around 150. It said something about worshiping on the first day of the week. I didn't know if you're familiar with that, or if that was even correct?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, that is questionable, whether it was that early. The more documented historians place it later, around the 300's, Constantine's time. There might have been some groups within Christianity at that point in time that might have been doing that. But it wasn't definitely the norm of the Christian church.

RICK: Okay. And then I had also heard that it was also done because Christ rose on the first day of the week also.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's part of the reason that was given when the change took place to justify it. They said Christ rose on the first day of the week. But if one stops and thinks about that, what's more important? Friday, when Christ died for our sins, or Sunday, when He rose again? I mean, you'd think that both would be equally important.

RICK: Very true.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: So, there's a number of reasons given. You know, we have a website at Amazing Facts dedicated to the subject of the Sabbath. It's called, sabbathtruth.org. And there is the historical change that I briefly mentioned to you, as well as the historical documents to back that up. I think you'll find it very interesting. Sabbathtruth.org.

RICK: Okay, yeah. That would be very interesting.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Also, if you call our resource line, we have a study guide as well that deals with the subject. And we'll be happy to send that out. If you'd just call our resource line and ask for, The Lost Day of History, or the study guide on the Sabbath, we'll send it out.

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

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And the number here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Jëan, our next caller is Paige. Paige is calling from Detroit, Michigan. She's listening on WMUZ.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Paige. Welcome to the program.

PAIGE: Hey

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And your question this evening?

PAIGE: I have a question. What does the Bible say about purpose? Does everyone have a purpose to life, or do you not necessarily need a purpose for life?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's a good question. Does everyone have a purpose? I believe yes. God creates us for a reason. And our prime purpose is to have fellowship with Him. In the beginning, God created man so that we could be in His image, so that we could commune with God, so that we could love Him, we could experience His joy and His peace.

That's our prime purpose in life, is to come into fellowship with Christ. But after we come into fellowship with Christ, after we accept Jesus as our personal Savior and we begin to build a relationship with Him, we have a second purpose. And that is to share the love of Jesus with others.

Now, that can take different forms. In some cases, it's full-time ministry. In other cases, it's following whatever career using the gifts and abilities that God has given you. But in whatever career you might be going in, recognize that in whatever sphere of influence you might have, you want to share Christ; you want to be a witness for Jesus.

PAIGE: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Does that help?

PAIGE: I was wondering because I heard some people say that you can just go through a haze through life without really aiming for a purpose. But yup, I understand now.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, with God, there is purpose in life. And that's the beauty of being a Christian. Every day counts, there is purpose. And of course, we are looking forward to our life that is filled with all of the wonderful blessings that God has promised. We know that this world won't go on forever.

Jesus has promised to come and receive those that love Him; and He's preparing a place for those that Love Him . And that's going to be a place we'll be with Him, and those that love Him; and what a place that will be!

PASTOR TIM: Wonderful place to look forward to.

PAIGE: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's right. So there is purpose in life Paige.

PAIGE: Okay, thanks.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thanks again for your call. Let's see if we can get one more caller in before we take our break here Pastor Tim.

PASTOR TIM: Okay Pastor Jëan.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know what? I just saw the one-minute sign so we're going to hold off on that caller. Friends, we're going to take a break in about a minute or so just to give you some announcements, and then we'll be right back. But while we hear the music playing in the background, I'd like to tell you a little about that Amazing Facts website that we've been mentioning throughout the program.

If you haven't been to the Amazing Facts website, it's worth taking a look; a number of great resources. Not only is there video that you could watch, but there's also archived programs of Bible Answers Live. You can also read the answers to different Bible questions. Just a number of great resources, including a free, online Bible library where we have all of our resources and our books for free.

You can just click on the subject that you like, and you can study it for yourself. So again friends, be sure to visit us online at amazingfacts.org. This is Bible Answers Live. We're going to take a short break and we will be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hello friends, welcome back. This is Pastor Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug is out this evening, but we are live and we're taking your Bible questions. The number to call here to the studio is, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. And joining me here in the studio working the phones is Pastor Tim.

PASTOR TIM: Greetings Pastor Jëan.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Now Pastor Tim, we've been talking about these Amazing Facts study guides. Tell us a little bit about that.

PASTOR TIM: Well the Amazing Facts study guides are available to anyone by calling the number at our resource center. That number is, 1-800-835-6747. And in addition, you can go to the website, which is www.bibleuniverse.com; and all of these study guides and Bible studies are available there for free. And you can take an entire course in Bible prophecy and Bible answers online for free.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely. You know, this is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn more about the Bible. There are two ways you can do it: you can take it online, or you can call our resource line and you can do it through the mail, through correspondence. But I want to encourage you, if you haven't gone through the Amazing Facts Bible study course, it's worth doing. Well, let's go to the phone lines. Who's our next caller this evening?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller is Lennex. Lennex is calling from the Bronx, New York. He's listening on WMCA.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: One more, I think we're going to get him in just a minute. Lennex, from the Bronx, are you there?

LENNEX: Yes sir, I'm right here.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi, welcome to the program.

LENNEX: Oh, thank you for taking my call.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure, and your question this evening?

LENNEX: Yes. My question has to do with Moses, the man who's credited with writing the first five books of the Bible. My question is, in his five books, he was called three different names. And I have done some other research with some very, very disturbing, or contradictions, totally about who he is. At one point in the Pentateuch, he's called Moses; the next part he's called Hobab; the next part he's called Reuel. Do you have any information why he was called all these names in the Pentateuch? Thank you very much.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Well that's a good question. For the most part, of course, Moses is referred to--in Genesis, it speaks about Moses. Well mostly in Exodus it talks about Moses and what he does. The name "Moses" was given to him by the Pharaoh's daughter who drew him from the Nile. And so the name "Moses" means, "child drawn from or brought forth from the river," "brought forth from the water."

Now, there are some other names that we find. "Ahmose," A-h-m-o-s-e, meaning "the one born of the moon god;" and then, "Kamose," K-a-m-o-s-e, "the one born of the soul;" these are names affiliated with Moses. And the fact that he was named by an Egyptian, given the name Moses, it was probably strongly influenced by some of her gods, some of the things that she worshiped.

But, primarily, the name "Moses" would mean "drawn from the water," "the child that comes forth from the water." And you could also see that in Exodus chapter 2, verse 10 where it says the child grew, and Pharaoh's daughter came and she called his name "Moses;" and she said, "because I drew him out of the water."

And so, the name "Moses" means "to draw out of the water." But she also gave credit to her pagan gods for that child whom she believed was given to her by the river god in particular. Does that make sense?

PASTOR TIM: I think our caller was listening off the line.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay, alright. Well thanks again for your call Lennex. Hopefully that's helpful. Pastor Tim, who's our next caller?

PASTOR TIM: Our next call, Pastor Jëan, is Robert; and Robert is calling from Blueville, New Jersey. He's listening on WMCA.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Robert, welcome to the program.

ROBERT: Good evening Pastors.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

PASTOR TIM: Good evening

ROBERT: My question is concerning the food laws and the health laws of Leviticus.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

ROBERT: And now, I think, it seems to be that God gave those laws the Israelites to separate them from the rest of the people, the nations, the Gentiles. Because a lot of the foods that is considered unclean are eaten today; and not to say that everybody's got sparkling health by eating. Some people are not still affected either, like pork, and shellfish, etc. But also, some of the foods that are mentioned that are considered clean foods, like, it says that all fish with fins and scales you are allowed to eat. In some cases, like out in the Pacific, there are certain fish like that which are actually poisonous--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

ROBERT: --and toxic for some people to eat. It seems more...it's a, it was more a distinction of the people spiritually-wise than it was physically; because, a lot of that is not mentioned in the New Testament either, with very few exceptions.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

ROBERT: Can you comment on that there?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure, I'd be happy to. Now you are right, there is a certain degree of distinction that God wanted to make between Israel and the pagan nations around them. And not only was that to be in their manner of what they ate, it was also to be in the manner of dress. It was also to be in their customs; in their worship; even in their look. They were to look different from the nations that were around them.

And so I'm sure that that had a part to play in it. But the reason for those health principles is because God wanted His people to be healthy. What about the New Testament times though? Does God still want us to follow those health principles? Well in Acts chapter 15, verse 29, there is this gathering taking place in Jerusalem. And the Gospel is going out to the Gentiles. Now, not only are Jews being converted to Christianity, but you have Gentiles that are being converted to Christianity.

There were some of the Jewish Christians that were telling the Gentile Christians that they were to observe the ceremonial law that was given by Moses from God to the children of Israel. For example, circumcision, which was part of that ceremonial law. And there was a controversy brewing between how much of this ceremonial law should the Gentile Christians keep.

Well, they had this gathering there in Jerusalem to decide on the issue; and at that council, certain areas were addressed. I'm going to read from Acts chapter 15, verse 29. This is what the decision was made concerning the Gentile believers. "That they were to abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things that are strangled, and from fornication: from which, if you keep yourselves, you do well."

So the message that came forth from this council that happened in Jerusalem was that the Gentile believers were to abstain from the meats offered to the idols. They were also to abstain from blood. And of course you find in the Old Testament--

[Cross talk]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sorry?

ROBERT: May I say something, may I just interject here Pastor Batchelor?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure

ROBERT: I just want to say I'm aware of those exceptions, like things strangled, or offered to idols, or blood, or, and those few exceptions. But notice it didn't reiterate things like, small fish that don't have fins and scales; and it mentioned all the different kinds of animals. It didn't say...Now I'm also aware of when Peter had that vision--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

ROBERT: --but also God did say to Peter, "Don't call anything I've made unclean."

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Correct. Now you do know that He's not talking about animals there? If you--

ROBERT: I He's talking about...I know it's a double--

[Cross talk]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: He's talking about the Gentiles right?

ROBERT: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Because the Jews considered the Gentiles to be unclean. Well you bring up a good point, why do we not have a whole list of liberty because eleven in Acts chapter 15? Probably because you have Leviticus 11. God didn't have to repeat it.

It wasn't a strange thing for, not only the Jews, but even the Christians, to recognize that their bodies were the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that they wanted to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God; and in that way, they wanted to give glory to Him.

ROBERT: See, the point I was trying to make though, more precisely, was the fact that He said that any fish with fins and scales you may eat. I'm not sure if the exact translation means "any." But there are some that you can not. Do you follow me now?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure. Yeah, I'm sure there are exceptions to that; but when it came to where the Israelites were around the Mediterranean, there might even be a few exceptions there. But definitely, for the most part, the safest rule of thumb, when it comes to eating creatures from the sea is, eat those that have the fins and the scales.

Now they might be some exceptions to that, but that's the safe guide. If you eat, for example, shark, you know that there's a high toxin level in the flesh of a shark. So, yeah, there are some exceptions; but God gave a principle that He's held even to today.

PASTOR TIM: And uh--

ROBERT: Are you sure most sharks have fins and scales anyway, right?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well they don't have scales. They do have fins.

ROBERT: Right, okay.

PASTOR TIM: Doctor Bruce Halstead, who is a marine biologist, did some research after World War II.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

PASTOR TIM: And he was commissioned by the United States Government to find out what kind of fish, or food, that downed pilots could eat if they were shot down over water. And at his conclusion, the conclusion of his research--this is a scientist--he listed all the fish that they could eat and the ones that they shouldn't eat.

But his summary was, and I'm reading this, "If you loose this manual, remember one thing. If it has fins and scales, you can eat it. If it doesn't have fins and scales, such as crab, lobsters, shrimp, oysters, and clams, don't eat it because of the high level of toxicity." Now that was not from the Bible, that was from a scientist; but it confirms what God said in the Bible.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right. So, there might be exceptions, but the principle is still very true. That's the healthier of the creatures in the sea, those that have fins and scales. You know Robert, you might--

ROBERT: Okay, thank you very much Pastors.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure. You might also enjoy that study guide that we mentioned a little earlier called, God's Free Health Plan. And I think it talks a little bit about the fish in the sea in that study guide and gives you some more information about it. To get that, call our resource line. That's 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide, God's Free Health Plan. Pastor Tim, who's next?

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller, Pastor Jëan, is Greg. Greg is calling from Orange, New Jersey; and he's listening on WMCA.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Greg, welcome to the program.

GREG: Good evening Pastor

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Good evening

GREG: Yeah, I pick your program up coming back from services. The reason I'm calling, your clarity, and simplicity, and depth is very refreshing. And so I really thank you for that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well thank you for that.

GREG: I had a question on some insight. I have my (unintelligible) but I want to get your insight on it. It's Ezekiel 29.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay

GREG: And it has a whole section that has to with what you call the river and, of course, the dispersion of Egypt into the nations around them. And it seems as if it's packed with Isaiah 11:18, I think it is; the seven streams you could walk across Egypt, and also, I think, the end of Joel. But can you give me your insight on that please.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Well that's a deep chapter as you no doubt know, Ezekiel chapter 29. Just a little bit about that. In Ezekiel we find not only God communicating with Israel as His people, but we also see God giving warnings and judgments for the nations surrounding Israel.

And in Ezekiel 29, the focus of the judgment that God is talking to, or talking about, is with reference to Egypt because of their apostasy. If you think of a nation that had a tremendous amount of truth given to them, that was Egypt. Not only do you have Joseph that was there, but you have the 10 plagues that fall upon Egypt when the children of Israel come out; you have the opening of the Red Sea.

These people knew about it. They also knew about the growth of Israel and how God had established Israel in the promised land. But they were filling up their cup of iniquity, and God was warning Israel concerning judgment that was going to come upon them. And so Ezekiel chapter 29 addresses the judgments that were going to come against Egypt as a nation.

GREG: Yes, I see that, but I also see the river being lifted up, plus onto the land; and the fish not being able to be eaten. Egypt forty years being dispersed into the nations being brought back. And it seems to coincide with Isaiah 11, the seven streams you go across; and the end of Joel, which has to do with the millennial kingdom. And then Egypt left into deprivation. I do have some insight on that if you'd like to hear.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well I'll tell you what, we don't have a whole lot of time because we're trying to get as many callers in on that. But you do raise a good point. It's something worth studying a little further and seeing, especially the parallel that you mention there between Ezekiel chapter 29 and you mention Isaiah 11.

GREG: Isaiah 11:18, yes.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That would be a good comparison to look at.

GREG: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well, thank you--

GREG: (unintelligible) It has to do 1970's Russia and Egypt (unintelligible) the Nile river. And they called the river (unintelligible).

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's a good point. As I said, we're going to have to look that up and study it a little further Greg.

GREG: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: But thanks so much for your call. Appreciate it.

GREG: Thank you

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Jëan, our next caller is Tyler; and Tyler is calling on a cell phone from Mammoth Lake, California.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Tyler, welcome to the program.

TYLER: Hello there

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes, how are you?

TYLER: I'm good. How are you this evening?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Fine thank you

TYLER: My question is out of Genesis 30. We have the story of Jacob working under Laban. It tells the story of him getting his wives and God really blessing him in everything he does. So Laban wants to keep him on board, essentially, because God is giving him His blessing. And Jacob says may I keep all the spotted and blemished sheep, essentially, sheep and goats; and Laban agrees to this. And Jacob strips some branches of various woods and puts them in the water; and then the offspring of the livestock is blemished and spotted, and so he gets to keep them. And I was wondering, I mean, it might be a question for geneticists, but I know that the Bible doesn't have anything in it without purpose. So I was just wondering what's the story behind that?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Laughs) You're right, that's--

TYLER: How are these sheep spotted because of some wood?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sure. Well first of all, I don't know how much the actual wood in the water effected the genetics of the sheep in producing more of these speckled and spotted sheep verses those that weren't. The placing of the wood in the water has some significance because of the symbolism associated with that.

You also remember the experience when the children of Israel are coming up out of Egypt and they were on their way to the promised land; and they came to a large body of water. The water was bitter and the people couldn't drink, and they cried out because of thirst. And God told Moses to take a branch of a bush or a tree and throw that into the water; and that turned the water sweet.

The casting in of the wood, the casting in of the branch, was a symbol of trusting in God's provision, and God would provide. Of course, the wood, the branch, is a symbol of the cross; and we have, through that provision, eternal life and God sustains and provides for us. But Jacob taking the sticks and placing them in the water, it was almost a testimony of his faith that God would provide for him.

And God did bless him in a mighty way. I don't believe that it was something in the wood per se, but more of a lesson for us that God will provide for us if we put our confidence in Him.

TYLER: I understand. I was more curious because of the depth that the Bible goes into in telling exactly what it is you know; and plus the throwing of rock or just any branch, strips it. So I had no idea if there was a scientific reason behind that or if it was just symbolic.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right. You know, I've never heard of a scientific reason associated with that. There might be, but I've never heard of that.

TYLER: I'll have to try it with my dog later on (chuckles).

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You'll have to try it to see what happens (laughs).

TYLER: Okay, thank you very much.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thanks for your call Tyler.

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Joy and Joy is calling from Camino, California. She's an Internet listener.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Joy, welcome to the program.

JOY: Hi. I have a question about the book of Luke, chapter 16:9.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

JOY: I'm reading from the New Revised Standard Version. And it says, "And I tell you, make friends for yourself by means of dishonest wealth, so that when it is gone they may welcome you into the eternal home." And I'm just quite not sure about so that when it is gone they will welcome you into the--? I just don't understand that text, and I wonder if you could help me understand that whole parable of dishonest manager [Cross talk]

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Oh okay, sure. Of course you understand that Christ is not telling us to be dishonest.

JOY: Yeah

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That would be going against everything that God has told us. But if you look a little higher up, you'll get a little more of the context. In verse 8, Jesus is talking and He says, "The children of this world in this generation are wiser than the children of light." So He's talking about the children of this world. He's speaking about the wicked.

And He says in some ways they are wiser than the children of light; and then He goes on to make a parable. And with reference to the wicked, they know that there might be a hard time coming for them; and so they will try and win favor with certain individuals so that when their hard time comes, they have a place where they can go.

Now Christ is illustrating a point, spiritually, that we want to take advantage of the grace that Christ provides for us, because there is a hard time that is coming. And we want to enter into relationship with Christ. We want to receive the grace that He has so that when that time comes, we will be safe, we will be with Christ, we'll be saved.

JOY: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: He's not telling us to deal unfairly with others.

JOY: (Laughs) It sounds like--yeah, like a command, like, go ahead make friends for yourself so that, I mean, be witty, so to speak. So I was a little bit confused on that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

JOY: Okay

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That first verse explains it. He's talking about the wicked, or the world. That's what they do in order to provide for the future and likewise, the righteous need to provide for the future by taking a hold of Christ, receiving Jesus and accepting the blessings that He has for us.

JOY: Yeah, that makes sense. Well thank you.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright, you're welcome Joy. Thanks for calling. Who's our next caller Pastor Tim?

PASTOR TIM: Pastor Ross, our next caller is Wendell. Wendell is calling from Vernon, Missouri; and he also is an Internet listener.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Wendell, welcome to the program.

WENDELL: Hello

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Yes

WENDELL: I have a question. I just started going back to church and I was wondering. Satan...you know, those, his--I call it, "cheap shots;" but when you sin, because Satan is giving these cheap shots at you, how many times will God receive those--forgive you for the sins that you have committed?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well that's a good question. I don't think God keeps count. What God looks at is the attitude of the heart. 1 John chapter 1, verse 9 says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And I'm sure grateful for that.

God doesn't keep a tally. But there is a danger for us in continuing in sin. If we know that what we're going is wrong and we keep thinking to ourselves, "Well you know what, I can always ask God for forgiveness and so I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing," there comes a point where we can harden our hearts against the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us that it's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. So if we harden our heart against the convicting of the Holy Spirit, we will have not desire for repentance. We won't want to ask God for forgiveness. And that's a dangerous condition to be in. And so, even though God does not keep count, He's willing to forgive us, we don't want to continue in sin and use His forgiveness as an excuse. Does that make sense Wendell?

WENDELL: Right. Yeah but, you know, if Satan keeps giving cheap shots to you--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

WENDELL: --and it just, like, it happens, and then, oh wow, you know. I say, "I'm sorry God. I'm sorry for doing that or saying that. Please forgive me," you know.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well you know when that happens, what you need to do is--well, the minute you do something, the minute anyone does something wrong, if they're a Christian and they have the Holy Spirit, they'll be convicted on what they did is wrong. And that's good; you want the Holy Spirit to convict you when you do something wrong. Your response then immediately needs to say, "Please Lord, forgive me." And you might have to say that many times.

WENDELL: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: But not only say, "Please Lord, forgive me," say, "Please Lord, help me," and then believe that He will.

WENDELL: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, He will give us strength. He will give us grace when it is recognized that obedience is a gift of God. It's something that He gives us with the new heart that He gives to us. And so, accept His grace, believe that He will give you strength and courage and press forward. Whatever happens, don't give up. Keep coming to the Lord. Keep asking for forgiveness--

WENDELL: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --and God will finish the work that He started with you.

PASTOR TIM: And Wendell, let me also suggest to you that when Satan, as you've described him, gives you those cheap shots, don't respond to Satan. Continue to keep your eyes focused on Christ and always respond to Him.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely!

WENDELL: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know Wendell, we've got a book that I think you'll find very helpful. It's called, Three Steps to Heaven; and it talks about how we can gain the victory over the devil. And we'll be happy to send that to you absolutely free. All you'll need to do is call our resource line. The number to call, Wendell, is, 1-800-835-6747. Let me give it to you again. It's 1-800-835-6747, and just ask for the book, Three Steps to Heaven, and we'll send that out.

WENDELL: Okay, 835?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: 835-6747

WENDELL: 6747. Okay, yes. There's this road that I go down and there's a statue of Jesus out there. And every time I go past Him, I always tell Him hi, that I love Him, and I ask Him for forgiveness of whatever sins I have committed.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely, and you know what? That's what we need to do. It's a day-by-day experience where we have to commit ourselves to Christ, and trust that He forgives us because He has promised to do so. Well, we're going to see if we can get a few more callers in. Pastor Tim, who do you have next? Wendell, thanks so much for your call.

PASTOR TIM: Our next caller, Pastor Jëan, is Kathy; and Kathy is calling from Reedley, California.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Hi Kathy, welcome to the program.

KATHY: Hi

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And your question this evening?

KATHY: I want to know...I read this book, and it, kind of, disturbed me a little bit. It was on hell; and I know in the Bible it says the wages of sin is death. Does that mean that when you are lost, you just die, or is hell something that is going to be eternal?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well, let me put it this way. The consequences of hell is definitely eternal; but the fires of hell are not. In other words, when the fires of hell do their job, the wicked will be completely consumed, and destroyed, and will be no more. They won't ever have a chance to come back to life; I mean, that's the end.

Let me give you a quick verse. I hear the music playing in the background. Malachi chapter 4:3 says, "And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet." God is finally going to put an end to sin, and sorrow, and suffering. There will be no more pain. And that's good news.

You know that we do have a website that is called, helltruth.com. And Kathy, we don't have time to talk on this a little more, but I encourage you to go to the website, helltruth.com, and we have a number of resources there as well.

Well friends, we've just gone through one of the fastest hours of the week I'm sure. And I'm so glad that you joined us here for this Bible study. We hope to see you again next week; but until then, if you'd go to our website, you can learn more about Amazing Facts. God bless.

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