Down The Drain

Down The Drain

Date: 02/06/2011 
Lake Peigneur was a modest, shallow lake of fresh water near New Iberia, Louisiana. Early in the morning on November 21st, 1980, a drilling team was probing for oil under the lake from a large floating platform out in the middle.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? Lake Peigneur was a modest, shallow lake of fresh water near New Iberia, Louisiana. Early in the morning on November 21st, 1980, a drilling team was probing for oil under the lake from a large floating platform out in the middle. They knew something was wrong when their drill suddenly seized up at about twelve hundred feet and the large derek began to tilt, pop and collapse beneath them. The twelve men working in the rig escaped to the shore and watched in amazement as the huge five-million-dollar Texaco drilling platform overturned and disappeared into a lake that was supposed to be less than ten feet deep.

Slowly at first, the water around that position began to revolve. But it steadily accelerated until it became a vast moving whirlpool a quarter of a mile across. The tremendous sucking power of this growing vortex was causing violent destruction. It swallowed another nearby drilling platform hole, as well as a barge loading dock, seventy acres of soil from Jefferson Island, plus sundry other trucks, trees and structures. The sucking force was so strong that it reversed the flow of a twelve-mile long canal that led out from Lake Peigneur to the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven barges were pulled from the canal and swallowed by the swirling abyss.

The monster whirlpool next overtook a manned tugboat on the canal, which struggled against the current as long as possible before the crew had to leap on to the canal bank and watch helplessly as the lake consumed their boat. Meanwhile, far beneath the lake was the Diamond Crystal Salt Mines where miles of cavernous tunnels, some eighty feet high and fifty feet wide were rapidly filling with water. Evidently, the drillers had miscalculated their position and had punched a small hole into the colossal salt mines a thousand feet below. Fortunately, one of the mine workers quickly sounded the alarm, and all fifty miners managed to barely escape with their lives.

After three hours, the thirteen-hundred-acre lake was drained of its 3.5 billion gallons of water. For a while, the water from the canal was even flowing from the Gulf of Mexico back into the lake forming a one hundred fifty foot waterfall--can you imagine that--a waterfall a hundred fifty feet high in Louisiana, into the crater where the lake had been. Over the next two days, the canal refilled the crater with ocean water and nine of the sunken barges popped back up to the surface like corks. The drilling rigs and the tugboat were never found. And all of this started with a little hole, about a foot across. Friends, you know, the Bible teach us that little things can make a big difference. Stay with us, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends, to Bible Answers Live. And we’re so glad that you’ve joined us for tonight’s broadcast. If you have a Bible question, we do still have some lines open. Just pick up your phone. And my name is Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends. And, Pastor Doug, let’s begin our program this evening with prayer. Dear Father, once again we come before you and ask for your blessing on this program. We ask that you would lead by your spirit. Give us wisdom as we search the Scripture. Be with those who are listening and those who call in this evening. For this we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, who would have guessed, as those miners were there, sending down their drill rig, that just a little hole would result in so much destruction? And, well, of course, you’re talking about thousands, if not millions of dollars worth of equipment that got sucked down that hole into that…

Pastor Doug: Salt mine.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …salt mine, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, not to mention the salt mine was destroyed. I think that in the court settlement Texaco had to pay Diamond Salt Mines about forty-five million dollars, but they never officially proved what was responsible. Everyone really knew it was that drilling rig that put a little hole and it drained the lake, turned a fresh water lake into a salt water lake, a ten-foot deep lake into a hundred-foot deep lake, changed the ecology, just swallowed up most of an island and not to mention all that equipment. And it just was a little hole of a foot across. You know, salt starts to dissolve when it gets wet and it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And sometimes people think that Christians are fanatical when they attempt to hold up biblical standards about what God’s law says.

But the problem is that if you don’t stand for truth in the little things, then it’s like punching a hole in a dam. If you don’t plug it pretty quick, the whole dam can break. And it’s like Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much. He that is unjust in that which is least is unjust also in much.” So God not only is interested in our obeying in the big things like, yeah, don’t murder and don’t steal but he cares about the little things like some people say, “Well, I don’t lie,” but just maybe white lies or, you know, the insignificant exaggerations, “He that is unjust in that which is least is unjust in much,” and if we’re wasting our pennies, we’ll tend to waste our dollars. And so God is calling for His people to be consistent, and to be faithful because little things can make a big difference.

It was little nails that held our Savior to the tree. And that was a little piece of fruit that Eve ate that brought this tsunami of misery into our world. And so, you know, I don’t want to sound like I’m being legalistic, and often if you talk about the little areas of obedience, people accuse you of being a legalist. But that’s exactly what the devil wants, so that people--they ignore those little holes, those termites, a couple of termites can bring down a big tree. But they do make a difference. And you remember in the Bible, just a few misspoken words can cause a forest fire. We have a special offer tonight that I don’t think we’ve offered this in years, but it’s a great lesson that helps people understand the distinction between what is legalism, and what is obedience, and are they the same thing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The study guide that we’re offering this evening is entitled, “Obedience, is it Legalism?” “Is Obedience Legalism?” In order to receive this free study guide, call our resource line 1-800-835-6747. That’s 1-800-835-6747, ask for the study guide “Is Obedience Legalism?” And we’ll be happy to send that out.

Pastor Doug: We always like to remind our friends at the beginning of the broadcast that a lot of what we offer during the program they can find and much, much more at amazingfacts.org. We’ve not only got archives of these radio programs, we have the television programs, and the sermons and written books and just a plethora of prophecy studies and all kinds of material, a Bible study course they can engage and that’s all at amazing--plus a lot of these amazing facts that I share-- amazingfacts.org. I think we’re ready to go to the phones.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, let’s go to the phone lines. We have DC calling…or listening rather on KFIC calling from Richmond, California. DC, welcome to the program.

DC: Hi, guys. How are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug: Alright. How can we help you tonight?

DC: Actually, I was wondering if you have a study guide on people who murdered themselves, and will they go to heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don’t think we--we don’t have a study guide specifically on that purpose. We do have a study guide that talks about of course, the law of God. It’s called “Written in Stone,” where it talks about “thou shall not kill,” and that would include yourself. But, no, we don’t have a study guide specifically on--did you have a question about that subject?

DC: No, I want to go to heaven still?

Pastor Doug: Well, let’s talk about that. In most cases, when a person commits suicide, it’s because that they’ve come to a position where they’ve lost hope and they’ve lost faith, and that is typically not a good indicator. But there are exceptions you find in the Bible. Some could accuse Samson of suicide because Samson is the one who typically pushed down the building that ended up taking his life. But he was in some respects really sacrificing himself. But I expect to see him in the kingdom because you read in Hebrews chapter 11--Samson is mentioned there, listed among the heroes of faith. And so, you know, God looks on the heart, man can only look on the outside, but typically, it’s not a good sign in the Bible when a person takes their life. You know, what happens--DC, you’re still there?

DC: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Sometimes people are discouraged about their circumstances, and maybe that’s because, you know, they’re maybe in physical pain, they are in hospitals in critical condition, or sometimes it’s financial problems, people’s stock, market crashes they jump out of window, and other times a person is discouraged. And they think if they take their life somehow it will improve their circumstances. But that’s not true. As long as you’re alive, there is hope. It says, “For the living, there is hope.” And so that’s why we’ve got to just hang on and trust the Lord to improve our circumstances and to get us through. The Bible promised in First Corinthians 10 is God--and I forget the exact verse--First Corinthians 10, “God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation provide a way of escape that you’re able to bear it.” And so, typically, you know, God is not going to lay a burden on us more than He knows that we can bear, and He’s good that way. Would you like that study guide about “Written in Stone?”

DC: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Are you discouraged? Are you asking this question because you’ve thought about suicide?

DC: No, my brother actually committed...

Pastor Doug: And that really concerns you, doesn’t it?

DC: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, I know that’s heartbreaking. And, you know, we see a lot of that in the world and unfortunately, the largest group in North America that commits suicide are actually teenagers.

DC: He is around thirty, thirty-two, something like that.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I figured that maybe your brother was above that age range, but, yeah, a lot of young people also get discouraged and they go through all the pressures of those changing hormones and sometimes they’re in schools where they’re teaching them that there’s no God and they believe in evolution, they think He die and just thrown into fertilizer. And they think they can end their own happiness, so it’s a tragic mistake.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the verse you mentioned, Pastor Doug, which does bring hope to us in every circumstance--First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 13 which says, “There is no temptation that is taking you but that which is common to man. God is faithful He will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you’re able to bear. But will with the temptation make a way of escape.” So there’s always hope if we turn to Christ.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s what it says in First Corinthians 15, “There is faith, there is love, and there is hope,” and so all you can do is just trust the Lord and go on from here, DC. Appreciate your call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: DC, the number for that free offer is 1-800-835-6747, and asks for the study guide “Written in Stone,” and we’ll send that out. Cliff is listening on the internet, calling from New Jersey. Cliff, welcome to the program.

Cliff: Hello. Hi, guys. How’re you doing?

Pastor Doug: Alright. And your question today?

Cliff: My question is on Revelation chapter 13 verse 13 about the beast doing great wonders and bringing down fire, I would like to know is it actual fire or is that a metaphor?

Pastor Doug: Well, let’s talk about that. Now, in the Old Testament there were several examples where prophets of God prayed and fire came down. It was usually a sign of God’s power. Elijah prayed, on three different occasions fire came down just for Elijah. Once Solomon dedicated the temple, fire came into the temple and honored it. And when Moses dedicated his temple, fire came down. But the devil also brought fire down, literal lightning down on the flocks, I believe, of Job. And so, evidently Satan’s got that power of lightning.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it’s interesting when you look at the different times in Scripture where fire came down from heaven, on the one hand can represent judgment from God, for example, Sodom and Gomorrah, but on the other hand, it can also represent God’s acceptance or God’s approval in the case of Elijah where fire came down and consumed the sacrifice, and tongues of fire that rested on the apostle of the disciples of Pentecost. And so when it talks about fire coming down from heaven here in Revelation chapter 13 verse 13, this second beast power--it would seem as though what it is doing has God’s approval, in that sense it calls fire down from heaven and performed miracles--you can read about that in Revelation chapter 16, signs and wonders--it would appear as though God is behind this all blessings, but in reality, it’s the devil trying to win the support of the world, and to try and enforce his agenda.

Pastor Doug: And now because Revelation uses a lot of symbols, as Pastor Ross said, it can be a symbol of that, but it wouldn’t be beyond Satan to masquerade and do a sign like that. I’m trying to think about a study guide that we might have, Pastor Ross, that would…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, dealing with that maybe the “US in Bible Prophecy,” that is the beast…

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …that’s been referred to there in Revelation chapter 13 verse 13, called the “USA in Bible Prophecy.” And for anyone who’s listening, if you’d like to learn more about that, give us a call at our resource line 1-800-835-6747. 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide “USA in Bible Prophecy,” but you were going to add something?

Pastor Doug: Well, I was just going to say we also have that book called “The Beast: Who Will Worship It,” by Gary Gibbs. It, I think, also I think deals with that verse. I appreciate your question, Cliff.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Bruce and he is listening in KFIA, listening from Hidden Valley. Bruce, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Doug: That’s alright.

Bruce: Hey, God Bless you guys. Thanks for being in there. We all like to talk about the Bible, and I love it when you guys are with us.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Bruce: You know what? Now, but first of all, this is Job. Now, can you see Jesus in heaven wearing a garment, and it’s got a monogram that says jail beyond it, Jesus of Bethlehem? But anyway, this is Job. And this is chapter 40 verse 6 through 9, I’m curious about, and then also Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 25, but this is my chronological ear to the Bible. I think it’s a living translation. So I hope I don’t offend anybody. I know people are curious about some translations. But this says then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. Now my next question is about Moses, who I guess also heard from the Lord’s whirlwind time and again, it says brace yourself because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. Are you going to discredit my justice and condemn me so you can say that you are right? Are you the strongest God and can you thunder with a voice like this?

And then the other one is Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 25, it says, if we hear the voice of the Lord, our God anymore, then we will die. But I’m just saying, you know, there’s a number of situations where God spoke from clouds--John the Baptist was baptizing Jesus--I mean, you know, there were situations where He spoke, but this kind of fear is not evident anywhere except in the Old Testament as far as I know, except maybe at the end of the world when a shout comes from heaven but…

Pastor Doug: Well, I know, what’s the question?

Bruce: …can you explain this a little more?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I’ll do my best. There is one place in the New Testament where the voice of God spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son,” and in the gospel of John, when this is recounted--and I’m trying to remember the verse--it says, “Some thought they heard thunder, it was the voice of God, and some distinctly heard what God said while others present thought it was thunder.” And so obviously the voice of God is, you know, talk about a resonating powerful voice. When God gave the Ten Commandments, the whole mountains shook, and it was full of smoke.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That verse there is John 12:29.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, just the awesome power of God and you know, God speaks from the smoke and the fire on top of the mountain in Exodus chapter 20, and He spoke from the whirlwind and, you know, when God spoke to Elijah--not in the fire, not in the earthquake, not in the wind--God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. So God can whisper, and God can shout, it depends on the occasion.

Bruce: Can I say one quick thing about the whirlwind?

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Bruce: Just really quick. Now I’m driving from Jerusalem to the Red Sea, Eliat, because something in the Red Sea but--you know, it’s eight hours probably driving on a little boat, so I’m looking around and I’m in the Sinai and I pray in Jesus’ name, “Dear Father, hear my prayer.” What did Moses see when he was here? And I saw a whirlwind went off to the dust and it was on the side of my car, it was a red Ford Focus, a motorcycle’s behind me, but we both watched this whirlwind for about an hour…

Pastor Doug: Wow.

Bruce: …following us through the desert and it was about probably eight feet high. I was looking for toes in the bottom and then that’s when…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you saw what we would commonly call--they called these like devil dusters when we’d go riding, Pastor Ross, out in the desert, we’d see these and you don’t want to pray for presence of God and call out a devil duster. But, hey, we appreciate that, Bruce. We’re going to try and get another couple of calls in here. Thank you for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Donna calling from Detroit, Michigan. Donna, welcome to the program.

Donna: Hi. How are you Pastors? How’re you doing?

Pastor Doug: Real well. How about you?

Donna: I’m doing pretty good. But I got a question. In the Book of Leviticus, I believe it’s in the 6th chapter--and I’m confused--when you pay your ten percent tithe, is there additional money that you have to pay if you’re late or if you don’t pay tithe, it’s, what, five percent? Can I get an understanding on that? It’s chapter 6…

Pastor Doug: Now you’re in Leviticus chapter 6?

Donna: Yes. Yeah, chapter 6, and I’m trying to find out--there’s another one, too--I’ll be with that one. Do you give an extra five percent for being late with God’s tithe or if you don’t pay tithe?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’m still looking for the verse you’re referring to.

Donna: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now you understand that a tithe would be ten percent of your increase, so you’re wondering if you’re late--like taxes, if you’re late in paying your tithe, do you pay a little extra?

Donna: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that you maybe referring to Leviticus 6 verse 5 where it says, “ Or about all that he has sworn falsely, he shall even restore, in the principle”--that means what he originally made a promise--“and add the fifth part,” that’s I think twenty percent more to. So if a person makes a pledge and they failed to pay their pledge, they were to also be assessed twenty percent--you know, it’s like sometimes if you bounce a check, they say, “Look, you said you’re going to pay some, you bounce a check and we’ve got to process it,” then they add a percentage to it--but when you made a pledge to the Lord, and you failed to pay it, this is different I think than tithe, unless you’re talking about another verse.

Donna: Okay, now I got it, verse 5, 15 and 16 verse-- 5th chapter 15-16 verse.

Pastor Doug: The 5th chapter of Leviticus?

Donna: Yeah, the 5thh chapter and the 15thh and the 16th verse. I’m getting the impression that neglecting to pay tithe and eating parts of the sacrifice that belongs to the priests failing to redeem the first born, you had to pay?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, they had a scale for offerings. Some people when they go to the sanctuary, they might bring an offering to buy the lamb if they didn’t have--not everybody had their own lambs and sometimes they buy them--but there were offerings that they would bring for their trespass offerings, and it says here, “If a soul committed trespass and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord then he’ll bring for his trespass into the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.” And so, you know, they had a sliding scale that went up and down with their economy, that’s why it said after your estimation, based upon the value of this ram without blemish, and so--and this was usually an offering that was made for a family, or, you know, a tribe sometimes would do this also. And so I hope that helps a little bit, Donna. You’re still there? Okay. Appreciate your question, Donna. Let’s see who’s next, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, we’ve got Julian listening on WMCA from Brooklyn, New York. Julian, welcome to the program.

Julian: Hi, how’re you doing Pastors?

Pastor Doug: Good.

Julian: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes, you are here. Can you hear us?

Julian: Yes, I can hear you. I have a question on tithing. Ten percent of whatever you make is supposed to go for tithing. To whom do we pay the ten percent to? I don’t know.

Pastor Doug: Well, it tells us that all of the tithe is holy unto the Lord. In the Bible, in the Old Testament, the tithe went for the support of the priesthood and the Levitical ministry. The tribe of Levi did not receive an inheritance in Israel. What their work was, they would go throughout the land of Israel and minister to the people. And so they didn’t get a land inheritance like the other of the twelve tribes did. And so the Levites, to support them in their ministry, they were supported of a tenth of the increase from the flocks and their herds and the farms. And it went to the sanctuary and from there it was divided up and distributed to the priests and the Levites and their families.

So the modern equivalent of that would be--Paul said, you know, “Those that work in the gospel should live with the gospel,” in other words, you don’t muzzle the ox that treads the grain. The people who were involved in full-time ministry should be sustained by that. I know a lot of churches where the pastors are self-supporting--and they don’t have a lot of time for ministry to people because they are so busy trying to just supply food for their families. So the tithe, it says, “Bring it into the storehouse” in Malachi chapter 3, and the storehouse was either in the sanctuary or in one of the cities of refuge where it was distributed to the priesthood.

Julian: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, appreciate that. By the way, we do have a study guide that talks about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do. Julian, if you call our resource line 1-800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide entitled, “In God We Trust,” “In God We Trust,” dealing with the subject of tithes and offerings. The number again is 1-800-835-6747. Well, let’s see, do we have time for one more caller before we go to our break.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I think so.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let’s try, we got Therese, who is calling from Manhattan, New York. Therese, welcome to the program.

Therese: Thank you. Pastor Doug, I was wondering--Song of Solomon, the 2nd chapter, the 15th verse, it says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” What does that mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll tell you that. Song of Solomon is a very interesting book. It’s talking a lot about the love of a groom for his bride. And the Song of Solomon, the big picture is a metaphor of Christ’s love for His church. It’s also believed that it was a poem that was written between a bride and a groom that was to be sung by the bridesmaids. And others believe that it also talked about a romance between Solomon and a Shunammite. It often talks about the Shunammite in this. King David, just before he died, he couldn’t get warm. I know I’m giving you a longer answer than you asked for.

Therese: No, this is wonderful.

Pastor Doug: King David, he evidently had congestive heart failure because he was shivering all the time. And so his counselors said, “Do you know what do we do?” Well, they didn’t have electric blankets and hot water bottles back then. So they said, “Let’s find a beautiful young virgin that’s got good circulation”--though they didn’t use those words--“and have her climb into bed with him and cuddle him and warm him up.” And they found a beautiful Shunammite woman named Abishag that sort of married the King but never had relations with him--it says that very explicitly. After David died, it’s surmised that Solomon wanted to take this young girl who is really just his father’s hot water bottle, as a wife, that he fell in love with her.

And when it talks about the “little foxes that spoil the vine,” those are things that little foxes would chew on the base of the vine and kill the whole grapevine. And so it says “little things.” It’s just like our illustration we started with. Sometimes the little things can cause a lot of problem. So when it says “Take us,” it means catch the little foxes that spoil the vines. You may also remember the story where Samson caught three foxes. He tied their tails together and he set on fire the fields of the philistines, so they used to trap foxes back then because they were a menace to their farms. Hey, we’re just taking a break, friends, we’re not going away. I’ve got some exciting news to share with you when we come back from this. If you’ve joined us along the way, this is Bible Answers Live, and don’t forget the website is amazingfacts.org. Don’t go away, more Bible questions coming.

[Commercial Break]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back, listening friend. If some of you have joined us en route, this is Bible Answers Live. It’s a live, international, interactive Bible study. And we are on hundreds of stations across North America. And we get calls from all over the world via the internet and even have some oversea stations that carried the program live. And we’re going to go right back to the phones in a moment, but Pastor Ross and I’ve got some good news--something that recently was developed by the Amazing Facts team for the millions of people out there that have the iPhone. Amazing Facts now has a special application where you can access a wealth of Bible study information, you can do on-the-spot Bible studies with our Bible study lessons, you can watch streaming video and have all the answers right at your fingertips--it’s an Amazing Facts iPhone app.

And it’s got the Amazing Facts studies and video, and Bible studies, and all kind of resources. All you’ve got to do is go to your app store and type in AF-Mobile, AF-Mobile in the search bar and you click AF-Mobile--good news is, did I mention, it’s free. All you’ve got to do is type in if you’ve want all these Bible study resources at your fingertips on your iPhone, type in AF-Mobile. One thing we ask for though, since we’re giving it to you free, you’ve got to tell two friends and one enemy. So let people know about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I’m looking at it here on the website, there are literally hundreds of sermons that are available through this application that connects you directly to the website. You can view sermons, you can listen to sermons. I bet there’s people right now listening to Bible Answers Live on their iPhone using this application.

Pastor Doug: Just go type in where you get your iPhone applications and type in AF Mobile and it’s free. And of course, we’re still telling people about the new website that’s probably the second most popular website we have out of hundreds, next to the Amazing Facts’ the main mothership website and that is Bible Prophecy Truth. Bible Prophecy Truth has just an encyclopedia of Bible prophecy study information, videos, charts, you name it it’s there. Take a look if you’ve not been there, I think you’ll be impressed. Okay, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Next caller. We’ll go to the phone lines. Jeffrey is calling from Michigan. Jeffry, you’re on the air.

Jeffrey: Hi, yes.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Jeffrey: My question is, if your probation closed already and you repented, will God give you just one more chance?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, if you want to repent, your probation probably hasn’t closed. It says in Revelation that when the seven last plagues pour out, the people who are lost--they don’t pray and repent, they curse God. And are you worried that your probation’s closed?

Jeffrey: Yes, I am.

Pastor Doug: No, you don’t need to worry. Jeffrey, I can tell the Holy Spirit’s working on you. First of all, God is not trying to close your probation early. He wants to keep the door open as long as possible. The people in the Bible, when their probation closed, they lost interest in spiritual things. You get people like Judas, and like Saul that just grieved away the Spirit through years of resistance. Do you mind me asking Jeffrey how old you are?

Jeffrey: I’m twelve years old.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Your probation hasn’t closed, young man. Hey…

Jeffrey: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: …I know God’s still having mercy on me and I bet my record of sin is a lot bigger than yours.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it take courage--the Bible says the God’s not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

Pastor Doug: We do have a list--not a list--we have a lesson that we can send to Jeffrey that deals with the subject of the unpardonable sin so he can understand that. When a person commits the unpardonable sin, their probation closes. And I don’t think you’d be calling with spiritual questions right now if you’d grieved away the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. To receive that lesson dealing with that subject of the unpardonable sin, “No Turning Back” is the name of the study guide. ”No Turning Back.” Jeffrey, call 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide entitled, “No Turning Back,” and we will get that in the mail to you. Our next caller is John, and he is calling from Columbia, South Carolina. John, welcome to the program.

John: Good evening. Pastor Doug, I have a question, more of a curiosity.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

John: In Revelation 12:9, when Lucifer and his angels were cast out of heaven, it says they were cast out to this earth and then in Genesis, when you read the beginning of creation in Genesis 1:1, it says that earth was void and without form. So it’s kind of a two-part question: Was Lucifer cast out to an earth that was void and without form? And the other question kind of in relation with this would be: After God created Adam and Eve, and established Garden of Eden, exactly how long were they here before Eve was tempted with the fruit?

Pastor Doug: Okay. Two good questions. Let me see if I can give you a quick answer to that. First of all, when was Lucifer cast out of heaven? Keep in mind, Revelation 12 is covering thousands of years in that just those few verses-- what, seventeen verses--is covering thousands of years. So Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven, we believed, happened even before God created the earth. And Lucifer may have roamed through--He may have been evicted from heaven, probably roamed through the cosmos looking for other worlds to join him and his angels in the rebellion and he didn’t find any till he came to our world, and when Adam and Eve decided to listen to the devil instead of God, Lucifer was restricted to this planet he was cast out, so to speak, to the earth. So he’s being evicted from heaven, and he’s being restricted to earth, there may have been many years between those two points.

Now then you asked another good question: From the time Adam and Eve were created, until they actually sinned, how much time went by? Bible doesn’t give us a date, but I think we can be safe in saying it was probably less than an year. And one reason for that would be, of course, the devil uses the blitzkrieg. He tries to attack quickly while they were young and innocent, so to speak. Secondly, God had told Adam and Eve, “Go be fruitful and multiply.” And since they were in perfect health and all the pluming was fine, they hadn’t had any children yet. So, evidently he just probably within a few months of creation--and then it tells us shortly after sin they began to have their first children. So we don’ think they had very much time to enjoy paradise before the devil deceives them.

John: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And, you know, there is a verse in Luke chapter 10 verse 18, where Jesus says, “He beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” He puts it in the past tense, and so Satan being cast out of heaven happened at some early point in time. And then according to Revelation chapter 12, it sounds as though there was a second, sort of, confining to the earth in connection with Christ’s crucifixion.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. You know, John, we have a new DVD--we should have said something about this, too…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …that Amazing Facts spent three years developing. It’s actually DVD you watch with recreations, animations that show and display the whole story of why there is sin in the universe, in our world, where the devil came from, how Lucifer rebelled and fell and got restricted to this planet. It tells about the fall of Lucifer and the fall of Adam and Eve. And it’s simply called “Cosmic Conflict,” and you can even see the trailer just by going to Google or YouTube and typing in “Cosmic Conflict: The Origin of Evil.” And you can order the DVD. It’s forty-five minutes running time. It’s a little more than that, maybe. And just it’s like watching a movie that explains the whole thing, very interesting. So take a look at “Cosmic Conflict,” John. Oh, by the way, we do have that lesson also you can order for free, “Did God Create the Devil?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, that’s our resource line and you can ask, John, for the study guide, “Did God Create the Devil?” Our next caller is Nancy, and she is calling from Oregon. Nancy, welcome to the program.

Nancy: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi. And your question?

Nancy: I am not really good on genealogies. I remember several places in the Bible where it says that a certain event happened so many years after a certain king.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Nancy: And I guess people who know the history and stuff like that might be able to pinpoint the year that those things happened.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Nancy: But I cannot figure out what year, things happened from that information.

Pastor Doug: You know it is difficult. In the Bible--you’re reading the history all through the Bible--before they had established what we think of as the A.D./B.C. dating method. And in Bible times, they used to date history in varying years of the primary monarchs. So you would have, like, in the third year of Nebuchadnezzar, in the fifth year of Solomon, and…

Nancy: And my question that comes to my mind whenever I hear that…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Nancy: …is, like, “So what year would that be?”

Pastor Doug: Exactly. Well, you know, it’s difficult. There are Bibles--and I’ve got a number of Bibles--where as you’re reading through the Old Testament, the years are written right there in the margin--I mean our modern years it’ll say, you know, 1000 B.C., for King David. And so you can see roughly the years when things happened. Because they didn’t have the A.D./ B.C. dating method, they used the reign of different pharaohs and kings, or even the judges, during the period of judges, to scale when things happened.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, what will be helpful is, if you have access to a computer you can even probably get this, you know, that software called e-Sword.

Pastor Doug: Free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And there are commentaries there that when you type in a verse, it talks about in the such and such year of the king, it should give you…

Pastor Doug: The dates.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …the dates.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …or at least approximate dates when that event occurred.

Pastor Doug: That’s some free software, Nancy, that you can get it. It’s simply called e-Sword.net and you can download that. And Pastor Ross and I both have that on our computer along with some other software. And thanks to the designers of that. Hope that helps a little bit, but otherwise, it is difficult to try and figure out what year was that, you know, the third year of Jehoshaphat.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, I appreciate your question.

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

Martin: Hello there.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Martin: And thanks for taking that call. Okay, now we’re talking about 17:3, John chapter 17 verse 3 where…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Martin: …“This is eternal life that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Now I want to know what did they mean by that?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, when Jesus speaks to the lost, it tells us in Mathew chapter 7, “Many will say Lord, Lord,” and they’ll say, “I don’t know you.” And again in the Book of Hosea, I believe it’s chapter 4 verse 6, it says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” so eternal life comes from a personal relationship with Jesus, with knowing the Lord. And so the Christ is saying right there in His special prayer of John 17 that eternal life, the essence of eternal life is knowing the Lord, being restored to that relationship of the Lord, Father, Son and Spirit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Another way we get to know God is by spending time in prayer and studying His word. You know, in programs like this where we’re talking about the Bible, we’re talking about God, and we’re getting to know God, we’re getting to understand Him. But it’s more than just an intellectual understanding of truth. We really want to know God in the heart. We want the Holy Spirit to be dwelling within us. And we can ask for that, we can ask for the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yep. And through studying the word, you get to know someone--I know people who have done their courtship a long distance through the mail and people do it now through the internet, and they can get to know a lot about a person through ongoing communication, well, God does even more than that for us. He reveals Himself through His words, through His spirit, through providence and we get to know Him. And of course, surrendering our lives to Him and obeying Him as well. Appreciate that, Martin. I hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, maybe something that Martin would appreciate is a book dealing with this subject of prayer because prayer is important in getting to know God. It’s a book written by Pastor Doug entitled, “Teach Us to Pray.” And for anyone who’s listening, if you’d like to receive that book, call our resource line 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book “Teach Us to Pray.” Our next caller is Wanda and she’s calling form Brooklyn, New York. Wanda, welcome to the program.

Wanda: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

Wanda: Fine. Thank you. My quick question is--I’ll have a quick question about timing.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Wanda: And I heard two people talk about it. Someone mentioned to me that the Jewish people no longer tithe, and so I kind of didn’t believe. So I went on-line and I found some things saying that they don’t tithed anymore that they only give a certain amount to the temple, but that’s it. So I wanted to know if they don’t do it, then why should we?

Pastor Doug: First of all, I am half Jewish. My mother was Jewish. So when you say that Jewish people--the Jewish religion is as fragmented as the Christian religion in that there are all kinds of different rankings and divisions among the Jewish people, you’ve got the very Orthodox Jewish and you’ve got the very liberal Jewish, and a lot of different divisions and even teachings among the Jewish. Among the more orthodox Jews, I think they still do pay tithe. So the reason we do--well, first of all, the Jews don’t have a Levitical Priesthood any more and sacrifices in the sanctuary. And so that could be one reason many of the American Jews don’t tithe, as they say, “Well, I used to go to the sanctuary to pay the Levites and the priests, we don’t have them any more.” But for the Christian, we have different kinds of priesthood. First of all, you’ve got ministers that are engaged full-time in the missionaries in the proclamation of the gospel.

And the temple now is the church, you know, the body of Christ is people, is the temple. Christ, when He spoke about tithe in Mathew 23:23, He said, “These things you should not leave undone.” And He specifically speaks of tithe. So, you know, Christ never said there is anything wrong with the system of tithe. In the New Testament, it actually looks like they were giving much more than ten percent when you read in Acts chapter 4, that the people were selling their houses and lands. I mean, they were making just incredibly huge sacrifices to spread the gospel right in the days of Jesus. So it wasn’t like they were kind of counting out, you know, one penny out of ten that they could use for God’s work, people were giving half their wealth or more. And so the New Testament position is not less than ten percent. You would hope that folks had bigger commitment than that. Does that make sense, Wanda?

Wanda: Sure. So that means that if I tithed--which I really don’t, honestly, I don’t--am I missing out on blessings?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me tell you, the Lord says, “Prove me, test me”--this is Malachi chapter 3--“and see if I don’t open for you the windows of heaven.” He also goes on to say, “I will rebuke the devourer for your sake.” In other words, the things that devour your increase in your income--you know, you may buy a car, next thing you know it breaks down, you say, “Well, you know, all these expenses,” and He says He’ll hold back those unexpected expenses, you know, bless what you have if we’re faithful and trusting Him with what we do have. It doesn’t make sense mathematically, but for believer, ninety percent will always go farther than a hundred percent.

Wanda: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Now we’ve got a lesson that we’ll send you on this--it’s free--if you’d like it?

Wanda: Okay. So, the ten percent is before the salary, whatever you take home.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah, I just pay my tithe out of my gross and, you know, whatever taxes I pay that’s part of my expense. And some people pay Social Security and they get it back later, so I’ve heard people argue it both ways.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know the principle is you can’t outgive God. You know, if we faithfully do what we can to support the work, God will bless us. That study guide that we are offering, Wanda, does deal with a number of these questions and gives you a lot of Scripture with the subject of tithe. It’s called “In God We Trust.” And the number to call is 1-800-835-6747. It’s 1-800-835-6747, asks for the study guide “In God We Trust.” Let’s see who’s our next caller, we have Sylvia, who is calling from…

Pastor Doug: Sylvia.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …Sylvia, calling from Connecticut. Sylvia, welcome to the program.

Sylvia: Oh, thank you so much. I have a quick question also about tithing. I don’t have my own income. My husband is not a believer. So I’m giving money in church, but I don’t know is that what should be the principal for me in terms of tithing?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. I know Pastor Ross has had that before, too. You’ve got the household where the principal income earner maybe isn’t a believer and the spouse is and they want to be faithful and supporting the work of God, what do they do? Well, first of all, you need to talk with your spouse and say, “You know, I realize that I maybe stay at home and do my work at home and you do your work elsewhere and you bring in the cash. But I’m also part of the family. You’re to be one flush.” You need to have the right to some spending, a budget for you. Any good family, they’ve got a budget of some sort and whatever the budget is that your husband has allot and say, “You know, this is your money, and your mad money and whatever you want to do with it.” Then you can, you know, determine your tithes and offerings from that, whatever your percentage is.

Sylvia: Okay.

Pastor Doug: I know what makes it difficult in a family some spouses will say, “I work hard for my money, you’re not giving it to no church,” and they can make it difficult. And God understands that, you know, so you do what you can.

Sylvia: Because I don’t really take money for myself, you know, like every month I use the money here and there for this and that for the expenses and so I never really take an allowance. It makes harder for me.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, if you have a good relationship with your husband and you just say, “Look, I believe God’s going to bless you even though you may not believe because you allow me to support the work of Christ in the world, then I believe He’s going to bless you, and so I’m just going to let you know ahead of time that I plan on giving some tithe and offering to my church family.”

Sylvia: So the other day he went to church with me. Sometimes he goes even though he is not a believer. And he saw me writing that check. And when he saw the amount on the check, he got upset. “Oh, you’re giving all these money to church, so and so,” and I said, “No, that was the right thing to do.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you need to remind him that’s why he still has money because you’ve been giving.

Sylvia: Right, exactly. The money that I’m giving is not yours.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, I don’t want to get you in trouble, Sylvia, but you know, you need to talk with your husband and have an understanding and do what you can. And God’s not going to be up there with a hammer watching you to, you know, punish you if your husband’s giving you a hard time. What the Lord wants principally is our hearts. And so that’s the main thing. We’ll also, if you like we’ll send you that study guide we’ve mentioned. We’ve got three questions on tithe. We didn’t ask for it, but we’ve got three or four questions tonight on tithe. We’ll send you that study guide.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And again it’s called “In God We Trust,” and the number is 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Dodd and she is calling from Idaho. Dodd, welcome to the program.

Dodd: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes, you are on, Dodd.

Dart: My question would be if you just explain Colossians 2:16?

Pastor Doug: Yes. We’ll go there and do our best to give you a quick explanation. And this is a verse that people often ask about when the subject of the Sabbath comes up because--well, let me just read it for you, Colossians 2--I’m going to actually start with the verse 14--“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” Alright, so first of all, the context of this subject is the handwriting of ordinances that was against the people and it would be nailed to the cross. Now, some have wondered is this talking about the Ten Commandments being nailed to the cross. No, Jesus did not come to make it okay to, you know, lie and to stealing and to kill and commit adultery because it mentions the Sabbath later on. Some are wondering if it’s the Ten Commandments, but it uses the word Sabbath days. And I’m going to read this. Verse 15, “Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holyday, or the new moon, or the Sabbath days.” In the ordinances, in the Levitical laws, there were annual Sabbaths, new moons, holidays, this was all part of the Levitical law that was written on paper handwriting by Moses, nailed to the cross. They were all shadows. And he says in the next verse, verse 17, “Which are a shadow of things to come.” The Levitical law came after sin to help people recognize Jesus when He came. And all the Levitical Sabbaths came after sin. They were annual yearly Sabbaths. The Sabbath of creation was before sin spoken by God--it’s, you know, the Sabbath of the Lord--Jesus said it was made for man, mankind, not for Jews. It was not nailed to the cross. People still need that day of worship and that day of rest and so some have wondered about this verse where Paul is speaking about the Jewish ceremonial Sabbaths.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we’ve got a book dealing with this subject entitled, “Feast Days and Sabbaths,” and it deals with this very verse. If you’d give us a call on our resource line, Dodd, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book “Feast Days and Sabbaths,” and we’ll happy to send that out to you. Our next called is Marsha and she is calling from Dearborn, Michigan. Marsha, welcome to the program.

Marsha: Oh, yes. Hi, good evening, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are you guys doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Dong well, Marsha.

Marsha: Okay. My question is about the stones that Lucifer was covered with. They are the same stones which could be found on earth, so did God get them from earth or did He create them or…

Pastor Doug: That’s an interesting question. And I think Marsha is referring to is at Ezekiel 28, where it talks about every precious stone was your covering.

Marsha: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: I get it. Is it Ezekiel 28? And then it lists the topaz and the sapphire and the stardust and it’s listing precious gems. You know, those are gems that also denoted color, stones color that has specific color. We don’t know where the Lord got the precious gems that adorned the Lucifer when he was this unfallen angel. You know, God may even have other worlds that share some of the same beautiful minerals and gems that we have here. It’s a big universe and there might be some other similarities out there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, we do know from the biblical record that the New Jerusalem has these precious stones and actually…

Pastor Doug: In the foundation…

Pastor Jëan Ross: …the streets are made from gold.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. And the foundation in the New Jerusalem most of these stones can be found. So, yep, the Lord had special garments for Him. We have time for one more question. Let’s take a quick one.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, we have Bobby who is calling from South Carolina. Bobby, welcome to the program.

Bobby: Hi, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Bobby. We need to do this quickly. We’ve just got a moment.

Bobby: Thank you for taking my question.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Bobby: My husband was baptized as a Christian and took a vow to not drink alcohol. He continues to drink alcohol and it’s getting worse. I’m paying very hard about the situation and considering whether to separate from him so that it will motivate him to, you know, get some help, which he is in denial right now. And I have two tracks that I am going back and forth and can’t decide which is right. The first one is First Corinthians 5:11 and 13, it says…

Pastor Doug: First Corinthians 5:11, okay. Let me read this,. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, that if any man is called a brother, that he is a fornicator, covetous, an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard.” Now, keeping company is talking about hanging out with friends. You’ve married this person though, I wouldn’t apply that verse. Now I’m not saying that your situation isn’t difficult. Do you have children?

Bobby: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Ah. Well, I would say that you need to have an understanding with your husband that you both need to get into counseling. If you are at risk or the children are at risk in any way, you should separate. Until, you know, the problem is addressed or released they begin some counseling. But if you’re not at risk and there’s been danger to you or the children, then do your best to try and convert him. It says, “By your holy conversation, your behavior, not by preaching, but just by prayer and being a good example.” I know that’s difficult. Well, I’m sorry to be so short with such an important question, Bobby. Listening friends, we’re about out of time. But don’t forget about the new Amazing Facts application at the app store for your iPhones, all our Bible studies. God Bless until next week, friends. Remember, Jesus is the truth that will set you free.

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