Thinking Makes it So

Thinking Makes it So

Date: 01/20/2019 
Discouragement and disheartenment are always just around the corner, but have you considered what this means to God ? What does it mean to tempt God, as it says in Luke 4 or in Exodus 17 ? Find out in this installment of Bible Answers Live as Pastor Ross searches through the Bible to understand what it means to trust and know the God of the Old and the New Testaments, and how to focus on the abundance of blessings He shines upon you.
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Pastor John Ross: Hello, friends. How about an amazing fact? On Thanksgiving day in 1936, two Minnesota boys named Harold and Charlie Peterson, decided to go hunting with a man who worked on the family farm. The two brothers and their companion were good hunters but accidents can happen to the best marksman and that day a bullet from the hired man's gun accidentally struck Harold in the face opening a large hole in his cheek.

When the wounded youngster reached the hospital, it was found that the bullet had lodged at the base of his skull so near the spinal cord that doctors did not dare to operate to remove it. The 15-year-old boy was told that he would have to take his chances in love with the bullet in his body for the rest of his life. Fortunately, it gave him no real trouble and in time, he almost forgot about it. Then in 1960, Harold now 39 years old and running the same family farm, felt that he might be coming down with a sore throat.

A few days later, he had a violent coughing spasm. He coughed and coughed, and finally coughed up a bullet. He has the same soft nose rifle bullet that had lodged in his neck 24 years before. Friends, did you know that the Bible speaks of things often forgotten coming back? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Advertiser: You're listening to Bible Answers Live, honest answers to your Bible questions. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747. Once again that's 800-835-6747. Now, let's join our host, Pastor John Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. Welcome to Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is out of town this evening but this is still a live interactive international Bible study and if you have a Bible related question, we'd love to hear from you this evening. I'd also like to greet our friends who are joining us on Facebook. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio with your Bible question is simply 800, that's the easy part to remember 800-463-7297. I'm going to say that again. That's 800-463-7297.

That'll bring you here into the studio and you can ask your Bible question on the air. We're going to give you another phone number as we get into the program. That is our resource line and we have a number of free resources. I would like to make available to those of you who are listening and that number is 800-835-6747. I'll repeat it during the program, 800-835-6747. That is our resource phone line.

Now, I'll open the program by talking about a young man who had a bullet lodged at the base of his skull for a number of years, 24 years that it was there until he finally almost forgot about it, but then one day he coughed up the bullet. Now, it's interesting to note that in the Bible, Jesus said that there would be things that people would forget about which would actually come back in Matthew 12:36, we read, Jesus speaking, "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you are justified and by your words, you are condemned."

We also have a reference to this judgment In Ecclesiastes 12:14 where we read, "God shall bring every work into judgment every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil." In other words, every detail of life will be reviewed including those secret thoughts and words, and actions even those things that people have forgotten about. This will happen of course at the judgment. It will confirm who will be saved and who will be lost.

It is true that we are saved by grace, but it is also true that we are judged by our works because our works are a manifestation of our faith. In James 2:18, we read, "But someone will say you have faith and I have works. Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works." Now, friend, you might be wondering about this judgment that the Bible speaks off. Yes, it's true that every secret thing according to the Bible will be reviewed but what about one who believes in Christ, those who have received Jesus as their personal savior? What assurance do we have in the judgment?

Well, there is good news. The Bible presents the judgment as good news for those who have faith in Jesus. We have a study guide that will tell you all about this. It's free. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. The study guide is called "Case Closed" and talks about this judgment that we read about in the Bible. If you'd like to receive a free copy of this study guide, all you'll need to do is call our resource phone line. That's 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide called "Case Closed." We'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America.

If you're outside of North America, maybe you're watching this on Facebook and you like to read that study guide, just go to the Amazing Facts' website. That's amazingfacts.org and you can type in the search bar, ''Case Closed," and that'll take you to our study guide dealing with the judgment, what does the Bible say about the judgment.

Well, we're ready to take our first caller for this evening. We have Cailyn [sic] listening from Florida. Well, Cailyn, welcome to the program.

Cailyn: Thank you so much. I have a quick question about free will. I have a friend who believes we don't have free will and I wanted to understand these verses a little bit more so it can give her a better understanding of what it's actually and not really the face value of it. That's She's coming, she's saying that she's looking from a deterministic view and she said we cannot help our desires, therefore, we can't help what we don't want or do want and we can't really choose God based off of that. God has chosen those who will be in the kingdom.

She uses verses from Romans 9. So verses 15 through 19. I just want a better understanding of that. If you could explain it a little bit for me, I'd appreciate it so much. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Sure. You're talking about Romans 9 and you mentioned verse 15 and let me read the verse for those who might be driving. It says, "For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." It is not him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. The question here is do we have any choice with reference to whether or not we're going to be saved.

Well, if you look at everything the Bible has to say about salvation, it's very clear that we have a part to play. We have freedom of choice. God gives us the ability to choose to serve him specifically here in Romans. This idea of predestination or one being called isn't referring to an individual salvation, rather it is referring to God choosing Israel as his chosen people. It was nothing special that Israel had done, but God chose them. He chose to have mercy on them, he chose to bring them to the promised land.

It was through Israel that the messiah was to come. The whole argument to be finding Romans, this is not an individual that God is choosing above someone else, but rather he's talking about God's people, the Jewish people that have been chosen by him through whom the Messiah was to come.

Cailyn: Right. Then because she really hung on for that verse where it says, "You will say to me then--" I'm reading from the New King James version. You'll say to me then, ''Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?''

Pastor Ross: Again, the context there is talking about Israel in particular and the other nations around them. God chose Israel to be his chosen people through whom the Messiah was to come and again, Paul likens it to the descendants of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. It say's, "Isaac, I've loved Ishmael. I've hated." That's not talking specifically about the individual, but Ishmael, Isaac represent the two nations that came from Abraham. God had chosen Isaac and his descendants to be the one through whom the Messiah was to come.

Cailyn: Then she's-- Because I'm sure she'll bring up Judas as well.

Pastor Ross: Yes. Now, of course, it's prophesied that one of Christ's own would betray him. You'll read about that in Psalms. Once again, it's not that God purposely pre-determined that Judas didn't have any choice in the matter. He was destined to betray Christ. No, Jesus reached out to Judas. We read in the upper room, Jesus even washed the feet of Judas. Jesus did everything that He could to try and reach him. God knew what Judas would decide to do but God did not force Judas to do that. He still had freedom of choice. So God knows the end from the beginning, He knows who's going to be saved, and who's going to be lost, because he knows everything.

Just because He knows what choices we going to make, He doesn't force us to make those choices. We still have freedom to make those choices.

Cailyn: Thank you so much. That's it for me.

Pastor Ross: All right. Well, good question, important question. We do have a book that deals with this and we'll be happy to send this to you, Cailyn or anyone that might want to know more about it. It's simply called, Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost? Talks about free will. We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. Again, the number that you need to call is our resource phone line, that's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost. Our next caller that we have is Mike. Mike is joining us, I believe in Indiana. Mike, welcome to the program.

Mike: Good evening, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: Hi, welcome to the program.

 Mike: My question has to do with our righteousness by faith and how that Christ is our high priest, our righteous high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, and how that like in Genesis, we see Noah had an ark, and that Moses, there was an ark there, and then the Ark of the Covenant. Then now in our days, there is an ark in the heavenly sanctuary. We know that Christ is before the throne of God presenting His blood in our behalf as the believers of the last days here.

My question is, as He bids us to follow Him wherever He goes, and we know that He wants us to be in the heavenly sanctuary as far as the bread and the oil flowing through the lamp, the Holy Spirit flowing through us in our lives. Then the prayer life, we have the communication we have with God. Could it be or am I just thinking this too deeper, crazy or whatever. Is Christ bidding us to follow Him into the Holy of holy man? He did say He's making us a kingdom of priests. Or am I way off base on that?

Pastor Ross: No, I think you're correct. Let me back up a little bit for those who might be new to the idea of a heavenly sanctuary and Jesus as our high priests ministering for us. We read in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament very clearly that there is a heavenly sanctuary that God built, and that the earthly tabernacle that we read about in the Old Testament was a shadow of this heavenly sanctuary that God built. The work of the earthly priest was a type of the work that Jesus does as our high priest now in the heavenly sanctuary.

Now, the earthly sanctuary, which was the shadow of the heavenly contained three parts. You had the courtyard area, that's where the lamb was actually sacrificed. You had the holy place, that was the first compartment of the sanctuary where there was a table of showbread, there was a seven-branch candlestick, there was also an altar of incense, and then a veil. Then behind the veil, you have the most holy place, and that's where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.

On the Ark of the Covenant was the mercy seat and there were angels. Inside the Ark of the Covenant was where the 10 Commandments were. Now, the outer courtyard of the sanctuary represents the work that Jesus does for us here on this earth. That's where the lamb was sacrificed. Jesus came to the earth, He died as our lamb, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, He started his work as our high priest, ministering for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

Just like the earthly priest had work in the first compartment and then once a year he would go into the most holy place. We find Jesus ministering for us in Revelation 4 and 5, in the first compartment. Then when you get to Revelation 11, now you find Jesus in the Most Holy Place by the Ark of the Covenant. By faith, we are to follow Jesus just as the Israelites were to follow their priest by faith into the Most Holy Place. They couldn't actually go in person but they were paying attention to when the priests would go into the Most Holy Place.

They would confess their sins, they would make sure that their lives are right with God. It is now that believers by faith, follow Jesus into the Most Holy Place, meaning that we confess our sins, we exercise faith in Him as our priests, there's a sacrifice. As our Lord, we come into our right relationship with Him. The earthly sanctuary is a shadow and a type of the heavenly.

Mike: Thank you very much pastor Ross. It's like, by beholding we become changed. That's awesome.

Pastor Ross: That's right. There's a lot of wonderful truths that one could learn from the sanctuary, and you see its significance in the Bible. Mike, thanks so much for your call. If you'd like to learn more about this heavenly sanctuary and what Jesus is doing for us right now in heaven, we have a study guide called God Drew the Plans. It's all about the sanctuary and its significance. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. Once again, the phone line, resource phone line is 800-835-6747. You can just ask for the study guide called God drew the plans or you can read it for free online at the amazing facts website.

Our next caller is Katie, listening from Bakersfield. Katie, welcome to the program.

Katie: Hi.

Pastor Ross: Hi. Thanks for calling.

Katie: I have a question. I have a question on the 2 Corinthians two important, the last part, "For the children ought not to lay for the parents, but parents to their children." Though I understand it right that we parents have to lay for our children. but some people said, "Why do we have to when we already sent them to school, and they are already on their own." What do you think?

Pastor Ross: What exactly does that mean? Yes. It's just stating the typical tradition, and you'll find that probably in every culture and around the world, that the children or the parents eventually inherit that which was the parents. It's not that the parents inherit that which is the children. Obviously, it will be the children that inherit that which is the parents. Now having said that, that doesn't mean the children don't have responsibility to take care of their parents when they are old.

The Bible's quite clear on how one is to treat the elderly and how our children have responsibility to do what they can to take care of the needs of their parents. This verse in particular that you're referring to in 2 Corinthians is simply stating the typical tradition that children receive an inheritance from their parents.

Katie: We got it right. Thank you. Thank you for that explanation.

Pastor Ross: Yes. All right. Well, good question. Thank you for calling, Katie. Our next caller that we have is Becky and she's listening from Michigan. Becky, welcome to the program.

Becky: Hello, Pastor Shaun. How are you?

Pastor Ross: Doing well, thank you.

Becky: I have a question out of Proverbs 18:10.

Pastor Ross: Okay, let me look it up and we'll read it here for those who might be driving, Proverbs 18, verse 10, says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe." Now your question?

Becky: What exactly is the meaning? Is it like protection?

Pastor Ross: Good question. Well, back in Bible times, of course, when Proverbs was written by Solomon, you had a number of city states that were scattered around the area of the Middle East. Often, when they were people outside of the city, you had people in the city that lived in the city but then you also had people surrounding area outside the city, many of which took care of the farms and those type of things. In the event that there was an army that approached, an enemy army that was coming, those who were outside of the city would rush into the city.

Of course, they would be towers, they'd run into the city, and that would be their place of refuge and safety from the enemy. That same imagery is used here and it says, "The Lord is a strong tower," that being for the believer, "The righteous run into it and are safe," just like the people that were living outside the city when the enemy was coming in and they ran into the city and they found safety. We as Christians, when we face temptation and trials, we are to run to Jesus, we run to Jesus to find safety. He will give us victory as He's promised.

We come to Him in prayer. That's how we run to Jesus. We run to Him in prayer. We can claim some promises from the Bible and we can have deliverance, we can have strength. Does that make sense, Becky?

Becky: Yes, it does.

Pastor Ross: All right.

Becky: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. Good question. Thanks for your call. Our next caller that we have is Sandy, listening in Illinois, Sandy, welcome to the program.

Sandy: Hi, Pastor Ross. I struggle with Bible dichotomies. In other words, things on the surface that look like they're the exact opposite. For example, this is King James, Luke 4:2, "And Jesus answering said unto him, it is said thy shall not tempt the Lord thy God was then going to Exodus 17:2, where the people were complaining or chiding with Moses. At the end it says, where for do you tempt the Lord? In context, I'm guessing that means tempting the Lord and in verse seven, the end of that verse, it says, and because they tempt the Lord saying, is the Lord among us or not.

Then Isaiah 118 regards--invites us to come and reason together, and I struggle with this, and I'm just trying to find tools, and the right attitude and the right spirit, to rightly divide the word that so I can know the true identity of God because you know, the Old Testament New Testament on the Old Testament, he was like this great, big angry, going to get you're going to zap in a New Testament, but Jesus said that, I don't know how to dovetail these two and each other so that it's like it should be.

Pastor Ross: Let me share a few thoughts on this. First of all, Luke 4:12, Jesus is coding from the Old Testament, he's actually coding it from Deuteronomy 6:16, where he says, it has been said, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God". Now, what is meaning when it says, tempt the Lord your God, you can--another word that can be used in place of tempt, means to test or try or provoke. So despite all the blessings that God has given the children of Israel, he opened up the Red Sea had fed them manna from heaven. He provided water from the rock, despite all of the many blessings that God was giving to the Israelite's in the wilderness wanderings

. They still rebelled and doubted his goodness, and there was several times where they said, Oh, I wish we could have died in Egypt, that we could have gone back. They said all I complained to the Lord and said, "You've brought us out into the wilderness so that we could die by the enemies that they encountered on a journey". The Bible says, Don't tempt the Lord thy God. In other words, recognize God's blessing.

Look at his goodness, we can always choose if you want to dwell upon the goodness of God, or we can doubt and to tempt God is to doubt God's goodness to doubt his love and that was a challenge you find in the Old Testament time and time again, even amongst those that profess faith in Jesus. Whenever trials came their way, instead of trusting God and looking to him for deliverance, they began to doubt God's goodness, and they began to complain. And that's what it means when it says, Don't tempt the Lord your God.

Be faithful, even in trials and difficulties. God loves you, He will take care of you. Now, of course, the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament, Jesus said, if you have seen me, you've seen the Father, if you want to know what God's like, look at Jesus, many times in the Old Testament, we have so many examples of God's patience, and full barons, his compassion. Even in the Old Testament laws that we're given, many of the laws related to even the strangers and the poor, and the widows and how people were to take care of them, you can see God's compassion, even in the laws that he gave in the Old Testament.

There are some cases where they were judgments away God did bring about judgment upon the earth in the case of the flood, and sometimes some of the nations that were rebelling against him, but despite those judgments, you can still see God's mercy and God's love in preserving a remnant and that was necessary in order for there to be a remnant who still served him.

Sandy: Okay, so it's just like choosing to see the glass half full and not half empty.

Pastor Ross: Yes, that's a that's a good analogy. You know, if we dwell upon all of our problems, our life could be pretty discouraging and we will be tempted to think God doesn't love me doesn't care about me but we look at all the blessings, we look at what God did to save us, we look at what he's promised us in His Word that he will never leave us nor forsake us. We look at the promise, if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. If we dwell upon those wonderful promises, our faith will be revived, and we will be strengthened to stand faithful to him.

Sandy: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: All right. Thank you for your call. Sandy, we appreciate that. I think we have time for one more caller. Before we take our break. We have William listening from Illinois. William, welcome to the program.

William: Hi, thank you very much for taking my call. My question is this. If one has been saved, can they lose their salvation? That's Basically my question.

Pastor Ross: The answer to that is, after a person is saved, they don't lose their freedom of choice. God doesn't force someone to remain in a safe condition if they choose not to remain in a safe condition. In other words, God's not going to force somebody to go to heaven, if they choose not to go to heaven, even if one time they were forgiven, and they did call upon the name of the Lord and they were saved. Just like we have freedom before we choose Jesus, we still have freedom after we choose Jesus. That's why Jesus says we must abide in him. It's only through abiding in him day by day that we're able to grow and be able to flourish spiritually.

Jesus said, "He that endures to the end shall be saved". We need to connect ourselves with Christ Jesus said, except you eat my flesh and drink my blood. You have no life in you. The people said, This is a hard thing who can understand it?" Then Jesus said, The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, they are life". In other words, we need to receive the word of Christ, we need to allow his word to revive our hearts.

That's what it means to be bide in Jesus. So yes, the Christian, we choose Jesus, personal Savior, we want to abide in Jesus and as long as we remain faithful to Christ, we abide in Him, we exercise faith in Him, we believe in Him as our personal Savior. We are saved, we can trust in God's goodness but it doesn't mean we don't have freedom to choose another master if we decided to do so.

William: My question then would be. Do you know personally have your own experience, someone who's chosen another master after once they've been saved through Jesus sacrifice.

Pastor Ross: We have some individuals in the Bible, who had one point they were saved, they even filled with the Holy Spirit and they prophesied I don't think you can have any more evidence of someone who is saved but they eventually turned away from God and they will lost-

William: Who were these people I don't know.

Pastor Ross: For example, you got King Saul. He rebelled-

William: No. I'm talking about in the New Testament.

Pastor Ross: In the New Testament you've got Judas that was filled with the Holy Spirit, he went out performing miracles, and yet he turned against Christ and betrayed him.

William: Okay, is there another example besides Jesus, that you can think of?

Pastor Ross: Yes, Paul refers to some of the early disciples that were once partners with them and taking the gospel to the Gentiles. They eventually rebelled and turned away. Well, friends, we're not done. We're just taking a short break. We'll be right back.

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Every Bible question you have answered moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life. So what are you waiting for? Get the answers you need for a fuller richer, more confident life. You're listening to Bible answers live. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you like answers to your Bible-related questions on the air, please call us next Sunday between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM Pacific Time. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now, let's join Pastor John Ross for more Bible answers live.

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends and welcome back. Yes, this is a live international interactive Bible study. We're about halfway through our time this evening. If you have a Bible question, you heard the phone number just a few moments ago. That number one more time is 800-463-7297. If you have a Bible question we'd love to hear from you this evening. We have just a few lines still open. This is a good time to give us a call with your Bible question.

Now just before the break, we were talking to someone about the question of can a saved person be lost? Well, we do have a book that I think anyone wanting to learn more about this would find very interesting. It's free will be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks, the book is called Can a saved man choose to be lost". It gives you a good biblical perspective or the subject again, the books called "Can a saved man choose to be lost". If you'd like to receive that call us on our resource phone line, that's 800-835-6747 and we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. The next caller that we have is calling from looks like a caller from Alabama. Welcome to the program.

Caller: Yes, my question is, will Christian Athletes be free to participate in their favorite sports in the new heavens and the new earth?

Pastor Ross: Will athletes be able to play sports in the new heavens, the New Earth? Well, I think Heaven is going to be filled with joys and amusements and activities that we can't even begin to imagine. I think the sports that a person might participate in here on earth will be somewhat I think it will lose its interest or its importance when actually gets to heaven. There are so many wonderful things that God has in store for those that love in the Bible says you can't even begin to imagine.

What about soaring to other worlds are witnessing some of the vast creation of God or being in the earth made new, we can barely imagine what it will be like. To someone that might be wondering, Well, I don't know how happy I'm going to be in heaven if I can't play my favorite sport. I think the most important thing that one needs to recognize is that no one in heaven is going to be sad that they feel as though they missing out on anything. Whatever God has in store for those that love him, it's going to make them completely and totally happy. Does that help a little bit?

Caller: Yes, that certainly does. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: All right. You're welcome. Thanks for your call. The next caller that we have is Caitlin listening from Florida. Caitlin, Welcome to the program. I guess it is Caitlin from Florida.

Going once. Caitlin, are you there? All right, we might come back to Caitlin. We're going to go to Steve, California. Are you there?

Steve: Yes, I'm here.

Pastor Ross: All right. Your question, Steve?

Steve: My question is, how do you know the Holy Spirit is in you?

Pastor Ross" Your question is, how do you know if the Holy Spirit is in you? Well, first of all, the Bible tells us that we as Christians need to walk by faith, not by sight. In other words, there are times when we will sense and feel the presence of God in a very real way and we know Yes, the Holy Spirit is speaking to my heart, we might feel as though we've been moved by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we hear that still small voice as the Bible puts it, that prompts us to do something, or maybe just say something to somebody else. And we know that's the Holy Spirit speaking to us.

Other times, however, we might not always feel as though the Holy Spirit is with us, we might not always have the peace that the Holy Spirit brings, it doesn't mean that the Holy Spirit has left us. Rather, it means we need to exercise a little more faith in God and trust in Him. Even if we don't feel as though the Holy Spirit is with us. We have the promise Jesus has promised us where he says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". We know that Jesus said to His disciples, and he says to us that he was to ascend to his father in heaven, and then he would send the Holy Spirit to those that believe in him. I guess my counsel to you would be, trust Jesus, take God at His Word.

Sometimes you'll feel the Holy Spirit in a very strong, powerful way. Other times you might not sense or feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, doesn't mean the Holy Spirit is not working in your heart and life.

Steve: How do we change?

Pastor Ross: How do you change? It's the Holy Spirit that works a change within us. That change Jesus said is like the growing of a seed. It's like the growing of a plant. Now you can look at a plant and stare at it for 15, 20 minutes, and you might see no change occur. You might wonder, well, maybe that plants not growing, but if you leave it for a few weeks, you come back and you look at it. Sure enough, you've seen some change some growth. It is with the change of heart, the new heart that the Bible speaks of. When we receive Jesus as our personal Savior.

He promises to give us the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit begins to change us. Sometimes we might see some dramatic changes. Other times we might not see too much change taking place in the heart. It doesn't mean the Holy Spirit's not working. I think one of the best ways that we can know that the Holy Spirit is working within us is if we stop and we look back over our lives. We ask yourself the question, "Have I seen God working in my life?

Can I see how my attitudes have changed or my desires have changed? Is there a growing interest? am I learning more about God?" Of course, there is something practical we can do to have the Holy Spirit work within us. That is we need to spend time with God, the more time we spend in God's word, the more time we spend in prayer that allows the Holy Spirit to do even more in our hearts and in our lives.

Steve: Okay, so it's a process?

Pastor Ross: It is a process. sanctification is the work of a lifetime. It's not a one-moment thing but every day. If you give yourself to God, you pray and say, "Lord, I'm yours today. Please work with me", and then believe that he will. We can have confidence that God is going to finish the work that he started.

Steve: All right. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Alright, thanks for your call. Steve. We do have a book talking about the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the believer. It's called Life in the Spirit.

We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks, all you need to do is call our resource line. That's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Life in the Spirit. We'll be happy to send it out to anyone who calls and asks. If you have a Bible question. Our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that number is 800-463-7297. Next one that we have is Kenneth listening from Minnesota. Kenneth, welcome to the program.

Kenneth: Thank you so much. And God bless you for the wonderful work that you're doing.

Pastor Ross: Thank you. Your question.

Kenneth: Well, my question is coming from Revelation 4. When John is shown the throne room in heaven. He sees 24 seated around the throne of God and also four living creatures. My question is these 24 elders Who are they? Are they Angels? Are they human beings? My next question is the living creatures. One looks like a lion, the other like a calf, the third had the face of a man and the fourth is like a flying eagle. Are these symbolic or they will be .

Pastor Ross: All right, good question. Let me start with the four living creatures and then we'll talk about the 24 elders. For those of you who might be listening and you don't have the Bible in front of you. Were talking about Revelation 4, John envisions, sees the heavenly throne room and he sees God the Father seated upon his throne, surrounding the throne are these four living creatures. It talks about them being full of eyes they can see and all around them and they constantly cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, if you compare that with some of the Old Testament passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel.

Who or what could these four living creatures represent? It's interesting. Now, the first is the face likened to a lion. A lion in the Bible is often associated with kingship or royalty. Some see in the description of the lion, this first living creature, as representing Jesus before he came to the earth. He was King of kings, Lord of lords, he ruled the universe but then he laid that all aside when he became a man. The second living creature on the throne has the face likened to an ox or a calf.

An ox or a calf, they were sacrificial animals, you could sacrifice an ox. It was also a beast of burden. People see in that, maybe referring to Jesus. He came to bear our sins, to die as our sacrifice here on the earth. Then the third living creature it says has a face likened to a man and people see in that after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He is our high priest representing us in heaven before the father in heavenly sanctuary. The Bible speaks of Jesus as being the second Adam in the new testament.

Then the fourth living creature has the face of an eagle and some people seeing the eagle, eagles off and associated with power, judgment and kinship. When Jesus comes back he doesn't come back as a priest but he comes back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords coming to execute judgment upon the wicked. So in the full living creatures, we almost see four faces of Christ ministry in the plan of redemption. That's interesting when you look at symbols there that we have in Revelation 4.

Now, the 24 elders who are they. There are two principal interpretations as to who they might be. The one is that the 24 elders could be perhaps those who were resurrected at the time of Christ's resurrection and ascended to heaven with him. You're reading the Bible how the graves were opened when Jesus rose from the dead. When he died and rose from the dead, many of those who slept came forth and as believed that they would taken as first fruits of the resurrection back to heaven with Jesus.

The other idea is that the 24 elders could be the representatives of the unfallen worlds. In Hebrews 1 we read how that God created the worlds and it's in the plural form. So these are the intelligent beings other than us. They heaven sent, the only the human races in here on the earth. Of course the angels they joined the Satan's rebellion in heaven. The 24 elders will sometime refer to us the sons of God as described in the book of Job and your closer reading the old testament where it talks about the Lord reigning before his elders gloriously. That's what's in the old testament. A number of folks feel that the 24 elders could be the representatives of these unfallen worlds.

That was a lot of information, Kenneth.

Kenneth: Yes, thank you very much. I appreciate it. All right, bye.

Pastor Ross: All right, thanks you called. We appreciate it. By the way, that's one of my favorite books of studies, the book of Revelation. Let's see, our next caller that we have is Robert listening from college place Washington. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Thank you Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hi, and your question.

Robert: Yes. Since you're a man of Revelation I want to ask regarding the seven churches. I know John wrote the seven churches were all in existence when John wrote them. But then how do we know that they're also supposed to be for time.

Pastor Ross: Good question. In the book of Revelation, of course Revelation is the symbolic book and we find symbols throughout the book of Revelation. Talks about dragons, talks about a woman standing upon the moon clothe with the sun. You've got all kinds of symbols. So we know it's a symbolic book. But this symbols teach lessons. When you look at the seven churches, we noticed that the first series of sevens. You got seven churches, you got seven seals, then you have seven trumpets.

The seven churches, the seven seals and the seven trumpets covered the Christian era from the time of Christ to all the way up to the second coming. Each of those seven churches represent seven faces that the Christian churches a hole would go through during the Christian era.

Today, we find ourselves in the last church. The church of Laodicea are the conditions described to the church of Laodicea are conditions that we see in the Christian church today. Spiritual lukewarmness. When you look at the conditions of the church described in Ephesus, well those are the conditions of the early Christian church from about 31 to 100 AD.

The next church is the church of Simona. It has the church that suffered persecution. We find in history that it's exactly what happened from about 100 to 313 AD. There was intense persecution that came against the church. So yes, even though these were real churches and without a doubt the conditions described in the different churches related to specific things in those churches. But they had a broader and fuller application. That's how we can see the parallels between the seven churches and the seven faces of the Christian church.

Robert: Okay, makes sense. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Yes, thank you for your call. We appreciate that.

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Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is E. Frank listening from New York. E. Frank, welcome to the program.

  1. Frank: Yes, good evening Pastor Ross. My question for you tonight is this the following. I want to ask you, is it Biblically acceptable to actually pray to an animal and talk to an animal according to what scripture might say or state about animals in general like domesticated animals who you believe have certain tendencies or beliefs towards cutting Christ. Is that Biblically acceptable and I also want to ask you if it's normal to actually do that. Because people criticize that is the form of psychological problem.

Pastor Ross: Okay. All right. Let me see if I can chill a little bit about that. Of course, the animals were created by God and the Bible says that would created to be a blessing to us and indeed they are. A number of us have pets and alive grown up with dogs, cats and different kinds of birds and all kinds of animals. Yes, they brought a lot of joy to my life and the life of my family members.

But we do recognize that animals don't have the ability to worship God. They don't have the ability to pray or be involved anything spiritual. God came to save us. For God so loved the world that he died that those who believe in him, it's talking about people. Jesus died to save us. To pray to an animal I don't thing really does much good because the animal doesn't understand, that can't understand. The Bible tells us that when we pray we need to pray to God.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and said, "Teach us to pray." Jesus said, "When you pray say, "Our Father which is in heaven." It's probably not a good thing to pray to anything else other than God. Even idolatry people would pray to idols and the Bible condemns that. So praying needs to be centered towards God. Doesn't mean that animals can't be a blessing, they are. God gave them to us. But I don't think any Christian should be praying to anything or anyone other than God. Thanks for your call, E. Frank. Our next caller is Anita listening from New York. Anita, welcome to the program.

Anita: Thank you. Good evening. I do have a question referencing to what Jesus Christ said when he was on the cross. If he knew that he was a sacrificial man and he died for us, why did he ask God, "God, why have you forsaken me?" If it would be his purpose in life on earth.

Pastor Ross: Okay. Jesus, when he went to the cross is actually beyond the lowly and the God of Gethsemane where Jesus began to bear the sins of the world. That's why Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane said, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, they will be done." Jesus experienced the agony of soul and felt the separation from his father because he took upon himself the sins of the world. He was separated from the father. He was overwhelmed by a sense of of guilt. Not his own guild but the guilt of the sins of the world that Christ took upon himself. He felt as though he was forsaken of the father.

Now, his faith in good. Jesus remain faithful. He said, "Not my will, thy will be done." It's also interesting to know that when Jesus was hanging on the cross and he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus was actually quoting from Psalm 22. The people that were there at the cross, many of them Jews, they knew the old testament. They knew the book of Psalms.

When Jesus quoted, "My God, my God, why you forsaken me?" There were probably many in the crowd that went back and read Psalm 22 and that's where Jesus was quoting from. When you read Psalm 22, it's a powerful prophetic description of what would happen to Jesus. Talking about his Crucifixion and his experience as a prophetic, Messianic passage. In saying that Jesus was directing the people around the cross to go look at the scriptures, help them understand what was happening and who Jesus was.

Anita: I see. Now I understand. Thank you so much. Wonderful program.

Pastor Ross: Thank you for calling Anita. Yes, the phone-- Not the phone line but the verse I mentioned there is Psalm 22. I encourage you to take a look at that. I think you'll find that helpful. Again friends if you have a Bible question not too late to call, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297 and we'll try to get your all Bible question on the air before our program ends. Our next caller that we have is Elizabeth listening from Michigan. Elizabeth, welcome to the program.

Elizabeth: Thank you for the welcome. Glory to God for your service to the community and the listeners and praise God for the good news. Thanks for taking the call and I can't wait to get at amazingfacts.org. I just found you tonight. I was on my way to church and tuned in on the way home. Thank you for taking my question.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. You're welcome and your question tonight.

Elizabeth: My question is, why do I feel challenged in the field of marriage, of marital vows? My husband and I close to 10 years. I feel that his experience or karma or choices have taken him away from Jesus and it ends up being guilt or shame or my choice to have to end the marriage or till death do us apart. Even though it is adultery, addiction, and abuse. I feel the faith or the question on me is a matter of I know Jesus died for all of our sins and I know that it's not anyone's intention to be bad or turned away from sin but my shame or guilt or suffering is wondering how that would not be of God's will.

Pastor Ross Okay. Perhaps your question, if I understand it correctly is, why is it that you feel or experience this pain in having to in your case, it sounds like having to end a marriage because of an unwillingness of your spouse to be faithful to the marriage vows? Is that correct?

Elizabeth: Yes.

Pastor Ross Okay. Well, I think, first of all, the way God designed marriage from the very beginning, it is to be the most sacred tie on Earth. It is very special. It's a powerful bond and God purposed it to be that way. Whenever a marriage ends, it is a very difficult thing. It's a painful experience that people go through. Especially the one who wants the marriage to work and he's struggling because the spouse is refusing to make the commitment that's needed for that marriage to work. It's a lot of pain. There's a lot of hurt that's involved in any marriage that comes to an end.

I think what you're experiencing is just a very real experience of anyone that's going through your situation. Without a doubt, it's not an easy situation. I think through this, the best thing to do is to just really cling to Jesus, spend time on your knees, spend time in His Word. Ask for grace and strength. You might find a good Christian friend, that you can counsel with. Maybe a pastor at the church to give you some resources, some guidance to carry you through this, but I think what you're experiencing is a very normal experience that someone would have going through this difficult experience.

Elizabeth, we do have a book that we would be happy to send you. You can read it for free online at the amazing facts website. It's called Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. It talks about, get some good Bible Council on what one needs to do and they find themselves in these difficult situations. You have to make those tough choices when it comes to marriage. Marriage is a very special thing that God ordained. Whenever a marriage comes to an end, it is a difficult, painful experience. But God is able to carry you through that. I just want to encourage you to cling to him, hold on to him, and he will be with you every step of the way. Let me thank you for your call, Elizabeth. Our next call is Dan listening from Brooklyn. Dan, welcome to the program.

Dan: Good evening, pastor.

Pastor Ross Hi.

Dan: I'm Jewish. I listen to your program every Sunday night. I never miss it. I love Jesus also, by the way.

Pastor Ross Amen.

Dan: I'm interested in translation, especially Luther. How could he possibly translate the Hebrew Bible into German when he didn't know Hebrew, he didn't study Hebrew and neither Jewish?

Pastor Ross Just because, well, let me back up a little bit. Before Luther became the leader of the Reformation, he was a very devout monk. One of the things that the monks would do, they would learn the biblical languages. Not all of them, but many of them did. Without a doubt, I'm sure. Martin Luther put tremendous amount of time and effort. He was very committed to the Lord, very committed to the Bible, to the word and he spent time studying the ancient languages. Even in his time, there were books available, where one could read and learn the different languages, the biblical languages, both Hebrew and Greek.

I think a lot of the work before the Reformation when he was still studying and learning, laying the foundation for the Reformation. That's when he was able to read and learn and study. That's when he learned Hebrew was during that time period.

Dan: Pastor, when I read the 23rd song, even if I read it 100 times, it sounds so beautiful. It's just unbelievable.

Pastor Ross Absolutely. Well, that is a great song indeed. I think that's a song that everyone should memorize because it really displays God's love and His concern for His people. How he's willing to take care of us.

Dan: Pastor?

Pastor Ross Yes, I'm here.

Dan: To really read, people should really read the H song. What does man that does made him a little lower than the angels?

Pastor Ross Yes.

Dan: A wonderful, wonderful line.

Pastor Ross That's right. There's many of those beautiful passages in Scripture. The Bible tells us, the Bible is filled with wonderful promises that people can lay a hold of. They can claim, they can make it their own. It can help to sustain them during those difficult times that they go through. The Bible is filled with these promises, and I'd like to encourage all of our listeners if you haven't begun to put to memory some of these wonderful Bible Promises, I want to encourage you to do so. It is a great time to do that. Well, friends, we want to thank you for being part of our Bible Answer Live program this evening.

If we didn't get to your call tonight, let me encourage you to call back next week as we continue to study the Bible. God bless.

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