Zsolt and Geza Peladi

Zsolt and Geza Peladi

Date: 12/13/2009 
Talk about a reversal of fortune, on December 1st, 2009, two homeless brothers--so poor they lived in a cave on the outskirts of Budapest...

365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor

365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Talk about a reversal of fortune, on December 1st, 2009, two homeless brothers--so poor they lived in a cave on the outskirts of Budapest and they got by, by selling scavenged junk--they heard some astounding news. They were told that they were in line to receive a $6.6 billion dollar inheritance from a long-lost grandmother.

Zsolt and Geza Peladi have been informed that they're entitled to the fortune, along with a sister who lives in the U.S. Charity workers in Hungary passed on the good news to the brothers after being contacted by lawyers who are handling the estate of their wealthy, maternal grandmother, who died recently in Baden, Germany.

Speaking on Hungarian television, Geza Peladi said, "We knew our mother came from a wealthy family, but she severed ties with us. We lost touch with her and our father until she eventually died." Geza went on to say, "If this all works out, it'll certainly make up for the life that we have lived until now. All we really had was each other. No women would look at us, living in a cave."

Under German law, direct descendants are automatically entitled to a share of any estate. As the grandmother's daughter is dead, the $6.6 billion dollars goes to the grandchildren. The brothers said that they're trying to track down their mother's death certificate to prove the relation to their grandmother before traveling to Germany to claim the fortune.

Friends, did you know the Bible also contains several, similar rags-to-riches stories? Stay with us. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

PASTOR DOUG: Good evening friends, and we do have lines open. I know that a lot of our regular listeners are out trying to catch up on their Christmas shopping list. So if you're in your car, pick up that cell phone if you have a Bible question you thought about asking. That number one more time, it's 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. And for the next hour, we're going to talk about the book of God, that blessed book, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

If you have a question, pick up your phone. Give us a call right now and you have a good chance of getting that question on tonight's broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends, Pastor Doug. Let's begin with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank You again for this opportunity to study Your Word. We ask Your blessing upon our time. We recognize the Bible is Your book and we need Your Holy Spirit in order to correctly understand it. So we ask that You be with us. In Jesus' name, amen.

PASTOR DOUG: Amen!

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well imagine waking up one morning and then being given the news that you are $6.6 billion dollars richer, and especially if you are, well, living in a cave.

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah, well I can relate to the living in the cave part.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Laughs)

PASTOR DOUG: But it would be fun to think about...you and I were just, kind of, talking a little before we went on the air. What would we do if we had one billion dollars? It's hard to imagine. You know, a million used to sound like a lot. A billion still sounds like a lot. When we hear the government votes a trillion for the national budget, a trillion-plus I think it is; even a billion starts...you start wondering about that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Chuckles)

PASTOR DOUG: But I'd like to have to grapple with that problem sometime. That really is something. But you know, it makes me think of other cases in the Bible where there are individuals that went from virtual poverty to fabulous riches in one day. You have, of course, the incredible story of Joseph, who basically went from the prison to the palace in one day.

He went from being a prisoner carrying buckets of food to the prisoners, to being, basically, the prime minister. He was given the bank book for the king of Egypt, which just was covered with gold back then.

Or you've got the story of Daniel, who was really, kind of, a captive in the Babylonian educational system. And one day, he went from that status to being the prime minister when he interpreted the dream.

And then you've got the story of Esther, again, a captive from Judah that was in Persia. And in one day she goes to being the queen with all the attendants and the regalia of that office around her all the time. So in the same way a Christian, when we accept Christ...Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," because that's the starting point to accepting the fabulous riches of His grace.

A person goes from being poor to being a child of a King in one day, when they accept Jesus. And maybe we have some friends out there that would like to know more how you can transition into that trillionnaire status. Well Jesus has provided that for us, that's spiritual wealth, and we'd like to tell you about it.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: We've got a book entitled, Riches of His Grace, that deals with this wonderful good news that every single person can be, well, a trillionnaire in spiritual terms, recipients of God's grace. The book again, Riches of His Grace. To receive it, call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747. Again that's, 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR DOUG: What's the cost of that book today?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: The cost is just right. It's free. Just call and we'd love to send it out to you. The resource line, 1-800-835-6747, Riches of His Grace.

PASTOR DOUG: Amen.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Well Pastor Doug, we're going to go to the phone lines now, and our first caller is Hector and he's calling from Chicago, Illinois. Hector, are you there?

HECTOR: Yes I'm here, how are you doing?

PASTOR DOUG: Very well. How can we help you Hector?

HECTOR: Ah yeah, I have a question that comes from Genesis 4:16. It talks about, "Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." And then 17 says, "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch." Just a question here, because I'm just am not understanding. At this point in time, Adam and Eve, their only two sons were Cain and Abel; and of course, Cain slew Abel. And now it's just Cain by himself. But it mentions in 17, "Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch," so when Cain went to the land of Nod, were there people already in Nod?

PASTOR DOUG: No. He brought his wife there, because you can read here, for instance, in Genesis 5 it tells us that, in addition to Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. You can read, "And the days that Adam lived were 930 years." In the Bible when it lists the children, it almost only lists the boys, and it usually lists the firstborn.

So, Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters. And if they lived 900 years and...if it's anything like our lives now, if the ratios are the same, they had three or four hundred years of fertility. And Adam didn't have to grow up. They were born ready to procreate. And so Adam and Eve had probably bushels of kids; and Cain, obviously, took one of his sisters.

I know that sounds weird to us, but you even look in the Bible with Abraham. Abraham married his half-sister; and Isaac married his cousin; Jacob married his cousin. So that was not uncommon. Until the time of Moses, there was no law prohibiting the marrying of a sister because there was no genetic problems connected with that.

So I thought you were asking a question about Nod, and it was really about who did Cain marry and where did she come from.

HECTOR: Uh--yeah you know, I just was curious about the land of Nod and whether there were people already inhabiting it, but you said no. And it, kind of, makes perfect sense now that they, you know, they...even though it does mention here in verse uh 6 that they had other sons and daughters, but, I mean, and it just made perfect sense now that in the Bible it does only mention the firstborn, or just the males.

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah. Now the word "Nod", just for your further information, the word means "wandering." And so when Cain went to the land of Nod, he went out from the presence of the Lord to a place of wandering. So I thought that was interesting, because Cain loved to farm and God said that part of the curse of Cain was He was going to curse the ground so that it would not bring forth its fruit. And so, you know, it doesn't sound like he could ever settle down and farm like he used to.

HECTOR: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: So that's another added meaning to the word "Nod" there. Hey, I appreciate your question Hector, and thank you very much. Hope that helps a little bit.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Jay is calling from New York, New York. Jay, welcome to the program.

JAY: Merry Christmas Pastors

PASTOR DOUG: Likewise

JAY: This is about discrepancies in the book of John. Why is the clearing of the temple in the beginning of John and at the end of the other three Gospels? And why is it Mary anointing Christ at the house of Lazarus, and in the other three books it's a harlot at Simon's house?

PASTOR DOUG: Alright, you've got two questions. First question is why does it appear at the beginning of Christ's ministry that Jesus cleanses the temple and in the other Gospels it's at the end? Because He did it twice. When He went in the first time and He chased out the money changers and threw over the tables, and Jesus taught 3 1/2 years, it's easy to understand that as soon as He left, they set back up their merchandise again.

And when He came back the second time and did it, they said, "Enough is enough;" and that was pretty much when they had agreed that He's got to go. He threatened their income.

JAY: Um-hmm

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know there's also spiritual significance to that. At the beginning and ending of Christ's earthly ministry, He cleanses the temple. The temple is being the access to God, or the way to God; and Christ opens the way for salvation, and that is through Him.

JAY: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: And then you asked another question about the feast with Mary Magdalene. It's believed--

[Cross talk]

JAY: No, no. It's Mary--

PASTOR DOUG: Mary of Bethany.

JAY: --It's Mary the sister of Lazarus. She was anointing Christ with the oil, remember?

PASTOR DOUG: Right. And Mary--

[Cross talk]

JAY: And in John. But in the other three books, it's the harlot at the house of Simon.

PASTOR DOUG: Okay. Mary of Bethany, Lazarus' sister, it's believed she is the same person as Mary Magdalene. Now let me tell you why. It says that Mary of Bethany, Lazarus' and Martha's sister, had a bad reputation, as did Mary Magdalene. Mary brings this valuable gift to Jesus, as it does say also this woman with a bad reputation--who they believe was Mary Magdalene.

In one place, it's called Mary. In another place, the same story, it says, "a certain woman." And so it shouldn't surprise us that they'd be the same. By the way, they never, ever appear together in the Bible; so it's not uncommon to have different Gospel writers refer to somebody in a different context. It depends on how they knew them.

So it's very possible they are the same person. Now there's a book on that. There's a website called, marytruth.com I believe it is; and it talks about that chapter all through the Bible. It's a book specifically dedicated to Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and it will address that.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And another point on that is, when the Gospel of John was written, it's the last of the four Gospels; and it's believed that at that point in time, Mary Magdalene could very well have been dead. She could have passed away. When the other Gospels were written, she could have been part of the Christian church; and in an effort to, sort of, protect her, in some sense, her name was not mentioned. But after the fact, after her death, John does mention that it's Mary--

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --the one who came to anoint the feet of Christ at the feast of Simon.

PASTOR DOUG: And she's the first one to see Him resurrected.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: It's an incredible story. And I don't want to belabor the point, but the woman who's caught in adultery in the Gospel of John, it simply says, "a certain woman." And Jesus says, "Neither do I condemn thee." Some traditions say that was His first encounter with Mary; and there's really no reason we can't accept that in the Bible, because in other places, Mary is referred to as a woman. We know what her name is, but it says, "a certain woman."

So it's possible that that's the same woman too. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit Jay. Appreciate your question.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Our next caller is from Guam. Jeannette is listening on KSDA. Jeannette, welcome to the program.

JEANNETTE: Thank you. I have a question on Psalm 34, verse 7. "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

PASTOR DOUG: Um-hmm

JEANNETTE: I guess my question is, why do, sometimes, Christians suffer, for example, violent crimes, victim of a violent crime? I understand that bad things happen to good people. I understand, like in Hebrews 11 it talks about "and others who were subject to beatings" and thus and so forth. But I don't understand on this Bible promise why it doesn't say, for example, The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him and "sometimes delivers them"? And now that I have young children, so many of the children's stories talk about the angels protecting God's people, and yet I don't want them to grow up naive. How do we reconcile this promise of what happens in this world?

PASTOR DOUG: Alright, well, and first of all, I don't have all the answers. Just want to go on record that you were talking now about, you know, when Christians suffer tragedy; you look in the book of Job. And so I don't want to presume to say, "Hey I know the answer to that." But what has helped me is just knowing that a hundred percent of the time, Satan would like to destroy us.

Satan has demons. He goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. And if it wasn't for guardian angels that are protecting us 99.9% of the time--and you might wonder, "What about what he means that one percent? Did God fail?" No. The book of Job tells us sometimes God, for whatever His divine purposes are, He sees that there may be some benefit in withdrawing that protection, that He might be glorified.

For instance, I mean if anybody deserved God's protection, you'd think the Apostle Paul. God protected him so many times from death. Shipwrecked three times; they stoned him to death once. He just got up afterward and walked away. But ultimately, he did die at the hands of Nero being beheaded in Rome because he was going to glorify God by his death.

Sometimes these things happen. Bad things happen to good people; and we need to just trust, especially during those times. And then you look at the story of Joseph in the Bible. I mean, look at the incredible providence in the way that God protected Joseph through his life. When Joseph was going through these trials of being falsely accused, and sold by his brothers, and in prison, he could have shook his fist at God and said, "I thought You were going to protect me. What happened?"

But at the end of the story you see, ah, God had a plan. Many were saved because God did allow Joseph to suffer! So in the big picture, I believe God, in the end, we'll look back we'll say, "You know, He did the best thing." But 99 percent of the time, we are being protected by this force field of angels that are guarding us all the time.

JEANNETTE: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: So the Scripture is still true. There are times when God, He creates an opening in that hedge of angels, just as it said there in the book of Job.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: And you know Pastor Doug, just to add to that. The occasions where it seems as though the devil does get a hold of us or something bad happens to us, we could probably count ten to 100 times where God intervened and protected us.

PASTOR DOUG: Right

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: So those occasions where God does allow the devil to get to us or someone we love, it's, by far, the minority. It's not the majority of the time.

PASTOR DOUG: That's right. So I don't know if we made the water any clearer or it's muddier Jeannette, but hope it helps a little.

JEANNETTE: Appreciate it, and I do believe in God's Word. I just, you know, with teaching little children, I know we'll just focus on the positive and--

PASTOR DOUG: The promises of God are all true. And you encourage your kids to claim those promises.

JEANNETTE: Thank you

PASTOR DOUG: Alright, God bless you

JEANNETTE: Okay, bye bye

PASTOR DOUG: Appreciate that. Always like getting a call from Guam.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Just one other thought on that. "The angel of the LORD encamps around those that fear Him, and He will deliver them," that might not always be deliverance right here and now from trouble, but we do have the promise of ultimate deliverance.

PASTOR DOUG: The ultimate and eternal deliverance. That's true.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's right. And that's the real anchor of our faith. Our next caller is Michael calling from New Jersey, listening on WMCA. Michael, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

MICHAEL: Thank you, and merry Christmas to you Pastor Batchelor.

PASTOR DOUG: Likewise

MICHAEL: You guys do a tremendous work. I've been to your website. My question deals with election. Somewhere I heard that Christ, before the foundations of the world, certain

believers were elected to be saved. Christ paid for the election of certain believers before the foundation of the world. I'd like to know where that Scripture is, and if you can clarify or expound upon that?

PASTOR DOUG: Well I believe it may be the verse you're referring to is in Revelation. Pastor Ross can look that up. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world is speaking of Jesus.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That's Revelation 13, verse 8.

PASTOR DOUG: That's the only verse that pops into my mind that you might be referring to.

MICHAEL: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: And that's referring back, Michael, to in the garden of Eden, when God established the sacrificial system. There are some things you need to read between the lines. Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. God said that would not be adequate to cover their sin. And it says He gave them robes of skin, tunics of skin. Skin means something died. This is the first death. This is where He institutes the sacrificial system to cover their nakedness.

MICHAEL: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: And it's a symbol of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world that John the Baptist refers to. But that was for all mankind. That was not for just a specific group. It said, you know, Jesus opens the invitation to the whole world, "whosoever will"--

MICHAEL: Okay, okay

PASTOR DOUG: --"whosoever believes."

MICHAEL: Right, okay. So Revelations 13:8 primarily deals with that?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Revelation 13:8. We also have it in several other places in the New Testament. Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4, where it says that Christ has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world. We also find it in Hebrews 9:26, and 1st Peter 1:20.

PASTOR DOUG: I think the one in Ephesians may even be closer to what Michael is looking for than Revelation.

MICHAEL: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: But are we answering your question.

MICHAEL: No you are, you are, you know, you are. You are answering my question. Now I guess the converse of that question--and I don't want to belabor this--um, and that is, if there are ones that are elected, already to be saved, okay, um, and if your spirit does not bear witness to the fact that you have been elected, um, where does that, you know, where does that place a person that has the profession of faith but they don't have the assurance that they are elected?

PASTOR DOUG: Alright. Well I think to really adequately answer this, Michael, we probably need to be just upfront with you that, among Christians around the world, there are two principle views regarding salvation. One is free will, or free choice; and the other is predestination.

And Pastor Ross and I come from the tradition that God would have all men to be saved; and when it speaks of the elect in the New Testament, it's talking about those who have responded to the invitation. The Bible tells us, "Many are called, but few are chosen." And that basically means many are invited, but few respond to accept the invitation.

Every one who responds to accept the invitation becomes the elect of God. So the Lord is not arbitrarily up in the sky doing an "eenie meenie miney mo" to decide who He will and won't save. What is it--2nd Peter chapter 3 says, "God is not willing that any should perish." Any; so it's not God's will. Then if some do perish, it must be our will. And so, God does give us the choice, and that's why the Bible ends with that invitation that says, "Whosoever will let him come take the water of life freely." Now we've got a book, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?"

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Deals with that subject and we'll send it to you.

PASTOR DOUG: We'll send you a free copy Michael.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Absolutely free. Give our resource line a call, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be lost?" Again, the number is, 1-800-835-6747.

PASTOR DOUG: Thank you Michael

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Our next caller is Robert--

MICHAEL: Merry Christmas

PASTOR DOUG: God bless

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Thanks. Our next caller is Robert calling from um, well, listening on WMCA. And Robert, are you calling from a place called Blood?

ROBERT: No, Bloomfield (laughs)

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Okay (laughs)

ROBERT: I don't know how it got mistranslated.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Laughs) I'm looking at the screen and it says "Blood" and I'm trying to think where could that be.

[Cross talk]

PASTOR DOUG: Well that's how we say that in California (laughs). And your question?

ROBERT: Well thank you Pastors. Good evening Pastors.

PASTOR DOUG: Good evening

ROBERT: What I want to ask you is about the situation with Jacob and Esell. I don't know if I'm saying it--Esell, Esell.

PASTOR DOUG: Jacob and Esau, yeah.

ROBERT: Esau, yeah, I'm sorry. Now Jacob and Esau, Esau was the first born and, as you know, he had the birthright for the blessing.

PASTOR DOUG: Right

ROBERT: Twice...twice he gets gypped out of his birthright. Once in Genesis 25 with his brother, and then 27, Genesis 27, with his mother. And the blessing eventually, I was reading, now goes to Jacob. Now, why would God permit that knowing that Jacob did this at a chicanery here? I mean, and did that. He knew...Jacob knew he was gypping his brother and of course, he, you know, wouldn't that be considered coveting and stealing?

PASTOR DOUG: You know, that's a great question. Evidently, Jacob represents those who are spiritually-minded. What Jacob really wanted was the spiritual promise that God gave to Abraham. He wasn't trying to get Isaac's money; because when Jacob came back from his time in Mesopotamia in Haran, he gave his brother a bunch of gifts and money, very valuable gifts. And he was basically saying, "Look, I don't want anything from dad." What he wanted from--

ROBERT: Could it have been just because he was afraid?

PASTOR DOUG: He wanted from Isaac the promise that the Messiah would come through him. He wanted the spiritual blessing. Now Esau, he sold the birthright for beans because he was hungry. So in the Bible, Jacob has become an illustration of that which is spiritual; and Esau, those who are carnal.

ROBERT: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: Now there's another very interesting analogy in here. When Jacob received the blessing of his father, he put lamb's skin, or goat's skin, on his hands and on the back of his neck and he put on his brother's clothes; and he, basically, got the blessing of the firstborn by doing this.

That's a symbol of how we come to our heavenly Father, wearing Christ's robe of righteousness; and we have these skins on our hands to cover our works. And it says that when Isaac smelled Jacob wearing Esau's clothes, it smelled like Esau. When we come to our heavenly Father, then it represents that we are coming with the righteousness of Christ and we receive the blessing.

So there's a great deal of spiritual symbolism in this story. God was not condoning Jacob's tricking his dad, because Jacob ended up having his father-in-law trick him for years. He paid for his being a con artist. So he suffered for that sin; but he did want the spiritual blessing ultimately.

I'm trying to think right now if we have...I don't know that we have a book specifically on that that we could offer, but I have a whole series of messages that deal with Jacob and Esau, Robert, you'll find at the Amazing Facts website. And many of them you can listen to for free. They're just free podcasts. That's amazingfacts.org; and you follow the Media link there, and you'll find a series that I did on Israel, Jacob and Esau.

I'm wondering, Pastor Ross, I think we have one minute. That's usually not enough time to take another question. We're just one minute before the break friends and so rather than do that to anybody, just hang on. Those who are standing by we'll get back to your calls in just a moment.

We do have a few lines still open for the second half so, if on this night, when you're driving around doing maybe some of your Christmas shopping, if you have a Bible question, you can even pick up your cell phone. That number one more time is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

And in the moments that remain I just want to remind our friends, so much of what we do can be found at the website. If you take a look at amazingfacts.org, you'll find that there is a, I sometimes use the word, kaleidoscope; there's a myriad, a blizzard, a bouquet of all kinds of Bible study resources.

There are videos you can watch online. We've got that new Cosmic Conflict video that has been very popular--

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: --talks about why is there sin in the world; as well as a Bible study series you can sign up for; and a number of incredible links. So just check it out. If you haven't been there lately, you've got to come back every now and then because we've got new things happening all the time. That address one more time is amazingfacts.org.

And don't go away, because in just a moment we're going to be back. We've got some important announcements. We'll take more Bible questions.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

PASTOR DOUG: We are back friends, and some may have joined us along the way. This is Bible Answers Live. You're listening to a live, international, interactive Bible study; and you're invited to call in with your Bible questions. We're going to go back to the phones, Pastor Ross. And by the way, we do have a couple of lines open. If you have a Bible question, you can call us. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. Pastor Jëan, who do we have lined up here?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Alright. Next caller is going to be Cindy and she is calling from Idaho. Cindy, welcome to the program.

CINDY: Hi

PASTOR DOUG: Hi

CINDY: My question is, if God was like us when He came, er, Jesus was like us when He came to this earth and didn't have His divinity, and how was it that He knew, um, when those men brought that woman to the temple to be stoned for adultery, how was it that He knew what their secret sins were? How could He read their mind?

PASTOR DOUG: Alright, here's something that really helped me Cindy. I heard a scholar share one time that Christ never used any power that is not available to His people for Himself. He used what's available.

Now there are, sometimes, prophets that--they're humans, they're not divine--but God reveals to them sometimes what somebody is thinking. Matter of fact, there was a prophet that lived back in the time of the Kings; and when somebody disguised themselves and came to his door--this prophet is blind, physically was blind--he called out the name of the person that came to the door and he told them what they wanted before they opened their mouths. It was the wife of Abijah the King that had come to him.

And so, God can reveal to a prophet something divine. And so Jesus had the same opportunities, even though He was human, because God would supernaturally reveal things to Him. It's hard to imagine, when Jesus is a baby, that He has got all the knowledge and wisdom of the cosmos swirling around in that little, bitty brain, while He's, you know, calling out for a diaper change!

So He obviously was a real human, but He was so connected with the Father, as we can be, that He was able to capitalize on that divine connection. Does that make sense what I'm saying?

CINDY: Well, I'm sort of a Thomas--

PASTOR DOUG: Okay

CINDY: --so do you have, like, Scripture to back that up on that prophet?

PASTOR DOUG: I have Scripture to back up that Jesus knew what people were thinking. You want the Scripture from Kings where the wife of Abijah came to uh--

CINDY: Yeah

PASTOR DOUG: I'm trying to remember what the name of the prophet. It was, I think, Ahijah the prophet. Pastor Ross is searching his Internet. And I'm trying to remember the verses the best as I can. She was feigning herself to be another. In the King James you might look up the word "feign."

Well, there are a lot of other examples in the Bible where Jesus knew what people were thinking. But even prophets often knew. Let me give you another example from the New Testament Cindy.

CINDY: You're saying the Holy Spirit told Him?

PASTOR DOUG: Acts chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira come to Peter and they are lying about selling property and they amount that they got for it. The Holy Spirit revealed to Peter. Peter wasn't divine, he was a human--

[Cross talk]

CINDY: Okay so then the Holy Spirit told--

PASTOR DOUG: --but the Holy Spirit revealed to Peter that they were deceiving him. And he questioned them on it. He knew what they were thinking. He knew what they had done. And so Jesus had that same connection with God. So, and I'm not questioning the divinity of Christ, you understand that?

I'm just saying that Jesus was not walking the earth always having all the knowledge of the Godhead swirling around in His head. He got tired. He got sleepy. He ate. He was hungry. He was a man, just like we are. He was 100% divine and yet 100% man--and I know that's a mystery, how that can be. But obviously, part of His divinity He laid aside because God is omnipresent, and Jesus wasn't everywhere at once.

CINDY: Okay, now you're confusing me because you said, "part of His divinity." I thought He left it all behind?

PASTOR DOUG: Well, I mean it's obvious to us that Christ was confined to one place; I'm saying that's one aspect. When you think of divine, you think of someone who's omnipresent; they're omnipotent, they're all power; and they're all omniscient, they're all-knowing. Christ didn't have lightning coming out of His fingers when He was on earth--[Cross talk, unintelligible]

He never used his power selfishly. He sat at a well and asked a woman for a drink because--here He made the rivers and the oceans--but He couldn't get the water out of the well without

someone else helping Him. And so He never used His supernatural power selfishly. He used the power that we have available.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: But that supernatural power He could have used. For example, the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. He said, "If You're the Son of God, turn these stones to bread." Now, that wouldn't be a temptation that the devil would bring against us because we don't have the power to turn stones to bread. Christ could have used His divinity had He chose to do so.

PASTOR DOUG: He willingly laid it aside.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: But He laid it aside.

CINDY: Okay, so basically the Holy Spirit told Him that stuff then.

PASTOR DOUG: I believe so.

CINDY: I mean, okay, I'll buy that.

PASTOR DOUG: Alright. Hey, our doubting Thomas has been converted. Thank you Cindy. That's good news.

CINDY: Thank you

PASTOR DOUG: Good night, God bless.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Good night

PASTOR DOUG: And by the way, Cindy would enjoy our Amazing Facts Bible study course. If she hasn't seen that yet, it's free. And you can call the toll-free number and say you'd like to sign up for the Amazing Facts course.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747; and again, just ask to sign up for the free Amazing Facts Bible course. Our next caller is Mark and he is calling from Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark, welcome to the program.

MARK: Hi. This is a different question because the other one would take to long. We know that Jacob deceived Esau right?

PASTOR DOUG: Yes

MARK: And Laban, in turn, deceived Jacob by making him work extra years in order to get the wife he wanted.

PASTOR DOUG: Right

MARK: Did God put Laban up to deceiving Jacob? Or did Laban sin too?

PASTOR DOUG: Well Laban sinned, no question. Yeah, God does not tempt anybody to sin. James tells us, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man" . And so God is never an accomplice to any sin.

MARK: Even lying?

PASTOR DOUG: None.

MARK: So was Laban's act separate probably from Jacob's deceiving Esau?

PASTOR DOUG: No, not necessarily. People sometimes get what they give; and so what God does is, through providence, the Lord might remove His restraints on the devil. And the devil, being a liar, I'm sure it's the devil that tempted Laban to lie and be deceptive and greedy.

MARK: But God didn't put Laban up to it?

PASTOR DOUG: No.

MARK: In order to punish Jacob?

PASTOR DOUG: I think that sometimes God will allow things to happen as a judgment; but it doesn't mean that God is doing it. God doesn't lie; God doesn't deceive; God doesn't put greed in people's hearts, or deception. God is good.

MARK: Did God put the Romans up to, like, killing the Jews in 70 A.D.?

PASTOR DOUG: Or, you could say the Germans in 1940's, or 1938 through 1945. No. God is good. What God does sometimes is if we reject God, we are rejecting our protection. And then sometimes bad things come in when we reject protection. That has happened through history to many.

And you know what? Because there is sin in the world, Mark, and this planet has, sort of, been kidnapped by an enemy--even Jesus said that the devil is the prince of this world--you'll see that sometimes the innocent suffer at the hands of the wicked.

MARK: Yeah. So Laban probably had to pay for his sin?

PASTOR DOUG: Well everybody does. The Bible says God rewards every man according to his works. Unless they are covered by the blood of the Lamb, everybody is going to pay. All sin is accounted for somehow.

MARK: Yeah, and is it okay if I follow up on the question about Nod? If there were no people in the land of Nod, who did Cain fear would kill him?

PASTOR DOUG: Well he knew that Adam and Eve--keep in mind, these guys were a lot more intelligent than we are--and if God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and fill the earth, then Cain knew it wouldn't be long, especially since he lived hundreds of years before the prodigy of Adam and Eve was going to be swarming all over the world.

And he would have the reputation of being the first murderer; and that all men that saw him would kill him. So he's just looking down the line to the people that he would encounter as the earth is populated.

MARK: Even though...so Adam and Eve may have been old by the time Cain committed the murder?

PASTOR DOUG: Well, there's nothing that says they were old. They probably were still in their prime when that happened. It sounds like it happened immediately after being evicted from the garden of Eden.

MARK: So Cain, there may not have been people in the land of Nod at the time of the murder?

PASTOR DOUG: No. I think there probably were not any people in the land of Nod. That's why it says he went away. Cain was going to where he thought there wouldn't be people so he'd be safe.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: That was probably part of the reason he was afraid that his other brothers might rise up against him because of what he had done to Abel. So he goes out into a place wandering, a desolate area. And eventually as time goes on, his descendants populate the area of Nod and it becomes associated with those who have rebelled against God, the descendants of Cain--

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah, the sons of man.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: --fill the land.

PASTOR DOUG: Hope that helps a little bit Mark; but probably got to go to another call here.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Sean is listening on WLMR from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sean, welcome to the program.

SEAN: Oh okay. Good evening Doug.

PASTOR DOUG: Evening

SEAN: I had a question that relates, basically, first of all, to Leviticus 23. And I guess we know the many festivals that are mentioned in there. And probably besides all the things in Leviticus anyway that are just all about the law and everything. Now I guess my question is, now we, of course, commonly now celebrate Christmas and other things that, of course, were primarily originated, I think, the best as I understand it, in pagan rituals and things? But are we to observe instead of those things we're suppose to observe with Leviticus 23? And if so, is there something in December closest to that, or what?

PASTOR DOUG: Alright. Well you've got several aspects to your question there. In Leviticus 23 you find a summary, friends, of the feasts and the sabbaths that are mentioned for-- specifically they're given to the children of Israel. There are a number of laws in the Bible that you'll find.

Matter of fact, you find, for instance, the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments first is mentioned in Genesis chapter 2. But you don't find the rest of these Jewish feasts until after the Exodus experience,--

SEAN: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: --well of course, Passover comes in connection with the Exodus. And then you've got the feast of trumpets, and the feast of tabernacles--[Cross talk]

SEAN: Right. So are we to observe any of those things, or what?

PASTOR DOUG: Well when Jesus came, He was the substance that all of these shadows were pointing to. And so Christ--

SEAN: Okay. So if we don't observe these Biblical festivals, then are we...does that give us actually a permission by God to observe things like Christmas and other things like that?

PASTOR DOUG: Well I don't see any command in the Bible to observe Christmas.

SEAN: Right. That's what I was concerned about and--

PASTOR DOUG: There's no Bible command about Christmas. Christmas is a tradition.

SEAN: Right, but is it something that's necessarily Christian? Because I've noticed there's a lot of pagan, you know, things surrounding that.

PASTOR DOUG: Well it's typical this time of year. We start getting a couple of questions on--matter of fact, I'm surprised we haven't had more sooner--

SEAN: (Chuckles)

PASTOR DOUG: We start getting questions about Christmas and the history of Christmas. I'll give you my quick answer to this, because the history is uh, it's very interesting. Most of this is readily on available [Cross talk]

SEAN: Yeah. Well he said they could...they actually didn't start celebrating it, like, the third century.

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah, well Christmas, of course, is the 25th of December.

SEAN: Yeah

PASTOR DOUG: It's the first day when the days start getting longer after the winter solstice. And it has been a holiday in the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years; that, right around the 25th of December, they called it the "birth of the sun," and the Romans celebrated this.

Back about three or four hundred years after Christ when Christianity, sort of, became the national religion in Rome after Constantine, they thought, "You know, since we don't know the exact date of Christ's birth, why not pick a date the pagans can relate to, to make it easier for them to come into the church." And I'm not even commenting now on the right or wrongness of that. I'm just telling you what happened.

And so they began to commemorate this day that had been so familiar to the pagans as the birth of Christ. One reason we know Jesus was not born the 25th of December--I can think three or four reasons. For one thing, shepherds in Bethlehem are not in the fields watching their flocks during this time of year.

Secondly, the king of the Roman empire, the Caesar Augustus, would not call for an international census where people traveled to the place of their birth in the middle of winter when there's no food out in the fields to glean. They never did that. There were seasons when they did these things that required people to travel.

Thirdly, you know, roughly, when Jesus was born because we know how long Jesus ministered. Christ taught 3 1/2 years. And, while we don't know the date of His birthday, we know when He did die. He died in the spring during the Passover. So if you want to find the time of His birth, He was baptized right about His birthday.

It says in Luke chapter 3, "As He began to be thirty years of age." Right around His thirtieth birthday He was baptized. And that's partly because a priest could not minister until he was 30. You count 3 1/2 years backwards from the Passover, the spring; and Christ was born sometime in the fall.

And so, you know, my response to people is we ought to treat Christmas the way Paul tells us in Romans chapter 14. "One man regards one day above another, another man regards every day alike; and if you're going to regard the day, regard it to the Lord." Not to Santa Claus, or to elves, or to the yule log, or some of these other pagan trappings. But use it as an opportunity. Paul says, "I become all things to all men that I might reach some for Christ."

And if, during this year, people are remembering the birth of Christ, what a great opportunity for us to talk to them about the other aspects of the Christian faith. Hope that helps a little bit Sean. We do have a book called, Feast Days & Sabbaths, that we'll send you for free.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: The phone number is, 1-800-835-6747; and the book again is, Feast Days & Sabbaths. John is calling from Jamestown, Kentucky. John, welcome to the program.

JOHN: Hello, thank you.

PASTOR DOUG: Hi, thanks for waiting. And your question?

JOHN: Well, I was going through the Bible Answers Live question archive where you were explaining an answer to a caller about the eighth beast in Revelation 17:11?

PASTOR DOUG: Uh-huh

JOHN: At the very end of your explanation, I got a little confused about the last line on there where you explained about the powers that ruled and persecuted God's people and gave all the kingdoms, okay?

PASTOR DOUG: Uh-huh

JOHN: And we get down to Rome, and it becomes going from pagan Rome to papal Rome. And it receives a deadly wound and it's healed. And it said he comes back again and goes into power again, and it's the eighth. The last line in that answer you said, "And those are the two beasts in Revelation 13." But I thought Revelation 13 had two separate, distinct beasts, one from the sea and one from the earth. That's what's confusing me a little bit about this eighth one.

PASTOR DOUG: Well that wouldn't be the first time that I muttered something and it confused people. There have been sometimes I've listened to things that I've said on tape and I just plain, old, misspoke and I said, "Where in the world did that come from?"

JOHN: Oh

PASTOR DOUG: I remember one time my dear wife was in our church courtyard. And we've got one young boy named Stephen and one named Nathan; and she got tongue-tied and she called, "Satan, come right here." And everyone, kind of, looked at her when she said that (laughs)

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: (Laughs)

PASTOR DOUG: So I'm not sure what I said here, but everything was clear what you said to me. We agree that you've got these seven heads that represent the seven powers that had occupied and persecuted God's people through history, beginning with Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, five are fallen. Then it talks about "one is"; that's pagan Rome ruled by the Caesars. Then the seventh is papal Rome that receives a deadly wound; he is also the eighth. That is all clear, that makes sense.

Whatever I said about Revelation chapter 13, you might have been hearing me answer part of another question. It was in a lesson that the people were looking at. I'm not sure. There could have been, like I said, something on the screen. Sometimes I'm referring to something on the screen; and who knows what I was saying.

JOHN: Oh

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah, there's really not an immediate connection between Revelation 17 and 13 when it comes to the kingdoms there.

JOHN: Okay. Well then, I mean, if there are two different, distinct beasts there but they are, in time, power, how does that tie in...how--

PASTOR DOUG: How does Revelation 17 and 13 tie in?

JOHN: 13 yes, yes sir.

PASTOR DOUG: Well to answer that, I've got to have you look at the book of Daniel real quick. The book of Daniel gives, essentially, the same history in a number of visions. And it's basically like walking around an object and looking at it from different angles. Same object, different angles, give you different perspectives. Sometimes the sun hits it differently and you get a different view.

In Daniel 2, it gives the history of the world in the vision of this image. In Daniel 7, it gives the history of the world, basically, in the vision of these four beasts, beginning with a lion. Daniel 8, it gives a similar history; it expands it, and it's in the vision of a sheep and a goat. And then it gets even deeper in Daniel chapter 9; the coming of the Messiah. And then chapter 10 and 11 and 12 can all run together as an incredible oracle of visions.

So Revelation, you've got the history of the church; and it's given in the seven churches in Revelation chapter 2 and 3. It's given in the seven seals. It's given in the seven trumpets. And then in Revelation 13, it talks about the two beasts. Revelation 17, it's that scarlet harlot. So, these are all different perspectives of the same truth, but they are distinct visions.

JOHN: Hmm

PASTOR DOUG: So you can't say where, among the seven beasts in Revelation, or the eighth beast in Revelation 17, do you find the two beasts in Revelation 13? America doesn't necessarily appear per se in Revelation chapter 17.

JOHN: Okay

PASTOR DOUG: So they're giving different perspectives of what happens in their distinct visions.

JOHN: Okay, alright.

PASTOR DOUG: You can't just add two more to the seven and make it 9, 10, or 8, 9, 10.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Right

JOHN: Well I knew that one of those in 13 was the eighth; and I was just a little confused how the one that come up out of the earth was...because I know it gives the first one its power. I do understand that.

PASTOR DOUG: Well the beast--[Cross talk]

JOHN: And that's why I was confused about him.

PASTOR DOUG: The eighth beast in Revelation chapter 17 goes to the second coming.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: You know, we've got two study guides that deal with the subject. The one is, The U.S. in Bible Prophecy. The other is, The Other Woman, which talks about Revelation chapter 17. And I think, John, you'd find this interesting. It's free. If you'd call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide, The Other Woman, dealing with Revelation 17. You can also ask for, The U.S. in Bible Prophecy; it talks a little bit about Revelation chapter 13.

PASTOR DOUG: Hey, thank you John. Hope that helped a little; I didn't make things more confusing.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Our next caller is Tom and he is calling from St. Louis, Missouri. Tom, welcome to the program.

TOM: Okay thank you very much, and this is my first time calling.

PASTOR DOUG: We're glad you called.

TOM: And um, you mentioned doubting Thomas. I'm not a doubting Thomas today, but years ago I used to be a skeptic and, kind of, an agnostic. And I said there's got to be some proof that there is a God. And I saw this documentary; it was 1979, about In Search of Noah's Ark.

PASTOR DOUG: Yes

TOM: If you've seen it, then you know the truth. It's all there. I mean, they found it.

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah. I'm acquainted with it; and I think it has also been made into a book.

TOM: Yes

PASTOR DOUG: And I would just say that, I have no doubt in my mind that the evidence of Noah's ark is somewhere there on the mountains of Ararat. A number of expeditions have come back with varying reports regarding the location and the evidence. And so, you know, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is not in about who has the accurate report; but there's no question in my mind, if it says it in the Bible, that it's true.

TOM: Right. And from the very beginning, the narrator talks. He said, "This is the most incredible movie you will ever see." And they talked about the great deluge five thousand years ago; and then building the ark out of gopher wood. And then, expeditions came later. Russians were inside of it. Many people have taken pictures of it. And there were...atheists actually had gone up there; and they went up there and they were inside of it. And they swore not to say anything. And on this man's deathbed, they asked him, "Did you see Noah's ark?" He said, "I was inside of it."

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah. Yeah, and then, of course, there's the shepherd, the Armenian shepherd boy. I think his name is George. I forget his last name.

TOM: Yeah, and then there was an explorer named Navarra. He found a big piece of wood--

PASTOR DOUG: Yup, that he brought down [cross talk]. Yeah, that's all in a book actually.

TOM: Yeah. I mean, it's--[cross talk]

PASTOR DOUG: And so, there's incredible stories and evidence about Noah's ark.

TOM: Yeah. Our satellite even took a picture of it. And then, uh, it actually split when there was an earthquake in 1840; but it's so amazing. So many people have seen it. It's unbelievable that--

PASTOR DOUG: Yeah--I think there's actually a place where Marco Polo refers to it in his history one time. He said, I guess when the cap there on Mount Ararat melts down in the driest time of the year in Turkey that, at one point early in history, they could actually look up and see it. But it's covered, a lot of it, by a glacier up there right now.

We're going to try and squeeze in...that's a very interesting report Tom, and I appreciate that. I'm glad you're not a doubting Thomas anymore. And next?

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Next caller is Richard calling from Modesto, California. Richard, welcome to the program.

RICHARD: Thank you for taking my call Pastor Doug.

PASTOR DOUG: Yes

RICHARD: The question I had--I'm breathing a little heavy, I'm at work--is studying Exodus, the early chapters, when God is asking Moses to go to Egypt. He doesn't want to do it. God threatens to kill him, or says He wants to kill him. His wife, I believe Zipporah, circumcises their son and throws it at his feet. What's the significance of that, if any? And (unintelligible)

PASTOR DOUG: Alright, that's a good question. I appreciate that. I'll do my best Richard. It's kind of a delicate subject; but evidently, you have to read a little bit between the lines. The answer that I've found, and I'm satisfied with is, while Moses was there in Midian [tape echos, feedback]. I think we're getting a little feedback here.

While Moses was in Midian, he evidently had not circumcised his two sons that were born to him there. And he was, kind of, holding off. I think that Zipporah thought it was, maybe barbaric; and there was a little dispute between mom and dad on the practice.

But here, he's getting ready now to lead this whole nation of people that had made this covenant that was demonstrated through circumcision, a covenant made with Abraham,

getting ready to lead them out of Egypt. And God had been convicting Moses, "How can you lead the people when you have not followed through with that in your own life?"

Evidently, Moses' mother and father, even though it might cost him his life, they didn't circumcise him as a baby; but he had not done it with his own son. So the angel of the Lord met him somewhere on the road and nearly took his life because he was living in defiance. And Zipporah, she finally said, "Okay, have it your way," and I guess that they finally did that.

It's kind of a brutal thought. This is found in Exodus chapter 4, verse 25; followed through with doing what God had told him to do. If he was going to lead God's people, he needed to be consistent in his own family. And that's what that's all talking about.

You know, I'm looking at the clock Pastor Ross, and I don't know that we've got time for...one minute? No, we can't do a question; but we've got a lot to say about websites that are happening.

PASTOR JËAN ROSS: Um-hmm

PASTOR DOUG: I don't think we've mentioned anything this broadcast about the newest Amazing Facts' website that has become a real knock-out. It's the bibleprophecytruth.com website. There is just a ton of Bible study information and resources at this website; and it's just cutting-edge graphics, it's state-of-the-art technology that uses this flash technology. It makes it very easy for people to find different books and different subjects.

And you just look at some of the titles. It'll talk to you about understanding angels, the mark of the beast, Armageddon, Babylon, and much, much more. If you'd like to send a link to a friend that is interested in Bible study, then you need to send them the link to bibleprophecytruth.com.

And while you're on the Internet, don't forget, you can go to the Amazing Facts website. It is that time of year when people think about making their charitable donations. We are 100% supported by those who are listening friends. You can donate right there online where it says "Contact Us." Appreciate your help. God willing, we'll talk together next week.

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