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Berserkers

Date: 01/24/2010 
Ancient Norse History speaks in the old sagas about a fearsome class of warriors called berserkers. According to reports, berserkers would dress themselves in the skin of bears or wolves to exploit the fear common people had for wild animals.
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Ancient Norse History speaks in the old sagas about a fearsome class of warriors called berserkers. According to reports, berserkers would dress themselves in the skin of bears or wolves to exploit the fear common people had for wild animals. Before entering battle, berserkers would whip themselves up in to a sort of crazed frenzy, biting their shields and howling like animals. While in this trance-like condition, they were ferocious fighters and seemingly impervious to pain. In their rage, berserkers made formidable enemies. They even attacked the boulders and the trees of the forest and it was not uncommon for them to kill their own people during their rampage.

It was often said that berserkers seemed to have changed into beastial form or at least to assume the ferocious nature of the wolf or the bear. One rider reports they went without coats or mail and acted like mad dogs and wolves. It's believed the myth of werewolves originates with these wild Norse warriors. And you probably figured out that these enraged Scandinavian fighters gave rise to the English word 'berserk' to described somebody who was overcome with uncontrolled rage. Now here's the question. If a Christian loses their temper and flies off the handle, are they really Christians when they act berserk? Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends. And Pastor Doug, Let’s begin the program with a prayer.

Dear Father, we thank you again for the opportunity to study your Word. We ask your blessing upon this program over the next few minutes as we search the Scripture for answers. We pray for wisdom and guidance, be with those who are listening and those who call in. For this we ask in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Jean Ross: Pastor Doug, you started the program by talking about this ferocious and wild group of warriors from history in the area of Norway and the Scandinavian countries that almost took on animal type characteristics of, you know, being ferocious. Obviously, being angry and sort of flying off the handle was something that was encouraged in that type of situation. What about a Christian? How's a Christian to respond when he finds himself in that type of situation?

Pastor Doug: Well they thought that in battle, working yourself into a rage and either trying to scare the enemy or being more effective would come in handy but it says sometimes they bite their shileds, and strike the rocks and the trees, and even kill their own people. So you know it's a lot of wisdom in the Bible being careful not to lose your temper. James says in chapter 1 verse 19, "Then my beloved brethren that every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." Typically, when a person losses their temper, the devil finds it and they end up saying and doing things they regret. Now everybody has within them 2 natures. And we all are part animal. I mean we eat fruit like animals. We need rest like animals and there's certain cravings and desires that animal share but humans are different. We're made in the image of God. And the Bible tells us we're not to be controlled by the lower or animal side of our natures. The bible speaks of it as the flesh or carnal, the word carne in Latin or Spanish means meat or flesh. It's where you get the word 'carnival' because in the ancient Roman Theaters, they would have all these gore and carnage from the gladiators and Christians being killed.

There was blood and flesh everywhere and so that's where they get the word 'carnival.' And Christians are not to be carnally minded. We're to be spiritually minded. And there's actually promises in the word or Scripture that talks about this. For instance, Romans chapter 8 verse 6, it says--well are we verse 5, too--"for they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh but they that after the spirit, the things of the spirit. For to be carnivally minded, it is death but to be spiritually minded is peace in life." So when a person loses their temper because they become enraged, often they're hurt or they feel like they've lost control and they get frustrated, they're losing... that the Holy Spirit is really losing control of them. They're releasing that and they're being controlled by their animal side, passions and they often do and say things that they regret. And someone says that if you're gonna fly into a rage, I think it was Will that says that when you fly into a rage, you got to be prepared a rough landing. But there really is no such thing as a carnal Christian because Jesus never lost his temper. Even in the temple when he chase out the money changers, he was completely in control and he was being led by the spirit when he did that. And so can a person lose their temper and still be a Christian? Can they lose control? Can they be...? Is there such thing as a Carnal Christian? Some people say "Well, you know I'm a Christian. I’m just not a practicing Christian." Well, is there such a thing? And we have a free offer. It's got an odd title that we've not offered before. We're gonna tell you about tonight and you wanna get this book if you've not read it before.

Jean Ross: The book is entitled... Well, actually let me give you the whole name. The part that you gonna have to remember is 'Carnal Christian' when you call our resource line. The book is called Square Circles and Carnal Christians" but if you call our resource line and just ask for the book, "Carnal Christians," they'll be happy to send that out to you. The number is 18008356747. Again, that’s 1-800-835-6747 and asks them for the book 'Carnal Christian' and we'll be happy to send that out. Well, Pastor Doug, Let’s go to the phone lines. We'll try to get as many calls in as possible. We have Kacile calling from San Diego, California. Kacile, welcome to the program.

Kacile: Hi. I just wanna ask what is the Bible say about meditation and God's Word.

Pastor Doug: Well now when we say the word 'meditation' it means different things depending on the context. It's like, you know, the word 'gay' used to mean happy but if you say it today, immediately people would think of something else. If you're talking about Eastern Meditation which is you empty your mind and by repeating some single phrase over and over again until pretty soon it's meaningless and you fill your mind with meaningless thoughts and supposedly find bliss from sort of this self-hypnosis--and I’m not trying to be critical--but that's a very different kind of meditation than in the Bible, where for instance it says in Psalm 19 verse 97, "How I love your law. It is my meditation all the day." to meditate means to think within yourself upon something. And so for a Christian, for a believer, to meditate means to focus, to chew upon at some truth of God and to walk around it in your mind and look at it in different angles so that you get the depth, the perspective. That’s meditating on the subject of God's Word.

Jean Ross: You know Pastor Doug, there's another verse in Psalm 49 verse 3, this is just speaking about that Eastern Meditation by one empties their mind, the Bible is quite opposite when talking about meditation, "My mouth shall speak of wisdom and the mediation of my heart shall be of understanding." so it's not an emptying of the mind but rather it is the focusing of the mind on spiritual things.

Pastor Doug: Does that help a little bit?

Kacile: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Hey, you know we have a book we'll send you if you just call. And it deals with prayer and in that book, it talks about meditation. And if you'd like the Amazing Facts study book on prayer, we'll be happy to send you a free copy.

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and I believe the book Pastor Doug is "Teach Us to Pray."

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Jean Ross: And if you'd ask for that book on prayer, we'll be happy to send that out. Nashay is calling from Orlando, Florida listening via podcast. Nashay, welcome to the program.

Nashay: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi. Get real close to your phone.

Nashay: Okay.

Pastor Doug: You're in Florida we're in California so you gotta shout a little bit. And your question.

Nashay: My question is in regards to unfallen worlds. I wanted to know what evidence is there biblically that there are unfallen worlds and how do we know that the conflict between Christ and Satan is actually universal?

Pastor Doug: Well, there's several verses that you can look at to know that God made other worlds besides our planet and its assumes that there's life there: In Hebrews 1 verse 2, God "has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" And then you get to Revelation, and talks about all the creatures around the throne of God that are praising and of course you've mentioned the book of Job, where the sons of God gather before the Lord and they're not on earth because Satan says "I'm coming from the earth" I think it's in Colossians 2, where it talks about Jesus made the worlds. So I think there's evidence in the Bible, Not only to other worlds of course, there's angels, they're creature that are not human in nature. And Paul speaks about the world sort of being a spectacle to the universe. Heaven is looking down you know. Daniel chapter 7, 'ten thousand times ten thousands sit and behold this judgment' that is happening. So you know as you piece together these different Scriptures throughout the Bible, it seems to give a picture of that. Well, you know, there's one more story that I think of Jesus told the parable, Pastor Ross, about a shepherd that has a hundred sheep and one is lost. And he leaves the 99 basically safe in the fold and he goes out in the wilderness to search for this one lost sheep. The Lord has got a universe full of unfallen holy creatures and the only fallen one is this world. And he left all that, came to this planet and became a man to save the human race. God so love the world, He sent His son. So I think there's a lot of evidence that God did not just start creating 6 thousand years when he made humans. It's a big cosmos he's got out there and I'm sure he has a lot of unfallen worlds.

Nashay: Because when I read Hebrews 1 verses 2, I read it in different translation and they say different things like it's plural and they (inaudible 12:45) but other versions don’t have it in the plural form and I was wondering why.

Pastor Doug: Now, do I say your name Nashay?

Nashay: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Are you able to get on the internet?

Nashay: Not right now.

Pastor Doug: Not this moment, I mean, but if you're able to access it--I don’t know if you have a pencil--I actually preached an entire sermon this last year that is archived at the Amazing Facts website and it's called "Is there life on other worlds?"

Nashay: Okay.

Pastor Doug: I'd invite you to go to the website and you could either watch it or listen to it. There's not anything real redeemable about watching me preach but actually I think there's a few slides that we used during the broadcast. And I think that that will give you a lot more Scripture. So I wouldn’t build a whole argument just on Hebrews chapter 1. I think there's a lot of evidence in the Bible and that's, you know, just one verse. So take a look at that and let me know, pastor Ross, you have one more--

Jean Ross: Yeah, just specifically on that verse in Hebrew chapter 1 verse 2, the word there ''worlds' according to the Greek--I'm just looking at it here--it is in the plural form. So it's much as one world but it's worlds in the original Greek it is plural.

Pastor Doug: Would you take a stab and try to pronounce that word?

Jean Ross: You know what? I wouldn't even try. [Pastors laugh]

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you very much, Nashay, for your question and let us know what you think after you listen to that message. It’s on the Amazing Facts website. If you click where it talks about the media, and it's archived under 'everlasting gospel messages.' Thank you.

Jean Ross: Joel is calling from San Antonio, Texas. Joel welcome to the program.

Joel: Hey pastors.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Joel: I have a question on Colossians 2:16 and more specifically on the feast.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Joel: I've gotten a lot of understanding from your program and I've heard you say--I don’t remember exactly where the Scriptures at--but something along the lines of that Christ is the substance of the feast and they were like the shadow of things to come.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Joel: Anyways, it's something that's been really heavy on my heart trying to, you know, you were trying to be obedient with Christ You were trying to you know do what the Bible command us. And I've spoken to a few elders at my church. and you know I (inaudible 15:00) this question to you or just to maybe ease myself on this but the way I kind of think about it is you know the 10 commandments you know Christ probably says fulfill them but logically it's the moral law and we obey him because we have God. You know the (inaudible 15:17) of Christ is on that you know but we still keep the Sabbath, and the commandment. And just when I think about the feast, I see Him so filled with... It's a Christian holiday you know: feast the first food Christ’s the first food pass over and all that kind of stuff. And I just wanted to ask you how can... I just think like why we don’t celebrate them as almost like the law of God you know....

Pastor Doug: I think I... So if I were to summarize your question, it would be why don’t we keep the feast days.

Joel: I guess so and more along the lines of the rest of them. It just seems like you know God, fulfill the 10 commandments, but we still keep them.

Pastor Doug: All right. Let's...

Joel: (inaudible 16:03).

Pastor Doug: Right. Let’s--

Joel: Ceremonial laws, we don’t keep that.

Pastor Doug: Okay, let me take a stab at answering that. First of all, there's a big distinction between the 10 Commandments and the Jewish feast days. God made the difference in the way He delivered them. 10 Commandments of course is spoken by God's voice, written on stone whereas, the ceremonial laws were spoken by Moses and written on paper. The 10 Commandments predate sin. It was wrong even before sin to kill and to lie. The ceremonial Laws don’t appear into the whole epic after that, with the introduction of the exodus and God rose up a special group of people. Now you know if you want to take Romans 14, where it says one man regards one day above another if you're gonna regard the day, regard it to the Lord, You know that might be where I would apply that verse to say you know if you would like to say, "Hey you know I still want to remember the pass over." and even some of the apostles, because they had grown up doing this like Paul, You know they kept doing it. It was a tradition and there was no harm in it but then Paul also makes it pretty clear that, you know, Colossians--well, actually I’m not looking for a Colossians. That was in 1 Corinthians 5:7, "Purge out therefore the old heaven, that you might be a new lump as you are unleavened. For even Christ is our Passover." So we see something radical happen when Jesus came and that Christ really was the fulfillment of the Passover. Jesus had the Lord supper during the Passover meal. The first last supper was a Passover dinner. And so for us to continue to keep the Jewish feast days, it’s almost a denial in one sense. Well we can’t keep them the way they did because they were supposed to go to Jerusalem every year. Joel, I hope that helps a little bit. WE do have a book that we'll be happy to share with you called "Feast Days and Sabbaths." And if you call the Amazing Facts resource line, Pastor Ross will give you that number.

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747, the book is entitled "Feast Days and Sabbaths." you know Pastor Doug that's a question that we get quite often. You know how much of the Old Testament ceremonial law is really applicable. We also need to bear in mind that the Passover in these various ceremonial Sabbaths or Feast days, they had a different beginning point after the children of Israel came up out of Egypt. It is as far as the moral law, the 10 Commandments it can be traced all the way back--

Pastor Doug: To eternal...

Jean Ross: --to creation. You have the Sabbath, for example, at creation.

Pastor Doug: I think that not only did these laws have a beginning point. I think they had an ending point. the Bible tells us that it nailed to the cross when the vail (ripped?) in the temple, all these services that you know pointed to the chosen of Israel's deliverance that were literal, now fulfilled by the spiritual deliverance we experience. The 10 Commandments is different. It's not now it's okay to kill or to lie. And so I think there's a lot of redeemable value in the feast days. Just study in them and looking at what this--as a matter of fact, I did a sermon not too long ago on Jesus in the feast days. You can see Christ foreshadowed in those feast but to literally keep them is I think going backwards in time.

Jean Ross: Let’s see our next caller is Salvania. Salvia calling from Sacramento, California. Sylvia, I think that's what it is. Hi Sylvia, welcome to the program.

Sylvia: Hi, pastor Doug. I have a question about vampirism. This is the craze you know the twilight series. I don’t know if you're familiar with the twilight series that the teenagers are into right now. You see posters and books and movies that are out there, I can’t find anything in my Bible. I know the Bible says a little bit you know some about witch craft and about necromancia--that must be how you pronounce it--but I can't find anything on vampirism. It just doesn’t seem right. Plus the fact that you know that he has such a big deal when it talks about the blood...

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Sylvia: And in the Bible, the blood of Jesus is (most?) sacred. And it says, you know, you should not drink blood but, otherwise, I can’t find anything to say my point of view that says that's not a good thing. You know that's not something you need to spend hours and hours reading (inaudible 20:37)

Pastor Doug: Well, you mentioned... I think you've mentioned a very crucial point in this. Now, I haven't seen any of these either but I saw enough in the news to understand that evidently it's a popular series and a craze among the teens. That’s pretty frightening when you think that the teens are idolizing people that drink blood or turn in to werewolves. And we talked about that in our amazing fact this evening. In the Bible, one of the first thing that is forbidden is blood of even an animal, how much more horrific it would be to eat the blood or drink the blood of a man. And you know when Christ talks about unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, he's speaking purely in symbolic terms because he's speaking right there in front of them. It says, you know, the grape juice is a symbol of that, just talking about like blood is where we get life as in the transfusion. But to have a whole culture of people of that are you know kind of idolizing others that drink blood that comes from the pagans who used to drink the blood of their enemies.

Jean Ross: You know, in that same line--Leviticus 19, Leviticus 2, Deuteronomy 14--it repeats that God's people to do those things to honor the dead, a part of the custom of the nation’s surrounding Israel, where they were to make cuttings in their flesh They were to drink the blood of animals as part of their sign of loyalty and worship to the dead. And God said you need to be separate and distinct, and forbade Israel to partake in those things. And it's interesting that this revival of this subculture of vampires, it just seems like its elevating the dead.

Pastor Doug: Well let’s all you know in the (inaudible 22:20) rituals, they would drink human blood. And so all of it is revolving around the dark side of the occult and Satanism. And so I think it’s unfortunate that kids find it so enchanting that they would be entertained by you know that kind of gruellish macob, those kinds of heroes. Hope that helps a little, Sylvia. Obviously, we have no book we can offer you on vampires but...

Sylvia: You know I just want to say something really quick that it's not just teenagers: My mother is reading it my older sister is reading it. And it's like showing as a love story apparently and you know but I know that...

Pastor Doug: The whole love story is contextualize by something that is connected with the occult. Yeah so that's...

Sylvia: Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You’re right. Now, I appreciate your call. Thank you, Sylvia.

Sylvia: Thank you.

Jean Ross: Our next caller is Josh and he is calling from Massachusetts. Josh, welcome to the program.

Josh: Hi. Thanks for taking my call, Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Josh: My question is on Isaiah 1:17 and in the first line of 18, strong words are used on... They say seek justice, rebuke and defend. And my question is as Christians, how we can understand this called action and social justice because Jesus didn't come with an m16. So to what extent should we take action in this (simple physical?) world before the judgment happens?

Pastor Doug: You know I think Isaiah answers that in more detail in chapter--is it 56 or 58 where he talks about the fast that God has chosen--maybe its Isaiah 58 where he said "He's not this the fast that I have chosen to break the burdens to undo the heavy burdens that you let the oppress go free." You know in the time of Isaiah, there was an awful lot of oppression. They didn’t, of course, have any kind of social system to care for people. And Jesus talks about the priest that would rob the widows and devour their houses, meaning take their substance and...

Jean Ross: The verse you mentioned is Isaiah 58 verse 6

Pastor Doug: Won't you read that.

Jean Ross: It says, "Is not this the fast that I've chosen? to lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free that I break every yolk of burden?"

Pastor Doug: Yeah and see the Jews had a law that you were to liberate if another Jew had been basically in servitude for 6 years, he was to be liberated. Well, they weren't doing that. They were keeping these people in bondage. And they would kept their debts over them. And they never give them any (Jubilee?) or any liberation from that. And they just ground down the poor. And you know Christ, he said a lot about that also in his life. So you're right. WE don’t wanna take up arms to accomplish those things but often people are liberated by sharing the truth. Pen is mightier than a sword. And Gandhi kind of liberated the whole nation that had been enslaved by the English through his example without ever raising a sword or a gun using pen an example. And...

Josh: Okay and I guess that’s where it says "come now and let us reason together, there's the Lord" in Isaiah 1:18 that kind of goes along the pages you said that the pen-is-mightier-than-a-sword kind of reasoning, and speaking the truth, and...

Pastor Doug: Yeah and of course he also... He's appealing to the people who had been mistreating others that they would be forgiven. He says though your sins be a scarlet, they'll be white as snow. In other words, get a new heart, stop grinding down your brother and the poor and you could be forgiven White as snow and while like wool. So hey yeah I appreciate that. That’s a good question. I don’t think we've had that one before. How much time? What do we have? 2 minutes. I think we can squeeze one more call in.

Jean Ross: We can try. Kevin is calling from Orlando, Florida. Kevin, welcome to the program.

Kevin: Good night pastors, how you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good. Can we have a quick question before the break?

Kevin: My question is (inaudible 26:30) God have knows everything, why would he include Lucifer who would cause like so much sin, like he caused sin to come about? Like if he moves, some of them would come about through Lucifer. Why did he create Lucifer?

Pastor Doug: Because God makes His creatures free. and the greatest evidence of that, we have the ability to choose and to love God because God would even make a creature that He took the risks of making a creature that would not love Him. Now, I don’t know if you’re a parent Kevin. Do you have any children?

Kevin: No.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know a lot of people have children and they get no written guarantee that those children are going to obey or love them but they take a risk. They have children anyway. And some do and some don’t. And so if you want genuine love, you have to take these risks in God showing that he wants real love from us, you can’t force it. If God only creates creatures that will say" I love you God. I love you God," it stops being love. It's forced. It's pre-programmed. The fact that God made an intelligent creature that even had the capacity to choose not to love God is the greatest evidence that God makes us truly free.

Kevin: Okay.

Jean Ross: You know Kevin, amazing Facts had just released a DVD called cosmic conflict that deals with this very question. Where do sin come from? Why did God allow it? And I believe in God to be a... cosmic conflict website. You can actually watch a preview.

Pastor Doug: cosmicconflict.com

Jean Ross: cosmicconflict.com and you'll find it very interesting. I think there's also a link that is some Bible studies. We have the one in particular called "Did God Create the Devil?" And if you call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747, Kevin, asks for the study guide "Did God Create the Devil?" That also explains a little more on the subject.

Pastor Doug: Yeah and by the way friends, we're just taking a break here in a moment. And probably the biggest project we accomplished last year, worked on it for 3 years, was the Cosmic Conflict project. IT talks about the fall of Lucifer and the creation of the world and how Adam and eve were tempted. A very important study. People have a lot of questions about why would a loving God make a devil. And if God is so powerful, why doesn't he just destroy the devil? If God is good then why there's so much evil in the world? So all of that is addressed in Cosmic Conflict. You can just type in those words, you'll find more. We'll be back in jest a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back and we are live. This is Bible Answers Live. And if you have any Bible questions, just call that toll free number 1-800-463-7297 an acronym would be 1-800-GODSAYS. It’s a free phone call and we're gonna take more Bible questions in about 30 seconds. Well, maybe a little more than that. We also wanna tell you about some of the websites that we have out there that have been a real blessing to people. Maybe you've heard us mentioned about a new website that was launched last year. It’s called Bible Prophecy Truth. Bible Prophecy Truth. If you have an interest in Bible prophecy then you'll really enjoy this. I mean some of the titles that it deals with are things that like Armageddon, angels, Second Coming, tribulations, 666, some of the hot potatoes are all address in great detail at Bible prophecy truth and just type that in. I think you’re gonna find there a lot of good information there. And there's free book you can study, videos you can watch so take a look at it. Well, I think, Pastor Ross, maybe we should jump back to the phones.

Jean Ross: All right. The next caller is--

Pastor Doug: And get as many calls as possible.

Jean Ross: --Michelle and she's listening in the internet from Glendale, California. Michelle, welcome to the program.

Michelle: Thank you very much. Hello, Pastor Doug. Hello, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Michelle: My question is on Exodus 4:21. And so why did God hardened the Pharaoh's heart before he had the opportunity to--like for the plagues and all that stuff--before he has the opportunity to choose basically if you wanted to or not. You know what I’m saying?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, all right. Let’s take a look at that for a second. If you've got sitting out on the ground in front of your house a blob of clay, moist clay, and a ball of wax, when the sun comes up, what's gonna happen to the wax?

Michelle: It's gonna melt.

Pastor Doug: It's gonna melt but what happens to the clay?

Michelle: It's gonna get hard.

Pastor Doug: It's gonna get hard.

Michelle: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Do you blame the sun? Well yeah but it also has something to do with what the substance is. The circumstances that God brought in to Egypt resulted in Pharaoh hardening his own heart. So you could say God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart because God sent the circumstances but if you look in (Exodus 8:15, it says "but when Pharaoh saw there was no respite, he hardened his heart." The Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Then, you can read also in verse 19 "then the magician said to Pharaoh 'this is the finger of God and Pharaoh's heart was hardened.'" And so Pharaoh had a choice. He responded to the providence of God by instead humbling himself, he became proud and stubborn. He hardened his heart. And the Jews had a belief that God is all powerful and that you know it was through God's providence these things happen but you know when we look at it closely, you can see Pharaoh had a choice and he chose to harden his heart at the providence.

Jean Ross: And we find the same thing in 1 Samuel chapter 6 verse 6 where it says, "Wherefore then do we harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened his heart," so…

Pastor Doug: That's a good point. What was that verse again?

Jean Ross: That's 1 Samuel 6 verse 6.

Pastor Doug: 1 Samuel 6:6, looking back on what the Egyptians did, they said that they hardened their own hearts. Hope that helps a little, Michelle.

Michelle: It does. Thank you very much. Have a good night.

Pastor Doug: You too.

Jean Ross: Next caller is CJ calling from Montana. CJ welcome to the program.

CJ: Hi, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes and your question tonight.

CJ: I have a question about this (inaudible 34:26) in the soul and I'm gonna site Matthew 10:28.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

CJ: It seems as if there's a few verses in the Bible that indicate that there is this (inaudible 34:40) spirit that might be sitting around somewhere. I don’t believe that. I believe that a living soul is the dust of the earth, rust the breath of God. And when we pass away, we are just in our grave and our breath goes back to God but there seems to be a few verses like this one, Matthew 10:28, that kind of confuse the issue.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me read me this for our friends. I always picture a lot of our friends are in cars and driving so they can’t pull out their Bibles. Matthew 10:28, Jesus is speaking and he said "And fear not them that kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." First of all, that verse makes it very clear that the soul doesn’t go on forever in hell. It's destroyed but in other way I understand it and in modern vernacular, when God first made man in Genesis, it says you formed man from the dust of the earth so man have a body but then he breathe in his nostrils and he became a soul. His consciousness, his self-awareness combined with the body that he lives in, altogether kind of makes up the soul of men. You know, one way I look at it is I've got these little USB drives. You know what I'm talking about CJ?

CJ: Yes.

Pastor Doug: When you transfer information from one computer to the next.

CJ: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And you know you can drag and dropped all kinds of information. You can have sermons, audio, video--all these things just dragged it and you got this inanimate thing but it’s got a lot of colorful information on it. You got to plug it in to another computer to access it. And so we experience life in our bodies and when we're resurrected, God is gonna take whoever we are and He's gonna download that in to our new body that we get in the resurrection. And so you've really got two things: you got the computer and you got the information that I think they call it hardware and software. [Laughs]

CJ: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: In today's terms. So I know that maybe trivializing what you're talking about but the consciousness of man, which is hard for us to figure out how does God store that and what is that, you know He's got us backed up somewhere.

CJ: I did look in my (vines?) dictionary under ‘ruach’ and...

Pastor Doug: That’s breath.

CJ: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: The word ‘ruach’ is a Hebrew word. And in Greek, it's ‘pneuma.’ Ruach means breath.

CJ: Okay. Yeah, I looked at those two and then I also looked up spirit and soul. And it’s a little bit confusing in talking about the spirit of the dead. I'm a little bit afraid of saying too much because people will bring up different verses that seemed to be--

Pastor Doug: Let me...

CJ: --(inaudible 37:24) that there is something more than just...

Pastor Doug: The consciousness of man, the soul.

CJ: Right.

Pastor Doug: Have you ever read... It sounds like you have our study guide "Are the Dead Really Dead?"

CJ: I haven't.

Pastor Doug: You know we'd like to send you a copy of that. Pastor Ross, you're gonna say something?

Jean Ross: Yeah, I'm just looking at the verse there in Matthew 10:28 and where it's translated as soul in English. That same word in the Greek has a number of translations. It can mean soul. It can mean breath. It can mean mind. It can mean emotions. It can mean thought. So it's really the character, what makes the person who he is. You know man can destroy the body but God knows who we really are, what our characters are. In the resurrection, he makes us back into what we were, what we are. So in other words used...

Pastor Doug: I don’t care what happens to my old computer as long as I back up my files.

Jean Ross: That's right. And you put it on a new computer and you can have the same looking desktop and God can do the same thing. So that word, just depending upon the context, it has some different meaning or a different ways of translating it.

CJ: Okay.

Jean Ross: Again, to get that study guide, "Are the Dead Really Dead?" the number to call is 1-800-835-6747, 1-800-835-6747. Asks for the study guide "Are the Dead Really Dead?" Pastor Doug we have several website dedicated to the...

Pastor Doug: Oh, that's right.

Jean Ross: Called deathtruth.org or deathtruth.com.

Pastor Doug: Is it truth about death?

Jean Ross: Truth about Death, yes, truthaboutdeath.com and that will give you a number of scriptural references. I think you can also access it from the Amazing Facts website as well. George is calling from the Bronx, New York. George, welcome to the program.

George: How you doing?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

George: My question is about backsliding. I'm just wondering like what constitutes a backslider. And is there any evidence in the Bible of backslider? Because there's only mentioned in the Old Testament and it was never mentioned in the New Testament.

Pastor Doug: Well, the word isn't mentioned in the New Testament. You find the word backslider about 12 times in the Bible most of it is in Jeremiah or in Josiah. And but the principle is you've got the prodigal son who was in the father's house but he goes off into a far land. He drifts away from his father and he begins to eat, drink with the drunkard. That is backsliding when a person walks away from the father's house. They’re not eating their father's bread anymore, their eating... they're out eating pigs. They’re in the slop of the world. And so it's not when a person misses the church for a week or two. You don’t just say they’re now a backslider. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even say when Peter denied the Lord, that was a terrible sin, but that didn't even last 24 hours and he was repenting so that’s not even a backslider. Backslider is really someone who drifts back. They slide--you notice, it doesn’t say back jumper. It doesn't say a back hopper--it's someone who slides imperceptibly through neglect. They drift back into worldly ways and they lose their spiritual connection.

George: Yeah, but it doesn’t mean that that they die. Like cause the prodigal son, he came back but a lot of backsliders don’t come so if they die and they sins, that means, well, they're going to heaven or to hell.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think the Bible is pretty clear that if a person dies separated from the Lord, if they turned from the Lord and they die in that condition, the prospects aren't too good. Now, you got Judas, for instance, who once walked with Jesus and Jesus sent him out preaching. And Jesus chose him as one of the 12 but he not only denied the Lord, he betrayed him. And he hung himself. I don’t anticipate... I call that backsliding because he was covetous. He had been nursing this covetousness. I don’t expect to see Judas in the right resurrection. I think he's gonna be in that lake of fire. It's gonna be very sad.

Jean Ross: You know, I think that also adds to why the Bible speaks of turning back to him. It says turn from your backsliding. We turn to God. It is a dangerous position to be at backslidding condition.

Pastor Doug: Yeah that's what it says in Jeremiah 3:14, "Turn no backsliding children," says the Lord. And he also... You'll even find in Ezekiel, it says, "Turn you, turn you, why will you die?" So I hope that helps a little bit. Now, I'm trying to think of a book that we can offer George that talks about that. You would probably appreciate, George, our study guide on the ultimate deliverance and how you can have that relationship with the Lord, (now?) assurance of salvation, God offers that as well.

Jean Ross: I think you're thinking of the book "Rescue from Above."

Pastor Doug: “Rescue From Above."

Jean Ross: “Rescue From Above."

Pastor Doug: I get it mixed up sometimes.

Jean Ross: There are other similar title. Again, George, the number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide "Rescue From Above."

Pastor Doug: Let's see, Marilyn is calling from Colorado. Marilyn, welcome to the program.

Marilyn: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Marilyn: Hello, Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Marilyn: Thank you for taking my call. My question is if a person who is not (inaudible 42:22) and a good Christian and he has been shown in the Bible what Scripture says about the Sabbath during Kings, (inaudible 42:29) and etcetera but chooses to ignore it Do they have to be 'convicted' as some people has said, for they are considered a lost person if they don’t change? And could you give me a Scripture on that?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, God looks on the heart. There are going to be people in heaven that maybe did not understand some doctrinal truth but they walk in the light that they had. Some Scriptures that popped into my mind is where Jesus said if person sins, if they know their masters well and they sin, they'll be beaten with many strikes if they didn't know their masters well, they'll be beaten with few strikes. In other words, people are judge based upon what they know.

Jean Ross: And that's Luke chapter 12 verse 48.

Pastor Doug: Thanks, I’m just typing that in. You beat me to it.

Marilyn: Luke 12, what?

Jean Ross: Luke 12:48.

Marilyn: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So and then Jesus said--Oh, is that john 9 where he said "If you did not see, then you would have not sin but now that you say you see, your sin remains."? And maybe Jean will type that in. I'll give you one more in the meantime. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26, "If we sin willfully after we have receive a knowledge of the truth," that's a really clear verse to me. If we continue to live in disobedience and rebellion after, then you think of... Is it Acts 17:30 where Paul said "at the times of this ignorance God winked that."? Meaning He temporarily closes His eyes because we're ignorant we don't know. "But now commands men in everywhere to repent." So when a person does know, he expects a different kind of behavior. And so there's a lot of Scripture I think in the Bible that tells us that people are more responsible when they understand what some principle of truth is. And that doesn’t mean that we throw a few Scriptures at somebody, they really understand it and all of a sudden now they're accountable. God knows whether or not they've really grasp it. And I think the first time certain truths were presented to me, I probably scoff but then as more evidence came, then the Holy Spirit worked on me, I say, "I better look, take another look at that." So it doesn't always come in a flash. Sometimes it crawls upon you.

Marilyn: I think my key word was 'convicted' you know I don’t know how to describe the word convicted but I heard from some people...

Pastor Doug: But when you're impressed by the Spirit, that's conviction. When a person is being told by the Spirit, "Hey, this is what God wants you to do," and they're convinced also by the evidence in the Bible. And they turn their back on that, that's very dangerous. That's when a person in resisting the pleading of God's spirit and the evidence of His Word, a person can boarder on ultimately grieving away of the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin.

Marilyn: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So to live in constant rebellion of knowing God's will, one of two things happens. We either were miserable and we surrender and do God's will or we can develop a callous on our conscience.

Marilyn: Okay. That's very helpful. I appreciate it. Do you have any specifically literature on this that...

Pastor Doug: You know what? We do have--I’m trying to think what it is right now--dealing with...

Jean Ross: You know, our last study guide in the series "No Turning Back," I believe deals with--

Marilyn: “No Turning Back.”

Jean Ross: --that subject.

Pastor Doug: "No Turning Back," if you call the resource line and ask for that study guide, I bet they’ll send that to you.

Marilyn: And that number is again.

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747, 1-800-835-6747 and asks for the study guide, "No Turning Back." And we'll be happy to send that out to you.

Marilyn: Okay. Thank you so very much.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome. Good question.

Marilyn: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Marilyn: Bye-bye.

Jean Ross: Our next caller is Marshall and she's calling from Dearborn, Michigan. Marshall, welcome to the program.

Marshall: Yeah, good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean. How you guys doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Really well.

Jean Ross: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: And your question.

Marshall: A dear friend of my (wife?) wanted to know any major Bible characters smoke tobacco and any of its forms.

Pastor Doug: Probably not because it wasn’t early until Sir Walter Raleigh came along to the new world and he brought back samples of tobacco to the people in Europe that they even had an idea of what this was, that you could actually you know ignite a plant, a weed, and held the smoke and get a happy dizzy feeling. I used to smoke. And I remember the first time that I lit up a cigarette and I thought to myself, "What in the world am I doing?" This is so unnatural to deliberately smoke. And the fire, people run from it but they're doing it for the narcotic effect.

Marshall: Right.

Pastor Doug: And no one really done that in the Bible. So you're not gonna find any Scriptures also that talks about don’t snort cocaine or don’t shoot heroine. They didn't have hypodermic needles and they didn't snort cocaine that came from South America. So we developed a lot of new sins in modern times that are addictive. So, yeah, I don’t think you're gonna find any Scriptures though it does talk about the bitter herb and wormwood in the Bible. "There shouldn't be found among sin, you bitter herb." And nicotine, cocaine and strychnine--a number of these drugs are related and they're poisons, basically.

Marshall: Wow.

Pastor Doug: So God doesn’t want to kill ourselves.

Jean Ross: The Bible tells us that our body's the temple of the Holy Spirit. We don’t wanna pollute our body in any means whether we eat or drink or whatever we do. We want to do it to the glory of God. You know, the Bible tells us "thou shall not kill" and that would include yourself. And if we are doing something that is harming our body, which brings about death, that's obviously not something that is in harmony in God's will.

Pastor Doug: Hard to imagine Jesus puffing on cigarette and blowing smoke rings.

Marshall: Right. Right.

Pastor Doug: So I think there's probably an abundance of reference in the Bible that's in consistent with Christianity but you won’t really see an example of anybody smoking in the Bible. I appreciate your question, Martha... Marshall. Don’t think we got a book. Oh, we got a study guide on health.

Jean Ross: "God's Free Health Plan."

Pastor Doug: Yeah, talks about smoking.

Jean Ross: Deals with the subject of that. 1-800-845-6737 and, Marshall, you can ask for the study guide entitled "God's Free Health Plan" and we can send that out to you. Robert is calling from New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening pastors, Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Evening. Yes you're on.

Robert: Yes, my question. A gentleman called before about this feast days that kind of originally called that something else, the feast of Hanukkah.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Robert: I understand that somewhere in John that says a dedication. Christ has saw that (inaudible 49:33) dedication. Now let me understand this. Hanukkah came out of the books of Maccabees.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Robert: I don’t speak direct reference for Hanukkah now I know Christ would have been aware of but would he celebrate it? And it is by doing so, would that make the Book of Maccabees you know...

Pastor Doug: An inspired book.

Robert: Well, almost, at least (got council?).

Pastor Doug: Yeah, there's no record that I know of than the new testament of Jesus specifically observing Hanukkah. That doesn’t mean... I’m quite sure that he was aware of the history of Judas Maccabees and his sons and that the battles and the revolts between (Antiochus Epiphanes?) and the Greeks. They were all aware of that. I’m sure that Jesus you know they speak Greek with one of the prominent language in Israel. In the time of Christ, even though the Romans occupied them, the culture of the Greeks had pervaded--

Robert: Right.

Pastor Doug: --Jerusalem. And so I’m sure they are aware of the story but just because something is mentioned historically doesn't mean that the Book of Maccabees would now require to be a (inaudible 50:49) of Scripture. An example would be...

Robert: What's this--

Pastor Doug: Abraham Lincoln talks about thanks giving but it doesn't mean everything Lincoln says is now some new--

Robert: What's his dedication says so that's mentioned in John?

Pastor Doug: I'm trying to remember.

Robert: (inaudible 51:03).

Pastor Doug: Or was that the...

Jean Ross: Are you talking about the dedication of Christ as a baby?

Pastor Doug: No. No. He's talking about when... I think he's talking about in John when it says where Christ went up to the temple for the dedication.

Robert: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: I’m trying to remember. Was that the Feast of the Trumpets? I don’t know. I’m gonna have to look that up. It was one of the feasts. That's kind of a generic term and...

Robert: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross is looking it up right now. The feast of the dedication...

Robert: Okay. I know there's no direct reference to it in the New Testament.

Pastor Doug: But I (inaudible 51:37).

Robert: (inaudible 51:38) that you’re aware of.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it says in John 10:22 and it was at Jerusalem the Feast of Dedication and it was winter...

Jean Ross: Yeah some have suggest--I’m busy looking at a commentary on this--Some suggested that could have been connected in some way to

Pastor Doug: That’s called the Feast of Lights. Oh, here it says it was Hanukkah.

Jean Ross: Yeah, that’s connected to the Maccabees...

Robert: Really?

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Jean Ross: The tradition.

Pastor Doug: That's one commentator but yeah that's what (inaudible 52:05) said on his notes. I’m just looking in a commentary here that it was...

Robert: I would assume that the Scripture that were available to Christ was the Septuagint. She would have mentioned that.

Pastor Doug: Oh, Jesus, he didn’t need the Septuagint--that was in Greek--Jesus, I'm sure had it in Hebrew but, yeah, you got me to think about something new. I appreciate that Robert. And Jesus was at least mentioned according to this, he was up there doing the Feast of Lights or what they call honika, where they were they kept the lights burning there.

Jean Ross: It seems that there’s also a connection between that and the Feast of the Tabernacles, at least in the way they observed it, and so there was also a bit.

Pastor Doug: Overlap.

Jean Ross: Overlapping that.

Pastor Doug: Between the two. Yeah, sometimes the dates were close together and they mesh the two. We have time for one or two more. Let’s see.

Jean Ross: Let’s see Sherry is calling from California. Sherry, welcome to the program

Sherry: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Sherry: Hi.

Pastor Doug: And your question.

Sherry: Well I have one question, a Scripture, that I’m not sure exactly where is found. It's train up a child in the way that they should go. And when they're old, they won’t depart from it.

Jean Ross: That's Proverbs 22 verse 6.

Sherry: Okay. Proverbs 22. Okay. I have four kids that are grown adults and they have departed from the faith they were brought up in. They don’t... They’re walking in the world. And I had been praying so hard for them. I also claim the other one in Isaiah 49:25 that he will contend with him that contended would be, so take your children. I wanted to know if there are conditions for these prayers to be answered or since they were raised in the Lord or if there’s a possibility that they won’t turn back.

Pastor Doug: Well, first you know Pastor Ross and I are both parents and so we can sympathize with your yearning of your heart to have your children saved. One mistake a lot of parents make is they, you know, they just beat themselves up with guilt. And we've all made mistakes. I often pray God I'll overrule the mistakes that I made as a parent in reflecting him to my kids.

Sherry: Yes, I've done that very badly at times.

Pastor Doug: And I think all parents feel that way but keep in mind God was a perfect father and Adam misbehaved. And so you know...

Jean Ross: So did Lucifer.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s right. And so you can’t always say it's the parent. People have freedom but there are things you can do and you can pray and believe and hope. That’s a wonderful thing, prayer. Don’t cease praying, be a good example and then share information as far as it allow you. You don’t wanna push them especially with your kids. They can start feeling like your preaching to them or you're lecturing them but if they're open, share information.

Jean Ross: You know, I think of the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says, "Pray without ceasing." And really what that saying is pray without giving up, keep praying, keep praying. There's many people, even as the death of a parent, that have come back to God because of the prayers of the mother, because of the prayers of the father. So we aren't... We should never give up.

Pastor Doug: There's another story, Sherry, in Mark chapter 9 about this father who had a boy and he had had problems with him for years. And sometimes the Devil threw him in the water and threw him on the fire. And I think there probably parents that are out there that can relate to that. It seems like a lot of self-destructive behavior finally brought him to Jesus and in desperation says, "Lord, if you can do anything." and Jesus said if you believe all things are possible. And he cast the demon out of the boy. The boy was healed but keep in mind, Jesus later told the disciples, "This time does not come forth except by prayer and fasting." So you might even think about fasting and prayer. Well, I wish we had more time for that question. I say that's a good one, Sherry. We've only got 2 minutes off. Can we get half a question in?

Jean Ross: Sure. Let’s go to Yancy who is calling from Florida. Yancy, welcome to the program.

Yancy: Hi. It's nice to meet you, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: We've got about 1 minute so I hope you...

Yancy: My question is in Genesis chapter 6, it speaks about the sons of God who saw the daughters of men and that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves. Pastor, maybe you can explain that. Are those aliens or what's going on there? It's something that bothers me as I became the student of the Bible. Maybe you can enlighten that a little bit this evening.

Pastor Doug: Yes. The word 'sons of God' there is a term that's used in the Bible for believers. The descendants of Seth were the sons of God. The descendants of Cain where the daughters of men. They had separated. 1 John 3 says, "Behold what man who have loved the father has bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God." So it's just saying the descendants of Seth was then married to the descendants of Cain and then the world was full of wickedness. They're not aliens. They're not demons. And I appreciate that question. OH, I wish I could take more time, give you more. Hey, we're out of time for this week friends. Please go to the website. The program doesn’t have to invite now amazingfacts.org and we'll keep in touch. God bless you.

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Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews

Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews
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