Prayer Is the Key to Heaven (2018)

Date: 09/15/2019 
From bishops to birthdays and from wine to worms, listen as Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross sift the Scriptures to answer callers' questions about these topics and more. In this edition of Bible Answers Live, you'll learn what the Bible has to say about the second beast in Revelation 13, the Tree of Life and the Book of Life, and if unclean foods are still unclean after all. Tune in and open your Bible with us !
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? In the early 1800's, communications in America were carried by foot, horse, or train across the country. Depending on road conditions or weather, it could take days or weeks to get a message. But then, in 1832, Samuel Morse, an accomplished American painter, while visiting France, was inspired about an idea he had heard of an electric telegraph. Morse spent the next 12 years perfecting a working telegraph instrument, and during this same period, he also composed a digital language, better known as Morse Code.

A set of short and long dot and dash signals that could represent different letters and numbers in a telegraph message. Morse eventually convinced Congress to finance a Washington to Baltimore telegraph line. Then on May 24, 1844 in a public demonstration he inaugurated the world's first commercial telegraph. Morse relayed the message, "What hath God wrought." A quote taken from Numbers 23:23, was very fitting giving the invention's future world impact. Just a decade after this first line opened, more than 20,000 miles of telegraph cable crisscrossed the country, empowering American expansion.

Today, international communications travel at the speed of light, but the Bible tells about an even faster method of communication. Stay with us friends, we're going to learn more on this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Announcer: 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 John Ross.

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live, and if you have a Bible question that's why we do this program, we invite you to call in with your questions. It is a free phone call, it's 800-463-7297, or bring your call into our studio here, outside of the capital of California. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor John: My name is John Ross. Good evening friends and also our friends joining us on Facebook this evening, again welcome. They'll have part of our Bible Answers Live program. Pastor Doug, as always, let's start with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for the opportunity that we have to open up your word and study together, we ask your blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening. Father, as we always ask, lead us into a clear understanding of the Bible, as we study together, in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor John: Pastor Doug it's interesting in today's world we take for granted all of those sudden communications. It's quite true that something might occur in your hometown and people on the other side of the world might hear about it before you actually find out about it, because of the way things travel with speed, and satellites, and the internet, and all of those things, and the phone, but back in 1844 it was a real big deal if you could send a message,-

Pastor Doug: Oh my.

Pastor John: -you got a letter or just shouting really loud.

Pastor Doug: I've been reading some books from the period before that, I'm just finishing a book about John Adams, and some other books about Jefferson, and they would write messages to Europe. If the ship with the mail went down, they didn't even know who was President. Weeks would go by, months would go by. They'd say, "Could you please do this or that," and they would wait six months for an answer. It was amazing. With the electronic communications, it really did revolutionize the world. That simple invention of sending messages through a series of, you ever seen someone do code operating?

Pastor John: Yes.

Pastor Doug: I had a HAM radio friend and he would sit there with his little telegraph, and he would still send out code around the world over their HAM radio and I don't know how he ever could decode it, but he would sit there with a pencil and write down the letters and get the messages.

Pastor John: Of course the most famous code of all is SOS, Save Our Souls. [crosstalk]

Pastor Doug: That's right. That's the international code and that sort of grew out of the Titanic.

Pastor John: Oh.

Pastor Doug: That particular grew out of the Titanic. But we were talking about a method of communication that's even faster. You can read in the book of Daniel, chapter nine, at the beginning of the chapter Daniel starts to pray. By the end of chapter nine the angel Gabriel comes, and Gabriel says, "At the beginning of your prayer God sent me to come to you and give you a message." You think, how big is space? How far away is heaven? Wherever that is, angels must go really fast and prayer must go really fast.

Just think about it friends, if you had the smartest smartphone, it's not smart enough to connect you to God, but prayer is a device that will put you in touch with the Almighty, and you don't need an appointment. You can go in Jesus' name directly to the Creator of the cosmos, and He'll listen to you, and yet we pray so little. God is more willing to answer your prayers than you are to ask them. Would you like to know more about the power of prayer? We have a special gift.

Pastor John: We have a book that's called Teach Us To Pray, and this is our free gift for anybody who'd call and ask for it. Just a great resource giving you some biblical principles on prayer. If you'd like to receive the gift, give us a call on our resource phone line. That number is 800-463-7297, actually that's the number here to our studio. For the free book, the number to call is 800-835-6747 and just ask for the book called Teach Us To Pray. Again that number is 800-835-6747, ask for the book Teach Us To Pray, we'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks.

I think we're ready for the phone lines, our first caller this evening, let's see, we've got Rondy listening from North Carolina. Rondy welcome to the program.

Rondy: Hi, good evening Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Rondy: I've got a couple of quick questions dealing with Bishops. I only found them really in three chapters. Let's see, 1 Timothy three and one, Titus one and seven, and 1 Peter. It basically compared them to an Overseer. Could you tell me what's the difference between a Bishop and an Overseer?

Pastor Doug: Probably nothing. The matter of fact there's three words that you'll find, sometimes it calls them an Elder, a Bishop, an Overseer. As Paul went from church to church, Paul was an itinerant apostle, an evangelist. He would go raise up churches, then he would organize the Church and he would appoint. They often did this by the laying on of hands a Bishop or an Elder that would be basically the Pastor. I was part of a group that did an extensive Bible study, it was a group of 10 people at Andrews University where we delved into was there a difference between a Pastor, an Elder, a Bishop.

They're essentially the same thing. They're just different words that are used to describe the leaders of the Churches in the early days. It's the same word, and then he gives the definition. The Bishop must be blameless, husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, good behavior, so forth. I don't know if that's answering specifically what you're asking though.

Rondy: Yes, well, it's dealing with also Catholics and the word Bishop, it's used exclusively by the Catholics? I want to tie this in real quickly, that I've noticed a lot or churches now are beginning to dress like Catholics. Is that a crime, symbolizing Babylon and her daughters?

Pastor Doug: All right well, you are correct. In some denominations, they reserve the word Bishop for a certain hierarchy of clergy. Then they've got Cardinals, of course then you get the Pope in some churches or they've got the Patriarch if you're in the Orthodox Church. In the Bible it didn't really make that distinction, you had the Pastors and Elders, were basically the same. Pastors, Elders, Bishops, were the leaders of the Church. Then you had Apostles, and there's a limited number of those. Those are the ones who had actually seen Jesus in that first generation.

Then as far as the robes go, God did have the priests wear special garments but we are not part of the Levitical Priesthood anymore, and we believe that Peter, James, John, the Apostles, they disappeared in a crowd because they dressed like everybody else. They didn't even know who Jesus was until Judas came and identified him, because he wasn't wearing any kind of special robes. The Bible never mentions, and the only thing it says about his robe is that is was seamless. It never says it was a priestly robe or anything.

Rondy: If my church is beginning to dress like that with the backward collars, and all this stuff, looking like a Catholic. I should stay, or perhaps look for another church?

Pastor Doug: I can't speak to that, there's a place and a time for a uniform. I do think that Pastors should dress in, especially when they're ministering. On Sabbath they should dress in a respectful way. If people are starting to get into external display, then that would be a problem, I think, but yes. I can't tell you where God wants you, you want to be where they're following the word, Rondy. I hope that helps a little bit.

Rondy: I just don't want to be part of the Daughters of Babylon, that's all.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I know. Well, I'll pray that God guides you in that.

Rondy: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome, thank you for your call. Appreciate that.

Pastor John: Our next caller that we have is Roger listening from Denver, Colorado. Roger, welcome to the program.

Roger: Thank you for having me, hi Pastor. Got a question, somebody told me in the Bible in Revelation 13:11-18, I think it is, it mentions a country, but some people say it's Israel or another country. Is it not my belief that it is America?

Pastor Doug: Revelation 18 where it's talking about Babylon?

Roger: No, Revelation 13?

Pastor Doug: Oh, 13. Well, there's two beasts in Revelation 13. The first beast, you see, is talking about the religious power in Europe with its seat in Rome. I don't think I need to say much more about that.

Roger: No.

Pastor Doug: Then you go to verse 11, it says, "I saw another beast coming up out of the earth with two horns like a lamb and he spoke like a dragon." We believe that's talking about the United States of America. The US has become the the seat, it's the strongest Confederacy of Protestants in the world, where Europe became the seat of Catholicism and the Orthodox churches. They're going to form a union that is going to become a persecuting power in the last days. The thing to keep in mind when you look at the second beast in Revelation 13:11, says, "He starts out with two horns like a lamb." Now, in the Bible, a lamb is a good thing. A dragon's a bad thing. He starts out with the power of Christ, and freedom of religion, freedom of government, those are probably the two horns, but then he speaks, he begins to legislate like a dragon, like a devil, and the Beast power, and it starts to persecute, and there's signs and wonders. I think we're living on the verge of that right now.

Pastor John You know we do have a study guide called The US in Bible Prophecy that really gets into this passage of scripture in Revelation chapter 13 in much more detail, we'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747. You just ask for the study guide called The US in Bible Prophecy. We'll be happy to send that out. Next caller that we have is Chris listening from Carmichael.

Chris: Yes, pastors, thank you so much for doing this show. It's very much appreciated.

Pastor Doug: It's a pleasure.

Chris: My question was science is discovering new things each week. This is hypothetical, let's say they found a pill that if you're 60 years old and you took it, your body would regress back to 30 years old. Is there anything in the Bible that would prohibit you from taking this?

Pastor Doug: I don't know if you'd be violating if you're taking a pill that is going to help prolong your life, or reverse aging. Well, you know, God in the Garden of Eden, he had something called the tree of life that would perpetuate life. I don't think there's any moral dilemma in taking medication that is going to give you strength in life. I would not hold your breath for that pill, but what about you, Pastor Ross? I don't see where you'd be breaking any kind of--

Pastor John: No, the Bible talks about death being the enemy that finally will be vanquished, and God created us to have life, so taking care of our bodies, eating healthfully, exercising, trying to prolong our life, both in years and quantity of life, I think is very appropriate.

Chris: Fantastic. Thank you very much, and thank the people that work behind the scenes to bring this program.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you, appreciate your call. God bless you.

Pastor John: We have Lorraine listening from Spokane, Washington. Lorraine, welcome to the program.

Lorraine: Hi, thanks for having the program. I have a question. My husband and several of his friends, they were having Bible study and they got talking about speaking in tongues, and it instantly divided the room. Half believed in it, half said that it wasn't because you don't know what you're saying. My husband came and asked me "What is that mean? Because I believe that God is intelligent enough to speak to me, He's going to speak to me where I can understand not where I'm going to babble a bunch of stuff that I don't know what I'm saying." Is that dangerous?

Pastor Doug: When I first came to the Lord, I worshipped with a church that practiced the Pentecostal, or example of speaking in tongues, where they're babbling, and they call it a prayer language. I didn't find it in the Bible. If you look, for instance, in 1 Corinthians 14, it says-- Well, let's see what verse shall I go to? If you go to verse nine, "So likewise, except you utter by the tongue, where it's easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you're speaking into the air." God says I'd rather spend five words where by my voice I might instruct others and 10,000 in an unknown tongue. The idea of speaking and not understanding is the very thing that Paul is saying we shouldn't do, and that's 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. I've got a book I can send you on that, and it's called Understanding Tongues. If you'd like a free copy, Pastor Ross will tell you how to order that.

Lorraine: That would be awesome.

Pastor John: All you'll have to do is just give us a call. The number to call is 800-835-6747 ask for the book called Understanding Tongues. We'll be happy to send that out to you, Lorraine, or anybody who would like to learn more about it. One more time, 800-835-6747 is the number to call.

Lorraine: Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome.

Pastor John: You're welcome, thanks for calling.


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Pastor John: Next call is Ray listening from North Carolina. Ray, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Ray, are you there? I don't know if Ray is on.

Pastor John: All right, let's try Tina in Reno, Nevada. Tina, welcome to the program

Tina: Hi, thank you guys so much for having this program.

Pastor Doug: Thank you,

Tina: So my question is, did Jesus drink fermented wine?

Pastor Doug: In a word, no. I know the Bible talks about Jesus turning water to wine. A person needs to keep in mind there's a whole lot of grape juice in the Bible, but it uses one word to describe any kind of beverage made from grapes, it's all called wine, and you get the word wine from the fruit of the vine. I think the word you'd find in Greek is οίνος, or οίνος. You can read in is it Isaiah chapter 65, where it says, "For us a new wine is in the cluster." And God says, "Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it."

It talks about new wine that's still in the cluster. In the Bible Jesus said "You don't put new wine in old wine skins." They're both called wine. The new wine was unfermented, the old wine was fermented. Some people argue when Jesus turned water into wine to say it was old wine, the fermented version. But it's really hard to picture Jesus in a wedding feast, making barrels of booze to get everybody inebriated and do things that he commands we should not do. They said, "You've saved the best for last." This is John chapter two, and I think the best is unfermented.

Tina: I actually got into a conversation with my son who argued with me that it was fermented. I'm like, "No, I don't think it is. But I'm gonna ask Pastor Doug."

Pastor Doug: There's one more verse you might consider, and if you look in Matthew, it's where Jesus is having the Last Supper and He said, "I will not drink that wine until I drink it with you new in my Father's Kingdom"." Even at the Last Supper, Jesus referred to the wine that He gave the disciples as new wine. So the body of Christ is represented by-- it was unleavened bread and His blood was unfermented wine because they both are symbols of purity. I've got a book.

Pastor John: We do, yes. It's called The Christian and Alcohol. We'll be happy to send this to anybody who'd like to learn more. All you'll have to do is give us a call on our resource phone line, that's 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book called The Christian and Alcohol. We'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Our next caller that we have, we're going to try Ray again, Ray in North Carolina. Ray, welcome to the program.

Ray: Thank you. I hear you now.

Pastor John: All right.

Ray: I do have a question. My question is that, why are there Christians who think that the experience of the Repentant Thief on the cross was one that teaches that one need not be baptized to be saved? If it seems to me from St. Matthew 3:5, and 6, that many of the people, or maybe all the people around Jerusalem and Judea and Jordan were baptized by John the Baptist. At least a great majority of them apparently were baptized and I would think that it seems quite conceivable that the repentant thief on the cross was one of them.

Pastor Doug: Well, it is true that a lot of people from the area of Jerusalem and Judea went and were baptized by John but as you mentioned, those were people who had repented of their sins. The fact that he is now being convicted of three things that are mentioned, one, it says a thief and other times it says a rebel or malefactor. In other places says guilty of murder.

Now we don't know if that was just Barnabas or Barnabas and his two companions. I do believe that baptism is important. I don't believe we can use the thief on the cross to decide whether or not you should be baptized. The last thing it says in the Bible in Mark 16 he says, "Go teach all nations, baptizing them, whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.

Whoever believes not will be damned or condemned." Jesus said, "Go and teach all nations baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit." In John, he says, "Unless you're born of the water and the spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." Anyone who diminishes baptism doesn't understand.

Now, are there exceptions? Will there be people in heaven that there's a record that they weren't baptized? Of course, you've got a whole Old Testament full of patriarchs that will be in heaven, doesn't record that they all practice baptism. The idea that baptism is nobody's going to be allowed in heaven without baptism.

If a person's in a hospital and they're connected to medical machines and they accept Jesus in the last hours of their life, you can't say, well, the hospital's not going to accommodate a baptism. "Sorry, we can't save you." Jesus will give them credit for his baptism at that point but those are rare exceptions. If a believer can be baptized, why wouldn't he or she want to be?

Ray: Yes, I understand your sentiments. I think also the repentant thief on the cross fits in with the spirit of baptism, as mentioned in Romans 6. Being crucified with Christ literally had put him in a special place where I think there's much teaching about baptism, just in the fact that he was crucified with Christ and he went through a great change of heart and a lot of repentance and a desire to know Christ and keep on knowing Christ. I think there's a lot of teachings of baptism with the repentant thief, and it does not negate the importance of baptism.

Pastor Doug: Exactly. I've got a book I'll be happy to send you if you'd like a copy and it talks about the importance of baptism.

Pastor John: Simply called, Baptism: Is it Really Necessary? We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and ask, very important subject. The number to call is 800-835-6747 and again, you can just ask for the book called Baptism: Is it Really Necessary? Our next caller that we have is Delena listening from California. Delena, welcome to the program.

Delena: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Hi, good get real close to your phone.

Delena: I am, I just talk low. Can you hear me now?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Delena: I have a question. I was studying on the Bible something, and AFTV media library the Bible study you have, and I got stuck on this because I was very concerned about this. Luke 23:55-56, the women, I believe, Galilee where Jesus was from, they put oil of spices on him. Then Luke 24:1-3, the resurrection day, they came back. Is the reason they went back to do that the same process, was it because they believe that the spirit would come back into the body. Was that Jewish customs? Did they believe that?

Pastor Doug: No. Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt you. I was just going to say, "You read that they did not finish the task of embalming him because the Sabbath was coming. They stopped, they went home, and kept the Sabbath, according to the commandment, which you read in verse 56. Then they came back with additional spices that they had acquired early Sunday morning and they intended to complete the job.

That's why they needed the stone rolled away so they could finish embalming the body. It started out that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, they bought a hundred pounds of myrrh before his burial. To begin the process, they would dip the cloth in myrrh and they'd wrap the body, but they hadn't finished. The women came back with some additional spices and they were going to finish embalming him and lo and behold He'd risen.

Delena: I was asking that because I know my family, when my mom passed away in the house, they said her spirit was hovering around and then my sister came over. It's just like, I felt mama's spirit. Oh my God, it's going to be scary the last day. I'm studying so hard so I can try to help but I'm seeing a point that it won't.

Pastor Doug: I know that's a sentimental thought, but there's nothing in the Bible that says that the spirit hangs out in some limbo between death and the resurrection.

Delena: That's like familiar spirits?

Pastor Doug: Exactly, yes. There are people who say you can communicate with the dead or have a seance or whatever. Bible says we shouldn't get into those dark arts at all.

Delena: I have one last thing. Before my mother died, she was still alive because I spoke to her and I went home. I just couldn't see her pass away. Then soon as I got home, she said, "D." That's she called me, "Take care of your dad and be strong, blah, blah, blah." Then my brother called like 30 minutes later and says she died. People keep telling me in the salvage class that the dead can speak, but I keep telling them she was not dead when I heard this. My mind, my spirit, or something.

Pastor Doug: Well, sometimes maybe she was praying and an angel whispered to you. It's hard to say what causes an impression like that. We do have a lesson that talks about this subject and you might--

Delena: Thank you.

Pastor John: It's simply called, Are the Dead, Really Dead? This is one of our Amazing Facts study guides and of course, we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. All you have to do you have to just give us a call. The number is 800-835-6747 and again, you can ask for the study guide called Are The Dead Really Dead? We'll be happy to send that out to anyone who calls and asks.

Pastor Doug: Well, listening, friends, you can tell we're going to have our mid-time break. Want to remind you if you've got the internet, you want to watch the program as well as listen, you can go to the Facebook page, be right back.

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

Announcer: Through wild recorded history, tales of ghosts and spirits can be found in folklore in nearly every country and culture. Egyptians built pyramids to help guide the spirits of their leaders. Rome sanctioned holidays to honor and appease the spirits of their dead. Even the Bible tells of a King that used a witch to contact the spirit of a deceased prophet. Today, ancient folklore of spirits and apparitions have gone from mere superstitions to mainstream entertainment and reality. Scientific organizations, investigate stories of hauntings and sightings, trying to prove once and for all the existence of ghosts.

Even with all the new film technology and centuries of stories all over the world, there is still no clear cut answer. How do we know what's true? Why do these stories persist? Does it even matter? We invite you to look inside and find out for yourself, visit

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

Announcer: Every Bible question you have answered moves you one step closer to the fullness of God's will for your life. What are you waiting for? Get the answers you need for a fuller, richer, more confident life. You're listening to Bible Answers Live.

This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you'd like answers to your Bible-related questions on the air, please call us next Sunday between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM Pacific time. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now let's join pastors, Doug Batchelor and John Ross for more Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Doug: Welcome back, listening friends, to Bible Answers Live. If you have any vital questions, we do have some lines open. That number to call in with your Bible question, of course, a free phone call 800-463-7297, that's 800 God Says, and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor John: My name is John Ross. Good evening friends. Pastor Doug, we're going to go straight to the phone lines. We've got another caller that's waiting. We've got Reisner listening from the Southeast United States. Reisner, welcome into the program.

Reisner: Hi pastors. How are you doing? Thanks for taking my call. I got two questions for you and both of them are centered on Ezekiel. The first one is in Ezekiel 28:12-14. That verse is talking about the attributes of well, I hate to say this, but the attributes of Lucifer. Then the 13th verse, it says you were in Eden. This is sounding like he was in Eden before he failed. If you go on down in the verse around 14, it says, "You were the unordered chair, you're in the mountain of God," and some other things that happened before he failed. Am I reading this correct? That's the first question?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don't think you should read the account of Lucifer in Ezekiel thinking it's all sequential. He's saying you had everything going for you. Now, Lucifer, of course was Eden, but he was in the Garden of Eden after his fall because he was there attempting our first parents and it describes him as he was a beautiful angel and describes all of the beautiful stones that covered him. Some of the same stones that you would find on the high priest actually are mentioned in this passage.

Reisner: Okay. I didn't read it that way, but okay. Then the second thing is over in Ezekiel 29 Israel has left Egypt. They have their own nation. Egypt did something to really make the Lord get upset with them over in here. I'm trying to figure out what exactly happened because he said in verse nine and 29:9, he was going to make them desolate. Okay. I'm like, what did they do? It seemed like they were friends with the Israelites. What happened here?

Pastor Doug: You're right, there was a period of time where there was peace between Egypt and Israel. In fact, Solomon helped seal that peace that began with David and Israel, Solomon married the daughter of the Pharaoh. It was his principle wife. They had a it went off and on, but they had a pretty good understanding between Judah and Israel, but then before Ezekiel Pharaoh, Nico came through the land of Israel. He was actually on his way to attack Babylon and Josiah went out to fight against them and they killed King Josiah.

He was one of the best Kings, if not the best King, it doesn't record anything he did wrong that Israel ever had. They raided the temple at that time and says, there's a lot that Egypt did to oppress Israel before Babylon came to oppress them. Matter of fact, it was Egypt that not only do they kill Josiah, they took one of his sons captive and he died in Egypt where Nebuchadnezzar then took some of the other sons and they went to Egypt.

There was a renewed war between Egypt and Israel just before Ezekiel made those prophecies. What's interesting, the prophecy came true because part of the prophecy said you will be littlest among the nations where they were the world empire at one time, from that point on the temples all imploded, they never rose again to be a great nation, and yet Israel has been destroyed and rebuilt 27 times.

Reisner: Okay. Thanks a lot.

Pastor Doug: All right. Hey, thank you. Great question.

Pastor John: Next caller that we have is Tyler listening from Oklahoma City. Tyler you're on the air.

Tyler: Hi, my name is Tyler, I'm from Oklahoma city. I'm 12. My question is, in Mark, hold on Mark 9:48. It talks about a worm that never dies. Is this worm real or is it symbolic?

Pastor Doug: It's symbolic. Now keep in mind. Let me tell you what Jesus is talking about and even when He says it and He may be looking at it, Pastor Ross and I were in Israel together, and we looked at the Valley of Hinnom. Sometimes it was called Gahanna. Outside of cities, back then they had dumps. You didn't have a garbage truck that would pick things up. People had wagons that would haul things out. They find a deep, useless Valley where nothing was growing, usually a rocky valley and they'd dumped their trash in there.

To keep it from filling up, they'd also burn it. There was rotten food, there were dead animals. It was just awful. Sometimes there was smoke coming up. Jesus points to Gahanna and he said, you're better if you were going to heaven, missing a hand, a foot or eye than going into Gahanna where the fire is not quenched, nobody ever put out the fire in Gahanna.

They wanted to keep burning, to keep the smell down where the fire is not quenching the worm or the maggot doesn't die. Meaning it's always full of maggots. Jesus is using that as an illustration of where the lost would go, a place of uncleanness, a place of suffering and darkness. No, it's not talking about little worms that live forever and ever.

Tyler: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: That's a great question. We do have a study that talks about Is the Devil in Charge of Hell, and it talks about the word to Gahanna. It'll give you the four words used for hell in the Bible and all their definitions that you'll enjoy. It's illustrated. You'll really like it.

Pastor John: If you'd like to get it, all you'll have to do is call our resource phone line, that's 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide called, Did God Create the Devil? Tyler, I'm just thinking, you mentioned you're 12. You might not have seen this before. If not, you might want to take a look at it. Two things, number one, we have a video called Cosmic Conflict that talks about the origin of evil, and it talks about finding how the righteous will be victorious.

We also have a set of study guides just for kids called Amazing Adventure, very popular, and that's also available through Amazing Facts. I wanted to let you know about that. Next caller that we have is Edwin listening from Vancouver, British Columbia. Edwin, welcome to the program.

Edwin: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Edwin: Hi, Edwin speaking.

Pastor Doug: We're glad you're here, and your question tonight.

Edwin: Okay. My question is regarding Revelation 5 when John look and see the book of life. What is this book and what is the importance of this book that he was crying so bad because no one who opened the book is a lion, Judah lion.

Pastor Doug: It said the lion of Judah. Yes. I'll tell you what Pastor Ross has a special love for Revelation. You want to explain what the book is and why everyone's crying?

Pastor John: Yes. We'll share a little bit about it. It's a great chapter. Chapter five is a description of the heavenly throne room, actually starts in chapter four and chapter five. Chapter five God, the Father is seen holding a scroll sealed with seven seals and no one's able to open this book or the scroll except for Christ. The lamb appears before the throne slain from the foundation of the earth.

Because no one was found worthy to open the book, this is before Jesus appears, John weeps much. Folks have wondered, what is it about this book that was so important? There is a book in Revelation that is especially ascribed to Christ and it's called the lamb's book of life. There are a number of scholars that feel that this book that each seal's broken, reveals a different phase in the great controversy, but ultimately is the promise for everlasting life, for those who receive Christ as their saviour.

Pastor Doug: Amen. We don't have a book about the book of life, do we?

Pastor John: We don't have a book specifically that deals with that.

Pastor Doug: We had a magazine on Revelation though.

Pastor John: We do, Daniel and Revelation. If you'd like to learn more about that, give us a call. The number is 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the magazine on the book of Revelation.

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Pastor John: Next caller that we have is Anna listening from California. Anna, welcome to the program.

Anna: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi, thank you for calling.

Anna: Hi, Pastor Doug. My question is regarding birthday celebrations, I have a friend who does not celebrate her birthday because she claims that it is a pagan ritual. To me, I just can't imagine God not being happy about somebody's birthday, the day that he puts them on this earth, why that wouldn't be a joyous occasion? My question is, is she right? Is it really pagan and we shouldn't be celebrating our birthdays.

Pastor Doug: Well, I don't know if anywhere in the Bible where it says that we shouldn't celebrate a birthday. Sometimes they'll look at the story of Herod. Herod, it was on his birthday that John the Baptist got beheaded and they say, "Oh, see, it must be evil." You can also read in the book of Job that a Job's seven sons and three daughters would get together on their various birthdays and celebrate together. Taking time to thank God for a landmark, whether it's your wedding anniversary or your birthday, is not worshiping a pagan god. Now, I know the same church, they'll say we shouldn't celebrate Christmas or Easter. They could probably make a stronger argument about a pagan connection with the days of Christmas and Easter, but birthdays to me, I don't even think there's any connection there.

Anna: I just wonder where she got that idea then.

Pastor Doug: I'm acquainted with a lot of churches, in their church they try to make a case that birthdays are pagan and they'll point to King Herod did it, and so it must be pagan. Well just because a pagan does something, nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Thou shalt not celebrate birthdays." Or anything like that. Nothing wrong with having an occasion. You can get together and praise the Lord and thank Him for anything.

Anna: Okay. Wonderful.

Pastor Doug: As a matter of fact, every year, God had seven annual feasts designed to help people thank God and remember points of their exodus. God had no problem with having memorials on an annual basis to remember things. I think that's a weak argument.

Anna: Wonderful, oh thank you very much Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: All right, thank you, I appreciate your question.

Pastor John: We have Sprianny, listening from Dallas, Texas. Sprianny welcome to the program.

Brianny: Me?

Pastor John: You there?

Pastor Doug: Now, how do you say your name?

Brianny: I am so sorry, it's pronounced Brianny.

Announcer: Okay, we got an S-P on the front for some reason, and your question tonight?

Pastor Doug: Can you hear us?

Brianny: Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's better.

Brianny: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Brianny: I'm sorry, I guess my phone is going out. Can you hear me though?

Pastor Doug: We can, ask you question quickly in case we lose you at least we can answer on the air.

Brianny: Okay, my question basically is regarding Matthew 17:14-18. I was wondering, I know that there are deliverance ministries out there that go on. I was wondering if there are times where a demon, actually in a person, that they have to go through a longer deliverance session in order to expel the demon out? Because I know in verse 18, it says, "And Jesus rebuked the Devil, and he departed out of him, and the child was cured from that very hour." How come he was cured from the very hour but yet there are people who have to go through deliverance sessions for hours, and maybe some people months?

Pastor Doug: I'll tell you--

Brianny: Is that even biblical?

Pastor Doug: Yes. The reason is, if you look in verse 20 of the same chapter, the disciples later asked Jesus, "Why were we unsuccessful in casting out the demon?" That's in verse 19. Jesus said, "Because of your unbelief. I said if you have faith you can move mountains." Then look at verse 21, he said, "However this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." Prayer and fasting is not something you do in 10 minutes. I think if everybody listening fasts 10 minutes, there's no problem in that. He's talking about sometimes when a person is struggling with some kind of demonic oppression, or power, it may take several days of praying.

Now, that doesn't mean you've got a session where all the church gatherers are around them, and they're yelling and screaming, and laying hands on them for days. I don't think that's what he's talking about. There are people who are struggling, and you might need to take days to pray for them. It might require fasting and prayer.

Bible says Jesus cast seven doubles out of Mary Magdalene and it doesn't sound like it happened all at once. Christ could always do things instantly, he could just speak the word, and it would happen. As far as these demonic sessions where people go through exorcisms, I don't see that in the Bible. Whenever Paul prayed, the Devils came out. When he rebuked that demon possessed girl, where is that? Acts chapter 16, it happened right away. Thank you, I appreciate your question.

Pastor John: Next caller that we have is Becky listening from Michigan. Becky, you're on the program.

Becky: Yes I am. Hello there, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good. Thank you for calling.

Becky: I wanted to make a comment. I watched, The Heirs of Faith, the series, and I read the book. I liked it very much, very inspiring-

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Becky: -and I have a question, from a biblical point. What is assurance?

Pastor Doug: Well, assurance is a confidence, and you're talking especially of like assurance of salvation? The Lord tells us that we need to believe, when we pray and ask him to forgive us. We need to believe that He will forgive us, that He does hear our prayers, and that's where we find joy in knowing that and believing that He does forgive us. If we always are worried that, well, I'm just not good enough and all and we think about the negative side, it takes all the joy away. Am I answering your question about assurance? Are you still there, Becky?

Becky: Yes, I'm still here. I think you're having some--

Pastor Doug: Phone problems.

Announcer: My dear.

Pastor Doug: Did that make sense, did you hear me?

Becky: Yes, it did. It makes sense.

Pastor Doug: When God promises something, as a matter of fact, I've got a book I'll send you, and it's called Justification Assurance Made Simple. We'll send you that book on assurance. If you'd like a free copy, we could either send it to you or you could read it online by going to the Amazing Facts website.

Pastor John: All you have to do is give us a call on the resource phone line, that number again is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Assurance: Justification Made Simple. We'll be happy to send that out to anyone who calls and asks. Our next caller that we have is Laura, listening from New Mexico. Laura, welcome to the program.

Laura: Yes, greetings.

Pastor Doug: Greetings.

Laura: I have one question please. I want to know if King Solomon and Queen Sheba conceived a child and what happened to it?

Pastor Doug: There's no record in the Bible that they had even a romantic relationship. Most of that comes from Hollywood.

Laura: There's a little tiny, just a little blur, two sentences. I'm not sure what book it was in but it says that there came from the far corners of the world a queen.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the Queen of Sheba did come from a long way, but it never says that she and Solomon had a romantic relationship. It said she came to ask him questions, he answered her questions. She gave him gifts, he gave her gifts. They made an alliance between the two countries, and she left. There's not a word in the Bible that they had anything romantic going on and there's definitely not a word in the Bible that they had a baby together. Most of that came out of a movie in Hollywood with Yul Brynner, and I forget who the leading lady was. [laughs]

Laura: Yes, and today, just today, I was listening to a Christian Radio program and the Pastor brought it up, and he did indicate that there was a child. I was so confused because I knew that I had seen the movie and it did indicate that they had-

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Laura: -a child which--

Pastor Doug: Hollywood always tries to weave in some kind of romance. The-

Laura: Yes.

Pastor Doug: -movie The Ten Commandments.

Laura: Okay. I was so curious though, but I'm glad you cleared it up.

Pastor Doug: Yes. No, it was a purely platonic relationship. She was looking for wisdom, and he already had 300 wives he didn't need any extra ones.

Pastor John: [laughs] He had enough. Our next caller that we have is John, listening from Massachusetts. John, welcome to the program.

John: Hey, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, and your question?

John: Yes. My question is from Mark 7:19--

Pastor Doug: I'm sorry you have to get real close to your phone, you broke up on us. Mark you said? Are you still there?

Pastor John: Let's try one more time. John, you there?

John: Hello, hello.

Pastor John: Yes, now we hear you. All right, you mentioned your question was from Mark?

Pastor Doug: Mark seven?

John: Yes. Mark 7:19, you guys can hear me, right?

Pastor John: Yes, you're good.

Pastor Doug: Yes, now we can.

John: Okay cool. Yes, Mark 7:19, can you read that for me, it that okay?

Pastor Doug: Sure. It says, "Because it does not enter his heart, but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods."

John: What does that mean, thus purifying all foods?

Pastor Doug: Jesus is talking to the disciples about are they contaminated, because they didn't ritually wash their hands before they ate. The religious leader is having an argument with him, and Jesus said this isn't what defiles your heart. He says if you eat food and you get a little dirt in your food, he says it goes through your digestive system, it is purged and eliminated. He says it comes in and it goes out, he's trying to find a graceful way to say that. He said, "That doesn't defile you."

John: Then, "Thus purifying all foods"?

Pastor Doug: Yes, Christ is saying--

John: I'm sorry, go ahead.

Pastor Doug: I would just say Jesus is saying that your digestive system has a purging mechanism in it. Your stomach is actually hotter than the rest of your body. He's not saying--

John: Oh.

Doug: Some people wonder if this verse is saying that Jesus declared all foods clean.

Pastor John: Yes, yes. I heard that this verse was added to it, added in an opinion.

Pastor Doug: Well, if you've got a new international version--

John: Yes, it was actually from the Amazing Facts library. Sorry to interrupt you.

Pastor Doug: No, it's okay. Yes, if you're reading from the new international version it adds something that is not in the original Greek. They say in saying this Jesus declared all foods clean. The original does not say that. They've got a manuscript that the scribe put a parenthetical comment in there, and they're putting it in the Bible. Jesus did not declare all foods clean, and the reason we know that is when you get to Acts Chapter 10, Peter sees this vision of food coming down and there's unclean animals. Peter says, "Not so Lord, I have never eaten anything common and unclean." Well, no matter what you think Peter's vision means, Peter definitely says that in 34 AD he still has never eaten anything unclean. So the apostles never got the idea from Jesus that everything was cleansed.

John: Okay.

Pastor Doug: What Christian believes that you know you can eat skunks and cockroaches and buzzards and most of the foods that God declared unclean are still unclean. People struggle with pork and lobster.

John: No, I'm trying to give up pork, that stuff is no good.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

John: I don't know if you heard enviropig, but now they're splicing mice with pig, and I think that's going to have unprecedented--

Pastor Doug: That'd be a double curse, wouldn't it? Because mice are unclean. You know there is actually a verse in the Bible that said God is going to punish those that eat the abomination in the mouse.

John: And the pig.

Pastor Doug: That's right.

John: Do you think that could be what that was talking about?

Pastor Doug: No, I don't think that the prophecy was talking about that. But, hey thank you John, appreciate it. You'll enjoy our book called Hogs and Other Hazards. Pastor Ross will tell you about that.

Pastor John: Yes, all you have to do it give us a call, the number is 800-835-6747, you can ask for a book called Hogs and Other Hazards, just a catching title there.

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Pastor John: Next caller that we have is Chris listening from Chicago, Illinois. Chris, welcome to the program.

Chris: Hi, Pastor Doug. Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Chris: I have a question and hopefully I get this out.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Chris: In Exodus where Moses writes down the laws and things that the Israelites shouldn't do and what the punishments for them are, do those still hold today?

Pastor Doug: Well, the 10 Commandments certainly still hold. There are some Levitical laws that were ceremonial in nature. You're not required to sacrifice lambs, circumcision is not mandatory, and there were some other ceremonial laws. So, was there a specific law you were wondering about?

Chris: Yes.

Pastor Doug: All right. Is it one you're concerned about having broken?

Chris: Yes.

Pastor John: Let me add just an additional thought there because you are right, there are some very strenuous consequences for those that broke any of the 10 Commandments. Sometimes there was even the death penalty implemented, but we find Jesus extending grace in the case of the woman caught committing adultery. In the Old Testament law she should have been stoned, but Jesus provided forgiveness and said, "Go and sin no more." In the New Testament we don't drag people out and stone them for committing adultery or something like that. There are consequences to breaking God's law, but the penalty is different. God is the one that ultimately judges each person based upon their works.

I just wanted that clarification because in New Testament times you don't find people executing others for breaking one of the Commandments. Other than the one thou shalt not kill.

Chris: Yes, but I guess what I'm wondering is if you've broken some of these laws, in the Bible it says you're, if I'm remembering correctly, because it's been awhile since I read it. Just didn't know who to ask. It seemed to me if you broke some of these that you are just automatically damned

Pastor Doug: Well, the only thing you're automatically doomed for is if you commit the unpardonable sin. Chris, there is good news for you, that the very fact that you are feeling some remorse right now and it sounds like, that Jesus will forgive you. He'll provide mercy. That's one of the main reasons we do this program is to encourage people of the good news of the Gospel that Jesus forgives sin. That means in order to appreciate the Gospel you need to be a sinner. It sounds like you're admitting that you qualify. Except the forgiveness, Jesus died in your place, ask Him for a new beginning. I've got a free book I'll give you and it's called What is the Unpardonable Sin? So you'll know what that is and what it isn't. All you have to do is call Amazing Facts and we will send that to you.

Listening friends, and I do apologize if it seems like we had to rush you off, we're running out of time. We pray that you will keep us in your prayers.

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