A Spiritual Heart Transplant (2018)

A Spiritual Heart Transplant (2018)

Date: 06/23/2019 
Sometimes the Bible can seem to contradict itself, sometimes it's just hard to understand ! But thanks to Pastor Ross, in this edition of Bible Answers Live you'll find out what the Scriptures say about baptism (and if it's truly necessary for salvation), about the world being flat, about fasting, and if repentance is optional. Pastor Ross also explores the books of Matthew and John to explain the meaning of the word 'peace' that Jesus says He will give to us, or divide us with...
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Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello, friends. How about an amazing fact. On June 21, 1963, Marine pilot, Cliff Judkins, was refueling in air on his way from California to Hawaii when the shut-off valve on his F-8 Crusader fighter jet failed, causing the tanks to overflow, spilling fuel all over his plane. Flames quickly engulfed his jet, and Judkins realized that he needed to eject as soon as possible. He tucked in his legs and pulled the ejector handle, but nothing happened. He then pulled the backup firing handle and , but still nothing. His only choice now was an old fashioned bailout. No one had ever tried bailing from an F-8 Crusader before, but with a quick prayer, he manually opened the canopy, and a 220 knots and 15,000 feet, he was quickly sucked out of the cockpit.

His troubles, however, were far from over when he pulled his parachute. The little pilot chute deployed, but the main parachute remained unopened. Judkins fell nearly three miles straight down into the Pacific, striking the water at over 100 miles per hour. Amazingly survived with two broken ankles, a fractured pelvis, and a collapsed lung.

What helped his survival, however, was an event that occurred in his life four years earlier. After a car accident, Judkins had his spleen removed during emergency surgery. If it had not been removed, based on the angle of impact into the water, it would have most certainly ruptured and would have caused his death.

Did you know, friends, that there is another kind of surgery that can save your life, not only now, but for eternity? Stay tuned for more as Amazing Facts brings you 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 Jëan Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello, friends, welcome to Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is away today, but the phone lines are open. We'd love to hear from you if you have a Bible related question. This is an interactive Bible study, whether you're in your car or whether you're sitting listening at home, maybe in front of your computer, or maybe you're watching on your phone through Facebook.

Before we get started with the program, we always like to ask God's blessing upon our time together because we're talking about the Bible. In order for us to understand the Bible, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us. Let's have a word of prayer.

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for the opportunity that we have to open up your word and study together this evening. As we always do, we invite the Holy spirit to come and speak to our hearts, our minds. Lead us into a clear understanding of the truth, for Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free". That's our desire this evening. Bless those who are listening, be with us here in the studio, in Jesus name. Amen.

We opened the program by telling a rather remarkable story about a Marine pilot by the name of Cliff Judkins, who after ejecting from his plane, didn't have his main parachute open, and relying just simply on the pilot shoot, he fell about three miles down into the Pacific, striking the water at more than a hundred miles per hour, and he survived. Now, he did have some broken bones, but probably the most amazing part of this is a surgery that he had four years before where his spleen was removed. As they looked at the different angles, when he actually, based on his injuries, how his struck the water, had he still had his spleen, the doctors felt that, without a doubt, it would have ruptured and would have caused his death.

There was an emergency surgery that he had that actually ended up saving his life. Of course, all of us need to have some kind of a spiritual surgery if we wish to live for eternity. The Bible tells us, in Ezekiel 36:26, 'I will give you a new heart. I'll put a new spirit within you. I will take away the hardest stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.' Here God is offering to give us a spiritual heart transplant. We need that change, that change of heart, that spiritual surgery, if we wish to live forever.

You might be wondering, how can I have that kind of experience? Maybe you've heard about what God wants to do. Maybe you recognize that you need to have a spiritual change, you need to have this spiritual heart transplant, how do you have it? We do have a free book that we'd like to make available to anyone who is listening, and also to our friends who are listening on Facebook as well. The book is entitled Three Steps to Heaven, and it deals with this very important subject, what must I do in order to be saved? How can I have that spiritual change of heart? It's free. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks.

We're going to give you the resource phone line, and that's the number you want to call for our free offer this evening. The book, once again, is entitled Three Steps to Heaven, and the number to call is 800-835-6747. That number one more time is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book entitled Three Steps to Heaven. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks.

With that, we're going to go to the phone lines to see what our calls are this evening. The first caller that we have is Jack listening from Pennsylvania.

Jack, welcome to the program.

Jack: Hi.

Pastor Ross: Hi. Welcome. Your question this evening?

Jack: Pastor Doug, this morning, was talking about something about you had to be baptized in order to be saved. Is that true?

Pastor Ross: Yes, but let me explain. It is true that when somebody receives Jesus as their personal savior, that they need to follow through with the example that Jesus said in being baptized. Baptism, in the New Testament, is a symbol of death to the old life, a resurrection to the new life. It goes along with giving your heart to Jesus, and it's making a public declaration that you're on God's side. You have left the path of sin and you are committed to following Jesus, and you're choosing him as your personal savior.

Yes, where it's possible, without a doubt, you want to be baptized, but there are some cases where, for example, the thief on the cross that was crucified with Jesus, we believe him to be saved because Jesus promised that he would remember him when he came again, he would be with him in paradise, but of course the thief couldn't come down from the cross and be baptized.

There are situations where somebody, maybe because of health or circumstances, they're unable to be baptized. Maybe it's near the end of their life, and they really receive Jesus as their savior on their death bed and physically they're unable to be baptized. Does that mean they can't be saved? No. The baptism of Jesus takes their place, and his baptism is credited to them as their baptism. Where it is possible for someone to be baptized, that is the appropriate thing to do. It is a public declaration of our allegiance to Jesus. Yes, baptism is necessary. It is important where it's possible.

Does that make sense?

Jack: Yes, I guess so.

Pastor Ross: Is your question, why one wouldn't want to be baptized, or?

Jack: No, I just thought all these years that I was saved, but I guess not.

Pastor Ross: I wouldn't go to say that you aren't saved. I think God understands if we ask for forgiveness, but now that we do know that that is God's will for us, that we make a public declaration of our faith, then it's only appropriate for us to be baptized. I'd encourage you the next step in your journey, your Christian experience, would probably be finding a church that practices baptism by immersion, as speaking with a pastor, expressing to him your concern that you'd like to follow the example of Jesus and be baptized. It's one of the best decisions anyone can make. It becomes a point in your experience where you look back and you know at that point you made a public declaration that you're living for Jesus. It's such a wonderful experience. The Holy Spirit is there in a special way.

When Jesus was baptized, there was a voice heard, "This is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased." We know we are doing that which pleases God when we make that decision to be baptized. I want to encourage you to look into that. Jack, you won't regret it. I promise you.

We do have a free book dealing with the subject of baptism that I think you'd enjoy reading. It's called Baptism. Is it Really Necessary? Again, the book is called Baptism. Is it Really Necessary? We'll be happy to send this to you, Jack, or anybody wanting to learn more about this very important subject. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Again, that's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Baptism. Is it Really Necessary?

Our next caller that we have is Isaac listening from Texas. Isaac, welcome to the program.

Isaac: Hi, pastor. How are you doing?

Pastor Ross: Yes, good, and yourself?

Isaac: Doing better . Thanks for asking.

Pastor Ross: All right, very good.

Isaac: I had a friend who he goes to church too, but he keeps on giving me some ideas that the world could maybe be flat. I personally don't really find it too much concerning, but could it be biblical that the world could be flat? Just want to get your opinion.

Pastor Ross: Is it biblical that the world is flat? The Bible does speak about four angels holding the four corners of the earth. You read that in Revelation 7, and people sometimes conclude from that, maybe the earth is flat, almost like a square, and it's got four corners. That's not what it means. When it talks about the four corners of the earth, it's simply referring to the four points of the compass: north, south, east and west. If you look at the Scripture, and what it says about the earth, it doesn't indicate that the earth is flat. Matter of fact, to the contrary, I'm looking at a verse here in Isaiah 40:20, speaking of God, and it says, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth." There it speaks of the earth being as a circle, being round.

The idea that the earth is flat, I think we have enough planes circling the globe, we have enough satellites spinning up above, we have the space station that goes around the Earth. I think it's pretty clear that the earth is round. People have sailed around the Earth. The idea that the earth is somehow flat is just not supported in scripture. It's not supported by science either.

Issac: Sounds good. I just wanted to hear you explain a little bit more.

Pastor Ross: Absolutely. good question. Thanks for your call, Isaac.

Again, if you have a Bible question, we have a few lines that are open. The number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That's 800-463-7297.

Our next caller that we have is Charles, and he's listening from Georgia. Charles, welcome to the program.

Charles: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Your question this evening?

Charles: I'm not but I know that Jesus said, they asked him who he said he was, that he was the Messiah. He said no sign will be given to Jonah was three days and three nights in the fish belly, so shall the Son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

How do you get three days and three nights in a Good Friday, resurrected, and the bible says he was crucified on the weekly sabbath. The Bible says they had a sabbath.

Pastor Ross: Let me jump in there, Charles, see if I can help you. It's a good question. What does it mean? The verse you're referring to is Matthew 12:40. I'm going to read it for those who might be driving who might not have their Bible in front of them. It says, Jesus speaking, 'For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' People read that they read the phrase, the heart of the earth, and immediately they think that must be the tomb.

How could Jesus be in the tomb three days and three nights if he was crucified on the preparation day, which was Friday, and he rested in the tomb on Sabbath, and then he rose from the dead the first day of the week, early hours in the morning on Sunday? That's not exactly three nights and three days. What exactly does this phrase mean?

The heart of the earth in Scripture does not mean the tomb, does not mean the grave. Jesus, referring to the devil, says he's the prince of this earth. When it talks about Jesus being in the heart of the earth, Jesus started burying our sins on Thursday evening, was after the last supper with the disciples in the upper room. Then Jesus went to the garden of the Gethsemane, and that's where he prayed, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done." Jesus began to bear the weight of the sins of the world. That was Thursday evening. Then, of course, he was crucified on Friday. Friday night, he was in the tomb. Saturday night, he was in the tomb. He rose early on Sunday morning.

What we need to understand is just the phrase, the heart of the earth. The heart of the earth is not the grave, but it's in the dominion or the power of the devil. The devil is described as this prince of this world, and so God's, the father's protection, was withdrawn from Christ, he began to feel the weight of the sins of the world there Thursday evening.

We do have a book called The Sign of Jonah that gets into this in even more detail and explain a lot more. I think you'll enjoy reading that, Charles. All you'll have to do is just call and ask for the book. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Pastor Doug Batchelor wrote a book called The Sign of Jonah, which deals with this very passage in Matthew 12:40. One more time, the number is 800-835-6747, and ask for the book, The Sign of Jonah. We'll be happy to send it to you, Charles, or anybody who calls and asks.

Announcement: 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. Call us at 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is calling from, looks like Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Ken, welcome to the program.

Ken: Hi, Pastor Ross. How are you doing?

Pastor Ross: I'm doing well. Your question this evening?

Ken: I have a question on John 14:27 where it says, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I don't give you as the world gives." Another one is on Matthew 10:34, which Jesus said, "Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Pastor Ross: How do we understand those two verses? Good question. First of all, it's two different kinds of peace that Jesus is referencing. In John 14, let's start there, when Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives do I give you." It's not a type of peace that you might see in the world today or what the world might consider peace. Then he says, "Let not your hearts be troubled." The peace that Jesus gives is the peace of knowing that we are forgiven, the peace of knowing that we are accepted by God, the peace of knowing that he's taking care of us.

It is a peace the Bible says that passes all understanding. You might see a Christian, and they might be circumferenced by all kinds of trials and difficulties, and yet they seem to have a sense of peace, even a sense of joy in the midst of their trials. People look at that and say, "Man, I just don't understand. How can this person still seem to be at peace, even in the midst of all of these trials?" That's the kind of peace that Jesus is talking about, that he will give to those who believe in him.

We also know, Jesus says, "I have come to bring a sword, not peace." That's a different kind of peace that he's referring to. Yes, in this life, there have been many that have been persecuted for their faith. There have been those who have been expelled from their family or from their community, for the sake of the gospel, and even the disciples themselves, because of their faith in Jesus, they experienced all kinds of persecution and trials. All of the disciples were put to death, died a martyr's death, other than John, was probably the youngest of the 12 disciples. Even in the midst of their trials, they still had this special peace, this heavenly peace that God gave them.

There's two kinds of peace that God is referencing, what Jesus is referencing in these passages. Does that make sense, Ken?

Ken: Yes, I guess.

Pastor Ross: Two kinds of peace. One that comes from God that abides in your heart. The other piece is what we might experience in the world, meaning we have trials and difficulties as do others. Sometimes the gospel does bring division. It does bring a turmoil. It brings persecution for those who are choosing to try and follow God, they might face opposition for others. Hopefully that helps. Good question. I've seen those two verses before, and folks have wondered about that before.

If you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. As mentioned before, if you don't get through right away, stay on the phone. We'll try and get your call on the air as soon as possible.

Our next call is Angela calling from South Carolina. Angela, welcome to the program. Let's try that again. There we go. Angela, welcome to the program. You there?

Angela: Yes, I'm here. Hello. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Hi there. Welcome.

Angela: She asked if I knew the Scripture, and I found that scripture that my question is about. It's Job 1:6.

Pastor Ross: Job 1:6. Do you want me to read that?

Angela: "Now there was a day, and the sons of God came to present themselves with the Lord, and Satan came also among them." I don't really understand how that is when Satan is evil and sin. It's confusing that he can exist in the presence of God.

Pastor Ross: Good question. If you look at the context, what's happening here is-- Let me back up a little bit more. When God created the earth, in the beginning, He gave Adam dominion over the earth. Meaning he was the representative of the earth. He was the caretaker of the earth. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and chose to obey the devil in the form of the serpent there in the garden of Eden, in essence, Adam gave his allegiance or his authority over to the devil. The devil now claims the earth as his. He claims to be the representative of the earth. Matter of fact, Jesus even acknowledged that to some degree when he was on the earth and he said, "The Prince of this world comes and he finds nothing within me." He was referencing the devil there. When Adam turned over allegiance to the devil, the devil said, "Well, this is my kingdom. This is my domain," and he claimed to be the representative.

There is this gathering. It talks about the sons of God. The sons of God referenced here are probably the representatives of unfallen worlds. In Hebrews 1, it references that God made the world, and it uses the plural form. There are other worlds with other created beings. Of course, we know the angels are also created, but there seems to be this gathering, possibly in heaven, but Satan shows up, and he's claiming to be the representative of this earth. That's probably why he was tolerated, why he is allowed to be there. Then, of course, God says, "Where did you come from?" Satan says, "Oh, from walking up and down on the earth." In other words, "I've been examining my kingdom."

Then God said, "Well, have you noticed that there's some--" I'm paraphrasing, "have you noticed that there's somebody in your kingdom that really belongs in my kingdom, his name is Job? He's upright." Satan gets all upset and says, "Well, the only reason he's loyal to you is because all of the blessings you bestowed upon him." God says, "No, he's loyal to me because he knows me." Of course, you have the whole great controversy that played out in the experience of Job.

Satan is the representative of the earth, or at least he was up until the point of the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, he rose from the dead, he is now our representative before the Father, and Jesus is going to come soon as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has redeemed that which Adam lost. That's why in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the second Adam. The devil realizes he has got a short time. He has lost the kingdom. He has lost the earth. It's going to one day be Christ. He's going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

Angela: Well, thank you very much.

Pastor Ross: All right. Well, thank you for your call. Good question.

Our next caller that we have is Randall listening from Canada. Randall, welcome to the program.

Randall: Well, thank you so much for having me.

Pastor Ross: Thanks for calling. Your question this evening?

Randall: Well, my question is this. Is there any scriptural basis for believing that God can and does restore marriages and families? My wife divorced me four years ago and left me, and my youngest son and daughter went with her. I've been praying now for over four years for God to restore it. I've had numerous people tell me that I'm wasting my time and I have no scriptural basis to base such things, and they have free will and I just need to move on and forget about it.

Pastor Ross: Well, no. I think you're doing the right thing to keep praying, because the Bible says where there is life, there is hope. Does God restore marriages and families? Absolutely.

Randall: Yes. Is there a scriptural basis for it? Is there some scriptural foundation, a biblical verse, or something that I can lean into and hold onto? Any God's word that prompts such things.

Pastor Ross: Sure. I'll just give you one. I'm just thinking of one Old Testament passage, specifically talking about the family, that says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Verse 6 says, Malachi 4:6, "And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers."

There is a promise there that God is in the business of restoring families, restoring marriages. Now, of course, there's always freedom of choice involved, and people don't always make the right choices, but I would never stop praying for God to perform a miracle because he can change people's hearts, if they are that willing, and he can restore broken families and broken marriages.

Pray for your kids. Pray for your wife. Ask the Lord to do what he can to reveal himself to them, and through that experience, try and draw the family back together. God is the one who created marriage in the beginning, and it's the devil who is doing everything he can to destroy marriage, to misrepresent marriage, and to tear apart the family. You know when you pray and you ask that this is the will of God that he restore the family. I would keep praying about that. Don't get discouraged. Claim God's promises and hold onto them.

Randall: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: All right. Thank you for your call. Very important question.

The next caller that we have is Ken listening in, looks like Ontario. Ken, welcome to the program. We have just a few minutes before the break.

Ken: Are you there?

Pastor Ross: Yes, I'm here. Your question.

Ken: I'm from Orlando.

Pastor Ross: Oh, Orlando. Hi, Ken. Welcome.

Ken: [laughs] Hey, buddy. Listen, I got a question about the new heaven. If heaven's already perfect, why does the Bible talk about a new heaven?

Pastor Ross: You're referring to Revelation 21 where John says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth was passed away." Now, when the Bible speaks of heaven, we need to understand there are three different types of heaven that the Bible refers to. The first heaven is what we call the atmosphere. It's where the birds fly, where the clouds float. The second heaven is where the stars are, and we can look up at night and we see the stars. That would be the second heaven. The third heaven would be the dwelling place of God. That's where God is.

In Revelation 21 where he says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth," the heaven there is the first heaven, it's referencing the atmosphere surrounding the earth.

Our atmosphere needs a little cleaning up with all of the pollution and all the things that we have done to it over the years, and in the earth made new, not only the earth is recreated, but the atmosphere is recreated as well. That's why you have that phrase. Well, thanks for your call, Ken. That's an important question.

Ken: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Friends, you can hear the music playing in the background. It's not the end of the program. We still got a number of Bible questions that we want to get to, but we're taking a short break. There are some important announcements that are going to come your way, and then if you have a Bible question. Be ready to join us with your Bible question.

[music]

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

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[music]

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 Pastor Jëan Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Ross: Hello, friends. Yes, this is a live interactive Bible study. Delighted that you're joining us. We'd also like to welcome our friends on Facebook who are listening, and those on radio across the country. We have folks who are traveling in their cars. We are delighted that you tuned in. If you have a Bible-related question, our phone line here again to the studio is 800-463-7297. That'll bring you here to the studio. Again, if you don't get through immediately, do hold on. We will try to get to as many calls as we possibly can in the next half an hour of our program.

We're going to go to Rob, who is listening in Atlanta. Rob, welcome to the program, you're on the air.

Rob: Hey. Thank you, Jëan. How are you tonight?

Pastor Ross: Doing well.

Rob: Good. I had a question in relation to the role that repentance plays in salvation. To give you a little context for that question, I see so often now pastors preaching and talking about, "Come to Jesus. Accept Jesus as your savior. It's a free gift. It's a free ticket to have. It's all of those things." Then when I read Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and even up til probably chapter 14 in John, I see so often a different Jesus, this presenting to count the cost of making him Lord. He says things like, "Why do you call me Lord and do not do the things that I say." We see the parable of the sower, the parable of the . We see so often where Jesus gives this description is that he will not be savior unless he's also Lord. Then, I see so often pastors present, "Salvation is, he'll be your savior without a contemplation of the cost, without repentance, without [crosstalk]."

Pastor Ross: You raised a very good question, and you're right. When one comes to Christ, you not only receive his forgiveness, but you also receive his Lordship. The Bible is pretty clear that there needs to be repentance associated with forgiveness. I'm looking in Acts 2 in verse 38, this is the Apostle Peter that is preaching. He says, "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter says, "In order for you to receive the Holy Spirit, in order for you to receive remission of sins, there needs to be repentance."

Repentance is a recognition of our sin, and a sorrow for sin. If you read a little early in that same chapter, in Acts 2:36, it says, after Peter was preaching, it said, "Therefore, all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." When they heard this, they were cut to the heart, so the Holy Spirit brought conviction them. There needs to be conviction that leads to repentance. Repentance then opens the way for forgiveness. At the same time, we surrender ourselves to Christ as both our Savior and our Lord.

Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord and you don't do those things that I tell you to do?" He said, "Many in the last days will say, 'Lord, Lord,' Did we not prophesy in your name and cast out devils? Jesus will say, 'I never knew you.'" It's not enough just to claim the name of Christ. We need to claim him as our Lord and our Savior. That's an important point.

Rob: Thank you so much, Jëan. It's refreshing to hear somebody state that these days. Sometimes you start to think you're crazy when you hear this repeatedly in the church, but you read something different in the Bible. I appreciate that clarification, and that gives me great encouragement. Thank you.

Pastor Ross: You're absolutely on the right track. Thanks for your call. Again, just want to remind those listening, we do have a book that talks about salvation, what's required. It's the book that we mentioned at the top of the program. It's called Three Steps to Heaven, and we'll be happy to give that to anybody who calls and asks. The number, our resource phone line is 800-835-6747. Again, you can just ask for the book. It's free, it's called Three Steps to Heaven. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks.

Our next caller that we have is Andrew, and he's listening from New York. Andrew, welcome to the program. Andrew, are you there?

Andrew: Yes, I'm here. Hey, how are you doing, sir?

Rob: Doing well. Your question this evening?

Andrew: I want to ask a question basically on the Sabbath. I want to know, does the Sabbath still exist?

Pastor Ross: Good question. Where would one find the Sabbath first mentioned in the Bible?

Andrew: I've seen it in the Old Testament.

Pastor Ross: You're on the right track. You've got to keep going. It's not only in the beginning and middle of the Old Testament, but you'll find it in the very second chapter of the first book of the Old Testament. It's the first reference in Genesis 2 where after, "God created the earth in six days, then He rested on the seventh day. He sanctified it. He set it apart. He blessed it." Then of course, the Sabbath is part of the 10 commandments. It's the fourth commandment that says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Six days, you want to labor and do all your work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." It goes on to say, "You shouldn't be doing any work, any secular labor in the Sabbath."

Then, if you look throughout the Old Testament, God's people kept the Sabbath on the seventh day. At least, they were supposed to. They weren't always faithful, but it was always part of God's commandments. Jesus, when he was on the earth, he kept the seventh-day Sabbath. After Christ's resurrection and ascension to heaven, we have a number of accounts in the Gospel of Acts, or in the book of Acts, of the early disciples, the early Christians also keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. Then, you go all the way to the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, where the Apostle John, he was on the Island of Patmos. This is somewhere around early 90 AD. This is quite a while after Jesus was resurrected, 31 AD. This is 90 AD, John's an old man. It says, "He was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." John still recognized the Sabbath as being the Lord's day. That's the last book of The New Testament.

Throughout the Bible, you read about the Sabbath. Revelation 12:17 talks about a group of people at the end of time who keep the commandments of God, and they have the faith of Jesus-- That's Revelation 14:12. Yes, part of the 10 commandments is the Sabbath. God wants us to keep the Sabbath. There is a blessing for those who keep the Sabbath.

Andrew: Is the Sabbath on a Saturday or it's on a Sunday?

Pastor Ross: The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. That's what the Bible says in Exodus 20. Now, the Bible also tells us which day of the week Jesus rose from the dead. What day of the week did Jesus rise from the dead? We call it Easter Sunday, the resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. The Bible says Sunday is the first day of the week in the Gospels. If Sunday's the first day of the week, which day of the week would be the seventh? It would actually be Saturday. Which day of the week do Jews consider to be the Sabbath? It would be the seventh day, which is Saturday.

If you want to go with the Bible, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. It's what today we would commonly refer to as Saturday. It's interesting. If you look back in the Christian history, there was an attempt to try and change the day of worship. It wasn't the most popular day to worship on the seventh day or Saturday. It was more popular to worship on Sunday. There was a gradual change that came in, but there is a rediscovering amongst Christians of the Bible Sabbath and the blessings connected with that. Yes, the Sabbath is Saturday. It's the seventh day of the week.

We do have a free book that we'd be happy to send you on the subject. It's actually one of our Amazing Facts study guides, and it's called Lost Day in History. If you'd call and ask for that, we will be happy to get that in the mail right away. The number to receive that is 800-835-6747. Again, you can just ask for the book or the study guide called The Lost Day in History. There's also a website that I would highly recommend that you take a look at. It's called sabbathtruth.com. For anyone listening, if you're close to your computer, take a look at that website. It's got a number of videos dealing with the Sabbath truth. I think you'll find it rather important.

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Announcement: 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. Call us at 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller that we have is-- It looks like we have somebody calling from-- Wait a minute, I'm going to change calls for just a moment. Let's go with Mark. Mark calling from-- I'm not quite sure where you at, Mark, but let's see. Is there Mark listening?

Mark: There sure is. St. Louis Park.

Pastor Ross: Okay. They haven't had a chance to put that up on the screen yet. Welcome, Mark. Glad you called.

Mark: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Long-time listener, first-time caller.

Pastor Ross: I'm glad you called.

Mark: Thank you. My question for you is, I grew up in a multi-denominational household, and I was curious if you have any scripture passages that could guide me in the light as to, guide me in the way of which would be the best route to go and understanding more and discovering my faith?

Pastor Ross: Okay. Absolutely. You want to look for a group of believers that are as close to the Bible as you could possibly find. I'll just give you a couple of verses as starting points, and then I'll also reference a book that I think you might find helpful. Probably if you go to any church, doesn't matter what the denomination is, and you ask them, "Well, are you the true church?" They'll probably say yes, but what we want to know is what does the Bible say on the subject.

Revelation 12:17 gives us two characteristics of the true church. God's people in the last days, it says, "They keep the commandments. There's Revelation 12:17. It says, "The dragon was in rage with a woman." A woman in Bible prophecy represents church, went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, those living near the end of time. Then it says, "Who keep the commandments of God and who have the testimony of Jesus." The first identifying mark of God's people in the last days is they keep his commandments, not only 6 or 8 or 9, but all 10 of the commandments. There's a clue right there. It also says they have the testimony of Jesus, or the testimony of the spirit.

If you go to Revelation 19:10, the Bible tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. It needs to be a Bible-believing group that believe that the Bible is inspired. They also need to be a group that study Bible prophecy as the spirit guides them.

Then in Revelation 14:12, it adds another characteristic. It says, "They have the faith of Jesus." You'd want to look for a church that acknowledges the supremacy of scripture, first and foremost. That the Bible is inspired, the Bible is trustworthy. You want to look for a group of people that keep God's commandments, all of them. You want to look for a group of people who are interested in studying Bible prophecy, have an understanding of the Bible truth. You want to look for a group of people that are led by the spirit, they have the gifts of the spirit manifest. You want to understand what those gifts are, the fruit of the spirit, and you want to look for a group of people that uphold Jesus as the one who provides forgiveness and cleansing.

These are just a few of those characteristics that you want to look for. The bottom line, you want to find a group of people that believe the truth of the word. That's the goal. That's what you're searching for.

Let me tell you about a book that we'll be happy to send you for free. It's called The Search for the True Church. Easy name to remember, just The Search for the True Church. If you'd call our resource phone line, which is 800-835-6747. Ask for the book, The Search for the True Church. We'll be happy to send that to you. Again, just compare the teachings of the different churches with the Bible, and find the church that is closest to scripture, and you can't go wrong. Thank you for your call. We appreciate that, Mark.

Let's see. Our next call that we have is listening from Virginia. We have Charles. Charles, welcome to the program.

Charles: Thank you.

Pastor Ross: Your question this evening?

Charles: My question, if possible, would like to have two. Of course I'll abide by your policy, whatever it may be.

Pastor Ross: Let's start with one and we'll see if we can squeeze in the second one.

Charles: My question is, in the book of Daniel 11, I would like to know if you can enlighten me on the identity of the King of the North and King of the South, because of their importance concerning the last days.

Pastor Ross: You're probably looking here at Daniel 11, starting around verse 40, probably?

Charles: Yes. You're right.

Pastor Ross: Okay. Let me just quickly read this for those who are listening, and then we'll talk a little bit more about it. It says, "At the time of the end," this is verse 40, "the King of the South shall attack him, and the King of the North shall come down against him like a whirlwind with chariots and horsemen, many ships, and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them and pass through them. He shall all say enter the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown, but these shall escape from his hand, Edom, Moab and the prominent people of Ammon, and he shall stretch out his hand against the countries and even the land of Egypt and so on."

If you read onto the end of the chapter, the next thing in chapter 12, it talks about Michael's standing up in a terrible time of trouble. We identify that as being the close of probation.

Starting in verse 40, these are events that are yet to be fulfilled. I think we're nearing that time period, but the full fulfillment of these verses have not yet being fully revealed. The King of the South is often been identified as a power that is opposed to God, in referring to atheism or different religious groups that might be opposed to God or opposed to Christ in particular. They don't recognize him as the son of God.

The King of the North has been identified often by different Bible scholars as representing a religious power. Not only a religious, but a religious power that has political influence or political parrots, sometimes identified as the beast power, Revelation 13, or the antichrist power. There is a big showdown that occurs right close to the close of probation and the second coming of Christ.

I don't have time to get into all the details. It's a very detailed study. If you look through chapter 11, it deals with a lot of details, but starting from verse 40 onwards, it's talking about the time of the end. It's referring to the time that I think we're entering into now, when these things will be revealed. It will be a lot clearer once they begin to be fulfilled.

I don't know if that helps a little bit, but King of the North has been identified as a political power that has religious connections, and the King of the South has been identified as those powers that are opposed to Christ, opposed to the teachings of Christ, and there's the showdown right at the end.

Charles: I suppose you could see that also in the image of the statute that had gold in a feat of separating between the iron and also the clay.

Pastor Ross: The clay, yes. Then the stone that strikes. It says, "Brings you right up to the second coming of Christ." That's a good point. Good observation there. You said you had another question. Let's try and squeeze that in.

Charles: Yes, I do. I would like to know, can the lady baptize?

Pastor Ross: Can the lady in the church baptize? Well, when you look in the Bible, baptism typically not only involves the person committing their life to Christ, but it also involves fellowship with a church body. The verse can be read in Acts 2 where it talks about the people Peter said repent and be baptized, and it says they were baptized and God added to the church those who have been saved.

Baptism is one, our commitment to Christ, but it's also our connection with His church. Typically in the church, those who are recognized as the leadership of the church are the ones that would perform the baptism. In my church, it's usually the pastors that do the baptisms. In some cases, it is local church elders in the absence of the pastor, they can do the baptism.

It's rather important, however, that prior to a person being baptized, that they are instructed in the word. They need to know what decision they're actually making, and what it means to be baptized. What it means to be a part of a church, how do they get involved? There is some instruction that's needed, and usually the pastor of the church or one of the elders, the leadership are the ones that lead out in baptism.

Charles: Thank you for the knowledge.

Pastor Ross: All right. Well, thank you for your call. We appreciate that, Charles. All right. We're going to try Jason next. Let's see. Jason from Compton, California. Jason, welcome to the program.

Jason: Hello?

Pastor Ross: Hi, thanks for calling.

Jason: This is Jason. Nice to meet you. You have a nice program going on, and I'm all for it, for the word.

Pastor Ross: Well, thanks for calling. Absolutely. Hey, Jason, let me ask you. Do you have your radio on, in the background? I hear a little bit of an echo.

Jason: Sorry about that.

Pastor Ross: No problem.

Jason: There's live stream right now.

Pastor Ross: All right. If you could just turn that down. No problem. Otherwise we'll get the echo. Your question?

Jason: It was towards the mission that Jesus had went on the sea of Galilee when he crossed the sea, and then he came across the demons, that guy who was possessed.

Pastor Ross: The demon-possessed man.

Jason: My thing is that, in the Bible, it says that it was called the sea of Galilee, right?

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Jason: When you do your research, the sea mean salt water. I find that the sea of Galilee, it was really a lake, which is fresh water.

Pastor Ross: Yes, you're correct. Don't be thrown out by the name sea, we actually know the location of it. They call it the Sea of Galilee. It's a large lake in the Northern part of Israel, and there were a number of fishing villages in the area. Capernaum was right there by the sea of Galilee. It's not a salt body of water.

The salt sea or the dead sea is in the Southern part of Israel, but the Sea of Galilee, they called it the sea, was in the Northern area. That was the name. There is another name that's also referenced in the Bible called Gennesaret, the sea of Gennesaret or close to Gennesaret, but that was the name that they called it.

Jason: Then, you know how they said that the spirits went into the swine, and they jumped off the cliff right into the--

Pastor Ross: Into the water? Yes.

Jason: There is no cliff right by the sea over there in the Galilee.

Pastor Ross: Well, there is. It's over on the side at the Nazareth. If you can just visualize it, if you've seen the map of Israel, the Sea of Galilee is on the northern part on the, let me see, the western part of the Sea of Galilee. That's the more fruitful plane. Over to, especially in the time of Christ, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, that was going right up against the desert. There were cliffs in that area that went down into the sea. There were people that lived on that side of the Sea of Galilee, who were not Jews. It's a mixed group of people that stayed on that side. For that reason, they had pigs, because pigs are unclean for Jews.

Jesus, when he crossed over the Sea of Galilee, he went from the area that was mostly populated by Jews across to the other side, where there are a number of other groups that were, and that's where he met the man with the unclean spirits that came out from the caves in the tombs.

Jason: There were Jews that kept pigs, swine?

Pastor Ross: No, the Jews didn't. There were others who were not Jews that lived on that side of the lake. They were the ones that were herding the pigs. The Jews wouldn't keep the pigs, it was the Gentiles there in that area. The Palestinians at that time.

Jason: All right. Because I just wanted to get that cleared because I was doing my research and I miscalculated. I felt like he went across the Mediterranean ocean, because during that time, what storm that will be so powerful enough to cause big waves?

Pastor Ross: Well, it is interesting that because of the geography of the place, you've got a lot of desert area to the east of the Sea of Galilee, it was quite common to have these hot winds blowing down from the east side of the sea down onto the Sea of Galilee and clashing with the cooler air on the east. They would often be some rather violent storms that would occur on the Sea of Galilee. It was not uncommon to have these types of sudden thunderstorms that would occur in that region.

Good question. Appreciate you calling and asking about that. We are going to go to our next caller, which is Edna listening in Michigan. Edna, welcome to the program.

Edna: Thank you so very much. I'm a longtime listener and a first-time caller.

Pastor Ross: I appreciate you calling.

Edna: My Bible question is, in Esther, when they were going to kill all of the Jews, they fasted. My daughter is going to have brain surgery on Tuesday. My question is, why do people fast? Is it to tease God into doing what we want Him to do? Would it be proper for me to fast for my daughter on this situation?

Pastor Ross: Very good question. I'm going to move right into the answer because we've got two minutes left and I don't want to run out of time because this is an important question. The reason the Bible speaks of fasting isn't to try and change God's mind. It's not as if God doesn't want to answer our prayer. Jesus said, "God is more willing to give good gifts to his children than we as parents are willing to give good gifts to our children." The purpose of fasting is to set aside anything that might distract our focus or our faith from God. Fasting is saying, "Lord, this is so important that I want to lay aside anything that would distract and set my attention and my focus on you, and seeking your will in this situation. Praying in a special way for your guidance."

There are some benefits to fasting, where it does allow a clearing of the mind. It's almost laying aside something that we like saying, "Lord, this is so important, I'm going to lay this aside because I really want your blessing. I recognize your blessing is even more important than my food." Is it appropriate to fast if somebody is facing some physical difficulty or surgery, as you mentioned, in your case? Yes, it's appropriate to fast. There are different degrees of fasting. There is not eating, which is probably the common one. There is fasting where someone might skip a meal or two. You can fast for a day, you can fast for three, four days. Fast for a week, depending upon the person's health.

Of course, there are some folks where it might not be wise for them to fast because of blood sugars and some other things. That needs to also be taken into consideration. But no, the Bible does speak of fasting, and there is a correct kind of fast.

Well, friends, you hear the sound of the music in the background. We want to thank you for all of your Bible questions today. If we didn't get to your question, give us a call again next week, when once again we will take Bible answers. Until then, God Bless, take a look at our website amazingfacts.org

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