Bird Brain?

Bird Brain?

Date: 02/07/2010 
We usually don't think of birds as being smart creatures. After all, that's where we get the expression "bird brain" but crows and ravens, both from the Corvidae family, are an exception.

MIQ: Most Important Questions Answer Guide by Doug Batchelor

MIQ: Most Important Questions Answer Guide by Doug Batchelor
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Pastor Doug: Hello, friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? We usually don't think of birds as being smart creatures. After all, that's where we get the expression "bird brain" but crows and ravens, both from the Corvidae family, are an exception. Researchers believe their clever, fun loving, and witty behavior ranks crows and ravens with the intelligence of dogs and even chimps.

Found just about everywhere in the world except South America, crows and ravens adapt well to almost any environment, their omnivorous diet, helps them to thrive in cities and suburban areas in close association with humans. Crows demonstrate a sophisticated social behavior playing tricks on each other and fabricating tools to get food. One crow was videotaped using a leverage to bend a straight piece of wire into a hook. He then used the hook to fish a bucket of food from a deep tube. No other animal, not even a chimp has ever spontaneously solved the problem like this.

Crows have a highly developed system of communication that's passed on from one generation to another. Different tribes of the crow seem to speak with different dialects. Just like parrots, they can mimic the sounds of other animals and even the human voice and can even be trained to speak. Ravens and crows mate for life and are very protective of their young. Perhaps you've even seen them dive bomb people or animals that approach too close to their nest.

The world's oldest crow named Tata died in July 2006. As a fledgling, Tata was blown from her nest in a Long Island Cemetery during a fierce thunderstorm. The baby crow with a broken wing was adopted by a local family. That was back in 1947. Tata never did learn to fly and that might be one reason she lived a 59 years.

Ravens are 30% bigger than crows and also have among the largest brains of any bird. They typically live about 15 or 20 years in the wild although life spans of up to 40 years have been recorded. Did you know the Bible states that ravens can teach us how to have longer lives also? Stay with us, friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: This is a live program, friends. This is Bible Answers Live and if you have a Bible question, you can call right now. It's a free phone call, all you've got to do is pick up your phone and dial that number 800-GOD-SAYS. That will stick it in your mind and what that number represents is 800-463-7297. We've got a lot of lines open, people are coming home from the Super Bowl. That means we’ve got a lot of listeners but some people haven't picked up their phones yet. If you want to get your Bible question in on tonight's program, give us a call right now. 800-463-7297. You can also find a lot of information related to the subjects of the Bible and prophecy at the Amazing Facts website and that's simply amazingfacts.org. Before we begin the broadcast, I'm pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: I'm Pastor John Ross, good evening pastor Doug and listening friends. Well, before we go to the phone lines, let's begin with the word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you again for the opportunity to be here. We ask your blessing upon this program and we ask that you give wisdom to us here in the studio, and be with the many people who are listening wherever they might be, be with those who call in this evening. For this we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about ravens, talking about crows and how intelligent they are, but something, in particular, intrigued me. You said they can actually teach us how to live a long life, what did you mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, it's amazing in how many times the raven is actually mentioned in the Bible. First of all, it's the first bird mentioned in the Bible. You find 1 Genesis talks about God creating the fowl but it doesn't ever mention any specific bird until you get to the story of Noah. The first bird that Noah sends out is a raven because they -- After everything was destroyed from the flood, ravens were so resourceful. Noah thought, let's see what the raven can do. Then ultimately, he sends out the dove but Jesus talks about the ravens. He says in Luke 12:24, “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap which have neither storehouse nor barn yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” One of the reasons that Jesus said the ravens don't sow or they don't reap, some birds migrate south in the winter but ravens will stay somewhere all through the winter. They manage to survive harvest, spring, summer, winter. God provides for them. It could be one reason Jesus said that.

Another reason is, of course, God used ravens to feed that famous prophet Elijah. When during a famine, he was hiding out by the brook Cherith. In the same way, we can trust that God is going to take care of us. Some people might be wondering in this tough economic times, they're stressed and wondering about how are they going to make it, how are they going to get by and how can we pay the bills and carry on. First thing God wants you to know is not to fret and worry, He will provide for you. Jesus said if your Heavenly Father takes care of the birds and if He sustained you, all of your life, just have faith in God. Sometimes He brings us right to the border before He works a miracle, but you need to just continue to trust Him and He can turn your stress into joy. We have a book on that subject that I don't think we've offered in years and it's a delightful resource.

Pastor Ross: The book is entitled From Stress to Joy. For anybody wanting to know how they can live that abundant life that the Bible speaks about, give us a call. Our resource line is 1-800 835-6747. Again, that's the resource line, 1-800-835-6747 but the phone line to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. That's 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 463 7297. Pastor Doug, we've still got some phone lines that are open so this would be a good time to call in.

Pastor Doug: Yes, give us a call friends, I don't handle rejection very well. If you've got a Bible question and we've got a number of lines open, pick up the phone, give us a call now and we can just about guarantee that any reasonable bible question, we'll search it together on tonight's broadcast. Well, we do have one or two lined up, Pastor Ross. Why don't we go to the phones?

Pastor Ross: All right, our first caller of this evening would be Daniel and he is calling from Sacramento, California. Daniel, you're on the air.

Daniel: Hi, I was just calling wondering what the daily was in Daniel Chapter 8, verse 11. I don't know what it means.

Pastor Doug: All right, let's go there together. This is a Daniel asking about the Book of Daniel. Daniel Chapter 8, verse 11 and it's speaking of the beast power. It says, "Yes, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, the place of his sanctuary was cast down." Way back in the garden of Eden when man sinned, the Lord established the sacrificial system. You don't read a lot about that in Genesis other than that God gave Adam and Eve coats of skin. It's easy to understand that something had to die to provide those skins to cover their nakedness. This is when the sacrificial system was instituted. It was probably lambs that were sacrificed. That was probably a horrible thing for Adam and Eve to behold. That's why Revelation speaks of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It's pointing back to the introduction of the sacrificial system that all pointed to Jesus.

Now, when the temple was inaugurated in the wilderness, the first Tabernacle built by Moses, they offered a daily sacrifice on behalf of the people and it represented the ongoing work of grace and mercy provided by Jesus for us, that free grace because of His sacrifice. Daniel is telling us in Chapter 8 that this salvation by faith, this message of the gospel is going to be interrupted or it's going to be obscured by this beast power. There'd be an attack on this gospel, isn't that what you understand, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: Absolutely and we find that to be true if you trace the history of Christianity. There was a time where the gospel was being diluted and misrepresented by those claiming to speak for God, religious people.

Pastor Doug: Salvation by grace,

they were substituting it by salvation by works where people were crawling on their knees and whipping themselves. They said you pay this much money and you'll be forgiven, or you say this prayer 20 times and maybe you will be forgiven, or confess your sins to this priest and then he’ll tell you what your penance is. It really turned into a works-oriented method. The daily sacrifice intersession and provision of Christ sacrifice was being obscured. I think that’s what it's referring to here in Daniel Chapter 11.

Pastor Ross: If anyone wants to know more about this passage and also about the subject of the antichrist, we have a study guide entitled Who is the Antichrist? To receive that, call our resource line 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide, Who Is the Antichrist?

Looks like, Pastor Doug, we just got one or two more lines open. The phone number to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. Tony is calling from New York. Tony, welcome to the program.

Tony: Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Tony: I’m recently new listener. I’m starting to get a lot out of it.

Pastor Doug: Well, praise the Lord, I’m glad you tuned in, Tony.

Tony: Yes, just recently joined a small group and the topic was about an unforgivable sin to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, but you can be forgiven if you blaspheme against Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Yes, are you wondering what that means?

Tony: Yes, what does it mean? Why is it an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit, but we’re forgiven if we, I guess, resist or speak out against Christ?

Pastor Doug: Let me read that. It’s in Matthew 12:31. There may be another reference in Mark, Pastor Ross.

Tony: It is Mark.

Pastor Doug: I’ll start since I’m here reading the one in Matthew because it covers, I think, basically the same reference. Jesus said, Wherefore I say unto you, "All manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him, but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Was there another reference?

Pasor Ross: It’s in Luke. Luke Chapter 12, verse 10, it says the same thing. Luke 12:10.

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, it’s not teaching here in the bible that between the Father, Son and Spirit, that whoever says something unkind or disrespectful or blasphemous against the Holy Spirit that there’s more severe punishment for speaking against the Holy Spirit than speaking against the Father or the Son. The Holy Spirit is the person of the God head that communicates with us. If we resist the working of the Spirit in our lives. See, blasphemy is putting yourself in the place of God or it’s a discount in the power and the authority of God. If we obstruct and we block the channel of the Holy Spirit to us, then there’s no other way for God to bring us to repentance.

Pastor Ross: You know Jesus in speaking in John Chapter 16, verse eight, speaking of the Holy Spirit, He says, "When He the Holy Spirit is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." So, when somebody rejects the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which reproves us of sin and of righteousness, we, in essence, are separating ourselves from God. We’re walking away from the source of life.

Pastor Doug: Now, that’s not implying, Tony, that if one day, a person gets some conviction that they shouldn’t be speeding anymore or they’re convicted that they should stop drinking beer and they don’t stop that day, that that means now they’ve committed the unpardonable sin and there’s no more forgiveness. God is very patient and sometimes, people sort of resist the Spirit working in their hearts for months or years but it’s a very dangerous thing. A person is, of course, playing Russian Roulette with eternity when they do that. So I don’t want to leave one group thinking that I resisted the Holy Spirit working in my life for years and now my condition is hopeless. God is very patient.

There’s a king in the bible that resisted the Spirit working in his life for 40 years or so, King Manasseh. God still forgave him when he repented, but I also don’t want to leave anyone thinking you can put it off. It’s very dangerous to presume "I’m not going to repent today." Who is it? A Jewish rabbi said one time, "Every day that you do not repent, you’ve got one more day to repent of and one less day to repent in." The sin against the Holy Spirit that cannot be forgiven is basically getting a callus on your spiritual ear so you don’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit anymore and then there’s no way God can reach you.

Tony: Right. Any more recommendation on read or anything to -- ?

Pastor Doug: We’ve got a book. We've got a book on blaspheming against the Holy Spirit that we’ll be happy to send you if you like that.

Tony: That'll be great.

Pastor Ross: All you need to do is call our resource line, Tony. It's 1-800-8356-747 and ask them for the book on Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit and they’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Tony: That’s great, thank you

Pastor Doug: I think it also goes under the title, Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.

Pastor Ross: Hidden Eyes, Closed Ears.

Pastor Doug: Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. Sometimes we just tell people ask for the Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit book or The Unpardonable Sin and they know what to ask for, they know what to send but I think the technical title is --

Pastor Ross: Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears. I’m looking at it right here, so that’s the official title, Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.

Tony: That’s great.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your call, Tony.

Tony: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Are we going to our next caller? Michael is calling from New York. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Praise the Lord, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Evening, how can we help you tonight?

Michael: I’m a regular listener to your program and this is the first time I call in and my question tonight is, this is a question I’ve been having a little problem understanding. Now, you’re familiar with the Scripture that says, "He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing."

Pastor Doug: Proverbs 18:22.

Michael: My problem with that is that a wife is not a thing, a wife is somebody, a person. Could you give me explanation and that’s why I can understand that please?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think you’ll be happy to know that in the original language, the word ‘thing’ does not appear. The way that it reads in the Hebrew is, "findeth a wife a good and obtaineth favor from the Lord," the word "thing" doesn’t appear. The English, they added that because when we say this is a good thing in English, that word "thing" doesn’t always mean an object. Sometimes, the word ‘thing’ means a happening or an event. If someone says, "I went to that gathering and it was a good thing." Well, there was nothing tangible that happened there, it was an event. He that finds a wife, it is a good event. Of course, Solomon's referring back to where God says, "It's not good that a man should be alone." The first thing in the bible that God declares, "Not good is for man to be alone." That’s not just saying that everybody needs to be married. It means that God designed man to be a social creature, that we need to be able to interact and mesh so we don’t become eccentric with other people and get collective intelligence that way.

Michael: Pastor Doug, one more question. I’ve been telling my other fellow brethren sometime that I do not believe that every man that God has created is to be married because -- Why I say that sometime? Most of the time, you’re single and life is going pretty all right for you. From the time you become married, especially if it was not really ordained by God and you get yourself into problems and you ask yourself, "Well, what it has happened? What did I do that I’m in problems now?"

Pastor Doug: Well, I was just visiting with a pastor a little while ago and we were commensurating. Pastors do a little bit of marriage counseling that a person who is single and a little lonely is a lot better off than marrying the wrong person. Paul does say in 1 Corinthians 7:7, "For I would that all men were even as I myself." You got to contextualize that. Paul is living during the time when Christianity is against the law and Christians are hiding. For a Christian to get married and bring their children into a world where they could be killed for just being Christians, Paul was saying that may not be the best way for you to run and hid with the family or for you to preach the gospel. If you are going to travel and share the gospel, sometimes it’s hard when you’ve got the wife and children. So that’s why Paul, he advocated that during their day and age, when Nero, Paul ultimately died at the hands of Nero I believe it was, that it might not be safe to start a family. You need to keep that in context there because he says a little bit earlier -- He talks in 1 Corinthians 7 about marriage is a good thing also.

Michael: Could you tell me that Scripture that was in Proverbs again that you mention first, you say Proverbs, is it?

Pastor Ross: Proverbs 18:22.

Michael: Proverbs 18:22. Well, Pastor Doug, God bless you. [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: God bless you. We've got that study guide on Keys to a Happy Marriage. Now, you might have that already, Michael, but others out there listening might be wondering about that and if you’re thinking about marriage, it’s a good book to look at.

Pastor Ross: Again, it’s entitled, Keys

For a Happy Marriage. The number to call for that is 1-800-835-6747, that is our resource line. We have Dennis who is calling from Oregon, listening on the internet. Dennis, welcome to the program.

Dennis: Hi, Pastors. Just want to thank you so much for your ministry. God bless you for that. My wife Christie and I just love listening to you, Pastor Doug, on how you explain so much in such detail.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you. We're all learning together.

Dennis: I've been a Born Again Christian since 1976, gave my heart to the Lord then. Been up and down on the road but just recently have come back to the Lord. Just recently been listening to you on your bible prophecy on your internet Amazing Facts website. Listening to all your bible prophecy, sermons, and all of that. Just two weeks ago, my wife and I just began worshiping on the Sabbath as God said.

Pastor Doug: Praise the Lord.

Dennis: Yes. My question, Pastor Doug. It's always bug me this one in Mark Chapter 16, verse 17 where Jesus says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe. In my name, they will drive out demons. They will speak in new tongues and they will pick up snakes with their hands, and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well." I don't know, is that a literal translation or if you could expand on that for me?

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe it is literal. First of all, in Mark 16:17, it says, "When they'll speak with new tongues." We see the fulfillment of that, of course, in Acts Chapter 2. God supernaturally gave the Apostles the ability to speak in these languages of the visiting Jews that were there, that they'd never formally studied or know. It was a miraculous gift. It says, "They'll take up serpents." That doesn't mean that people go around hunting for snakes so they can pick them up. It's actually referring to something that happened in Acts in, I'm trying to remember. It's during Paul when he was shipwrecked to Malta.

Pastor Ross: Acts 28:3.

Pastor Doug: Acts 28. Paul was bit by a serpent. When he lifted up his hand, the serpent was still latched on his hand and that's since he took up the serpent. He shook it off in the fire, Paul was not hurt. It's just meant that not only could God protect them from poison and from snake bites or venom, sometimes the devil might try and destroy him with a spider or snake bite or someone might try and poison him to kill him. God could preserve them through all of this. It also, I think there's a spiritual meaning there. King David says in Psalms, "You will tread on the young lion and the serpent," or you'll destroy the lion and the serpent.

The lion and the serpent in the bible are types of the devil. When it says, "You'll take up the serpent," it's a symbol for that we would be able to inter-conflict with the forces of evil through Christ and win. Every Christian does battle with the serpent. Of course, you can read about that in Revelation 12. That old serpent called the devil and Satan. It's an analogy of that as well. Hey, I appreciate. By the way, I do have a booklet on tongue, is that part of it if you'd like, we'll send that to you.

Dennis: Okay. That'd be great.

Pastor Doug: It's called Understanding Tongues. Just call the resource number and ask for that.

Pastor Ross: Dennis, the number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and the book is Understanding Tongues. Just ask for that and we'll be happy to send that out. Our next call is Les and he is calling from Sacramento. Les, welcome to the program.

Les: Good evening, pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening. How can we help you, Les?

Les: My question has to do with the biblical definition of marriage and how that's trying to be redefined right now, by some of the law that they're trying to change. How does one go about answering that question without being accused of being unloving, unkind, judgmental?

Pastor Doug: Well, I'm not sure it's possible to answer it without being misrepresented. Of course, I'm in California and you're in California. It's been national news with this proposition eight, which to me was just a very simple no-brainer statement in the Constitution that said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman." It's sad that what had been considered a self-evident truth for thousands of years, suddenly, you could be called a bigot if you questioned or if you still believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Incidentally, that's what both President Barack Obama and George W. Bush said publicly.

There's an agenda out there. There's a very strong and vocal gay movement that are clamoring to normalize what common sense tells people is a perversion. It's one thing in a free society if people are going to do something like that. It's something else if they try to get, if they compel everyone else to call it legitimate. I think all you can do is say that our founding fathers put right into the Constitution that certain truths are self-evident. The fact that men and women are designed to pair together in marriage for families is a self-evident truth. It's like we're swimming against the current right now because it's politically incorrect to state that simple truth.

Pastor Ross: Jesus defines for us what marriage is in Matthew Chapter 19 verse 5 and 6. There's no question as to how He sees marriage. He said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one."

Pastor Doug: What if his wife's name is Herbert?

[laughter]

Pastor Ross: Wouldn't be a wife.

Pastor Doug: I'm sorry that wasn't nice. Well, Les, I don't know if I answered your question.

Les: Well, thank you. No, you were helpful. I appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: All right. Hey, thanks so much for your call. Appreciate it.

Les: All right. Thank you and God bless.

Pastor Ross: Let's see. Our next caller is Penny Joe and she's calling from Ontario. Penny, welcome to the program.

Penny: Hi, thank you for having me. I'm calling in regards to not the chapter Numbers but I'm calling in regards to numbers in general. I noticed that in order to really get to the words that we have to read there, I have numbers in front of them and I noticed that there's 12 Apostles, there's 12 months in a year, there's 24 hours in a day divided by 2, is 12 and 12. There's 12 fruits on the tree of knowledge and I just want to know what numbers actually mean. [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: Hey, I've got some good news for you. I'll give you a verbal answer very quickly but we'll run out of time before I finish. Then, I'm going to direct you to a website where you can, for free, download a study that we did on bible numbers and their meaning. Here's the website first, it's called bibleprophecytruth. One word all run in together, bibleprophecytruth.com. You go there, you'll look around a little bit, you'll poke around, you'll find it. I think it's under prophecy resources. Yes. I'm looking at it. It's prophecy resources. It talks about the bible numbers and their meaning.

Very quickly, numbers like 7, 3, 12, 40, 70, they appear multiple times in the bible. 12 is a symbol for the church. 7 is the number of a complete perfect cycle. 3 is a number representing God. You'll see what some of these numbers mean and there'll be other definitions for that at the website. Again, friends, if you want to know about bible numbers and their meaning, we're just going to take a break here, it's bibleprophecytruth.com and poke around there. You'll find the information on that. In just a moment, we're going to be back with more of your bible questions and we still have a line or two open. If you want to call in with a bible question tonight, that number is toll free number, 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back, and we are live, and we are Bible Answers Live. We're going to go to the phones in just a moment but before we do, Pastor Ross, we were just talking a moment ago with our last caller about this website, Bible Prophecy Truth.

Pastor Ross: We had spoken about different bible numbers. It is on that website as you mentioned Pastor Doug but if someone's trying to find it, it's bibleprophecytruth.com/topics/keystobiblenumbers. If you go to the topic area on the website, you can see it.

Pastor Doug: They can find that in the search at the website, probably.

Pastor Ross: You can just type in numbers, Bible numbers in the search. Also down on the right-hand side, there is a heading that talks about Bible number's keys to Bible numbers.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I see it, there we go. Just go to Bible Prophecy Truth. A lot of people have that accountant mentality. My wife has that, she loves to add things up and make it all work and I'm glad she does the check book.

Pastor Ross: [laughs]

Pastor Doug: Some people, whenever someone reads to the Bible, they see those numbers and they keep seeing those numbers reappear, they say, "That can't be a coincidence, what do those numbers mean? There must be a deeper meaning." Well, there is and if you want to know about that -- You'll also notice at the same website, there's a lot of charts for those of you who like diagrams or Bible chronology and eschatology, it's all there at Bible Prophecy Truth. Talks about angels, and Armageddon, and heaven, and Hades, and Babylon, and US, and prophecy, and the plagues, and Israel. It's all there, Bible Prophecy Truth.

We were going to talk about the cosmic conflict. We want to remind your people that this is still a brand new movie that has been produced by Amazing Facts that talks about where did the devil come from? Did a loving God make a devil? Why is there evil in the world? How can a loving God allow evil if God's all powerful? Why doesn't He just snuff out the devil? Some of these big questions are addressed in this. It's a 45-minute movie with graphic animations and narration and a lot of visuals called Cosmic Conflict. You can type that into Google or Yahoo!, Cosmic Conflict. You'll find the trailer there and more about that very interesting product we hope you'll pick one up and show it to your church. It's good for any church, any church that believes the Bible that wants to know why is there a devil? Where did he come from? The Bible answers are given.

Pastor Ross: All right. Well, let's go right back to the phone lines. Our next caller is Step and he's listening to KFIA from Sacramento. Step, welcome to the program. Step, you there?

Pastor Doug: You're muffled. We're going to put you on hold maybe and go to another call. We can’t hear you.

Pastor Ross: Let's try Ashley and Ashley is calling from Auburn, California. Ashley, you there?

Ashley: I'm here.

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear. Ashley, your question tonight.

Ashley: I was reading this morning in Matthew 19:21 when Jesus was speaking to the rich young ruler. He tells him in 21, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven; and come and follow me." Question is, what’s the role with having money as a Christian and following Jesus? Would He have all of us to sell everything we have and be missionaries? What would the balance be?

Pastor Doug: Well, when the Lord calls people to fully follow Him as He did the Apostles, they did basically walk away from their careers and their livelihood. You remember when Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew followed Jesus, it said, "They forsook their nets." As a matter of fact, they forsook their nets when they were full. Their families then, of course, Peter had a family and he had a mother-in-law and it says John and James had a father named Zebedee, God filled their nets to help provide for the family. He was basically saying, "I'll provide for your family but you follow me." When Matthew, who wrote this book, followed Jesus, he walked away from his cash register at the tax booth. This rich young ruler, Jesus was calling him evidently to be an apostle because He says the exact same thing to him as He said to Peter, James, John, and Matthew. He said, "Follow me."

Now, a lot of people Christ healed and taught, He didn't tell them all, "Now, follow me," and they went down the road with Him. He invites all of us to follow him as Christians but not everyone's called to full-time ministry as a pastor, or an apostle, or a missionary. If a person is going into that full-time mission work, it's like when Elijah put his mantle on Elisha. Once you put your hand to the plow of God, you don't look back.

Elisha burnt his plow and he burnt the oxen. He didn’t offer the oxen. He said, "I'm not turning back to my farm." He did for the rest of his life, he followed Elijah. God is not calling every Christian to empty their bank account because pretty soon then, there's nobody to sustain the work God has blessed some Christians as businessmen. In the Bible, Paul has a lot to say about those that are successful in the world, in their business, and their work that they should give from their success. Paul was a tent maker, he continued to buy fabric, and sow tents, and sell them. There's nothing wrong with owning property but if you're being called to full time ministry, you don't want to get distracted by that.

Pastor Ross: We've got a study guide dealing with the subject of money and Ashley, maybe you've seen this. If not, I’d encourage you to give us a call and ask for it. It's entitled In God We Trust. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and it deals with the subject of money.

Pastor Doug: By the way, Ashley, for that rich young ruler, his problem was money. That's why Jesus said, "Look, if you're going to follow me, you've got something that's coming between you and God and it's all your wealth." That's why Christ said it's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom.

Pastor Ross: That was his idol. All right, let's go to the next caller. We have Georgia who is calling from Modesto, California, listening on KADV. Georgia, welcome to the program.

Georgia: Thank you so much. Pastors, I am looking for biblical references to show me that the ultimate home for us is here on Earth. I thought it would be in Revelation, I went through the entire book and I can't find it, can you help me?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, first of all, it tells us in Isaiah, I think, Chapter 11, "God will create a new heaven and a new earth." You can read in Matthew 5, you know the verse where Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the," what?

Georgia: The earth.

Pastor Doug: Ultimately, where are we going to be?

Georgia: Here.

Pastor Doug: We're here on the earth. God's original plan in making man and woman was to fill this world, paradise to be here, and it was corrupted by sin. God is going to accomplish His plan. He's not going to start out designing man to live in a beautiful world and then have him end up floating in some vaporous clouds. Then, of course, Revelation 21, is that where you were going?

Pastor Ross: I was going to mention 2 Peter 3:13.

Pastor Doug: Go ahead and do that.

Pastor Ross: Let me read that for you. 2 Peter 3:13, it says, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness,” and then also, Isaiah Chapter 66, verse 22 talks about the new earth that Christ will create as well as Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21:1.

Pastor Doug: That's what I was talking about, where it says, “The New Jerusalem comes down," and it comes down to earth from heaven. Ultimately, He's going to move that city to this planet and the capital of the cosmos is going to be here on Earth, God will dwell with us here.

Georgia: Wow, that's incredible.

Pastor Doug: Now we've got a study guide on that, our study guide talking about the city in space, Pastor Ross. We'll be happy to send you a copy of that, George, it's got a lot of those references in it.

Pastor Ross: That's right, just call our resource line 1-800-835-6747, ask for the study guide A Colossal City in Space.Our next caller is Becky and she's calling from Indiana. Becky, welcome to the program.

Becky: Good evening, guys, gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Evening, I'm sure it's afternoon somewhere.

Becky: Yes, I know. You’re in California, I'm in Indiana -- Anyway, I have a question. I have been reading in a book, a biblical book about politics. It says in there by the person that we're not to have any dealings with politics in any way. The way I'm getting it, is not even voting or anything like that. The other day, I saw you, Pastor Doug, on one of your shows and you were talking about politics. You mentioned something about that you didn't feel like that it was wrong to vote. Now, I need some clarification as to biblical, is the biblical way that we can't vote, that we shouldn't vote, that we should stay away because one thing was mentioned was the fact that if we were to vote for someone in office such as

.

President of the United States, we don't know what their background is, what they will do and things like that.

Pastor Doug: Well, that means sometimes, if you vote person into office without knowing what their background is or what their real agenda might be, you can end up feeling culpable for bad leadership and decision and direction that they might go. When it comes to -- Especially when you're dealing the moral challenges in the world today If Christians do not articulate their vote in behalf of the values that we believe that God establishes in the Word. Then what you end up with is non-believers become the dominant voice and then Christians really have no right to complain. Now, at the same time, I understand when Christian authors say that we shouldn't become absorbed with politics because we probably all met people where their politics and their political party really took preeminence over their allegiance to Christ and it became their religion. In that sense, it's not a good idea to become absorbed in politics. I've got to watch it myself. Sometimes I listen to the pundits talk about the different issues and you can get all fired up over one thing or another. You get, "Wait a second, Lord. I'm a member of another kingdom. I don't want to get too wrapped up on this one.

Pastor Ross: What you're saying, Pastor Doug, is there's a difference between voting perhaps for an individual and voting for a specific issue?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's right. I reference our radio. We just had this very big issue and still in the courts about proposition eight and voting that marriage should be between a man and a woman. For the sake of our families and society at large, if Christians had all hidden out during that vote, we would not have won the day. I don't know if we're going to win that whole battle, but we got a little reprieve for a while. I hope that helps a little bit Becky. It's a difficult issue. We don't want to let politics absorb us but I don't think we can also hide our heads in the sand with all of these very important issues around us.

Pastor Ross: That's right. Our next caller is Eddie and he is calling from Bakersfield, California. Eddie, welcome to the program.

Eddie: Good evening, Pastor Doug. I just want to real quick, I know I have a few minutes, just thank you and tell you what a wonderful job you're doing and your staff and God bless you all.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Eddie: You're very welcome. My question is I just finished reading my whole bible from last year to a daily planner. Something just caught my eye, I was up and about driving around, I'm at home now but it's in Revelations 14. It talks about the Lamb and 144,000. My question is the 144,000, what are they're referring to as that? Because I'm reading chapter four through five and it still puzzles me a little bit.

Pastor Doug: Well, it's interesting. First of all, to understand Revelation, you need to go to the Old Testament. So many Christians today -- I'm not trying to refer to you or be unkind but 90% or more Christians today are not very well acquainted with their Old Testament. It's the key to understand Revelation. In the Old Testament it, says that there were a 288,000 soldiers that David had on a rotation through the year. They would divide that up into 12 hours on staff for the day, 144,000 for day and 144,000 for night. Basically, they divided their workday into 12 hours as opposed to eight. Jesus said, "Are there not 12 hours in a day?" You go to the New Testament and Jesus got 12 apostles. They're filled with this spirit, they do a special work when He came the first time. Before the Lord comes back the second time, God is going to have 12 times 12,000 last day apostles. Now I've got a book on this. If you like, Eddie, I'll send you for free. It's specifically called Who Are The 144,000? Would you like a free copy of that?

Eddie: Sure, sure. I have your resource number already so I will ask for that.

Pastor Doug: All right. Just call and ask for the book Who Are The 144,000? It goes through all the Scriptures and I think a clear study on this subject.

Pastor Ross: Thank you for your call, Eddie. Our next caller is Bill and he's calling from Michigan. Bill, welcome to the program.

Bill: Hey, hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Bill, how can we help you tonight?

Bill: I had question on tithing. I'm trying to get my giving in order. My question is the 10% at Old Testament, it doesn't mention about 10% in the New Testament. What do you think that the bible is telling us that we should give as New Testament Christians?

Pastor Doug: Well, tithe is actually mentioned in the New Testament several times. You can find in Matthew 23:23 where Jesus refers to it. I'll read that for you real quick. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you pay tithe," and the word tithe means tenth. There's not a question about what tithe means. It's like the word "decade" means 10 years. Tithe. "You pay tithe of mint and and anise and cumin," those are herbs in their garden, "but you've omitted the weightier matters." He says some things more weigh more than others. "Judgment, mercy, faith, these you ought to have done," and then Jesus add something, He says, "And not leave the other undone." So, don't neglect to pay your tithe, but don't forget the weightier matters. Christ here is really making a clear statement that tithe was still in effect. Then you can also read in Hebrews where it talks about -- I believe it says that Levi gave tithe when he was still in Abraham's loins.

Pastor Ross: To Melchizedek, that's Hebrews chapter 7, verse 1 and 2.

Pastor Doug: There's a couple of references in the New Testament and there is nothing in the New Testament that says, "Now that we have accepted Jesus, we no longer return tithe to God." Since God didn't establish a different principle, you start at least with the one he did leave. The principle of tithe actually predates the Israelites, it goes back to Abraham, Jacob, and before even Moses led them out of Israel. Jacob paid tithe, Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek. If you go literally by the New Testament, if you read them in Acts Chapter 4, they were going way beyond tithe. Of course, Christ had just come and poured out the Spirit and they were really generous back then. They were selling everything they had and putting it into the spreading of the gospel. If anything, the New Testament bar is higher than the Old Testament bar as far as giving. It tells us in Acts Chapter 2 that, "No man said that anything he had was His own. And they sold their possession and gave to everyone as they had need." There's a credible love and sacrifice in the New Testament. It's a pretty basic thing for bible Christians to take a tenth of their increase and to return that to the Lord for the supportive mission work and for ministry around the world.

Bill: Got you.

Pastor Doug: God promises when we do that, you can read this in Malachi Chapter 4, He'll open for us the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that it won't fit in our garages.

Bill: [chuckles] Absolutely.

Pastor Ross: We have a study guide, Bill, on the subject of tithe, it's called In God We Trust and if you call our resource line and ask for that, we'll be happy to send it to you. The number is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide In God We Trust.

Pastor Doug: We have one other book that people that are wondering about this. We don't often mention this, Pastor Ross, because it's got a scary title. It's called Thieves in The Church. It's actually a great study but we sometimes hesitate to tell people, "Would you like to get the book Thieves in The Church?" It's a great study by Joe Crews on the subject of tithes and offering. He's playing on the passage in Malachi where it says, "Will a man rob God?" So you could also ask for that, anybody, Bill or anyone else that wants to know about what's a good bible study for New Testament Christians regarding tithe.

Pastor Ross: Again, that book's called Thieves in The Church and ask for it when you call our resource line. Our next caller is Jesse and he's calling from Michigan. Jesse, welcome to the program.

Jesse: Hi, thank you. I'm just going to say right off the bat, it says, 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought a good fight, I've finished the race. I have kept the faith." Now, for me, I've been struggling against the devil ever since I was pretty much born. I remember dreams I've had of very end of life when I was in hell. I've encountered him in the real world in more than one occasion. I tell people about this but I also tell them that I saw Jesus and then I saw the Virgin Mary and I keep pushing the faith. I keep pushing it, I keep learning from so much from the Scriptures. My question is how do I know, for me, when I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith?

Pastor Doug: That is a good question. Jesse, obviously, you've experienced the struggle. By the way, the bible promises that all that live godly will suffer persecution. So if we are trying to do God's will in a world that is going another direction, you'll always feel like you're swimming against the current.

Even Paul said, "It is through tribulation we enter the kingdom of God." There are trials but it's much better to be a Christian. Christians should have joy and peace. When Paul said he fought the good fight, he was actually on death row in a Roman jail waiting for execution. He knew he was going to be executed soon. He knew he has done his best to spread the word both in verbal form, in written form. He'd been doing everything. Paul had an incredible impact on the Gospel.

If you're faithful, Jesse, to do what God is calling you to do, to live the Christian life, to show the love and joy of Jesus each day, to trust Him, and to be a positive witness, then you are fighting the good fight. You sound like you're too young to say, "I have fought the good fight and it's over for me." I wouldn't resign yourself to that.

Pastor Ross: Jesus also speaks of this. He says, "But he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved." Matthew 24:13.

Pastor Doug: Good point.

Pastor Ross: Until Jesus says it's over, we want to keep enduring.

Pastor Doug: Jesse, you know what? We just want to have a prayer for you right now if that's okay. Just invite our listeners to join us. Father in heaven, we just pray right now for Jesse. It sounds like he's just been struggling and at the point of discouragement. I pray that You'll just give him some comfort and clarity and peace right now that You'll help him to persevere and to have that faith that will endure to the end. We ask in Christ's name, Amen."

Pastor Ross: Amen. Thank you for your call, Jesse. Our next caller is Shannon and she's calling from Michigan. Shannon, welcome to the program.

Shannon: Hello, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, Shannon. How can we help you tonight?

Shannon: I'm calling on behalf of my best friend. He's going through bad times right now and his family have broken apart. He's very knowledgeable of the Bible. He feels right now we're living in the last days in Revelations. He basically feels the Most High isn't going to bless him. It's a possibility the He won't. I feel he's losing his faith. I just don't feel the Most High know that we're going through these times. The days are getting shorter. I do believe we're living in the last days but I don't think that no one's ever going to get blessed towards the end, regardless if we are living in those days.

Pastor Doug: For the Christian, even during times of trial and persecution, we can have joy. You can find even Paul, I just referred to, while he was in prison, he wrote letters that were often filled with rejoicing. When Paul and Silas were in jail in Philippi, they were singing praises to God and God opened the jail and let them out. I would say to your friend to continue to hang on. Put your hand to the plow and don't look back. Trust the Lord and Jesus said, "In the world, you'll have temptation but be of good courage for I have overcome the world." Christ always is telling us.

When He rose from the dead, Shannon, Jesus spoke to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He said, "What kind of conversation is this you have with one another? Were you walking or sad?" They thought that their lives had ended when Jesus died on the cross and they'd never be happy again. Jesus told them, "Why are you sad?" The Gospel's still good news right up to the end. When Jesus comes, the Gospel is still good news. Christians are not on their way to a funeral. We're on our way to a feast.

If your friend is feeling that God has withdrawn His blessing because there's something wrong in their life, then he needs to return to the Lord and trust Him that God will hear his prayers again. I hope that helps a little bit Shannon. Your friend will enjoy that book we talked about, From Stress to Joy, that we're offering tonight for free.

Pastor Ross: The number to call for that is 1-800-835-6747. The book, again, is From Stress to Joy. Our next caller is Nathan calling from Sacramento. Nathan, welcome to the program.

Nathan: Hello. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Nathan, we just got a couple of minutes. So let's, got a quick question?

Nathan: I'll make it quick. It's a quick question but I don't know, your answer could be long. I can't figure out by reading Revelations if the Church, having it be us, is it going to be swooped up before any of the tribulation goes on or are we going to be around to have to deal with saying no, given the chips placed in our hands or in our foreheads?

Pastor Doug: I'll tell you what. The question really is, will the Church be here in the world and experience the tribulation or are they raptured out before the tribulation, if I understand?

Nathan: Correct.

Pastor Doug: The simple answer is, the Church does experience tribulation. First of all, we have a book and it's called Anything but Secret. In that book, it explains that when the rapture comes, it is not a secret, that all the world knows. Secondly, for 1900 years, Christians have understood that Jesus comes at the end, just like Pastor Ross just quoted Matthew 24, "He that endures to the end will be saved." What are they enduring?

Pastor Ross: In Acts Chapter 14 verse 22, you might want to write this verse down, it says, "Through much tribulation, we enter into the kingdom of God."

Pastor Doug: Yes. We're going into the kingdom through tribulation. Of course, the great tribulation is in Revelation Chapter 15 and 16 that talks about the wrath of God, the seven last plagues. That is the great tribulation. They are synonymous with the 10 plagues that fell on Egypt in the days of the Israelites before God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. Big question is, were the Israelites in Egypt when those 10 plagues fell? The answer is, "Yes, they were." God preserved them through that tribulation.

In the same way, the Church is in the world when the seven last plagues fall. God preserves us through that. God saved Noah through the flood. He saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the fiery furnace. He saved Joseph and Job through their trials. Christ is going to save the Church through that tribulation. He does not zap us out before it gets tough. He preserves us through it.

Pastor Ross: Let me give you one more passage of Scripture. Psalm 91 which is a psalm that really brings comfort to those who face tribulation. I think it also, Pastor Doug, refers in particular to the big tribulation, the great tribulation at the end of time and how God will protect, sustain these people through that. That's Psalm 91.

Pastor Doug: It says, "Neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling but with your eyes, you will see and behold the destruction of the wicked on your right and your left." It's happening around us but He preserves us. Friends, you can tell from that beautiful music that the program is winding up. Before we go away, we always want to encourage you to keep this program going.

One way you can do that is by going to the website and listening to the archives, watching the videos and the other material for your personal Bible study. It does change lives. Send a link of Amazing Facts onto your friends. It's amazingfacts.org. Of course, I trust you know, the only way this program keeps going is because people like you are impressed by the Spirit that keeps us on the air. Just go to amazingfacts.org. Be back next week.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question