Wonders of God's Creation

Wonders of God's Creation

Date: 01/27/2019 
When you open your Bible, you're going to almost immediately have a heap of questions and curiosities. It's a fact ! Like have you ever thought about what kind of stone the Ten Commandments were written on ? Or if a day equals a year in certain contexts, does that mean that God took seven years to create our world ? From Genesis to Revelation, listen in as Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross answer listeners' questions about these topics and more, in this installment of Bible Answers Live.
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Pastor Doug: Would you like to hear an amazing fact? In 1958, one of the worst environmental disasters in history took place in China. Mao Zedong, the Communist leader of the People's Republic of China, launched a campaign ordering that all of the sparrows in the country were to be killed. Mao thought that the sparrows spread disease and ate too much grain. It seemed rational to him that of all the sparrows were eradicated, it would increase food supplies.

Soon after, the whole nation wage war on the little birds. People tore down sparrow nests and shot sparrows down from the sky. They poisoned them and even use beating drums to scare the birds from landing. This forced them to fly until they died of exhaustion. Schoolchildren were rewarded for bringing in the largest number of dead sparrows. There's no exact information, but it's estimated that hundreds of millions were killed.

The result of the campaign was that they nearly pushed the little birds to extinction in China. The following year, this led to an immense problem. While it is true that sparrows eat a little grain, they mostly eat insects. After the sparrows were wiped out, locusts and other pest populations exploded, eating everything in their path. Grain production in China totally collapsed leading to the deadliest famine in modern times. It's estimated that between 1959 and 1961, about 25 million people in China starve to death. The Bible says that God has a lot to say about the importance of sparrows. Stay with his friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

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Speaker 2: 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 Doug Batchelor, and our co-host, Pastor Jean Ross.

Pastor Doug: Welcome friends to Bible Answers Live. This is a live international interactive Bible study, and we invite you to call in with your Bible questions. Lines are open right now, wide open. If you'd like to call in with a Bible question, here's the number, 800-463-7297. One way you can remember it is just 800-GOD-SAYS, because the Bible is our textbook. That's 800-463-7297 or 800-GOD-SAYS, brings your Bible question into the studio. Call in now, good chance to get your question on tonight's program, and we are live. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross, and good evening friends. Pastor Doug, it's good to be back doing our radio program here but before we start, let's have a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for the opportunity that we have to open up your word and study together this very important book that relates to every aspect of life. We pray your blessing on those listening, be with us here in the studio. In Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Now, Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about this terrible war that was raged against sparrows of all things, and actually, it led to some terrible results there in China.

Pastor Doug: Now, you would think that people realize there's a delicate balance in nature. They say when the cats are away the mice will play. They once waged a war against cats in Europe because they associated them with the occult, and the rats proliferated, and that's when the bubonic plague came about. Here, they waged war on sparrows. It seems like that would be pretty difficult, but there's a lot of people in China. They virtually eradicated all of the sparrows and then the natural predators for all these bugs were not there, and the bug population just exploded.

That ultimately was connected with, it was that and some bad weather cycles. The biggest famine. I've read about that famine in China. The Chinese official estimates is 15 million people. Now, that's staggering, but most historians say it was much bigger than that. I was alive when this happened. It's hard to believe this is only 60 years ago in modern times that you would have 30 million people starve to death from hunger in non-work conditions because they didn't realize the importance of sparrows.

The Bible says quite a bit about sparrows, Old and New Testament. David sings about them and Jesus talks about them. You can look at Matthew chapter 10, verse 29. It says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin, and yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will." You can see that when they killed millions of them in China, it says, "Not even a sparrow falls to the ground." God feeds the sparrows, the Bible says, and he'll take care of us.

You look at the delicate balance that we see in creation and it helps us begin to realize this could never evolve by accident. There's so many symbiotic relationships that all of nature depends on. Everything from the little hummingbirds that pollinate certain flowers to the bees that pollinate all the crops. If you'd like to know more about the incredible evidence of God that we see in creation, we have a special free offer for you tonight.

Pastor Doug: We have a book that's entitled Amazing Wonders of Creation. That is a free offer for this evening. If you'd like to receive it, give us a call, just ask for it. It's called Amazing Wonders Of Creation. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is a resource phone line. The number again is 800-835-6747. Ask for the book, Amazing Wonders Of Creation. If you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297. All right, one more time. You ready? Here it is. 800-463-7297. That'll bring you right here into the studio with your Bible question. We're going to our first caller this evening, we have Steve listening in St. Helena. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Hi, thanks, and your question.

Steve: What type of stone were the 10 Commandments written on?

Pastor Doug: What type of stone? The Bible doesn't tell us whether it was granite or emerald. Some people believe that it was-- Oh, not Jasper. What's that other stone?

Pastor Ross: It was blue.

Pastor Doug: Yes, my brain is going blank with the-- They believe it was a blue stone and that's because that color blue for the Levites was compared to loyalty. It doesn't say what the kind of stone was. It's probably something that was native to the Arabian Peninsula there in the mountains. All I could do is speculate just a stone.

Steve: Mind if I read a verse in Exodus chapter 24 then?

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Steve: They saw the God of Israel, and there it was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone-

Pastor Doug: Now, that's it. Sapphire.

Steve: -and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.

Pastor Doug: Yes, some say because of that verse, they wonder if the 10 Commandments were written on sapphire. Could be, it's just there's nothing that says the 10 Commandments were written on sapphire. I have no problem with a person believing that.

Pastor Ross: Of course, the first set of tables of stone, God wrote and made those first tables, but then after they were broken, Moses was told to chisel out the stone and God wrote the 10 commandments on that. Whatever kind of stone was available to Moses to chisel out two tables, we don't know whether there was a lot of sapphire in the area or whether it was a different kind of granite.

Pastor Doug: Yes, does that help a little bit with your question?

Steve: Not really, because it wouldn't make sense God to choose a regular stone like sapphire. Even Ezekiel saw a vision in Ezekiel chapter one, verse 26.

Pastor Doug: In the vision, does Ezekiel mentioned sapphire again or he talks about the glory around the throne of God? Now, let me ask this question, does this make a difference what color the stone was?

Steve: If it wouldn't be sapphire, then how come God chose God's law to be blue, represents blue?

Pastor Doug: What difference would it make to you and your relationship to Christ what color the stones were or what they're made out of?

Steve: The 10 Commandments are important, but I'm just saying that--

Pastor Doug: I agree, and I have no problem believing it was sapphire. I'm just saying that when it comes to obeying the law, does it make a difference what kind of stone they're written on? If the 10 commandments are written on paper in your Bible, are they just as important?

Steve: Yes, they are important.

Pastor Doug: They're just as important as if they're written on gold or if they're written on paper. He wants them written on your heart. That's the important thing.

Steve: Yes. You're not sure what stone?

Pastor Doug: I'm just telling you, the Bible does not say the 10 Commandments were written on sapphire or emerald or ruby. It doesn't say what it was. I don't have a problem if it was sapphire, I just can't add to what the Bible says there.

Pastor Ross: We do have a study guide that I think would go right along with this question. It's called Written In Stone, and it's about the 10 Commandments.

Pastor Doug: Perfect, yes.

Pastor Ross: We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks, the number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide talking about the 10 Commandments called, Written in Stone. That is our resource phone line, 800-835-6747. If you have a bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297. Next caller that we have is Lowell, listening in North Carolina. Lowell, welcome to the program.

Lowell: Hello. This is Lowell. Can you hear me?

Pastor Ross: Yes. You're on the air, Lowell. Thanks for calling.

Lowell: Great, great. All right. I've heard some talk lately about how the ancient Israelites kept the Sabbath based on an ancient new moon calendar that reset every new moon and then they counted seven days after that, so that it would necessarily be on a different day depending on the months. That got changed after the Romans took over. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath might not have been on the same Saturday like we think of today. Do you have any opinion on that or have you heard anything in that regard?

Pastor Doug: Yes, I have and I don't think there's much Bible support for that. For one thing, you've got a nation of Jews around the world that since antiquity, they have all been in perfect agreement all the way from the time of Exodus through the Babylonian captivity through the Roman dispersion. Jewish community scattered around the world all agree that is was every seventh day of the week. It's set by a weekly cycle, not by a lunar cycle. The Sabbath wouldn't be in a cycle of sevens anymore.

Lowell: Yes. That's was I was thinking. It would be hard to keep track of.

Pastor Doug: I've heard that theory. There's not a lot of support behind it from-- I don't know any scholars that believe that.

Lowell: Jewish scholars have been tracking it for centuries.

Pastor Doug: Millennia actually, 2000 years, remember?

Lowell: Right.

Pastor Ross: Of course if you go back about 2000 years to the time of Christ, he kept the seventh day as the Sabbath. If there were ever a change he would have at least noted it or said something, but since the time of Christ there's been accurate records of which day of the week is the Sabbath and it's continued week after week.

Lowell: They were on a Roman calendar by then too, weren't they?

Pastor Doug: Yes. The weekly cycle goes back way before the Roman calendar had an effect. No matter what happens to the calendar, it never changes the weekly cycle. Matter of fact, you can write the US Naval Observatory and they'll tell you that from as far back as they know and recorded history, no change to the calendar has ever affected the continuity of the weekly cycle.

People think because they look at a calendar, they see the seven days of the week up there and then they see the month there, they think changing one affects the other. The days have continued to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 since antiquity. Virtually, all of the world has operated under a seven-day week, which to me I think is sign of the divine origin of it.

While some of the different countries of the world had varying calendars, they're all somewhat based on the lunar cycle. Our years, even though the years have different cultures, were a little different. Some had 358 days, some had 378 days. They were based on the sun's cycle, but there is nothing in the sun, lunar and stars that give you a seven-day week except the Bible. Yet, nations around the world all had a seven-day week. I think that's strong proof for that. Thank you very much for your question tonight.

Pastor Ross: We've got a study guide. It's called The Last Day in History. Talks about the Sabbath and gives a little bit of the history of the Sabbath. It's free. Just call us on our resource phone line. It's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called, The Last Day of History. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks.

Speaker 2: Want to know God's plan for our world and solutions for your life's challenges? Beautifully redesigned, Amazing Facts 27 Bible study guides. Provide encouraging Bible-based answers to questions on healthy relationships, when Jesus will return, and much more. Prefer to watch while you read? Our brand new Prophecy Encounters DVD series makes the perfect companion set. Order your study guide and DVDs today by visiting afbookstore.com or by calling 800-538-7275.

Pastor Ross: If you have a bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. 800-463-7297. Our next caller is Ruth listening in Massachusetts. Ruth, welcome to the program.

Ruth: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hey. Thank you for calling.

Ruth: Oh, thank you. My pleasure to be with you.

Pastor Doug: We're glad to hear from you and your question tonight.

Ruth: I had one question but I could not explain well and then I made another one. It's about the desert temple, tabernacle? Why did the people find so many water in the desert to do the service? It's because they need a lot of water in there.

Pastor Doug: The way they got the water for the tabernacle services, and not only did they use water to clean the tabernacle, after you walk past the altar there was a big piece of furniture that was called the laver, and it was big enough for the priest to awash their hands. There was two different sections of it. One for hands and a lower section for feet. They had a full time job keeping the water running there. In fact, when they conquered the Gibeonites, the Gibeonites were told to be servants to bring wood and water in the sanctuary. In the wilderness, the Bible tells us that whenever they pitched camp, Moses struck a rock and water would come out of this rock. It happened on several occasions. One time they came and there was a pool of springs. I think that was called Meribah or Marah.

Pastor Ross: Marah, where they were bitter.

Pastor Doug: Yes, and then they healed the water, so they have an oasis at one point, but other points it says the rock that followed them. 1 Corinthians Chapter 10, was Christ says, strike this rock and water came out. It was a miracle just like the bread from heaven. That water from this supernatural spring or stream was also, I'm sure, what the Levites used to supply the tabernacle. Anyway, we thank you, Ruth for your question. We do have a study that talks a little bit about the tabernacle. I think it's called, God Drew the Plans.

Pastor Ross: We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. Just ask for the study guide called God Drew the Plans. It's all about the sanctuary and its significance. The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called God Drew the Plans. Again, our phone line here is 800-463-7297 if you have a Bible question. Our next caller is Dawn listening in Florida. Dawn, welcome to the program.

Dawn: Hi. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing great, thanks for calling.

Dawn: First, I want to thank you. I absolutely love listening to you. Secondly, I want to thank your for broadcasting live on Facebook because that's how I caught you tonight. [laughs]

Pastor Doug: Oh, wonderful.

Dawn: People in the East coast are a little bit off hour-wise. My question is, I always listen to you preach and you always refer to a day as a thousand years. How do you pull it out of the Bible that God made the earth in seven days if a day is like a thousand years? We would be going to church. Naturally, we don't live 7,000 years so we can't go to church once every 7,000 years, every 7,000 Saturdays or whatever. I don't understand that particular part. I always hear you talk about a day as a thousand years. I'm trying to connect the two [crosstalk] a thousand years in a week.

Pastor Doug: A day being a symbol for a thousand years is not to be applied to creation because I believe that God created the world in seven literal days. Bible says the evening and the morning were the first day. Most of the prophecies in the Bible, you would interpret a day for a year using, is Numbers 4:6 and Luke 13, and there are several passages that tell us that in Bible symbols or prophecy, a day is applied to a year.

There's that one place where David quotes from Psalm 84, where he says a thousand years are like a day when it is God. I don't use it all the time. I just said that technically, there's about 6,000 years of history. When we look at the millennium, it's 1,000 years. In Revelation 20 said it's like there are six days of work for saving man and one day of rest when we live in reign with Christ. That's the only place I apply that possible verse.

Pastor Ross: The verse you're referring to, a day for a year principle, is Numbers chapter 14 verse 34, where one prophetic day is equal to one literal year. It's also interesting to note that that verse that you're talking about in 2 Peter-

Pastor Doug: Chapter 3, yes.

Pastor Ross: Chapter 3, it's in the context of the second coming. It says if you're looking at the second coming in the big picture, sometimes people talk of the great week of time. About 6,000 years, the earth is inhabited and then it's for rest for a 1,000 year during the millennium and the saints are in heaven. That's where the one day with the Lord is as a thousand years.

Dawn: Oh, okay. Okay. That makes sense.

Pastor Doug: You got to be careful with the Bible symbols. I know that there's one denomination that says the creation really was 7,000 years because they have trouble believing that God could do it in six literal days. We strongly believe that it means just what it says, that the Bible says in six days He created the heaven and the earth. I don't think we need to try to make it look like 6,000 years or 6 million years as some have done. I think God could do it in six days, and every seventh day we remember that.

Dawn: I agree. I agree.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you, Dawn. Hey, we really appreciate your calling. You would enjoy the special book that we're offering tonight. It's really a booklet, but it's a beautifully written, called Wonders of Creation. We'll send you a free copy if you just call the resource line.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Wonders of Creation. Yes, friends, we are live on Facebook this evening. We weren't quite sure to make a big an announcement until we knew for sure that it was up and running. It sounds like it is. If you want to let your friends know, if they want to participate in our program, all they need to do just go to the Amazing Facts Facebook page, and they'll be able to see us and hear us and call in [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: It's better just listening, but if you're watching we'll wave at you right now. [chuckles]

Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is Tiffany, listening from Walla Walla. Tiffany, welcome to the program.

Tiffany: Hi, thank you. My question is, some friends of mine talked about how the Holy Spirit is not part of the Godhead, and need a salvation issue. I'm wondering how I can reconcile that?

Pastor Doug: Yes. This has come and gone through history where people struggle with the Trinity. They usually connect it with doubting that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead. They also believe that Jesus is a begotten or created God. They say there's a difference between being begotten and created. The whole idea is if Christ did not exist at one point and the Father brought him into existence, it's just arguing about semantics. It would mean he was created. Now, Christ created all things so he couldn't be created. It says, "All things that were made were made by Him." The Bible says, "In the beginning, God created." Jesus is God.

What about the Holy Spirit? You find the Holy Spirit the same way from the beginning to end of the Bible. It says in Genesis, "The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters." You go to the last chapter, "The Spirit and the Bride say, come." Pastor Ross and I are working on a devotional on Revelation right now. There in the first chapter talks about, "From He who was and who is the Father, and from the seven Spirits before His throne and from the Son." It tells you right there in Revelation, first chapter, it identifies.

Then Christ says, "When He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak of himself, but He will show you things to come." Christ keeps referring to the Holy Spirit is He, He, He, He. He doesn't say, "My Spirit." He doesn't say, "The Father Spirit." It is a confusing subject because the way that the Father speaks to us and the Son is typically through this person of the Spirit.

The roles of the Father and the Son and the Spirit vary. Now, we do have a book we can send you that talks more about that because otherwise, I could catch myself, I'd go on half an hour about this. Let me just say a few more things. The book is called--

Pastor Ross: The Trinity.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the book called The Trinity is a biblical. Back to the Holy Spirit real quick. The Bible says, "The Holy Spirit can be grieved." We don't grieve in it. The Bible says we're led by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was guiding the disciples. He would say, "Do this and do that." It's just really clear, especially when you get into the Book of Acts, there's an individual person to the Spirit.

Tiffany: If I don't understand it completely, it's not a salvation issue.

Pastor Doug: No.

Tiffany: If I want to know the truth, but I don't want to be-- I'm not clear. I keep trying to study it and I can't figure it out.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me just tell you what God says. First of all, Isaiah says, "As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways above your ways." Job tells us, "God is past finding out." The idea that we're going to be able to melt down all the aspects of the infinite God and say, "Here's the Spirit. He does this, and He does this, He does this." We can't even begin to figure out where God came from, can we?

Tiffany: No.

Pastor Doug: Yes. If we can't dissect all that, I definitely do not think-- Let me say one more thing about that. Some people, a lot of Protestants are very suspicious of anything the Catholics believe because the Protestants came out of Catholicism, and they felt that the Catholic's teachings were influenced by paganism. Because the Catholics believe in the Trinity, they think that to believe in it must mean that you're somehow capitulating to Catholic theology.

The word Trinity is not in the Bible. The way that Catholics view the Trinity is a little different than the way the Protestants view it. You don't find the word Trinity in the Bible. You don't find the word millennium in the Bible. I looked it up and you don't find the word Bible in the Bible, but we believe that, I guess the word biblios is in the original. Because you don't find the word Trinity, Trinity just means tri entity. It means different things to the different churches based on how they explain it.

I think it's hard to disagree that you have these three unique entities. Jesus said, "Go, baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, the Spirit." At the baptism of Jesus, the Father is in heaven, He speaks. The son is in the water being baptized, the Spirit is coming down like a dove. You see so much evidence for these three distinct, unique persons of the Godhead, but they are one God in that they are perfectly united.

In Hebrew when you say one, Jesus said, "A man and a woman become one flesh," but they're two different beings. Jesus told the 12 apostles, "I pray, Father, they may be one as you and I are one." Well, they were 12 individuals, but he wanted them to be united. People get mixed up on that. If they understand the Jewish concept of unity it's not a problem. It's not numerical quantity, it's being united.

Anyway, now I'm starting to give you everything in the book, but just ask for the free book on The Trinity, and we'll be happy to send it to anyone who wants to better understand the subject.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called The Trinity. You can also read it for free online. Just go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org, and look up the book Trinity and you can read it right there on the web.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your call, Tiffany, we sure appreciate that. Listening friends, we're just taking a brief break to catch a breath. I want to remind you we are streaming live tonight. There's a little camera set up in the studio. You can see us on the Amazing Facts Facebook site. You just Google Amazing Facts Facebook, you'll find that. I was going to say something else. This is embarrassing, we're on live radio and I forget what it was. [crosstalk] It's happening more and more friends. Got a break. I'll have a whole minute and a half to think about what it was, but we'll be back.

Speaker 2: Stay tuned. Bible Answers Live will return in a moment.

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Speaker 3: Written by the hand of God and spoken with His voice, some words will never fade.

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Speaker 2: Get Pastor Doug Batchelor's 12-parts sermon series on the 10 Commandments by calling 800-538-7275, or visit afbookstore.com.

Pastor Doug: Hello friends, Pastor Doug Batchelor here with Amazing Facts. Corinne was divorced, pregnant, and very concerned about her future. God saw her in her desperate loneliness and confusion, and He used a coworker to share an Amazing Facts DVD that led Corinne to our website. Here at the website, she studied our life-changing free online Bible studies. What she learned there transformed her heart and today, Corinne has a lasting peace. She's baptized and part of a nurturing church family.

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Speaker 2: Every Bible question you have answered moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life. 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'd 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 Pastors Doug Batchelor and Jean Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. This is Bible Answers Live. If you joined us along the way, it is a live international interactive Bible study, not only on these various radio stations. Tonight we're streaming also on Facebook at the Amazing Facts site. We have some lines open if you want to call us with your question. 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. I am Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross and we're going to go straight back to the phone lines. Our next caller is Jay listening in Georgia. Jay, welcome to the program.

Jay: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening. Thanks for waiting.

Jay: Yes, sir. My question is simple. My son and I are debating the fact over baptism, whether it has to be water baptism or a Spirit baptism. I told him I think it should be both as a prerequisite to get into heaven, okay?

Pastor Doug: You read in the Gospel of John Chapter 3, Jesus said, "Except you are born of the water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." If you read in Mark 16:16 there Jesus said, "He who believes in his baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned."

Baptism is certainly important. The last thing Jesus said before he ascended to heaven is, "Go ye therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." People said to Peter in Acts Chapter 2, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" The apostle said, "Repent and be baptized, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

There again, you have baptism. Water baptism is the ceremony by which you publicly commit yourself to Christ. It's a symbol of washing away your sin and based on your confessing Christ, God then sends the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. Certainly, both are important. I think if you only had one or the other, you would have to have the Spirit baptism. There may be people who accept Jesus on the deathbed and they can't get in the water. I think Christ will give them credit for his baptism, but if a person can be baptized, I don't know why a believer would not want to be.

Jay: Okay, it was a thing between me and my son and we don't want to take any chances. I guess we got to get them both done. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thanks so much, and we have a special book we'll be happy to send you on that.

Pastor Ross: We do. Actually, it deals with this very subject. It's called, Baptism - Is it Really Necessary? We want to encourage you to give us a call, Jay, and ask for it. We'll be happy to send it to you for free. The number is 800-835-6747. Again, that number is 800-835-6747. Ask for the book called Baptism - Is it Really Necessary? It's got all the scriptures and a great study. We're happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Our next caller is John listening in Georgia. John, welcome to the program.

John: Hey, hello, thanks for taking the call. Well, let's say this much. I have a question for Doug Batchelor, it's an honor to speak with you tonight, sir. I will say this much, we know that when Christ comes back, he's coming back, clouds are involved.

I think Matthew 24, Matthew 26, Luke 21, Acts 1, and he's coming back in a cloud. As I study Revelation, and I'm getting to my question, it appears to me and I'm really fully convinced, maybe you can clear it up and unconvince me, but it appears to me when we see Christ coming back in the Earth's atmosphere on a cloud, that that's a big event. In Revelation 14:14-16, Christ is on a white cloud, has a sharp sickle in his hand, and he reaps the earth in those two verses. Is this that? Whether you call it the rapture, or the first resurrection, or whatever terminologies used, this appears to be that to me. Can you help me with that? Revelation 14:14-16?

Pastor Doug: Well, the symbols in Revelation-- First of all, let me back up. You're right, it does talk about Jesus coming in the clouds. The clouds that Jesus comes in are clouds of angels. He's coming back, the Bible tells us. I think it's also in Matthew, it says, "He'll send his angels," Matthew 24, "To gather together the elect." Tells us he's coming with 10,000 times 10,000.

When he was caught up in the glory, it's like for Elijah, they call it chariots and horses of fire. These are his angels. Revelation, you'll find Jesus, there's a lot of very obvious symbols. It's got Jesus coming with a sword coming out of his mouth. It's got him in one vision, he's got a sickle and other places got a statement written on his thigh that says, "Word of God." I don't think that all the symbols that you see in Revelation are telling us that he's really coming with a literal sickle, because he's not a farmer.

He's not going to be mowing people down like weed. It's a symbol that he's coming for the harvest of the earth, but he is coming with clouds. The angel said to the disciples in Acts Chapter 1, "The same Jesus will return as you saw him go." They saw him leave, he was received up into these clouds of light and he's going to come again in the glory of the angels.

Pastor Ross: Of course, you asked the question, is this Revelation 14:14-16, connected with the rapture? It is a description of the second coming of Christ. Now, what's interesting about this passage is you'll notice there's nothing secret about the second coming of Jesus. Talks about Jesus coming, there's the harvest of the earth, you read on starting verse 17, "The righteous are gathered and taken to heaven, the wicked are destroyed." If you study what the Bible says about the second coming of Jesus, there's nothing secret.

There's a great earthquake, there's a resurrection that takes place, the righteous have changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of His coming. There's a little confusion as to what exactly is going to happen when Jesus comes, but there's so many passages in Scripture that talk about the second coming as being a glorious event. No one's going to miss it.

John: Yes, and then the very next chapter, there's things around the throne of God. I really hold dear to that Revelation 14:14 and a wonderful, glorious event. Again, the people of God at the throne of God in the very next chapter, and then the wrath is poured out after that. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. I know there may be different teachings on that but thank you all for taking my question. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Yes, absolutely. Now, we do have a study that talks about the coming of the Lord and the glory and the clouds, and Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: It's called Anything but Secret, and we'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. Again, it's called Anything but Secret. All about the second coming of Jesus, and we'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is our resource phone line. Ask for the book called, Anything but Secret, we'll be happy to send it to you. Our next caller that we have is Ken listening from Florida, Ken you're on the air?

Ken: Hello, hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for waiting, and your question?

Ken: We was talking this morning in Sunday school about 2 Corinthians 5:8, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." I'm a little confused because I don't know exactly how many accounts there are in Scripture of people that have been resurrected but none of them tell of their experience of in heaven. Just like Lazarus, the Bible says that Jesus said he was sleeping. I'm just wondering, do we immediately go into the presence of the Lord? I just wonder why those people that were resurrected, none of them spoke of heaven?

Pastor Doug: That's a great question and I think you're on the right track. When a believer dies, if they die in a saved condition, obviously a believer would be, their next conscious thought is coming out of the grave at the Second Coming. You read about that in 1 Thessalonians 4, "The Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the dead in Christ will rise."

For them, it's a moment, the twinkling of an eye, it's like you go to sleep and all of a sudden, the alarm goes off and it's an instant for them. For a believer who dies, their next conscious thought is the presence of the Lord but right now they're asleep. The Bible tells us like Jesus said to Lazarus, "The dead sleep until the resurrection." You read also, even Martha when she talked to Jesus about her dead brother, she said, "I know he'll rise in the resurrection on the last day." She was right. They'd listened to Jesus teach on this many times. I think six times in John Chapter 6, he talks about the resurrection in the last day. Believers are sleeping a dreamless sleep, they're not conscious of any passing of time.

Pastor Ross: I just thought of a verse, Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing." It's not until the resurrection at the second coming that the resurrection takes place.

Pastor Doug: Yes, you are correct. There are about a dozen resurrections in the Bible that are mentioned. There's about three in the Old Testament and about 9 in the New Testament. None of those resurrected ever comment on either being rescued from hell or plucked from heaven or anything. People point to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus and they try and build a doctrine on that, but it's just a parable.

Ken: Lazarus, he had dinner with Jesus after he was resurrected, correct?

Pastor Doug: Yes, in Bethany.

Ken: He spoke nothing about it.

Pastor Doug: If today somebody came back from the dead, every news agency in the world would send a representative and they'd push a microphone in his face and say, "What did you see?" Everyone wants to know what happens when you die. The very fact there is no comment on this at all in the Bible-- The Bible says, "The dead are reserved unto the day of judgement." People don't die and go right to Heaven or Hell before the judgement. They don't right to Heaven or Hell before the resurrection. People get confused because they forget that there's no consciousness of time for the dead. We experience time in our lives.

Ken: The saints of God, Abraham, and Moses and all the disciples and this and that, everybody is still sleeping?

Pastor Doug: Well there's a couple of exceptions. Yes, most of them are, but Elijah went to Heaven in a fiery chariot, he's there. Moses was resurrected, you can read about that in the book of Jude. Enoch walked with God, God took him. There are a few exceptions, but the majority of people will be in the general resurrection of the coming of the Lord.

Pastor Ross: Somebody in Acts 2:33, they were talking about this to some degree and here is an interesting verse. Acts 2:34 it says David, the patriarch David, the king, "For David did not ascend into Heaven." David had been dead for a number of years by the time you get to Acts Chapter 2, but there it states that David is not in Heaven, he's in the grave waiting for the resurrection.

Pastor Doug: A few verses earlier it says, "David is dead and buried and his grave is with us still today." It says he's dead, buried, not in Heaven. How much clearer can you be? David is sleeping. "David slept with his father," as the Bible says. David will be in the resurrection, but that's 3,000 years ago he died. It's not going to seem like 3000 years for him. For him to be absent from the body, he's going to sense a resurrection.

Ken: Okay, and I appreciate that. Just the last follow-up here. Heaven has already been created, it's already perfect in it's place, so right now all of in it's glory it's just not very populated. There's only a few people there.

Pastor Doug: Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you." Now, if all the patriarchs before Jesus went right to Heaven, then their places wouldn't have been prepared yet, but Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you." He says, "When I'm done," he said, "I will come again. " That's John 14. He hasn't come back yet, I don't think all the places are prepared. I think that's somewhat of a metaphor too, saying, "I'm intervening for you in Heaven."

Pastor Ross: Of course Heaven is not empty because that's where the angels are and a few that were translated without seeing death, but ultimately it's at the second coming when the righteous get their reward.

Ken: I think that when God spoke the world into existence, it was immediate. When Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you," I don't think He's laboring with hands and building with bricks. I'm thinking that--

Pastor Doug: Yes, He can speak it into existence.

[laughter]

Pastor Doug: Then again, he is a carpenter so-- No, I'm just teasing you.

Ken: [laughs] All right, thanks for your help. I'll call and get some literature.

Pastor Doug: Yes, please do.

Pastor Ross: We do have a study guide called Are the Dead Really Dead? Deals with the subject. We would be happy to send it to you or anyone who calls and asks. It's 800-835-6747. Just ask for the study guide called Are the Dead Really Dead? 800-835-6747. We actually have a website also dealing with the subject called Deathtruth.com. Just Google it Deathtruth.com, and you'll be able to get a lot more scriptures on the subject. Our next caller is Edward listening from Bronx. Edward, welcome to the program.

Edward: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Edward: I have a question regarding Luke 13:1-5.

Speaker 3: Okay.

Edward: It's a saying by Jesus where He's saying unless you repent ye shall likewise perish. Also is He saying that if you repent, you would not suffer the fate that the Galileans suffered or the other people?

Pastor Doug: Just to give everybody listening the context, some people came to Christ and they said, "Did you hear about the terrible thing that happened? A wall fell on some people in Galilee and a number of them died." They're thinking they must've done something terrible for that judgement to happen. Pilate had also sent some soldiers into the temple to quell a rebellion and a number were slaughtered and they said, "Oh well, those people died because they must have had terrible sins." Jesus said, "Do not think that they were sinners above others. Unless you repent you will all likewise perish." In other words, everybody has sinned.

When some judgement befalls, if a plane falls out of the sky, we shouldn't assume, "Well, that's because everyone on the plane, they were just terrible sinners and so they got some extra special catastrophe." The good and evil perish in a war, and good and evil perish in-- There's some good people that may die when a boat goes down, you know what I'm saying. Christ was letting them know that everybody is guilty of sin and everybody must repent. If we do repent and confess our sins and believe in Jesus we will be saved. Does that help answer your question?

Edward: Yes it does. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: All righty, thanks so much for calling.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Rodney listening in West Virginia. Rodney, welcome to the program.

Rodney: Yes, thank you for taking my call. It's an honor to speak with y'all.

Pastor Doug: Likewise.

Rodney: I have a question about a movie that I have watched three times this week, and every time I watch it I get more and more intrigued by it.

Pastor Doug: I hope it's a Bible movie. [chuckles]

Rodney: The movie is Tell the World, and there was an event in there that happened that they had set a date for Jesus to return and that never happened. The next day they were experiencing great disappointment or whatever. In the process of them studying to find out what was wrong, they found out that something did occur on that day and I was a little bit confused about exactly what it was. They said something about it wasn't the end but it was the beginning, and something about Christ entering the sanctuary or something like that. I was wondering if you could just explain a little bit about that event.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I'll be happy to. I think the movie you're talking about is a docu-drama called Go Tell the World. It talks about the Advent Movement that happened in the 1830s and 1840s, where hundreds of thousands of people around the world and in North America all believed, based on a prophecy in Daniel Chapter 8, where it says in Daniel 8:14, "2,300 days then the sanctuary will be cleansed." Well they all calculated that date as the starting point in Daniel Chapter 9 and they said, "Well, starting point is the command to rebuild Jerusalem. 2,300 years will be 1844. Sanctuary being cleansed, Jesus must be coming."

Everybody thought Jesus was coming. Not just Christians, even the Baháʼí Faith studied the same prophecy and came to 1844. When Jesus didn't come they called it "The Great Disappointment." Now, let me just say, this was called the Advent Movement. People have often confused this saying, "Well that was the Seventh Day Adventist Church." Seventh Day Adventist Church did not exist back then, these were mostly Sunday keepers. It was Baptists and Presbyterians. Advent means anyone who believes in the advent or coming of Jesus. This was the Great Advent Movement among Protestants, and they continued to study. They realized the dates were right. The event that they foresaw was wrong.

Nothing in the Bible says that the Earth is the sanctuary, but the Bible does say in Hebrews, "God has a sanctuary in Heaven." Well they believed Christ entered his final work as our high priest of cleansing the sanctuary. It's like in Revelation you've got seven Ages of the Church. The last Age of the Church is called Laodicea. The Judging of the People. That we enter the last Age of the Church. A number of Protestants ascribed to that, and that's probably what you're talking about. We have a lesson that talks about that prophecy in Daniel Chapter 8. Would you like a free copy of that?

Rodney: I sure would.

Pastor Doug: It's called God Sets A Date For The Judgment. Is that right Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: I am looking for the exact wording of it here.

Pastor Doug: Some of the lessons have been revised-

Pastor Ross: Changed the names.

Pastor Doug: -and the creative editors changed the title. It messes us up. We always remember the old titles, but you call and you ask for the book on God Sets A Date For The Judgment and our operators will--

Pastor Ross: Oh, we got it. We got the new name, it's called Right on Time.

Pastor Doug: [laughs] There it is. Right on Time.

Pastor Ross: We will be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called Right on Time. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. One more time it's 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Ken listening in Tennessee. Ken, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Ken: Good afternoon gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Thanks for waiting and your call, your question.

Ken: Okay, my question is related to Ephesians 4:29. I would like to know, is it a sin to use profanity, to cuss? Also, the reason I ask, I was looking at one of my favorite motivational speakers and he's starting to cuss now a lot, Tony Robbins. I was just wondering is that a sin to cuss? Can a Christian cuss to the one that's listening? What's your take on that?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible says, "Whatever things are pure and noble." Was it Philippians, Pastor Ross? "Whatever things are pure and noble and just and good and holy, think on these things." It never does us any good, and it's so pervasive in our culture. I remember when I was a kid, I grew up in New York City, I went to public school, and I'd hear dirty words every now and then.

It wasn't very common even in New York City in public school when I was a kid. People would go, "Woah, listen to what they said." It was a big deal. Now, it is so omnipresent, but it still makes me cringe whenever I hear-- We don't need to cheapen our communications by using dirty words and creating mental pictures in people's minds. Why would you want to create ugly pictures in people's minds?

I think it lowers a person's perceived IQ. It doesn't matter if you're Tony Robbins, or who you are. If you've got to resort to using profanity to make a point, it just means that you're having a problem thinking of good words and so you're trying to punctuate your comments with profanity. Obviously using profane language, speech is a gift. What would Jesus do? Do we ever picture Jesus talking like that? A Christian is a follower of Christ. By all means, let all your conversation be pure.

Pastor Ross: [crosstalk] The verse you're referring to is Philippians 4:8.

Ken: Yes, 4:8. All right, thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Jesus said, "Don't swear by Heaven or by Earth. Let your yes be yes and your no be no." You don't need to go, "Blankity blank." That's what they're doing. There's a lot, boy, you can hardly say anything there without bleeping out comments. Everything's bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep [chuckles]. Even the news reports. Hey, thank you. I appreciate your question.

Jen: Our next caller is Claire. Claire, welcome to the program, you're on the air.

Claire: Hi, gentlemen. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. Thank you for calling.

Claire: Thank you for having me. My question is about Ezekiel 33:3. I was sleeping one night after my enlightenment by the Lord, and He had woken me up from my sleep. I guess it would be the audible voice of God said, "Ezekiel 33:3." It was a voice and it woke me up out of my sleep. I'm just concerned about the actual, the sword. I went to the Bible and it says, "When the sword comes upon the land, sound the alarm and warn the people." Is that something we should be concerned about? It was audible and I'm thinking it was from God.

Pastor Doug: It's a very important message that's given in Ezekiel Chapter 33. It's talking about the message of the watchman on the wall. Meaning that not only Ezekiel who is a prophet, but when God's people know the truth and we know there is a judgement coming. When the sword was coming, it meant that an army was coming, judgement was coming to God's people. That a watchman had a responsibility to tell people to get ready for this coming battle. Get ready for this coming judgement. If the watchman did not warn them, not only would the people suffer, but the watchman had their blood on his hands because he was supposed to blow the trumpet and tell them, "Get ready."

We as Christians know that Christ is coming. We have a message to go to the world and tell them, "Hey, get your priorities straight." Nothing is more important than preparing for eternity. This life is really insignificant compared to the life that lasts forever. People get so preoccupied with the cares of this life. Jesus tells us in Mark Chapter 13 about the second coming. He says, "Watch, watch, watch, watch." I don't know what the Lord was telling you but I know that this passage that He directed you to is talking about every believer being a faithful watchman. When God gives us opportunity, to talk to others about the importance of eternal preparation.

Claire: Would this also be about, because I did have a heavenly encounter as well about being on that wall with Peter. The foundation on that rock that God's building the church on.

Pastor Doug: Every believer who is trusting in the word is building on the rock. It says there in Matthew that the wise man builds on the rock. What is the rock? He that hears these words of mine and does them.

Pastor Ross: It's interesting, specifically talking about Ezekiel here and the verse that you're referring to. Ezekiel the prophet was living at a time when the Babylonians were coming up against Jerusalem. He was sounding the alarm that judgement is coming upon the city. Many of those in the city ignored the judgments of Ezekiel and didn't listen. We find a similar thing back in the days of Noah. Noah warned about a coming flood and the people ignored him. Just before the final judgement that's coming upon the earth, a message needs to be given. Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of the world is not paying attention.

Pastor Doug: That's right. We really appreciate your call. We do have a study guide that talks about the second coming. I think that our brother would really appreciate that. If you call and ask for the study guide called--

Pastor Ross: Ultimate Deliverance.

Pastor Doug: Ultimate Deliverance, yes. Listening friends, it just would not be fair if we took another caller right now. I knew it was coming.

Pastor Ross: The music.

Pastor Doug: That would have been a really short question. Before we go to our closing announcements, I just want to remind everybody that you can listen to these programs all week long. If you even go to amazingfacts.org, we've got gobs and tons and oodles of Bible study resources. Indeed, you can go to YouTube. The Amazing Facts channel scores hundreds of videos and some have over a million hits. So check us out and we'd love to hear from you, keep us on the air. God Bless.

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