Their Stumbling Stone, Your Precious Rock

Their Stumbling Stone, Your Precious Rock

Date: 10/07/2018 
"For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Romans 7: 15. If you're struggling to do what's right, if you're discouraged because you still desire the things of this world or you worry that your heart has hardened, remember God's promise in Ezequiel ; He will put a new spirit in you and help you walk with Him. Join Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross in this episode of Bible Answers Live to learn more and find the strength to keep pressing on. Come and open your Bible with us !
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Pastor Doug: Hello, listening friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? Back in 1988 a man in Edmore Michigan was looking to buy a farm. While touring the property with the seller, he asked about a large oddly shaped rock that was popping open the back door. The old farmer said it was a meteorite that he saw fall from the sky one night in the 1930s. In fact, when he pulled it from the ground the next morning, he said it was still warm. The old farmer sold the farm complete with a meteorite doorstop. The new owner lived on the farm for a few years and when he moved, he took the mystery rock with him, where he continued to use it to prop up in a different door for another 30 years. Once or twice he allowed his kids to take the heavy rock to school for show and tell. Recently, the owner who asked to remain anonymous became curious and brought the rock to the Central Michigan University geology department.

That's when Professor Mona Sirbescu agreed to test the rock. "I could tell right away that this was something very special." Sirbescu said. After testing, she determined it was indeed a meteorite, made of 88% iron and 12% nickel. This isn't just any space rock, though. Weighing 22 pounds it is the sixth-largest recorded meteorite ever found in Michigan. According to CMU, it's potentially worth $100,000. Imagine using a precious $100,000 rock to prop up in a door for 80 years. Do you know the Bible talks about another very valuable stone that was overlooked by an entire nation? Stay with his friends. We're going to learn more on this edition of Bible Answers Live.

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Speaker 1: You're listening to a Bible answers live. Honest answers to your Bible questions. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800 835 6747. Once again, that's 800 835 6747. Now, let's join our host Pastor Doug Batchelor and our co-host Pastor John Ross.

 Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live and if we've got some new listeners out there, this program is just as the title implies, a live call-in Bible answer program. If you have any Bible questions, it's a free phone call. You can call it in right now. Lines are open, 800 463 7297. That's 800-GOD-SAYS. I'll give it to you one more time. Call in with your questions to 800 463 7297. As mentioned earlier, my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is John Ross. Good evening listening friends and also those who are joining us on Facebook tonight. We glad you're part of our Bible study. Right here on this international Bible study together with Bible answers live. Well before we get to the program, Pastor Doug, let's start with prayer. Dear Father in heaven once again, thank you for the opportunity to just spend some time in your Word, studying the scriptures together. We want to ask your blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening and guide us as we searched the scriptures in Jesus name, amen.

 Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, you open the program but talking about fell a rock that was worth or is worth somewhere around $100,000 propping open the door and I wonder how many times the people tripped over that rock. Maybe they had financial need and they didn't realize that right there at their doorstep was well, the solution to their financial problems. That's right. $100,000 just sitting there.

 Pastor Doug: I heard another story about one of the biggest gold nuggets found in North America. A boy fishing, he's playing hooky one morning, he was supposed to be at church. I think Conrad Reid-- and they used it to prop open the door because it wasn't gold, it was kind of black. Someone later realized it was a gold nugget. That story and the other makes me think about a passage in the Bible. It appears about 10 times, talks about a stumbling stone that was overlooked. It's based on a story in Jewish history when they were building the Temple of Solomon. They carved the precious stones they hit a time at the quarry, very precisely carved and the cornerstone that was going to set the course for the whole building, they put it on the building site first thing.

Well, when the contractors, the carpenters and their builders started looking around for the cornerstone they kept bumping into this rock right in the middle. It was an odd shape because it set partly on stone and partly on the hillside and it was squared other parts and they got so tired of bumping into it, they said, "Get that thing out of here. We keep tripping over it and running into it." They pushed it off into the Kidron Valley. Later they said, "Where's that cornerstone that we asked for? You should have had it here a long time ago." They said, "We did send it."

Lo and behold it, it was the stone that they had dumped off into the valley was the cornerstone for the whole temple. Well, that became a legend. It became a real point of history in the Hebrew Scriptures. It's mentioned in Psalms, mentioned about nine times in the New Testament. Hebrews, Jesus mentioned it, Peter mentions it. The stone of stumbling. Let me read that to you friends. It's 1 Peter 2 and I'll read verse four through eight.

"Coming to Him," that's Jesus, "as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious. Therefore it is also contained in Scripture, behold I lay in Zion, a chief cornerstone, elect, precious. He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame. Therefore, to you who believe He is precious, but to those who are disobedient, the stone that the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." They stumbled being disobedient to the Word, which they were also appointed.

Here it's talking about when Jesus came, they didn't like his Word, because it went against some of their traditions. There's still-- these are the professed people of God, the early church, of course, all the apostles were Jewish, but many of the Jewish nation rejected Jesus. He was that rock of stumbling. Christ said, "He that hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man building his house on the rock." Jesus is that Rock of Ages. There's a reason the 10 Commandments were written on a stone. It represents its eternal nature.

Now, some out there may be still wondering, how is a Christian supposed to relate to the law of God so that we don't stumble in disobedience? We have a free lesson. You really need to read this, friends, so that you can be building on the rock for the last days in the storm that's coming. Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: We have a study guide called Written in Stone. It's all about the 10 commandments, God's law, the foundation for a happy life. We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The number to call is 800 835 6747. That is the resource phone line. You can just ask for the study guide called Written in Stone. We will be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. Again, that number is 800 835 6747. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800 463 7297. Again, one more time, 800 463 7297. Pastor Doug, our first caller this evening, we have Bill who is listening in Illinois. Bill, welcome to the program.

Bill: Thanks. Pastor Doug and Pastor John, how are you this evening?

 Pastor Doug: Great. Thanks for calling. Your question?

Bill: Actually, I'm calling - for some advice. I don't even know where to begin. About 20 years ago, my mother asked me if I ever thought about going to church and being prayed over and anointed. I asked her why. She said she took me as a baby. She said I was really sick and she said I screamed all the time, I wouldn't sleep. She said I threw up anything I ate and she said I'd break out in horrible rashes. I turned blue and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. She decided to listen to my grandmother and basically took me to which a witch who literally--

 Pastor Doug: Are you wondering if that is having an impact on your life now?

Bill: She said that I was healed. I was never sick again. What I'm wondering is, does God hold me accountable for that?

 Pastor Doug: Well, no. Because first of all, you are breathing. It was no decision of yours, right?

Bill: No.

 Pastor Doug: Yes. When you come to-- you're a Christian, right?

Bill: Yes.

Pastor Doug: All you need to do the Bible tells us that if you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sin. Part of what happens when you come to Jesus, He not only saves you from bad decisions you have made but he can save you from inherited problems. You come to the Lord and the power of Christ is greater than the power of the devil. The Bible says, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world". Some people wonder if having parents that dabbled in ouija boards and the dark arts-- my mom used to do that. She fooled with witches and astrology and all that stuff. Once I came to Jesus, I just felt the Spirit come into my life and none of that stuff has to stick to you. You just asked the Lord.

Bill: [crosstalk] I was like, she was basically saying I should go have an exorcism done and I laughed at it. I thought it was funny but she said she even went as far to tell me as the witch, this woman made her leave the house because she said it was my mother that was blocking her powers from working.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know what? Oh, I'm sorry, go ahead.

Bill: She said she left, and she said about 15 minutes later, she said I was supposedly healed and was never sick again and so she thought that.

Pastor Doug: Well, I was going to say that there are cases, many cases where there are faith healers, that may be working for the enemy that have some power. It seems like to heal. Don't forget, many times when Jesus healed a person, as a matter of fact, most of the time, he never said, "My faith has made you whole". He said, "Your faith has made you whole." Sometimes people come with faith, to a faith healer, and it could be a witch, it could be a fraud, and based on their faith, they're healed. The devil can manipulate people that's why-- We've got a lesson that talks about how do you know about true prophets, false prophets, a sorcerer's witches? I think Bill would really appreciate that.

Pastor Ross: We'll be able happy to send that to you for free bill. All you need to do is just call and ask. The study guide is called, Does God inspire psychics? We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls an ask, and it deals with the subject of, how do we gain victory over the powers of darkness? The number to call is 800 463. Actually, that is the phone line here, the studio. The number to call for the free offer is 800-835-6747, the number again is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, Does God inspire psychics, astrologers? Next caller that we have is Justin listening in California. Justin welcome to the program.

Justin: Thank you for having me.

Pastor Ross: Yes, your question tonight.

Justin: Yes. My question is pretty simple. When Moses had the first two original tablets of stone and he threw them down and they broke. Was that a sign that the nation of Israel would break, I guess break the first covenant?

Pastor Doug: Well, they had broken the covenant when they made the golden calf. The covenant is an agreement, and God gives them the 10 commandments in Exodus 20. The written copy is in Exodus 20, the spoken version is Exodus 20. The people hear God say, "This is my covenant." They declare all the Lord has said we will do. In other words, they said, "Look we agree to the terms of the covenant." Moses goes up the mountain to get the first written copy. They make a golden calf during that 40-day interval. They become-- they lose faith, they get distracted then they have wild party and probably break several other commandments. Moses casting the stones out of his hands was basically, in his fury, he was saying, "You've broken the covenant. I just went up the mountain. The ink isn't even dry, metaphorically, and you've broken it". The stones breaking was a sign of their breaking the covenant. When they humbled themselves and repented, God said to Moses, "Come back up the mountain. Except this time you cut the stones, and I will write on them again, the writing on the first set of stones". Yes, it was sort of a symbol that they had violated the covenant.

Pastor Ross: We do have free book that deals with this, that's called, Why the Old Covenant failed? Actually deals with this very subject and we'll be happy to send that to you, Justin. All you need to do is just call us. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called, why the Old Covenant failed?

Pastor Doug: Yes, I think he would be blessed by that. Does that help?

Justin: Thank you. Yes. absolutely. I'll call for the book.

Pastor Doug: Very good. All right, thank you.

Pastor Ross: Next call up that we have is listening from Florida. We have James on the line. James, welcome to the program.

James: Hey, thank you for having me Pastor Doug and Pastor John.

Pastor Doug: Your question.

James: My question pertains to being a Seventh Day Adventist and going to church, obviously on the Sabbath. Having the occasional opportunity of ever visiting a different church that happens to hold services on Sunday. I ask because every now and then I'll pop into some very nice friendly Christians. They invite me to attend this service as their church, which happens to be on a Sunday. I find myself hesitant to doing so, maybe because I've heard before some other Adventists that going to church on Sundays are considered-

Pastor Doug: Did we lose him?

James:

Pastor Doug: Yes, we're there, you're back.

Pastor Ross: Here we go. Your question, James is it, is it wrong to sometimes go to church on Sunday if you believe Saturday is the Sabbath?

James: Right exactly. My main point is that, ideally I would love for these people to occasionally visit my church on the Sabbath and see what it's all about, but I seem like a hypocrite that I'm not even willing to attend their church to begin with. It seems like it's hard to convince them to do so as I'm not willing to do it either.

Pastor Doug: All right. Well, you know the commandment of course says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" but it doesn't say a person can't go to church, any other day. I've gone to visit people. I remember once I was doing some evangelistic meetings and I invited people that said, "You come visit our church, we'll come to the yours "I said, "You got a deal." There we kept our bargain, they kept their bargain. Yes, you can go to church on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and we have prayer meeting in our church on Tuesday nights. Visiting people, it's different, visiting and worshiping. You can worship seven days a week, we should, is different than keeping a day as the holy day or Sabbath and a day of rest. Hopefully that helps answer your question.

Pastor Ross: We do have a book called, why God said, "Remember", and it deals with the subject with the Sabbath. We'd be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747, You can ask for the book called, Why God said, "Remember". Our next caller is, let's see. I think we have caller listening from Texas, we have Zachary. Zachary welcome to the program.

Zachary: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi. How are you doing?

Zachary: How are you all doing this evening?

Pastor Doug: Good, appreciate your call. I think you got a radio on in the background. You might want to turn it down.

Zachary: Okay. Do I?

Pastor Doug: All right.

Pastor Ross: We can hear you now that's good.

Zachary: Is there a lot of feedback?

Pastor Doug: We can hear your question.

Zachary: Okay. I'd like to make this as quick as I can for you all. I am a sixth generation Adventist, and I might need a deep answer on this one. I am currently a re-baptized Christian. I was gone for about two years. I went to academy and all that. Anyway, my question is, is heaven really something that I desire-- because I seem to be so infected with the desires for the things of this world. I actually find temporary satisfaction in them on what seems to be a more and more regular basis. I understand what Paul said about I do the things that I don't want to do. The thing is, I still want to do them, and I'm wondering-- I am so grateful for what Jesus did. I don't know if I want to spend in eternity being grateful for that. I probably sound really terrible saying that.

Pastor Doug: No, I think I know where you're coming from. Sometimes you'd like question your--

Zachary: Heaven really is some more like a slavery the longer I think about it.

Pastor Doug: Are you wishing that you loved? Are you wishing that you had more hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Zachary: Yes.

Pastor Doug: All right. Well then that's the answer right there, is that you need to pray and say, "Lord", and he says, "There's a blessing on those who are of course, poor in spirit, meek, peacemakers and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness". Sounds like that the world and sin is making you lose your interest in your passion. When you have the new birth, the Bible says, "We love Him because He first loved us". As you continue to look at his love for you Zachary, and you think about how much he's done for you that will inspire you to love him back. You'll need to experience genuine repentance, that's a sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn away from it. That comes from the goodness of God leads us to repentance. As you behold the love of God and the goodness of God, it leads you to repentance. You're going to start loving the things you maybe once hated, and hating the things you once love. Yes, if you're thinking, "Boy I'd be bored being in heaven." You need to get to know the Lord more. It's like saying I don't want to be with this woman that I've married. Well, you should love that person. If you're going to love the Lord, you need to spend time with him communicating.

Pastor Ross:We have a book that deals with this important subject, and it's called The Surrender of Self. In order for us to have true freedom in Christ, there is a bit of a battle where we need to surrender ourselves, our will to the will of God. It's not an occasional thing that we do but the Apostle Paul says," I die daily" so it's a daily surrender. We'll be happy to send you the book. It's free. Well, it's called The Surrender of Self and I think you'd find that helpful, Zachary, and anyone dealing with this very important subject, how can we learn to love God more? The number to call is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book called The Surrender of Self. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. Our next caller that we have is Eric listening from Tennessee. Hi, Eric. Welcome to the program.

Eric: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you doing?

Eric: Good.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight?

Eric: My question is, why do we pray in Jesus name?

Pastor Doug: Well, that's good question. Especially because the Bible says Jesus knows what things you need even before you ask. When you pray in Jesus name, it's basically saying, Lord, I want you to hear my prayer, not because I deserve it but for the sake of your son. It's like you've got a good friend and you ask the parent if you could help in the name of their child, who is your friend. Jesus paid for your sin and His life is a substitute for our lives. When we're praying, we're asking the father to give us credit for His goodness so it's in His name. It's like if you go the bank and say, could you cash my check and they look in your account is empty. Then you say, no, this check is not a check in my account, it's a check in God's account and he's got a billion dollars. Having God's name on the account means that the check is good. We pray in Jesus name because He's got enough money in the bank. That's a rough example. [laughs]

Eric: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you very much. Now I've got a free book, I'll be happy to send you, Eric. It's called The Name of God. It has an interesting story in there about the Civil War and praying in Jesus name, you'll like it's called The Name of God.

Pastor Ross:The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Name of God and we'll be happy to send it to you, Eric or anyone who calls and asks.

Next caller that we have is Robert and he's listening in- where he's at, Pastor Doug, he's at Indiana. All right, Robert, in Indiana. Welcome to the program.

Robert: Hello. Nice to meet you guys.

Pastor Doug: Thanks for calling and your question?

Robert: My question is in the Bible, considering the Rapture and first Resurrection, it says, "first the devil will be caught up, and then we will be caught up and will meet in the air". A lot of people, will say that's when people will first get to heaven. Now I had a near-death experience and I know I experienced heaven so is the being caught up, is that only when we receive our spiritual bodies, and why was my spirit able to experience that and go there for a brief amount of time?

Pastor Doug: Well, I can't give you an answer on what your personal experience is. When we decide what is true, we don't ask everybody in an interview what experiences have you had? Truth is, of course, and I'm sure you agree, determined by what does the Bible say? Because you talk to people around the world from many religions, they'll say, well, I had this experience-- The Lord could give you a dream and experience to speak to you personally. A person may have-- I've had dreams before where the Lord was talking to me but I don't want other people basing their theology on my dream.

Robert: This was a near death experience, that wasn't a dream.

Pastor Doug: Well, even that.

Robert: It could have been both.

Pastor Doug: Well, even if you have a near death experience, the Lord might impress you with an experience, but that's between you and the Lord. In other words, we don't base our theology on that. The Bible is pretty clear that when a person dies, they're unconscious until the resurrection. The Bible says "the living no thou die" and this is Ecclesiastes 9 but the dead don't know anything. When you die, to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. When you die, your next conscious thought is a resurrection. For you that seems like, no time is gone by, see what I'm saying?

Robert: Is it possible that when you say I had died, my next conscious thought was there, but he told me maybe it wasn't my time so he sent me back?

Pastor Doug: The Lord may have given you this experience to try to help you, have a revival of some sort. I'm not sure, that would be between you and the Lord. I just know that people don't go to heaven or hell before the judgment and the Judgment Day is in the future. God doesn't pull people out of hell and then judge them, and he doesn't pull people out of heaven and judge him. Jesus said, "behold, he comes, and he'll reward every man according to his works". That's Revelation 1:7. We have a study guide, I think you'll really enjoy. It's on the subject of death. We'd like to send you a free copy of that, Robert, if it's okay, Pastor Ross, and you can read it online too.

Pastor Ross: Yes, the one dealing with the subject of death and the resurrection is called Are the Dead Really Dead. I'm going to give you another resource too, talking about the second coming. It's called Anything but Secret so two free offers relating to the subject. One is a study guide called Are the Dead Really Dead and the other is a book called Anything but Secret. We'll be happy to send this to you Robert or anyone who calls and ask. Just a phone call away, the number is 800-835-6747. Ask for those resources, we'll be happy to send it out to you. You can also read this for free online at the amazing facts website. It's the amazingfacts.org. There is a link that you can click on and that will take you to our media library. All of the resources that we are talking about are also available for you right there, on the website. I'm looking at the clock, do we have time for another call?

Pastor Doug: What if we start a question, if we don't finish it, we'll bring them back after the break.

Pastor Ross: All right, we've got Maria in Brooklyn, New York. Maria, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Maria, she may have her mute on. Are you there Maria?

Pastor Ross: All right, we'll try again. Let's see, Maria, are you there? Maria, New York?

Pastor Doug: Why don't you state your question and then we may need to answer it after the break.

Maria: My question is, in the Bible, the story about Moses, it says that God hardened the Pharaoh's heart. How do I know if that's happened to me? Because I struggle when I read the Bible. I don't understand and I know I've read somewhere where it says "they won't be able to understand, they'll see and they will not be able to see or hear not understand something".

Pastor Doug: Right. Seeing, they see but don't understand.

Maria: How do I know if that's what happened to me? How do I know that's the reason, I can't understand what I read?

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Pastor Doug: Great question. You're going to be first in line Maria. When we get back, we'll be answering that very important question about making sure our hearts aren't hardened. Be right back.

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Speaker 1: Stay tuned. Bible Answer Live will return in a moment.

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Pastor Doug: Okay, friends, let's start with the basics. We know we're here but we're not here for very long, so the most important thing would be if we could learn in this life how to live forever. This is the central focus of Amazing Facts. There's a lot of wonderful things that Christian ministries do. I believe in Christian education but if the schools lose the message of salvation, you end up with more educated sinners. I think it's very important for us to build churches, but inf the churches lose the message of salvation, they just become buildings and shells. I think it's important to have a medical ministry and build hospitals, but if they separate that from the message of salvation,you just prolong a sinner's life a little while. That's why for years, Amazing Facts has made it our focus to present the saving truth that sets people free and friends, we want to thank you for your support and your gifts. We'll do our very best to convert those resources into the currency of heaven. May God less you and keep Amazing Facts in your prayers.

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Every Bible question you have answered moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life.What are you waiting for? Get the answers you need for a fuller, richer, more confident life. You're listening to a Bible Answers Live. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you'd like answers to your Bible-related questions on the air please call us next Sunday between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM Pacific time. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 8008356747 once again that's 8008356747. Now, let's join Pastors Doug Batchelor and John Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. For those who have tuned in somewhere along the way, this is Bible Answers Live and we are taking a live Bible questions doing our best with the Bible resources at our fingertips here to give answers. We search the Word together. Before the break we started with a question from Maria. Maria are you still there with us?

Maria: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You were asking the question about, you talked about the God hardening Pharaoh's heart, you wonder sometimes if your heart is hard, and you don't want it to be. How can you prevent that from happening? You have the freedom. If you read in Hebrews Chapter 3 it says, "Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion on the day of trial in the wilderness." The children of Israel hardened their hearts. Now, God will never ask us not to do something if we had no power to make a decision. When God appeals to us, please do not harden your heart, you can choose to soften your heart. What that's talking about, Pharaoh hardened his heart in pride. We open our hearts with humility. We ask the Lord to forgive our sins, to forgive our pride, we humble ourselves before the Lord and he begins to hear your prayers and answer your prayers. No, you don't have to be hard-hearted. We've all felt hard-hearted. Sometimes I just wish I love Jesus more. I'll read the story of the cross and I'll think about how moving it is. I'll say, "Lord, that ought to move me more, I wish I loved you better." I realize it's just the hardness of my heart, my pride, I then humble myself and I find the Holy Spirit does soften your heart.

Pastor Ross: We do have a book called-- I think you'd find this very helpful Maria, it's called 12 Steps to Revival. It actually gives you some practical steps that you can take to have a closer connection, that experience of revival, and we'll send it to you for free. All you'll have to do is give us a call and again ask for the book called 12 Steps to Revival. The number to call is 8008356747 and ask for the book 12 Steps to Revival.

Pastor Doug: I've got one more verse for you Maria, before you go because I know there's other people out there that probably feel the same way. This is Ezekiel 11:19. If you remember Ezekiel 11:19, write it down. Listen to this promise, "Then I will give them one heart. I will put a new spirit within them. I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh." God promises with a new birth that He will take away our hard hearts and give us a loving soft heart. You need to pray for that, that gift of the Holy Spirit. He does that. That's a promise from God. He keeps his promises.

Maria: Okay, well thank you so much. If I wrote to Amazing Facts and I directed questions would you be able to answer them?

Pastor Doug: We do, we have a Bible correspondence department and we do our best to answer every question people send in.

Maria: Okay great. Thank you so much and you have a good night.

Pastor Doug: You too, thank you Maria.

Pastor Ross: Next caller that we have is Cordero listening in Texas. Cordero welcome to the program.

Cordero: Hi, guys. Thanks for having me.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for calling and your question?

Cordero: Sure. My question is, this is, seems to be a lot of controversy and a lot of opinions on this, what does the Bible specifically say about post, pre or mid tribulation Rapture?

Pastor Doug: All right. Let me explain that for our listeners. I know what you mean, but some listening may not. Virtually all Christians agree there's going to be a tribulation before the end. Jesus talks about it in Matthew 24, Mark 13. You read about it in Daniel Chapter 12, a great time of trouble before the Second Coming. Some have wondered, will the Lord come and save the church out of the world before that tribulation. That's a pre-tribulation rapture.

Some have wondered maybe three and a half years into seven years of tribulation that in the middle of it He'll take people out. Some have believed that the Lord comes at the end of that tribulation and the destruction of the wicked and salvation of the righteous happens at the same time. That's called post trib. When does the Lord come? Do we have to be here on earth during the tribulation? Probably Pastor Ross and I stand with what you'd call the old Protestant Reformers that believed that the church is going to be in the world and that God saves them not from the tribulation but through the tribulation.

The reasons being, the seven last plagues in Revelation are called the Great Tribulation. You read about them, what is it, Chapter 15, 16, Pastor Ross? In that great tribulation you've got all this devastation and desolation that happens. God preserves His people during that time. It's like the 10 plagues that fell on the Israelites. God did not save the children of Israel from the 10 plagues. They were in Egypt when the plagues fell. He saved them through the plagues. He protected them.

It's like God saved Noah through the storm. He saved Job through his trials. He saved Joseph through his trials. The Bible says, "it is through tribulation we enter the kingdom of God." Jesus said, "He that endures to end the same will be saved." There's just so many scriptures that talk about God's people persevering. We're of the opinion that yes, there is a tribulation. We believe that the church is in the world and we are being faithful through that final trial and that there's a second coming, a rapture takes place at the end of that.

We have a lesson, I don't know if you're still on, if you can hear this, but we have a free study guide we'll offer you. It's a book that I can give you called Anything But Secret. It talks about the tribulation in that order.

Pastor Ross: Are you still there Cordero? Let's try one more time. Cordero can you hear us?

Cordero: Yes, I'm here.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug mentioned that book. I'll make sure you're able to get that. It's called Anything But Secret. To get that give us a call, the number's 8008356747 and you can ask for the book called Anything But Secret.

Cordero: Thank you guys for giving us a lot of knowledge on that. It's truly been a privilege.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you, appreciate your call.

Pastor Ross: Next caller that we have is Zach listening from St. Joseph, Missouri. I know where that is. Hi, Zach welcome to the program.

Zach: Hi. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. And your question.

Zach: Yes. My question is, why is it that people believe that Jesus is begotten and that He is not a part of the Trinity. A lot of people don't believe that Jesus is God.

Pastor Doug: I don't know why they believe, well I shouldn't say I don't know why, but it confuses people sometimes, the incarnation is a mystery. That Jesus laid aside His divinity and I believe you see that in Colossians where it talks about, He made himself of no reputation. He laid aside His divinity. He gave us an example to walk even as He walked, He lived as a man. It's hard for us to comprehend someone being a 100% divine a 100% man, we can't comprehend that. There's no question, He says, "Before Abraham was I am." He talks in John 17 about the glory He had with the Father before the world was. Christ is from everlasting to everlasting. He's called the Alpha and the Omega. He's the eternal one. You look at the definitions of Jesus, all things that were made were made by Him, right? John 1, well the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Who is the God that created? Jesus is the creator. He is called the everlasting Father too.

I think that Christ is eternal. I feel sorry for people that don't understand the deity of Christ. Because you've either got the creator dying for the creation or you've got a creature who has been created dying for the creation. Another creature could not pay for the sins of the entire world. He's just made by the Lord. But because He's the creator, He died for the creatures. That's different.

Cordero: Right. A lot of people use Deuteronomy 6:4 to refute that whole idea and I know that our Lord our God is one, is the word accord. Isn't there another Hebrew word that shows a difference between unity and such?

Pastor Doug: Yes, there are a couple of words that are used, but when the Bible says a man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. And then Jesus prays in John 17 that the disciples would be one while they were 12 of them. He says father, I pray the disciples be one even as you and I are one. Jesus explains what it means when Moses says that there's one God. You also got to keep in mind Moses is talking to a nation that just came out of Egypt where they had one God for the river another one for the sun, another one for the animals. They had all these different gods. And the gods often were war with each other like the Greek gods didn't get along. Moses said, no our God is a United God. He is one, perfect in unity. That's a concept people need to keep in mind.

Pastor Ross: We do have a book dealing with the subject of the Trinity Zack that I think you'd find interesting or anyone listening. To get it, just give us a call. The book is called the Trinity. Is it biblical? The number to call is 8008356747 and you can ask for the book talking about the Trinity. Our next caller is Frank. Frank, welcome to the program.

Frank: Hi, my question is, if we make a promise and then later realize that we have promised to do something sinful are we morally obligated to keep that promise?

Pastor Doug: That's a great question. The Bible says, I think it's Psalm 15, Pastor Ross, he says, "A believer who swears to his own hurt and changes not." If you make a promise and suppose you promised to pay somebody for something and you end up losing money in the deal, a Christian, you should still pay it. But what if before you’re a Christian, you make a promise to serve the devil? You're depressed and you're a misguided teenager, and you say, I'm going to just serve the devil. I'm vowing now, I'm promising devil.

I'm going to serve you. Well, later you find out about Jesus. Are you obligated to keep your promise to the devil? I don't know.

Frank: That was my question. I would say yes I would say so.

Pastor Doug: I would say that you were encouraged to make that promise under a bad influence. Of the devil, of course, you should never vow foolishly but people have made-- Let me give you an example--- and I hope I'm not going to lose people's respect. I used to hitchhike and sometimes I got desperate. When I was a teenager I used to hitchhike around the country and sometimes I wait for hours for a road for a car to come and pick me up. I prayed and I'd say things kind of desperate, I'd say, Lord, "If you would just give me a ride. I promise if I ever get a car, I will pick up every hitchhiker that I see." When I did get a car I tried to do that for a while, but I realized over time it was not a very practical thing. I couldn't always do it. Sometimes there were five people and a dog that were on the road and I just didn't have room for them. Right away, I broke my promise. I think the Lord smiles and I apologized. I said, "Lord forgive me. That was a foolish vow." The Bible says you got to be careful, your better not to vow than to vow and not to pay. I think we all do rash things sometimes. There was an interesting law they had that if a wife made a rash vow, the husband could forgive her, overrule it. I think sometimes our Father in Heaven, he smiles and overrules rash promises that we make to the devil. We should always keep our word as Christians. See what I'm saying?

Pastor Ross: The verse you're referring to is Psalms 15:4 where it says, “but he honors those who fear the Lord, he who swears to his own heart and does not change.”

Pastor Doug:  the promise that whatever came through the gates of his house, he would consecrate to the Lord if God gave him victory over the, I think it was the Moabites. God gave him victory. Well, the first thing that came through his gates was his daughter. He thought it was going to be a goat or sheep or cattle. He consecrated his daughter to the temple for the rest of her life. She never married. Kept his word. Hey, thank you, Frank. I hope that helps a little bit and appreciate your question.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Rodney, listening in Illinois. Rodney, welcome to the program.

Rodney: Hey guys. Nice to talk to you, Pastor Doug. Thank you so much for all what you’re doing.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you. Your question?

Rodney: Yes. My question is I really notice that the world right now is polarizing between liberalism and conservatism. As a Christian, what should be your stance towards this main force? Political or social, polarization?

Pastor Doug: Well, if you're living in a country, let's use United States, for example, because most of our listeners are in the US where you have a representative form of government. That means that as a believer, you obey the laws of the land. Every believer has one vote and you want your vote to be making a difference for policies and positions that would protect religious freedom and that would support biblical principles. There may be some difference of Christians out there of what candidates will best do that.

It varies from state to state and local elections, city elections, government national elections, but there's nothing wrong with a Christian having a political view. We've got to be careful that we don't become so preoccupied with-- I know there was a lot of emotion in the last week. As a matter of fact, Karen and I a week ago we were in Washington DC, in the Capitol and in the White House. I know people are going to wonder about that.

Anyway, we were there speaking to different leaders about religious liberty issues. The emotions were extremely high last week on both sides of the aisle as they say, over this justice confirmation process. Christians have to be careful we don't get so caught up in earthly governance that we don't forget that we are first and foremost citizens of another kingdom. A Christian does have dual citizenship though you do have to live in the world and you want to be a good citizen. Am I helping answer your question?

Rodney: Yes, that's exactly what I think. Can I add something else or, you going to--

Pastor Doug: Yes, let me say one more thing and then I'll let you add. I do have a sermon online because I get this question before elections. I did a sermon a few years ago called should a Christian vote? You can find that just YouTube Doug Batchelor vote and you'll probably find it. Go ahead, you had another comment.

Rodney: No, because lately, I can't identify myself. I used to identify myself as conservative, but because mostly will sometimes try to pass legislation against moral values of Christians. Conservatism try to pass legislation forcing people to those pearly moral values I want. I think Christianity is not about forcing people with legislation but bringing Jesus. Technically it's a difficult situation right now for me to side with conservatives because I really want to bring Jesus to them not a political or ideology. I’m in between that situation with what happened lately about the Supreme Court Judge and everything.

Pastor Doug: Well, let’s keep it to a Bible question though.

Rodney: Okay, that’s fine.

Pastor Doug: The main thing is that you use biblical principles to guide you. It sounds you're doing that and you want to keep in mind don't put your faith in any political party because Herod and Pilate finally made friends when it came time to crucify Jesus. The Sadducees and the Pharisees were opposite. The Sadducees were liberals, the Pharisees were conservatives, but they got together to crucify Jesus. If you're putting all your faith in one party or the other you might be surprised.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is Jordan listening from Huntington. Jordan welcome to the program.

Jordan: Hi there.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Jordan: How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. Thank you for calling and your question, Jordan.

Jordan: Yes. Thank you. In John 10:34, Jesus clearly says that-- Well, He says you are God and that is a very bold word coming from God himself.

Pastor Doug: Now you notice in your Bible. I’m pretty sure you noticed it's got a small G in front of it.

Jordan: Yes, it does, but God can only mean one thing.

Pastor Doug: Well, in that verse of course, do you believe that you are a god-like God?

Jordan: Well, no. I most certainly can't create the Universe. I don't even know where to begin.

Pastor Doug: What the Lord is saying, Jesus is quoting. Pastor Ross might have to look that up. Jesus is quoting one of the Psalms where I think David says, “Have I not said you're Gods?” What he means by that is that man is so far superior to the animals because we are made in the image of God. The Bible says of Adam, “you are the Son of God, man was given dominion over the planet before he lost it to the devil.” It's referring to, for the world man was basically the god of this world, we were given dominion of the world, we were created to be internal creatures. No, we don't have the ability to create it like God but we have the ability through love and marriage to procreate in our own image. Jesus is just using an allegory there, He's not saying we're anything like the internal self-existing God.

Jordan: He's saying that we're the god of the earth?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Adam was made basically the Lord of the World and he was made in the image of God. [crosstalk] Man is made a little lower than theAngels, we're not gods.

Jordan: Being gods of the earth then we are t be stewards of God's creation and take care of the animals and the plants?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Jordan: I see. It will be best if we didn't eat the animals then, is that correct?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don't, I'm a vegetarian. I think in heaven we're going to be- In heaven I think everybody is going to be a vegetarian.

[laughter]

I can't see anybody chasing down a chicken in heaven and decapitate it and eat it, I'm just getting ready early. That's right, man was made to keep the garden, to dress and to keep it, and God gave them every beautiful tree with all kinds of fruit, none of the fruits was called Big Mac or Whopper [laughs]

Pastor Ross: Thanks for your call Jordan. Our next call is Becky, listening from Michigan. Becky welcome to the program.

Becky: Hello, how're you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good. Thank you for calling. Your question?

Becky: On 2 Corinthians 12:7 through 10, what's does a thorn and a flesh means?

Pastor Doug: Well, if you've ever had a splinter or a thorn it can be very uncomfortable. Paul is referring to, he had a thorn in the flesh that he was being afflicted with a physical, the flesh is your body. Paul had a physical illness, a handicap that was causing him a lot of problems. Most Bible scholars believe that it was his eyesight and the reason for that, there's several reasons, and you'll notice is if you read the letters of Paul, even though Paul was greatly educated he has other people write his letters for him. Paul never travels alone, because he had trouble seeing. When Paul was in court and I think it is Acts, he's before the High Priest and he says something to the High Priest, he's right there standing in front of him and someone said," How dare to revile the High Priest"? Paul squints and goes, "Oh I didn't know it was the High Priest". [laughs]

You see, when he writes in Galatians, he does say, “Look at what large characters I’m writing to you with", when Paul did write he had to write really big letters because his eyesight was so poor. You remember when he first saw Jesus in Acts 9, he was struck completely blind. When Ananias prayed for him something like scales fell from his eyes and he was able to see but probably never to see perfectly again. It's like when Jacob wrestled with the Angel, God heard his prayers but Jacob limped for the rest of his life. Paul after his encounter with Jesus, I don't think his sight was ever quite the same.

Becky: It's just like having a disability or sickness?

Pastor Doug: Yes. A thorn in the flesh is typically some handicap. It could be you have arthritis, it could be vision problems, one of 100 different things a person might struggle with. You could pray Lord to heal me and he might heal you and he might say what he said to Paul, my strength is made perfect and weakness.

Becky: He used to .

Pastor Doug: Yes. He can sometimes keep us humbled by allowing us to have some physical handicaps. Thank you. We're going to try to take one more call, Becky, I appreciate your question.

Pastor Ross: We have Carlos listening from California. Carlos welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Carlos where are you on? Ridley, California. You may have your mute on, are you there? Carlos?

Carlos: I'm here.

Pastor Doug: Your question, we just got two minutes.

Carlos: Yes?

Pastor Doug: Your question? You got a question?

Carlos: Just in Revelation 1:16?

Pastor Doug: Yes. You want to know what that means? Carlos you may have your radio on at the background and it's confusing you with the delay. Revelation Chapter 1, you said Chapter 1:16? Did we lose him again?

Pastor Ross: No, but let's read this for you, Carlos if you're listening we'll--

Pastor Doug: He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

Pastor Ross: Carlos might be one but the two-edge sword. Is that your question?

Carlos: Yes.

Pastor Ross: The two-edge sword is described for us in scripture as the word of God. The sharp two-edged sword. Somebody was talking about Jesus, you remember this was a symbolic picture of Jesus and His word is powerful like a sharp two-edged sword and that's really what's being referenced here is in the symbolic picture.

Pastor Doug: Yes. There's a lot of symbolism you find in Revelation, and of course in Hebrews 4, the word of God is called the two-edged sword and Ephesians 6, the word of God is called a two-edge sword. When the very fact is coming out of Jesus' mouth, I think everyone knows when Christ comes, He's not going to have a literal sword coming out of His mouth this is a symbol. You will enjoy, Carlos, our study series on Revelation, you can get the Amazing Facts Advanced Study Series by just going to amazingfacts.org. Anybody out there, we have just so many materials online. You type in Amazing Facts you're going to find hundreds literally, hundreds of videos, you're going to find hundreds of Bible studies and study resources. All you have to do is type in amazingfacts.org but you even Google or Yahoo, or use one of those search engines, Amazing Facts it will take you to our website. You will also notice there's a little button in there, we hope you notice, it says donate because this program is only on the air because of people like you who listen and keep us going. Thank you so much for being part of tonight’s program, we'll love to hear from you again. Write and let us know if it's being a blessing. God willing we'll study together next week.

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