The Star-nosed Mole

Date: 04/25/2010 
The star-nosed mole is a weird and wonderful little creature that inhabits the low wetlands of East North America. Like other moles, it ekes out on existence, digging a network of narrow tunnels where it forages for insects, worms, and mollusks.
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How about an amazing fact?

The star-nosed mole is a weird and wonderful little creature that inhabits the low wetlands of East North America. Like other moles, it ekes out on existence, digging a network of narrow tunnels where it forages for insects, worms, and mollusks. Living in almost complete darkness, the star-nosed mole has a poorly developed eyesight; it’s virtually blind. To compensate, the Creator has given it a very sensitive star-shaped nose. Its nose’s surface is surrounded by a star of 22 flesh-like fingers or tendrils.

These pink whiskers are covered with 25,000 ultra-sensitive receptors— that’s six times more sensitive than human hands. This makes the little mole’s ugly nose the most sensitive organ in the entire animal kingdom. By rapidly scanning back and forth, the mole can essentially see with his nose, mapping his tunnels and finding food.

And boy, is it fast! This organ enables the star-nosed mole to decide whether something is edible with astonishing speed— a mere 8 milliseconds— and then bringing that object into its mouth to swallow it in only 120 milliseconds— that’s a thousandth of a second. This means it can locate and consume eight separate prey items in under two seconds. In fact, the mole’s little brain processes the information in such a speed, it approaches the upper limit of which any nervous system is capable of functioning. This is why the star-nosed mole was recently entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest forager.

To top things off, this amazing appendage also enables the mole to smell underwater—something that was previously thought to be impossible for mammals. The animals were filmed with high speed cameras as they followed underwater scent trails that led to food. While foraging underwater, they were found to exhale and inhale micro-bubbles very quickly that contain odorant molecules. Only a powerful and loving God can invest His creatures with such extraordinary senses! That is why it doesn’t make any sense for people to worship idols with no senses.

Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of “Bible Answer 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: Welcome, friends! This is “Bible Answers Live.” We’re thankful that you are tuning in. Well, we hope it’s by plan, but we’ll be happy if you’ve just joined by providence or accident. Hope you stay on this frequency. We’re going to talk about the most important things in the world, and that is, what is the purpose of life? Where’d you come from? What are you doing here? And where are you going? And the answers are in that book called the Bible. If you’ve got any questions about the Bible or these spiritual things, we invite you to give us a call. That phone number— free phone call— 800-GOD-SAYS, and then we’ll go to God’s book, the Bible; 800-463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends. Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program with prayer.

Dear Father, we thank You again for this opportunity to study Your Word, and we ask Your special blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening, wherever they might be. And Father, we pray for wisdom here in this studio, recognizing that the Bible is Your book, and we need Your guidance in order to understand this. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, Pastor Doug, it seems that as science continues to study the various organisms and creatures, they always discover, they’re always coming up with amazing discoveries about abilities that we never knew these creatures to have. And, for example, this mole that has a very sensitive nose.

Pastor Doug: It probably won’t win any beauty contest, but it’s just amazing how, not only how hypersensitive the nerves and the sensors are— receptors— on the star-nosed moles nose, but how quickly it can run up and down its tunnels and dig tunnels and find and eat and tell whether something is a root or food. It’s just… any computer process would probably have smoke pouring out of it if it had processors quickly as this little creature’s brain!

And, you know, you think about all of the senses that God gives each creature. You think about the dolphins that have that echolocation and they can see, basically, in the dark with sound. And you think about, of course, the bats… And the Lord has just created His creatures with such amazing senses. And yet that’s part of the reason the Bible says it’s very odd— it’s actually forbidden— for people to worship idols of statue or plastic or gold, because they’re really dead and they have no sensation, they have no knowledge, it says… it’s here in the Bible, Psalm 115:4, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; noses, but they don’t smell; they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.”

Now, we’ve talked about different aspects of God’s law in the past, and something we don’t often talk about, but it’s very clear from cover to cover in the Bible, is that the Word of God forbids idolatry. And it’s not that God is trying to take away the plastic figure of Jesus on our dashboard or something like that. And it’s not that it’s necessarily a sin to have a photograph— a religious photograph. It’s worshiping these things.

The reason is we become like what we worship. And the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians that we’re changed by beholding. And whenever we make any kind of likeness of God and pray to it, it will ultimately…. well, we can’t picture God. You know, we don’t know what He looks like. Any picture that we make is going to be under-representing His glory. And so, it really is ultimately a sin for us to insult the magnificence and the awesomeness of God with some little porcelain figure and then bowing to it. And so, you know, the Bible forbids this, and it wants us to worship a God that sees and hears and smells.

And we have a special offer that deals with having open eyes and open ears.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book that we’re offering this evening is called “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.” And it deals with the subject of those who close their eyes and close their ears to the Word of God and to what God says in His law. It’s free if you call our resource line, 1-800-835-6747. That’s the resource line. The number again is 1-800-835-6747. And you can ask for the book, “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.”

Pastor Doug: Also, I want to remind our listeners that if they just go to the website anytime during the broadcast or through the week, there is a whole library of Bible studies there and including this book you’ve just mentioned. If they’d like to read it for free online, they can do that. They can look at the cover and say, “Hey, I want my own copy.” And they will find that there at Click on, there’s a button there, it says “Free Stuff.” And we’ve got that book there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We’re going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Yvonne calling from Australia. Yvonne, welcome to the program!

Yvonne: Hi. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good! Thanks for calling. And your question, Yvonne?

Yvonne: Yes, I just want to know why Joseph was not counted amongst the tribes and it was, instead, it was his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh? So I just want to understand. I’ve tried to look the Bible and read about it and everything. But I just want to understand why he was not counted amongst the tribes.

Pastor Doug: That’s it.

Yvonne: But instead…

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. I’ll do my best to give you a quick answer. It’s a study that can get deep if I won’t watch myself.

Yvonne: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Joseph, of course, was sold by his eleven brothers— well, not really Benjamin so much as the ten older brothers. And because he was separated from Jacob, and the family during those thirty years, I guess, when he finally was found by his father again, his father said, “Look, you did not get to enjoy the benefits of being in my home all those years. So to compensate, I’m going to treat each of your sons when I divide my inheritance. Instead of dividing the blessing where you get one share, Joseph, I’m giving you two shares— one for your two boys, Ephraim and Manasseh.” So Joseph, in the future, was counted as Ephraim and Manasseh. His two sons each got a share. Now it stayed 12 tribes by the excess, because God had instructed that the descendants of Levi, they were going to be the priests for the other 12 tribes. So when they got into the Promised Land, the inheritance was divided among the 12 sons of Jacob except Levi. Levi got territory in all 12 areas. The zip codes, whatever you call them [laughing]...

Yvonne: Alright.

Pastor Doug: …the 12 tribes got. So it’s an interesting study. And then it gets confusing a little bit when you get to Revelation, it talks about the 144,000…

Yvonne: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …it now includes Joseph again, and then it leaves out Ephraim— it leaves out Dan and Ephraim. So… but it’s still 12. So that’s a whole another study. And we do have a book that talks about the 144,000, and it talks a little bit about the 12 tribes. If you’d like a free copy on the 144,000…

Yvonne: Okay, yes. That would be great.

Pastor Doug: …call the resource number. We’ll send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Who Will Sing the Song of the 144,000?” I think that’s…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …the title. Just ask for the book “144,000.” We’ll send that out to you.

Our next caller this evening is Philip calling from Ohio. Philip, welcome to the program!

Philip: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing well!

Philip: My question concerns 1 Peter 3:18-20 where it talks about Christ after He was crucified, descending into Hades and speaking to spirits of people that are imprisoned or in Abraham’s bosom, and people who died before or during those days or before Noah’s day before Christ was crucified and His gift was not available to them. I mean, who are these spirits? And…

Pastor Doug: Alright, let me take a moment, Philip, and try to answer that for you. It’s in— let me read it for our friends— 1 Peter 3:18. “For Christ have once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being out to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

Now, before we go any farther, people need to underline the word “Spirit,” because the subject here is the Spirit that quickened Christ— brought Him back from the dead. “By which He, by the Spirit, He— Jesus— went and preached to the spirits in prison.” Now, the spirits in prisons is not talking about ghosts, it’s not talking about souls in a jail somewhere. The Bible’s very clear; Christ came to set the captives free. Anybody that is in bondage to sin is talking about a spirit in prison. It’s talking about souls in prison, people in prison; they’re not ghosts.

And it goes on to say, “Which some time were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing.” So it tells us when the Spirit of God preached to the people in prison— those people who were imprisoned to sin back in the days of Noah. Now, you can find the very verse appears referring to. If you look, Philip, in Genesis chapter 3— no, I take it back— Genesis 6:3. “And God said, ‘My Spirit will not always strive with man.’” So back in the days of Noah, Christ was preaching to those people who were imprisoned by sin.

The Bible says all the thoughts of their hearts were only evil continually. When the sons of Cain intermarried with the sons of Seth, all their thoughts were evil continually. Violence filled the land; they were imprisoned by sin. But Noah, for 120 years, he preached with his hammer and he preached with his mouth; and the Holy Spirit, Christ spoke to those people imprisoned by sin through the Spirit back in the days of Noah. It’s not saying that after people died, they get a second chance.

Now I brought your volume down, Philip, because we’re having some difficulty. Did you hear that answer?

Philip: Yes, I did.

Pastor Doug: And does that make sense?

Philip: Yes, it does. But who… what are they talking about when they say He descended into the center of the earth and spoke to people who were in Abraham’s bosom?

Pastor Doug: Well, now, where are you reading that? Where are you finding where it says Jesus spoke to people in Abraham’s bosom?

Philip: I guess it concerns more when you’re talking about Lazarus and the rich man…

Pastor Doug: The rich man and Lazarus. Yeah, well, of course, it doesn’t ever say that Jesus descended to the middle of the earth to preach to those in Abraham’s bosom. There’s one parable in Luke chapter 16 where it mentions a phrase “Abraham’s bosom,” and that was in Jewish tradition. Every Jew, when they died, they wanted to be with Abraham. And the Gentiles— the Greeks— thought when they died, if they were lost, they went to Hades where Pluto would torment them.

Jesus did a very interesting play on words where He told the parable where the Gentile goes to Abraham’s bosom and the rich Jewish man— the Greek— plays the punishment. And it’s a parable full of irony, and it’s not what really happens. For instance, if everybody that dies goes to Abraham’s bosom, I mean, in the parable, Abraham’s talking… Abraham must have, you know, a gigantic bosom! And it talks about a drop of water cooling someone’s tongue in hell. Well, a drop of water— that’s obviously a figure of speech— it’s not going to cool anybody’s tongue. And then in the parable— and this again is Luke 16, starts at verse 19— the parable, the people in heaven are talking to the people in hell. Let’s hope that that’s not the case. So, Jesus is using an illustration, and if you ever want to know what is the meaning of one of these Bible stories, the moral or the punch line is always at the end.

And what Christ said was, well, the rich man says, “If you send Lazarus back from the dead to talk to my brethren to warn them about this place of torment,” and Abraham says “They’ve got Moses and the Prophets so let them hear them.” So he says, “Oh no, Father Abraham, but if one went to them from the dead, then they repent.” And he said— here’s the final moral of the story— he said, “If they believe not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded that one should rise from the dead.” Jesus raised someone from the dead by the name of Lazarus, and the religious leaders still did not believe; they wanted to kill him. Jesus was raised from the dead, and they paid the Roman soldiers to deny they saw it.

And so, that’s really the subject of that parable. It has nothing to do with what happens to a man when he dies and what the punishment looks like. We’ve got to be careful not build a doctrine on one verse.

Now, we do have a book for Philip, and it’s called, I think, “The Rich Man and Lazarus.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” I’m looking at it right here in front of me.

Pastor Doug: We’ll send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Call our resource line 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” Anybody wondering about the subject, by the way, this not only deals with the subject of hell, but it also talks about what happens when a person dies.And it deals with that whole subject. It’s just a great resource. You can also read that at the Amazing Facts website.

Pastor Doug: By the way, before you go to the next call, on Philip’s question, we still have that website that is very popular that deals with this parable, and it’s called

Pastor Doug: Oh no, it’s Truth about Death.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Truth about Death.

Pastor Doug: Sorry.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And we have one called as well…

Pastor Doug: Exactly.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …dealing with the subject. Our next caller is DJ, calling from Idaho, listening on Radio 74. DJ, welcome to the program!

DJ: Hi. I have a question about say somebody gives you a gift that’s worth like a lot of money, but it’s a material object. Now, if maybe years later on down the road, you’ll have to sell that object. Do you have to pay tithe on that because it was a gift?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. Let’s just create a scenario here. I know someone this happened to. Somebody that was barely able to pay their rent, a family member gave them a 10,000-dollar…

DJ: That’s me [laughing].

Pastor Doug: …piano. [Laughing] And so, here, they’ve got this piano that’s worth 10,000 dollars, and they can’t pay a 1,000-dollar tithe on it. And so they just praised the Lord and they gave a thank-you offering. And if someday they go and sell the piano for 10,000 dollars, well, then, it would be entirely appropriate to pay tithe on their increase. Your increase is different from, you know, just paying on expenses in a business. It’s your profit. Well, if you get a gift, that’s profit. And if you, you know, sell that gift, and you get cash, it’d be appropriate to pay tithe on that.

Pastor Doug: You know, we’ve got to…

DJ: We should not make a profit on it, per se?

Pastor Doug: Well, you make a profit if someone gives you a gift and you sell it for, let’s suppose, you sell that piano for 10,000 dollars, and you pay a thousand dollars tithe, you get a 9,000-dollar profit, because it was a gift! So…

DJ: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: …nothing wrong with that. Hey, we do have a study guide on the subject of tithe. We’ve got two. We’ve got a sermon book. We don’t often offer this because it sounds kind of scary. It says, “Thieves in the Church,” by Joe Crews. It’s a great book, but it’s got kind of an intimidating title. It makes it sound like whoever you’re giving it to, you’re calling him a thief. It’s called “Thieves in the Church,” and it’s based on that verse, “When a man robbed God.” And then we have that study guide called— I like this title better— “In God We Trust,” and it’s got the principles of tithing and offering based on Bible Scripture. We’ll send you a free copy, DJ.

Pastor Jëan Ross: For both the book as well as the study guide, the number to call is 1-800-835-6747, our resource line. And ask for the book “Thieves in the Church” or the study guide “In God We Trust.” And we’ll be happy to send that out.

We have Montoya who is calling from Florida. Montoya, welcome to the program.

Montoya: Hello. Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening! And your question?

Montoya: Yes. My question is about when Joseph and Mary went back to Bethlehem…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Montoya: …to be counted, where was Joseph’s other children?

Pastor Doug: You know, the scholars have speculated about that, and the best they can tell… Joseph had other children evidently with a wife that may have passed away before he married Mary, and it wasn’t uncommon then for, you know, lifespans were not as long and they didn’t have all the medical advantages we may have today. We believe that Joseph was older because by the time Christ begins His ministry, Joseph was never seen or mentioned and it’s assumed he passed away somewhere between when Jesus was 12 and Jesus begins His ministry at 30, and he’s never mentioned. He’s always mentioned in past tense. So, Mary could have been Joseph’s second wife, and he had… it’s mentioned that Jesus had at least four brothers, and it says, and sisters; it does not name them. It must have been at least two. So, there’s six other siblings there that are like half-brothers and sisters. And that later names the boys— I think it’s James, Judas, Simon… I can’t remember the fourth. In any event, there, when it says they went down to Egypt, and you see all those postcards and you see Joseph and Mary, and Mary’s on a donkey and she’s holding a baby and they’re silhouetting against the moonlight because they’re fleeing down to Egypt, they really ought to show about six other kids tagging along…

Pastor Doug: …or Joseph left them when they fled with some close family in either Bethlehem or Nazareth. It’s very silent on what happened until Jesus gets older, then his brothers and Mary come around and start talking to him telling him how to run things.

Another reason we think Jesus was the younger, it would have been very unusual for, if Jesus was the firstborn, the oldest son to leave the family business and become an itinerary preacher. The oldest was usually the more responsible one who stayed at home, like the parable of the prodigal son. So, I don’t know, am I answering your question?

Montoya: Pretty much. I just wondered if they were going home to be counted…

Pastor Doug: When they went to Bethlehem, and they took a census. Everyone needed to register at their town where they were born, so that people would not escape registering for the tax. And it doesn’t say that Joseph had any other children with him during that time. It’s possible that they were left up in Nazareth.

Montoya: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Hey, I appreciate your question, Montoya! God bless, and thanks for your call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Ely, and she is calling from Vallejo, California. Ely, welcome to the program!

Ely: Hi! Good afternoon.

Pastor Doug: Hi! How are you?

Ely: Good. Thank you. I have a question with regards to 1 Samuel of chapter 28 verses 3. It mentions about Saul consults a medium and talks to Samuel…

Pastor Doug: Yes, Saul goes and talks with a witch or a medium, who supposedly resurrects Samuel, who then communicates with Saul.

Ely: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So are you wondering was this really Samuel?

Ely: Yes.

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. And for our friends, if you’re wanting to read that story, it’s 1 Samuel, as she was saying, chapter 28 verses 3 through, you might want to go to 15 or so…

Ely: All the way up there…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Ely: …in the chapter.

Pastor Doug: We don’t believe that that witch had the power to resurrect one of God’s prophets. Nothing in the Bible leads us to believe that a witch or a medium can do that. We do believe, the Bible teaches, that the devil can create illusions. You read in 2 Corinthians that Satan himself can be transformed into an angel of light. I believe it’s in Revelations 16, Pastor Ross, where it says— I forget the exact verse— where it says that these are spirits of devils working miracles. And so just that verse by itself… and of course, Jesus, speaking of Second Coming, He said, “In the last days, there will be false prophets and false Christ, and they’ll work signs and wonders.” So we know the devil can produce miracles, and this medium evidently created or called up an illusion, or some demon came to impersonate Samuel who gives a totally discouraging message to the king. And the king dies the next day; he actually kills himself in battle the next day. So, no, we don’t believe that the devil has the power, and we do have a study guide that talks about these deceiving spirits. Well, for one thing, you might want to check out the website, which is…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Truth about Death, yes. Those two verses you’ve mentioned are the one that talks about the devil himself being transformed into an angel of light; that’s 2 Corinthians 11:14. And then you mentioned a verse in Revelations 16:14, where it talks about the spirits of devils performing miracles.

Pastor Doug: Okay. And I just remembered, we do have a book… I was trying to remember the title, Ely. It’s called “Spirits of the Dead” by Joe Crews; “Spirits of the Dead.” We will send you a free copy if you just call our resource number and ask them. Ask and you will receive.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our number to call is 1-800-835-6747. The book, again, is “Spirits of the Dead.” Our next caller is Shyvonne listening on WMCA from New York.

Shyvonne: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Shyvonne, welcome to the program!

Shyvonne: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Evening! You’re on! We’ve got about two minutes before our break, so can we do something?

Shyvonne: Okay. I have a question. The Bible says in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour…”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Shyvonne: “…not even angels in heaven nor the Son but only the Father.” And my question is this— Jesus is God. Shouldn’t He also know the day and hour of the Second Coming because He’s God?

Pastor Doug: Yes, He should, and actually He does now. I think that when Christ was on earth, and, again, I’m thinking of the verse, Pastor Ross, where it says that He laid— Jesus laid— aside His divinity in Colossians. He made himself of no reputation. You see, Pastor Ross and I are both a little dyslexic with numbers. We’ve got computers here, so while I’m talking…

Pastor Jëan Ross: [laughing]

Pastor Doug: …he’s typing. [Laughing] We remember the verses.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s Philippians 2:7.

Pastor Doug: Philippians. That sounds like Colossians. Yeah, I’m glad… [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: [laughing]

Pastor Doug: …I let you look that up. Philippians 2, why won’t you read that for us?

Pastor Jëan Ross: It says, “Speaking of Christ but He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

Pastor Doug: So, while Christ was on the earth, Shyvonne, as a man, He said, “Look, I don’t have all of the knowledge of the cosmos swirling around like a vortex in my mind all on one time.” He thought like a man when Jesus was a baby. He did not have all knowledge; he had to learn to talk and walk like people do. He was 100% man and 100% God. I know that’s hard for us to understand, it’s a mystery! So, while on earth, He did not know the day and the hour of His coming. And He probably… the Father withheld that information because the disciples would have been prodding him and saying, “Come on, give us the date!” And He’d say, “Look, don’t bug Me. I don’t know.” But now, He’s at the right hand of the Father. I’m sure that Jesus knows the day and the hour of His coming. Why would the Father withhold that information from Him? Jesus now is in His glorified body, and He’s once again all-knowing. One of the characteristics of God— this God is omniscient; He knows all things. So Jesus knows the day and the hour of His coming. And, no man knows. So, if you find someone out there that’s predicting that they know the day or the year of Christ’s coming, I’d be very careful.

That music does not mean the program is over, friends, so don’t change the dial. That just means we’re going to take a break, we’re going to catch our breath, take a drink of water, and that gives you a chance to go to the website, and that website is called I think you’ll be impressed; it links to a plethora of other websites and Bible study materials, Bible study guides, radio programs, video programs, books, everything that could help you in your personal study and in sharing your faith. Once again, it’s really easy. It’s

And so in just a moment, we will be back! We’ve got a few important announcements for you. And Pastor Ross and I, we’ve got some exciting things going on pretty soon. Any of our friends that might be listening down in South America right now, I will be at the University, Plate River University in Argentina, in a week. Be right back!


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 call us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time on Sundays and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. 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: Some of you remember the days when people would hop trains to get from Point A to Point B, and we’re hoping some of you have hopped the trains since we’ve started. You’re listening to “Bible Answers Live.” Welcome on board! If you’re wondering, this is a live, interactive Bible study program, and we just take people’s calls from around the country and through the Internet around the world, and do our best to answer them! If you’d like to call in, that number is 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. I know we get some people that Skype us, so they can call in their questions and you’ve… out there with the Internet, and we’ll know what that means.

But a couple, quick, important announcements before we go back to the phones, Pastor Ross. One is we’re very excited to tell our friends across North America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada, you can now watch the Amazing Facts channel 24 hours a day. About a month ago, Amazing Facts launched a new channel, we’re sort of been in test mode; it’s been up and running for about a month now, and it’s looking pretty good! It’s on the air, and we’re here to stay.

If you would like to know more about that, you can look at the Amazing Facts website; it will tell you about the announcement about the new Amazing Facts channel with evangelism programming 24 hours a day. And you can, anyone who’s listening to my voice right now, can get this. If you’ve got a little satellite system, it’s on G19— Galaxy 19— or you can go to a website called Glory Star; and there at, it’ll tell you how you can get a simple satellite system that will get 60 Christian networks. Not only will you get Amazing Facts TV; you’ll be getting 3ABN, you’ll be getting the HOPE channel, Daystar, and Trinity. All kinds of Christian programming is up on the Glory Star dish, and Amazing Facts is right there in the midst of them now. So, if you’ve enjoyed this program, Pastor Ross and I are excited because one of the things we’re planning is to bring a TV camera into “Bible Answers Live.” I don’t know how edifying that will be for you…

Pastor Jëan Ross: [laughing]

Pastor Doug: …but you’ll be able to see and hear “Bible Answers Live.” We’re sort of scared you’re going to find that we don’t wear suits when we sit here, but I guess that will come out pretty soon. And, so we prayed about that— “Watch”

Something else that we wanted to share with people, we get a lot of questions on this program, if you’ve listened for a while. You know, people call in frequently from all different religious backgrounds, and they want to know the truth about the Sabbath Day. Does it matter people need rest today? And why is this important that we take time for God with our families? And we’ve a website that we’ve had for years called;

We are very pleased to announce that that website has been redesigned and upgraded, and since it’s been redesigned out of, I think it’s like 10 million possible sites, when you type in the word “Sabbath” or “Sabbath Day,” we are number 2. I think we’re only behind Wikipedia right now, which is, that’s pretty good.

And so, friends, if you want to see the best website out there answering Bible questions on the blessings of the Sabbath, it’s And link it to your friends! Tell them about it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the thing I like about this new designed website on Sabbath Truth, not only does it have articles that you can read; there’s video, there’s an entire documentary dealing with the Sabbath that traces the history of the Sabbath…

Pastor Doug: That’s right. It’s excellent.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s free, right online. So it’s just a great resource for people to use. We’re going to go to the phone lines. Our next caller is Bill, and he is calling from Brooklyn, New York. Bill, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Bill, are you there?

Bill: Hi. I have a question on the existence of Jesus Christ, that is to say, His ministry, the crucifixion, and the resurrection outside of the Bible. Could you answer that, please?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think, well, there’s a lot of evidence that say if you want something in writing, the writings of Flavius Josephus, he makes a statement in his book, “The Antiquities” where he speaks about… I’ll do my best to quote it for you from memory. You can type in a few of these words online, and probably Google will pull up the statement. It’s about this time there was a man named Jesus, if it’s lawful to call Him a man, for He went around doing wonderful works, and… but He was delivered by the chief men among us and crucified… He rose three days later as His apostles affirmed, and the tribe of Christians is still existing today… is still in our midst today.” So if you just type in Josephus’ comments on Jesus, you’ll be able to pull up that quote. And then, you know, just you’ve got lots of writings of the early Romans that talked about this man named Jesus. But Josephus, I think, is one of the most respected historians that makes the most plain statement. He lived about 100 years A.D. and was a historian.

Pastor Jëan Ross: As a matter of fact, I’m just looking at it now. If you would have typed that in— “Josephus”— I think the second hit at the Wikipedia is the statement that is very well-known…

Pastor Doug: Why won’t you read it for me? I’ll see how close I got.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, let me read it. It says, “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, as when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him; for He appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribe of Christians so named from Him are not extinct at this day.”

Pastor Doug: The amazing thing is Josephus was a Jew.And he sounds like he’s a Christian there, but that’s the only statement where anyone would think he’s a Christian. Everything else, he is purely Jewish.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: So, he obviously believed Jesus really lived. Is that the kind of evidence you’re looking for, Bill? Or are you looking for something different?

Bill: It is. It is, but you mentioned the ministry of Jesus. But would there be something on the crucifixion, resurrection?

Pastor Doug: Well, Josephus here, I think, specifically…

Pastor Jëan Ross: It does say that it was Pilate, “at the suggestion of the principal men among us,”— that would be the Jews, “had Him condemned to the cross.” And then it says that “He appeared to them alive again the third day.” So according to Josephus, the understanding was that Christ was crucified by Pilate at the suggestion of the Jewish leaders, and that He appeared on the third day. So that would speak of a resurrection.

Bill: I see. I suppose I could pull this off the Internet if I go to it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you’ll… Pastor Ross has typed it in right here, and it pulled it up for him. You know, there’s a study guide we’ve got that talks about evidence for “Was Jesus real? Was He the Messiah?” And I’m trying to remember we’ve got that study guide that talks about the…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re thinking of the time prophecy for the coming of Christ? “Right on Time?”

Pastor Doug: No, I’m not. I’m thinking about… it maybe the one on… oh, you know what I’m thinking about, Pastor Ross? It’s a historical lesson that they can find online that deals with the Messiah. And…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Then that’s available on the Amazing Facts website, if you would have typed in— if you go to, and in the “Search” area, you can type in “historicals,” and it will pull up the list on historical study guides. And I believe, Pastor Doug, I can’t remember the name, but it’s probably the second or third study guide in the series…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it traces all these prophecies about the history of Jesus. And we’ve got a thousand different resources, I can’t remember all the names. Pastor Ross, what’s next? Who’s next?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is going to be Sandy, and she is calling from Illinois. Sandy, welcome to the program!

Sandy: Good evening, Pastors. I was wondering, given Deuteronomy 5:15, if it’s possible that those that knowingly try to invalidate God’s Holy Sabbath Day may also inadvertently be trying to invalidate the cross of Calvary. And I would like your comment. The reason I’m asking that is about the term “outstretched arm.”

Pastor Doug: Okay. I’ll read that for our friends that are listening— Deuteronomy 5:15. “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath holy.”

Well, a stretched out arm there as someone might, you know, visualize Jesus with His arms stretched out, I don’t think that’s what the Lord is referring to. I think that the Lord is saying that He reached out to rescue the children of Israel from their bondage— that He reached out in judgment against the Egyptians, their oppressors. And, so I think, really the emphasis there is that, you know, God acted; He wasn’t just sitting still, but He really reached out and got involved in delivering His people.

And, yeah, it does, in some respects, it does neutralize the message of the Cross if we try to delete the Sabbath truth. And the reason is the great invitation of Jesus is “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.” And the Sabbath is symbolic of both that physical and spiritual rest we get in Christ. So it is very integral in our relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for your question, Sandy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Mark, and he’s calling from Canada. Mark, welcome to the program!

Mark: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Mark, you’re on the air!

Mark: Good evening, gentlemen. I just have a question about the scapegoat.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Mark: Leviticus 16. Do you believe that the scapegoat is Satan?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me tell our friends that are listening what we’re talking about. In Leviticus 16, it outlines the high ceremony at the end of the year called the Day of Atonement— “Yom Kippur” is what the Jews call it today— where the children of Israel were separated from their sins. And on that day, two goats were chosen. One goat was sacrificed; it was called the Lord’s goat, and you find that in Leviticus 16:8. And they actually cast lots upon the two goats; one of the goats was for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. The one who is sacrificed is obviously a symbol of the Lord, but the other goat is separated from God’s people; it never returns, it’s not sacrificed. And many scholars have equated that with the day where Satan is cast into the lake of fire, and all of the sins that he has instigated, he is going to pay for.

Now, the logic behind that, I know some people might say, “Wait a second, if anybody pays for sin, must not that be the Lord?” No. When the wicked die, they are punished for their sins. Are they paying for their sins? Yes, because they did not accept the payment that Jesus made. The devil— is he pardoned from his sins? Or does the devil get punished for his sins? Well, obviously, the devil is not repenting, and he’s going to the Lake of Fire. That’s very clear from Revelation 20. And so here, it’s ultimately sin and sinners are separated from God’s people.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it’s also interesting to note that the Lord’s goat is the one that’s sacrificed; the scapegoat never is sacrificed. It does bear the consequence and the penalty for transgression, but it’s never sacrificed. So there’s a clear distinction between the Lord’s goat— the symbol of Jesus— and the scapegoat— the one that bears the consequences of sin; he’s the instigator.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, in Hebrew, the word is Azazel, and it’s referring to the goat that is gone away. And, you know, tradition says that a fit man would take this goat out in the wilderness and kick it off the cliff, because if it ever came back, it was considered a very bad omen for the people, if this goat bearing the sins of the nation came back. So the idea of being Satan, when he is cast into the lake of fire, sin and sinners are no more. So, that’s the way a lot of scholars have understood it; other scholars have said, “Wait, both goats represent the Lord.” And I’m inclined to believe that the scapegoat there is a type of the devil. By the way, if anyone knows anything about the basics of Satan worship, what animal is symbolic of the devil in the pentagram, they always draw a goat.

Anyway, Mark, I don’t know if that helps a little. We do have a lesson that talks about the Day of Atonement that we’ll be happy to send you. And I believe it’s the lesson, “God Sets a Date for the Judgment.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for that 1-800-835-6747, and the study guide is, “A Date for the Judgment”; “God Sets a Date for the Judgment.” I’m also thinking, Pastor Doug, a good lesson dealing with the subject is “A Thousand Years of Peace” or the Millennium…

Pastor Doug: The Millennium when Satan’s cast…

Pastor Jëan Ross: He’s bound…

Pastor Doug: …in the lake of fire.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, in this bottomless pit or this desolate earth— a symbol of the goat being taken out into the wilderness.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, ask for that as well, Mark. “A Thousand Years of Peace.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “A Thousand Years of Peace.” The number again, 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Tracy, and she’s calling from New York! Tracy, welcome to the program.

Tracy: Oh, hello!

Pastor Doug: Hi!

Tracy: God bless your ministry, and I want to thank you for your ministry as well.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you. And your question?

Tracy: My question is, in the Bible, it says that it’s easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to go to heaven. Now, my question is this— should we not aspire to do better in our lives? Or should we not go to college? I know we want our children to do better, and God would want us to do better, so what does that exactly mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, when Jesus said it’s harder for a rich man to go to the kingdom of heaven, the disciples were, for one thing, they were aghast, because all the Jews thought that if you’re rich, you are blessed…

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: …of God. And Jesus really pulled the rug out from under them when He said, “Oh, you know, a lot of these rich men, they don’t know anything about God. They trust their riches, not God.” And they said, “Who, then, can be saved?” And Jesus said, “Well, with man, it’s impossible; but with God, all things are possible.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, if you look at a cross-reference of these several, there’s three references to this that we find in the Gospels. But I think Mark 10:25 really clarifies that the disciples are astonished. They said, “But then, who could be saved?” Jesus then responds and says, “How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle.” So now, we begin to realize that when Jesus is talking about trusting in riches, that’s really what’s being emphasized. It’s almost impossible for someone who puts their trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God…

Tracy: Basically, the love of money.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s what Paul says, it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil, and then…

Tracy: Right, so…

Pastor Doug: …you’ve got, of course, the example in the Bible of some very godly rich men like Job…

Tracy: Oh, yeah…

Pastor Doug: …and Abraham…

Tracy: Yeah, I know. That’s what I was thinking… [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, but they never trusted in their riches.

Pastor Doug: And there is…

Tracy: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: There’s abundant warning in the Bible, “He that makes haste to be rich…” If our goal in life is to be rich…

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: It says, “He will not be innocent.” People often sacrifice their morals and their integrity in pursuit of riches. Now if we are faithful and frugal, we may find that God blesses us. And that’s why Paul says those that are rich in this world’s goods should be willing to distribute. Well, obviously, there were some rich members in the church that were willing to share and distribute. It talks about Nicodemus, it talks about Zacchaeus, and one other— Joseph of Arimathea. So…

Tracy: So, basically where your heart is…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, though we shouldn’t be trusting riches, riches should not be our goal in life.

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: We should be hardworking. You know, I like the way John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist, put this; he said that a Christian should earn all they can, save all they can, and give all they can.

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: So we should be hard workers, we should be saving for the future, and we should be generous.

Tracy: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So all with a moderation including giving, you know, based on our blessings.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, do tithe and offering. And offering, of course, is just as the Spirit moves; tithe is a percentage of our increase…

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: And Christians ought to operate on a budget. No watch, God bless.

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: Budget some. And you know, in our family, we have some discretion for mad-giving. What I mean by that is, you know, giving that is above and beyond what you might give to your church. The Lord presents needs as families that we find that need clothes or food or something else…

Tracy: Oh, sure. Sure.

Pastor Doug: …and you just budget that.

Tracy: So there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to go to college…

Pastor Doug: No.

Tracy: …and getting a better education or switching your job and getting a better…

Pastor Doug: No, God wants us to be educated. Yeah, it’d be better if you can get a Christian education.

Tracy: Right. It’s just like….

Pastor Doug: It’s just, the philosophy of a lot of colleges…

Tracy: …it seems like some people kind of like… some people frown on the fact like when you are like aspiring to, you know, do better, like I had people saying, you know, “Jesus is coming soon, so what’s the point?”

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, if the Lord comes, and you are expanding your mind to serve Him when He comes, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: So, you do what you know is the right thing as though you could be here a thousand years, and live everyday like it could be your last.

Tracy: That’s right. Okay. Alright, I was just curious on your perspective…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, get an education. There’s no virtue in being an uneducated Christian.

Tracy: Oh, great. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks, Tracy.

Tracy: Great. God bless!

Pastor Doug: God bless you. And, by the way, I would like to tell Tracy we have a new book, and it’s called, “How to Know the Will of God?” And sounds like a young lady that is seeking to know what God’s plan is for her future. This book has just got great general Bible principles on how do you determine God’s will for your life; how to know the will of God. We’ll send you a copy, Tracy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the book, “How to Know the Will of God.” Our next caller is John, and John is calling from South Carolina. John, welcome to the program!

John: Good evening, Pastor Doug!

Pastor Doug: Evening!

John: I’ve got a question for you. If you could quickly tell me some Bible Scriptures about the 144,000 and your interpretation?

Pastor Doug: I’ll do my best to give it to you quickly. Of course, you find your principal information on the 144,000 is in Revelation chapter 7 and Revelation chapter 14. And it talks about this large group that is being sealed just before the plagues are released. In Revelation 7, you read verses 1 to the end of the chapter, and it numbers 12,000 from various… of the 12 tribes. It’s a unique list in Revelation chapter 7 because it does not mention the tribe of Dan, and it does not mention the tribe of Ephraim; instead, it does include Joseph— I think we had that call earlier in the program.

And what happened in the 144,000 is an echo of what happened at Pentecost. At Pentecost, in chapter 1 of Acts, they only had 11 apostles, and Peter and the others said, “Look, we need to replace Judas.” The number 12 is important for some reason. Jesus wanted 12 leaders; the number represented the 12 tribes of Israel— Judas was gone. As soon as they replaced Judas with Matthias, then the Holy Spirit’s poured out; and those 12 apostles plus the others in the Upper Room preached, and there’s a great revival and many are baptized and brought into the truth. Now, God told the Jews just to preach to the lost sheep of Israel. So the apostles, for the first 3 ½ years after Jesus, pretty much just preached to Jews.

Then, in Acts chapter 10 and after the stoning of Stephen, you see, now, they’re going to the Gentiles, and God gave them that vision. If the Lord used 12 apostles to go to the Israelites for Christ’s first coming, at the time of the Second Coming, He’s using 12 times 12,000 apostles. That’s really what it is. The 144,000 are like the Last Day Apostles that prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus. And so, it’s really parallel.

When you look at the different characteristics of the 144,000, the terms that are used to describe the apostles, it says there, “without guile.” Well, that’s the exact word that Jesus used when He pointed to Nathaniel— “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile!” It says, “They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Well, that’s what it says about the apostles; they followed the Lamb wherever He went. So does this help a little bit, John?

John: Yes, it does. You know, there for a while, my church preached there’s going to be 144,000 in heaven…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that would be sad because…

John: Yeah and…

Pastor Doug: …based on six and a half billion people…

John: Yeah, believe it or not, I belong to the same church you do.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, I’ve never…

John: And that was years ago, but now, things have changed.

Pastor Doug: I have never heard it said in my church that there were only going to be 144,000 saved. And you may not… I’m a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. I know Jehovah Witnesses have said that. But we believe there’s a great multitude that no man could number. Now, and I suppose there’s isolated people all over the place you could find that say that.

But I did the math one time, Pastor Ross, and I think that back when there were 6 billion people in the world, if you said that only 144,000 were going to be saved, someone might do this on their calculator and e-mail me, but to my recollection it was about, your chances were one in 32,000. So I thought, boy, you’d have to be part of a church of 32,000 members and hope you’re one of them that’s going to be saved. That’d be discouraging! [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: It’s like winning a lottery! So, no, they were not the only ones saved. Any more then when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, it wasn’t poured out on just the 12 apostles; there was 120 in the Upper Room, and then 3,000 were converted. So, the 144,000, like the 12 apostles, do a unique work.

John, we’ll send you that book we mentioned earlier, “Who are the 144,000?” And it’s free!

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. We’re going to go to George who is calling from Australia, and he is on the, let’s see, on the Internet! George, welcome to the program!

George: Hello, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Oh, we love getting calls from Australia, George. We’re doing well.

George: Oh, you’ve got no idea what you guys are doing. The amount of back-of-the-scenes people like myself who are actually learning from you and getting ingrained into the Word is phenomenal.

Pastor Doug: Well, bless your heart. Are you getting any rain in Melbourne yet?

George: Well, we get four seasons in the 24-hour period here in Melbourne. You should know that, Doug.

Pastor Doug: [laughing] Well, I know you’ve had a drought down in that country. What’s your question now?

George: Our question is to do with what comes in from a gnostic point of view— Genesis 3:1-7. I have been reading and studying through your Bible lessons over the last three years. I’m just going to ask you a question in that section of Genesis, when Adam and Eve bit into the apple, it states that they didn’t have that “gnostic” of good and evil. Do we do the same at the End of Time as well, whereas the lost sheep of the world and people who haven’t got their gnostic knowledge such as yourself in the Bible Scriptures, do they go through that same phase of that time?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that we are right now living in an age— and I don’t mean to borrow from Greek mythology, but Pandora opened the box back in the Garden of Eden. And the evil of the world and in our minds and that knowledge is pervaded in the world today, and it continues to the end of time. But just before Jesus comes, there will be a people that are Spirit-filled and they’re purified. In other words, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart” in Matthew 5, “they will see God.”

So, one of the miracles of the Gospel, it says that we become new creatures. And some of what the Lord does, you might call it brainwashing in that He washes our brains. And people told me before, “Pastor Doug, since you became a Christian, you’ve become brainwashed.” And I thought, “Well, I hope so. I needed my brain washed.”

George: Well, that’s exactly what I was leading to. That’s exactly right because the world, and as your lesson say— some of the classes that you give about the crowd, and things like that— that is exactly the purpose of the Bible. True or false?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the purpose of the Bible is to transform us into the image of Christ. In the beginning, God made man in His own image, and he was pure, he was sinless. And Christ came to restore us to the image of God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, there’s a verse in Isaiah 65:17 that is interesting. It says, “Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth,” it says, “The former shall not be remembered nor come to mind.” So sin won’t be remembered in the new earth.

Pastor Doug: Oh, I hate doing that to a call from Australia, George. We really appreciate that you called in!

And friends, as you can see, we do have people listening around the world to “Bible Answers Live.” Tell your friends to tune in. If you’ve been blessed by the program, we’d like to hear from you. We answer our e-mail, and all you’ve got to do is go to Amazing Facts; it’s There’s a place there where you can click “Contact Us,” and let us know you’ve been listening. If you’re blessed by the program, it is 100% supported by people just like you listening right now. I hope that the Holy Spirit will move on your hearts, and you’ll do something to help us stay on the air and go on new stations! You can click the button that says “I’d like to make a donation,” and I’ll be very thankful.

God bless! God-willing we’ll be back again next week for “Bible Answers Live.”


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