The Lion and the Cobra

The Lion and the Cobra

Date: 02/10/2019 
From current events to age-old concerns, from finances to metaphors and symbols, learn what the Bible has to say about abortion, eternal punishment of the wicked, tithe distribution and much more. Listen to Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross in this episode of Bible Answers Live as they examine the Scriptures and help listeners from all over the world come to a clearer understanding of God's holy Word.
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello, friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? On February 4, 2019, a man was jogging through West Ridge Trail near Fort Collins, Colorado and he killed a mountain lion with his bare hands after the animal attacked him. The man reportedly heard something behind him while he was running and turned just in time to see the animal lunge at him. What followed next was a ferocious wrestling match. As a hungry 80-pound cat bit the man about his face and his wrists, he managed to pick up a rock with his free hand and slammed the lion on the head. He then jumped on the animal's back and chocked it to death with hand and arms fearing if he let hit go, it would resume its attack.

He sustained some serious injuries on the face and wrist, but he still managed to alert authorities and get himself to a hospital on his own accord. After receiving several stitches, the man was released from the hospital and, thankfully, is expected to make a full recovery. Authorities later found the lion and confirmed it died via suffocation. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is withholding the name of the man at his request. He'd like some time to recovery before he speaks with the media.

The Bible tells of several accounts of men that wrestled with lions and won. Stay with us, friends. We're going to learn more on this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Announcement: 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 Jëan Ross.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends to Bible Answers Live. This is just what it sounds like. It's a opportunity for you to call in with your Bible questions live, and we'll do our very best to give you answers from the word of God. Lines are wide open right now. If you've ever had a question, you've wondered something about the Bible or maybe you had some questions about the Christian life, then we invite you to give us a call. It is a free phone call. (800) 463-7297. That's (800) God-Says. (800)-- Got your pencil? 463-7297. Call in now with your Bible questions. Got a great opportunity of getting it on tonight's program. We're also streaming this live on Facebook. If you go to the Amazing Facts Facebook page or the Doug Batchelor Facebook page, you'll see, for whatever it's worth, you'll see actually the video and you can watch there and call in your questions as well.

My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, Pastor Doug and friends. We're glad to be able to do Bible Answers Live, but before we get to the phone lines, Pastor Doug, we always like to start with a prayer.

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you once again that we do have this opportunity to spend some time in your word. We do ask for the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and our faults as we search the scriptures for Bible answers. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about something you don't hear about too often, an attack between a lion and a man, and the man comes out on top, and he didn't have a gun or a knife. He just grabbed a hold of what he could find, which was a rock, and he was actually able to kill the lion and escape certain death under normal circumstances you think. You did mention he was a fairly strong guy. I guess he was an athlete maybe jogging out on the trails.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the lion picked the wrong guy. He was in pretty good shape, from what I read. When you're fighting for your life, you'd have adrenaline running. I think it was also a younger lion. A little less experienced, and he bit off more than he could chew, quite literally. It makes me think about three stories in the Bible where men wrestled with lions, or fought them. David, it says he took the lion by the beard and smote it. We don't know exactly what that means, but lions do have the-- The Asian lions do have, the males, the beard, as well as the mane. Then it tells about Samson who picked up a lion. A young lion roared at him and he tore He had pretty strong biceps or something. Then there was one of the mighty men of David. I don't remember his name, but he jumped into a pit on a winter day and he killed a lion, I think with a spear.

When you read these stories in the Bible, a lion in the Bible is often synonymous with the devil. For instance, in 1st Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour." The devil is often trying to catch his prey by surprise through ambush, but the Lord tells us that we, through God's power, can defeat the lion. In fact, in Psalm 91:13, he says, "You will tread upon the lion and the cobra." Two symbols of the devil. "The young lion and the serpent. You will trample under foot." With the help of the Lord, we can resist the devil and his onslaughts. Satan, he's not trying to physically eat us, but he tries to bring us down through his temptations and his distractions to discourage our faith. We can resist his temptations and his efforts to discourage us through the word.

We have a free offer that will tell you how you can defeat the lion that we're going to make available to anyone who calls tonight.

Pastor Ross: The free offer that we have tonight is a very practical book, and I think it's something that every Christian recognizes as something we need in our lives to be victorious Christians. It's called Tips for Resisting Temptation. It's actually a book that you wrote, Pastor Doug. We'll be happy to send this out to anyone who calls and asks. It's very practical. It deals with these real issues. Again, it's called Tips for Resisting Temptation. That is our free offer. If you'd like to receive the book, call our resource phone line (800)-835-6747. That number again, this is the resource phone line, it's (800)-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Tips for Resisting Temptation.

For those of you who might be watching on Facebook, even outside of North America, you can read this book by going to the Amazing Facts website. Just search there in the library for the book called Tips for Resisting Temptation. I think you'd be able to read it right there online.

Our first caller this evening is Rodney, listening from North Carolina. Rodney, welcome to the program. You're on the air.

Rodney: Hello.

Pastor Ross: Evening.

Rodney: Good evening, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Yes. How can we help you tonight?

Rodney: I've got a question. Something has been nagging at me for a while. I've been looking through the Bible, and I've been noticing that starting in Leviticus, mostly in Leviticus, it's just concerning laying your hands on an animal and transferring the sins to the animal and they go out in the wilderness. Another example was Leviticus 16 and 21, where this gentleman stolled with a young guy, and the young guy started getting upset. It says in verse 10, "The son of the Israelite is a woman who's father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel and this son of Israelite is a woman, and a man of Israel stolled together in the camp." It goes on to say that he cursed God and everything, and then they have all the people to come out and the witnesses that were sure of what he did, they were the ones who stoned this guy. First, they put the on his head.

Getting back to Matthew and the gospels. Different ones was sealed by Jesus, but he never touched their head. Here's my question. After reading all that and trying to come to some conclusion, I'd want to know from your opinion, is it biblical for an elder or a pastor or other leader to touch another person's head while praying for them?

Pastor Doug: Yes. In a word. You do have cases where Jesus healed people through touch. In, I think it was Luke Chapter 5. A leper came to Jesus, he said, "Lord, if you're willing, you can make me clean." It says Jesus reached out, touched him, and said, "I am willing. Be clean." Sometimes Jesus touched people, he touched the blind man's eyes, he put some mud on his eyes. Sometimes Jesus spoke and he healed a person. Sometimes, they reached out and touched him.

In the Bible, touch often represents transferring. When a father blessed his child, he would lay hands on the head of the sons and transfer a blessing. This is what Jacob did for-- I'm sorry. What Isaac did for Jacob, and Jacob later did for his sons and grandsons.

You could also transfer sin, which is what happens in Leviticus when the high priest would confess the sins of the people, he placed his hands on the head of the goats on the day of atonement. He could transfer authority when Jesus put his hands on the apostles, or when the apostles later anointed or ordained deacons and elders. They would transfer authority by placing their hands. The placing of the hands represented a transfer of authority. Now, the story that you give in Leviticus about the man that curse God, he was later stoned. That's really just a court process where the witnesses said, "We heard it. There were some of the first to stone him", but are we answering your question?

Rodney: Well, not really. You see, I'm an elder, and I don't have a problem with praying over people. It just has a negative connotation when I touch their head and I see that Jesus didn't actually touch a person's head, he touched the eyes. He healed the ear of Malchus.

Pastor Doug: I think I see what you're saying. Well, you're not required to touch a person's head when you pray for them. There's a lot of praying that happens in the Bible without people touching anything. You're not required to do that. When Pastor Ross and I go to India, and folks ask you to pray for them, they'll often point to their head. They want you to place your hand on their heads when you pray, because it does represent transferring a blessing for them. I probably placed my hand on thousands of heads in India, but in some cultures, they don't ask for that. There's no requirement to do that in the Bible. I find no command.

Pastor Ross: More in our culture probably will be more appropriate than placing your hand on somebody's head, especially if it's an adult. I know in some cases we've prayed for someone in special prayer, and we've placed their hand on their shoulder just to show that you're praying for them and you're lifting them up before the Lord. There is no requirement of placing your hand on the head by any means. I think more in the culture of the Middle East, like India and time of Christ and Israel, it was more acceptable, and it represented a transfer of blessing by placing your hand on somebody's head.

Rodney: Well, that's good because I was uncomfortable with it because I read all the stories in Leviticus. I always had a negative connotation, but I will love to pray for someone but I touched the shoulder or their hand. I feel more comfortable doing it that way.

Pastor Doug: Well, absolutely. There's no problem with that. We do appreciate your question. Thank you. I think we probably need to move along and catch a few more that are standing in line here.

Pastor Ross: All right, next caller that we have is Nathan. Nathan, you've got your question, you're on the air.

Nathan: Hi there, Doug and Pastor Ross. I appreciate you taking the call.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Nathan: All the questions that you guys answer for thousands of people. We appreciate your good service. It's a great ministry.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Nathan: The question I have is in regards to where are our tithes supposed to go? I know the official stance of the church is that the tithes go to a main storehouse or conference that is managed by the executives or leadership of the church. I decided to do a thorough Bible study on what the Bible talks about where the tithe is to be paid, and the two specific scriptures, if you can grant me a minute here to read them. These are the ones I want to specifically have addressed, because these scriptures seems that the tithe can be used for various sources, not just one source, for, in this case, for the church leadership or conference.

Deuteronomy chapter 14. I'll read that. 27 through 29. I'll read, I'll read quickly. "The Levite that is within my Gates, thou shall not forsake him. For he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of three years, thou shall bring forth all the tithe." Here we are talking about the tithe. "Thine increase the same year and shout, "Lay it up within thy Gates." Verse 29. "The Levite, because he has no part nor inheritance with thee, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thine gates, shall come and shall eat and be satisfied that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest."

Here it seems to be acknowledging that the tithe is to be used not only for the Levite, which I would consider that as parallel to the leader of the church, but also the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Then if you turn to Deuteronomy 26:12, and I'll read 12 and 13, it reiterates the same thing. Verse 12, Deuteronomy chapter 26. "When thou has made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and has given it into the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow," the same set of verses here, "that they may eat within thine gates and be filled. Then thou shall say before the Lord thy God." This is verse 13. "I have brought away the hallowed things that are out of thine house, and also have given them unto the Levite and unto the stranger or to the fatherless and to the widow." The same set of people. "According to all thy commandments, which thou has commanded me. I have not transgressed that commandment, and neither have I forgotten them."

My question is, can't the tithe be used for all these different types of sources, not just the Levite per se or the church leadership of the church?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Let me give you a quick answer if I can. I think that the Bible is talking about two different tithes. They had a tithe-- You notice this is one that says the third year. Most people don't wait three years to pay their tithe. They had a tithe that they would give specifically for the poor and the fatherless, as well as the Levite. This is not going to the priests. I don't think the priests were mentioned in this verse. That was a tithe that was connected with the feasts. Every third year, there was a special tithe that was given just like every seventh year they were supposed to leave the land fallow. On an annual basis, and every harvest, when they had the annual spring and harvest feasts, the tithe was brought to the storehouse and distributed from the priests throughout the priesthood. This is how they preached the gospel.

Pastor Ross: If you look, Nathan, just a few verses before in that same passage, verse 22 says, "You shall truly tithe up all your increase of your grain that the field produces year by year." That was a yearly tithe that would probably go to the gathering point, which would be the temple where the priests were. In addition to that, there was a third-year tithe that was also given to address not only the Levites, but also it says the fatherless and the widows. It was a special ministry and outreach that was involved there.

Pastor Doug: I know a lot of people actually pay a second tithe too to help with the poor. Hey, thank you, Nathan. We're going to keep going here, and by the way, we do have a lesson that talks about tithe that's called In God we trust, and we'll send you a free copy if you ask for that.

Ross: What you need to do is call our resource line. That's (800) 835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide called In God, we trust.

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Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we're having, Jerry, listening, Oregon. Jerry, welcome to the program.

Jerry: Yes, good nice talking to you pastors Ross and Batchelor. My question relates to, John 3:1. Now, a lot of people who are knowledgeable of the Bible are encouraged to give Bible studies. Sometimes people have suggested that I do that, but this is what it says. "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." Do you want to comment on that?

Pastor Doug: Yes, and that's James 3:1. I think you said John.

Jerry: Excuse me.

Pastor Doug: I read that verse yesterday, or I actually heard a pastor read it on radio, and I'm always convicted when I hear that verse because I do a lot of teaching, and you have a great responsibility. It's a privilege to be able to teach the word of God. James is saying, "Don't take that lightly, because you are accountable." Whoever has more responsibility has more accountability. You've just got to be very careful. He's not saying nobody should be a teacher. He said, "Don't be anxious to say I want to be a teacher." You don't realize you're taking up a very weighty responsibility to be faithful in communicating the word of God, because there can be more severe judgment if you are misteaching people."

Pastor Ross: I think it's also related to the context here where James is talking to believers in the church. He's saying, "Be careful. Don't every believer in the church claim to be the teacher of the church." You can imagine if you have everyone claiming to be teachers in the church, they might be some confusion. He says, "Be very careful if you want to take that responsibility."

In addition to the teaching that might occur in the church where you have a teacher teaching a lesson or the Bible to believers, there is also a teaching that believers give to those who don't understand the Bible, or who are new to the faith. I think every Christian is given the commission by Christ to go make disciples. There is also some teaching involved in making a disciple. You want to share your testimony, your own experience. James, I think is specifically talking about teachers in the church teaching the believers, and he's saying be careful of that. Assuming that position and that responsibility.

Pastor Doug: Do it prayerfully and carefully, because there's accountability for doing that. Hey, thank you, Jerry. Appreciate your question. Hope that helps a little. Who's next?

Pastor Ross: We've got E. Frank listening from New York. E. Frank, welcome to the program.

Frank: Yes, good evening, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. I called tonight because I have a question of biblical proportions. The question is about Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross. He spent three days and three nights in hell. I was informed many years ago by a friend of the high ranking Islamic Imam, that Jesus Christ never understood what Satan was. He had to die, not in propitiation of our sins, but to explore the understanding of what the universe is. That's what I was informed by the third high ranking Imam of the Islamic faith. Now, Pastor Doug, I want to ask you this. Is it true that Jesus died for our sins and he spent three days and three nights in hell to do the propitiation? I'm sorry I have to use the word do, but to propitiate our sins at that time period in 33 AD. I don't understand the concept of what the other faith that I mentioned is telling me that Jesus Christ went to explore what the universe was about.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you, Frank. I'll do my best. First of all, I wouldn't be coming at a question saying, "Well, what does the Muslim believe, or how does Islam feel about Jesus?" Because first of all, they don't believe in the divinity of Christ. They don't believe that Jesus really died on the cross. They don't think he was betrayed by Judas. A lot of very clear statements in the New Testament, the Muslims deny. They don't accept that. As far as what does the Bible say, Jesus spent three days and three nights suffering for the sins of the world. Now, the penalty for sin is suffering and death. Suffering according to what you deserve, and ultimately the wages of sin is death. Jesus began suffering for our sins, in Matthew chapter 12, it says, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the heart of the whale, so the son of man would be three days and three nights at the heart of the earth." Jesus began suffering for our sins Thursday night when he was betrayed. The mob began to mock him, tie him up, spit on him, pull on his beard, all the way through the crucifixion, hanging on the cross. He then died Friday afternoon, rose Sunday morning. That's Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night. Rises Sunday morning. That's three days and three nights.

He wasn't three days and three nights on the cross or in the tomb. He died Friday. Bible's really clear that he died on the preparation day, and then he rose Sunday morning. That's just a little more than 24 hours. The suffering of three days and three nights is when his suffering began Thursday night. Propitiation is a word that simply means the substitute. Christ took our place. He took the punishment that we deserve. We deserve punishment and death for our sins. Jesus took that for us.

Pastor Ross: Most specifically to relate to your question, I think you referring to Frank is where it says he shall not leave his soul in hell but shall raise him up. I'm looking at Acts chapter 2:31, where it talks about, it's actually quoting from the Old Testament that his soul was not left in Hades or hell, nor did his flesh see corruption. The word hell there is not a place of torment for the wicked, it simply means the grave. The new King James translates that as Hades which elsewhere is translated as the grave. It's not preferring to a place of torment, but rather just simply referring to the grave.

Pasor Doug: Thank you very much. We do have a book called Three days and three nights.

Pastor Ross: We'll be happy to send that to anyone wanting to learn more about this. All you'll have to do is call our resource number, that's (800) 835-6747. You can ask for the book called Three days and three nights. [crosstalk]. It's called The Sign of Jonah, and we'll be happy to send that to you. (800) 835-6747.

We have Justin who he's listening from, looks like North Carolina. Justin, welcome to the program.

Justin: Good evening, guys. Thank you for your ministry.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, and your question.

Justin: I had a quick question about-- well, actually I have two quick questions. The first one is, you mentioned I heard a sermon of yours, Pastor Batchelor, about in Revelation 7. If you take the meanings of the names of the tribes, it has a beautiful message. I wanted to know, and I've read that message, I wanted to know where that came from. Is there a place in the Old Testament that says what each name of the tribe means?

Pastor Doug: Yes. When the women are-- when I say the women, when Rachel and Leah are giving birth to their sons, and most of that is in, what it is? Genesis 30, something I think. One by one, they're having their sons every time they she has Judases I will praise the Lord. They make a statement with the birth of each son. You take those statements and you put them together. This is what it says. This is the names of the tribes as given in Revelation 7. It's the only place in the Bible the list of tribes is in the same order there. It says, "Now I will praise the Lord for the Lord has looked on me and granted me good fortune. I'm happy because great wrestling, I have wrestled and prevailed. Thus God has made me forget my toil because the Lord has heard that I am not loved. He is joined or married to me, and God has given me my wages or dowry by dwelling with me, and the Lord shall add to me the son of his right hand." It's a beautiful statement of the redemption of the church that is hidden in the names of the 144,000.

Pastor Ross: I can give you an example of one of the verses, Genesis 29:32, where it says Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, "The Lord has surely looked upon my affliction." If you put all of those different phrases together with reference to the son, it's the description of what the names mean.

Pastor Doug: You could look in-- I probably even Google it. The meaning of those Hebrew names are all given in the Bible. You can look in any Bible commentary that would have that.

Justin: Okay. Can I ask you a quick question about this real quick?

Pastor Doug: One more. Let me just tell you. I've got a book called Who are the 144,000? We'll send you a free copy, or you can read it online. Tell you what, can you hold your second question until after our break? We've got a break coming up here that is relentless. We can't control it. Friends, don't go away. We're coming back.

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

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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're someone who tuned in along the way, we welcome you to this live international interactive Bible study where you can call in with your Bible questions. The number to call is 800-God-Says, 800-463-7297, with your Bible questions. We are also streaming on Facebook. It's at the Amazing Facts Facebook page, and Doug Batchelor Facebook page. You can watch and listen and call in with your questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Just before the break, we were talking with Justin from North Carolina. Justin, welcome back to the program.

Pastor Doug: You got a second question?

Justin: Thank you, guys. Yes. I'm a believer in the sanctity of seventh day Sabbath. I've heard as a defense of the Sabbath, a reference in Ezekiel 20:12, says that there would be a sign of basically, this is a sign between God and his people forever. In that reference, it's Sabbath with the S, I mean plural Sabbath. I thought or I felt like I've heard that when you see plural Sabbath, that's not speaking of the seventh-day Sabbath, but that's speaking of the ceremonial Sabbath. I guess my question is, how can I determine which Sabbath, as there's so many references in the Bible? What is Ezekiel speaking of? When I'm looking forward when having a conversation with other people about the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug: That's accurate. What you're saying is that in Ezekiel 12-- I'm sorry, Ezekiel 20:12, it is technically talking about Sabbaths in plural, which means that it could include the Sabbath of the week, or Sabbath that we're part of the annual feasts. He really gave them all to be a sign. Certainly the seventh-day Sabbath is a sign also of his sanctified and creative power.

Pastor Ross: If you're looking for it's not always a hard and fast rule, but there are references where God will refer to the Sabbath as my Sabbath. Then God sometimes refers to the ceremonial Sabbath, especially when the Israelites were in point of rebellion, as your Sabbaths. It's kind of interesting, there is that distinction, not always, but you do find at times a distinction made in the Old Testament, between my Sabbath and your Sabbaths in a plural form.

Pastor Doug: Of course, we do have a lesson that deals with the subject of the Sabbath called The Forgotten day or last day of history. We will be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. Again, the phone line to our resource is 800-835-6747. You can ask for The last day of history. It's one of our Amazing Facts study guides, and I think you'll find that very interesting.

Next caller that we have is, let's see, we have Myra Wait, we got Myra, who is calling. Myra, welcome to the program.

Myra: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Myra, and your question tonight?

Myra: I primarily just want to thank you guys for all your service that you guys do.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Myra: I do want to just thank Doug Batchelor, especially, and if there is a way that I could share my testimony with him through mail or whatever, could you please let me know. I would love to share.

Pastor Doug: Yes, we'd be delighted to hear from you. All you've got to do is if you go to the Amazing Facts website, it's got a little note there, it says you can contact us, and just say, "Attention, Pastor Doug", and they do forward those to me.

Myra: I will definitely do that. Thank you. My question is from Luke 16, the rich man and Lazarus. I was wondering, there's so much controversy about how, as I learned, that the dead are no set of sleep and stuff like that. I still have a hard time trying to understand this one, because it was brought out to me and I had, I was like, I have to pray about it and ask God.

I was wondering if there's a way you could explain it to me.

Pastor Doug: Sure. Just in case we get disconnected, we do have a book, a little sermon book that talks about the rich man and Lazarus. We'll be happy to send you. This is a parable. There's other parables around it. The reason we know it's a parable, a parable, it's not literal. First of all, it says that the beggar dies and goes to Abraham's bosom. We probably are safe in not believing that everybody who dies somehow fits into Abraham's bosom. That's a figure of speech. Then it tells us that the people in heaven are talking to the people that are burning in Hades. Well, I think all of us are hoping that the same, they're not going to be watching forever, the people that are lost.

Then the third thing, the guy who's in Hades, he says, "Send Lazarus so he can put his finger in a drop of water and cool my tongue". That's hyperbole. It's not literal. This is a parable. Now, people use this parable to talk about the state of man and death. It has nothing to do with the state of man and death.

Jesus is doing a masterful job, to use a paradox. He has this poor man who is a symbol for the Gentiles. See, the Jews thought because we feast on the word, we've got Abraham, we are the chosen people. They were going to be saved. They were rich. He says, "You think you're rich and increased with goods". In revelation.

He said, "You might find that many will come from the east and the west, and they will sit down in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the natural children, some of the Jews would be on the outside". Christ was warning the Jewish people back then, you can't just be feasting on the truth, while the Gentiles lay at your gates, thinking that you're going to get to the kingdom.

He has the poor man, the Gentile, going to Abraham's bosom, the Jewish place of reward. Then he has the rich Jewish man going into the Greek place of torment, Hades, in Greek mythology. Jesus is mixing some irony and humor in here. He is basically saying, "You might be in the very opposite place you think you're going to be You cannot say that because I'm a Jew, God has to save me". Likewise, Christ was saying, "There are Gentiles, that they love the Lord and they want to be in heaven, God's going to show them mercy because they're hungry for the bread of life".

Pastor Ross: I think there's another lesson here that I find interesting, is where here we have a parable that somebody is actually named, and the person that's named has the name of Lazarus. If you read the last part of the parable, the man cries out to Abraham, and he says, "Well, I've got five brothers, and if Lazarus were to go to them and be resurrected from the dead, they'll believe".

Then the message comes back where they have Moses and the prophets, if they don't believe them or believe the scriptures, they won't believe even if someone is resurrected from the dead. Now, what's amazing is that shortly after Jesus told this parable, he did resurrect someone from the dead, whose name was Lazarus, and still the religious leaders refused to believe.

In the parable, the rich man represents the religious leaders who have all this wealth and they refuse to share it with the Gentiles, who in this parable is symbolized by the poor man. Yet they wouldn't believe even if Lazarus or when Lazarus was raised from the dead, they still didn't believe, and it's amazing to me that this parable with the name Lazarus appears before Jesus does that great miracle.

Myra: Wow, it starts to make sense.

Pastor Ross: We do have a book that deals with the subject of the rich man and Lazarus, and if you call, we will try and send you a copy.

Pastor Doug: We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. Again, the number that you need to call for our resource is 800-835-6747, and just ask for the book called The rich man and Lazarus.

Next one of that we have is Roger, and he's listening from Colorado. Roger, welcome to the program.

Roger: Thank you for having me. I actually have one question, but something came up earlier on one of your other persons that called you up. Sabbath in the Bible has two things, one with a capital letter, which I believe is the seventh-day Sabbath, and one with a small letter.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well, you're correct. Sometimes it's talking about the Sabbath of the 10 commandments, and sometimes it was talking about the annual feasts, which were annual affairs, and they were not part of the 10 commandments. You're correct. Sometimes it's capitalized, and sometimes it's small. Was that your question, or do you have another one?

Roger: Now, my question is, Jesus has mentioned a few times, if I'm not mistaken, the kingdom is at hand. Some people are saying that the kingdom is the physical Kingdom. I said, "Wait a second, if the physical Kingdom is at hand, why are we still suffering on earth?" I believe the physical Kingdom Jesus is talking about is the spiritual kingdom within us. Am I wrong with that?

Pastor Doug: No, you're correct. When Jesus started preaching, he said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Even John the baptist said the very same words, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Christ said, "For the kingdom of God is within you". If we invite Jesus to be the king and the Lord of our lives, his kingdom begins in us right now. It's within reach. It's at hand for every person.

But the physical Kingdom, when Jesus was ascending to heaven, in Acts 1, the disciples said, "Lord, will you at this time establish the kingdom?" Christ said, "It's not for you to know the times and seasons." There He was talking about His second coming when He literally will reign on the earth. That is the literal kingdom, physical Kingdom, that hasn't happened yet, the spiritual kingdom has happened.

Pastor Ross: I've heard it described this way, you got two parts to Christ kingdom, the kingdom of grace, which Jesus announced, and the apostles. When Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," that's the kingdom of grace. Then there is the kingdom of glory, and that's when Jesus comes the second time, and the whole earth at that point, finally, after the judgment is recreated. The Bible says, "The meek shall inherit the earth, will dwell upon the earth, the New Jerusalem will be here," that's referencing the kingdom of glory, which is yet to come.

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps a little bit, Roger.

Roger: It does immensely, thank you very much, and Pastor Doug, I thank you for Friday night questions also.

Pastor Doug: Good, we're going to start doing more of that. We appreciate your giving us a plug for that, thank you.

Roger: Thank you very much. God bless.

Pastor Doug: Bye, bye.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is Ginger listening in . Ginger, welcome to the program.

Ginger: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Ross: Evening.

Ginger: I have a question in regards to-- It's found in Matthew 2:18, as well as Jeremiah 31:15, and it says, "Rachel is weeping for her children, refuses to be comforted because they are dead." Why is Rachel weeping for? Is this a metaphor? I thought Jesus came from Leah, and Judah, or this has nothing to do with that?

Pastor Doug: Well, actually, Rachel, who is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, died in Bethlehem Ephrathah, and this was a prophecy talking about how the babies in Bethlehem were slain. Rachel is being used as a metaphorical mother because she died there giving birth. She was giving birth to Benjamin. She died in Bethlehem, when it was still Bethlehem was probably had one shepherd, back then, there was very little there. Later, of course, David was born there, and ultimately Jesus was born there. Then Herod killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem that were innocent, they call it The Slaughter of the Innocence, because he was trying to keep the Son of God from reigning.

This is a prophecy about the mothers in Bethlehem weeping because they lost their children. Rachel did not weep because she died, but her son lived. In the other story, the mothers live, but the children died. I think it's a prophecy. Matter of fact, Matthew is doing it there as a prophecy.

Pastor Ross: If you look at the key of the whole prophecy, why it's even being quoted here in Matthew, is the verse 16, and it's quoting from Jeremiah 31. After talks about this weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, then it says in verse 16, "Thus says the Lord, "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded," says the LORD, “They shall come back from the land of the enemy." The Bible speaks of hope for those mothers who lost their children as a result of the slaughter by Herod, and the promise is, their children will come back from the land of the enemy, meaning a resurrection. Of course, that occurs when Jesus comes the second time.

There's hope, even though there was great pain, that the woman went through there in Bethlehem.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, we appreciate your question, Ginger.

Pastor Ross: Next caller that we have, let's see, we've got Tyler listening from Ohio. Tyler, welcome to the program.

Tyler: Hi, I greatly appreciate you guys. I was basically raised in a Free Will Baptist Church, and my question is that, why do people believe that hell is eternal, even though there are other scriptures that don't support that teaching from the always go-to verses that they use such as everlasting fire or punishment?

Pastor Doug: Good question. There are some difficult verses, but the vast preponderance of evidence in the Bible about what happens to the wicked, is that the wicked will be cast into a lake of fire, and punished according to what they deserve. He that has done many things wrong suffers more than he that has done few. "Every man's rewarded according to his works," Jesus said, and they are consumed. The words that you find in the Bible describing the punishment of the wicked, Malachi 4 says they're burnt up, Revelation says they are consumed, tells us they are devoured, Jesus said they perish. Jesus said, "Do not fear him who can destroy the body, but cannot hurt the soul, rather fear Him who will destroy soul and body in hell," that's Matthew 10. You just start going through the Bible, the Bible says the wicked will be no more. Go to Revelation, it says there is no more pain, all things are made new, no more crying. All through the Bible, it makes it really clear the idea that came from the Dark Ages, and they borrowed it from Greek mythology where Pluto was in charge of Hades, a place of eternal torment. It was a way to really manipulate people with fear, but the very idea just think about it.

A couple of years ago, ISIS captured, I think it was a Jordanian pilot, and they videotaped as they put him in a cage, doused him with gasoline and set him on fire. All of us shudder at the thought of how cold can someone be to set a man on fire in a cage, and they videotape him burning. Now, we're thinking, what that's about as cool and ugly as you can get, and that only happened over a matter of minutes. Yet they think God is going to do that to the objects of his creation, even though they're rebellious for eternity. Just think about eternity. The zillions of years go by, moment after moment, it is agonizing pain and blistering. The stories that I've heard sermons about hell, it's really hard to love a God like that.

Once people know the truth about what the Bible says about hell, it just all starts to make more sense. There are a few difficult verses where it talks about eternal punishment, the punishment is eternal, they have no second chance, the wicked are forever gone, they're gone forever, they perish. The Bible says it's called eternal fire, it's because what the fire does lasts for eternity. Because there's a couple of verses that create some question in people's minds, that's what's often pointed to and they neglect all the other verses.

Pastor Ross: We do have a study guide called Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?, and it actually looks at these verses along with many others, and really gives a clear understanding what the Bible teaches on the destruction of the wicked.

Tyler: Would you give me one quick favor, where in the Bible does it say that Jesus will reward everybody according to what they deserve?

Pastor Ross: Revelation 22, He comes with Him, and His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works.

Pastor Doug: I think it's also in Revelation 1:7, Behold, He comes with the clouds. That's everyone [crosstalk].

Pastor Ross: Revelation 22 is where it says will reward according to their works.

Tyler: I appreciate you guys.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, our God bless.

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Pastor Ross: Next caller that we have is Michelle listening in Santa Barbara. Michelle, welcome to the program.

Michelle: Hi, guys, it's good to hear from you, Pastor Doug and Pastor John. This is Michelle Mendoza. I have a question to ask you.

Pastor Ross: Hey, Michelle.

Michelle: Hey, I've got a question to ask you guys. I know that there's much discussion regarding the abortions right now, and all that legal-wise, and the Christian method and whatnot, but as we all know that sin is a freedom of choice, that's right. God gave us free will to defend.

Pastor Ross: People choose to sin, yes.

Michelle: What happens if I or any other female is brutally raped, I never chose to be raped, but I got raped, and I tried to fight my way out, but I couldn't.

Pastor Ross: Then you get pregnant.

Michelle: I got pregnant, yes. Since sin is a freedom of choice, and that person chose to abuse me, I could not consent to have intercourse. How does God look at that? If I get pregnant, must I be forced to carry a child that I never consented to have?

Pastor Doug: All right, great question, great question. At the heart of that, you are recognizing that rape is a horrific and a violent experience. Once that happens, when conception takes place, that now becomes human life, even though it was not done through choice. That's human life now. That is a miraculous process that God has designed where new life is formed in His image.

The way you solve a brutal or violent act is not with a second brutal or violent act. The Bible tells us that a son should not pay for the sins of the father, and a father for the children's sins. If a man rapes a woman, should the baby now be the one who will lose its life, because of that terrible experience? I think as soon as you start making-- creating openings for saying, yes, this is-- If abortion is wrong, it's wrong, because human life is sacred, and life begins at conception.

If life begins at conception, then it must be respected. Now keep in mind, there's a lot of-- history is full of stories, including the Bible, of people who got off the wrong start, and yet God did something wonderful with their lives. I can think of one of the judges of Israel by the name of Jephthah. He was illegitimate, and we don't know if that was a result of rape or not, but the mother chose not to terminate her pregnancy, and he ended up becoming a judge and a great deliverer in Israel. Then you can look at the story of Lot, who slept with his daughters. That was a terrible thing to do, and some people say incest is a reason for abortion.

Well, it turns out that Lot's daughter, one of them, had a son named Moab, who became an ancestor of Jesus through Ruth. If you start saying we're going to abort babies from rape and incest, you can eliminate the Savior of the world that way. I think even though it's a terrible experience, I think still we should-- maybe adoption, but killing the child, I don't think it's ever the answer. I thank you, Michelle, good question. Difficult question.

Pastor Ross: Next caller that we have is Wilfred listening from New York. Wilfred, welcome to the program.

Wilfred: Hey pastors, how are you all.

Pastor Doug: Doing great, thank you for calling. Got about four, three minutes, your question?

Wilfred: My question is, is the rapture and the second coming of Christ one and the same event?

Pastor Doug: Yes. The word rapture means to be caught up. The Bible tells us that the Lord, and this is 1st Thessalonians 4, the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trump of God, the dead in Christ will rise, and when they arise, and then it says, we who are alive will be caught up, that's the rapture, to meet them in the air. When the Lord comes, we are caught up to meet him in the air. Jesus said in John 14, "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself than where I am also." They are one and the same, and we have a book we can send you for free, and it's called Anything But Secret. It talks about the rapture and the second coming, and if you just call the resource line, Anything But Secret, we'll send that to you.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747, and again, you can ask for the study guide called Anything But Secret. Actually, it's a book, and we'll be happy to send that out to anybody who calls and asks, deals with the second coming and what it means. It talks about the rapture, what that means. Again, we encourage you to call and ask for that. It looks like we have time for one more caller, and who do we have, Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Number seven maybe?

Pastor Ross: We got number seven, Robin is listening in Michigan. Robin, we have just a few minutes left.

Robin: Hey, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Robin: It's good to be talking with you tonight.

Pastor Doug: Your question?

Robin: My question, before that, I just wanted to give a quick greeting from Michigan, as well as a Hello from a friend of mine, Pastor Chad Bernard here in Michigan. I understand he works for you.

Pastor Doug: Great, yes.

Robin: My question is from Deuteronomy chapter 14, and it pertains to the strong drink referenced in verse 26. My question is, I believe that God doesn't want us to consume alcoholic beverages. Taking that into consideration. How does this strong drink relate to tithing, mentioned in the previous verses, and what is its purpose?

Pastor Doug: Well, the word strong drink, strong can mean-- we think a strong drink is alcoholic. Sometimes it uses that phrase to describe an alcoholic drink. Sometimes the word stronger can simply mean concentrated. The Jews had a very popular way, it was very common for them to dehydrate their grape juice. They would condense it because it was a lot easier to transport liquid if it's condensed. That's why they've got concentrated orange juice, because when you ship orange juice, water weights, what, eight pounds a gallon. It was so much lighter, if they took about half the moisture out of it, then reconstituted it.

They would take this concentrated grape juice that wasn't fermented, sometimes there's even like a paste full of sugar, it kept it from decomposing, and then they reconstitute it with water and drink it later. That was never as good as the fresh wine. That's why they said to Jesus in John chapter 2, "You saved the best for the last. Where'd you get fresh wine this time of year?" Strong drink did not always mean alcoholic, sometimes it's simply meant their grape juice paste, that they would then reconstitute.

Robin: All right.

Pastor Doug: Now I've got a book on this, I can send you a free copy. It's called Alcohol And The Christian and it's got the references. Just go to our resource line, and we'll be happy to send that to you.

Pastor Ross: The number to call for the resource line is 800-835-6747, and again, you can just ask for the book called Alcohol And The Christian, and we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks.

Pastor Doug: Well, friends, we're going to probably not have time to take another question, but let me just mention something. You may have heard a commercial earlier in the program. Amazing Facts has a wonderful Bible called The Prophecy Study Bible, filled with resources and a lot of the answers you hear on this program. If you go to the Amazing Facts bookstore, you'll find that there, and it will be a blessing. Let us know if you enjoyed the program, and if you can make a donation to keep us on the air, we appreciate it. God bless.

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