The Big Dig

The Big Dig

Date: 01/16/2011 
Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project, better known as the Big Dig, constitutes the largest construction project in US history. It called for replacing an elevated 6-lane highway through downtown Boston with an 8 to 10-lane underground highway directly beneath it.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project, better known as the Big Dig, constitutes the largest construction project in US history. It called for replacing an elevated 6-lane highway through downtown Boston with an 8 to 10-lane underground highway directly beneath it. Engineers of this subterranean thoroughfare have to make room for 7 ½ miles of underground roads that required excavating 16 million cubic yards of dirt; that’s enough to fill a New England’s football stadium more than 15 times. This colossal project was on the same scale as the Panama Canal or the Channel from Britain to France.

To top things off, it had to be built through a gauntlet of existing subway lines, not to mention, countless pipes and utility cables. And all these had to happen without disrupting the daily flow and traffic on one of America’s busiest cities. First conceived in the 1970s, the project’s history spans 6 presidents and 7 governors and finished 5 years overdue in 2005. The Big Dig also became the most expensive highway project in New York… in US history. The final price is estimated at 14.8 billion. During one 3-year period when construction peaked, the Big Dig was eating up 100 million dollars a month— talk about a money pit! That’s a lot of money to build a road that still has a gridlock during rush hour.

Did you know the Bible tell us there’s about an even more expensive road that leads to a better city? 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 to Bible Answers Live! And we invite you to this live interactive calling program. And you can participate. If you have any Bible question, pick up your phone right now and call this toll-free number and we invite any question on any Bible topic. And we do have lines open so if you want to get your Bible question in, now is a good time for tonight’s program to pick up the phone. One more time, that number, 800-463-7297; that’s toll-free. If you want an acronym, that’s 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297 will bring your question into this live program. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening friends. Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program again with prayer. Dear Father, we thank You that we have this opportunity to study Your Word. And we ask for Your blessing. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be. Lord, it’s our desire that we might come to know You better as we look into what You have revealed to us in the Bible. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about the Big Dig in Boston and really what a colossal project that was to take a highway all the way under a city. And when you’re reading that, I thought of another verse that we have in Scripture that talks about God making a road through the depth of the sea in order to redeem His people. I’m thinking of Isaiah chapter 51 verse 10 that says, “You are the One who dried up the sea and made a road through the sea to redeem the people so we have a road that leads to redemption.” And of course, that’s referring to God opening up the Red Sea…

Pastor Doug: The way of salvation?

Pastor Jëan Ross: …for the children of Israel.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that brought salvation to them.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Jesus, of course, speaks about this in that famous passage from the Sermon on the Mount. He says, “Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.” You know, going underneath Boston there, they built 8-10 lanes. I wonder how many lanes there are in the interstate that goes to destruction. Jesus said it’s broad. But He says, “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life.” Not that the Lord is trying to make it difficult, it’s that they don’t need very many lanes because there’s no traffic. Very few people are looking for God’s way to life. But that road is very expensive— a lot more than the Big Dig. The road to everlasting life cost the life of God the Son, Jesus Christ. And it’d be a shame for Him to pay the toll for you to travel that road to His city and to have that paid in vain.

Friends, are you on the road to life or the road to destruction? I hope you’ll stay tuned to this program and you’ll learn that way. But we have a book that we’ll give you. A matter of fact, in the Batchelor family right now, we are reading this book together and it’s something I don’t know if we’ve ever offered it. And it’s just been a real blessing in our family and, you know, Pastor Ross, you said you’ve read this before.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: Tell us about it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, “Road to Redemption.” It gives you some practical steps that one can take in coming into a saving relationship with Christ. Call our resource line, it’s 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “Road to Redemption.” Again, that number is 800-835-6747. And the book is “Road to Redemption.” And we’d be happy to send that to you.

Pastor Doug: And how much does that book cost?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The price is right. Just give us a call and it’s yours.

Pastor Doug: That’s good news and that’s what the book’s about. Are we ready for phone calls?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, we are. We’re going to go to Patrick who is listening in the Cayman Islands listening on the internet. Patrick, welcome to the program!

Pastor Doug: Hey, Patrick, get real close to your microphone or speaker, whatever you’re at there and so we can…

Patrick: Okay. Are you hearing me now?

Pastor Doug: That’s better.

Patrick: Okay. Pastor Doug, this is in regards to Deuteronomy chapter 14 verse 26. I asked you a question and, yeah, about strong drink and you made a reference that it was pertaining to like… you made a reference to orange juice, like concentrate?

Pastor Doug: Right.

Patrick: But I was reading in Proverbs 31 where it says, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.”

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Patrick: And it says, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and forget his misery no more.” So I was just wondering if this is the same strong drink that you were talking about that is referenced to orange juice or you made that reference to an example of a concentrate.

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, there’s two things you’re really asking here. One is about what this particular word or these phrase… two words mean in Deuteronomy 14. The other may be a broader question. You’re asking about alcohol. So what’s at the heart of your question? Do you want me to analyze this verse or are you wanting to know more about Christians and alcohol?

Patrick: What I want to find out is if the same… if the same strong drink that I’m seeing here in Proverbs 31, is it the same strong drink that is in Deuteronomy chapter 14?

Pastor Doug: Quick answer… quick answer would be no. The phrase in the King James Version, “strong drink,” is found 22 different times and a certain word based on its context can be used many different ways, you know, based on, of course, the way it’s placed in the sentence. Let me give you an example. There’s a sentence where you can use the word “that” five times in a row and be correct. And every time the word “that” appears— I don’t know if you want to hear that certain… that sentence, but you can say, “Did you know that that that that that boy said was incorrect?” Now that’s a legitimate sentence. Every time the word “that” appears, it’s the same spelling but it has a slightly different meaning.

This word that’s used for strong drink can be used multiple ways in the Bible. With what you’ve just read about king Lemuel, and not giving strong drink and talking about the bad things it has to say about alcohol, and you can read that also in Micah chapter 2 verse 11 and Isaiah 5:2. There’s all kinds of verses that say bad things about strong drink. Then for Moses to use that phrase and make it sound like, “Oh, by the way, on your way to this religious feast if you’ve got some extra tithe, go and buy some strong drink.” That would leave a lot of people asking questions about consistency. But if the word is… one of those words that can mean “strong” as in “tart” or “concentrated,” and it is a fact that the Jews used to dehydrate their wine into a paste and it was concentrated and they’d reconstitute it. It was lighter to carry; when they travel to this feast, they’d reconstitute it. Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I’m looking at this verse that we have in Deuteronomy 14:26 and the King James refers to it as strong drink but in the New King James based probably upon the context, they didn’t use the word “strong drink.” They say, “And you shall spend your money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires.” So…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and I’m not as smart as the New King James translators but they saw the need to use a different phrase there so that tells you something. You see what we’re saying, Patrick?

Patrick: Okay, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the Thomas Nelson translators, when they went through the King James and they’re trying to be very sacred to the original text, they realized that was a poor translation and they repaired it.

Patrick: What… Pastor Doug, what I’m saying here is like why is it that there are some things that are given unto some people but there are some things that are not for some people? Being that in the context that is used in Proverbs 31, being that these people are in high authority, you know, because God knows the heart of men and know what they’re capable of that’s why He’s not suggesting us this isn’t the same thing about the Pastor and the Priest. They shouldn’t drink much wine or strong drink or whatever but…

Pastor Doug: Patrick, do you think it’s okay for a Christian to drink wine? I mean, alcohol.

Patrick: Alcohol. Alright, so like when your wife go to dinner and…

Pastor Doug: Well, you don’t need to give me an analogy. I’m just wondering if… that’s a simple yes or no. Do you think it is okay for a Christian to drink alcohol?

Patrick: Well, that’s what I’m trying to find out.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you one principle here to remember. I won’t be able to take too long in this one verse. But be careful not to build a doctrine on the testimony of one verse especially if some translations have to fix that verse. There are so many other verses that we just quoted. I gave you 22 other references of strong drink where it says that it’s a “bad thing.” You read one, “Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish.” Well, I think people that are perishing, that’s in that category. But we believe Jesus so that we might not perish. Alcohol is bad news even if there’s nothing in the Bible on it. How a Christian can support the industry and the most addictive drug in our culture is hard to defend.

And, you know, I know you called last week and I wish I could take more time. If you haven’t received the book, I think you may have requested it, “Alcohol and the Christian.” We’ll send you a free copy, Patrick. Please read that and there’s a lot of verses in there including Deuteronomy 14.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Alcohol and the Christian,” or you can read it online at the Amazing Facts website…

Pastor Doug: There you go!

Pastor Jëan Ross: …amazingfacts.org and you just need to go to the library section and look that book up called, “Alcohol and the Christian,” and you can read it online. Next caller is Brandon and he is listening in Bakersfield California. Brandon, welcome to the program!

Brandon: Hi, thanks.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Brandon: I have a question about Revelation chapter 6. You find the seven seals and just after that, it starts to talk about the seven trumpets and I want to try and make my question simple as I can but it’s kind of a two-part question. First of all, it’s my understanding that at least some of the seals have already happened in past history, is that correct?

Pastor Doug: That’s correct.

Brandon: Now, I’m pretty sure just off the top of my head by looking at the seventh seal that that has not happened yet.

Pastor Doug: That’s correct also.

Brandon: Okay. So is chapter 8 of the book of Revelation where it says, “He opened the seventh seal and there was a silence from heaven for about a space of half an hour.” Is that the beginning of what we were told the time of trouble in Daniel chapter 12:1?

Pastor Doug: Well, the silence in heaven, I think is at the end of the time of trouble.

Brandon: Oh, okay. Okay. Well, because I know… I know that the book of Revelation is not written in chronological order probably but I was looking in where my mom was studying at the church yesterday and, you know, we’re kind of having trouble understanding exactly at what point in the history in the timeline of prophecy that we’re at because when you read the seven trumpets, it kind of looks like that the seven trumpets hadn’t even began yet. But the seals, it looks like at least most of them have already passed.

Pastor Doug: You know, what you’ve got in Revelation is a bunch of police reporters who are taking pictures of a crime scene and they’ve all got different angles of the same event.

Brandon: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And so, in the vision for instance of the seven churches, you have a religious history of God’s people and it spans the time from the first coming to the second coming. All the seven churches is Revelation chapter 2 and 3. Then you go into the seven seals. People have all heard of the four horsemen of the apocalypse but that’s actually the first four of the seven seals. Well, there you have sort of a political history of the church from the first coming to the second coming. And then you’ve got the seven trumpets. And that sort of covers trumpets for use in battles to give signals. It’s sort of the military…

Brandon: I do know what that is.

Pastor Doug: …history. Yeah, from the first coming to the second coming. And there’s many sevens and many angles. In Revelation 12, it’s got a context…

Brandon: Oh, yeah.

Pastor Doug: …of a wife because the, you know, salvation is compared to marriage. And it shows the faithful bride and the unfaithful one— one who’s got the seed that is loyal and one who has the daughters that are harlots. So all these different angles are given and Revelation is really a kaleidoscope bringing all the Old Testament pictures together in one view. Out of, I think there’s 404 verses in Revelation; roughly 278 can be found almost word for word somewhere else…

Brandon: Yeah, in the Bible.

Pastor Doug: …in the Old Testament, yeah. So it’s an amazing mathematical book…

Brandon: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …an amazing study.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You also need to remember that when you compare the seals and the trumpets, they don’t always follow the same time period. There’s overlap between the seals…

Pastor Doug: Right, good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …and trumpets. You know, the sixth seal brings you right up to the second coming of Christ. It describes Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven and the wicked turn to the mountains and the rocks and they say, “Fall on us! Hide us from the face of Him that seats upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb for the great day of His wrath has come and who shall be able to stand?” And then chapter 7 describes those who can stand and then chapter 8 finishes up with the seal by describing silence in heaven because the inhabitants of heaven have now come to redeem and gather people from the earth.

Pastor Doug: So, hope that helps a little bit, Brandon. We appreciate that. Whenever we get a good question on Revelation, it’s hard to be brief with those. But trying to give everybody a little bit of time. Who’s next, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Carlos and he’s listening in Albakerky, New Mexico. Carlos, welcome to the program!

Carlos: Hello, Pastor Doug. I just wanted to thank you first off for your program. It helped me grow. 6 months ago, I gave my life to Christ and ever since, I’ve been listening to your program every weekend.

Pastor Doug: Oh, praise God!

Carlos: I just want to thank you.

Pastor Doug: We’re delighted to hear that. By the way, I’ve got a…

Carlos: I just…

Pastor Doug: …daughter in New Mexico, in Albakerky. Your question.

Carlos: Yes sir. My question is I’ve always been told and taught that the Sabbath was on Sunday. But as I begin my journey in reading the Bible, I found that it was originally on Saturday. And now I’d like to know if it was changed, when it was changed in Scripture and what Scripture would confirm that because I’ve asked Pastors and even some of the Pastors of the church I’m at now, they said it was on Sunday because Christ rose. But I’ve always found that God’s word is never changing and even in Luke 23, it refers to Jesus rising on the Sabbath but before they took a break on the Sabbath. So I just wanted to clear that up.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s a… this is a question we get frequently because of so many people that are studying of the subject… you know, some people, for a while, the church went through a phase where everything was so grace-oriented that people were thinking that any kind of obedience was legalism and then the folks have seen in our culture today that the idea that the Ten Commandments is not embrace by Christians, well, you just look at what goes on. And so Pastors now are teaching the Ten Commandments again. And people naturally ask about the fourth commandment, which is of course, the one commandment that begins with the word “remember” and the Sabbath commandment clearly says, “Remember the seventh day.” People wonder, “Well, which day is that?” It doesn’t say, “Remember a seventh day.” It says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” It’s as definite as it could be that God blesses a certain day.

And most people looking at a normal calendar will see seventh day, it’s Saturday. And we all know Jesus rose the first day, that’s Sunday. And there’s a lot of, you know, nice songs and clichés about why we worship on Sundays because that’s the day of the resurrection. That sounds beautiful but there is no verse to say that’s the new Sabbath. And so a lot of Christians, just like you, Carlos, are asking questions where do we get the idea… where is it in Scripture where Jesus now commands us to keep the first day as opposed to the seventh day. Well, there is no command. Really, early Christians all kept the seventh day. It wasn’t until two or 300 years after Christ that the Christians, in an effort to reach more of the pagans that kept the first day of the week began to say, “Well, maybe if we keep their Sabbath instead of the Bible Sabbath, our religion will be more popular.”

Two things happened— one, they were hoping to reach more of the pagans in the Roman Empire; secondly, the Jews have become very unpopular during that time and they wanted to distance themselves. They kept saying, “Christianity is not a Jewish religion” even though, of course, the whole Bible is written by Jews. They were trying to distance themselves from Christians so they… one way to do that is, of course, we don’t practice circumcision and we’re not keeping the Jewish day— they call it the Jewish day—well, it wasn’t a Jewish day. Adam and Eve are not Jewish and that’s when God invented the Sabbath. So, we do have a… we’ve got a study guide, Pastor Ross. We also have a website. You want to first tell them about the study guide?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, let me… anybody wanting to know more about the Sabbath, give us a call on our resource line. It’s 800-835-6747; you can ask for the study guide, “The Lost Day of History.” “The Lost Day of History,” talking about the Sabbath. That’s 800-835-6747. You can also take a look at the Amazing Facts website that’s dedicated to the subject called sabbathtruth.com.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. So, hope that helps, Carlos. And you keep studying. We appreciate the good testimony.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Kaye who is listening in Queens, New York on WMCA. Kaye, welcome to the program!

Kaye: Hi, thank you. I have a question about Matthew chapter 24 when the discussion about the destruction of the temple and signs for the end. So it goes along saying about what’s going to happen and then my concern and my confusion is about verse 28…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Kaye: …that says, “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” How does that relate to the rest of the part that preceded?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, it does speak in Revelation about what they call the “Feast of the Birds.” When there was a great battle, in Bible times, they didn’t have the Red Cross come through after a battle. It was very common to have a valley of bones and just to have people laying out in the field. This is what David even said to Goliath. Goliath said, “I’m going to give your body to the birds of the air,” and David said, “No, I’m going to give yours to the birds of the air.”

Kaye: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so after the coming of the Lord, it’s talking about this destruction that would happen where more… actually, the destruction of Jerusalem came first and you can read about that also in the book of Josephus that…

Kaye: Josephus?

Pastor Doug: Well, Josephus is not in the Bible. He is a Jewish historian who lived there in that time.

Kaye: Okay.

Pastor Doug: He said the crosses around Jerusalem when the temple was destroyed were as numerous as trees and it was like a forest. A matter of fact, I think he says there were… you could not find a tree for miles around because the Romans had to cut them all down to make crosses.

Kaye: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And the birds of carrion were numerous. And so Christ is talking about this great catastrophe that would come.

Kaye: Okay, so even though it doesn’t speak a lot about killing and bodies that I’m to assume that that’s what’s going on in this chapter?

Pastor Doug: Well, if…

Kaye: And then the eagles… well, it says eagles but they must be talking about… do the eagles eat like buzzards?

Pastor Doug: Well, eagle is a word that’s used… it’s the same word as vulture.

Kaye: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And it’s not like don’t think about the American eagle. Though American eagles do also eat carrion, it’s principally talking about buzzards here. They call them eagles. You’ll find this verse also in Luke 17 and in verse 37. It makes it clear here. It says, “I tell you, in that day, two men will be in one bed. One will be taken the other left. Two women shall be grinding together, one is taken, the other left. Two men will be in the field, one is taken and the other left. And the disciples answered and say, ‘Where, Lord?’ And He says, ‘Wherever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.’” Pastor Ross is going to say something.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, you mentioned there in Matthew chapter 24 just prior to that specific verse that you’re looking at, verse 28, it’s referring to the second coming of Christ. It says, “For as lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” So what’s the result of the wicked after Jesus comes? Well, verse 28 makes it clear, “Wherever the carcass is, that’s where the eagles will be gathered together.” In other words, the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming.

Pastor Doug: And you’ll also read about this, Kaye, in Revelation 19.

Kaye: Okay.

Pastor Doug: It talks about this loud voice that calls all the fowl of heaven to come to the great feast— it’s talking about the destruction of the wicked there as well. Now we have that lesson on the second coming that we can send to Kaye.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. It’s called, “Ultimate Deliverance.” “Ultimate Deliverance,” Kaye, if you call our resource line. And it’s 800-835-6747. Ask for the Amazing Facts study guide entitled, “The Ultimate Deliverance,” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: We have time for one more quick question before the break possibly.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Chris who is also listening on WMCA from Queens, New York. Chris, welcome to the program!

Chris: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Chris!

Chris: Hello sir. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good. And your question.

Chris: Yes. As reference to the book of Jude, and at least that verse that I follow next right now, and it’s a reference to Michael the Archangel and it’s saying “wrestling over the body of Moses.”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Chris: I want you to comment on that.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. The… in the book of Jude, it’s referring to in Hebrew literally, they call it the assumption of Moses. You can read in Mark chapter 9, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus alive on the Mount of Transfiguration. So Moses obviously was resurrected and we know Elijah went to heaven because he went in a fiery chariot. And here, Michael the Archangel, it says, “When contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses.” So Michael comes to resurrect Moses and the devil is basically he’s the accuser of the brethren. He’s saying, “You can’t have Moses because I tempted him into sin and he lost his temper and he hit the rock two times,” or something like that. And instead of engaging with the devil in the discussion, Michael said, “The Lord rebuke thee.” And it’s kind of like where Jesus said to the devil and the worldliness, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” And He would not engage him.

And you also find a verse that talks about this in the book of Zechariah where the devil is accusing Joshua the high priest in Zechariah 3:2. And in that verse, it says, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee.” It’s not just a brand plucked out of the fire, something rescued. So Moses, it talks about him being rescued from the grave and he is being resurrected. Satan’s say, “No, you can’t have him.” And Michael comes and resurrects him and escorts him evidently to the kingdom. So Jude is just giving a verse or two about a bigger picture that the Jews all understood in their day. And so, you know, in American culture, I might say something about Nixon and Watergate. All I say two words, most Americans know that there’s a lot more to that story and all I’ve got to do is say two words and they’ve got the whole picture.

Well, back in the time of Jude, the Jews all knew the story about the assumption of Moses and of how the devil didn’t want Moses to go to the kingdom. And he is referring to that. So hope that helps a little bit, Chris. Trying to think… oh, you know, we do have a book about the two witnesses where Moses and Elijah appeared. We’ll send you a free copy of that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again is 800-835-6747, that is the resource line. And if you’d call that number, ask for the book entitled, “The Two Witnesses,” and we’ll be happy to send that out. And that does talk about this passage of Scripture here in Jude.

Pastor Doug: By the way, friends, program is not over and we have some lines open. If you’d like to call in with your Bible question for the second half, here’s the number— 800… you’ll remember that part, here’s the rest of it— 463-7297; 463-7297, start with 800 and that will bring your Bible questions into the second half of Bible Answers Live. Don’t forget, we’ve got a lot more of these resources that we mentioned. They’re at the Amazing Facts website. That’s easy to remember. That’s amazingfacts.org. Be right back! Don’t go anywhere.

[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: If you’ve not been welcomed yet, let me welcome you now. Some joined us along the way during our first half of the program. This is Bible Answers Live and we are inviting and encouraging you to listen in as we study the word of God together and try to better understand what is truth based on that most popular, best-selling, inspirational book, the Bible. If you have a Bible question, that number one more time is 463-7297, that’s 800-463-7297. Keep a pencil handy. We also have a separate number that takes you to our free resource line. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. And Pastor Doug, before we go to the phone lines, we have a number of exciting websites that Amazing Facts has organized over time. One that I like in particular is prophecytruth.com.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. And this website, you know, some of the most popular topics that you could ever want to study regarding to the Bible and prophecy dealing with— you name it, friends— 666, Armageddon, Millennium, Rapture, Angels, the Beast, the Mark of the Beast, the Second Coming. Just pick the hottest prophecy Bible topics. Some people are predicting dates for Christ’s coming this year or next year right now. So I would think that this would be a very important website to get accurate answers. And you’re not only go visit this site. After you visit it, it’s got a place where you can then link it to your friends that like Bible study. It will change their lives, bibleprophecytruth.com; bibleprophecytruth.com. And we’d invite you to go there. It’s free! A lot of studies there and charts and Bible numbers and what they mean, and Bible names and symbols and what they mean. And all the references are there and the histories there and videos there, and audios there, and… and a lot more. You’ve got to see for yourself— bibleprophecytruth.com.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Let’s go to the phone lines. We have Tumisian calling from New York, New York. Tumisian, welcome to the program!

Thomasina: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Thomasina: How are you?

Pastor Doug: Great.

Thomasina: It’s Thomasina. But…

Pastor Doug: You know, we’re looking at your name together before we said it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing].

Thomasina: [Laughing].

Pastor Doug: And now we thought, “How exactly…” We’re going to say it wrong but we thought we’d take a try at it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll give it a try.

Thomasina: Okay. My question… well, I really need a better understanding of Galatians 3 verses 10 to 14.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, can I… should I go ahead and read that for our listeners then?

Thomasina: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Galatians 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things (that) are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for (the law, for it says), the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree…” Is that the main part you wanted there?

Thomasina: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, when you talk about the law, and there’s two aspects of the law. Of course, you’ve got what they called the ceremonial law, which represented a number of laws that had to do with everything from circumcision to the sacrificing of lambs. They were written on paper. They were part of the Levitical law. They were connected with the temple and its services. When Jesus died on the cross and the veil was ripped in the temple when He died, it indicated that the whole ceremonial system was nailed to the cross. We don’t need to sacrifice lambs anymore. Christians today, the circumcision Paul says is meaningless there. Maybe some health benefits but it’s not required for Christians. Now, that’s a whole separate study than the Ten Commandments as an expression…

Thomasina: Right. Now, I believe…

Pastor Doug: …of God’s will. So, but we’re not saved by the Ten Commandments either.

Thomasina: Right.

Pastor Doug: We’re all saved by grace. Now, because we’ve all sinned, we’re under the curse of the law— everybody is under the death penalty. And so if we’re trying to get to heaven by keeping any of the law—ceremonial law or the moral law, the Ten Commandments— nobody is going to be saved by that…

Thomasina: Right.

Pastor Doug: …because we’ve all broken it. So if we want what we deserve because of the law, we’re all doomed. And so Paul is saying that Jesus took that curse for us so that we are free from the condemnation of the law. Now being free from the penalty of the law, being free from being under the curse of the law is not the same thing as being free from an obligation to obey the law. Many people mess up on that point. They think because Christ has saved us from being under the penalty of the law, we are now free to break it. And when you think about that, that’s really absurd that because Jesus died for my sins, now I can break the Ten Commandments. I can lie and I can…

Thomasina: I believe in the Ten Commandments but yet I was wondering do we need to follow all the other laws as well? I mean…

Pastor Doug: Well, no… the ceremonial law, you know, there are some ceremonial laws that probably have some practical value to them. And some of the laws were what they call… they were civil laws. If you find your neighbor’s donkey wandering, you should take it back. Well, that’s still a good law today.

Thomasina: Right.

Pastor Doug: But we don’t see today any donkeys wandering around New York City.

Thomasina: [Laughing].

Pastor Doug: But we got some horses in Central Park if I remember right. You know, so there are a lot of practical civil laws.

Thomasina: Right.

Pastor Doug: But, you know, a number of the laws were ceremonial in nature.

Pastor Jëan Ross: A lot of the laws had to do with the temple, had to do with Jerusalem and taking your sacrifice to the temple. I mean, those things were fulfilled in Christ.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but the practical laws that dealt with health and cleanliness, sanitation, of course, the Ten Commandments, you’ll always be blessed if you follow those things. You know, I’ll give you a tip that’s helped me. The laws that appeared with and after Moses are largely ceremonial. You will find number of other laws before Moses even writes the Ten Commandments. I’m not talking about the Ten Commandments now but even before Moses, adultery was a sin. You remember Joseph lived before Moses and he said to Potiphar’s wife, “It’s a sin for me to sleep with you because you’re married.

Thomasina: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so killing was a sin back in the Garden of Eden when God told Cain, “Sin lies at your door,” and he wanted to murder his brother. So the Ten Commandments existed even before they were written down. Moses simply cartified them. But the ceremonial laws… well, I guess circumcision began with Abraham but the other ceremonial laws all came with the Exodus and the holidays, feast days— that all came with Moses. You know, I hope that helps a little bit, Thomasina, and I’m trying to think what book we have.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book…

Pastor Doug: Feast Days. We have a book on feast days and Sabbath.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. That’s the one I was thinking about.

Pastor Doug: Oh, well, no. You know what’s a good book is, “Does God’s Grace Blot Out the Law?” “Does God’s Grace Blot Out the Law” talks about the relation of the law and the moral law, the ceremonial law, in the Bible. We’ll send you a free copy of that, Thomasina.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and when the person answers the phone, ask them to send you the book, “Does God’s Grace Blot Out the Law?” And that deals with the subject on… I believe even in that book, Pastor Doug, this particular passage…

Pastor Doug: It shows up…

Pastor Jëan Ross: …and the rest of Galatians chapter 3.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is DJ and she is calling from Idaho. DJ, welcome to the program!

DJ: Hi. I just have kind of small question. When are… in the New Testament, they have… you know how they have the Pharisees and Sadducees and stuff, I just kind of wonder if do they still have that today and on some commercials you see at the Wailing Well where they’re bowing and, you know, praying there and whatever. And they have this black summer head, what is that?

Pastor Doug: Right. Alright, good question. Do we still have the Pharisees and Sadducees today? Well, the Pharisees and Sadducees were a religious sect that was really exclusive to the time of Christ. The Pharisees, you might say, were extremely particular and fastidious about observing every nuance of the Law of Moses. You know, for instance, when they came to the Sabbath day they used to debate for hours what really is work and what constitutes a burden and they had made so many manmade laws that they said, “Well, on the Sabbath day, you don’t want to carry anything but if you carry a handkerchief, it could be a burden. But if you saw it to your clothes and it’s part of your clothing, you can just blow your nose and use what’s sown on your clothes. Or they would say, “How far can you walk before it turns into work on the Sabbath?” And they would measure out a distance and they call it a Sabbath day’s journey. These were all manmade laws and Jesus was pretty hard on the Pharisees for all their traditions and manmade laws that they were using to trump the law of God.

The Sadducees, on the other hand, they were the liberals you might say in Christ’s time. They didn’t believe… they believe the five books of Moses but they didn’t believe in the resurrection, they didn’t believe in angels or spirits, and they are very secular in many ways. By the way, the high priest that condemned Jesus was a Sadducee. You don’t have today the sects of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When you see the orthodox Jews at the Wailing Wall, some might think of them as Pharisees because they’ve got the leather phylacteries on their hand or their forehead. They take, you know, very specifically some of these teachings of Moses about having the law of God between their eyes and on their hand and so they tie it there. And I admire their devotion but I don’t think that Moses wanted them to be literal about that… having the law of God between your eyes means in your head and having the law of God on your hand means in your actions.

So you do have many orthodox Jews today but the Sadducee and the Pharisee as an official group don’t exist anymore. They were pretty much wiped out in the time of the Romans. I appreciate your question, DJ. I’m not sure what we could offer… well, you know what we could send you? We’ve got a book called “Spiritual Israel” that talks a little bit about the Sadducees and the Pharisees and that relationship.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call, DJ, is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Spiritual Israel.” We’re happy to send that out to you. That’s 800-835-6747. Andrea is listening in New York on WMCA. Andrea, welcome to Bible Answers!

Andrea: Hello, Doc. Welcome. Thank you so much. I have a question for you. My question is how do you embrace challenges as a Christian?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s I guess a question that is relevant every day. How do you embrace challenges as a Christian? And, you know, we all face various trials. Jesus promises that when we become a Christian, whatever burdens we need to bear, we do not bear them alone. In Matthew 11, the great invitation, Jesus said, “Come unto Me all you who weary and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for My yoke is easy and My burden is light and you will find rest unto your souls.” And so when we team up with Jesus, He helps us bear our burdens and deal with these challenges. So is this the kind of issue that you’re wondering about, Andrea?

Andrea: Mine is medical and physical.

Pastor Doug: You’re struggling with maybe some medical problems?

Andrea: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You know there’s a promise that I’d like to give you in the book of Joshua. It’s the first chapter, Joshua chapter 1 verse 9. And God says, “Have I not commanded thee, be strong and of good courage? Be not afraid neither be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” You know, the word “be” in the Bible is a powerful word because God said, “Let there be light and there was light.” And so when God says to “be courageous,” “be strong,” that means He will give you… if you believe His word, He will give you that courage and that strength and He’s promising that though you might not see Him, He is with you wherever you go.

Andrea: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And so that’s what Christ said, “I’ll be with you always.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’m reminded of what the apostle Paul said. He describes what he refers to as a thorn in the flesh, quite possibly it had to do with bad eyesight or some other physical ailment. And he says, “For three times, I brought that before the Lord in prayer.” This is 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 7. And he asked God to remove it from him but then God responded and said, “My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” So through these trials, whether they’re physical, bad health, or maybe just a difficult situation that we find ourselves in, we can trust that God’s grace will supply our need. And He also saying that’s to strengthen us through these difficulties.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Andrea: Thank you, Doc.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. God bless and you know, the book that we offered tonight at the beginning, you’d find a real blessing in that, Andrea, “The Road to Redemption.” It’s got a great… it talks about trials in there. It’s got a chapter dealing with trials and how to have courage. You’d really be blessed by that. We’ll send it to you for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “The Road to Redemption,” and we’ll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Juno and he’s calling from New Mexico. Juno, welcome to the program!

Pastor Doug: Okay, Juno’s got the radio up. You got to pick up your phone and ignore the radio. You there, Juno?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Juno?

Pastor Doug: Once. Going twice. Juno?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We heard ourselves speaking over there…

Pastor Doug: I think that maybe he walked away from the phone.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll get back to him. Let’s go to…

Pastor Doug: I hear myself talking in my sleep [laughing] but not here at work.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing] we’ve got Rose who is listening in New York. Rose, welcome to the program!

Rose: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Evening, Rose! Welcome.

Rose: Yes, good evening. I have a question taken from 1 John 5:16.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Rose: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” I need to know what sin that is. And I need to know if this goes for everyone including the pastor.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah, see pastors are people, too. So I would think that whatever this is, it would encompass any humans.

Rose: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Of course, you’ve got the unpardonable sin for which there is no forgiveness. But you know, in this passage, I’m tempted to think, maybe that’s not the right way I should frame that. I’m led to believe that John here is speaking about someone who is living in stubborn rebellion, refusing to repent. And it’s one thing to pray that God will forgive a person that has a penitent or a, you know, an attitude of remorse. But when someone is living in defiance and for you to ask God to bless them in their defiance, John is saying, “Don’t pray for them if they’re living in an open rebellion that God will bless and forgive. If they don’t know or if they’re remorseful, that’s different.” So, you know, like Judas, Jesus… He prayed, “Father forgive them,” for those who nailed Him to the cross. He didn’t say, “Father forgive him,” to Judas because He said, “It would have been better for Judas that a millstone were hanged about his neck.” He even told Pilate. He said, “Your sin isn’t as bad as the one who delivered Me to you because you really don’t know who I Am and what you’re doing.” He said the greater sin belong to Judas because Judas saw His miracles. He knew who Jesus was and he rebelled against that knowledge. When Judas sinned he went out and hanged himself.

Rose: Okay, what if…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, there is one sin that we find in the Scripture is that God says cannot be forgiven and that is the sin against the Holy Spirit or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When it says, “This person has committed a sin unto death and there’s no real hope for him or her,” that would be a person who has grieved away the Holy Spirit. They have no inclination towards God. They have no desire to turn to repentance. There’s really nothing God could do for them.

Pastor Doug: But how do I know when a person’s committed that sin as my won… you know, I wonder about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, that’s where we go to have the Lord to lead it. Sometimes you look at a situation and think, “Well, that person’s gone so far.” And then somehow God gets through to him and then…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I would have found Manasseh in the Bible…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: He’s gone too far but…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Rose: Okay.

Pastor Doug: …he changed.

Rose: Can I just say something else? What if you know the person told a lie on you and then go to twist it later on to make it look as if it’s… they’re lying but they twist it around to make it look as if it’s you and have others misled to believe it’s you in the congregation when it’s the person that is preaching to you that have told a lie…

Pastor Doug: Oh, that makes it very difficult…

Rose: …come back to cover it up with more than one lies?

Pastor Doug: So it sounds like you’re talking about someone who’s in the position of ministry?

Rose: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You know, Jesus said something on the Sermon on the Mount. I can’t remember the verse, Pastor Ross, where He says, “Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.” And it’s really hard to pray that God will forgive and work on the heart of people that are speaking ill of you, that are slandering you and Jesus says when people say all manner against you evil. So that is a challenge and it can be heartbreaking, Rose.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s Matthew chapter 5 verse 44 that you were talking there.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. And you know, just pray that the… you can overcome evil with good. But it’s a real challenge when people are abusing you and maligning your reputation especially if they’re upfront. And just pray that God will give you grace because you can’t necessarily change them. You could just say, “Lord, give me an attitude that Jesus would have in a situation like this.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we’re going to go back to Juno who is listening in New Mexico. Juno, are you there?

Juno: Yes. Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Yes, okay. We’re… we got you now. And your question.

Juno: Yes. My question is in Matthew 10:28 and it says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.”

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Juno: So, actually, according to Genesis 2:7, is dust… from dust to the ground plus spirit of life… actually breath of life is equals living soul.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Juno: What I don’t understand is not clear is “kill the body but not able to kill the soul.”

Pastor Doug: Well, alright.

Juno: So…

Pastor Doug: Well, what Jesus said here is really a powerful verse. Some people say, “Well, doesn’t the Bible teach that the soul is immortal?” And no, the Bible does not teach that. A matter of fact, Pastor Ross might look this up for me, “God and God only has immortality.” And then it’s in 1 Corinthians 15 where the Bible says, “When the Lord comes and He descends, He then transforms us. Then at the coming of the Lord, those who were saved, this mortal will put on immortality.” And so we don’t have immortality now and our souls are not immortal yet. The immortality comes… well, we get everlasting life now but the immortal soul and the glorified life come with the second coming and the new body. Jesus says of the wicked, they are cast into the Lake of Fire where both— you read it right there, words of Jesus, red letter— Matthew 10:28, “destroy soul and body.” And so the idea that the soul is a little ghost inside of you is not really in the Bible.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you’re referring to or one of the verses is 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 17 that speaks of God as being immortal, having immortality.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, we do have a booklet we can send you, Juno.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just one other thought on that specific verse. That word there “soul” is also translated in other places as “breath” and “life.” It’s interesting Jesus says, “He who believes in Me shall not die but have everlasting life,” and refers to death as a sleep. So those who put their confidence in Christ, even if they die here, at least in God’s eyes, they’re not dead. They’re sleeping. He will awake them and their life will continue throughout all eternity. Those who don’t put their confidence in Christ, their life will end.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It will finally end at the end of that 1000-year period.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. I appreciate that, Juno. We do have a book. We’ll send you for free. It’s a study guide. It’s illustrated with color pictures all the way through and Bible texts and it’s called, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” And it goes into an in depth study from the Bible on the soul. You’ll appreciate that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, “Are the Dead Really Dead?”

Pastor Doug: A matter of fact, anybody listening, if you have the same question as Juno tonight, you call that number, we’ll send you that lesson, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” It’s a great study. Oh, by the way, website deathtruth.com, deathtruth.com. If you want to know the truth about this, it’s at the website.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We have Linda who is listening in New York. Linda, welcome to the program!

Linda: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi, Linda. I’m wondering, does everyone in New York stutter because it always says, “New York, New York.”

Linda: [Laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing].

Pastor Doug: It’s an echo [laughing]. I used to live there, I’m sorry.

Linda: Okay, that’s alright [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Alright, and your question.

Linda: I stutter sometimes. My question is in Matthew 24:20. Let me read it. “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath (day)” or “on the Sabbath.” Can you just explain that to me like why did Jesus answer the disciples with this, you know…

Pastor Doug: Well, a couple of things…

Linda: …what is the importance of flight and the Sabbath also? Nobody, I mean, not everybody knows what is the right Sabbath day. There’s a lot of people, you know, different people have different days…

Pastor Doug: Right.

Linda: … to celebrate the Sabbath. So how will you obey this…

Pastor Doug: Well, first, let’s discuss what He means in this verse. He’s talking about two things. One, the destruction of Jerusalem. The other is the end of the world. And He says, “Pray this is going to be a time of great trouble that your flight won’t be in the winter.” You know, when my secretary books me going around the country, I say, “Don’t take me in the winter time through Denver or Chicago. If you can get around Denver and Chicago because they are a lot more prone in the winter time to get congested or canceled flights. And so when He talks about, “Pray that your flight be not in the winter,” I can relate to that. But let’s talk about different kind of flight. There that means fleeing for your life.

In the Bible times when people would flee, they would often eat food out of the fields. They called it “gleaning.” And in the winter time, there would be no food in the fields and so He said, “Pray that you don’t have to flee for your life in the winter or on the Sabbath day,” because the Sabbath day is a day of rest and peace. It was not to be a day of running for your life in terror. So Christ said, “You should actually prepare by praying now that when that day comes, one, it’s not the winter; two, it doesn’t land on the Sabbath day” because you’d feel morally conflicted at that point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it’s also interesting not only do we find this occasion where Christ says that we are to pray that our flight be not in winter neither on the Sabbath. But even in the New Testament, we find many of the Gentile believers that came to listen to Paul, they didn’t understand everything with reference to the gospel but they asked if he would meet with them the following Sabbath to learn more. So here in the New Testament, we find Christians still observing the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the Jews had been pretty well dispersed throughout the Roman Empire by the time of Christ that’s why on the day of Pentecost, it says there were Jews that have come to Pentecost from 16 different nations around Rome— Roman Empire. They had spread their knowledge of their Holy Day and so it was commonly understood anyway by the Gentiles that the Jews kept the seventh day.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think Linda would also appreciate it if she hasn’t seen it yet, that sabbathtruth.com website that we mentioned a little earlier; sabbathtruth.com. By the way, on that website, there is a series of videos called, “The Seventh Day Series.”

Pastor Doug: Oh, that’s excellent. Got the history.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Very well done and it’s a documentary, kind of go into the history of the Sabbath and how Sunday became the popular day of worship.

Pastor Doug: Can you just buy it at the website or can you watch it for free?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You can watch the whole thing for free on the website.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You’ll… that’ll answer your question about Christ mean in that, Linda. And I apologize we’ve ran out of time for any other questions because you can hear the music sort of chasing us off the precipice of our program right now.

Friends, this has been a blessing! I always learn something new and sure appreciate our time together. You know, we only have a few minutes Sunday evenings when we do this Bible Answers but it doesn’t have to stop when we go off the air. You can continue to study the word of God. Go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org. Lots of resources, Bible studies, and we’d love to hear from you. Contact us there. God bless, friends!

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