Bullet Trains

Bullet Trains

Date: 01/02/2011 
Back in 2007, a French train set the locomotive speed record by reaching 360 miles an hour. While this record was most impressive, that bullet train was an experimental test carrying no passengers, composed of two power cars, and only three rail cars.

Baptized Paganism (PB) by Dennis Crews

Baptized Paganism (PB) by Dennis Crews
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Back in 2007, a French train set the locomotive speed record by reaching 360 miles an hour. While this record was most impressive, that bullet train was an experimental test carrying no passengers, composed of two power cars, and only three rail cars. But in December 2010, a new high speed rail in China called the “Harmony Bullet Train” broke 302 miles per hour— that’s over twice the speed of a Cessna 182 airplane. So why is the 302-mile an hour record so astonishing when the French reached 360 miles an hour?

Well, a few things— firstly, because China’s new bullet train was toting 16 cars and a few passengers; secondly, the train didn’t just crest the 302 and settle back to a more sane speed, instead, the streamlined super train was consistently traveling at speeds of 260 miles an hour before cranking up the turbo to pass the magic 300 number and then finally settling back at a robust 260. Passengers aboard the bullet train claimed they didn’t feel much different between a 150-mile an hour and 300-mile an hour. Even more interesting is the fact that the train is expected to be in full service by 2011. This will promise to reduce the travel time from Beijing to Shanghai by 50%.

So what’s next, elevators with rocket boosters? Do you know the Bible prophecy alludes the rapid travel in the last days? Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live.”

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to “Bible Answers Live” brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends, and happy New Year! And you have found your way to “Bible Answers Live.” If you are tuning in for the first time, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. And we invite you to tune in as we take questions— live questions. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends, and Pastor Doug. And yes, indeed, a happy New Year! This is the 2nd of 2011. Pastor Doug, before we go to the phone lines and talk about the Bible, let’s begin with prayer.

Dear Father, we thank You once again that we do have this opportunity to study Your word. And we ask Your special blessing upon this program. We’re going to be looking at important questions related to Your word and we need Your guidance. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be. And we ask for Your blessing. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: You opened the program by talking about the fastest train carrying passengers just recently opened, or almost soon to open, in China. That’s quite the speed— 302 miles per hour.

Pastor Doug: That’s… you know, I’m a pilot and I’m happy if I’m cruising it 150. And you always think you got to be in the air to go that fast. And if you’re in your car and you’re going 100, well, you can get a serious ticket for that. So to be on a train going 302 miles an hour… you and I were talking before the program and I thought, “What if you hit a duck?” I mean [laughing], that’d be like a cannon ball. And so, that really is impressive! And you think about that and just the speed at which people travel, I think it’s been a couple of years ago, National Geographic issued in one of their magazines that this is the generation in the world that is traveling farther and faster than any other generation in the history of the world. People are going from their place of birth with more frequency and farther distances, and at higher speeds than ever before.

You know, there are a couple of interesting prophecies in the Bible that seem to allude to one of the science in the last days being people going to and fro quickly. You can read in the book of Nahum, now some people may not spot that book, it’s one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament—Nahum chapter 2 verse 4. It says, “The chariots rage in the streets. They jostle one another in the broad roads. They seem like torches. They run like lightning.” Almost seems to describe an American interstate at night [laughing]. You see the torches, the headlights, and the cars, and the traffic grid lock, and they’re running like lightning. And then you have in Daniel chapter 12 speaking of the last days. It said, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will run to and fro and knowledge will increase.”

Who can deny that we are living in the time of the history of man where man’s knowledge has grown more exponentially than any other time in the history of the world? I mean, I bet you know people— I know I do, my grandfather was one of them— that we’re born using kerosene where, you know, airplanes were non-existent or very novel and the car was still a new thing, bicycles were a novelty, radio, television non-existent, and in one generation, you tell your kids about— you remember black and white TV, they look at you cross-eyed like, “What planet are you from?” And look at that incredible change in one generation. Daniel said, “Knowledge will increase.” You notice, he doesn’t say wisdom increases because wisdom is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Man can have knowledge to make a nuclear weapon to blow up his fellow man. Wisdom is knowing how to use your weapon. And so, man has not grown much in wisdom but knowledge, who can deny the technology that we have now?

And so, I think we’re living at the borders of eternity. According to the prophecies about the last days, “How much farther can it go?” You know, friends, here we are on the threshold of a new year and we’d like to encourage you to spend more time studying the Bible. What a great time to get a new beginning in the word of God! And maybe you’ve not made a commitment but we like to make a free offer tonight of one of the Amazing Facts Bible lessons and if you like it, we’d encourage you to sign up for the whole series.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The study guide that we’re offering tonight is dealing with the second coming of Christ and signs related to the second coming of Jesus. It is entitled, “The Ultimate Deliverance;” “The Ultimate Deliverance.” And as Pastor Doug mentioned, this is one study guide in a series that’ll lead you through the most important foundational and prophetic teachings of the Bible. And at the beginning of the New Year, it’s a great time to make a commitment not only to systematically read and study the Bible but why not make a decision to get all of these study guides which, incidentally, are free and study them one by one, filling your mind with Bible truth.

Pastor Doug: Now, there’s a couple of ways people can do that. One is they can simply call the phone number, and we know a lot of people are on the road right now returning from the winter holidays. It might be easier for them to just remember two words, Amazing Facts. And I think they can just go to the Amazing Facts website or to the Bible Universe website. Just type in amazingfacts.com, .org— either one. And just Google Amazing Facts and say, “I’d like to sign up for your Bible study course.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: There are two ways people can enroll. One is online. You can do the studies absolutely free online. Another way is we’ll actually mail you the lessons. You can fill them out, send them back, and we’ll mail the next set and guide you answer questions through that process. If you would like to receive this free offer that we’re offering, which is one of the study guides, and you are able to write down the phone number, the number to call is 1-800-835-6747. That’s 800-835-6747, that is our resource line. Ask for the study guide, “The Ultimate Deliverance” dealing with the second coming of Christ and signs related to His coming. We’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We’re going to go to the phone lines. We have Doug who is calling from South Carolina, listening on WBAJ. Doug, welcome to the program!

Doug: Thank you very much, Jëan Ross and Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome! Well, happy New Year!

Doug: Jesus is coming soon!

Pastor Doug: Amen! And your question tonight?

Doug: My question tonight is doing Bible study with someone, brought up in church, went to a secular college and now they are secular humanists, they worship a god who supports slavery. I understand that, you know, there’s rules in the Bible for slave owners, but how come God never says, “Thou shalt not own slaves?”

Pastor Doug: Well, actually, slavery… there’s a lot of things going on in the world that were not God’s plan. Jesus makes this clear even when He talks about marriage. He said, “Because of the hardness of your hearts, God made laws regarding divorce.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you’re quoting there is Matthew chapter 19 verse 8.

Pastor Doug: That doesn’t mean God wants divorce. It’s because of the sinfulness of man, God made certain laws to protect the individuals and to sort of regulate this. In the same way, God never wanted man to have multiple wives— polygamy was never God’s plan! But the people were just saturated with it so God made laws that would show fairness to all the wives. God never endorsed slavery. But God did make laws to protect slaves such as the Sabbath so that they were to rest. And so, you know, because God made laws to deal with the hardness of men’s hearts and things that were going on, it doesn’t mean that was His perfect will that these things happen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we read in Acts chapter 17 and verse 30, it says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked,” speaking about Old Testament times, “but now He commands all men everywhere to repent.” So because of the hardness of the hearts of the people, God allowed certain things to take place. But now, we have a better understanding of His will for us and we really have no excuse to do something that we know is not in harmony with God’s will.

Pastor Doug: Yes. So you’re not going to find anywhere in the Bible where God says it’s good to go out and get slaves or to be a slave or “I approve slavery.” God never says that. He simply made laws to deal with the consequences of it. Are you there, Doug?

Doug: Well, I’ve been up through all that with him and he still says, you know, we can’t support a God… we can’t worship a God that endorses slavery. It’s just, you know, since God made rules, then He must support it.

Pastor Doug: No. That… it doesn’t mean that all that God supports…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the rules that you do read about in the Old Testament are there to protect the slaves. It was the highest standard if you’re going to allow slaves— probably the highest standard that was found back in those times. So God dealt with the reality of the situation. But even in doing so, it was to protect and to provide the best environment possible for a slave even though it’s a terrible thing to be a slave.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. So, you’ll see a lot of things in the Old Testament where God made laws. He made laws regarding wars not because God likes death. He made laws regarding what animals could be eaten, He doesn’t want anything to die and in heaven, it says the lion and the lamb will lay down together. Our whole world is cursed with sin and so God made laws because of the hardness of men’s hearts. And if your, you know, if your friend doesn’t accept that explanation, chances are a person convinced against his will, will be having the same opinions still. I appreciate your question, Doug. I don’t know if we got a lesson specifically on that we can offer you, but…

Pastor Jëan Ross: No, we don’t but the principles, I think, are pretty clear in Scripture when you read that. Our next caller is David. He’s calling from Sacramento, listening on KFIA. David, welcome to the program!

David: Thank you. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, praise the Lord!

David: Alright.

Pastor Doug: How can we help you tonight?

David: I have a quick question. I was raised in a home where, as Christians, we were taught that Christmas was paganistic and it was wrong. Yet, many Christians that we’ve come across would celebrate it. And I was always confused as a kid and only after being married for so many years, my wife and I just had any good Christmas tree and I said, “You know what? I just don’t get it what’s the big thing about it.” You know, I mean, it didn’t rub me the wrong way, the right way. It was nice having it and that was just… I just didn’t see what exactly was wrong with having a tree in the house. We know that Christ is not born exactly on the 25th of Christmas. But, you know, why not celebrate it and having a tree, tell them what Santa Claus and all that. But, you know, what does the Bible say about Christmas?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a good question and it’s not too late in the year to ask that question. Or maybe it’s really for next year.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing].

Pastor Doug: But…

David: Yeah, maybe next year and like for this year, you know…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You know, there is no question but that the… Jesus was not born the 25th of December. That date does come from a number of cultures in the Northern hemisphere of the world. All over the world in the Northern hemisphere, they realize that the days got shorter until the 21st of December. They started getting longer again. It was noticeable about the 25th. They called it the day… the birth of the new day or the rebirth of the sun and, you know, birth of a new year. So just because of astronomy— not astrology— because of the astronomical evidence, it was a day that was common through many civilizations. And so, its roots are pagan for that date. Christians not knowing the exact date when Jesus was born, probably Jesus was born in the fall and the reason for that… there’s 4 reasons.

One is that Augustus Caesar would not ask people to travel to their hometown for a census in the coldest time of the year when there was no food available. Secondly, shepherds would not be out in the fields watching their flocks. December 25th in Bethlehem, the climate there is just like Northern California where it’s freezing cold. There’s no pasture. Thirdly, it tells us that Jesus began His ministry at His 30th birthday and we know He ministered 3 ½ years, we know when He died— it was just Passover spring— you count back 3 ½ years, Jesus was born in the fall sometime; we don’t know— September or October, August or September.

Anyway, so there’s no question about it but no one knows the date. And so, you know, if the world’s going to celebrate the birth of Christ, the 25th of December, very important, friends, please remember this: just because something has some pagan attachment does not make it wrong for a Christian. What makes it wrong for a Christian is if it violates a Christian principle. There’s no violation of a Christian principle in commemorating the birth of Christ. You don’t have to do it, there’s no command to do it. In exchanging gifts or giving gifts to the Lord, there’s nothing wrong with that. So now, if a person’s conscience bothers him, don’t do it!

David: Oh, but I’m talking about the trees…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, the tree… you know, some date the tree back to… an evergreen tree did not lose its leaves so it sort of represented the enduring life. And so, I think that comes from Scandinavian… you know, in Palestine, they didn’t have that… these trees. And so, that kind of came from the Scandinavian tradition and they would decorate the tree and, you know, some have tried…

David: But it’s not paganism…

Pastor Doug: …to make an argument that people were praying to the tree but I can’t really find evidence for that. Any thoughts on that, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, like you say, Pastor Doug, I think there is nothing wrong in remembering the birth of Jesus, the very sacred, very special event. But to spend the 25th of December in celebration with family and friends, recognizing that there is no spiritual significance attached to that particular day, or even some of the customs that go along with Christmas, in and on themselves, it’s not wrong. However, we know that people can take it to extremes and there are people that take it to extremes.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, if it’s about spending yourselves into oblivion or everything about “what will I get” and then it’s a wrong spirit. Yeah, hope that helps a little, David. We do have a book we can offer you. It’s called, “Baptized Paganism.” And it talks about these principles about, you know, some pagan practices that seem to be Christian.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. And the book is, “Baptized Paganism,” very interesting book. A lot of important information there. The number again is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Baptized Paganism.” Our next caller is Rudy and he is calling from Washington, from College Place, listening on 88.5. Rudy, welcome to the program!

Rudy: Oh, thank you very much! I’m happy to be here!

Pastor Doug: Likewise!

Rudy: Thank you. I have a question. If Jesus Christ is the only Way for salvation…

Pastor Doug: You still there?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hold on, let’s see if we can get him back. Let’s try. Rudy, are you there?

Rudy: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yeah…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Rudy, we lost… we lost the line there. Go ahead and repeat your question.

Rudy: Okay…

Pastor Doug: If Jesus Christ is the only Way to salvation… and then we lost you. Keep going.

Rudy: Yes. What happens then to the people that never heard of Jesus and they passed away?

Pastor Doug: Well, there will be some people in heaven who maybe did not have the gospel preached to them by a Christian per se or by an apostle or missionary, everyone who is in heaven will be there because of Christ. It’s only the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. But let me give you an example. Jesus specifically began His ministry talking about a Phoenician widow that Elijah stayed with that He said, or certainly implied, will be saved. And then he talked about a Syrian general named Naaman who was healed of his leprosy that we expect will be in the kingdom.

Jesus said, “Many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” And so, there are going to be people that follow the light that shone on their path, maybe through God’s Spirit or angels, He delivered the essence of the message to them. And if they lived up to the light that they received, you know, Paul says in Romans chapter 1 that there are some who, you know, they just follow what they know of God that they see through the creation of God. And… but they’ll be saved by the merits of Christ, not by their own works. So, yeah, there will be people who maybe were in other countries. God is not automatically consigning the whole continents to the Lake of Fire because, you know, they’re just born in the wrong age and lived in the wrong country. People do have opportunity to listen to God’s Spirit. If they walk in the light they have, He gives them more light.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a verse on that, Pastor Doug. You just mentioned it in Romans chapter 1 and we read it in verse 20. It says, “For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, been understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are not without excuse because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful but became futile in their thoughts.” So it’s talking about a group of people that had never the gospel… that didn’t have the gospel preached unto them per se but in the works of creation, they have seen or they can see, they can recognize God’s hands. And the Holy Spirit guides an individual through their conscience. They might not have the written law of God but God is writing their law— His law— upon the heart.

Rudy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So I think we’ll be surprised when we get to the kingdom. There’ll be some people there from remote times in history and places that were saved by the grace of God. They walked in some light that He gave them.

Rudy: Yeah. It’s like many of the Indians in the Amazons that they…

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Rudy: …never get on and they passed away and they never heard of Jesus.

Pastor Doug: And aborigines.

Rudy: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You know, it’s interesting that I lived on… well, I have a home by some tribes in Northern California now and we also lived in the Navajo Reservation. A lot of the Native Americans did believe in a monotheistic religion, a one great god and, you know, some of the tribes had certain principles that you find in the Bible. They understood. They believed in the creator, they believed in the mercy of God, they believed in a one god, and they… you know, even some of these remote tribes did have a certain amount of knowledge. Hey, I appreciate your question, Rudy. We’re going to see if we can get a couple more before our break.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got David who is listening in Queens, New York. David, welcome to the program!

David: Hi, happy New Year!

Pastor Doug: Likewise! How can we help you, David?

David: Okay. I was wondering… I hate to ask this question because it’s like I’m questioning God but He was like very strict in the Old Testament. For example, if somebody broke the Sabbath day, they were stoned to death. Why was that so, the punishment’s so strict?

Pastor Doug: Well, there’s also times in the New Testament where Ananias and Sapphira, Acts chapter 5, they lied to Peter and they dropped dead. That seems pretty strict for lying. But whenever much is given, much is expected. When God’s presence was right in the camp and those people heard God speak the Ten Commandments, they know that He wrote them with His own hand then He gave it to them, that generation, when they went out and deliberately broke one of the commandments kind of in a high-handed way right in the face of God, there was more severe punishment.

Likewise, in the days of the apostles in the New Testament when Holy Spirit was poured out and God’s miracles were being done all around them, for Ananias and Sapphira to just look Peter in the face and tell him a bold-faced lie when they have all these evidence of God’s power around them, they were more accountable. So at times in the Bible where God was more present, they had more evidence, then they were more culpable if they did sin.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, another important point about that, we have one occasion in Scripture where somebody was put to death because of violation of the Sabbath, I’m sure over the years during Bible times, there were many individuals that violated the Sabbath at various times…

Pastor Doug: And nothing happened…

Pastor Jëan Ross: …they were all put to death. So even in the New Testament times, we have the example of Ananias and Sapphira but there were probably many in the early church that at times…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …they’d be as honest as they should have been. So here, we have some examples set forth. The ultimate consequences of somebody willfully disobeying God’s law, whichever commandment that is, ultimately results in death. In some cases, for the one that we mentioned, God highlighted the importance of His commandments but there are many cases where God is merciful and gives people many opportunities to repent and turn to Him.

David: Okay. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thank you, David. You know, just… if David is still listening, one more thing popped into my mind is when that woman was caught in adultery, and this is New Testament, and they came and they said to Jesus, “According to the law, she should be stoned.” And Jesus said, “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.” Well, He didn’t say adultery is okay because He then tells the woman, “Go and sin no more. I’m having mercy on you. What you’ve done is a sin. I’m going to have mercy on you, you’re free to go. Basically, I’ll pay for your sin,” as what Jesus was saying. So you know, God often showed mercy. He’s very patient.

Pastor Jëan Ross: See if we can get one more caller before the break. We have Rick who is calling from Albarin, California listening in KFI. Rick, welcome to the program!

Rick: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Rick: Good evening. We’re going to… my question is, when Jesus prayed, “Father, please forgive them for they know not what they do,” were those people forgiven even though they didn’t ask to be forgiven?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a good question. It’s my understanding that Jesus was asking the God the Father to hold them non-accountable for their crucifying the Son of God. It doesn’t meant that they would automatically all be in heaven. He was saying, “Don’t hold them responsible for crucifying the Messiah. These slaves that were carrying out the crucifixion, they did not know what they were doing.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you know, Jesus died for everyone. He died for the sins of every person, not everyone’s going to be saved but He has provided forgiveness if they will accept it. And that provision that Christ made was available even to those who were crucifying Him. Amazing! That’s a demonstration of God’s grace. The very ones that were putting Jesus to death, they were also… forgiveness was available to them if they would receive it.

Pastor Doug: You know, and I’m not sure that He was directing that prayer necessarily to the religious leaders who He had just told them who He was. This was more, specifically, He was saying, “Father, forgive…” and not only the Roman slaves and soldiers that were participating in this. They were just following orders. But following generations, I mean, we all really have the blood of Jesus on our hands in the sense that He died for our sins. And, you know, we didn’t realize when we sinned what it was costing God. And so, it just shows the mercy of God on all of us for that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we also have that account to the Roman centurion after the death of Jesus who looked up at the cross and said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”

Pastor Doug: It shows the Holy Spirit working on his life.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: So… and the thief on the cross. He heard Jesus say, “Father, forgive them,” and it changed his heart. He saw the mercy of Christ and he was ultimately converted a few moments later. Friends, we’re just going to take a break. We wanted to remind you, it’s the beginning of the year. Do you have daily devotions? Are you involved in a Bible study program? What better time than now to say, “I’m going to spend time in the word of God every day.” One good way to do that is sign up for the Amazing Facts Bible study lessons. If you simply go to our website, amazingfacts.org, you might be driving down the road— a lot of people are— Amazing Facts, just type that in to Google and sign up for our Bible study course. We’ll be back in just a few moments.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible-related question, you can call us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time on Sundays and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, please join us as we look to God’s word for more Bible answers live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: I anticipate that some of you who are listening right now joined us since we told you who we are and what we’re doing. This is Bible Answers Live and this is a live opportunity for you to call in with your Bible questions. We still have a couple of lines open. That number, toll-free phone call, it’s free— 800-GOD-SAYS; 800- that 463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, we’re going to be giving out our resource number for the various free offers that we have. And also, I want to mention though that if somebody would like to enroll in the Amazing Facts study guide course, they can call the resource line and just ask the person on the other end of the law… of the line if… to sign up for the Bible course. They will take the information that’s needed and you’ll be able to enroll in this really important eye-opening study of God’s word.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. This series of lessons has been around for 35, probably 40 years now. And it’s been upgraded several times. It is so popular because it takes people through the fundamentals of what it means to be a Christian answering most of the amazing questions people would have. And so, we’d encourage you to sign up for the Amazing Facts Bible study course and make it part of your devotions the beginning of this New Year.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you that number if you’d like to make the call now. It’s 1-800-835-6747; that’s 800-835-6747. You can ask to sign up for the Amazing Facts study guide course at that number. Well, let’s go to the phone lines. We have Jordan who is calling from Florida. Jordan, welcome to the program!

Pastor Doug: Was that Jaden?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Jaden… I’m sorry. Jaden, welcome to the program!

Jaden: Yes. It’s really nice.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Jaden: My question is with the… “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” When He created the first day, it says that the eve… “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” That sets… that sets the day. Now, it is commonly used midnight for each day and even the Sabbath, it’s not from midnight to midnight but from sunset to sunset. Just like God created the seventh day. Now, we call Saturday instead… instead of just saying the seventh day, we say Saturday. Is that correct? Right?

Pastor Doug: Yes. In the Bible, you don’t find the word Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. In the Bible, the Jews had a number for the principal days of the week. They numbered them, you know, from the first day, Friday was called the “Preparation Day,” the seventh day they called the “Sabbath.”

Jaden: Yeah, I…

Pastor Doug: And you’ll even find that in any dictionary or encyclopedia if you type in first day, they’ll say commonly Sunday, seventh day Saturday. So, are you wondering about why does the world start the days and end the days at midnight?

Jaden: Well, no. I’m not wondering about…

Pastor Doug: Okay. Well, what’s your question? Why don’t you summarize your question for us?

Jaden: Is it right for me to use that because God created the day and He set what the day is from— from sunset to sunset. But the world has it from midnight to midnight. God created a day and the world set the day.

Pastor Doug: Well, you’re on the right track because it says in the Bible in Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be for you a Sabbath of rest,” and it goes on, it says, “From even unto even,” or from evening to evening, “shall you celebrate your Sabbath.” So it is sundown, it’s when the day officially begin and ended, I should say, ended and begin. And, you know, I guess when they do daylight savings time, they do it like two in the morning now and we technically see a day begins and ends at midnight— 11:59, 59 seconds and then you switch to a new day. But when it comes to the Sabbath day, we don’t go by Greenwich Meantime. We go by Bible time.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, God made it very easy back in Bible times. Of course, there were no clocks that worked at night. They would just have to estimate the best they could. But when it comes to the Sabbath, simply turn and look to see if the sun set. If the sun has set, then the Sabbath has begun on the sixth day of the week, on Friday. You know, we’ve got a website dealing with the subject of the Sabbath. And I believe it also talks about when the Sabbath begins. It’s called sabbathtruth.com, it’s a great resource. There’s video on there, gives you some of the history of the Sabbath. Again, that website is simply sabbathtruth.com.

Pastor Doug: Appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let’s see. Aaron is our next caller and he is calling from Washington listening on KACS. Aaron, welcome to the program!

Aaron: Thank you for having me. Happy New Years to you guys.

Pastor Doug: Likewise!

Aaron: My question was I made a promise to God a while ago and once in a month, I broke that promise. Does it say anywhere in the Bible to where salvaged person can lose their salvation?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, certainly, God wants us to keep our promises and our commitments. But if we fail to do that, that is not the unpardonable sin. So you simply, you know, have to ask for forgiveness. It is a sin to lie or it is a sin to break a covenant or promise. But I can go through a long list in the Bible of people that made promises that failed in some way. I mean, you could go from King David to a number of others and Peter made a promise and 6 hours didn’t go by before he broke it three times. He said, “Lord, though all men forsake You…” and he made a vow, right? In the presence of all his friends, he said, “…I will not forsake You.” And Peter... Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, you don’t know that before the rooster crows twice, you’re going to deny me three times.”

Well, what does Peter do after that? Did he say, “Well, that didn’t matter?” you know, “God is merciful.” He went out and he wept bitterly, he repented of his sin and Jesus forgave him. A matter of fact, when Jesus rose from the dead, Aaron, one of the first things that He said to Mary, He said, “Go tell the disciples and Peter…” He knew Peter felt like, “I’ve gone too far. God’s going to forsake me. I broke my vow.” You know, if we do break our word, if we do break our covenant, we need to ask for His mercy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it’s also important to remember that when Peter said those words, he probably meant it. He was sincere…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …but he didn’t realize that… he didn’t realize how weak he really was without God’s help. Sometimes, we might make a promise but when it really comes to it, we can’t really keep that promise unless we learn to trust in God.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You know, one more thought on that, Aaron, is that as Pastor Ross was saying, once or twice I’ve been in a foxhole so to speak with bullets flying over my head and you make a promise and say, “Lord, just get me out of this and I promise I’ll never… I’ll serve you forever. I’ll never sin, I’ll never disobey,” or whatever. I don’t make those promises anymore. I’d say, “Lord, I’ll do my best but You know how frail I am.” And I think God understands that. I still make promises, you know, [laughing] when I’m in big trouble like that, I said, “Oh Lord, please help me. I’ll sure try to serve You,” or “Get me out of this pickle.” But you’ve got to be careful about making promises. God knows how weak we are. I don’t know if that helps answer your question at all.

Aaron: It does. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Oh, praise the Lord! Hey, thank you for calling, Aaron.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Charles who is listening online from Philadelphia. Charles, welcome to the program!

Charles: Thank you. Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Charles: I recently have started attending a church that practices the seventh day Sabbath…

Pastor Doug: Praise the Lord!

Charles: …and the job that I do requires me to work a shift of 3 in the afternoon until 11. It’s in the health care industry. I don’t… I’m not a doctor or anything but I do work in that industry, and I’m having a bit of trouble dealing with the fact that I do have to work on Friday evening. I mean, am I supposed to quit my job and find something else to keep it? Or, I’m not quite… I’m in a quandary. I don’t know what to do.

Pastor Doug: Well, I appreciate your… the conundrum that you’re facing right now. Here’s the principle, if we know that it’s a command and it involves some non-necessary work, for us to be paid to do that non-necessary or essential work is basically work. And it’s kind of like the principle where, you know, the king of Babylon told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego, “Look, we’re going to have a celebration. We’re going to bow down to my image when you hear the music. And then we’ll have a feast.” And they could’ve said, “Well, Lord, I’m going to lose my job if I don’t bow down this one time.” And they were willing. They said it’s a command. Even if we die, burned in the furnace… this is, by the way, Daniel chapter 3, they said, “Rather than disobey God’s command, we will die.” Same thing with Daniel. The first command says, “Don’t worship other gods.” King Darius said, “Just for 30 days, everybody’s got to pray to the king.” Daniel said, “I can’t do that. Even if I lose my job and I lose my life.”

Now, if you’re involved in some kind of health care where you’re doing a central service that, you know, can’t be done by somebody else then well, by all means, God… Jesus healed on the Sabbath. And so, you’re going to have to answer that question, Charles. Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think what we all have to do in these situations, and you’re not alone, Charles. There are many that face the same challenge that you do. We want to do everything in our power possible to try and work through the situation. That might involve speaking to the supervisor, maybe speaking with a friend and saying, “You cover for me and I’ll cover for you. I’d like to get, you know, Friday evening and Saturdays off so that I can keep the Sabbath.” We do everything we can in our power to try and accommodate the need of our employee and still be faithful to God’s commandments. I know, Pastor Doug, I’ve seen miracles take place…

Pastor Doug: Oh, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …in the lives of people who have made that commitment to be faithful to God and to keep the Sabbath. God will open up the door. He’ll provide some means. God stands up for those like Shadrach and Meshach who stand up for Him.

Pastor Doug: Yes, I know it’s a challenge, Charles. But God has a tendency to part the ocean right when you get up to the water and you say, “Lord, I’m willing to do whatever You want me to do to serve You.” Then He starts showing us a light at the end of the tunnel. So we’ll be praying for you.

Charles: Well, thank you. I…

Pastor Doug: And do go…

Charles: …guess I just have to have the faith to go ahead and make the move.

Pastor Doug: You go all the way and we all know in the last days that there will be a big test on all of God’s people that will have to choose whether to worship, you know, the beast’s way or God’s way. And so, this is good practice for that big test and we’ll just pray God gives you courage. By the way, you would also find some answers for that question on the Sabbath Truth website. It’s simply sabbathtruth.com and a lot of people go there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, somebody else who might be wondering, maybe this is the first time you’ve heard about the Bible’s Sabbath, what is involved with that. We have a study guide that talks about the subject. You can give us a call at 800-835-6747, and the study guide is entitled, “Forgotten Day in History.” You can ask for the study guide on the Sabbath or just for the one that says, “Forgotten Day in History.” Our next caller is Melissa and she is calling from Brooklyn, New York listening online. Melissa, welcome to the program!

Melissa: Hi, happy New Year. And my question is that since God created everything— the heaven and the earth, and the people in this world, how come He created… how come He created people that He knows they are… they are going to rebel against Him? Like, it doesn’t make sense because it’s like a waste of… it’s like a waste of space.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah, it would seem, you know, if God is making robots, it would look like there’s a problem in quality control. But what went wrong with our true ancestors were some of us are so rebellious and selfish and evil and all kinds of problems of humanity. But that’s the trick right there, Melissa. God isn’t making robots. God is making living beings that have a free will and moral choice. Now, I don’t guess you have any children yet. You sound too young.

Melissa: Yeah, I’m young.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, go take your time. But someday, you might decide, “I want to have children,” and you’ll make that reckless decision that we all make.

Melissa: Yeah, I’m sorry to cut you off. Yeah, I’m just like starting to think of me, I’m starting to think about it because I don’t want one day and like being with rebellious kids, that’s scary.

Pastor Doug: Well, but that’s the thing. It’s if you want the love of a child or if you want to love a baby, you are taking a risk that that baby with a free choice is going to grow up and turn into a teenager. And they’re going to sometimes disagree with you. So, you know, God made us creatures free. He wants us to love Him but that means love takes a risk. You can’t force it, he can’t pre-program us to love Him. We really do have freedom to think about who He is and if we want to love Him.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, God wouldn’t be fair to Himself or to the principles of His government if He only allow those who would love Him to be born. If He said, “No, I’m not going to let this person live because I know their decisions. They’re not going to love Me, they’re going to rebel against Me,” well then, He wouldn’t really be Love.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said the greatest evidence of God’s love is the Lake of Fire that He was…

Melissa: Wow!

Pastor Doug: …willing to create people that would love… choose not to love Him. And that He would, you know, it breaks God’s heart to see anyone lost. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. So yup, we’re all made with free will because He wants free love.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a book dealing with the subject of free will, “Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?” talks about the subject. You can call us at 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost.” Joan is listening from New Jersey, listening on WMCA. Joan, welcome to the program!

Joan: Hello?

Pastor Doug: You’re on! Happy New Year.

Joan: Happy New Year. Thank you for taking my call. I had a comment about the caller who called earlier about slavery. He said that his friend couldn’t serve a God who endorses slavery. And it seems to me that there are different kinds of slavery in the Old Testament. Most of these slavery where the Israelites where they voluntarily went into slavery in order to pay off their debt. But it seems to me that God actually imposed death penalty for slave traders and the way that it’s practiced in the US because Exodus 21:16 says that anyone who kidnaps someone and sells them as slave or still has the one he’s got must be put to death. So…

Pastor Doug: Very good point.

Joan: …I just want to, you know, make that comment.

Pastor Doug: That’s… I’m glad you’ve shared that because I hadn’t thought of that and that’s a good Scripture. By the way, you reminded me that the nation of Israel was born because somebody was kidnapped as a slave. His name is Joseph. And it shows how God stood up for Joseph and protected him and exalted him. And you know, Joseph being a slave, he understood it and he was very good to those who serve under him.

Joan: Right.

Pastor Doug: And the whole… you know, God basically, the plan of salvation is the Lord saving a nation of slaves from slavery. So if someone wants to know how God feels about slavery, the whole salvation story is us being saved from the slavery of sin.

Joan: Yeah, right. Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, that’s a great verse that you mentioned just for those who are listening. The verse is Exodus chapter 21 verse 16 where the one who kidnaps another and sells him as a slave, God said should be put to death. So that’s the way God felt about slave traders.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and we’ve got pretty strong penalties against kidnapping. If kidnapping is ever added to a charge… it’s one thing if it’s armed robbery. If they add the charge of kidnapping, you’re going to go away for a long time. So that’s still pretty serious. Hey, good. I appreciate our listeners also helping to answer the questions, Joan. God bless.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Tracy who is listening from New York. Tracy, welcome to the program!

Tracy: Hi, happy New Year.

Pastor Doug: Happy New Year.

Tracy: I have a question in regards to… I briefly heard the end of another question where you are calculating out the birth of Christ and what’s the concept of Christmas and isn’t the Arabic New Year in October? Like when you’re counting back 3 ½ years, shouldn’t you be counting from October?

Pastor Doug: Well, no. The Passover is when you start counting backwards from. It’s when Jesus died. Jesus died during the Passover which is in the spring.

Tracy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And so, you count back from the Passover… now the Passover is governed by the moon so we can’t give you a specific date because the Passover moves each year on our calendar.

Tracy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But if you count back… the Jews use the lunar calendar. You count back 3 ½ years from the spring Passover and the Passover moon, you’re going to end up landing in August/September sometime. And so, Jesus ministered from the time of His baptism. It says in Luke chapter 3, “At the time of His 30th birthday, it’s when He was baptized.” Now I don’t know if it was the day of His birthday or approximately the time of His birthday, but there’s a reason for that. A Jewish priest or rabbi could not begin to serve until he was 30. So Jesus…

Tracy: Right.

Pastor Doug: …began His public ministry at 30. He ministered 3 ½ years, died in the spring, you just count…

Tracy: You’re counting backwards instead of forwards.

Pastor Doug: I’m counting back from Passover 3 ½ years. It don’t matter what year it is. If you count 3 ½ years backwards from Passover any year, you’re going to end up landing in the fall.

Tracy: Okay, because I thought you’re counting forward.

Pastor Doug: Oh no. I see what you’re saying.

Tracy: So if you’re counting forward, you will have to start counting in October because that would be the Arabic New Year.

Pastor Doug: Right, right.

Tracy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So, does that make sense?

Tracy: Alright. I was just confused [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, I appreciate that. Hope it helps a little bit, Tracy.

Tracy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Jesus— He ministered from His 30th birthday, He was crucified at the age of 33 ½ and it was a year… if I’m not mistaken, about 31.

Pastor Jëan Ross: 31 A.D., the crucifixion of Jesus. The Passover was roughly in the month of April as we…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …have it now. So you can kind of do the math. His birth would be sometime in the fall of the year. Our next caller is Linda and she is listening on KSOH from Richland, Washington. Linda, welcome to the program!

Linda: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Linda: My husband and I were reading out today in Revelation 17 and I think it’s 12 to 14… we’re actually in the car so I don’t have my Bible.

Pastor Doug: That’s alright.

Linda: And we were reading about the beast and the king and they are given one hour to rule. Our question was is that a prophetic hour like the day for the year and if so, when does it start? And if you could tell us something about that, and if you don’t mind, so my husband can hear the answer, can I turn up my radio and I’ll just let you answer and be quiet?

Pastor Doug: Oh, well, if you turn up your radio, you’ll have to turn your volume down. Otherwise, everyone’s going to hear it and it’ll be time to leave…

Linda: Oh, okay…

Pastor Doug: That’s alright…

Linda: …I won’t.

Pastor Doug: You can go ahead and do it. We’ll just…

Linda: I won’t do that then, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I want your husband to hear the answer. In Revelation chapter 17, or it’s actually chapter 18 where it’s talking about the judgment that comes on Babylon three times in chapter 18. It says, “For in one hour, for in one hour…” talking about the city basically falling. By the way, one of those is Revelation 18:10. It says, “The merchants of the earth standing afar off for fear of her torments saying, ‘Alas! That great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgment come.’” Well, some have understood this simply means “so quickly.” It all happened in an hour. It may have lasted for centuries but in one hour, Babylon is judged. Others apply the prophetic principle of a day for a year. And several times in the Bible, I think there’s three verses in the Bible that say it imply when interpreting prophecy that you use the principle that a day equals a year. Well, if that’s true, Jewish year— calculate 360 days in a Jewish year because they use the lunar calendar, and there were 24 hours in the Jewish day just like our day. Jesus said, “Are there not 12 hours in the day, there are 12 hours in the night?” They divided their watchers by the day and the night. And one hour then would be 1/24th of a day. And if a day equals a year, one hour would equal 15 literal days.

So… now I don’t want to build too much out of this, friends. I’m just telling you in my quiet moments, I could be wrong. This is by permission, not be commandment. But you do find there in… you add those three one-hours up and it comes to 15-15-15. That’s 45 days. I always thought it was interesting, it’s a 45-day difference in Daniel chapter 12, and the 12/90 and the 13/35. Also, how long did it take for the plagues to fall on Egypt? Was it years or was it months? It’s probably a month and a half. Happened very quick sequence, not 45 days. And you look at the plagues that came on Job. They came in quick succession. The seven last plagues in Revelation that are spoken of here in Revelation 18 also when Babylon falls, they’re going to come within one year probably in a matter of 6 weeks or so— could be 45 days. So those are, you know, some of the reasons we think it’s going to all happen within one year probably in quick sequence… I mean, how long can the world last if the fresh water supplies turned to blood? And many are being scorched with great heat. Things aren’t going to go long.

Hey, I appreciate your question, Linda. I’m wondering, Pastor Ross, do we have a lesson? We’ve got a lesson on Babylon we could send.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have that lesson on the Second Coming that’ll give signs of the Second Coming.

Pastor Doug: Oh, there you go.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Maybe touching some of the plagues prior to the coming of Jesus. The number is 800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide talking about the second coming entitled, “Ultimate Deliverance.”

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Linda.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let’s see if we can get a few more quick calls in. We have Mary listening in Saint Louis. Mary, welcome to the program!

Mary: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Mary!

Mary: Happy New Year.

Pastor Doug: Happy New Year. And your question.

Mary: I have a question. I see that in the book of Genesis or the book of Revelation where it says, “The beginning to the end, to the end to the beginning of our time.” Does that mean by God’s eyes about the planet earth or mankind?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Are you referring to one of the names of Jesus that we find in the book of Revelation? Revelation chapter 1 where it says, “I’m Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending?”

Mary: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, when Christ is referring to His title there, He is basically saying that He is eternal, that as far as you could go back in the beginning, He’s always been there and He will always be as far as you could go into the future. And there is also that verse in the Old Testament, it’s not in Genesis, where it says, “From everlasting to everlasting.” I think that’s Psalm 90. “From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” And so, it’s talking about the eternal nature of God. You know, what’s wonderful, Mary, is God is telling us that we are going to be able to have everlasting life. That once we receive our… well, everlasting life begins when we accept Jesus. Friends, if you’ve not done that, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. If you’re waiting until you know when the last day of your life is, you may not get that notice. So the best time to be prepared for eternity is to do it now and stay ready.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you mentioned is Psalm 90:2 where it says, “God is from everlasting to everlasting.”

Pastor Doug: And He’s offering us everlasting life. The Bible tells us He “so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” I heard one author say, Pastor Ross, “What a mystery and a miracle it is that we will have lives that will measure with the life of God!” And once Christ comes and we get our glorified bodies, we will then live forever as God lives forever in a world where there is no more pain or suffering.

Have you made that decision, friend, to hand your life over to God? Why not do it right now? You can just pray in your heart wherever you are— in your living room, driving down the road— and say, “Lord, this New Year, I want a new beginning. I want to surrender my life and my heart to You and to be filled with Your Spirit.” He’s got a plan for each one of you— a good plan and eternal plan. And you might want to learn more about that by signing up for the Amazing Facts Bible study course. It’s free! You can call the toll-free number, 800-835-6747. Sign up there or go to bibleuniverse.com; you can sign up and do the lessons online right there are bibleuniverse.com. One more website, don’t forget New Year. Get the amazing facts about eternal life at amazingfacts.org. Remember friends, Jesus is the Truth that will set you free!

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