Light of Revelations

Light of Revelations

Date: 11/25/2018 
Prophecy is unrolling and extending right before us, but are we really living in the last days ? Where are we in light of Revelations ? What are the seven bowls of God's wrath ? When will the seventh trumpet sound, and... should we be afraid ? Join Pastor Ross during this episode of Bible Answers Live as he clarifies the mysteries and confusions of the book of Revelation and opens the timeline of last-day events.
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Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello, friends, how about an amazing fact. In 2014, Alexis Martin was considered the smartest toddler in the world. When doctors tested her intelligence at three, she scored a 160 IQ points. By the way, the average adult has an IQ of about 100. Her incredible intelligence was first noticed by her parents when, at one, she began to perfectly recite her bedtime story from the night before.

By two, Alexis was able to read fluently. At three, she had taught herself to speak Spanish from a language app downloaded on the family iPad. She also memorized every US state, including their capitals, as well as learning all of the different parts of the human body, all of this before her fourth birthday. At three, Alexis became the youngest person to ever join the prestigious Mensa organization where, to be a member, you need to score within the upper 2% of the general population on an approved IQ test.

She was recorded as having an IQ that was 99.9% higher than anyone else in our age group. An incredible achievement for someone of any age, let alone a preschooler. King Solomon in the Bible would have also broken all records for having a high IQ. When the young king took the place of his famous father David, he felt inadequate. He told the Lord, "I'm a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in." 1 Kings 3:7.

When God asked Solomon what he would like, the king responded, "Give to your servant an understanding heart to judge your people." God was so pleased with Solomon's request that He gave him not only great wisdom but riches and honor as well. Did you know, friends, that God wants to give you a special supernatural wisdom? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Announcer: You're listening to 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 Jëan Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. Welcome to Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is out of town this evening, but this is a live program and we're ready to take your Bible questions. If you have a Bible-related question, the number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That's (800) GOD-SAYS (463-7297). I'd also like to greet our friends who are joining us on Facebook across the country and around the world.

You can also call in with your Bible question. You want to call the same number, 800-463-7297. Well, before we get to the questions this evening, it's always a good idea to start our program with prayer. Let's do that right now. Dear Father, we are indeed grateful for the opportunity that we have to open up your word and study together and we ask your blessing upon this program, be with those who are listening in Jesus' name, amen.

I opened the program this evening by sharing an amazing fact about an incredible person. Alexis Martin, who has a very high IQ. Just amazing what she was able to memorize even as a toddler. Of course, the Bible speaks of King Solomon as having great wisdom, being the wisest man, the Bible says, who ever lived. Now, God wants each of us to have wisdom, a special kind of wisdom.

Not necessarily a wisdom that will help us score high on an IQ test, but rather it is a wisdom to determine and know God's will. James 1:5 says, "If anyone of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it shall be given to him." Without a doubt, the greatest wisdom that anyone can have is the wisdom of knowing God, knowing His will for our lives and, yes, God will reveal His will, His plan to those who ask.

The Bible says we need to ask. Now, the next verse, which is James 1:6, says that, "The one seeking wisdom needs to ask in faith," and so we ought to ask God in faith, believing that He hears and that He answers our prayer. Ultimately, we want to know what is God's will for my life. We have a free book we'd like to send for all of those who are listening, those in North America.

It is a book written by Pastor Doug Batchelor entitled Determining the Will of God and that is our free offer this evening. All you have to do is call our resource phone line. That's 800-835-6747. Again, that number is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book called Determining the Will of God. If you're listening on Facebook or outside of North America on the internet and you'd like to get a copy of the book, all you need to do is go to the website.

Just or .com and you can download and read it for free, the book, Determining the Will of God. Again, that is the greatest wisdom that anyone can have. Well, friends, the phone lines are open. Good time to pick up the phone, give us a call. The number here to the studio with your Bible question is 800-463-7297. Our first caller that we have this evening is David listening from Wyoming. David, welcome to the program.

David: Thank you very much and thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Ross: You're welcome. Your question this evening.

David: My question had to do with, is there a biblical reference for the act of cremation?

Pastor Ross: There's not a command in the Bible that says whether someone can't be cremated. We do have an example in the Old Testament of Jonathan, who was a godly man who was killed in battle. His body was somewhat mutilated by the enemy. Some of his men came and took his body and they cremated it and then they buried him. The tradition that you often find in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament, was that of burial.

Again, there's nothing wrong with being cremated because you have so many people even in New Testament times, many Christians that gave their life, many of which were burned at the stake for their faith in God. In the resurrection, God is going to resurrect them. He's not or He doesn't need any leftovers from this body to recreate. The Bible says these models must put on immortality.

Typically, the tradition of the Bible was that of burial. The reason being is the Christian believed in the resurrection at the second coming of Christ. As a demonstration of their faith, they would often bury their dead. Believing that when Christ comes again, they will be resurrected. The Bible doesn't say that you can't be cremated, nor does it say that you have to be buried in order to be resurrected when Jesus comes. Does that help?

David: I appreciate that.

Pastor Ross: All right. Thanks for calling, David. We appreciate your call. The next caller that we have is, let's see, we have somebody who is calling from Pennsylvania. Maria, welcome to the program.

Maria: Hi, thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hi, and your question this evening.

Maria: My question is in reference to Revelation 1:7, where it states that Christ is coming in the clouds and every eye shall see Him, including those that pierced Him. I'm a little confused because the ones that pierced Him are the wicked and dead. According to what I've read, the wicked dead are going to be resurrected in the second resurrection. How is it that they're going to see Him when He comes and the first resurrection is going to be when the dead in Christ are going to be resurrected and the ones that are alive in Christ are going to be raised up to meet Him in the clouds?

Pastor Ross: Right.

Maria: I had questioned someone about that and they said, "Well, there's going to be a special resurrection for them." I'm thinking, "Well, then that means there's three resurrections and those are going to suffer three deaths." That would mean that Jesus is not merciful because He's resurrecting them and--

Pastor Ross: Then they resurrected to die.

Maria: Destroying them again, right.

Pastor Ross: Well, let me share a little bit about that from the Bible, hopefully, to help. You're right. Revelation 1:7, for those who are listening, it says, "Behold, He comes with the clouds." It's clearly talking about the Second Coming. "Every eye will see Him when He comes again," then it says, "And those who pierced Him and all the tribes the earth shall mourn because of Him."

What about this group that pierced Jesus? This is referring to those leadership at the time of Christ crucifixion, the Jewish leadership, and even the high priest as well as some of the leading Roman. Probably Pilate could be amongst that group or the soldiers that played a leading role in the crucifixion of Jesus. They are, according to this verse, resurrected to see Jesus come the second time.

Now, that doesn't mean they're saved, but they're resurrected. Why are they resurrected? Well, we have a clue in Matthew 26:64. It's an important verse. Matthew 26:64. This is where Jesus is standing and He is being accused by the high priest and He's standing in front of the Sanhedrin. All kinds of accusations were being made against Christ. They couldn't really find witnesses to agree.

Jesus didn't say anything. He just stood quietly. Finally, the high priest said to Jesus, "I adjure you by the most high. Tell us, are you the Christ?" Jesus could remain silent no longer and He responded. This is what he said. Matthew 26:64. Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you. Hereafter, you shall see the son of man sitting at the right hand of power coming in the clouds of heaven."

The high priest who was accusing Jesus and Jesus didn't respond. Finally, when the high priest said, "I adjure you by the most high. Are you the Christ?" Jesus could remain silent no longer. He said, "If you want proof, you will see me coming in the clouds of glory." There are those who are resurrected. There's a small group resurrected when Jesus comes because they asked for proof. Jesus will give them proof. Now, they were all destroyed along with the rest of the wicked with the brightness of Christ coming.

There is the final judgment that takes place at the end of a thousand years. In that sense, they do die three times. They died once and then they are resurrected at the Second Coming. They die again by the brightness of His coming. The third death, which occurs at the end of a thousand years, but that's such a small group. The vast majority of the wicked, they die the second death at the end of 1,000 years after the Great White Throne Judgment. Does that help?

Maria: Okay.

Pastor Ross: Write down the verse. It's Matthew 26:64.

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

Pastor Ross: All right. Thanks for calling. The next caller that we have is Matthew. Matthew is listening in Sacramento. Matthew, welcome to the program. Hi, Matthew, you're on the air.

Matthew: Yes.

Pastor Ross: You might want to turn your radio down in the background a little bit. I can hear an echo.

Matthew: Can you still hear it?

Pastor Ross: I can hear you, yes. You're good. Your question this evening?

Matthew: My question is, where was the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament saints? What was the difference in the way he worked in their lives and the way he worked in the New Testament saints?

Pastor Ross: Good question. Well, the Holy Spirit is throughout the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, you read about the Holy Spirit in the very first chapter when it says, "When God created the earth, darkness was in the form of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We find Elisha asking for a double portion of the spirit that was upon Elijah. He received the double portion of the Holy Spirit.

We have an example of Saul who was filled with the Holy Spirit and he actually prophesied. The prophets, of course, in the Old Testament were filled with the Holy Spirit. You've got great prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah. You've got Daniel and others. They, without a doubt, inspired. You have John the Baptist. The Bible says that he would be filled with the Spirit of God from his birth.

Without a doubt, you do find the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. You find it in the time of Christ and then also in the New Testament. There was to be a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles to aid them in their work of taking the Gospel to the world. That you read about in Acts, the Book of Acts where they were assembled together in one accord. They prayed. The Holy Spirit came upon them.

They were filled with power. They were given supernatural abilities to speak languages that they hadn't learned. The Gospel began to spread out from Jerusalem to Judea to Sumeria and then to the outer most parts of the world. A special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit has always been active in the hearts and the lives of believers right from the very beginning.

Matthew: Right. Well, why did Jesus say that He had to leave in order for the comforter or the Holy Spirit to come?

Pastor Ross: There was a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit that God wanted to give, that Christ wanted the disciples to have. In order for that special gift to come, Christ sacrificed-- By the way, when Jesus made this promise, this was, of course, before He ascended to heaven. After the crucifixion and the resurrection when Jesus ascended to heaven, He as a high priest stood before the Father. It was through His priestly ministry that He requested a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.

Jesus says, "The special outpouring could not come unless I return to my father in heaven." Well, Jesus was to return as our high priest and represent our need and our request in a special sense after His crucifixion and resurrection. Of course, as a result of that outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel went to the world. Also remember, Jesus prior to the crucifixion gave His disciples power to perform miracles, to cast out evil spirits. All of that happened before He ascended to heaven. The Holy Spirit was still active before Christ's ascension.

Matthew: Right. Well, I have often wondered just what the difference was in the way that the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament saints versus the New Testament saints. Like you said, I know he has always been there.

Pastor Ross: Sure. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit worked to draw people in faith to look forward to the coming of the Messiah, the Promised One, the Redeemer. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit works within the heart of the believer to build our faith in the fact that Jesus did come as well as to empower us to take that good news to the world. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is helping people to look forward. In the New Testament, it's helping us to look back and to believe the reality that Christ has come.

Matthew: Right. That does help to shed a little light on my perspective of it.

Pastor Ross: That's a good question. We do have a book, Matthew, that you might be interested in or anyone who's listening. It's called Life in the Spirit. Talks about the Holy Spirit, especially the Holy Spirit and the Christian. We'll be happy to send that to you, Matthew, or anyone who calls and asks. Call us on our resource phone line. That's 800-835-6747. You can just ask for the book called Life in the Spirit. Again, that's 800-835-6747. If you have a Bible question, our phone line here in the studio is 800-463-7297. The next caller that we have is Christine listening, I believe, in Connecticut. Christine, welcome to the program.

Christine: Hi, thank you.

Pastor Ross: Hi, thanks for calling. Your question this evening?

Christine: My question is, are we really in the time of revelations? Is everything we're seeing really today showing us that we're in the time of revelations? My question is really, is this what revelations is?

Pastor Ross: Sure. Absolutely, yes. The answer is yes. Now, the Book of Revelation covers a long period of time. It begins with the first century. Typically, the Christian era. It begins with the first century. John wrote the Book of Revelation somewhere around 90 AD. He was the last of the 12 apostles. The others had already died. He was in the Island of Patmos. An old man by this time.

He received these visions. He wrote them down and that's what the Book of Revelation is. Revelation traces the experience during the Christian era of God's people. It begins with the first century. It goes all the way through to the Second Coming of Christ. Even after the Second Coming of Christ until in Revelation 21, it talks about the earth being recreated. The final judgment scene. The earth is recreated. The New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven.

All of that is yet in the future. Yes, we are living in the Book of Revelation. If you want to know where we are a little more specifically, there are three phases. We have seven churches, we have seven seals, and we have seven trumpets. Each of these different series of sevens cover the Christian era. We're living in the last of the seven churches called the Church of Laodicea.

We're living in the time period of the sixth seal, which is just before the Second Coming of Christ. We're living during the time of the seventh trumpet which, again, is right close to the Second Coming of Christ. If you look at all of these different aspects of the Book of Revelation, yes, without a doubt, we are living in what we call the last days. We're living close to the end of time.

Christine: Okay. Should we be afraid in any way of these last days or no?

Pastor Ross: Well, the Bible tells us that if we have faith in God, if we're a believer in Christ, we don't have to fear. The Bible tells us perfect love cast out fear. There are things happening in our world that is alarming. We have fires. We have natural disasters. We have conflict between nations and people. All of these are signs of the end. The Bible speaks of it. Revelation speaks of it.

Yet when we see these things as believers, we need not despair, rather we should have faith in Jesus. His promise to take care of us. As a believer, we have nothing to fear. He will see us through. The Bible tells us that God will protect us. He'll send His angels to watch over us. As a believer, no, we need not fear, rather we should look up in faith believing, "Wow, Jesus is coming soon." There should be an urgency to share this good news with the world. Jesus is coming.

Christine: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: All right. Thanks for calling, Christine. We appreciate it. Next call that we have is Jerry listening in Kansas. Hi, Jerry. Welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Jerry: Thank you, yes. I've always heard that when Christ returns, we're going to meet up in the clouds and He won't touch the ground. If you hear stories of He's down in the lake baptizing or He's up doing miracles in the mountains and you gotta come see him, just beware that that's not Christ. I heard the best place tonight that His feet are going to touch the Mount of Olives.

Pastor Ross: Okay. When does that happen? Well, first of all, if you look in Matthew 24, Jesus gives signs of His Second Coming. One of the things He says in Matthew 24 is, "Do not be deceived. There will be many false Christs that will come and they will even perform miracles and do signs and wonders." Jesus said, 'If somebody says to you, 'Look, Christ is in the desert,' don't go out, or if he's in a secret chamber, don't go there."

When Jesus comes according to Revelation 1:7, every eye will see Him. It will be a most glorious event. Christ comes in the clouds with all the angels. Now, when He comes the second time, according to John 14, if you look from verse 1 through to verse 3, when Jesus comes the second time, the righteous will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air and we will go with Jesus to heaven.

In John 14:1-3, Jesus says, "In my Father's house, there are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. When I go, I will come again and receive you onto myself." When Jesus comes the second time, He comes to gather the righteous. He comes to gather the believers. He takes us back to heaven. We spend 1,000 years in heaven. Revelation 20 talks about this.

At the end of 1,000 years, the New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven. All the redeemed are in the city. Jesus is in the city, then it is that He sets his foot upon the Mount of Olives. You read about this in Zechariah. The mountain opens up and forms a new valley and the New Jerusalem comes to rest in the valley. All the wicked are then resurrected at the end of that 1,000 years for the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20.

At the end of that judgment, the wicked mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem. Fire comes and devours them, then God creates a new heaven and a new earth. For the Second Coming, Jesus does not touch the earth. The righteous are caught up to meet Him in the air. At the third coming, then it is that Jesus will set His foot upon the Mount of Olives. It will open up and form a great valley and the New Jerusalem will come to rest.

Jerry: All right. Okay. That clears it. I thought He said in the Second Coming, He was touching the Mount of Olives. I got confused, but that clarifies it. Thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: Yes, that's the third coming. We got three comings of Jesus in the Bible. The first coming was as a baby. The second coming is as king in the clouds of glory. The third coming, He comes as judge. We have the first, second, and third coming. We do have a study guide, Jerry, that you might be interested in or anyone who's listening. It's called 1,000 Years of Peace.

You can actually call and ask for that. We'll be happy to send it to you or anyone wanting to learn more about this 1,000-year time period. The number to call is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide called 1,000 Years of Peace. The next caller that we have is Chase listening from Houston, Texas. Chase, welcome to the program.

Chase: Thank you for having me.

Pastor Ross: You're welcome. Your question this evening?

Chase: I'm curious about Revelation 16, the seven bowls of God's wrath. When does this happen in relation to Jesus' Second Coming and how long does it last?

Pastor Ross: Okay. Good question. The seven last plagues are poured out just before Jesus comes. There is an event that occurs just prior to the start of the seven last plagues of the seven bowls and that is what we call the Close of Probation. The Close of Probation is described in Daniel 12:1-3. It says, "At that time, Michael shall stand up. The great prince stands watch over the sons of thy people and there will be a time of trouble worse that the world has ever seen."

In Revelation 22, when that time comes, Jesus says, "He that's holy, let him be holy still. He that's filthy, let him be filthy still." Probation closes at that point. The righteous are protected after probation closes while this time of trouble occurs or the seven last plagues are poured out. The seven last plagues fall after probation closes. God's people are protected during that time period.

You can also read in Psalms 91, I believe, where it says, "No plague will come nigh thy dwelling." God's going to take care of His people. At the end of these seven last plagues, then Jesus comes. As a matter of fact, the seventh plague is associated with the actual Second Coming of Jesus. How long will it be from the first plague to the seventh plague? The Bible speaks of a power known as Babylon in Revelation 17.

It represents this religious, political power in the last days that wars against God's people. It says that her plague shall come in one day. Now, one prophetic day, according to the Old Testament and also Daniel and Revelation, one prophetic day is about a year. A number of Bible scholars feel that after probation closes and the seven last plagues begin to fall, it's roughly the time period of about a year until Jesus comes.

Chase: Okay.

Pastor Ross: Does that help?

Chase: Thank you. Yes, it does.

Pastor Ross: All right. Very good. Thank you for your call. We appreciate it. Next caller that we have is Thomas listening in Toronto, Canada. Thomas, welcome to the program.

Thomas: Great. Can you hear me okay?

Pastor Ross: I can, yes.

Thomas: Okay. Great. This is my question. It's in regards to Jesus being God. This will be the question. Mary had to offer a sin offering for giving birth to Jesus, right?

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Thomas: Of course, there's a certain group of people that believe Mary never sinned, but most Protestants don't believe that. Mary was a sinner, but she didn't commit any sin giving birth because God said for them to procreate and bring forth life. Obviously, bringing forth Jesus was part of God's plan too. My question would be, it says sin is a transgression of the law, but it doesn't say sin is the only transgression of the law because they also did sin offering for a person who is , a person who had touched a dead body.

Pastor Ross: Sure.

Thomas: Basically, what I'm just saying is sin can be non-guilty like our sin nature and also guilty sin, is that true?

Pastor Ross: Yes. Well, let me respond to that. Yes. We're all born with an inclination towards self or selfishness. That selfishness is manifest in disobedience to God's commandments. We recognize not only the acts of sin that we might commit, but we also recognize the motive behind the sin. That's why when Jesus says if you're angry with your brother without a cause, you're guilty of committing murder. Now, of course, it's not exactly the same as taking the life of somebody else, but the principle is there.

In other words, God wants a change of heart and the new covenant promise is a change of heart. When God says, "I'll put a new spirit within you, I'll write my laws upon your heart." All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We're all in need of cleansing. We're all in need of that new heart experience. Jesus said in John 3, "Except you be born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. There has to be a change of heart and we speak of that as being converted. Well, friends, you can hear the music in the background. It's not the end of the program. We're just taking a quick break and we'll be right back with more questions.


Announcer: Stay tuned. Bible Answers Live will return in a moment.


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Announcer: 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 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 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now, let's join Pastor Jëan Ross for more Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. Welcome back to Bible Answers Live. As the name says, it's a live international interactive Bible study. If you have a Bible question, we'd love to hear from you this evening. It looks like just a few phone lines still open, so this is a good time to pick up your phone and give us a call. If you don't get through right away, don't give up. Just stay on the line and one of our operators will take your call. The number again is 800-463-7297. Our next caller is Andrew listening in Tennessee. Andrew, welcome to the program.

Andrew: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Hi, Andrew. You're on the air.

Andrew: Hello, Pastor Ross. Thank you for what you guys do. My question is regarding Sir William Miller. In the middle 1800s, he used the Book of Daniel to forecast the fall of the Ottoman Empire and he got it right, which everybody was really fascinated with. He used also the Book of Daniel to prophesy the cleansing of the sanctuary which, at the time, he thought was the Second Coming of Christ. Now, I remember hearing Pastor Doug say something about him saying that it would be 1844, but then there was a problem with the calendar, is that correct?

Pastor Ross: Well, sort of. Let me back up and give a little bit of the background for our hearers that might not be familiar with this. Back in the early 1800s, around 1830, a little before that, a Baptist preacher by the name of William Miller, based upon his study of the Book of Daniel, came to the conclusion that-- I'm going to put you on mute here for a second, Andrew. We got a little background noise.

The preacher by the name of William Miller, based on his study of the Book of Daniel, in particular, Daniel 8:14, came to the conclusion that something significant was going to happen in 1844. Matter of fact, he recognized this as being the Second Coming of Christ. The verse that was key to this was Daniel 8:14 where it says, "For 2,300 days, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."

Now, William Miller recognized the principle in the Bible that one prophetic day is equal to one literal year. We see that in the Old Testament in different places. We also see that principle in the New Testament. With some further study, he began to realize that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 actually represent 2,300 years. He also, based upon reading in Daniel 9, realized that this 2,300 year time period begins with the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which occurred in 457 BC.

Based on that, he did the math and the number ended up around 1843-1844. Initially, it was 1843 because they didn't account for the year-- Well, they put in a year zero there. When you go from BC to AD, it goes 1 BC and then directly 1 AD. There's no zero year. They thought that the cleansing of the sanctuary that was spoken of here in Daniel 8:14 was the earth and the cleansing of the earth would occur when Jesus comes the second time.

Now, they got the time period right, but what they got wrong was the event. This wasn't a cleansing of the earth by fire, meaning the Second Coming of Christ. Rather, there was a special work of cleansing that Jesus was going to do in the earth amongst believers. We began to see tremendous truths being brought to life around 1844. There was a great religious awakening and revival that occurred not only in North America but also in other parts of the world.

There was a renewed interest in studying the prophecies of the Bible. They didn't get the event correct, but they got the timing correct. Also, if you look in Revelation, there are some time periods that actually refers to the fall of the Ottoman Empire under the various trumpets. Based on their reckoning of time, those events did occur. Does that help a little, Andrew?

Andrew: Yes, that actually helps a lot. The question that I had was regarding he got the Ottoman Empire fall correctly. I'm not saying that he didn't get the 1844 date correct. What I was wondering is if they accounted for the year zero prior to him forecasting the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Pastor Ross: The 2,300 days was already pretty much established. At least it was presented prior to further study of the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In 1843 when things didn't occur as they thought it would occur, people began to question their interpretation of the time period. It wasn't actually William Miller, but another Miller, I believe, by the name of Josiah Litch, who really was the one that studied the trumpets and brought to light the idea of the Ottoman Empire surrendering to the allied powers or at least the powers of Europe, the Protestant powers. That did occur as predicted. That gave evidence to the principle of one prophetic day is equal to one literal year.

Andrew: Okay. It was just about 00 or the Gregorian calendar?

Pastor Ross: Yes. No, it didn't affect anything related to the Gregorian calendar. The only thing is that the year zero, when you go from BC to AD, is not there. It just goes from 1 BC to 1 AD.

Andrew: Thank you very, very much.

Pastor Ross: You're welcome. Thanks for calling, Andrew. Our next caller that we have is Robert listening from College Place, Washington. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Hello, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hi, Robert.

Robert: I just have, hopefully, a pretty easy question. Hebrews 4:8, I believe. It talks about there being another day of rest. I'm guessing that's not Sunday, but I thought I'd ask. Speaking of another day, it says--

Pastor Ross: Yes. Let me read it for those who are listening. I think you're referring to Hebrews 4:8. "For if Joshua had given them rest, then he would not afterwards have spoken of another day." Is that what you're referring?

Robert: Yes.

Pastor Ross: The context of the verse, just to kind of give you a little bit of the background here. What Paul is doing, we believe Paul was the writer of Hebrews, he is drawing an analogy of the children of Israel going up and entering into the Promised Land. He equates entering into the Promised Land as entering into rest. He uses that as a symbol of the spiritual rest that believers can have in Christ.

After talking about how that the children of Israel had come up to the Jordan River about ready to go into Canaan, but because of unbelief, they were unable to enter into the rest of the Promised Land. They ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Paul also makes the analogy that it wasn't a physical rest that God was truly wanting to give Israel, but it was a spiritual rest found in Christ. When he talks about another day, he's referring to a quote that David makes in Psalms.

Of course, David lived a long time after Israel had entered into the Promised Land. He says it wasn't just the entry into the Promised Land that was the rest that God wanted to give them, but there was another rest that he wanted to give believers in Christ. He also brings an analogy with the seventh-day Sabbath as being a symbol of that rest as well. That's what he means when he says "another day." It's not some separate day, but he's actually referring to-- if you read, it talks about the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, as being a rest for the people of God.

Robert: Another day is the spiritual rest, you're saying?

Pastor Ross: Yes. The other day that he's referring to is-- In other words, it says that it's Joshua who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. If he would have given them the rest, the spiritual rest that God really wanted them to have, then David wouldn't have talked about another day for rest for the believer. He's saying there is a broader rest that God wanted His people to have. A spiritual test. He connects that spiritual rest with the seventh-day Sabbath.

Robert: Okay. Very good. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Good question. All right, appreciate it. Next caller that we have is Edward and he's listening in Bronx, New York. Edward, welcome to the program.

Edward: Thank you. I have been having problems with Luke 13:1-5 and I was thinking it's a hard say of Christ. Also, he's saying repent, lest you perish. I'm thinking even if you repent, that doesn't guarantee that something bad will not befall you. What's going on in those verses?

Pastor Ross: All right. Good question. Let me give a little of the background of the verses here for those who are listening. There was an actual historical occurrence that took place at the time of Jesus, where there was some of the Galileans who Pilate had put to death. The disciples asked Jesus about this. They asked, "With these greater sinners than the rest that this happened to them," and then Jesus responded.

He said, "Well," this is verse 2, "do you suppose that those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered such things?" He says in verse 3, "I tell you no, but unless you repent, you will also likewise perish." He gives another illustration about 18 men upon whom a wall fell when they were building this tower and they were killed. The Jews believed that if something bad happened to you, it was because you were a great sinner.

Jesus wanted the disciples to realize that what happens in this life, yes, there might be trials and difficulties. Even the righteous or good people suffer. What Jesus wanted people to realize is that if they had faith in Him, if they believed in Him even if something bad were to happen to them here, they have hope of eternal life in Christ. Jesus is always trying to direct people's attention to eternal life.

That's why Jesus said, "He who believes in Me shall not perish but have life." People thought, "Well, what does He mean?" Obviously, people are still dying. Well, Jesus was talking about eternal death. After Jesus spoke of this physical death, He's been asleep. At the Second Coming, the dead are resurrected. The righteous dead are resurrected and they're taken to heaven.

Jesus was helping the disciples to understand that just because something bad happened to a person, it doesn't mean that they're a great sinner. That's what they were taught by the religious leaders. You have examples in the Bible of righteous people that suffered. You have Job, the whole book. Here is a righteous man that suffers terribly. Jesus was saying, "Even if you do suffer, there is hope." You will have eternal life if you believe in Him. Does that help, Edward?

Edward: That has a great deed. Thank you so much. I have more clarity on those verses now.

Pastor Ross: All right. Well, thanks for calling. We appreciate it. The next caller that we have is Sandra listening from New York. Sandra, welcome to the program.

Sandra: Yes, thank you so much. My question is, there are seven plagues and they're found in the Book of Revelation, I believe, chapter 16. Exactly what keywords do I look out for to describe those seven last plagues?

Pastor Ross: All right. Are you wondering how you can find those plagues in the Bible?

Sandra: Yes. I turn to the Book of Revelation.

Pastor Ross: All right. Go to Revelation chapter 16. It starts right in verse 1, but the first plague is in verse 2. It talks about a terrible sore that comes upon the people that have the mark of the beast. The second plague is the sea turns to blood. The third plague, the waters, meaning the streams, the rivers, they turn to blood. The fourth plague is an intense heat. It talks about men being scorched with intense heat. The fifth plague is darkness that comes upon the seed of the beast.

The sixth plague is what's called the drying up of the river Euphrates. Now, there's symbolic aspects to that plague, meaning the support that's given to the spiritual, political power in the last days called Babylon, the support that people give begins to dry up as they realize they've been deceived. The seventh plague is a great earthquake and that really occurs when Jesus comes the second time. You'll read all about that in Revelation chapter 16.

Sandra: Okay. I just wanted to make sure the keywords. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me.

Pastor Ross: Well, thanks for calling. We appreciate that, Sandra. Next caller that we have is Nancy listening from Cleveland, Ohio. Nancy, welcome to the program.

Nancy: Thank you. I'm very, very glad I got through. [chuckles]

Pastor Ross: Well, I'm glad you were able to get through. Thanks for your patience.

Nancy: My question was, our church was going in-depth through the Book of John. In early John, it talks about when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Some of his disciples began to follow Jesus and that's the first group of disciples. Why didn't John the Baptist follow Jesus as a disciple?

Pastor Ross: Well, that's a good question. I think, first of all, if you read the story of John the Baptist and Jesus, they were cousins, but they grew up separate from each other. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, which is in the area of Galilee, and John grew up in the wilderness closer to Judea, which is where he ended up baptizing on the Jordan, which is closer to Jerusalem. They grew up in separate places.

They didn't have any contact with each other during those 30 years before Christ was baptized and John the Baptist began to preach. Probably the reason for that is that nobody could say that the two of them were working together or had come up with this thing. They saw what happened to John. They saw when Jesus was baptized and they heard the preaching of Jesus.

Why didn't John follow Jesus? Well, John himself said, "I am the lesser light pointing to the greater light." John realized that he was the one who was to come before Jesus and prepared the way for Christ and then he was to give way to Jesus and allowed Jesus to be the one that draws the people to himself. I think John felt that his mission would be accomplished if he could draw people's attention to Christ, which he did.

He did have some of his disciples follow, but they were still at work that John was doing. Even after Jesus was baptized and Jesus began to preach, John continued for some time after that, still preaching repentance and baptizing people and pointing people to Jesus. He's still at the ministry that he needed to fulfill.

Nancy: I just never understood why he didn't stop his ministry and just follow Jesus. I guess there's really nothing in the Bible to say-- Like you said, maybe he was just trying to pull back and point and just step in the background.

Pastor Ross: Exactly. He was very popular. John the Baptist was a very powerful preacher and he drew large crowds of people. There was a little bit of controversy that developed between John's disciples and Christ's disciples with reference to baptism. Some of the disciples of Jesus started to baptize later on and there was a little bit of conflict. Jesus withdrew and went up to Galilee.

It probably wouldn't have been a good idea for John and Jesus to try and work together just because of the ministry and the focus of their ministry. God worked it out that John was to prepare the way and herald the coming of Jesus and then kind of step back and let Jesus take the lead.

Nancy: Good move. [chuckles]

Pastor Ross: Yes, absolutely. Of course, he was faithful.

Nancy: Yes, yes. I was telling your assistant when I was on hold. Going back to the Book of John again, what an amazing book. Our church is really going in-depth through it and I'm catching so much that I never caught before. It's just wonderful.

Pastor Ross: It's a great book. My one of the favorite gospel writers is John. Of course, he also wrote Revelation, which is a great book to study too. Just really great. Thanks for your call, Nancy. We appreciate it.

Nancy: Thank you so much. God bless you.

Pastor Ross: Our next call is Roger and he's listening in Colorado. Roger, welcome to the program.

Roger: Thank you for having me, Pastor.

Pastor Ross: Yes, thanks for your call.

Roger: Okay. I got a question. Rich man and Lazarus. Some people are telling me that is literal. I'm saying, "Wait a second." The Bosom of Abraham, that would have to be extremely large, which is not.

Pastor Ross: Exactly. Right. Well, let me say just a few things about that. You find that in Luke chapter 16 is where you get the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Incidentally, it's in a list of other parables that pretty much everyone recognizes as being parables. In the parable, Jesus teaches a very important principle. You have a beggar whose name is Lazarus and then you have a very wealthy man.

We don't have his name, but he is a Jew. The beggar would, in essence, be a Gentile. The beggar is lying at the rich man's gate and the rich man ignores him and won't even give him a little morsel of bread. In the story, both men die. The beggar is the one that ends up being rewarded. Whereas the rich man, he suffers. The rich man says, "Can you just put a drop of water on my tongue?"

Of course, the response comes back from Abraham. Again, Abraham is symbolic. Abraham says, "I can't. There's a great gulf fixed and so on." The rich man says, "Well, I have these brothers. I have five other brothers. If someone were to rise from the dead and tell them, then they will repent." The message comes back and says they have Moses and the prophets.

If they don't believe them, they won't believe even if someone is raised from the dead. Now, that's the point. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man represents the Jewish nation. In particular, the religious leaders, the Jewish religious leaders. The beggar represents the Gentiles. The Jews had the wealth of the Word of God. They had Moses and the prophets, and yet they hoarded it to themselves. They refused to believe Jesus.

Now, what's amazing about this parable is that the beggar's name is Lazarus and Jesus says, "They won't believe even if Lazarus was raised from the dead." Well, there was someone who was raised from the dead whose name was Lazarus and still, the religious leaders refused to believe. By the way, Jesus told the parable a few days before He resurrected Lazarus. That's the reason why we have a name associated with this parable.

Roger: I thank you very much, Pastor.

Pastor Ross: All right. Great question. Thanks for calling, Roger. We appreciate that. Our next caller that we have is-- I think it's Linda calling from-- Let's see. Where did she go? Linda, Middletown, Connecticut. Is that where it is?

Linda: Yes.

Pastor Ross: Hi, welcome to the program.

Linda: Hi. My question is, will there be free will, free choice in heaven?

Pastor Ross: Yes, absolutely. Love is eternal. The Bible says God is love, so He always has been, He always will be. In order for there to be true love, there has to be freedom. God has created all intelligent beings with the freedom of choice. He created His angels with the freedom of choice and Lucifer chose to rebel against God. He could have chosen to love God, but he chose to rebel against God. Of course, each of us have the choice.

We can choose to believe in Christ or we can choose to reject Him. Throughout all eternity, our love will continue to grow as we continually choose Jesus. We'll be doing that throughout eternity. Not that anyone will want to choose sin because we've been on earth and we've seen the consequences of sin and rebellion. Throughout all eternity, there won't ever arise rebellion and sin, but we'll still have the freedom to choose Jesus and we will. We'll be choosing Jesus throughout all eternity.

Linda: Okay. Thank you so much.

Pastor Ross: All right. Good question. Thanks for calling. Next caller. Next caller that we have is, let's see, Jane calling from Michigan. Jane, welcome to the program.

Jane: Yes. Good evening, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Yes, hi.

Jane: Hi. My question is that I have some friends of mine who claim that they believe that Mary asked Jesus to perform His first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana turning the water into wine. They say that it was Mary's idea to tell Jesus to turn the water into wine. My feeling and belief is that according to Scripture, it says that Jesus instructed the disciples to fill the jars with water, that it was his idea to turn water into wine. My friends insist that it was Mary's idea and they also claim that Mary had no sin. She was sinless. I don't know that the Bible says that Mary was sinless.

Pastor Ross: Yes. Well, let me address that. First of all, the last question first. No, Mary was not sinless. She needed a savior. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There's only one person that has lived a perfect life and that is Jesus. Mary needed Jesus to save her. Now, with reference to the first miracle He performed about turning water into wine, you read about this in John chapter 1.

There is this wedding in Cana of Galilee. It appears from the context of the verse that Mary was at the wedding and she seemed to have some role in helping to prepare. It was most likely a family member, an acquaintance of Mary and Jesus because Jesus was invited to the wedding. Mary was probably helping with the food or helping in the preparations. Apparently, they ran out of wine or grape juice.

This would have been a big embarrassment to the family if they would have run out, the marriage family, the ones getting married if they would have run out of grape juice or wine at the wedding. According to verse 3, it says Mary came to Jesus and said they have no wine. Now, we don't know exactly what Mary had in mind when she told Jesus. She was probably hoping that Jesus would help somehow.

In Christ's response to her, Jesus says, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come." Now, it appears that Mary was hoping Jesus might proclaim Himself as the Messiah. Maybe that would involve doing a miracle. We're not quite sure. Jesus said to Mary, "My hour has not yet come," meaning, "The time has not come for me to proclaim myself as the Messiah."

Nevertheless, Jesus recognized the need and He told the servants to go fill up the water jars with water and then take out some of the water and give it to the governor of the feast. The miracle occurred and, yes, the water became pure grape juice. I'm sure Mary was amazed and delighted that that took place. Mary came to Jesus with the problem, but Jesus directed the servants in what to do.

Jane: Right. Okay. All right. Yes, that's what I had read in the Scripture as well that it was Jesus' idea.

Pastor Ross: By the way, there was one of the-- If you look at that, Jesus said, "My hour has not yet come." Here, we have it in the beginning of John, but it's not until the upper room where Jesus meets with His disciples. This is just before His betrayal and before the crucifixion, then Jesus said to His disciples, "My hour has now come." It's kind of interesting that Jesus looked at His hour as really being His betrayal, His crucifixion, and then, of course, His resurrection, His sacrifice that He was going to provide for those who believe in Him.

Jesus saw that as the great hour or the purpose of His coming. Whereas Mary, probably along with a number of the other Jews at the time, they were looking for a temporal kingdom and they wanted Jesus to proclaim Himself as a king over the Jews. Maybe lead a rebellion against the Romans and establish the Jew or Israel as a great kingdom, a great nation. Of course, Christ's purpose in coming the first time wasn't to establish a literal kingdom, but He was to establish a spiritual kingdom in the hearts and the lives of those who believed in Him.

The first miracle that Jesus performed is a good illustration of His mission. He came to turn the water into wine. He came to provide a sacrifice to shed His blood so that we might be saved, so we can become citizens of the kingdom. Thanks for your call, Jane. We appreciate that. Friends, you can hear the music playing in the background. If we didn't get to your question this evening, we encourage you to call next week and we'll try and take as many Bible questions as we can. Until then, God bless.


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