Don't Die Before Your Death

Lesson: 1
By our wrong habits we lessen our hold on life (CD, 45). If we keep willfully sinning, what are we truly doing but growing dark and lessening our strength to glorify God, which is certain death. In this new year, what will you change ? Will you self-examine, surrender, or will you continue judging and sinning until Jesus returns ? Study with us and "with intense earnestness learn the trade of seeking His blessings... for God will be to us everything we will let Him be," if we only ask (Pr, 56).

No Turning Back

No Turning Back
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- [Announcer] It is the best-selling book in history. No volume ever written has been more loved and quoted. And its words, sometimes simple and sometimes mysterious, should always be studied carefully. It is the Bible, the Word of God. Welcome to "Bible Answers Live," providing accurate and practical answers to all your Bible questions. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this broadcast, call 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now here's your host from Amazing Facts International, Pastor Jean Ross.

- Hello friends, how about an amazing fact? Well, if it isn't well known that bats fly using sonar. They emit high frequency sounds which the human ear cannot hear. These returning echoes of sound places sound print pictures in their minds. Using this technique, a bat can catch a tiny, fast-flying insect. The calls of the bat are very loud, so loud, in fact, that if we could hear them, they would hurt our ears. But wait, if it is necessary for the bat to make such a loud sound in order to have its echo back from a distant object, how can the bat possibly hear the echo with its ears, in the midst of all of the racket that it's making with its mouth? And to make matters worse, the bat's ears are so sensitive that just a few of its screams would quickly deafen it.

That is, except for a tiny muscle in the middle ear of the bat. It is attached to one of three tiny bones, which transmit the vibrations of the eardrum to the tubular organ in the skull, that converts them to nerve signals sent to the brain. Just as each scream is on the verge of being emitted, this muscle instantly pulls back that bone so that it does not transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The eardrum is momentarily disconnected. Then, after the scream is ended, the muscle relaxes and the bone moves back into place, and the faint echo of the sound can be heard. The faster these sounds are emitted, the more up-to-date information the bat will receive. The faster these sounds, of course, is necessary if the bat is trying to fly through the curves of a cave or flying amongst the branches of a forest. Some bats can send up to 200 quick screams a second, meaning that this back and forth motion of the tiny bones in the bat's ear moves more than 200 times a second. And it's always in perfect alignment, and sending out these super short screams.

Now friends, did you know that the Bible speaks of people who, like the bats, are hearing, but do not hear, spiritually speaking. In Matthew 13:13, Jesus said, "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear." Like the bat, these people are able to disconnect their spiritual ear from hearing the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It's like the person who continually hits the snooze button on their alarm clock until he conditions himself not to wake up when the alarm rings. If a person keeps disregarding the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the day will come when that person will no longer hear the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart through his conscience. That is what the Bible refers to as the unpardonable sin, all the sin against the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31 says, "Therefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven them. But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven them." No, because they've disconnected their spiritual ears, so to speak, from hearing the Holy Spirit.

Friends, we have a study guide. It's called "No Turning Back." We get questions that people ask. "What is the unpardonable sin?" Some folks might even be wondering if they've committed the unpardonable sin. Well, our study guide will answer these questions. It's called "No Turning Back," and if you'd like to receive it, all you'll need to do is call the number 800-835-6747. You can ask for offer number 146, and we'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. That number again is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, "No Turning Back," and we'll be happy to get it in the mail, and send it out to you. This is a live, interactive, international Bible study.

Pastor Doug Batchelor is out this evening. Maybe you have Bible questions. Maybe there's a passage of Scripture that you've come across in your Bible reading plan, if you started a Bible reading plan for this year, and you're wondering about what that verse might mean. Well, give us a call. The number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. But before we get to the phone lines, we always like to begin with a word of prayer. Of course, the Bible is God's book. So we need the Holy Spirit to understand it. So let's pray. Dear Father, we thank You that we once again have this opportunity to open up Your Word and study, and Father, we ask a blessing on this program. There are people who are watching, people who are listening across the country, and even in some other countries around the world, and Lord, together lead us into a clearer and a full understanding of Bible truth. For we ask this in Jesus' name, amen. We're going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is John, listening in North Carolina. John, welcome to the program.

- [John] Good evening, Pastor Ross.

- Good evening.

- [John] The Law of God existed before man's creation, and is eternal, but the Fourth Commandment seems to be exclusively connected with the creation of this world. The last verse of the Fourth Commandment says, Exodus 20:11, "For in six days, the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." My question is this. If the Law of God is eternal, and I've always believed it to be eternal from my study myself, seems like the Fourth Commandment was instituted during the creation of the world. I'm wondering, if the Law of God is eternal, and the Sabbath was instituted during the Creation, is there a contradiction there, or am I missing something? I just wanted to know you your guys' thoughts on that.

- Okay, great question. Thank you, John. Yes, I agree with you. The Law of God, The Ten Commandments, define what righteousness is and what sin is. Sin is the transgression of the Law. Now, in order for there to be sin, there needs to be a law. And we know that Satan sinned in Heaven, and then this sin, this rebellion started here on Earth when Adam and Eve gave in to Satan's temptation. So the Law must have existed before Creation. The principle that we find in the Fourth Commandment, which is the Sabbath commandment, says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days, you are to labor and do all your work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." And then it says, verse 11, "For in six days," this is Exodus 20:11, "For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the Earth, the sea, and all that's in them. And He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." So the Sabbath is a continual reminder that God is our Creator. Now, it relates in a special sense to humanity. I mean, we're the ones that were created on this Earth. We were created on the sixth day of Creation, and the Sabbath is a continual reminder that God is our Creator. But not only are we created beings, but angels are created beings. All intelligent life is created. And the principle that we find in the Fourth Commandment, that of remembering our Creator and worshiping Him and setting aside a time to do so, I think that principle is true throughout the universe.

Now, I don't know whether they keep the same day, the seventh day, the way we do as a memorial, but I'm sure there is the recognition of a certain time throughout the universe where all created beings acknowledge that God is the Creator, a special time that has been set aside for worship. Now we know from the Bible that the seventh day Sabbath will continue even after the Earth has been recreated. In Revelation chapter 21, you read about a new Heavens and a new Earth. Isaiah says, "From one Sabbath to another, all will come and worship before God." So the little Earth becomes, if you like, the center of the universe, because the new Jerusalem comes down, and this is going to be God's dwelling place. And the seventh day Sabbath will still be kept in the Earth made new. So yes, the principle of worshiping God on a certain time, I think is relevant. And that's true for all created beings. Does that help, John?

- [John] Yes, thank you so much, Pastor Ross. I appreciate it.

- All right, thanks for your call. We appreciate it. Next caller that we have is Charles, listening from, let's see. Well, no, Charles is in Florida. Charles, welcome to the program.

- [Charles] Hey, Pastor Ross, how are you?

- Doing well, thank you.

- [Charles] Is it possible that the God is somewhere located, somewhere through the Nebula of Orion? In the Bible three times. Isn't that possibly a hint that that's where He resides, is somewhere through there?

- Well, that's a good question. You know, the Bible doesn't clearly say that Heaven or the dwelling place of God is there in Orion, but we do know it's mentioned three times, as you mentioned, in Scripture. We do know that Orion is to the east. You can see both the constellation of Orion, sometimes referred to as Orion's Belt, the star constellation. You can see it both in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. Now, some of the stars you can only see in the Southern Hemisphere, like the Southern Cross. And of course, the Big Dipper you can see in the Northern Hemisphere. You don't see that in the Southern Hemisphere, but Orion is close enough to the Equator that it can be seen both from the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere, and it's to the east. We know in the Bible that deliverance symbolically comes from the east. East is the sign of deliverance, or the dwelling place of God. For example, deliverance for the Jews, when they were in Babylonian captivity, came from the east. We had the Medo-Persians came and conquered the Babylonians, and the Jews were allowed to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. Jesus, speaking of His second coming, says, "As lightning that flashes from the east, even to the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be." In Revelation chapter seven, an angel is seen coming from the east, having the seal of the living God, and he placed it upon the forehead of those of God's people. So the east seems to be the direction of deliverance. It could very well be the direction of Heaven. And yes, Orion is in that easterly direction. So yes, there are a number of Bible scholars that think that Orion, or at least near Orion, would be where the dwelling place of God is, known today as Heaven. We'd refer to it as Heaven. Does that help, Charles?

- [Charles] Absolutely, absolutely, I've always wondered about that.

- Yes, I think you're on track there. That seems like there is something special about Orion, as being close to the dwelling place of God. All right, thanks again for your call. Our next caller that we have is Emmanuel, calling from Ghana, Africa. Emmanuel, welcome to the program.

- [Emmanuel] Thank you, Pastor Ross. I hope Pastor Doug is now around.

- Yeah, Pastor Doug is out today. He's out of town, but he's doing well. So he'll be back next week.

- [Emmanuel] Okay, my greetings to him. Well, my question is in Matthew 23:23.

- Okay.

- [Emmanuel] Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees concerning tithes, so I wanted to know that, did Jesus try to abolish tithing at all?

- [Jean] Okay, let me read-

- [Emmanuel] Or was he promoting tithe?

- Yes, let me read the verse for those who might not have their Bibles in front of them. Matthew 23:23, these are the words of Jesus. "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin." These are little spices and herbs. "And you have neglected the weightier matters of the Law, justice and mercy and faith. These, you ought to have done without leaving the others undone." So here we find Jesus referring to the scribes and the Pharisees being so meticulous in their tithe paying, even on their herb garden, and yet they were leaving out the more important matters of the Law, that being justice, mercy and faith. Jesus says you should be paying your tithe. He says, "These you ought to have done, but not leave out the others, the weightier matters." So when it comes to the Christian, yes, tithing is a Biblical principle. We find it in the Old Testament. Abraham is referred to as giving a tithe to Melchizedek. And of course, this is long time before Moses. And the principle of tithing, we also find even in the New Testament, where the early Christians were giving more than just a 10th to support the work of the Lord. So faithful tithes and offerings is found throughout Scripture. Jesus is not doing away with tithe, but rather He says, "Tithe is important, but there are more important things, that being justice and mercy and faith." Those are the things God also wants us to remember. Does that help, Emmanuel?

- [Emmanuel] Yes, Pastor Ross, okay, thank you.

- All right, thanks for your call. We appreciate it. You know, we do have a study guide that talks about the Christian and their finances, or tithing and offerings. What does the Bible say about it? It's called "In God We Trust." It's one of the Amazing Facts study guides. We'll be happy to send this to anyone who just calls and asks. The number to call is 800-835-6747. And again, you can just ask for the study guide. It's called "In God We Trust." We'll be happy to send it out. We've got Martha listening in California. Martha, welcome to the program.

- [Martha] Hi, thank you, Pastor Ross. Now, I know that the Bible does not contradict itself. And so I've run up against something. I'm either missing something, or I'm misunderstanding something. In, let me see. In Ezekiel 18:20, and in Deuteronomy 24:16, it talks about how the father will not be punished for the sins of the son. The son will not be punished for the sins of the father. And then in the 1 Samuel 28:18-19, this apparition, shall we say, that the Witch of Endor has called up for Saul, is telling Saul that the Lord is angry with him because he didn't do away with Amalek and follow the other directions and stuff. And it says, "Moreover, the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee, into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with Me. The Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hands of the Philistines." So I had thought that Jonathan was, you know, a good man or whatever. Yes, he was.

- I don't know anything about the other sons, but I'm wondering why, or could you explain this for me?

- Sure, absolutely, now it's true. There is a Biblical principle that the son is not to bear the punishment of the father's sin. However, sometimes there are consequences that children do bear because of the sins of their parents. And of course that's even true today. A lot of children go through difficult childhoods because of some abuse from a parent. Well, back in Bible times, you have Saul, who's the king. And he had pretty much hardened his heart against the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit that left him. And he was plagued by an evil spirit. There is this battle to take place, and Saul was going to lead his army into battle. Well, the sons of Saul wanted to be faithful, not only to their father, but also to the nation of Israel. And part of their responsibilities as being princes, as the sons of the king, was to accompany their father into battle. Now, the reason they were slain in the battle, wasn't because of any sin they had done, but there were many good people in Bible times that were killed in battles. But in this case you have Jonathan, who is a very good man who stood by the side of his father, willing to go to battle, even knowing that there is a very good chance that he might die in battle. Yet he stood faithful. It was not only for his father, but for the Jewish nation as a whole, to encourage the Jewish people. And for his God, he believed in God. And he believed that God was directing. Even though Saul had hardened his heart against the Spirit of God, he was still the king at the time. And so Jonathan was willing to do what his father was asking him to do, in that sense. So it was not a judgment because of his sin that Jonathan died in battle. For Saul, yes, absolutely, but not for Jonathan.

- [Martha] Right, okay, well that helps a lot. Thank you, Pastor Ross. I really appreciate it.

- All right, thanks for your call, Martha. Next caller that we have is Jess, listening in Washington. Jess, welcome to the program.

- [Jess] Hello, Pastor Ross.

- Hello.

- [Jess] I have a question. It might seem silly, but I read this and it really struck me. So I'm going to read it. It's when Moses came to the burning bush, and the Lord said to him, "Take those shoes from off thy feet, whereon the place thou standest is holy." And, but over here in Joshua, Joshua chapter five, angel of, captain of the host approached him, and he tells him to take his shoe from off his foot. It doesn't say shoes from off his feet.

- Yes.

- It says "shoe off your foot, whereon thou standest is holy." And I was just going to ask the question, maybe Joshua might have lost one of his feet, one battle or something?

- No, we have no record of Joshua had lost a foot in battle. I just think that the phrase there, whether it's talking about your foot or your feet, the principle there is the removing of your shoes or the coverings of your feet, your sandals. And that was a custom back in Bible times, to show respect and reverence. Now, the reason God said to Moses, take the sandals off your feet, for you're standing on holy ground," it's because the presence of God was there. The Great I Am, God was in the burning bush. This angel that met Joshua wasn't an angelic being as you think of angels in Heaven, but the word angel simply means messenger of the Lord. And in this case, the reason the angel, or the messenger, says, "Take the sandal off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground," it's referring to the fact that this was actually Joshua meeting the Lord. And for that reason, he was to remove his sandals from his feet. Don't worry about the plural and the singular. It doesn't mean that Joshua was hopping on one foot. It's just the way that it's worded there in the English, from the translation, from the Hebrew. But no, Joshua had both feet, because he was a "mighty man of valor," and he led the army in battle.

- [Jess] Okay.

- Yeah, good observation there in your study.

- [Jess] Mentions over here in Deuteronomy 11:24, also that when Moses was addressing the people, he said, "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours."

- Yes, yep-

- Okay, it's just a question I had.

- Yeah, no, that's a great little point. I've never noticed that, but yes, don't worry about the singular and plural there. It's just meaning the same thing, of when they were to enter into the presence of God, they were to remove their shoes. You know, that custom is still in the Middle East. I've traveled to India a number of times. And as a sign of respect, when people enter into the church, into a place of worship, they remove their shoes from their feet. And to go into the main entry of a church, I guess it's true even of the temples there, there's usually a pile of shoes placed to the side and the people go in. They remove their shoe as a sign of respect and reverence. So that was the custom, even in Bible times in the Middle East. Thanks for your call. We got, let's see, Michael is listening from Michigan. Michael, welcome to the program.

- [Michael] Hi, Pastor Ross. Thanks for taking my call.

- Sure.

- [Michael] My question is about Daniel 6:26.

- Yes.

- [Michael] Is the King Darius making a decree that all men tremble and fear God, His kingdom and His dominion, or is he saying that God's kingdom and dominion will last until the end, without being destroyed? And also, do you see that these two kingdoms of Daniel 6:26 are contemporaneous?

- All right, well let's take the first part of the question is, so when we have King Darius or Darius writing this decree, this is after Daniel is rescued from the lions' den, as you read about there in Daniel chapter six. The king is amazed because the God of Daniel, which he knew about, the God of Daniel was able to shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel came out unscathed. We know the lions were hungry, because those who had plotted against Daniel, they were thrown in the lions' den. And it says they were devoured and torn to pieces before they even hit the ground. So it was a miracle. God was taking care of His faithful servant, Daniel. The king acknowledged that. And so he made a decree and says, "To every people, nation, language that dwell on the Earth." Of course at the time, Darius was king of what they considered the world, at least the known areas. And he says, "I make a decree that every dominion of my kingdom, men must tremble in fear before the God of Daniel.' In other words, they need to respect the God of Daniel, the Hebrew God, "for He is the living God, the Steadfast Forever. His kingdom is one that shall not be destroyed. His dominion shall endure forever."

So here Darius even acknowledges that the Kingdom of God is the true eternal kingdom. So Daniel must have explained something to him. Remember, in Daniel chapter two, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of these various kingdoms coming and going. And it's very possible that Daniel told Darius about what had happened to Nebuchadnezzar, and that the rise of Medo-Persia was a fulfillment of that dream that was given in Daniel 2. And then ultimately in Daniel 2, you have the stone that strikes the image, and then it grows into a great mountain, fills the whole Earth. And that symbolizes the eternal kingdom that is established after the second coming of Christ. So Darius understood this based on what Daniel had said. And that's why he said, "the God of the Hebrew" or Daniel's, "God, His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom." Does that help, Michael?

- [Michael] Well, I'm wondering if this "kingdom is of God" here is the same one that was brought to Nebuchadnezzar's attention in Daniel 2:44.

- Yes, yes, I believe it is, 'cause Daniel must have told Darius about that, and the fulfillment of Daniel 2, at least the second empire or second kingdom, was Medo-Persia. Darius is king of the Persians now. It was really a fulfillment of that prophecy that had been given, so after Persia was to come Greece and then Rome and then Western Europe as we have it now, and then finally the second coming of Christ. And so Darius was aware of that. And that's why he said, "This God's kingdom will last forever, speaking of Daniel's God.

- [Michael] Yeah, sounds like to me that this kingdom that he's speaking of is currently contemporaneous with His kingdom.

- Yes, well, it's true too. There are two parts to the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. You know, when Jesus started his ministry, He said, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." John the Baptist said, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." There are two phases to the Kingdom of God. There is what we call the Kingdom of Grace and the Kingdom of Glory. So the Kingdom of Grace is for anyone who receives Jesus as their Savior. They become citizens of the Kingdom of Grace. If Christ is ruling in your heart, in your life, you're a citizen of the Kingdom of Grace. The Kingdom of Grace continues up until the second coming of Christ. And then we have the establishment of the Kingdom of Glory, when Jesus comes as King of kings and Lord of lords. So yes, is there a Kingdom of Heaven now? Absolutely, we call that the Kingdom of Grace. The Kingdom of Grace will eventually give way to the Kingdom of Glory that occurs at the second coming of Christ. And of course, we read that in Revelation chapter 19, where we have a picture of Jesus. Symbolically, Christ is described in Revelation 19 as coming on a white horse. Of course, kings and emperors would often ride on white horses, being victorious. Here Jesus described as coming and there is a name written on His thigh, which says "King of kings and Lord of lords." So Jesus is coming victorious to establish a kingdom that lasts forever. That kingdom was also alluded to in Daniel chapter two by the stone that struck the image upon its feet. So that's really what's being referred to there in that passage. Does that make sense, Michael?

- [Michael] Oh, yeah, kind of.

- So yes, there are two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Grace and the Kingdom of Glory.

- [Michael] I'm wondering if the kingdom of 2:44 is contemporaneous with Nebuchadnezzar.

- Meaning the Kingdom of Heaven at that same time?

- [Michael] Yeah.

- Yes, the Kingdom of Heaven has always been. There's always been the Kingdom of Heaven, and-

- [Michael] The one that was super established.

- Yes, and that was established, probably established at the promise that was made way back in the Garden of Eden, about the seed of the woman that would bruise the serpent's head. The Kingdom of Grace was established way back then and pointed to Jesus. And then when Christ came, he announced the arrival of that Kingdom of Grace. And of course at the second coming you have the Kingdom of Glory. Great question, enjoy the studies of the Book of Daniel. There's so many wonderful things there. And you know, these prophecies that we find in Daniel really point to us, the trustworthiness of the Scriptures. The Bible is inspired because what was said in Old Testament times, we find a fulfillment. Well friends, we're up halfway through our program. We're just taking a short break and we'll be right back.

- [Announcer] Stay tuned, " Bible Answers Live" will return shortly. Deep within the pages of the Bible, stories of great heroes, heroes of great deeds, great love, and great sacrifice. But behind them is another hero, hidden in plain sight, amid the shadows. He was there from the beginning, and He'll be there until the end. Discover the golden thread of a Savior woven throughout the entire Bible tapestry. "Shadows of Light: Seeing Jesus in All the Bible," a new book by Doug Batchelor. Get your copy today by calling 800-538-7275, or visit Once again, to purchase your copy of "Shadows of Light," call 800-538-7275.

- [Doug] Every day, we make hundreds of decisions. Sometimes these choices are mundane. What will you have for breakfast, or what will you wear for work? But sometimes, these decisions can have an eternal impact, like when you set up an estate plan that supports God's work. We need to move quickly, friends, to ensure as many souls as possible have the opportunity to make decisions for Christ. And when you choose to include your evangelism values in your estate plan today, Amazing Facts can do even more to expand God's Kingdom through your faithful stewardship. I'd like to offer you a free gift entitled, "Provide and Protect," which is a tremendous resource, telling about life and death decisions connected with your estate plan. Contact our Plan Giving Department at 800-436-2695, or visit enduringlegacy.O-R-G, and you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your house is in order.

- [Announcer] You're listening to "Bible Answers Live," where every question answered provides a clearer picture of God and His plan to save you. So what are you waiting for? Get practical answers about the Good Book for a better life today. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you'd like answers to your Bible-related questions on the air, please call us next Sunday between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now, let's rejoin our hosts for more "Bible Answers Live."

- Hello friends, welcome back. This is pastor Jean Ross. Pastor Doug is out this evening, but you've joined "Bible Answers Live." If you're just tuning in halfway through the program, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study, and we are so glad that you have found us and you have tuned in. I'd also like to greet those who tune in every week. I know we have a number of faithful listeners out there, whether they're listening on the radio, watching on the internet, perhaps you're watching on Amazing Facts Television. We want to welcome all of you once again to our program. We have the next 30 minutes, where we're going to be taking your Bible questions. So if you have a Bible-related question, the number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That again is 800-463-7297. That'll bring your call here into the studio. We're going to try to answer as many questions as we can in the next half an hour. So we're going to start by going to Steve in Michigan. Steve, welcome to the program.

- [Steve] I have a question when it concerns what the Bible says about people judging people. The first entry is Matthew 7:1, actually, verses after where it says, "Judge less ye be judged." And it goes on to talk about "removing the plank out of your own eye before you remove the splinter out of your brother's eye." And there's another passage also in John 7:24, where it talks at the end of that verse, it says, "Judge correctly." Could you kinda give the context of both of those entries, and how to reconcile those two verses?

- Yeah, absolutely, great question. First of all, just for those who might not have their Bibles in front of them, they might be driving their car, listening on the radio. The verse you're referring to there is Matthew 7:1, where Jesus says, "Judge not, that you be not judged." Now, I think next to John 3:16, this is probably one of the most well-known verses out there in the world. People are often willing to say, "Judge not," because, you know, they might be doing something that they know is not right. Jesus goes on in verse two. He says, "For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged, and whatever measure you use, it'll be measured back to you." So Christ says, "Do not judge," but then later on, you bring out in Matthew chapter seven, the same chapter, here Jesus says that we are to "judge wisely or rightly." And you also find in verse 15, Jesus says "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." So on the one hand, we are not to judge, but on the other hand, we're to consider the fruits that a person might produce in their life, their actions. And we need to determine whether they are true or whether they are false. So here's the point we want to bear in mind. We do not know the motive of the heart. Only God knows the heart. And when it comes to us judging why someone might do something, or judging their heart or their motive, we can't do that. Only God knows the heart. He knows the reason, but that doesn't mean that God has not revealed to us what is right and wrong. We should be able to know, or at least to discern if somebody's doing something that is contrary to the will of God or contrary to the Word of God, or if in the church, someone might be preaching that which is contrary to the Word of God. We need to be able to distinguish and in a sense judge, between the actions or the life versus the profession, but that's different from judging the motive or judging whether somebody is saved or lost. That's only something that God can do. We don't know the heart. Only God knows the heart, but we should be able to tell by the actions, whether someone is genuine or whether they're counterfeit. Does that help, Steve?

- [Steve] Well, yes, now the part where it says, in John 7:24, it says, "Judge correctly." Does that basically pertain to counseling the person also?

- Yes, that can involve counseling the person. "Judge correctly" can also involve, in the context here, Jesus is talking about false teachers or false prophets, those who are claiming to be the followers of Christ, but they are teaching or preaching error, and they're misleading people. And the Bible says, "Judge correctly, be careful." Not every church is necessarily the true church. Not every preacher or teacher is necessarily preaching the truth, and we need to have spiritual discernment. So in that sense, there is a judging, but it's not judging the motive. We don't know the motive, but we should be able to judge the words and the actions to know if it's right or wrong.

- [Steve] Okay, well thank you very much.

- All right, great. Appreciate your call. Next call that we have is Eric, calling from Georgia. Eric, welcome to the program.

- [Eric] Yes, my question is, I have a question is 1 Timothy 2:9.

- Okay.

- [Eric] What he says over there.

- All right, let me read it for those who might not have their Bibles in front of them. Timothy is writing to the church, and he says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but that which is proper for women professing godliness with good works." So your question on this verse?

- [Eric] Is it good for women? So does it mean that women shouldn't wear, getting their hair braids and you know, wearing gold necklace and pearls and stuff like that, which is not good for women or?

- Okay, well, you raise a good question. The Bible is clear that Christians, both men and women, need to look different from the world. They need to dress modestly. That doesn't mean that they have to wear clothes that is too big or old-fashioned or out of style. But within our culture, we want to dress modestly, and also not allow the outward adorning to be prevalent, meaning the wearing of gold and silver and jewels and costly array. Now, when it says the braiding of the hair, back in Bible times, what the women would do is they would actually weave in bits of jewelry into their braids, into their hair. There's nothing wrong in a woman holding back her hair or braiding her hair for practical purposes, to keep it out of her face, if she's working, or whatever the case might be. There's nothing wrong with that. But the braiding of the hair that's referred to here was a type of braiding of adornment, or gold, or silver, or the jewels in their hair. And that's specifically what is being referred to here in 1 Timothy 2:9.

So yes, the principle that we find there is that both for Christian women and for men, we need to dress modestly and not be bedecked with gold and silver and jewels, but rather allow, as the Bible says in the next verse, "those professing godliness allow the Spirit to come through, and may a person not be attracted to outward adorning." So that's the principle. You know, we do have a book that talks about this. It's something that you don't hear a whole lot about, especially in modern churches today, but the Bible hasn't changed on these Christian standards. We have a book called "Jewelry, How Much is Too Much?" And it deals with these Bible principles. We'll be happy to send this out to anyone who calls and asks. The number to call is 800-835-6747. And again, you can ask for the book that's called "Jewelry, How Much is Too Much?" And it'll give you some good Bible principles there. Next caller that we have is May, listening in Washington. May, welcome to the program.

- [May] I just wanted to ask about Genesis 9:25.

- Okay.

- [May] We see here that Noah was, I guess he was drunk or he was pretty wasted from wine that he drank and he curses his grandson, but not the son that, not Ham that saw him naked.

- Yes, yeah, let me explain that a little bit, why Canaan was cursed. Well, you know, back at the time, you have Ham. Shem, Ham, and Japheth are the three sons of Noah. After the flood Noah builds, or grows a vineyard. And he makes wine and he drinks it and he's drunk. And Ham comes in and mocks his father, and tells his brothers. So Shem and Japheth, they cover the father and they show respect. They honor the father, whereas Ham doesn't. And after Noah sort of comes around, he realizes what Ham had done in mocking him. And he makes a prophecy. He makes a statement. And the statement is that because Ham and his son Canaan, and his descendants, lacked respect, and they disobeyed the commandment that says, "Honor your mother and your father," judgments would follow. It doesn't mean that Canaan per se, even though you probably knew what had happened with his father, he shared the same attributes or the same rebellion that Ham manifests towards Noah. That was also something that Canaan had also harbored in his heart. And that's why the curse comes against Canaan and anyone that holds to that rebellious spirit, no matter what the ancestry is. Those who refuse to keep God's commandments, those who refuse to honor their parents, yeah, they're bringing upon themselves judgment. The promise that we have of that commandment that says "Honor your mother and your father, that your days might be long in the land that the Lord thy God gives you," there's practical benefits and blessings to those who honor their parents here on the Earth. And that's the principle that's being emphasized there in Genesis. Does that help?

- Oh, wow, thanks. That makes more sense now, yeah. 'Cause I'm actually starting to read the Bible.

- Good, well, it's a good time to do so.

- [May] Right, right.

- All right, well, thanks for your call, May. We appreciate it.

- Well, thank you so much.

- All right, bye-bye.

- Have a good one, bye.

- Next caller that we have is Danny in Arizona. Danny, welcome to the program.

- [Danny] Good evening, Pastor Ross. My question was, 'cause we know that He cast down Satan and then he deceived the world and stuff like that. Did God have to create humans in order to fulfill the justice of getting rid of Satan in the end?

- No, I, you know, first of all, we know that sin is not something that God is wanting. Sin is contrary to Him. God is a God of love. The Bible is very clear, that God is a God of love. He doesn't want any of His creatures to suffer. Sin, suffering, and death is clearly the results of Satan's rebellion. It comes from disobedience to God. When somebody disobeys God, in essence, they are separating themselves from the source of happiness, from the source of life. And if you're separating yourself from happiness and the source of life and the source of peace, you can end up with unhappiness, and you end up with sorrow and you can end up with death. So that's just the natural consequences of being separated from God. Now, God also can only, because He's a God of love, He can only accept the worship of intelligent beings when those beings do so willingly. God can't accept worship that is not freely and willingly given. Thus freedom is highly esteemed in Heaven.

God gives all intelligent beings freedom. Now we have freedom. We can choose to serve Him. We can choose not to serve Him. The angels have that same freedom. They could choose to obey God or they could choose to disobey God. Now there are consequences to disobeying God, because if you're separating yourself from God, as I mentioned, there is sorrow and suffering and death. Adam and Eve, they were given those same opportunities. They could have chosen to stay loyal to God, but unfortunately they listened to the lies of Satan and they chose a different master. And when they listened to the devil, sorrow and suffering and death came, but the amazing part of the story is that God did not abandon Adam and Eve, even though He told them and He warned them. And when they sinned, He came and He said, "You know, I'm going to make a way of escape. I am going to bear your sins, and I'm going to die in your place." Jesus was promised to come, and so that we can be forgiven, so that we can live forever. So despite sin, God has got a plan of redemption to save us. And that's another revelation of His love.

- [Danny] Understood, okay, awesome. Well, thank you very much, Pastor.

- Yeah, great question. Thank you, Danny. Thanks for calling. Next caller that we have is Roy, listening from New York. Roy, welcome to the program.

- [Roy] Good evening, Pastor. And how are you?

- Doing well, thank you, and yourself?

- [Roy] Praise the Lord, I'm doing good. I'm doing good.

- And your question tonight?

- [Roy] Okay, yeah, my question is from 1 Timothy chapter four. I know finally that God's Word is true and that it does not contradict itself. I'm reading from verses three and four. It says, "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God had created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." Verse four says, "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving." Now this is a verse that many people use to support their argument that everything was created for us to eat. And I know that can't be true, especially when I consider Leviticus, Chapter 11.

- [Jean] Yes.

- [Roy] So I'm asking if you can explain that for us, please.

- Sure, we'd be happy to. Let me give you the context of this. If you look in verse one, it says, this is Paul writing, and he says, "The Spirit expressly says that in the latter times," meaning the times of the end, which we're living in, "there will be those who depart from the faith." And then he gives us some identifying marks of those who depart from the faith. It says, "They speak lies in hypocrisy. They have their conscience seared with a hot iron. They forbid to marry. They command to abstain from certain foods that God has created to be received with thanksgiving." So he's talking about a religious movement in the last days, where part of the teachings of the doctrines of this movement says that, "Well, if you are part of the clergy, you can't marry. And there are certain days when you can't eat certain foods." Now it's not saying here that unclean foods are good to eat, because you look in verse four. It says, "Every creature of God is good, nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving."

But the very next verse says, in verse five, "For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." The word sanctified means set apart. So does the Word of God set apart certain foods that you can eat, meaning certain meats, and certain meats that you can't eat? Yes, it does. There are clean meats and there are unclean meats. The clean meats, yes, they can be received. There was this religious movement that was saying, "There's certain clean foods or certain clean meats you can't eat." And that's really what Paul is addressing here. Verse five clearly tells us that it must be sanctified by the Word of God, meaning it has to be set apart by the Word of God in order to be acceptable, in order for it to be good. So we can't leave out verse five. It gives context to verse four.

- [Roy] Okay, yeah, praise the Lord. Thank you very much, Pastor.

- Oh, you're welcome. Thanks for calling, appreciate it. Next caller that we have is calling from, Azael from North Carolina. Azael, welcome to the program.

- [Azael] Hey, Pastor Ross. Thank you for taking my call.

- You're welcome.

- Yes, I just had a question. So I'd like to go out and do, how do you say it, spread the Gospel, and then I've come across this year that believe that "We're going to continue sinning until Jesus comes." Okay, so how can I respond to that? Like how can I, what would be the answer for that?

- Well, I think it's true that yes, we live in a world where there is sin and there are victories to gain. And I don't think you can ever get to the point where you think that somehow you are free from temptation. As long as we live in this world, we are going to be tempted, and there's always the potential for sin. But that doesn't mean that we have to be bound by sin, meaning we don't have to be controlled by sinful propensities or selfish, sinful desires. The Bible says, Jesus says, "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed." Now that's a promise. We all struggle with sin. We're all selfish by nature. And we have this flesh. Paul speaks about the "carnal nature," and yes, we need to fight against that carnal nature. In our own strength, it is impossible for us to overcome. "But with God," the Bible says, "all things are possible."

And you know, in my ministry, in my experience, I have met people who have gained incredible victories by God's grace in their life, people who have gained victory over alcohol, tobacco, drugs, over bad relationships, over stealing or cursing. You just name any of the Ten Commandments. I can point to examples of people who God has delivered. They've been empowered by the Spirit of God. They have overcome, that's good news. So we don't have to be in bondage to sin. Christ is able to set us free. So we want to encourage people. Not only does the Gospel tell us that we can be forgiven, but the Gospel also gives us the power to obey. And that comes by faith. The Bible says, "The just shall live by faith." And so if we can encourage people to look to Jesus as not only the One who forgives, but the One who empowers and sustains, they will be able to grow spiritually and actually in their own experience, experience victory. And that really is inspiring for every person. That's what God wants us to have, and that is to have victory. Does that make sense, Azael?

- [Azael] Thank you, Pastor, appreciate it.

- You know, we do have a book. It's called, "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?" And we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. The number is simply 800-835-6747. Ask for the book called, "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?" Don't be afraid of the title. Yes, you can be victorious, friends. The Bible doesn't want you to be bound by sinful, you know, chained to sin. No, Jesus can set us free. Doesn't mean we'll never sin or make a mistake, but we don't have to be controlled by these habitual sins. All right, John is calling from Georgia. John, welcome to the program.

- [John] How you doing, pastor?

- Doing well, thanks.

- [John] Oh, yes, sir. My question was, what is the significance of fasting when we pray? How does God view fasting? What does it do to open up that connection with the Father?

- Okay, what is the importance, the significance of fasting? You know, what fasting does is sets aside just something that all of us experience, that is hunger. And we all need food, but it's when we set that aside for a period of time. In essence, we are focusing our attention away from ourselves, saying, "Lord, there is something more important, my relationship with You, having You hear my prayer. I'm trusting in You to answer my prayer. It is so important that I do that which is pleasing to You, that I'm willing to set aside my food. I'm willing to fast." It's not that we win merit with God, because God is a God of love. We can't earn His favor, but when we set aside food and we go into fasting, and it's different types of fasting. Sometimes fasting might be just setting aside a certain food that you might particularly like and might not be bad in and of itself, but you set it aside and say, "I'm going to fast for a week or so and not eat this dessert," or whatever the food might be. "I'm going to focus on prayer and I'm going to earnestly seek God through prayer." And it's acknowledging that God is more important than even our physical needs.

In the Bible, we see examples of people who fasted, and they were faithful even to the point of death, saying, "Lord, I would rather die than knowingly disobey You." They valued that relationship so much. Daniel prayed three times a day. He opened the windows and he prayed, even though he knew there was a death decree for anyone who would pray to the God of Heaven, but he valued that communication with God even more than his life. So that's the principle that we see there in fasting, where we set something aside, where we're saying, "Lord, I'm coming to You. You're more important than even my physical needs." Does that help, John?

- Okay. yes, sir. Is there a time limit that God requires of us to fast?

- No, no, usually what happens is you decide, and you know, it might just be skipping two meals, or a meal, or one or two days. There are different types of fasts. Depends upon the circumstances and the urgency of the prayer. If it is something really important and you're pleading with the Lord, you need an answer, you might want to fast a little bit longer. But those are things that you allow the Holy Spirit to really convict you of. And some people just make it a part of their routine. Once a week they'll fast, skip a couple of meals, or maybe fast for one day and say, "I'm going to set aside this day to turn my attention to the Lord, and to seek His presence in prayer." And that's a good thing. That's something that will benefit us not only physically. Now, maybe not everyone can fast. You might have low blood sugar or a diabetic or something like that. But for most people skipping a few meals is probably a good thing. So there's physical benefits, but of course also spiritual, when we set our focus upon God. All right, well, thanks again, John, for your call, good question. The next caller that we have is Robert in Washington. Robert, welcome to the program.

- [Robert] Yay, I'm the last caller, I guess, huh?

- You might be, yes. And your question tonight?

- [Robert] Acts 17:28. There's this one religion that believes that we were alive before we were born kinda thing. And they were telling me about this one verse that "In Him, we live and move and have our being, as the poet has said."

- Yes. What is he talking about there? Yeah, absolutely.

- [Robert] Can a person use that verse to say that we were before we were?

- No, I don't think so. I mean, the verse is pretty clear. It's just stating that in Him, we live and move and have our being, meaning that God is the One that sustains us and gives us life. Let me give a context. Here we have Paul, and he's talking to a group of philosophers, and they're very superstitious. They had multiple gods that they'd worship, and there was a shrine to the unknown God. So they felt as though they needed to create the shrine to a god that they didn't know, less they offend him. And Paul uses this as an opportunity to present the Gospel. And so he starts on a common ground. He says, "Well, I've come to make known unto you, this unknown God that you have. And he begins to talk about the God of Heaven, the One that created all things. And then he even quotes from their wise men, one of their poets. And he says, and he quotes the phrase, "For in Him we live and move and have our being." Well, that's true with reference to God, and he's building that bridge. He's making that connection, but this is not talking about the people living before they were born. It's just simply stating the reality that our life is because God has given it to us, and He sustains us. In Him, we live, we move, we have our being. We would not be if it was not for Him. So I don't think you can use this verse to support predestined, some sort of preexistence before being born, or even reincarnation after a person dies. That's not what this verse is referring to. It's just stating the reality. So I think that's pretty clear from the context.

- [Robert] We are his offspring, though.

- Yes, He made us. We are created. If God did not create us, we wouldn't be here. The Bible sometimes refers to us as the children of God, or the sons or daughters of God.

- [Robert] So "His offspring" isn't necessarily mean that we were not created. We were created, not the other way around.

- Yeah, it's just stating that we were created, and we owe our existence to God, because He made us. All things come from Him. Friends, we're coming to the end of our radio program, but we will be back for some more Bible questions.

- [Announcer] Thank you for listening to today's broadcast. We hope you understand your Bible even better than before. "Bible Answers Live" is produced by Amazing Facts, International, a faith-based ministry located in Granite Bay, California.

- Hello, friends, welcome back. We have just two minutes left, and we're going to try and take some of the questions that came in via the internet. Some of the email questions that you have sent in, we like to, in the next two minutes, to try and see how many questions we can answer. So here we go. I'm going to just read through these questions, give you an answer. The first question is, "What Bible version do you recommend?" Well, first of all, there are two different categories. You have a paraphrase, and then you have a translation. A paraphrase would be somebody taking maybe an English Bible and then writing the verses in a more contemporary English or whatever language it might be. But it's not necessarily a direct translation from the original languages, which would be Hebrew and Greek. There's a little bit of Aramaic that you find also there in the Book of Daniel. A translation is actually going to the original manuscripts or the copies of the original manuscripts, and then translating from that.

So when it comes to Bible study, especially deep Bible study, you want to make sure that you have a trustworthy translation. I like to use the King James, the New King James, New American Standard version. And there are a number of good translations out there. Just remember that the Bible wasn't written in English. It was written in Hebrew and Greek. And so if you want to really get to a deeper meaning of the Word, find a good concordance, and you can look up the original words there as well, and what they mean.

Another question that came, and it says, "When I pray, am I supposed to pray to God or Jesus, or do I pray to both of them?" Well, Jesus gave an example of prayer. He said, "When you pray, say, "Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name." So we are to direct our prayers to our Heavenly Father, but we pray in the name of Jesus. That's why when we end our prayer, we say, "In Jesus' name." It's through His merits that make our prayers acceptable. We know the Holy Spirit also intercedes and actually brings to our mind the very things that we need to pray for. So we direct our prayers to God the Father in the name of Jesus. And we are praying for the guidance and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Another question that somebody has is, "When is the time of trouble, and how do we prepare for it?" Well, the Bible speaks of a time of trouble. It'll be worse than there has ever been, since the beginning of time. You read that in Daniel 12:1. Well, that's talking about a time period, and the seven last plagues will be poured out, and that's after probation closes. How do we prepare for that? Well, I think we prepare by setting our heart towards God, that full surrender of self to Jesus. And we do that every day. We have to come to God and ask Him to cleanse us, ask for forgiveness. We need not fear because the Bible promises us that if we are Christ, when that time of trouble comes, He will keep us secure and safe. He will protect us, so we can trust in Him.

We need not fear. Friends, thank you for joining us for "Bible Answers Live." Look forward to seeing you next week.

- [Announcer] "Bible Answers Live," honest and accurate answers to your Bible questions.

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