The Cuckoo Bird Deception

The Cuckoo Bird Deception

Date: 01/23/2011 
Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The European common cuckoo bird is known as a brood parasite. A brood parasite is a bird that will trick another bird into raising its young. For example, the female cuckoo will spy on the nest of a small bird, like a reed warbler. At the appropriate moment, the cuckoo hen flies down to the reed warbler’s nest, pushes one of its eggs out of the nest, lays an egg, and flies off.

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The European common cuckoo bird is known as a brood parasite. A brood parasite is a bird that will trick another bird into raising its young. For example, the female cuckoo will spy on the nest of a small bird, like a reed warbler. At the appropriate moment, the cuckoo hen flies down to the reed warbler’s nest, pushes one of its eggs out of the nest, lays an egg, and flies off.

The whole process is achieved in about ten seconds. Amazingly, the cuckoo egg very closely resembles the eggs of their chosen host. These dedicated reed warblers unwittingly incubate, feed and raise the young impostors usually at the expense of their genuine young. The cuckoo chick typically hatches before the natural ones and then it commences to push the other eggs or chicks out of the nest.

One of the tragedies of nature is when you see a little pair of reed warblers working themselves to death to satisfy the veracious hunger of a fat cuckoo chick that might be three times their size. Meanwhile, their own starving little chicks are pushed out of the nest by the cuckoo chick.

Many people don’t realize that the devil, like the cuckoo bird, has laid an egg in the Christian church that has been hatched, adopted and fed until it has grown bigger than life. Stay with us friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We’re preparing now to talk about the most important things in the world, the Word of God and how you can live forever. I was just talking to Pastor Ross a minute ago and we were amusing among ourselves that this program is so much fun we wish we could do it all day long as a full-time job, but right now we’re still once a week.

But it is a prime opportunity for you to call in with your Bible questions. That’s what this program is all about. If you have any questions about the Bible, the Word of God--we don’t claim to have all the answers--but we’ve got a number of Bibles here at our fingertips and we’ll search the Word together to find out what God says.

That’s our phone number too. It’s a toll-free number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. And yes, the lines are open. Now is the prime opportunity to pick up your phone and call in with your Bible questions, 1-800-463-7297. I am Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening friends and Pastor Doug. Let’s begin the program as usual with prayer. Dear Father, once again we come before You this evening. We ask for Your blessing upon this program. The Bible is Your Book and we need the Holy Spirit to guide us as we search for truth. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about the cuckoo bird, a very deceptive bird. It tricks other birds into raising its young, and it’s kind of sad in one way. You have these birds thinking that they’re actually raising their own chicks but in reality, they’re raising the chick of an enemy.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. In a way it’s a parasite. They don’t think about the economy for the cuckoo bird. It doesn’t have to build a nest. All the time instead of feeding its chick it’s feeding itself. It has this other little bird starving, trying to feed its fat chick.

The egg is just slightly bigger, looks like the reed warbler egg. And the little chick when it first hatches out, its mouth, when it opens it up, even looks like the inside mouth of a reed warbler, but they’re massive, they get much bigger, and it’s kind of pitiful. But it makes me think about what the devil has done, and Jesus warned us about this. He said, “Beware of false prophets, that come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

You can read in 2nd Corinthians 11, verse 14, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers are also transformed into ministers of righteousness.” I told you during the amazing fact that the devil has laid a very popular egg in the church that Christians have been deceived by and it’s basically pushing the truth aside, and it has been basically adopted now by the church’s truth.

What that egg is is a counterfeit gospel that says that Jesus came to save us “in” our sin, as opposed to “from” our sin. Now you may remember, friends, when the angel came to Mary explaining she was going to have this miraculous Baby, God would become a man. It says in Matthew 1:21, "She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” [KJV]

But it is so popular in churches today. People say, “Come to the Lord, you simply say a prayer," and I believe you can come to the Lord and say a prayer, "you receive eternal life,” but they leave out repentance, confession, and turning from your sin, that the Lord wants us to have victory over our sin.

It’s basically just trying to sin a little less than the world at large, then you can call yourself a Christian; but sin is an enemy and this has become very, very popular. So people are often confused by this counterfeit gospel of the Lord. Basically, you profess that you’ve accepted Jesus but you’re not really a new creature. You’ve not been purified, you’ve not been cleansed, and you’ve not been delivered from the bondage of sin, and this is what’s become so popular.

Now some of our friends might be wondering about this counterfeit teaching and you’d like more information on what the real Gospel says about salvation from sin. We have a free offer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do. This book that we’re offering this evening is entitled,

Satan‘s Confusing Counterfeits. You can receive it for free if you call our resource line, that number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for Satan’s Confusing Counterfeits and it talks about this counterfeit Gospel that has become so popular right in mainstream Christianity.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right. People identified it when it was first put forward but gradually, its just become more and more popular and you see it in all different denominations; everywhere you turn, very different from the Gospel Christians were preaching a hundred years ago.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well let’s go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Ed and he is calling from California, listening on the internet. Ed, welcome to the program.

Ed: Yeah, hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Ed: I was hoping--can you hear me okay?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Loud and clear Ed. Can you hear me?

Ed: Alright, yes. Thank you for taking my call. I’ve got a couple of questions in

Matthew 24:35-36 where it talks of, “But of that day....” But before we get to that Pastor Doug, if you would, the Feast of Trumpets, I’ve heard it said that some folks believe that Christ might return on the Feast of Trumpets. Have you ever heard of that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I have.

Ed: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You're asking me if I’ve heard it? Yeah, I’ve heard it. I’ve heard people compared Christ’s coming with the Jubilee in the Bible and with the Mayan calendar...

Ed: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and with stars lining up, all kinds of things. So, yeah, I have heard that but I don’t put a lot of stock in it.

Ed: Well, is it true that the Feast of Trumpets falls on a day and hour that no man knows?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I think it’s a little hard for us to calculate because in the time of Christ it’s not giving the date where it really corresponds with our calendar. The Jewish Rabbis, they still celebrate a number of the Jewish feasts today, Orthodox Jews, and we can estimate when that is.

It’s usually in the fall if I’m not mistaken, the Feast of Trumpets. But I think it’s a mistake for us to try to pin Christ’s coming to a day and hour. You know why? Jesus said, Ed, “In such an hour as you think not,” so I think everyone is going to be surprised. For all we know He could come October 31st, which is Halloween. I mean, we don’t know. He said it’s going to surprise us. So now, your second question or your main question, I should say?

Ed: Well, I heard you say one time where you thought that at the end of the Millennial year, that after the 1,000 years, that the heavens and earth will then be made new?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: At the end of the 1,000 years of Revelation 20...

Ed: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...God then makes a new heaven and a new earth, yes.

Ed: Okay. What I was wondering is, could it be, maybe, that that’s the day and hour that no man would know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The end of the Millennium?

Ed: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I think it’s probably easier to calculate that because Christ says it’s exactly 1,000 years after the second coming.

Ed: Oh, so that—

Pastor Doug Batchelor: First of all, once the Lord comes, the saved are saved, the lost are lost. There’s no changing teams at that point. Peoples’ destinies are eternally fixed. The Lord would have no reason, then, not to reveal to the saved that now have glorified bodies when the 1,000 years is up. He wants us to be prepared.

So the reason no man knows the day and the hour of His coming is He wants us to live in a state of readiness. He doesn’t want us to look on a calendar and decide to get ready two days before His coming.

Ed: The reason why--can you hear me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup.

Ed: The reason why I’m asking--thank you. The reason why I’m asking you is because have you ever heard of a Daniel’s time-line?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah. There are several time-lines. You’ve got a time-line in Daniel chapter 12 and, of course, the prophecies in Daniel chapters 7 and 8, 9, 11, or 10 and 11. There are quite a few time prophecies in Daniel. So, which one are you talking about?

Ed: The last seventy weeks.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The seventy weeks, that’s Daniel chapter 9.

Ed: Well there’s a fellow that references that to end times, seventy weeks, and it’s Daniel’s time-line. If you Google "Daniel’s time-line," it’s quite a teaching in there if you have time to look at it sometime.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Does he use that time-line to try to foretell a day for Christ’s coming?

Ed: Yeah. It’s pretty involved though. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you know...

Ed: It would be worth your time.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...I will try to find some time and take a look at that. I am actually interested in people’s different theories, but if he’s fixing the day and the hour for the second coming, I think it’s probably dubious. Hey, I appreciate your question Ed. By the way, we do have a lesson, Pastor Ross, talking about the seventy weeks of Daniel.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Is it, God Sets The Date, or is it the other one?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well I’m looking at the one here related to the second coming which will probably address this first that we looked at as well called, The Ultimate Deliverance. Then we also have one dealing with Daniel 7 which is called, Right On Time.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right On Time, that’s it. That’s the one I think you’d really like.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That also talks about that prophecy as well. To receive those resources, call 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the Amazing Facts' study guide, Right On Time, and we’ll be happy to send that out to you Ed. Next caller is Carlos and he is calling from Stockton, California. Carlos, welcome to the program.

Carlos: Hello. Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Carlos: I had a question concerning Matthew chapter 7, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” And my question basically was, is there ever a right time to judge a person or something, like if you kind of get a bad feeling that they might be a bad influence? Is there ever a right time for that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well absolutely. And I don’t know how much mail we’ll get on this, Carlos, but this is the most misquoted. It’s one of the most frequently quoted Scriptures. I’ve heard this Scripture quoted more frequently than John 3:16. People say, “Judge not,” and they take this to mean that there’s never a time for Christians to judge.

And actually, they never quote where Jesus says--Pastor Ross might look it up for me--"When you judge, judge a righteous judgment,” so if you’ll type in "righteous judgment."

Christ assumed we’re going to judge. Matter of fact, when He says in the same chapter here in Matthew He talks about, “You will know them by their fruits.” He tells us that we're to judge people’s fruits to find out if they’re authentic or not, or what they are, or whether they’re thistles or figs or grapes.

So we're using judgment all the time. So when Christ says here in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” He’s really talking about the part of judgment that has to do with passing sentence on people.

Carlos: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you’re referring to was John chapter 7, verse 24 where Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And then Paul, he also says, “Can you not judge in the smallest of matters?” Remember when the Christians were suing each other there? I think it’s 1st Corinthians, and he said, “Look, you need to use your judgment.” So all through the Bible Christians were invited to reason with the Lord and to use good judgment, and we do. We pass judgments all the time and we just want it to be Spirit-led, but we’re not to condemn people. That’s what Christ is really talking about.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think there's an added element here. We don't know the motive for why a person does what they might do. Only God knows the heart. But we should be able to discern whether or not what is being done is in accordance with God's will or whether it's a violation of what God has asked.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Actually, if people read on past Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” He goes on to talk about if you’ve got a speck in--or a log--in your eye and your neighbor has a speck in their eye, how are you going to help them?

But he says, “First, take the log," or the plank, "out of your eye then you can see clearly to help your neighbor with the speck in their eye.” He never says you are never to notice anything in anyone else's eye. He’s saying make sure your eyes are clear before you try to evaluate and help somebody else. So, otherwise we’re being hypocrites.

Carlos: So that would kind of be like, I guess, discernment?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. God want us to exercise discernment. And another example, suppose you’re in a church and you’ve got a brother or sister in the church and they’re falling into some obvious sin. A lot of Christians say, “Well, don’t judge,” and they take that to mean you’re never supposed to go to that person and say, “Brother, sister, you may need some help. I understand your family is having a crisis," or, "I hear you’ve been stealing from your boss." "But, I don’t want to judge them."

So, whenever there’s a problem and we can see that there’s a brother or sister struggling, really a lot of Christians will quote, “Judge not,” and then they say what Cain said to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” dismissively as though, “I’m not my brother’s keeper. It’s not my problem. I’m not to judge.”

They really use “judge not” as an excuse to shirk the responsibility we have for each other. So it’s a very frequently misquoted Scripture. We should care for each other. We should help watch out for each other. We should not condemn a person and we can’t read other people’s hearts.

Carlos: And that kind of opens up an opportunity to witness then?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Carlos: It’s kind of like you said, “Help a brother or sister out.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, exactly.

Carlos: Okay. I just had that question and I appreciate your information. God bless to both of you. And I just tuned in to your show last week and I wanted to tune in today.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well thank you and I hope you’ll spread the good word, Carlos, and tell all your friends. By the way, we do have a lesson we’ll send you for free and it’s talking about judgment. It’s called, Facing the Judge. We don’t want to intimidate anyone but it is a lesson that deals with judgment and that was your question, so we’ll send that to you for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Actually, I'm sorry. It’s called, Case Closed.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Case Closed.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Case Closed is the name of the lesson you want to ask for Carlos.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And so again, 1-800-835-6747, ask for the lesson, Case Closed, dealing with the judgment. We’ve got Aaron who is listening in Sacramento, California. Aaron, welcome to the program.

Aaron: Hi, nice talking to you guys.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Likewise. How can we help you Aaron?

Aaron: Well, I took the Bible Universe--I took all the Amazing Facts stuff, and actually I talked to Jëan Ross in the past, but the annihilation is--you mentioned on one of your programs that the term “forever”--because there are some verses that seemed to indicate that hell is forever and there are some churches that believe that--but how do you explain the term “forever” again because I’m a little confused about that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, alright. Let me give you a few examples. First of all, always read a verse in its context.

Aaron: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You can find, for example, where Jonah--in chapter 2 of Jonah, and Pastor Ross might find the exact verse--he prays when he’s in the belly of the fish and he says, “The earth with her bars was about me for ever.” Well it just says in the next chapter he was in the fish for three days and three nights. So, he’s not still there, but I suppose it felt like forever.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That was Jonah chapter 2, verse 6.

Aaron: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Then when Hannah brings her son, Samuel, to the temple she says, “I’m consecrating my son to God. I’m leaving him here at the temple where he will stay forever.” Well, that meant until he died. He’s not still there now. And I don’t know if you looked that one up or not Pastor Ross. So, you read the context.

Now, when we talk about hell forever, God says the destruction of the wicked is eternal. That means they are destroyed eternally. Christ said in Matthew chapter 10, “Don’t fear those who destroy the body, but they cannot hurt the soul. Rather, fear Him," meaning God, "who will destroy soul and body.” And it says that the wicked are burned up with the same kind of fire as Sodom and Gomorrah, which were burnt with eternal fire, but they’re not still burning today. The results of that fire is eternal.

Sodom and Gomorrah are eternally gone and hell represents eternal death, darkness, and separation from God. But the idea that people zillions of years from now--some teenager who committed suicide that died lost--is going to burn for a billion years in molten fire, and then they’ve just started, is really a heinous thought. There’s just no justice in it and it’s inconsistent with the Bible.

God said in the beginning to Adam and Eve, “You will surely die if you eat the forbidden fruit. The wages for sin are death. You will perish." And the devil came along and said, “No, you’ve got an immortal soul. You’ll not perish. You’ll either live forever in heaven or you’ll live forever in hell.” But the Bible doesn’t say that.

Aaron: Yeah. Is he going to burn up too, right, by definition? Somebody was saying, “Oh, it’s going to be the false prophet and stuff are going to burn up and stuff, that everybody else will.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, God is not going to immortalize sinners. When God says, “There is no more pain or tears,” then that means there are no more pain or tears. He goes on to say, “All things," all things, "are made new.” So, when there's perfect peace through the cosmos and God has dealt with sin, everyone is rewarded according to his works. If everyone burns forever, they all get the same reward. You see what I’m saying?

So this doctrine really came from the Dark Ages. This is another cuckoo bird egg that got laid in the church that has become very popular. We’re not really teaching anything new here. These are the teachings that many of the great church fathers embraced and understood and it’s inconsistent with the Bible.

You know, we need to probably take some other calls Aaron, but we have a website. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. I’m glad to hear you did the studies. The website is called HellTruth.com. A lot of people are going there, all different churches, and they’re finding out what is the Bible teaching on the punishment of the wicked.

It’ll answer the question, “Is hell burning now?” and, “How long will people burn in hell?” The history of the teaching, it’s very clear, very biblical. I appreciate your question and thank you for the plug on the Bible Universe website. By the way, we do still have some lines open so friends, if you’d like to call in with your Bible question, that’s

1-800-GOD-SAYS. One more time, 1-800-463-7297.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Bradley, and Bradley is listening in cold Michigan, listening from Grand Rapids, listening on the internet. Bradley, welcome to the program.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Bradley: I just wanted to thank God for your ministry Pastor Batchelor. I’m wondering, are we all called to the same standard of righteousness? I mean, should we expect to be as righteous as Christ or the apostles? Or as lay members should we even be as righteous as our pastor?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, that’s a double-sided question. Let me explain why. You’ve got two kinds of righteousness. You got a righteousness that comes by faith when you accept Christ. So here, you’ve got a sinner like the one hanging on the cross next to Jesus, the thief on the cross. He turns to Jesus and says, “Lord, remember me.”

There he is, he confesses, he repents of his sin. Jesus said, “You will be with me in Paradise.” At that moment, that thief has the same righteousness as Christ, that is, imputed righteousness. And then you’ve got people who have followed Christ, like Paul, or Paul says, “It is not I that live, but Christ lives in me.” Now obviously, Paul, he made mistakes, he admits it, but he had Christ living in him and so he had that standard of righteousness within him.

The longer a person walks with Christ, theoretically, the more consistently Christ-like they become. But if we are walking in the light we have when Jesus comes and we’re trusting in His righteousness, wherever we are on that scale, we’re ready for the Lord. You know what I mean?

Bradley: Okay. I’m not trying to make allowances for sin or anything like that. I know that, you know, we should kick out the sin in our lives, but...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well sanctification is progressive.

Bradley: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, when I first came to the Lord, I was deeply convicted about my cursing, and drinking, and drugs and all that stuff, which I should be, because that was fogging my mind for all the other teachings. As the Lord convicted me I gave those things up. The closer I've walked with the Lord, He's talked to me more and more about the inside attitudes, as opposed to the obvious actions. I don't curse anymore. I don't steal and those kinds of things, but I still struggle with the proud, selfish attitudes.

So as you mature as a Christian, you want to have a Spirit-filled life where you're really thinking through the Holy Spirit. You're Spirit-possessed by the right Spirit. I think that's progressive. I don't know, Pastor Ross, you've got any thoughts on that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’m just looking at the verse here in Zechariah chapter 13, verse 1. It’s a verse we don’t go to too often, but it says, “In that day a fountain shall be opened in the house of David for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.” So, of course, the fountain referred to here is the fountain of salvation that comes through Christ.

Jesus not only takes care of our sins that we have committed, but He also cleans us from the inside--that’s the uncleanness. One is the imputed righteousness as Pastor Doug mentioned; the other is the imparted righteousness. I think what we need to be careful of is we never want to get to a point in our Christian experience where we begin to justify or excuse sin in our lives.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Or claim perfection.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But that’s just as dangerous probably.

Bradley: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: In other words, if the Holy Spirit is convicting us on something, we need to get on our knees and ask God to give us strength and dwell within us. You don’t want to get to the point where you say, “Well it doesn’t really matter. God doesn’t mind. It’s not that bad.” And then we start comparing ourselves with other Christians and say, “Well, they’re doing it so God can’t judge me on that.” That’s a dangerous place to be.

Bradley: Okay. So it’s more like a constantly growth process, then?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, sanctification is a growth process. Matter of fact, you can read about that ladder that Peter talks about where he says, “…add on to your virtue, knowledge," and so forth. Yeah, we grow in grace, we grow in sanctification, but we must not be satisfied being anything less than Christ-like.

Our goal as a Christian is to be like Jesus. The Bible says He has given us an example that we should walk in His steps and I believe that by His power, we can. Anyway, you know what? I think, maybe, we could be a little short on time to take a call before the break Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’m looking for a book dealing with the same subject and I think I found one. It’s entitled, “Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?” and it talks a little bit about...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s a good book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: ...growing in grace and what God's design is for the Christian. To receive that Bradley, or anyone who is listening, call our resource line. It's 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Now, they can also...

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I’m sorry. They can also read that for free...

Pastor Jëan Ross: Online.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...at the internet. So if someone just wants to read that book or most of what we’re offering tonight, you can also read. Amazing Facts makes just semi-loads of material free for reading, for listening, for downloading. Just go to the AmazingFacts.org website. We’re just going to take a break friends.

We do still have a couple of lines open for the second half of the program. With your Bible questions, pick up the phone and call 1-800-463-7297 and we’ll be able to squeeze as many as we can into the second half with your Bible questions. I think, let me think, I was going to say--oh yeah--we also had a question about the Hell subject?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Don’t forget the Hell truth website. We’ll be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We are back listening friends. I expect, as always, some have joined us along the way. This is Bible Answers Live. It is a live, international, interactive Bible study where we do our best to take your questions regarding the Word of God and give you practical, reasonable, biblical answers.

Just before we go back to the phones Pastor Ross, we were talking a moment ago about our TV program, a station channel, that many people are unaware of. It’s AFTV, which stands for, of course, Amazing Facts Television. It can be seen via the internet around the world. It’s seen across North America on satellite 24 hours a day. A lot of Amazing Facts' programs, evangelism programs, bible programs, health programs and Bible health programs.

If you would like to know more about that, if you go to the homepage of Amazing Facts you’ll see where it says, AFTV, how do I get it? Once the person gets that simple satellite system, it’s free. Not only will they get Amazing Facts Television, they’ll get a whole bouquet of about 50 different Christian channels 24 hours a day, free, all month long.

I think a lot of us would do better to snip our cable connection and hook up with the Christian programming. So just check out AmazingFacts.org and then look under where it says, AFTV, that’s, Amazing Facts TV, how you can get it? You can watch it online right now, find out, and get a sample of what’s on there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s AmazingFacts.tv if you want to see it online.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Lenny and he is listening on the internet from Grand Ledge, Michigan. Lenny, welcome to the program.

Lenny: Hi, thank you. My question is, I’m wondering the difference--if you could help me explain--the difference between being tempted and being tested. And the reason this popped into my head was because someone had tied the story of Abraham taking Isaac up to sacrifice him. That test, they combined that with James 1:13 where it says that, something along the lines of...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: God doesn’t tempt anyone.

Lenny: “The Lord does not tempt,” yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Lenny: So I was just wondering if you could help clarify the difference between a test and a temptation?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I think there is a test. I think there’s a difference. I would apply it to a parent. A parent might provide a test for their children but I don’t think a parent would entice their child to do evil. A good teacher might test the children because you can measure progress, and sometimes a test isn’t just for you to find out what the progress is.

When the Lord tested Hezekiah, after the Lord healed Hezekiah, He allowed him to be tested with these ambassadors that came from Babylon so Hezekiah could find out he wasn’t near as loyal to God as he thought he was. So the Lord may allow a test. Job was tested. God didn’t tempt Job. God basically withdrew His protection and He kind of allowed the devil to test him as a demonstration to others that you can have a perfectly dependent faith on God as Job did.

So when God allows testing, it’s generally as a witness for others. It’s to help redeem or save that person but God would never deliberately try to get one of His children to sin. The Lord hates sin. He died to save us from sin. He wouldn’t want to trip anyone into it. Now, does that make sense about the difference there?

Lenny: That’s why they were using the example of Abraham and Isaac as--it wasn’t some outside influence. It was God Himself saying to offer his child as a sacrifice, which, you know, human sacrifice and killing and all of that, they were saying that was a temptation for him to break the Commandment.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, people are tempted all the time. I mean, every test can also provide a temptation. But the difference is--first of all, God knows everything. He knew what Abraham would do and He stopped Abraham before he did it but He was demonstrating to the world.

The whole thing about Abraham going up the mountain with his son, Isaac having the wood on his back, is an analogy of Jesus going up the mountain with the cross on His back, who is the beloved Son of God; or Isaac was the beloved son of Abraham. So it’s an analogy of salvation and God allowed Abraham to kind of play that out to demonstrate to future generations his faith.

That’s why Abraham became the father of all faithful and also as, not only a witness, but probably even an encouragement for Abraham. You know, we have a book Lenny. It’s dealing with the subject of, Tips For Resisting Temptation. Now in that book we also talk about temptation and testing. We’ll be happy to send you a copy. It’s a comparatively new book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Call our resource line Lenny, that’s 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, Tips For Resisting Temptation. We’ll be happy to send that out to you or anyone who's listening. Again, the number is 1-800-835-6747. We’ve got Kim who is listening on KACS in Washington. Kim, welcome to the program.

Kim: Hi, thank you. Pastor Batchelor, do you know of any Scripture that would specify whether God wants us to be happy here on earth, aside from doing His service?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, in the beatitudes when Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart," "Blessed are those who mourn," "Blessed are the peacemakers,” the word “blessed” means happy. I think the difference is, in the world, it really teaches that the first thing you should do is seek your own happiness and make all your decisions based on, “Will this make me happy?” Jesus said that is basically suicide. If we live for our own happiness, we will die. If we live for God’s glory, we will find happiness.

It’s like Christ said, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it.” In other words, if you hoard it for your own happiness you’ll lose it. But if you let it go for God’s sake, then you’ll find the happiness you’re looking for.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We read in 3rd John, verse 2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and being health, even as your soul prospers.” So here we have John writing to the Christian and he is praying and wanting the Christian to prosper in health and to be happy, even as their soul prospers. God wants us to be happy. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to try and obtain happiness.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: One more verse, Kim, is in John 13:17. Jesus, immediately following washing the disciples’ feet and teaching them, He said, “If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them.” And so, quite a bit of Christ’s teaching, He said, “You’ll find happiness in following Me.” But you really find it in laying your life down, is where the happiness comes from.

Kim: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes. Thank you. Good question. We all want to be happy but it’s going to come by not pursuing happiness first but pursuing God’s kingdom first and His righteousness.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Anne who is listening from Colton, California. Anne, welcome to the program.

Anne: Hi there.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Anne: I have a question that has been bothering me for a very long time. Adam and Eve were the only people on earth. They managed to get themselves in trouble and get kicked out of Eden. They had two boys. The boys got into a fight and Cain killed Abel, and then Cain got run off. He goes out and finds himself a wife in the land of Nod. How did the people get in Nod?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. Well first of all it doesn’t say, Anne, that he found his wife in the land of Nod. It says, “He took his wife....” And Adam and Eve...

Anne: Either way, how do you—if there are only four people on earth, where did he find the woman?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, let me keep going here. If you read a little further on, it tells us that Adam and Eve not only had Cain and Abel and then later they had Seth. It says they also had sons and daughters. It says that Adam lived after he had Seth 800 years. Then as an afterthought it says, “And he had sons and daughters.”

So, Adam and Eve had a lot of children. If a person lives eight hundred years and, let’s suppose that the 40% of their life are fertile bearing years, that would be hundreds of years of fertility and God had told them to be fruitful and multiply. I mean, theoretically, they could have had hundreds of children and thousands of grandchildren and Cain could have married either a sister or a niece.

So, I know that sounds odd for us but it was not uncommon in Bible times. Keep in mind, Abraham married his sister. Sarah was his half-sister. Isaac married his first cousin and Jacob married his first cousin; and it was not until the time of Moses that they began to make prohibitions about marrying too close to the family tree because there could be genetic problems.

But up until when God first made Adam and Eve and everything was perfect and their bodies were perfect, Cain took one of his sisters and then he went east. So he didn’t find her in another land. You’ll read that in Genesis chapter 4.

Anne: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But I hope that helps a little bit. You know, we’ve got to write a little book on who did Cain marry. It is one of the most common questions that we get. I hope that helps Anne. You said you’ve been wondering a long time, and we didn’t just dream this answer up. I think you’ll find it in most Bible commentaries. I appreciate your good question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Singh, listening on KFIA from San Francisco. Singh, welcome to the program.

Singh: Thank you very much, Pastor.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Singh: I have a very deep question. Three years ago I got married to a girl. I’m always a yes and no until I met her. In my life I’ve been always yes and no rather to (unintelligible). So, I loved the girl. See, I don’t know whether I loved the girl's family or not. When I got back to India, when I was marrying this girl, you know, I was half-way through. See, I married this girl and I got married, and after the marriage, my life turned upside down. I mean, somebody told me that I have an ego. Before that I was very spiritual. I was, you know--I go to my temple. So, you know--and I was very close to the Lord, I think. But after that I sort of punished myself and punished my life.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, Singh, try and summarize the question because we’re going to run out of time before we know how we can help you.

Singh: I’m feeling--today, I’m totally hollow inside. Even though I listen to your program day in and night, I feel that I am hollow. How do I fill up the hollowness inside?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. That is a good question and there are probably other people out there that are wondering that. You may hear spiritual things and some of it may resonate with your mind that it’s true, but you feel like in your heart, your heart is just not being warmed by the Word of God. And that’s actually a very frightening condition to be in, where you just feel empty.

To have the new birth I think can begin with a choice of your will. And you might find saying even though you don’t feel like it, even though you may have this sense of hollowness inside, you might even wonder, “Have I grieved away the Holy Spirit?” You find a place by yourself and you get on your knees and if you say, “Lord, I know that I need you and I feel empty inside. I pray that if there’s something in my life that is separating me from You, reveal that to me. Help me surrender that to you. Please come into my heart.”

Just tell God that you’re looking for that forgiveness and you’re looking for that peace and you’re willing to do His will. I think when you surrender yourself you’re going to find that trickling of His Spirit will start to flow in your life once again.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now remember, you want to have faith when you come to God. Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please God: for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”

So when you go to God in prayer, we've got the promise in 1st John chapter 1, verse 9. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So when you go to God in prayer, believe that He hears your prayer, believe that He will answer. Don’t wait to feel something, but take God at His Word.

Feelings come and feelings go, but faith is distinct from feelings. So take God at His Word, claim the promises, and then step out in faith and allow God to direct your life.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, there’s a book that we’d like to send you and we don’t offer this often, but it’s very inspiring. That’s what I think you’re needing Singh. It’s called, The Drummer Boy's Prayer. True story, it’s an amazing testimony, The Drummer Boy’s Prayer. It’s about an atheist--he was actually a Jewish doctor--and a tremendous conversion. We’ll send you a free copy of that, call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, The Drummer Boy’s Prayer. We’ve got Johnny, listening on WMCA from Bronx, New York. Johnny, welcome to the program.

Johnny: Hello?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Johnny, you’re on the air.

Johnny: I’m on the air?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, and your question tonight?

Johnny: Oh, okay. Yeah, as you know, the book of Revelation, John is teaching us that, you know, about four beasts coming out of the sea right? And how is somebody teaching that the antichrist is dead? But I don’t see it like that. You see my question is that--I read about, you know--rumors that the antichrist is someone that’s coming out of the dead, you know. So I’m just thinking, you know...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Coming from the dead, you mean?

Johnny: From the dead, yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. Well, did you know how many times the word “antichrist” appears in the book of Revelation? It doesn’t appear in Revelation at all.

Johnny: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The word “antichrist” is found five times in the Bible, or “antichrists," and it’s only found in 1st John and 2nd John one time.

Johnny: Right. I know that, yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The antichrist is a power that is persecuting God’s people. It is not one man who is this sinister, half-devil, half-human. Some of the movies, they have tried to make up sort of a Rosemary's-baby scenario that the devil somehow mates with the human and then they have this child together that becomes this super demon-human and that he is the antichrist.

The Bible tells us that even in the time of John, he says, “There are many antichrists even now.” And so the antichrist power that is foretold by Daniel, it is foretold in Revelation, though the word is not used. It’s foretold by Paul. He said, “That wicked one”...

Johnny: Exactly. Right, yeah, the son of perdition, right?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Exactly, the son of perdition.

Johnny: Right, but in equal, yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We have a lesson on that we’ll be happy to send you, and it really says, “Who is the Antichrist?” We’ll send you a free copy of that Johnny, and I’d like to encourage you to study. It’s a heavy lesson, not enough time in our four minutes for Bible questions that we typically budget for a caller to really go into the study of those four or five books in the Bible right now.

By the way, we have a presentation on the website, Bible Prophecy Truth, a video on the antichrist. Just go to BibleProphecyTruth.com. You can watch that or ask for the free study guide on, “Who is the Antichrist?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again is 1-800-835-6747 and the study guide is entitled, "Who is the Antichrist?” Just call that number, ask for the study guide, “Who is the Antichrist?” and we’ll be happy to send that out. We have Ruth who is calling from Honolulu. Ruth, welcome to the program.

Ruth: Yes, hi, thank you. I just have one question. I wanted to get clarification about what the Bible says about remarriage after divorce?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. There are a couple of biblical grounds a person might have for remarriage if they’ve been divorced. One is if your spouse, and in your case, a husband, has been unfaithful and violated the marriage vows through adultery. Now that could be another woman or, heaven forbid, another man. Jesus said the cause of fornication is grounds for divorce.

The other would be if you were married to someone and then you became a Christian. You were not a Christian before while you were married and your spouse said, “Look, I don’t want to have anything to do with Christianity. I’m out of here.” And abandonment, and that’s in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. Those are only biblical grounds for remarriage. A lot of people remarry without biblical grounds.

Ruth: Right, I know. I understand.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And various churches will have to deal with that. But if you want to go by the Word of God, Jesus only really gives those two reasons. Some will argue there’s really only one reason. They’ll say that if your husband or wife abandons you, you still got to wait until they remarry before you remarry because they’ve committed adultery.

So some are very hard and fast that adultery is the only reason for remarriage, but it seems to me from what I read in 1st Corinthians chapter 7 Paul said that a believer is not under bondage if their unbelieving spouse departs. They’re free, in other words, to remarry.

Ruth: Right. Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So, I don’t know if that’s answering your question.

Ruth: Yes, it does, and on the first one, do you have Scripture to back that up as far as the unfaithful spouse leaving?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well, you’re talking about for the cause of adultery?

Ruth: Right, yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah in Matthew chapter 5 and in Matthew chapter--is it Matthew 5:19 Pastor Ross? And in, let me see, Matthew 5:31--I’m sorry, Matthew 5:31.

Ruth: Okay, okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And Mark 10, verse 2. Oh it's, Matthew 19, verse 8 is the other one.

Ruth: Oh Matthew 19, verse...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, Matthew 19:8...

Ruth: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and Matthew 5:31 and 32.

Ruth: Okay, and then Mark 10...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Then I said Mark 10, verse 2 to 9. Also, the other one I mentioned is 1st Corinthians 7, verse 14. You can read all the way through...

Ruth: Right. I’ve read that one. Thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, alright.

Ruth: First Corinthians 7:14?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, 5 through 14.

Ruth: Okay, 5 through 14. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. God bless you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, God bless you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Mary and she is calling from Vermont. Let’s see if we can get her on the line here. Mary, welcome to the program.

Mary: Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Mary: Thank you both for this ministry. I have learned so much Bible truth and I’ve just been so blessed. I really appreciate it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well thank you. We’re all thankful to the Lord because it’s a privilege for us to do it.

Mary: It’s a privilege to listen, believe me. I would like to know who, biblically, Michael is? What he has done--you know, Michael the Archangel--what he has done? What he is doing? And what he will do?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. People always get a little shocked when we say this but "Michael the Archangel" is a term that is used principally in the Old Testament to identify Christ prior to the Incarnation. Listen carefully, please. We are not saying that Jesus is an angel. We’re saying the word "angel" is used more generally. When it’s talking about archangel, it simply means, “highest messenger.”

Only one person in the Bible is called the Archangel. Gabriel is never called the Archangel. I think our friends, the Catholics, have a tradition about Raphael. He is never called the Archangel, only Michael. And, now, evidence for that would be, you can read in Revelation chapter 12; it tells us there is a war in heaven, that the dragon and his angels--now, I want to ask Mary. Who do you think that dragon is?

Mary: Satan, Lucifer.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Bull's eye. Now, "dragon" is obviously a symbolic name for Satan. It is not a big reptile that God made floating around in heaven. He’s called “the dragon.” He’s called “the serpent.” That’s because the medium that the devil used in the Garden of Eden was a snake.

Well if the word “dragon” is a symbol for the devil, then it’s says, “Michael and his angels fought.” The word “Michael” means, “Who is as God” and that’s Christ. And it says, “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.” The Lord with the voice of the archangel, meaning the greatest messenger.

You read in the book of Jude Michael comes to resurrect Moses. You can see Joshua, when he sees this general of the Lord’s army standing with a drawn sword, Joshua takes off his shoes because it says he's standing on holy ground. He worships Him. Well, we don’t worship angels.

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: John is forbidden to worship angels in Revelation. So one of the ways Christ seems to appear--these are called Christophanies in Old Testament where Christ appears--sometimes He appears as the General of the angels but He’s not a cherub or a seraphim. It’s just a term, a symbol.

Mary: Okay. So...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: He’s called “the Branch” too. I mean, He’s called “the Servant,” He’s called “the Branch.” He’s called all kinds of things.

Pastor Jëan Ross: If you also think of the word “archangel” in the original, the “arch” is something above or something over.

Mary: Alright.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And Jesus is the Commander of the angels. He’s above the angels. He’s, if you like, “the General” who orders the angels and directs the angels and in that sense, He’s the Arch of the angels.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: If a person looks in any of the old commentaries, Matthew Henry for one, where he talks about Michael the archangel, he said, “You just compare the scriptures and do a little detective work. He’s none other than Christ.” Now, we have a book on that and it’s called, “Who is Michael the Archangel?”

Anybody that wants to understand this subject, once you read these verses, every verse where Michael appears, is in this book. They’re all addressed, and others, that people sometimes miss. It’s going to be real clear. So we’ll send a free copy, “Who is Michael the Archangel?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “Who is Michael the Archangel?” You can also read this online at the Amazing Facts' website. If you go to the online library you can read this as well. Again, that number is 1-800-835-6747, ask for the book, “Who is Michael the Archangel?” and we’ll be able to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Thanks for your question Mary.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Tashandra and she is calling from Brooklyn, New York. Tashandra, welcome to the program.

Tashandra: Hello? Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Tashandra: My question is since it has been two thousand years with Jesus returning, could He have possibly changed His mind since it has been so long?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, think about it for a moment. When God first made the world, He made a promise to Adam and Even that a Redeemer would come. The sacrificial system that God gave to Adam and Eve, He covered them with skins; we presume they’re lamb skin, He said that, “My Son will come to earth.”

God renewed the promise to Abraham that "through your descendants," through the Jewish people, "the Messiah would come. All the nations would be blessed." Well from the time God gave that promise to Abraham, 2,000 years went by approximately until Jesus came the first time. Now, Christ said, “Look, I will come again. Heaven and earth will pass away. My Word will not pass away.”

And so when He said, “I will come again,” He’s giving us some signs that would help us know when it’s getting close. One of those signs, He said, “The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness.” Well, the Gospel is going to much of the world now, but there are still pockets of the Middle East and China that, for a large percent, have not really heard the Gospel yet. I’ve been to China and there are so many atheists there. They don’t know anything about Jesus or the Gospel.

So when the Gospel goes to the world, He will come. He’s not late. He hasn’t changed His mind. He said, “In such an hour as you think not.” Furthermore, Jesus said, “It will be at a time when knowledge is greatly increased," that’s in Daniel chapter 12, well that’s today; and He said it will be the time when man has the ability to destroy the earth. Well we’re doing that now.

So do not lose faith, let not your heart be troubled. Jesus is coming again. He has promised and His promise will not fail. Tashandra, if you call the resource number we have a book dealing with signs of Christ’s coming. It’s a lesson actually.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s entitled, The Ultimate Deliverance. Call 1-800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide, The Ultimate Deliverance, and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey friends before we sign off here, keep in mind, Amazing Facts is entirely 100% supported by you. We’d love to hear from you. It’s a new year and we appreciate your keeping us on the air. Go to AmazingFacts.org and you can contact us there. God bless until next week.

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