Our Crooked Paths

Scripture:
Date: 01/16/2022 
God would have us take the short and straight way, we would take the rich and easy way, but neither would have the same value for our character. Mercifully He allows the burdens and temptations to "work together for good to them that love God," and our mistakes make our crooked paths, paths of sin and spiritual stagnation. Listen closely as we explore the seriousness of our faith and duty after baptism, and as we understand that perfection does not mean flawlessness.
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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 835-6747. Once again, that's 835-6747. Now here's your host from Amazing Facts International, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

- Hi friends, would you like to hear an amazing fact? On November 20th, 2021, traffic came to a sudden standstill on one of California's busiest freeways after an armored car accidentally spilled several bags of cash across the interstate. Several drivers and passengers slammed on their brakes and jumped out of their vehicles on the busy highway just north of San Diego to grab what they could. When the California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene, they arrested two people and warned some others who could not resist the temptation to grab the money. Videos across social media showed plenty of people scooping up handfuls of cash, mostly ones and twenties. Fortunately, these videos also captured the faces and license plates of the event. The CHP are working with the FBI to identify those who greedily exploited the accident. It's amazing how quickly many honest citizens were overcome by the love of money. You know Pastor Ross, you can't help but wonder what would you do if you're driving down the road and all of a sudden you see yourself surrounded by a sea of bills. Currency.

- Maybe you consider it answer to prayer and get out and grab a bag and start filling up. No, you don't want to do that. But yeah, what a temptation. Of course you can see how the folks are all excited and that's not really their money. I mean, they, they got to turn it in legally, you can't put it in your pocket.

- Exactly. And you know, we've all heard stories about some, you know, very honest citizens that find like a bag of money with no ID and they take it to the police station. And lo and behold, it was some dear old person's savings that had fallen out of the car, whatever. And there are, you know, some honest people out there, fortunately, but you know, the Bible tells us in the last days, "evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse." And you can read in 1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." You know, when a person is converted, not only is their heart converted for spiritual things, but God converts your wallet as well. And one of the ways you know that a person has been born again is just their generosity. They're not controlled by covetousness or greed anymore, and they're willing to share. And they're willing, if they find something that's not theirs, they automatically think, well, this dear person, whoever it is, they lost some money. You know your heart goes out to that poor armored truck driver who forgot to latch the back door and he may have lost his job.

- Right. Right. Well you know, Pastor Doug, we do have a study guide that talks about the Christian and money. And of course, as you mentioned the Bible verse, "the love of money is the root of all evil." And that's so true in our world today. But what does the Bible say about how we can be faithful stewards for the things that God has given us? We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. This is our free offer for this evening. It's a study guide called "In God We Trust?" If you'd like to receive that, the number to call is 835-6747. And you can just ask for offer number 135, or you can ask for the study guide by name, it's called "In God We Trust?" We'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America. If you're watching outside of North America, we know we have people who are tuning in on the various social media networks, so they're watching on a various channel, you can just go to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.org or .com. And you'll be able to enroll in our free Bible school. And you'll actually be studying this lesson. Again, it's called "In God We Trust?" Well, Pastor Doug, maybe it's a good time just to greet those who are joining us. You know we have folks watching on YouTube as mentioned, on social media, and folks listening on the radio. We have people listening on satellite radio. So for those who've always listened to the program, we want to make sure you're aware we are broadcasting and you can see what's happening here in the studio. Just simply go to the Doug Batchelor Facebook page, or the Amazing Facts Facebook page, also on YouTube and on Amazing Facts TV.

- That's right. And you can send your questions in also on the Facebook page as well.

- Okay, well, we're going to get right to our questions. If you have a Bible related question, the number to call here to the studio is 463-7297. Again, that's 463-7297. That'll bring you a call here in the studio. And of course, if you don't get right through, just stay on the phone. One of our operators will get to you as soon as they can. Well before we get the questions, let's start with prayer. Dear Father we thank You that we have this opportunity once again to open up Your Word and study. And Father, as we always do, we want to ask for the Holy Spirit to be with us, be with Pastor Doug and myself here in the studio as we answer these questions. And we pray that You'd be with those who are listening or watching wherever they might be. Father, the purpose of this program of this time is to come to a clear and full understanding of Your Word. For we are reminded of what Jesus said, "They shall know the truth and the truth will set them free."

- Amen.

- Father, keep us clear and bless this program in Jesus name. Amen.

- Amen.

- All right, well, we're going to go to our first caller this evening, we've got Peter listening in Canada. Peter, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

- [Peter] I'm so happy to talk to you, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. I've been listening to your messages for a while, I'm like still a teenager so I really love the messages and thank God for your work.

- Well, thank you for calling and your question tonight?

- [Peter] Okay so I've been, you know, with your new summit, that Amazing Facts is doing, you know, talking about evolution?

- Mm hmm.

- [Peter] I like science, I like studying science. And I like to see the studies of like NASA and those discovering life in other planets. But like if they were to discover life in another planet, what would that mean for the Bible?

- All right, so if they were to discover life on another planet, would that impact the Bible or contradict the teachings of the Bible in some way? No, because I believe the Bible tells us that God does have life on other planets. I'm sure, Peter, you've been tracking, if you like space and exploration, that recently, I think in the end of 2021, they launched the James Webb Telescope, which is like a hundred times more powerful than the Hubble. And it will be very exciting to see. It looks like it's fully deployed now and they're doing some calibrating. Should be getting some incredible pictures from that telescope in, oh, I think about six months they said, but I'm probably as interested as anybody. I'm fascinated with astronomy and the cosmos that God made. Everything the Bible says, you know, the Lord made the heaven and the Earth, He made the stars, He made it all. And I don't think the Bible teaches the only life is here on Earth. I believe the scriptures say that Christ made the world. Is that Hebrews chapter?

- Hebrews chapter one. And it's actually the verse you're referring to there is Hebrews 1:2.

- Yeah and Colossians, it tells about other life and Revelation talks about the creatures in heaven that praise the Lord. So we believe there is life on other planet. I'm not, you know, I'm not too sure that they're going to find life on Mars or in our solar system, just because it seems like it's such a stark environment out there, but I'm sure there is life. The life on other planets does not communicate with us here on Earth, other than angels and God, because we've got this disease of sin. So you might say we're sort of quarantined, but I think once we're saved and in the new kingdom, we're going to, as it says in that song, "Rock of Ages," "We'll soar to worlds unknown."

- You know, Pastor Doug, we got that story in the book of Job. It talks about a gathering of the sons of God. And we know that this didn't happen on Earth because Satan came as a representative of the Earth.

- That's right.

- So it seems, at least from that verse that there are these other intelligent beings from other worlds called the sons of God here in that passage. So yeah, there are intelligent beings other than angels that God created in the universe. Great question, Peter. Next caller that we have is Anthony listening in New York. Anthony, welcome to the program.

- [Anthony] Good evening, pastors. My question, the best verse I can find to base it on is Exodus 25:40. And it says, "And look that thou," and this is God talking to Abraham, "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the Mount." And my understanding is that's talking about the heavenly, the Earthly sanctuary being made after the pattern of the heavenly sanctuary. So my question is, I know that the Earthly sanctuary only came into play, or the whole sacrificial system came into play, only after Adam and Eve sinned. But does that also mean that there was really no need for heavenly sanctuary if it was only for the atonement for sin until after Adam and Eve sinned? Was that, was the heavenly sanctuary, also established with the plan of salvation?

- Yeah, well, you know, there's some, there's some mystery to that because when you talk about the sanctuary, you're talking about the dwelling place of God. The dwelling place of God, or wherever the capital of the universe is, has existed, you know, through eternity, as far as we're concerned. It was mobilized for the purpose of saving the human race, these creatures made in God's image, or was developed, I should say, probably, was it Revelation says, "The lamb slain from the foundation of the world." And there's other verses that talk about the plan of salvation that, you know, God knew that this would happen back in eternity. But it wasn't really activated with the blood of Christ until Jesus died on the cross. But the pattern that God gave Moses on the mountain is patterned after a much bigger center of God's throne in heaven. Let me give you an example. You probably heard of matchbox cars. They're just like little microcosms of big cars. In the Earthly sanctuary, you've got two golden angels on top of this box. Well, those angels are real angels you read about in like Isaiah 6, and then you have the wallpaper was with angels on it in the Holy of Holies. But they're going to be real angels surrounding the throne of God in heaven. And instead of it being 20 feet across, it's going to be, you know, maybe 20 light years across. I don't know, but it's a much bigger reality than the model that God gave to Moses. So yeah, I think it is very real. It wasn't, clearly when God first established His throne, God, wasn't doing it where they were, you know, there was sacrifice going on in the heavenly temple. It was used for that after the sacrifice of Christ.

- Yeah. It seems like, as you mentioned, Pastor Doug, there was maybe a remodeling of the heavenly throne room because of sin and the focus there needs to redeem mankind. What is interesting, after the 1,000 years, you read about in Revelation 21. The New Jerusalem comes down, the Earth is recreated, describes the New Jerusalem. And when sin and sinners are no more, then John in Revelation 21:22 says, talking about the New Jerusalem, "And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord, God Almighty and the lamb or the temple of it." It's as if the purpose of the sanctuary, they heavenly sanctuary has met its fulfillment, because sin and sinners are no more, the righteous are redeemed, forever reunited with God. It doesn't mean that, you know, the dwelling place of God disappears. No, but the function of the temple, the work of the temple has met its fulfillment. And that's at the end of the thousand years after all things are made new.

- Absolutely.

- You know, we do have a study guide that talks about the sanctuary and the heavenly sanction. It's called "God Drew the Plans." And it talks about this work of redemption and how that's playing out in heaven, as well as on the Earth. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. One of the Amazing Facts study guides, just call and ask 835-6747. And again, you can ask for the study guide, it's "God Drew the Plans." And it's all about the sanctuary as revealing the work of redemption. Thanks for your call, Anthony. We've got Rose listening from New York. Rose, welcome to the program.

- [Rose] Good evening, pastors.

- Evening.

- [Rose] The number 40 is mentioned quite a bit in the Bible. For example, it rained 40 days and 40 nights during the flood, Jesus fasted 40 days and nights, Elijah traveled to Mt. Sinai for 40 days. So my question is, what is the significance of the number 40?

- All right. Very good. You know, as near as we can tell, the number 40 represents a generation and it it's often a time of testing. For example, when Jesus went in the wilderness, that was a time of testing. When the children of Israel went through the wilderness for 40 years, that was a time of testing. When the 12 spies explored the Promised Land for 40 years, it was a time of testing. And Elijah.

- You mean 40 days.

- 40 Days, sorry. Yeah. And when Elijah went 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Sinai, so it was symbolic of a generation. When it's years, it's 40 years is a generation. We had a question that came in yesterday about why the blood of the slaughter that you see in Revelation, it runs 1,600 furlongs, which is 40 times 40. And that was interesting. It's like the final judgment on the wicked.

- And you know, Pastor Doug, something else about 40 is you've got three individuals that appear together in the New Testament, Jesus, on the Mount of Transfiguration, and they appeared with him, Moses and Elijah. And it's interesting, Jesus fasted for 40 days, Moses didn't eat for 40 days when he was on the Mount receiving the Ten Commandments, he was supernaturally sustained by God, and Elijah was given angel food. You remember that story? And then he went in the strength of that meal for 40 days without food. So you got Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, all of which went without food for 40 days and there together on the Mount of Transfiguration. So it's kind of interesting, again, 40 is a time of testing.

- Yeah.

- Purifying.

- So I hope that helps a little bit Rose, but you're absolutely right. And I think, Pastor Ross, we have a website called Bible Prophecy truth. And at that website there is a list of Bible numbers and their meanings.

- That's right, and of course 40 is just one of some other very significant Bible numbers. So take a look at that. Just go to the website called Prophecy Truth?

- Bible Prophecy Truth.

- Bible prophecy, yeah. Bible Prophecy Truth. And that's not just the numbers there, but I think the symbols, Bible symbols, are also on the website and a lot of additional resources. Next caller that we have is Hannah listening from Louisiana. Hannah, welcome to the program.

- [Hanna] Yes, I'm right here. For background, I'm a 16-year-old teenager growing in the Word. I'm not as knowledgeable as probably some of the other people who called in earlier. But anyway, I'm very interested in baptism and I've been a Christian for quite a while. And I know bits and pieces of the Bible, I've read devotions for quite a long time. And my dad has really instilled me in getting more involved in the church, like learning more about His truths. And I've been watching more Amazing Facts with Doug Batchelor's programs. And I heard his testimony recently, too. It's very interesting. And that brings me to the fact that I really want to get baptized. I really want to get into God's family. And so one day I could be one of the 144,000. So my question is, what does God expect of me after baptism?

- Oh, great. Yeah, we appreciate your question. Well, first of all, it's wonderful that you're wanting to make that decision and consecrate yourself. You not only want water baptism, you want spirit baptism. Jesus said, "Unless you're born of the water and the spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." So you need both. But the promise is that if you receive Him, to those that received Him to them, He gives power. That power is the power of the person, of the Holy Spirit in your life. To them He gives power to become sons and daughters of God. And so when you receive Him, He brings His Spirit into your life. You want to then continue bathing in that Spirit, just like, you know, any average person, you don't just bathe once. You want to continue to bathe in the Spirit, read the Word. For a baby to grow, you need to do three things. Baby's got to eat. The baby needs to breathe and the baby needs to exercise. And if a baby is, you know, eating and drinking, if it's exercising and breathing, it will grow. If you are feeding on God's Word, if you are breathing in prayer, and if you are sharing your faith with others, you will grow. And so do what you can to learn more about studying the Bible. If you want to take the Amazing Facts Bible study course, that's a great place to start. Spend regular time in prayer, just consecrated prayer, and then talk to God through the day in your prayers, and then look for opportunities to share what Jesus has done for you. And you will grow in your faith and He'll reveal what His plan is for your life.

- Absolutely. Well, you know, we do have a study guide, and maybe you're aware of this, Hannah, or for anyone wanting to learn more about Bible baptism. What does the Bible say? One of our study guides is called, "Purity and Power" and it's about baptism. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "except your born of water and of the spirit." So we want to have water baptism, but we also want to be baptized by the Spirit. And this study guide will tell you more about that. If you'd like to receive it, the number to call is 835-6747. It's free. Just ask for the study guide on baptism. It's called "Purity and Power." We'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America. We've got Brett listening in Atlanta, Georgia. Brett, welcome to the program.

- [Brett] Yeah, my question kind of relates to Job 1. And when Satan goes, where he goes to meet God with the elders, who are the elders? Who are the sons of God in that?

- Yeah, well, you know, that came up a little bit earlier in another question, but it appears that when you look in Luke 3, and it talks about, you know, Enos was the son of Seth, who is the son of Adam, who was the son of God. Adam, who was the leader of this world, was referred to as a son of God. And God probably has leaders of other worlds. And these 24 elders around the throne, they could have been some of the representatives of other world or other galaxies, I don't know, but some other celestial leaders that God has in His council. And, you know, it seems to indicate that some of the ancient Israeli Kings had like 12 judges. In America, I think we've got nine justices, but they like had 12 judges that would assist the king. And, you know, maybe that tradition came from what's going on in heaven. But Pastor Ross, any thoughts on that? We do have a book on that.

- Yeah that's what I'm looking for, I was going to ask you, if it's called, "Who are the Sons of God?"

- Yeah, "Alien, Angel, or Adopted: Who are the Sons of God?"

- Okay, and of course that'll get into both what you're talking about in Job, and then also Revelation 4, where you talk about the 24 elders. It's really a great study. Well thanks for your call, Brett. We've got Caleb listening in New York. Caleb, welcome to the program.

- [Caleb] Yes, I have a question. I need to learn like how to fast. Is there like a sermon you have on fasting and how to pray? And my second question is, does fasting and prayer help you have a stronger faith and stronger like relationship with God because you know, I just feel lately, I haven't been feeling, you know, I have a good relationship with God lately, so I just need to know does fasting help?

- Yes. Well, Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew, and I think it may be chapter six, Pastor Ross, when He said, when you fast. He doesn't say if you fast. He said when you fast, be not like the hypocrites. Of course, Jesus said, and when you pray, He didn't say, "if" you pray, He said "when" you pray, meaning it was thoroughly understood that they would be praying. And when He talked about fasting, He said, "when" you fast, He didn't say "if" you fast. Fasting and prayer, and then also when John the Baptist came to Jesus' disciples and said, how come your disciples don't fast? Jesus said, well, when the bride groom's taken away, they will fast. So Christ always understood that prayer, and times of fasting and prayer, is part of the Christian discipline for a couple of reasons. Well, several. One, there are certain health benefits in fasting occasionally, and that's been proven by science. That it's just good for your metabolism to sometimes abstain and let your digestive system recover rather than it being, you know, constantly under a burden of processing food. So there's health benefit. There is self-discipline benefit. Whenever you deny yourself something that the flesh wants, it actually, it strengthens your resolve to deny yourself. And it's not a bad practice for us to self discipline. And then the third reason is when you go a day or so without eating food, or eating very carefully, your mind clears up a little bit, because some of the energy that normally goes to digestion is now available for your thinking. And it actually can, you know, increase your spiritual reception. So a lot of people who fast say, I just sense the presence of God more. You're basically saying Lord, I'm denying the flesh because I want to strengthen the spirit. Now I do have a sermon that you will find online and it's, you just type into Google, Doug Batchelor when you fast or Doug Batchelor fasting. And I'm sure there are many other pastors that have good messages on that as well. But you're on the right track, Caleb. Seek after God with fasting and prayer, you may not be able to go, you know, a whole day without eating. If you've not done it before, you may just start and say, I'm only going to do one meal today, or skip the food and just, you know, drink some fruit juice to keep your blood sugar up. There's several different ways to fast. And you'll hear more about that in the message.

- Okay, thanks for your call, Caleb. We've got Martin, Marty, listening from New York. Marty, welcome to the program.

- [Marty] Hi pastors, God bless you. And my question is this. What happens to a Christian between the time they die and the time Lord Jesus comes back?

- Well for a believer, when they die, their next conscious thought is the resurrection. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4, that "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ will rise." And Jesus said that they will live again in the last day. And there it is on the screen. "The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds." So if a believer dies, they've got no consciousness of time, but life goes on here on Earth until the resurrection, the resurrection has not happened yet. It is a future event. Jesus, I think, oh, three times in John 6, and Pastor Ross might find some of those where Jesus said, I will raise him up the last day, I will raise him up the last day. They'll be raised up the last day. Sometimes known as the Day of the Lord. It's the second coming. And so for those who are believers that die, there's no awareness of time for them. The next thing they know is absent from the body, they're present with the Lord. They're caught up. They see God come. They're raised with a glorified body. The Bible says it's like a moment, the twinkling of an eye. But as far as us here on Earth, we still live in time. It hasn't happened yet. So some people are confused. They'll walk around, they'll say well so and so's in heaven now. Well, as far as they're concerned, they're going to be there next thing they know, but it hasn't happened yet for us, because we still live in time and Jesus hasn't come.

- In other words, the Bible describes then death as a sleep, an unconscious sleep. The very next thing, you know, the second coming of Christ and you're resurrected, but you're not in heaven at the moment.

- Right.

- Yeah, while life is going on on Earth as normal.

- And there's a really good verse in the 1 Corinthians 15, when it tells us that, you know, when we die, that we're not aware of anything until the Lord comes. And it tells us that the, a resurrected come back to life when the Lord returns. And you'll find that in 1 Corinthians 15.

- You know, we do have a book talking about, well, what happens in a person dies. And it's called "Are the Dead Really Dead?" And it looks at these different Bible teachings and different scriptures on this. Yeah, Pastor Doug, there's a lot of confusion out there in the world today about the dead. Sometimes people believe well, the, the person is asleep, so to speak, they're unconscious sleep, waiting for the resurrection. Others believe that you receive your reward immediately and you're in heaven or, if you're a bad person, you're burning in hell. Well that's what the Bible teaches. Yes, there is a heaven and there is a final destruction of the wicked in hellfire, but that hasn't happened yet.

- [Doug] Right.

- So Jesus says when He comes He'll bring His reward with Him to give to every man, according to his works, through Revelation 22. And of course He hasn't come yet, so people have not received the reward.

- Exactly.

- The reward would be eternal life for the righteous and eternal death for the wicked. Well thanks to your call, Marty, we appreciate that. You know, Pastor Doug, we've got, it looks like 20 seconds before we're going to take our break. So friends, don't go away. We're just going to take a quick break here in the studio and be back with more of your Bible questions. If you have a question, the number to call is 463-7297. That'll bring you right in here to the program. So just after a few moments, some important announcements, and then we'll be back for more "Bible Answers Live." So don't go far, we'll be right back.

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- Welcome back listening friends, to "Bible Answers Live." And if you've tuned in along the way, this is a live international interactive Bible study, where we are taking your questions and we're going to be on the air for about another 28 minutes. And if you want to call in with a question, the number is GOD-SAYS. That's 463-7297. You can also watch what's happening on Facebook. It's on the Doug Batchelor Facebook page or the Amazing Facts Facebook page or YouTube. And we are broadcasting on television on AF TV. That's the Amazing Facts television channel. My name is Doug Batchelor.

- My name is Jean Ross and we have Cynthia that is listening in Mississippi. Cynthia, welcome to the program.

- [Cynthia] God bless both of you. I have someone very dear to me that took their own life.

- Mm.

- [Cynthia] And I am wondering, I've discussed this with my preacher, and quite a few other preachers, and I can't seem to get a direct answer. I guess what I'm wanting to know is, are they in heaven or will they stay in hell? Are they in hell and will I ever see them in heaven?

- All right, good question. I'll try and give you a direct answer on one aspect that you ask there. Are they in hell? No, nobody is in hell yet. Nobody is in the lake of fire. That doesn't happen until after the Second Coming, and you read that in Revelation 20. So, every grave that says RIP, rest in peace, the dead are sleeping until the resurrection. And Jesus said, "the hour is coming," it's future. This is John chapter, is it five? "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth. They that have done good, the resurrection of life. They that have done evil, the resurrection of condemnation." So they're not experiencing any reward right now. Will they be in heaven? Well, you know, we have to be very careful not to judge, but I'll be honest with you that in most cases, not in all cases, but in most cases, when a person takes their own life, it's because they've reached a point of hopelessness and they've lost faith. And faith is crucial to salvation. You know it is true that the Bible says that we shall not murder. And that of course would include yourself. And part of the reason I say this, Cynthia, there are people listening right now that contemplate suicide. And I want to discourage them from doing that. Now there are some exceptions. You have some people, I did a funeral for a young lady that, she was a Christian, became very discouraged. There may have been some chemical imbalance. Took some pills, after she'd took the pills she called 911 and said, I don't know what I was thinking, I took all these pills. And they rushed her to emergency and tried to save her. And she was conscious when they first got there, but she slipped under and she died. And so the family was saying, you know, what are the chances? I said, well, you know, she was probably praying and asking for help before this happened. So I know people, I think Pastor Ross does too, that they're suffering so much from some terminal illness that they're just not themselves. And they might take their own life. That doesn't mean that their whole life of serving God is going to be forgotten because of those closing hours of, you know, incoherency or pain. So you have to be very careful to say, well, we know what happened to a person, because only God knows their hearts. Now that may sound like other answers you've had, Cynthia, that are meandering back and forth. But I hope that made sense.

- You know, we do have a book it's called "Choosing Life." Cause we do get this question, have people call in and ask, and it's an important subject. So just recently, Pastor Doug, you finished the book it's called "Choosing Life." And it talks about what do you do if a loved one or family member or somebody you might know is contemplating suicide. How do we encourage them and point them in the right direction? We'll be happy to send that book out to anyone who calls and asks. It's a new book, so you need to ask for it. It's called "Choosing Life." And the number to call is 835-6747. And you can ask for the new book called "Choosing Life" and we'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America. Thank you again for your call, Cynthia. We've got Stephen listening in Canada, Stephen, you're on the air.

- [Stephen] Oh hello, Pastor Doug and Pastor Jean Ross. Thanks for having me.

- Ah, yes.

- [Stephen] So my question, it's, um, it's a little complex. Hopefully I'll be able to put this out simply. The word regarding perfection. So it says we see in Job, that it says Job was a perfect, you know upright man, I guess the word is they're blameless, and it says same thing about Noah, perfect or blameless. And it says regarding 144,000, they're blameless the people that wash their robes, they're blameless before the throne of God. Obviously Jesus was the ultimate of perfection. He was sinless, our Lord and Savior. I've listened to like your sermons, Pastor Doug, about like how perfect must a Christian be. I remember you, I can't remember you said something about, I don't believe in perfection in this sense, but I do, anyways. I won't speak too much more. Just the word perfection. What does, how perfect should a Christian be and what does that relate to in the Bible? Cause even God said, "come before me Abraham and be perfect." Like that word, perfection, all these different contexts I see in the Bible and stuff.

- Oh, that's good. Yeah, good question. It's a practical question. And I'm really thankful for the stories in the Bible because the Lord, you just highlighted Abraham and others, who were declared perfect. And then you see, while God looked upon them as consistently serving Him, you know, Abraham, he goes to Egypt and lies and says, Sarah's really his sister, because he's afraid. And then he gets talked into taking his concubine as a wife. The Bible tells us about Zechariah and Elizabeth in the New Testament and it says they were perfect, walking in all the commandments of the Lord. Right after it says they were perfect, he's struck dumb for his lack of faith. And so being perfect biblically doesn't mean you that you're flawless. And that's where I think some people get discouraged because, especially young people, they think, oh man, I've got to be flawless. I've got to be some kind of a biblical Saint before I can be saved. And then you read and you find out that, you know, there'll be people in heaven like Peter, who, you know, made some big mistakes. And Paul and Moses who, you know, they, God filled Elijah with the Holy Spirit. And he prayed in fire and rain came down from heaven. And a little while later he said, "oh Lord, take my life." He got discouraged and he ran. But Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot. So these are people who had surrendered themselves to the Lord, they were committed to serving God, but you do see that they were very human. Now as a Christian, our example is a perfect example. That's a Jesus. So we should always strive to be Christlike. Chances are we're going to stumble and fall along the way. But you never make excuses for sin because we're longing and loving holiness. That's the key to happiness. Now I hope that made sense.

- [Stephen] Thank you.

- Yeah, if I had to be a stainless steel, sterile robot who never did anything wrong or felt any temptation, then there'd be no hope for me, but I can live with Christian joy and assurance because I believe that God begins at work in me. And as I cooperate with Him, He is working out His salvation in me.

- All right, excellent. Thank you, Steven, for your call. We've got Grace listening from New Jersey. Grace, welcome to the program.

- [Grace] Yes, hi Pastor Ross, hi Pastor Doug. It's a blessing to speak to you.

- Likewise.

- [Grace] Yes, I have a question. Let me get the verse. It's Revelation 22:15. "But outside there are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers, idolaters, and whoever loves and practice a lie."

- Yeah.

- [Grace] My question is I listen to your 10 Commandments, you know, the summer you had the series?

- Mm hmm.

- [Grace] And I remember you mentioning also about the dogs and idolaters, they belong outside. And my question here is because I see people have dogs inside the house and some people call them children. And this is my baby. And I don't know how to address that issue.

- Okay. That great. Now first of all, in Revelation, when it says for outside dogs, dogs is a term that was used for people that were just carnally minded that had turned from God. It's not talking about Fido. It's not talking about canine animals. Paul talks in Philippians, I think he says, "Beware of the dogs" and he's talking, and that's yeah, "Beware of dogs and evil workers," Philippians 3:2. Two animals that were scavengers that are often referred to by the children of Israel, were pigs and dogs. You're not supposed to eat either one. That God, you know, dogs are scavengers. Dogs, it says they ate Jezebel. So a dog was considered an unclean animal, but people had dogs even in the Bible as pets, because you can remember when a woman came to Jesus and said, "Will you please heal my daughter?" And Jesus said, "It's not appropriate to take the children's food and give it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the children's tables." Now that must be a household dog if they're doing that. So there's no sin against owning a dog. And some people are lonely. I would agree that in some cases, people go a little far and they kind of treat their dogs with more love than they do humans. And I went to Hong Kong and people buy fur coats for their dogs and walk them up and down the street with golden collars, and you know, it just gets really carried away. But no, there's no sin in having a pet, but a dog is, in its wild state, is considered a scavenger and that's why it talks about the dogs outside the New Jerusalem.

- And of course, back in Bible times, the Jew considered all other people unclean and even refer to them as being dogs. Referring to the unbelievers. And in the prophetic sense, when you're reading Revelation, it's talking about dogs are outside the city. It's talking about those who are unbelieving. Those who have rejected the grace of God. It's just a symbol.

- And even Goliath said to David, "Am I a dog that you're coming to me with a stick?" It was considered like a low animal. So yeah, but there's no sin in having a dog as a pet. Some people have pigs as pets and that's where I draw the line.

- Okay. All right, thanks. We got David who's listening in California. David, welcome to the program.

- [David] Okay, so I know loved ones and friends that are part of congregations where false doctrine is being preached. Would it be wrong to tell them to come out of those congregations where false doctrine is being taught? And that's a reference according to Revelation 18:4.

- Okay, let's read Revelation 18:4. And it says here, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven,'" this is verse five, "and God has remembered her iniquities." Yeah, certainly it's dangerous when a person is sitting under false teaching. Now there's scarcely a church out there that can say our teachings are perfect. And I know as a pastor I've said things in church and I preach things and years later I thought, oh Lord, maybe I was wrong on that. And you know, you, you have to realize that preachers are not, they don't claim to be all knowing. So it's one thing to say, you know, a preacher made a mistake in something, or there's some doctrines that, you know, there might be some freedom of disagreement on. But on the fundamentals, if a church is teaching something that undermines one of the fundamentals of Christianity regarding salvation and being a Christian, then it's not healthy for a person to stay under that teaching. If you've got friends or family that are in that category, you ought to study with them and show them what the particular issues are. You can't just say you got to come out of that church, because they're teaching heresy. Study, show them, they've got to see it for themselves so they can make their own decisions in the future based on the Word, not on your word. So I hope that helps, David. We would take a second question, but we see several people are lined up. So I appreciate your understanding.

- We've got Kevin listening in Maryland. Kevin, welcome to the program.

- [Kevin] Thank you, pastors. Tonight I was curious on how do we reconcile that if the Sabbath was set up at a time when the seventh day was based on the lunar calendar, how do we now reconcile that being locked in with the Gregorian calendar?

- Well, a change of the calendar doesn't change the weekly cycle. So why it is true that the Jews operated with a lunar calendar, they had approximately 360 days in their year. Some people are thinking, well, wouldn't that throw you off after a few years? Yes, but they knew that. And then they would add a month, I think it was every 12 or 13 years. They added a month to reconcile the seasons once again. But that doesn't affect the weekly cycle. The weekly cycle is simply a series of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. People get confused because they see the days of the week printed on the calendar with the month. And they think if you change the calendar, it changes the weekly cycle. No matter what you do to the calendar, whether it's a solar or a lunar calendar, the days beginning at Creation to the present have gone in a sequence of one through seven, one through seven, one through seven. There is nothing in history that shows that any change of the calendar has affected the weekly cycle that the Jews observed. So I hope that helps a little bit, Kevin, I appreciate that. You know, we've got a, I think there's a book that I hope we have it in our library. If not, you'll find it online. Our friend, Steve Wohlberg wrote a book on lunar Sabbaths. And if you type in Steve Wohlberg lunar Sabbaths, you might find that. And he goes into the Sabbath and the lunar calendar in that book.

- All right, next caller that we have is Rhonda listening from Tennessee. Rhonda, welcome to the program.

- [Rhonda] Thank you, good evening. My question tonight is on Ezekiel 36:26-27. And this is an experience that I have been praying for and longing for in my life for some time, but I just don't see a change and I'm still struggling with the same old sin. I'm the same old person. And so I'm wondering why, and if I'm doing something wrong or what could be the cause?

- Well, let me read the verse for our friends who are listening. It says in verse, I'll start with verse 25. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; and I will cleanse you from all of your filthiness and all of your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I'll take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I'll put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them." Now that is basically describing the new covenant. This is the Ezekiel version. There's also a Jeremiah version, where He talks about writing His law in our hearts. And I think that's what you're describing here, Rhonda, is that you you're looking for that new birth experience. Do not be discouraged if you pray for that and you strive for that and it seems like you haven't found it right away.

I was just this week, listening to some great quotes by some preachers. Matter of fact, the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, struggled with his own salvation when he was a young man. He kept thinking he'd pray and he'd fall and he'd pray and he'd fall. And he thought I'm never going to have the new birth experience. And he walked into a little church on a rainy day and this country preacher was preaching from the verse in Isaiah that said in chapter, I believe it's chapter 42 or 45:22. "Look unto me all the ends of the Earth and be saved." And continue to look at Jesus and believe that He saves you. We do not do the good things to be saved, but as we trust in His keeping His promise, His salvation, we then do the good things because we believe He has saved us. And so if you don't start right, and you're thinking about salvation, you're going to really believe it's your work that does it. It's His work that does it for you. And so keep thanking Him and trusting that in His mercy. Keep looking to Him. You know, Christ said to Nicodemus, you've got to be born again. And then Jesus said in John 3:15, "As Moses lifted up the serpent, even so the son of man must be lifted up."

You remember the people were bitten by the serpents and they looked at this bronze serpent on a pole and they were healed. They looked and they lived. It's so simple. You look at Jesus on the cross for your sins, believe that He's there to forgive you. He says that He makes us His sons and His daughters. You accept that. It should give you a peace and then because we love Him, we will want to obey Him. And as you continue to claim that promise, His Spirit will grow and swell in your heart. If it doesn't happen, keep, keep believing, keep striving, keep praying and it will happen. You seek Him with all your heart. The promise is Jeremiah 29:13, "You will search for Me and you'll find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

- You know, we've got a book, Pastor Doug, one that I like to share. It's a great book. It's called "Three Steps to Heaven." And it talks about growing in grace, the experience of, well, experiencing that new heart that's promised in the Bible. We'll be happy to send this book to anyone who asks. The number to call is 835-6747. And you can ask for the book, it's called "Three Steps to Heaven." We'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America. If you're outside of North America, just go to the Amazing Facts website and you'll be able to read it online at our free library. They're at amazingfacts.com or amazingfacts.org. We've got Deb listening in Texas. Deb, welcome to the program.

- [Deb] Hi, thank you pastors, good evening. My question is this. If God and Yeshua are one and the same then how is it that the son doesn't know the day or the hour of the end of times?

- Yeah, in Matthew 24, when Jesus is talking about His return, He said, "but of that day and that hour knows no man, but the Father only, not even the Son." And maybe He told the disciples that also so that they wouldn't be prodding Him to say exactly what is the date. But I believe when Jesus was on Earth, He didn't know the date because Christ laid aside a lot of His divine knowledge when He walked on Earth among men. And so God, He lived by faith that God would reveal, His Father would reveal to Him what He needed to know at the time He needed to know. You can be quite certain that Jesus does know the day and the hour of His coming now. He is, you know, at the right hand of the Father. I'm sure if Jesus were to say Father, what's the date? God's not going to cover a piece of paper with His hand and say, I can't tell You it's a secret. It's just while He was on Earth. The Bible tells us in, is it Philippians that He made Himself with no reputation taking the form of a man? Or is that Colossians? And yeah, He laid aside His divinity. And that's why He didn't know at that time. So Deb, does that make sense?

- [Deb] Yes, you've cleared it up for me. I understand now He does know.

- Well, thank you, praise the Lord.

- [Deb] Thank you so much, pastors.

- All right. You have a good evening.

- All right, next caller that we have is Andre in Canada. Andre, welcome to the program.

- [Andre] So, my question, in the beginning God created two person. and I am assuming that they were of the same race. So do you guys have any explanation why we have so many different races today?

- Yeah, I don't think it's really complicated. First of all, yes, there was one race and Bible tells us in the book of Acts, "God has made of one blood all nations." And the fact is it doesn't matter whether you are Asian or Aborigony or African or American Indian. Some people have got O-positive blood and some people have B-positive blood and the various blood types. And if I have a car accident and I need a transfusion, the race of the person won't make any difference. What they're going to look at is the blood type. And the reason that you've got different races is because as people begin to migrate around the world, following the Tower of Babel, it's just a law of genetics. That different people in different environments when they're marrying within a certain gene pool, that different traits will become more dominant. And you can see this and forgive me for making the comparison, But I believe that God originally made two dogs, two probably wolf-like dogs, and look at all the different varieties of dogs, every shape and color and size and no hair, lots of hair, teeny tiny, huge. They all come from the same dogs, but through isolation in their breeding, you get all these different varieties. So God, He built just a wonderful bouquet of potential into these creatures so that you can have all different varieties that rise out of the genes. And that's why you've got all these different races. They were isolated and different traits became more dominant as they married. Hope that helps a little bit, Andre. Does that make sense?

- [Andre] Yes, thank you.

- All right. Thanks so much.

- All right, next caller that we have is James listening in Georgia. James, welcome to the program, we have just about two minutes.

- [James] Yes. Hi.

- Hi.

- [James] I, I, I grew up in a really big church. I'm not going to name the religion, but they baptize you when you're a baby. And I don't believe that was really valid, according to everything that I read in the Bible. And so I, I have a health issue and I said, God, I want to turn my life over to You. I repent of my sins and I want to ask You to come into my heart. I, I, I still become water baptized, but I think I'm already spiritually baptized. I wanted to ask about that.

- All right, well, let me talk to you about that real quick. We just have a few minutes left or a few seconds actually. Please go to the Amazing Facts website, take the free Amazing Facts Bible study course. We have one lesson that is specifically on baptism. You can read that for free, even right now at our website. And it's talk about "Power in Purity.".

- "Power in Purity," yes.

- And it'll tell you about the importance of water baptism, that is biblical, but you need both. You need to be born of the water, born of the Spirit. And it'll also guide you in the choice of a church where you can be a 100% absolutely committed Christian. I can just hear the Holy Spirit is working in your heart, Matthew, and I'm hoping that you're going to follow through with this decision. God is guiding you. And you know what? If we didn't answer your whole question this week, give us another chance next week. You've been trying so long, just call early and we'll get you on the program. Friends, we have run out of time for tonight's broadcast. We hope that you'll go to the Amazing Facts website and use our resources, amazingfacts.org. And we'll look forward to hearing from you. God bless.

- [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.

- For our friends who have stayed by, we're going to take some of your Bible questions that you have emailed to us. And we have about two minutes, Pastor Doug, so we want to get as many of these questions in as possible.

- Okay.

- So here we go. The first question is divorce always considered a sin or are there exceptions, and if so, what are they?

- Well, usually all divorce, somebody sinned. But it's possible for a person to be what you would call an innocent party. If one spouse violates the marriage vows through adultery, they're guilty, but the other person has a right to divorce at that point. Doesn't mean they have to, but that's one grounds for divorce. And then in 1 Corinthians 7, it talks about when two pagans, one of them becomes a Christian, that the unbeliever may choose to divorce and leave. The believer may not have any choice in those cases. So that would be one example.

- Okay, another question that we have, it says what countries still need to be reached with God's truth?

- Well, the gospel is going into all the world now through the internet and various forms of media, but some places, what they call the 10/40 window, you know, especially in the Middle East, some of these Islamic countries, the gospel, it's still not freely proclaimed there. And now it's even getting hard to reach people in Europe, it's becoming very secular. So you can't say that everyone's had a chance yet.

- Okay, another question we have, it's what is the best way to handle a very difficult loved one or individual who does not believe?

- Yeah, that's one of the ways we develop character is by showing love to those who sometimes can be difficult. Pray that God gives you patience and wisdom and pray for them. Share information, if they're willing to look at the information. And ask God to help you be a good example to them. And it might be God growing you as you try to love them.

- All right, another question. Is Omnicron the third plague?

- The third plague of Revelation? No, I don't think so. Matter of fact, from what I'm hearing, Omnicron is very virulent, but it's not very deadly. It is spreading, but the death ratio is much smaller. The plagues that you see in Revelation, there's not going to be any doubt about what those plagues are.

- And of course those plagues don't fall until after probation closes.

- Yeah and we haven't had the blood and the water yet, so, okay.

- All right, well Pastor Doug again, I don't think we have time to take any more questions, but we want to thank those for tuning in, those who stayed by. If we didn't get to your question, make sure that you tune next week, you can email or text a question to us and we'll try to answer as many questions as we can.

- Absolutely. God bless friends. Thank you again for tuning in. And if you are blessed by these programs, let us know. You can go to the website and donate to keep us on the air. Amazingfacts.org. God bless.

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

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