Life-saving Blood

Date: 04/04/2010 
An Australian man who’s been donating his extremely rare blood for 56 years has saved the lives of countless babies. James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his RH negative blood that saves babies dying from Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

An Australian man who’s been donating his extremely rare blood for 56 years has saved the lives of countless babies. James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his RH negative blood that saves babies dying from Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia. The disorder causes an incompatibility between the blood of the mother and her unborn child.

James made a pledge to be a donor when 14 years old after undergoing major chest surgery in which he needed 13 liters of blood. “I was in the hospital for three months,” he said. “The blood I received saved my life. So I made a pledge to give blood when I turned 18.” Just after he started donating it, it was discovered that Harrison had a rare and life-saving antibody in his blood. At that time, thousands of babies in Australia were dying each year of Rhesus disease. Other newborns suffered permanent brain damage because of the condition. Mr. Harrison volunteered to help develop a healing vaccine. Since then, his blood has enabled mothers around the world to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracy, who had a healthy son. Thanks to her father’s blood.

Mr. Harrison has been giving blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old, and he’s now up to 984 donations. He’s expected to reach a thousand within a year. Even after his dear wife of 56 years passed away, Mr. Harrison was back in the hospital a week later, giving blood. It’s estimated his rare blood has helped saved up to 2.2 million babies so far.

Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live.”


Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to “Bible Answers Live” brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297.

Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Good evening, listening friends! And this is a very special weekend for Christians and Jews around the world because 1980 years ago, approximately, somebody was pouring out their blood that the world might have hope.

This is “Bible Answers Live,” and if you have any Bible-related questions, we’d encourage and invite you to give us a call! We have phone lines open right now. That toll-free number, one more time, is 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. If you pick up the phone and call right now with your Bible question, a very good chance that your question will be on tonight’s live broadcast. I said one more time, I’m going to do it one more time. 1-800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, friends and Pastor Doug. Before we get to the phone lines, let’s begin with prayer.

Dear Father, once again, we want to start this program and ask for Your presence to be with us. Be with us here in the studio. We pray in a special way that You be with our listeners, wherever they might be. And thank You, Father, for the great gift and sacrifice of Jesus that we’ll be talking about this evening. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you began by telling the story of one man’s blood who saved thousands— saved the lives of thousands. Of course, that’s a tremendous Bible theme, and you opened the program by talking about an individual who poured out his blood to save the lives of billions.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. And obviously, if people had even a superficial knowledge of the Bible, they understand that believers are saved by faith in the blood of the Lamb. Many have heard the song “Power in the Blood.” And I remember when I first came to Christianity— I didn’t come from a Christian background— to me it seemed a little strange that there’s so much talk about blood. But in the Bible, it tells us very clearly that the life is in the blood. And we know that today, every cell of our bodies is both nourished and cleansed by blood. And Jesus basically gave the human race a transfusion. We’ve all sinned; we’ve all got this deadly disease. And the only one who has the antidote or the antibodies that we need for cleansing from sin is Jesus. He came into this world and lived a perfect life, and then yet He died not for His sin. He said, “I will willingly lay down My life for the sins of the world” to give whosoever believes in that sacrifice and accepts Him into their hearts and lives an opportunity to have everlasting life— to be forgiven, a new life now, a better life now, an eternal life in the world to come. It’s very real, it’s very true, and it’s all made possible by the sacrifice of Christ— that incredible sacrifice and the blood of the Lamb.

We have a free offer if you don’t know about that provision He’s made. So you can take advantage of this.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book written by Pastor Joe Crews, entitled “The High Cost of the Cross,” dealing with Christ’s sacrifice— how we can make that personal and meaningful for us today. If you’d like to receive a free copy of this book, call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747; that number again 1-800-835-6747— our resource line. And you can ask for the book “The High Cost of the Cross,” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. And, once again, friends, if you’ve got a pen or pencil— if you write down very simply “”— That’s our website. You could even just type in Amazing Facts into Yahoo or Google or any search engine, and we’ll be right there at the top of the list. And there’s a lot of other resources for your personal Bible study. If you teach in any capacity— a Bible teacher of some sort, in a school, or on the weekend— then we’d encourage you to utilize the resources there. That’s what we’ve designed this material, to help bring souls to Christ and to help grow people in their relationship with the Lord.

And with that, we’re going to go to the phones for tonight and see what the Lord’s lined up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. First caller this evening is Anthony listening on WMCA from New York. Anthony, welcome to the program.

Anthony: Good evening, Jëan.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Anthony: God bless you. I want to ask you a question. In Matthew 12:39, it says, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But no one will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” So if Jesus was crucified on Friday, how does that count? You know what I’m saying?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Let me take a stab at trying to answer that for you. And before I forget, we have a free book, we’ll send you…

Anthony: Okay.

Pastor Doug: … and it’s called “The Sign of Jonah.” It completely covers this question. We wrote the book partly just to answer this common question.

The phrase “three days and three nights at the heart of the earth” is only found here in Matthew 12:38-39. You’ll also find reference to this sign of Jonah in Luke 11:29-30. He doesn’t ever mention the three days and three nights. The emphasis of Jesus’ point was not the three days and three nights. But it is in Matthew.

What does He mean? Well, you know, what throws people is the phrase “the heart of the earth.” Everybody automatically thinks “heart of the earth” means the tomb. Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights. That must be the “heart of the earth.” “He was buried deep in the heart of the earth.” That’s not what it means. The word “heart” there, as a matter of fact, it comes from the word “cardia” in Greek, which we recognize through like “cardiac.” And it means really the heart or the midst of the world.

Now, through the Bible, you can see that nowhere else is the word “heart of the earth” ever used to identify a grave or a tomb— nowhere else in the Bible. So we’ve got to let the Bible interpret itself. When we pray, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” what does it mean “in the grave”? It’s talking about “in the world.” And so, when did Jesus begin bearing the penalty of sin? Was it when the nails actually pierced His hands Friday afternoon or Friday morning, really? Or was it when He died on the cross and was placed in the tomb? Or did He start suffering for our sins Thursday night when the crowd— the mob arrested Him and began to beat Him?

And see, that’s why He said to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas betrayed Him, He said, “Now is the hour.” Three times in the Gospels, Christ said Thursday night, “Now is the hour. Now is the hour.” After the Last Supper, He then crossed over— as a matter of fact, He crossed over the blood coming from the Kidron Valley from the temple. He then went to the temple or into the garden. He prayed three times, “Not My will; Thy will be done.” He surrendered then into the Father’s will that He would now start bearing the sins of the world and be separated from the protection of the Father. Jesus was in the hands of the devil in the heart of the world, this lost world— the devil’s called the “prince of this world”— for three days and three nights; just like Jonah was in that sea monster, and he went wherever the whale or the big fish took him. Jesus was a victim of this mob, and He was the object of the fury of the devil for three days and three nights starting Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night; He rose Sunday morning.

And so people make a mistake, and it’s an easy mistake to make, of thinking “heart of the earth” means the tomb. So, if you can understand that, then the math starts to add up. Would you like a free copy of that book?

Anthony: Yeah, I would.

Pastor Doug: Alright, you just call the resource number. Ask for “The Sign of Jonah.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. And Anthony, ask for the book “The Sign of Jonah.” I also believe that that is available for reading at the Amazing Facts website as well.

Pastor Doug: Just read it online for free!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Hector, and he’s calling from Chicago, Illinois. Hector, welcome to the program!

Hector: Hi! How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well! How about you?

Hector: I’m great.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight?

Hector: God bless you both for your ministry and everything you guys do.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Hector: I’ve got hopefully a quick question here. It’s in regards to Colossians 2 and 14, “Blotting out the handwritings of ordinance that was against us.” And I’ve watched the previous program of you, Pastor Batchelor, and I just can’t recall where it was. But you gave some Scriptures in regards to those ordinances that were against us, and you basically mentioned that the Ten Commandments were kept in the Holiest of Holies, and the other handwritings of Moses were kept outside of the Holiest of Holies as a witness against us. It’s the word…

Pastor Doug: Yes. That’s in Deuteronomy 31:26 and…

Hector: Deuteronomy…

Pastor Doug: Deuteronomy 31:26. I’ll read it to you. God told Moses, “Take this Book of the Law…”— this is the book. “And put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant.”— There was a pocket on the outside of the Ark. The Ten Commandments were inside, and nowhere does it ever say that the Book of Ordinances would be on the inside. It was put on the, you know, pocket on the outside, “that it may be therefore a witness against thee.” And that’s exactly what Paul was referring to, where he says, “It was against us.” It’s talking about the Book of Ordinances, the Levitical Laws— the Ceremonial Laws, in particular.

And then you also have… there’s a distinction made in the Bible regarding the Ten Commandments and the Book of the Law. You can look in 2 Chronicles 33:8— this is another verse that helps us understand Colossians 2— 2 Chronicles 33:8. It said, “And take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.” So you’ve got handwriting of Moses here, whereas the Ten Commandments— Deuteronomy 4:13 and 14 says He wrote those with His finger. He wrote them on two tables of stone. But you read on in verse 14— Deuteronomy 4:14— “And the Lord God commanded me at that time,” Moses said, “to give you statutes and judgments.” So you got the Ten Commandments and there’s also the Book of the Law. They’re to completely separate and distinct cortified laws.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me also give you another verse, Ephesians 2:15, speaking of the death of Jesus— “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances for to make in Himself of the twain one new man.” So there we have, in the death of Christ, the abolishment of the ordinances, specifically mentioned in Ephesians 2:15.

Pastor Doug: So, hopefully that helps a little bit, Hector. And we do have a book that I think will help, and it’s called “Does God’s Grace Blot Out His Law?” And if you’d like, we’ll send you a free copy of that. As a matter of fact, I’m right now having an epiphany— I don’t know if it’s a hallucination or if it’s real— that we have a book that specifically deals with Colossians chapter 2. Maybe that’s it— the “Feast Days and Sabbaths,” I think, talks about that. There you go. It’s “Feast Days and Sabbaths.” It talks about that verse in more detail.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, the number to call is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book “Feast Days and Sabbath,” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Our next caller is Judy, and she’s calling from New York. Judy, welcome to the program!

Judy: Hello. I wanted to know, what does the Bible have to say about blood transfusion?

Pastor Doug: Well, I expect you might be asking that question because there’s some Christian groups that believe that blood transfusion falls into the same category where the Bible commands that we are not to eat blood. And so, they believe that in receiving a transfusion, it’s tantamount to eating blood, and so it’s forbidden.

I’d respectfully disagree. I think that, of course, when you eat anything by any definition, you take it into your mouth. Now, if you look up what, you know, what “eating” is, it’s not having something given to you intravenously. You ask anyone at the hospital if they want to take their food through their veins, or do they want to eat it, they’ll know immediately there is a distinction.

So, if a person has, you know, there… as we said in our opening Amazing Fact, if they’re dying because they have some infection in the blood or they don’t have sufficient blood, and they get a transfusion of the same blood type, that’s going to save their life. It’s obviously better for them than letting them die for lack of a transfusion.

And so, you know, I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat blood. I believe that’s still a… by the way, listening friends, New and Old Testament, it says in Acts 15— I think it’s verse 20— that even New Testament Christians are not to eat blood. This is not an Old Testament law. Some people try to make it out to be an Old Testament law. But it was verily, very clearly also given to New Testament Christians. And… but eating blood is different from a transfusion. One is for medical purpose to sustain life, the other is just for food for, you know, the flavor or whatever. So…

Judy: Is…

Pastor Doug: Go ahead.

Judy: Is there any Scripture that says we should abstain from blood?

Pastor Doug: Yes, and I know Pastor Ross is looking up one of them right now. Of course, it tells us in the Book of Genesis— going back even before there was a Jew— that the life in which is the blood is in that, you know, you shall not eat it. And it’s also part of the Levitical Law that it’s a statute that “You shall not eat blood in all your generations,” I think. Go ahead…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, let me give you the verse. It’s Leviticus 3:17, where it says, “You shall not eat fat nor blood.” Of course, that’s repeated in the New Testament as well.

Pastor Doug: And is that Acts 15:20 or is it Acts 20:15? Yeah, here, no, it’s actually Acts 15:20, “That we write unto them that they abstain from pollutions of idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood.” This is “Write to the Gentiles.” So anyone who says, “Oh, so it’s a ceremonial law…” you know, people go to the store and they buy a piece of beef that sloshing around there in the Styrofoam container and it’s blood [laughing]. And you know, that’s certainly not culture.

So, hopefully that helps a little, Judy. And by the way, we do have a study guide we’ll send you on “God’s Free Health Plan,” where it talks about these verses; “God’s Free Health Plan.” Just call the number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, “God’s Free Health Plan,” and we’ll be happy to send that out.

Let’s see, our next caller is Roger, and he’s calling from New York, listening on the Internet. Roger, welcome to the program!

Roger: Pastor Doug, good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening! And your question?

Roger: Your ministry is a blessing to me, and I’ve learned a lot. My question is on blasphemy. Can you explain to me blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and why it is an unforgiven sin when the Lord says that all sins are forgiven? I’m kind of confused on this.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, some people, when they read that verse there in Matthew, and Pastor Ross is going to call up these two or three verses in the Gospels that talk about this. They think why, if God the Father should pray— I mean, if Jesus is just under the authority of the Father, which the Bible seems to teach, and then the Holy Spirit is usually mentioned in the third place— Father, Son, Holy Spirit, “Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”— why would it be a greater sin to blaspheme the Holy Spirit than the Father and the Son?

Really, what the Lord is saying there is the Holy Spirit is the Person of the Godhead that speaks to us and brings us conviction that leads us to turn and repent. And if we reject the message of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, there’s no other way God can reach us. So to blas…

Roger: Doesn’t He…

Pastor Doug: Go ahead.

Roger: Doesn’t He state that this is the only sin that is unforgiven?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is grieving away the Holy Spirit by refusing to submit to or listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. And so He can’t forgive it because it’s the only sin for which we will not repent.

An example, you know, it’s always good to look at the stories in the Bible to understand the theology. An example of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is Judas. I mean, after three and a half years of walking with Jesus and seeing the Son of God and the love of God firsthand and having the Holy Spirit strive with his heart, Judas continues to resist it because of his covetousness, and he finally kills himself because he grieves away the Spirit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you’re referring to there is Mark 3:29, where it speaks about speaking blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Roger: Ah, I understand.

Pastor Doug: So, it’s kind of like…

Roger: I think I understand.

Pastor Doug: …a person— let’s put it this way, the most dangerous thing you can do is ignore the smoke detector when there’s a fire…

Roger: Right.

Pastor Doug: …because it’s the loudest thing and if you can— if a person just persists and not listen in to the alarm clock that tells him to wake up, you can get to the point where you sleep right through the alarm. And there’s nothing more God can do. If we, you know, if you get this engine light that says, “You need oil,” and you just keep on driving, eventually, you’re going to burn up your engine.

Roger: I understand.

Pastor Doug: And so, it’s the most dangerous sin because it’s a sin that is fatal if we persist in it.

Now, everybody listening to me, at some time or other, has resisted the Holy Spirit. Now, we all kind of argue with God’s Spirit speaking to us. It’s you know, our conscience often. And… but to grieve away the Holy Spirit or blaspheme the Holy Spirit is the ultimate rejection that usually takes place over a period of time.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, another thought on that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the Bible definition for blasphemy is “putting oneself in place of God.” That’s one of the definitions. And the Holy Spirit is given to convict us of what is right and wrong. But when somebody chooses to reject the promptings of the Holy Spirit and they choose for themselves for what they think is right and what they think is wrong, they, in essence, sort of take the place, or try to take the place of the Holy Spirit. They’re grieving away the Holy Spirit. That’s blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: You know, we do have a book. We’d be happy to send you a free copy, and, Roger, it’s called, “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.” And I believe that deals specifically with the unpardonable sin or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. And ask for the book dealing with the unpardonable sin or blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “Hidden Eyes, Closed Ears.”

Our next caller is Elvin listening from The Bronx, New York, listening on WMCA. Elvin, welcome to the program!

Elvin: Good evening, gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Elvin: I just have one question. A friend of mine asked from work this afternoon, what is the testimony of Jesus Christ? And he wanted me to give him a verse. I’m like, he took me by surprise. Is there a verse that would say, “This is the testimony of Jesus Christ” somewhere in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: Yes. If you look in Revelation chapter 19— I believe it’s verse 10— it says here that John fell at the feet of the angel to worship him. This is through John’s vision. And the angel says, “See that you do not do this, for I am of your fellow servant and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus…”

Elvin: Yeah, that’s it. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: “Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” So there He tells you.

Elvin: Excellent. Excellent. How beautiful.

Pastor Doug: By the way, if you look in Isaiah 8. Is it 8:12 where it says “Bind up the testimony; seal the law among My disciples.” You often see the law and the testimony mentioned together. It’s talking about the commandments of God and the Law of the Prophets, in other words. There’s testimony of the prophets Jesus spoke through…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Isaiah chapter 8:16.

Pastor Doug: 16. There you go. Isaiah 8:16 and Isaiah 8:20, also, I believe.

Elvin: Excellent. Excellent. That’s it.

Pastor Doug: Alright, Elvin. Glad to…

Elvin: You answered my question. Thank you very much!

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Albert and he’s listening as well from Bronx, New York on WMCA. Albert, welcome to the program!

Albert: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Albert, you’re on the air. Welcome!

Albert: Okay, yeah. I’m calling because… you hear me?

Pastor Doug: Yes, loud and clear.

Albert: Okay, yes. Okay. I’m calling because I’m interested… I’m part Jewish. And so, the thing is, I’m wondering about when the Millennium will start. Because the thing is, according to Jewish— what we know from the Bible— Jewish history started in the autumn. The calendar, the Jewish calendar, starts in the autumn. So the thing is there’s the sacred calendar and then there’s the secular calendar. The secular calendar by which Adam was created during in the secular calendar, he was created in the autumn. And that will start on Tishrei the first. So I’m wondering, does the Millennium start on Tishrei the first? Because the thing is we don’t know the day or the hour for the Great Tribulation or Armageddon, and…

Pastor Doug: Or the Second Coming…

Albert: …or the Second, right. So we don’t know. But the thing is the Millennium should start in the autumn, Tishrei the first. And we know that….

Pastor Doug: Alright, well… pardon. Let me jump in here because we got a four-minute to listen to a quick question and we’re going to run out of time. So you’re really asking about the Jewish calendar— you got this sacred calendar and the civil calendar— and how does that line up with our time now?

Albert: Yes. And so the thing is I believe that the Millennium will start on Tishrei the first.

Pastor Doug: Alright, let me just address that real quick. There is really no evidence for when Adam was created what time of year. There is evidence for when the Jewish calendar begins. The Jewish calendar begins in Exodus 12— was just reading that with our congregation this weekend— when the Passover was celebrated. Moses said, “This will be for you, the beginning of months.” And so the beginning of the Jewish— really, who were born as a nation when they came out of Israel— started at this time of year. As a matter of fact, within a day or two of this broadcast, for Israel it is the time of year. And this was when Christ died, too.

The civil calendar was something that was developed during the time of the kings. And so, when they tried and tracked all the way back to what time of year was, or what month, was Adam created, we don’t know how long Adam and Eve have lived in the garden before sin. It may have been a few months, it may have been a few weeks; it wasn’t probably very long because they hadn’t had any children yet. But I wouldn’t even venture to guess how you can line up the Jewish— the rabbinical— calculations with our calendar, because frankly, I think they’re off. All you’ve got to do is measure time from Adam— it was about 4004 B.C.; 2000 years to Abraham— about 2004 B.C.; you got the Age of the Patriarchs— 2000 years from Abraham to Jesus who was born about 4 B.C. that reaches to, of course, 2000 years roughly to where we are now.

And right now, we are running on hopeful… we’re running in fumes. That’s why there’s appears to be a delay. The Bible says before the bridegroom comes, it looks like He’s delayed. And Jesus said, “If that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My Lord delays His coming.’” We’re living right now in that time of apparent delay, just before the Lord returns. Jesus foretold that would happen. He said, when Moses delayed coming down the mountain, then the people began to lose faith, and many of them compromised.

And so, right now, as a matter of fact, that’s when Saul basically got in trouble. When it seemed like Samuel was late, he got tired of waiting; he then compromised his faith and got into trouble. And so, now is the time for us not to lose faith. We’re right now at the end of 6000 years roughly from the Creation of Adam, and then the Bible tells us that we’re going to live and reign with Christ for like a 1000-year Sabbath; and so we know that right now we’re at the turning point in that page of Biblical history.

We’re near the end, friends. Hold fast to your confidence. “Though the vision seemed to tarry, it will not tarry; it will surely come.” Where’s that? Habakkuk chapter 2, it tells us that.

Anyway, I didn’t take another question there, because I knew that we were coming up on a break. That’s all that music means, friends. There’s still time to call in with your Bible questions, and we’ve got lines open. So if you’d like to call in with a question for the next half, the number once again— it’s not changed— 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. And if you’ve never been there, you really need to take a look at the new Amazing Facts website. It’s A lot of great information there— video, audio, and everything under the sun. We’ll be back after these important announcements.


Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible-related question, you can all us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard time and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7292. Now, please join us as we look to God’s word for more Bible answers live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: That was just enough time to run and get a drink of water. Welcome back, friends! If you’ve joined us along the way, this is “Bible Answers Live,” and it’s a live, international, interactive Bible study. We’re on, I don’t know, hundreds of stations around the country…

Pastor Jëan Ross: 300 plus…

Pastor Doug: …300 plus, and around the world on the Internet. And if you’ve got your question, call in 800-GOD-SAYS; 800-463-7297.

Quick announcement before we go back to the phones, Pastor Ross. Amazing Facts is very excited to tell people about something exciting that has just happened. We are now on Galaxy 19, which is— it’s a satellite that covers all of North America, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean with a 24-hour TV station, where we are going to be broadcasting the Amazing Facts of God’s Word 24 hours a day. And so friends, if you’ve got, if you’re getting G19 right now, you just got to press the re-scan buttons, and it will pick up the new station. We’re on the air now! And if you go to the Amazing Facts website, you’ll find out more about that announcement. We’re right up there in the sky with our friends at 3ABN and HOPE Channel, and Loma Linda, and other Christian broadcasters. And we just want you to spread the good word! So tell them about Amazing Facts Television.

Are you ready to go back to the phones now?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, let’s go to our next caller! Our next caller is Robert, and he is listening from Oklahoma. Robert, welcome to the program!

Robert: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Robert! How can we help you?

Robert: Simple question, it’s not really black and white. I’m wondering what the ethicalness of eating at a gambling casino buffet.

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a good question.

Robert: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you’re right. And we actually deal with that at our office, in that, probably one of the biggest Indian casinos in North America is just about a stone’s throw [laughing] from the Amazing Facts office. Now, what everyone know, it wasn’t there when we put our office in 15 years ago. They came in later. We thought about putting a sign out front to witness as everybody drives to and from the casino.

But, you know, when you’ve got options, the Bible tells us to avoid the appearance of evil. I forget what verse that is, Pastor Ross— “Avoiding the appearance of evil.” But I’ve also driven across Nevada where you get off the plane in Nevada and there are slot machines in the airport. They’re everywhere! And so, you know, if you’ve got the options of trying to avoid the appearance of evil, I certainly would, and I would give my business to non-gambling establishments. You don’t want to subsidize the gambling industry. But if you’re in Nevada, it’s hard to avoid because every hotel has at least slot machines in it. So you just… you pray and you be as good a witness that you can.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, the verse you’re talking about, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 just simply says, “Abstain from the appearance of evil.”

Pastor Doug: And so, you might be just going in there for your chef’s salad, but when people see you walk into the casino, [laughing] they don’t know what you’re going in for, and so you might say, “No, I don’t want to…” I tell my kids every now and then there might be the rare video or DVD that is worthy of watching. 99% of what comes out of Hollywood is not worth watching. And the kids say, “Dad, can we get this and look at it,” and I’ll say, “You know, I don’t even like walking in there.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] because I always feel kind of see the… when you’re in a video store, just look at the titles and you understand that. But that’s me. So, you know, I think this is one of those things where people need to sometimes just pray that the Holy Spirit will give them peace about what they’re doing. And do your best to be a good witness.

Robert: Alright. I just wanted to… I also shop at Walmart, and they’re open on Saturdays, which is to me a day of worship.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, you know, that’s one of those places where it’s hard to avoid. Any market forget about the just-for-Sabbath-keeping Christians. Virtually, any major supermarket is going to also sell tobacco and alcohol, and Christians may not support those things. But when you put your money in a bank, they generally invest that money in various parts of the stock market and not all of those things they invest in would a Christian agree with. So you can go crazy if you take that too far. You know what I’m saying?

Robert: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So, that’s what I’m saying. You want to be a good witness but, you know, you can’t be responsible for what everybody does just for what you do.

Robert: Thank you very much, Mr. Batchelor!

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks, Robert. Good question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Rock listening from Pennsylvania. Rock, welcome to the program!

Rock: Hi. It’s wonderful talking to both of you. And I do have a question regarding chapter 5, in the Book of Matthew, chapter 5:22.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Rock: And I never quite understood at the end of it where apparently it said, “Be careful how you treat your brother and which you call him,” and at the end, “if you call him ‘Thou fool,’ you shall be in danger of hellfire.’” So, why is that so severe if you call someone a fool, you know, earlier it’s be careful of the other names which has some consequence that if you call someone “fool”?

Pastor Doug: Right.

Rock: Why is it such a dire punishment?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, the word there for “fool” is really it’s calling someone… for the word “fool” does not translate very well, because Jesus, later places, calls the disciples “fools.” In Luke 24, He says, “O fools and slow of heart to believe.” So why would Jesus say, “Don’t call someone a fool or you’re in danger of hellfire,” and then Jesus uses that word. In the English translation it comes out that way. But I think it’s a stronger word that means more like “worthless.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, and even a little broader than that. In the first reference where it refers to “Raca” as He’s given here in Matthew, it’s referring more to… an English word maybe for that would be “foolish.” But where it says, “Thou fool” in the original Greek, it’s got more of an idea of judging the person’s motives. In other words, you don’t know the motives, you don’t know the heart. You can see by the actions of what a person doing is wrong, but only God knows the heart. Only He can judge the motives.

Pastor Doug: Right. And I think the word in the original is that you’re telling someone they’re worthless. And Jesus values every soul. So…

Rock: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: That’s a little stronger term than, you know, we say “fool.” We think that, you know, if the kids are goofing off, we call them— they’re acting foolish. And so, we use the word a little differently.

Rock: Alright. I appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps a little bit. Good question, Rock.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Demetrius calling from New Jersey. Demetrius, welcome to the phone… to the program!

Demetrius: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi. How can we help you? Get real close to your phone. You sound like you’re echoing.

Demetrius: Okay. Hold on a second. I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: Ah, he was echoing. Speaker phone.

Demetrius: How about now?

Pastor Doug: Well, I can hear you. Go ahead.

Demetrius: Okay. My question is about Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel, God sent him away, and it said that Cain was afraid that someone’s going to kill him. I was wondering if that someone was… the theory of… God made Adam and Eve along with others. The only reason why we hear the story of Adam and Eve is because they’re directing us to Jesus. Is it possible that God made others after— right after Adam and Eve?

Pastor Doug: You know, there’s no record in the Bible of that, and I believe it’s very simple that Cain... of course, they were very intelligent back then. They were perfect; they just come from the hands of God. They lived longer, their minds were very sharp, they were able to anticipate, they knew they were created with perfect plumbing and reproductive ability, and they also could do the math in their minds and realize that exponentially, their population was going to grow very quickly. And Cain realized he was going to be surrounded with the posterity of not only Adam and Eve but his brothers and sisters. Because you read on in Genesis chapter 5, it says Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters besides Cain and Abel and Seth.

Demetrius: Yes, okay.

Pastor Doug: And so, Cain was looking ahead a few years. When you live 900 years, I mean, you could get a lot of people coming in we’ve got in America in 200 years.

Demetrius: Oh, he’s projecting that.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so Cain is saying, “All men that will see me will want to slay me.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, just to address that point, that was the other life or other human beings created other than Adam and Eve. The word “Eve,” you read about it in…

Pastor Doug: Mother of all…

Pastor Jëan Ross: …Genesis 3:20, means the “mother of all living.”

Pastor Doug: That’s a good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, Adam and Eve are the parents of all human beings.

Demetrius: Okay.

Pastor Doug: They’re our first parents. That’s right. Everybody traces back to them.

Demetrius: Great.

Pastor Doug: That means that we’re brothers, Demetrius.

Demetrius: Yeah, we are [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, God bless you. Have a good night.

Demetrius: You, too. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Darren, and he’s calling from Arkansas. Darren, welcome to the program!

Darren: Hey, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Very well. How can we help you?

Darren: Well, I’ve never listened to this program before. I just happened to flip through the radio dial, and I heard you say something about being a vegetarian, and the Bible talks against consuming blood. And I was wondering if that meant that the Bible teaches that we’re not supposed to eat meat?

Pastor Doug: There’s going to be an awful lot of people in heaven that eat meat. So let me establish that right away. But then I also want to say in my next breath that that is not God’s original plan.

I think everyone knows that— if you read the Bible— in the Garden of Eden, when the creatures were created and Adam was naming them, he wasn’t naming them, you know, Big Mac or McNuggets or anything like that [laughing]. They weren’t his food; they were his friends. And…

Darren: Right.

Pastor Doug: So in the Bible— and then, of course, in heaven— it says that the lion will eat straw like the ox, the wolf and the lamb will play together, the wolf will not be eating the lamb; they’re playing together. So everything ultimately is going to be vegetarian again and not just people but the animals in heaven.

Right now, we’re living in a sinful world where God has made a provision that if you’re going to eat meat, He says in the Bible that you should not eat certain meats. There are certain meats that are very unhealthy, and He specifies those in Leviticus, and there even mentioned what kind of in a second hand way in Acts chapter 10. But yeah, so you know, most modern sciences supporting today…

Oh let me just tell you, Darren, since you’re asking fresh. I used to have my own meat business years ago and I’m now have been a vegetarian for thirty years because of what I learned and don’t regret it one bit, don’t miss it one bit. I feel a lot better. There’s a lot less disease and problems and heart disease and cancer among vegetarians.

And I think it was National Geographic just did a study— oh it’s been about a year ago— they did a magazine about the longest living people in the world, and they named three groups. One group was the people in Okinawa, Japan. They ate a lot of fish, very little meat other than that. Then there’s the people in Sardinia. And the third group of people are Seventh-Day Adventists, and they did the study down in the Loma Linda area where there’s a concentration of Seventh-Day Adventists. And one prominent thing was many of them were vegetarians— not all. And they just had longer lifespans.

So the Bible supports it, and science supports it. And I think there’s good benefits in the vegetarian lifestyle.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a study guide dealing with the subject of what the Bible says about health. It’s called, “God’s Free Health Plan.” And, Darren, we’ll be happy to send that to you if you call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747. And ask for the Amazing Facts study guide on health called “God’s Free Health Plan.”

Pastor Doug: You know, we have another book that deals very specifically with diet. It’s got a funny cover, too, so you’ve got to order just for the cover. It’s called “Death in the Kitchen” [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: “Death in the Kitchen.” And it goes in a little deeper into the diet things that you’re asking about, Darren, on what the Bible says.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book as well, “Death in the Kitchen.” And we’re going to go to our next caller…

Pastor Doug: Just don’t give that to your spouse [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing] our next caller is Marcia, and she is calling from Dearborn, Michigan. Marcia, welcome to the program!

Marcia: Yeah. Hi, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross! How are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug: Good! Hi, Marcia. How are you doing?

Marcia: I’m doing fine. Happy Easter if you celebrate Easter. And let’s get down to business.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Marcia: About the Old Testament Jews…

Pastor Doug: Did they believe in the devil?

Marcia: Did the Old Testament Jews believe in the devil?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but they…

Marcia: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes! Can you hear us?

Marcia: Yeah, my phone is acting up…

Pastor Doug: Okay. Well we’re going to just bring down your volume for a second. Yes, the Old Testament Jews did believe in the devil. You can find, for instance, in the Book of Job— and Job is probably one of the oldest books in the Bible; as a matter of fact, many scholars believe Job was written by Moses while he was in Median before he had written, or shortly after he had written Genesis sometime in that time frame. And the Book of Job talks about a day when the devil came to appear before the Lord. He calls him Satan, the adversary.

And so the names you’re going to find in the New Testament are different, because, of course, the New Testament was written in Greek. And so, you’ll find more reference to demons and to unclean spirits and to the word “devil” in the New Testament, where he’s called the adversary or Satan in the Old Testament. Then you also have the story where it says Satan tempted David in Israel, mentions his name specifically. Satan, in the Book of Zechariah 14, stands before the high priest. Wait, that’s not Zechariah 14. What is that? When he accuses Joshua the high priest. Is it Zechariah 4? And the devil is accusing him, and so… Pastor Ross is nodding. Zechariah 4.

So yeah, there’s several references to the devil. Of course, the serpent became the universal symbol for the devil; and you get Revelations chapter 12, it calls the devil “that old serpent.” And so the serpent’s right there in the Garden of Eden, and he manifested himself through possessing the serpent at the beginning, and that mascot sort of stuck to the devil from that time until the present.

Thanks for your question, Marcia! And we do have a book— you may already know all about our books. But we’ve got that book, “Did God Create the Devil?” If anyone wants to know how a loving God could make a devil or did a loving God make a Devil. Ask for that free study guide, “Did God Create the Devil?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747, and the book “Did God Create the Devil?”

And we go to the next caller. We have Anne that is calling from New York City, listening on WMCA. Anne, welcome to the program!

Anne: Oh, God bless you! Thank you for your program! Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you!

Anne: One thing I understand is this, in all, you’re getting a good understanding. You mentioned Habakkuk 2:3?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Anne: It says that “When it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry.”

Pastor Doug: Right.

Anne: I’ve been bypassing that for a while, I’m thinking well, I don’t understand exactly what it meant. But you have mentioned it over the air, so I was just wondering could you really clarify that for me…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Anne: …so I could get a clearer understanding of that.

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll do my best.

Anne: Okay.

Pastor Doug: This is Habakkuk— it’s a hard book to say— Habakkuk 2:3. And it says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time…” That means for a specific time; there’s a set time for this vision. “But at the end, it will speak, it will not lie…” In other words, the Word of God never fails; it does speak, it does fulfill itself. “Though it tarry…” that means even though it appears to be delayed, “wait for it because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

You know, sometimes, you think a person is late, and then when they get there and you check your watch, you say, “Oh, I thought you’re late, but actually you were on time.” And when it comes to the end of time, I think some people have jumped the gun that God is going to come right on time. And, as a matter of fact, Jesus said, “Except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved.” And so, you know, the Lord’s going to come to rescue us before we basically destroy ourselves.

And so, Habakkuk is telling us that these visions— and I don’t think it just refers to the Second Coming, it’s also talking about the visions in Daniel chapter 8 and 9 that have a time for the coming of the Messiah…

Anne: Oh he’s talking about the visions of Daniel…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the First Coming of the Messiah. There was a specific…

Anne: Okay.

Pastor Doug: …time that was given, and people were wondering, why had the Messiah not appeared? I mean, you know, the Wise Men, when they came looking for the King, there they said, “Where is He?” And everyone was in expectation thinking that the Messiah was late. What was taking so long? The Romans have been oppressing them for so long, and the vision seemed to tarry. But He did come, and He came right on time.

Jesus is always right, and He’s always on time. So He’s always on time.

Anne: Amen! I’m sorry, you said that was Daniel chapter…?

Pastor Doug: Daniel… Well, you have to read… there’s time prophecies in Daniel chapter 8 and Daniel chapter 9. You start with verse 25, give, say, a long time prophecy. The best time prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus is Daniel chapter 9.

And we do have that lesson talking about the prophecies in Daniel chapter 9 that deals with— God sets a date for the judgment. And we’ll be happy to send that to you as well, Anne, if you just call in and ask for it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I believe that study guide is entitled “Right on Time.”

Pastor Doug: “Right on Time.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Giving that same theme. The number is 1-800-835-6747. And you can ask for the book, “Right on Time,” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Our next caller is Mary, and she is calling from Michigan— Shelby, Michigan. Mary, welcome to the program!

Mary: Thank you. And thank you for your program! God bless both of you, Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Mary: My question… You’re welcome. My question is where in the Bible does it say suicide is a sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, you could probably start with Exodus 20, where it says “Thou shall not kill.” And the word there really is “Thou shall not murder.” And suicide is basically self-murder.

Mary: Okay. Is that a forgivable sin? Oh, I guess I shouldn’t ask another…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, that’s a logical next question. We’ll make that part of the first question. How’s that sound? [Laughing]

Mary: Okay, good. Thank you. [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: In most cases, and I… you know, you never want to put yourself up to judge what’s going on in a person’s heart. Man looks on the outside; we look on the external circumstances. God looks on the heart; He knows what all the circumstances are.

In most cases, though, it would not be a very positive indicator if the last act of a person’s life was a state of hopelessness or faithlessness where they take their own lives.

Pastor Doug: But I’ve got to stop short of saying that God can’t save anybody through those apparent circumstances.

I know, for instance, one— a young lady that, she took pills to kill herself. And then before the pills took full effect, she called and told 911 what she had done, and said, you know, she didn’t want to die. And they got to her and they got her to the hospital, but you know, they weren’t able to reverse the results, and she died. And it was listed on her death certificate as a suicide. Who knows what went on in her mind, her heart between the time that she took the pills and then she regretted it?

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: So she’s classified as a suicide, but she may be forgiven and saved. You don’t know if she repented or what she was thinking.

And, you know, Samson— some would argue that he was as suicide because the last act— he’s basically the one who brought down the house on himself. And he said, “Let me die with the Philistines,” but yet he’s listed among the saved in Hebrews chapter 11 because the last… I mean, where does he get the strength to push down the house? It’s the Holy Spirit that comes upon him! So how could…

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: …the last act of his life be filled with the Holy Spirit? And then some argue, “Well, but Samson was about to be executed and he basically knew he was going to be killed, and so he died with taking down the enemies of God’s people.”

Sort of like what Jesus did. Jesus said, “No man takes My life; I lay it down.” Christ did not kill Himself, but He offered Himself as a substitute. That’s a little different.

So, if I jump in front of a car to save a baby, if I ran onto the street to throw a baby off the railroad tracks or off out of a car, I’m making a decision that I know is going to kill me to save others. Is that a suicide? Not technically. It’s a sacrifice.

Mary: Right. Right.

Pastor Doug: So I don’t want to complicate…

Mary: You don’t know what people are thinking.

Pastor Doug: Exactly. Yeah, I didn’t want to over-complicate that, but it is a complicated subject.

Mary: Okay. Well, thank you very much, Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Mary. Appreciate your question. And we’d offer you a book on the subject, but we don’t specifically have one.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Wayne calling from California. Wayne, welcome to the program!

Wayne: Hello, Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Wayne: I have a question for you. I’m curious about what the Bible says. In our church, they put a cross upon the platform with the Pastor, and I’m just curious what the Bible says about emblems and the church?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, that is a good question. Just because there is a big emphasis on the logo or the sign or symbol of the cross. Paul talks a great deal about the cross and the offense of the cross. None of the Bible writers really speak of the cross as something that they would wear. Jesus talked about “bearing” the cross, not “wearing” the cross, or the insignia of the cross. The Early Christians really, they used the fish, that’s why you’ll often see that reproduced on…

Wayne: Right.

Pastor Doug: …people’s cars or bumper stickers or something. But because they were called to be “Fishers of Men.” And so that was an insignia. They looked upon the cross as an implement of torture.

But in our society today, different symbols take on different meaning, and it’s really like a language. In our society today, the cross has sort of become the universal logo for Christianity. If you go to a cemetery, you might see the symbol of the Jewish star, and that quickly tells you well, their religion was Jewish. Or you might see a cross on a tomb stone, and that means they’re Christians. And, you know, I don’t take offense at that. There might be some who do, because you can find crosses in ancient history that had nothing to do with Christianity.

You can find a swastika. You go to India and the swastika is a very old symbol you find in many cultures of the world. Well, Adolf Hitler gave it a new meaning, and so today it’s considered a great offense and you can get thrown in jail for a hate crime if you take that ancient Greek or Indian symbol and you put it on someone’s door. They’ll haul you off to jail.

Wayne: [laughing] Sure.

Pastor Doug: So the symbols take on meanings; they kind of morph with the culture. And in our world today, the cross is pretty much a sign. I don’t think I’d want to put one in the front of my church, but, you know, just because it can be a distraction for some people. But I don’t want to condemn anybody who does.

Wayne: Okay. That’s what I wanted. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks a lot, Wayne.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Andy, and he’s calling from Boston, Massachusetts. Andy, welcome to the program!

Andy: Hi! How are you, Pastors? Ready to talk to you.

Pastor Doug: Likewise. We’ve got about two minutes, Andy, so…

Andy: Alright.

Pastor Doug: …we want to rush you but I don’t want to cut you off, either.

Andy: Okay, very good. Well, my question is on Revelation 14:7, where it says, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come.” Now, I recently heard something I never heard before, meaning that the hour of God’s character means that His judgment has come. He’s being judged, not us. So I just want to clarify that because I’ve been getting mixed responses from different people, so I guess this is really an important subject, and…

Pastor Doug: Well, in Revelation— in the context of Revelation 14— if you read later on in verse 14, it says, “I looked and behold, a white cloud, and one sat on the cloud like the Son of Man…”

Andy: Yup.

Pastor Doug: …there it’s telling about Jesus’ Coming. Three very prominent messages go to the world immediately prior to Christ’s coming. One of those messages is God’s people should fear the Lord because we are living in the hour of judgment. The end of the world has come. Some aspect of judgment takes place before Jesus comes, because I think everyone knows when He does come. He says, “Behold, I come; My reward is with Me.” So if people are being rewarded with either glorified bodies and eternal life when He does come, or destruction, some judgment happens before He comes. Right?

Andy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So, we’re living in that time of judgment now. Now, I understand when people say, to some extent, “God is being judged.” Well, there is a time during the Millennium where we will investigate the judgments of God, but here in Revelation 14, it’s really speaking about a judgment that happens to God’s people. Where is it in Peter, Jëan, that says “Judgment must begin in the House of God”? And if it begins with us, what will be the end of them that obey not the Gospel?

Andy: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And he’s… Peter is quoting Ezekiel 9, where there’s this judgment that begins in the House of God, and the people of God are being judged, and those that don’t have the seal of God are destroyed.

Pastor Jëan Ross: 1 Peter 4:17.

Pastor Doug: 1 Peter 4:17.

Andy: Okay. Very good.

Pastor Doug: So, and of course, Mary was in the temple there, and they were about to throw rocks at her— that was a judgment in the House of God, and so you’ve got several examples of that.

Oh, I wish I had more time, friends. If we didn’t get to your question tonight, you folks have a blessed weekend. And give us another chance, God-willing, we’ll be back next week with more Bible answers.

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