The Silence Is Telling

Date: 09/25/2022 
As the disciples gathered to pray, "they were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls." The Gospel needed to be carried to all the world, (AA, 37). We must all have this burden, and we must all ask ourselves if we are truly investing in the salvation of souls, for "in calling God our Father, we recognize all His children as our brethren," (Pr, 245). Then, are we silent, hoarding, asleep ? Are we joyful and feeling urged to share the good news of grace ? The Lord is waiting on us.
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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 Doug Batchelor.

- Hello, friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? An anechoic chamber is a very carefully insulated room designed to eliminate all sound. Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota has built what is listed as the quietest place on Earth, a chamber so quiet that the longest anybody has been able to bear it is 45 minutes. It's 99.99% sound absorbent, and it holds a Guinness World Record for the world's quietest place. The inside of the small room is lined on all six sides with deep fiberglass wedges, a double wall of insulated steel, and one-foot-thick reinforced concrete. Inside the room, it's so silent that background noise is actually measured in negative decibels. It is so quiet you'll hear your heart beating, your stomach gurgling, I hear that anyway sometimes, and your bone's grinding. But the room isn't just for torturing people. Companies rent the room to test their products and to find out just how loud they really are. Even NASA has sent astronauts there to help them experience the absolute silence of space. You know, Pastor Ross, sometimes when you live in the city and there's all this background noise, you long to find a place where you can have a little bit of peace and quiet.

- Mm-hmm, even if you get out of the busyness of the city and you go to the country, you find a quieter place, but you still hear the wind blowing. You hear the chirping of the birds and so on. But a place where there is absolute silence, you can understand why somebody can only be in there for 45 minutes. We're not used to that kind of silence.

- Yeah, they used to call them, I think, isolation chambers where it would kind of isolate you and separate you from all sound. For some reason that sounds attractive to me. Just some people, when it's totally quiet, it unnerves them evidently.

- Right?

- I'd like to take the test here and see if I can make it more than 45 minutes. I'll bet you I could, but you know, it makes me think about a verse in the Bible that talks about silence in a place where you wouldn't expect it to be absolutely silent, and that's Heaven. In Revelation 8:1 it says, "He opened the seventh seal and there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour." Now, normally in Heaven you figure that the angels are singing, you know? The visions that Isaiah had of God on His throne. The angels are crying out "Holy, holy, holy." And in the presence of the Lord, you just picture there's going to be this awesome music. And to have that, you know, they say the worst thing you can do in radio is have what they call dead air. That's where you have no sound and people will change channels. In Heaven to have dead air, it says about the space of half an hour. What do you think that means?

- Well, you know, it's interesting. You do find these different time periods in Bible prophecy, and the Bible tells us as a principle when interpreting Bible time prophecy, one prophetic day is equal to one literal year. So scholars have done the math. There are 360 days in a Hebrew year, 24 hours in the day. So you divide 360 by 24, you end up with 15 days, which would be our time. But here the verse says there's silence in Heaven about the space of a half an hour. So you would need to cut that 15 day in a half so-

- So 15 days prophetically would be about an hour.

- One hour, then a half an hour would be, well, seven days, about a week.

- Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's interesting. Now, why would it be quiet in Heaven for a week?

- Well, you'd think it would be quiet in Heaven because something very important is happening, and we know that when Jesus comes the second time, He's going to bring all of the angels with Him.

- [Doug] There you go.

- And if there's anyone else left in Heaven, I'm sure their focus is on what's happening here on the Earth with the second coming of Christ. So the half an hour of silence in Heaven is really taking place in the future when Jesus comes the second time.

- And it's at the end, it's, I guess, the seventh seal.

- That's right.

- Is when that happens. Well, that makes sense because it does say there in prophecy that when Christ comes it says, "He's coming and all the angels with Him." Not some angels, so if all the angels that sing God's praise in Heaven are gone, it would be quiet.

- Now, it is interesting if there's seven days of silence in Heaven, well, that would mean that it'll probably take about seven days for the journey from Earth back to Heaven. I don't think it takes three and a half days for Jesus to come with the angels and then three and a half days to go back because you know, angels can travel at the speed of thought. So I would assume then that Christ and the angels come quickly to the Earth and then the journey back to Heaven takes about seven days.

- Maybe take us on a little tour.

- That's right,

- Some things to see on the way back.

- Scenic route.

- Yeah, the scenic route. Well, we're looking forward to what the Bible calls the blessed hope when Jesus comes again. And there's several references to the second coming in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. We have a study guide, a free guide if someone wants to study and learn something about not only the nearness of Jesus' return according to the prophecies, but something about how He's going to return because we know Satan's going to try to trick people and they'll be false Christ and he'll maybe even try to fabricate the second coming somehow. We want to know something about that, and we have a free offer.

- We do. It's one of the "Amazing Facts Study Guides," and it's called "The Ultimate Deliverance." And really it's all about the second coming of Christ. All the Scriptures are there. Just a great study if you're wondering about what the next big thing is that's going to happen on Earth. Well, it's the greatest thing of all, the Second Coming of Christ. And we'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide. Just ask for it by name. It's called "The Ultimate Deliverance." It's the study guide on the second coming of Christ. You can also ask for free offer 105 and we'll be happy to send that to anyone here in North America. We'll send it to you through the mail. If you're listening outside of North America, and Pastor Doug, we have folks listening from other countries at different time zones, if you'd like to read that study guide, just go to the Amazing Facts website, or .com and you'll be able to read that study guide right there at the website.

- Mm-hmm, absolutely.

- All right, well, before we go to the phone lines, we always like to begin our program with prayer so let's just do that right now. Dear Father, once again we are grateful for this time where we can just open up Your Word and study. Study the Word of life, the Word of truth. And Lord, the Bible is Your book so we need the Holy Spirit to guide us. So we ask for Your blessing. Be with us here in the studio. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be. In Jesus' name, Amen.

- Amen.

- And of course, Pastor Doug, we want to welcome all of those who are listening. We have folks listening on satellite radio and then also land-based radio stations across the country. We have people listening on the internet, on the Doug Batchelor Facebook page, the Amazing Facts Facebook page, also on YouTube, on AFTV, and I think this will be rebroadcast on some other networks, Hope Channel, 3ABN.

- Absolutely.

- So we want to welcome all of those who are tuning in. This is a live interactive Bible study so if you have a Bible-related question, the number to call here is 800-463-7297. That's 800-463-7297 with your Bible question. Our first caller this evening is Anthony, and he's listening in New York. Anthony, welcome to the program.

- [Anthony] Good evening again, Pastors.

- Evening.

- [Anthony] Yes, that amazing fact was actually perfect for the question I have today. And as I always say, I'll try to be concise. In general, my question is, what is the role of the range of emotions when it comes to worship? And I know we tend to, you know, try to be more reserved in church and more reflective and solemn in church. But is there a role for the emotion of excitement? And I'm trying to figure out, what's the biblical balance for the two?

- Yeah, that is a great question. You know, when you read the Bible, you'll find examples. Well, first of all, let me just set a big context for this. When we're in the presence of God, the Bible teaches consistently that there should be reverence. Now, you find verses in the Bible that says the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the Earth keep silent, speaking of silence. So there's a time for silence in reverence. Then you find when they gathered for the reading of the Word in the Book of Ezra, the people were convicted and they wept. And then Ezra told the people, "Do not weep. Today is a day for rejoicing." And there are times when Solomon dedicated the temple and the fire, God came down, the people fell on their faces. There was fear and there was all... So you can see based on the context of what's happening, the preacher might be preaching a sermon where some are greatly comforted and there's rejoicing. Others might be convicted and there's like the publican that smote upon his breast and said, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." So all things should be done in the context of reverence. We've all seen church services probably on TV where it looks like a hootenanny and there's just, it's chaos. Paul says, "Let all things be done decently in order." But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be great joy. I think when people sing, look at all the psalms that talk about, you know, joy to the Lord and rejoicing. Now, if my rejoicing totally distracts the other person, I went to a church where there was this one individual that every time I made a point there was a loud hallelujah that would almost make the people around them jump. And I appreciated the encouragement, but it was distracting everybody else because it was so loud that I had to ask them, I said, "Look, can you dial the volume down a little bit?" So you don't want your rejoicing or your weeping or whatever it is to be a spectacle that's going to distract other people from hearing the Word so there's that balance. I don't know. What do you think, Pastor Ross?

- Yeah, absolutely. You know, when one enters into the presence of God or into a house of worship, the church, and you're going to worship, I think it's appropriate to come in with reverence, with quietness, understanding that you're in the presence of God and you're preparing your heart for worship. But as you mentioned throughout the worship service, there are appropriate times for singing and rejoicing and praising God. But there are also other times for quiet reflection, contemplation, listening to the Word. So I think that you need to be balanced.

- And then Joel even says it's time to wail and, he's talking about repentance, though.

- Right.

- He says there are times when people should repent and he said they should wail and weep and those are, you know, hopefully not the weekly service.

- [Jean] Right.

- But yeah, so great question, Anthony. I don't know if that helped your answer at all. But you know, like it says here, you gave us a Scripture from Solomon. "To everything there's a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven." So there are times for fasting in prayer and maybe weeping. There certainly are times for rejoicing as the angels rejoice and praising God. The Gospel is called good news. It's the context, I think.

- Okay, very good.

- Always done with reverence.

- We've got Cole listening in North Dakota. Cole, welcome to the program.

- [Cole] Thank you. Thank you. The question I have is from Isaiah 45:7. It's, I'll read the text real quick.

- [Doug] Okay.

- [Cole] "I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." I know other translations use words like calamity or disaster, but I had a discussion with some people about this and they made a point about God does create evil for glory. But my question is, does God actually create evil if He's perfect?

- Yeah, no, this is actually, I think, at least in the King James Version, it's sort of an unfortunate translation. We get that question a lot where God says, "I create evil." You look at the Book of Job and look at the calamities that came upon Job. And here the devil came to God and said, "You know, Job, the only reason he serves You is because You've hedged him in with angels. You protect him and you bless him. And if You take away Your protection, he'll curse You to Your face." And God says, "Okay, I'm going to withdraw my protection, but there's limits on what you can do." So God is sovereign in the sense that He had to loosen the devil's leash, but it was the devil that did it. So God created a beautiful angel who was given a free will who chose to do evil. Now, the Bible says every good, and this is the Book of James, "Every good and perfect gift comes from God." Jesus said, "God is good." And so you cannot be simultaneously light and darkness, good and evil.

- Mm-hmm. Well, we know the consequence of evil is sorrow, suffering, and death. You know, it's rebellion. And God wouldn't create something that would lead to rebellion, suffering, and death contrary to His nature. God is a God of love. So if you look in the Bible-

- In this verse, yeah.

- The devil's really the author of evil.

- Exactly, so this verse, we kind of strayed a little bit from it, but the verse that you're talking about in Isaiah 45:7 where He said, "I make peace and create evil," as you mentioned, like the New King James says, "create calamity." And the word there would really be, I allow calamity. So sometimes God allows trials to come. And when the flood came on the world, well, God said "I'm going to send a flood." It's the language that He uses. It was to punish the evil. And so Isaiah's saying I'm the One who ultimately has sovereign final power. Hope that helps. Good question.

- Next caller that we have is Solace listening in Arkansas. Solace, welcome to the program.

- [Solace] Hello, Pastors.

- Hi.

- [Solace] Thank you for having me. My question is on Luke 16:9, and it's after the parable of the unjust steward. And it's when Jesus says, "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth that when you fail, they may receive you into the everlasting home." So I'm kind of confused on that. Could you explain that?

- Yeah, this is a parable that has left a lot of people wondering. Jesus talks about this steward that is very unfaithful and realizing he's going to be fired. He enters into agreements with the debtors of his master so that they basically become accomplices with him. And Jesus is, He's complimenting. And you can read this in verse eight, I believe. It says, "So the master commended the unjust steward." Why would he commend somebody unjust? He's not commending him for being unjust. He's saying what you've done is wise. You are looking ahead and you are making plans to protect your future. And you notice in the end of this parable, He says that the children of this age are often wiser than the children of light. Meaning that the people in the world, you know, they'll do things to plan to secure their future. But a lot of people say the believers aren't really planning for their everlasting future. So when He says, "I say make for yourself friends of unrighteous mammon that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home," I think Jesus is saying that we ought to invest using the world's resources, invest in saving people. We're going to see them through eternity in Heaven. You got any thoughts on that?

- Yeah, I think you're right, Pastor. You know, sometimes in the parables of Jesus, Jesus uses contrast to illustrate the important truth. So if the wicked are preparing for their eternal future, meaning distraction because they focus on the things of this Earth, shouldn't we as believers also be preparing for what we believe to be a future in paradise with Christ and with the saved, the redeemed in Heaven? We need to be preparing for that. We need to be getting ready for that. And as you said, utilizing our resources and our influence to help get other people into the kingdom as well.

- Yep, so hope that helps a little, Solace, and we sure appreciate your call.

- Next caller that we have is Joan listening in Arkansas. Joan, welcome to the program.

- [Joan] I think you mean Joan from Anchorage, Alaska.

- Oh there it is, okay.

- That's it, sorry Joan.

- From Alaska, welcome.

- That's you.

- [Joan] Well, good evening, Pastors. I was wondering if you could help me to understand who the eight kings are that are mentioned in Revelation 17:10-11. I can read that for you.

- I'll tell you what, Joan, why don't you let us read it because you were getting terrible feedback. You may have your radio on in the background.

- [Joan] Really?

- Yeah, so if, I don't know if you can turn-

- [Joan] How is it now?

- [Jean] There we go.

- That's better. So you go ahead, you can read it.

- [Joan] Okay, it says, "There are also," no here, this is verse nine, "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen. One is and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the beast that was and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seventh and is going into perdition.

- Okay.

- [Joan] So I was just wondering if you could let me know who these eight kings are.

- All right, good. We'll do our best. Now, I'll just go, I'll tell you right at the outset that even within my church, there are probably four major interpretations of this. You know, we're not cookie cutters where everybody has every answer for everything and so there are different views on this prophecy. I'll tell you what I teach and what you're going to find typically in the Amazing Facts lessons. It says that this woman is sitting on seven mountains. Well, most scholars believe that the woman of Revelation 17 is talking about the papacy. A woman is a church. Here is a woman who's been unfaithful because the papacy, they started to turn to idolatry and they, you know, adopted a number of pagan doctrines. They were seen as the harlot or the unfaithful woman. Sitting among seven hills. Rome is the city of seven hills. Now, this is what Luther and Calvin and Spurgeon and Wesley, that many Protestants taught and unitedly believe this, but it says that those seven hills are also seven kings or kingdoms on which she sits. It says five are fallen. Now, some take the perspective that when John wrote this, Rome, pagan Rome was in power. So the five before would be, you've got the five powers that occupied God's people which were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, five are fallen. After Greece fell, it says one is, that would be Pagan Rome, Rome ruled by Caesars. Then the one who is the spiritual problem would be the seventh, which is the papacy. But it receives a deadly wound and recovers and comes back into power. That's why it says he's also the eighth. How can the seventh also be the eighth unless it takes a break and comes back? And it talks about this beast receiving a deadly one, but the wound is healed in Revelation 13. So hopefully you could take that all, and that's the way that a number of scholars understand it, but not all. And I think you'd find that in our lessons. I don't remember what lesson it is. Oh, that's the woman.

- Yeah, "The Other Woman."

- The mystery, yeah.

- Is what it's called.

- It's a lesson called "The Other Woman" that you can get.

- And if you'd like to receive the lesson just call and ask. The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. And you can ask for the study guide. It's called "The Other Woman," and we'll be happy to send that out to anyone who calls and asks.

- Thank you Joan from Arkansas, Alaska.

- Yeah, thanks for your call. Next caller that we have is Edna from Michigan. Edna, welcome to the program.

- [Edna] Hi, guys. Thank you for taking my phone call.

- Yeah.

- [Edna] My question tonight comes out of Revelation, and it's about the seven last plagues. I know the controversy is about God's seventh day Sabbath and man worshiping on the first day and about the time of trouble, the close of probation. But I do not understand, what is the purpose of the seven last plagues?

- Okay, good. Keep in mind the seven last plagues are something of a parallel to what happened in Exodus. In Exodus, God was getting ready to take His people from slavery to the promised land. Jesus is getting ready to take His people from the slavery of the devil in this world to the promised land of Heaven. And there's these 10 plagues that fell on Egypt. Now, the last seven of the 10 plagues, God protects even the Israelites from those, it doesn't affect the land of Goshen. So you've got the seven plagues of Egypt do not affect the Israelites. The first three did. And you're saying, well if probation's closed, then why is God allowing this? Well, for one thing, it's showing they did not repent. When the plagues came on the Egyptians, even the Pharaoh says he repented, and the Egyptians said, "Let them go." There was some repentance, but the wicked of the world, they have no redeemable qualities left. They've hardened their hearts. There's nothing that God can do. And He's demonstrating to their friends, family, and unfallen worlds that the world, even under these trials does not soften their hearts and turn to God, but they harden their hearts and they blaspheme and they curse God so it's something of a demonstration.

- You know, under the fifth plague that you read about in Revelation 16:11, well, let me start in verse 10. It says, "Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and the kingdom became full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain." And then the next verse says, "They blasphemed the God of Heaven because of the pains and because of the sores, and they did not repent of their deeds." So it's evident here that they recognize that these are judgments coming from God, but their heart is so hardened that they rebel even under these judgments and they blaspheme the name of God.

- That's right.

- So the plagues reveal the true condition of the heart. But at the same time, you find another group in Revelation that when the plagues have been falling upon the Earth, they're trusting in God. They're rejoicing because they know the end is coming. Their faith is being tested and tried, but they are shown to be genuine, they're true. And those are the ones that have the seal of God. So the plagues reveal the two groups at the end of time.

- And they are something of a judgment because when the ocean and the springs become blood, the angel says, "They've shed the blood of the saints. You're giving them blood to drink."

- Right.

- So it's they're kind of, it's something of a judgment as well as a demonstration. Thanks. That's a good question, Edna. We appreciate it.

- All right, maybe one more question before we take our break. We have Dez listening in Florida. Dez, welcome to the program.

- [Dez] Hello, welcome, thank you.

- Hi.

- [Dez] I'm calling about the last days because I know this is something that we talked about, supposed to leave the city.

- Mm-hmm.

- [Dez] And move into the country or somewhere. And I don't understand. I mean, I don't know. It's hard to say it.

- Yeah, that's a good question. In the last days when Jesus says in Matthew 24, "When you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains." I think in Luke it says, "When you see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains." So for ancient Israel, when the abomination of desolation came, the Roman armies surrounded them. That was a signal to flee. There was a brief break in that siege and they fled. In the last days, God's people are going to be hedged in again by laws, religious laws that compel worship. First, you can't buy or sell and ultimately there'll be a death decree. And when we see that those laws are coming, that's going to be a time for, we probably want to get out of the cities. And especially, and that doesn't mean everybody can afford to, you know, sell their home and go buy a country estate, but we should be moving towards more remote places. I think the Lord is warning us this very practically. We saw in recent years there's been some social unrest and cities were on fire and there are places in, you know, Portland, Oregon and stuff, you couldn't even drive downtown. We had some friends that lived there and they said it was just terrible. And a number of Minneapolis and Florida and Washington, D.C., you know, police marching up the street. You didn't see that kind of rioting going on in Podunk, you know, these little farm towns, they didn't have that same kind of threat. So you're a little safer in more remote communities during that time and so I think that's the warning. Then you got that verse there in Isaiah. "Woe unto them that join house to house and lay field to field, till there's no place that a man can be alone on the Earth." It's nice to have a place more alone. We're going to take a break, come back with more Bible questions after these messages.

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- [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 PM and 8:00 PM 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."

- Welcome back, listening friends. And if you joined us along the way, this is "Bible Answers Live," and we do our best to answer Bible questions from around the world. And actually we've got some lines open, have a couple people in line, but if you'd like to call in with your Bible question, you can call 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297 or you can be watching also on the internet. We're streaming on Facebook as well as some television stations. My name's Doug Batchelor.

- My name is Jean Ross, and our next caller that we have is Paul listening from Washington State. Paul, you're on the air.

- [Paul] Yes, I am. My question is, what does the Bible say about having a large sum of money in the bank or in investments near the last days?

- Good question. I'm looking up a verse right now. Yeah, there's a parable that Jesus tells in Luke 12 where He said, He spoke a parable, and this is Luke 12:16. He spoke a parable to them saying, "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I'll do this. I'll pull down my barns and I'll build bigger barns and there I'll store all my crops and my goods. And I'll say, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease. Eat, drink, and be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you. Then whose will those things be which you have provided?'" And Jesus says, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God." We certainly don't want to be hoarding and stockpiling resources. You know, and this is a great question, Paul, because well, does that mean everybody is to give away everything they have right now? Does it mean we should save nothing? And I really like the way John Wesley dealt with this issue. He said, "A Christian should earn all they can, they should save all they can, and they should give all they can." So I think there's a balance. We don't know exactly when the Lord's going to come. So you know, it's probably a good idea to have some savings for yourself and your family. And you know, if you're working hard and you're earning, you should also be able to give and give generously. So that I think is the principle. You know, even if you divided your resources the way I just stated it, and you said, "All right, well I'm going to, you know, need 1/3 for living, 1/3 for saving and 1/3 for giving." I mean, imagine how radical that would be for the Church to say 1/3 of what I have, I'm going to give to God's work. Man, the Gospel would go into all the world pretty quick. And just even the spirit that it would take to do that.

- Mm-hmm, you know, Jesus said something else in Luke 12:33. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, that's where your heart is also." So if you are utilizing our resources to build up the kingdom of Heaven, that's going to be our passion. That's where our heart is. But if our goal is just to treasure up treasure here on this Earth, well, our heart's in the wrong place.

- Yep, thanks, Paul.

- All right, thanks for your call. You know, we do have a study guide. It's called "In God We Trust," and it's talking about what the Bible says about finance, and we'll be happy to send this to anyone that calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide. It's called "In God We Trust." And we'll be happy to send that to anyone in North America.

- [Doug] Amen.

- We got Aaron listening in New York. Aaron, welcome to the program.

- [Aaron] Good evening, Pastors, and thank you for taking my call. Jeremiah 17:21 says, "Thus says the Lord, 'Take heed to yourselves and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in to the gates of Jerusalem.'" Well, the Jewish leaders during the time when Jesus walked on Earth believed that one of the people Jesus healed broke this law by carrying his bed. But Jesus disagreed about that. My question is, what is the meaning of the word burden in Jeremiah 17:21?

- Yeah, well first of all, when Jesus healed a man, He said, "Take up your bed and go to your house." And I think he did that on a couple occasions, once with the, well, I don't know that it was a Sabbath day. The paralytic doesn't say it was a Sabbath. The blind man, I think he took up his stuff and went home, and the Pool of Bethesda.

- That was a Sabbath.

- Yeah, yeah. So that's a whole different kind of burden than Jeremiah is talking about people that were carrying burdens of goods to sell. They were doing buying and selling in business and you know, carrying... If Jesus heals and you got to take your sleeping bag home, that's not Sabbath breaking. So, you know, Jesus is saying it's better to do good on the Sabbath day. Some people look at the disputes that Jesus had regarding the Sabbath. Matter of fact, probably one of the most disputed of the Ten Commandments that Jesus had with the scribes and the Pharisees was regarding the Sabbath. He never said you should not keep it. The arguments were always about how to keep it. And basically He said, you know, you've put undue burdens on people asking them to, you know, carry legalistic laws that you won't lift with one of your fingers. He healed a woman who was bent over on the Sabbath day and He said, "This woman's been bound by the devil for 18 years and you guys will untie your ox and your donkey and water them on the Sabbath day, or you'll milk your goat or your cow. Why wouldn't you want to relieve the burden of this lady on the Sabbath day and and heal her?" So I don't know if that's answering your question, but Aaron, hopefully that helps a little bit.

- I think the context of the whole concern that Jeremiah has is that there were those who were bringing in their goods into Jerusalem on the Sabbath to sell their goods. And finally, you know, the gates were eventually, they had to be closed a little later when you read about Ezra and Nehemiah. So I think the point here is just conducting regular business. Of course, in those days they would go into the field. They'd have to gather up their grain. They'd have to carry it in into the city. That's not an appropriate work to do in the Sabbath.

- Right.

- All right. Thank you for your call. We've got Aaron now, also Aaron listening from California. Aaron, welcome to the program.

- [Aaron] Good evening. Thank you so much for taking my call.

- Yes.

- [Aaron] Pastors, I had a question. Recently, my wife came across a video online that had a person who, it's a personal video they made. And in the video they sort of twisted, I believe what they did was twist the Scripture because they wanted to basically say that because God created man and God created man, male and female, and He created them in His image that somehow that means that God is non-binary. And so, and I just was curious what your thoughts are as far as perhaps maybe more specifically what the Bible might say in reference to how man is created in God's image.

- Well, I do think the Bible teaches us, of course, God is a Spirit, That doesn't mean God has no form. The person of the Godhead that might be difficult for us to comprehend as far as the form would be God the Spirit who sometimes is appearing as everything from fire and water to a dove and wind. But when the Bible talks about the visions that the apostles saw, Daniel and John and Ezekiel and Isaiah, it talks about God having hands, head, feet, legs, it says on Jesus' thigh. And it portrays Him with, I don't want to say it portrays Him. It's like telling a child, your parents look like you. Well no, they look like their parents. So you know, Jesus is portrayed having these features that we have. We have them because He has them. So I think God must have some form because the other thing is Jesus took humanity and He's now going to bear that through eternity. You know, He permanently identified himself with humanity, and even in His resurrection form. But to say that God is non-binary, someone is trying to politicize or, you know, get the nature of God caught up in some of the cultural issues today, and that's a sensational stretch. God is consistently referred to as our Father in the Bible, but I don't believe that He has gender in the sense that we do so it's silly to try and classify Him as male, female, or even binary. Anyway, so hopefully that helps a little, Aaron, and appreciate your question.

- Next caller that we have is Armando in North Carolina. Armando, welcome to the program.

- [Armando] Pastor John, Pastor Jean Ross, and Pastor Doug Batchelor, how are you guys?

- We're thankful to be here.

- Good.

- [Armando] Thank you guys for having me. My question is regarding Judges 13 when the angel of the Lord comes to speak to the wife of Manoah. And I think in verses four and five, the angel of the Lord starts to, I guess, specify that the, I guess the vow will be taken on by the mother, but then essentially Samson will have the Nazirite vow. I just wanted to see if that's the case with Sampson taking on the Nazirite vow. I have a couple footnotes in a couple Bibles that indicate that the Nazirite vow is in Numbers 6.

- [Doug] Yes.

- [Armando] And then I just had a follow-up question. If that was the case, how was Samson able to carry on the vow whenever he would sin or, you know, kill a body when he was against the army?

- [Doug] Yeah.

- It's specific in Numbers about-

- [Doug] Right.

- With a dead body and...

- Well let's just be honest, Samson did a pretty terrible job of keeping the vow of a Nazirite. His parents did their best during the gestation of the baby and in his raising to convince him that he was special. God had a special plan for him. He had taken a Nazirite vow. But he seems to be rebelling against that during his life. He wasn't supposed to drink wine, but it seems like he did. He wasn't supposed to touch a dead body, but we know that he did. I mean, he killed a lion and ate honey out of it. And he picked up the jawbone of a donkey and slew 1,000 men. And then he went and stayed with a harlot in Gaza, which is obviously breaking the Nazirite vow. And finally his hair not being cut. And he betrays that secret and God says, enough's enough, you know and He was very patient with him. But yeah, Samson, he didn't do a very good job in following that vow. His parents had sort of consecrated him. Now conversely, you have Hannah, you got Manoah's wife who tries their best to raise Samson to follow the vow, and he rebels against it. You have Hannah who makes the Nazirite vow for Samuel. Samuel keeps it, and he is consecrated through his life to the Lord that way. So you're right, those Nazirite vows in Numbers there are pretty definitive.

- All right, thanks for your call. We got Maggie listening in Washington. Maggie, welcome to the program.

- [Maggie] Good evening, gentlemen. First I want to just tell you that I pray for both of you daily that the Lord should put a hedge about you for your protection. Yeah, my question is-

- Well, thank you.

- [Maggie] Are the 24 elders in the Book of Revelation, are they the saints that Matthew 27:52 mentions after Jesus's Resurrection?

- Well, that's another one of those verses, and I'll also have Pastor Ross weigh in on this. The question is, when it says there's these 24 elders, how'd they get to Heaven? Are they some of the saints resurrected there in the end of Matthew? Or are they the leaders of unfallen worlds? Now, I'm more inclined to go with the latter. You can read that, that says there was a day when the sons of God's came together before the Lord in Heaven. And you wonder, who are these sons of God? Well, when Luke goes through the genealogy of humanity, it talks about Enos who is the son of Seth, who is the son of Adam who is the son of God. So Adam is called the son of God because he is created, he isn't born. And these are the leaders, we believe, of unfallen worlds. And in the same way that God has got 24 leaders in the Old Testament in Chronicles, you read about 24 leaders both militarily and in the sanctuary. That's 12 for the day and 12 for the night, or 12 for a half of the year. God divided them differently. And Jesus has 12 apostles. 12 of course is, two times 12 is 24. These are like leaders of God's unfallen universe is one theory I've heard. And some believe they're the resurrected saints. What are your thoughts?

- Yeah, that's a good question. You know, there is a verse actually in the Old Testament. It talks about the elders, Isaiah 24:23. It says, "The Lord shall reign before His elders gloriously." Now, that's the Old Testament. Of course you have those who are resurrected the time of Christ's Resurrection. But then you also have in the Book of Job it talks about the sons of God or, you know, these representatives of these unfallen worlds.

- Morning stars sing together.

- That's right. And the devil came representing Earth. So this was not a meeting that took place on the Earth, it was somewhere else and you have these representatives. So you know, if you look at the chronology that's given in Revelation 4, you have a description of the heavenly throne room. God the Father is seated upon the throne and talks about the fall of living creatures. And it mentions there the 24 elders, but it's not until you get to chapter five that you see Jesus, that He appears. So it's as if Revelation 4 describes Heaven before Christ comes. And well, we know those who are resurrected at the time of Christ's Resurrection, they were taken to Heaven with Jesus. It would seem that the 24 elders are already in Heaven before Jesus and those who are resurrected actually get to Heaven.

- Yep.

- So that gives the idea that the 24 elders would be something more than just those who are resurrected. It's the other group would be the representatives of the unfallen worlds.

- So I appreciate that. Hope that helps a little, Maggie. And we do have a new Revelation magazine that you can read. It's Revelation, or sorry, Amazing Facts has a magazine on Daniel and Revelation. You can find that at the AF Bookstore. That's Amazing Facts Bookstore. You'll see that there.

- Next caller that we have is Angela, and she's listening in Illinois. She's on the road. Angela, welcome to the program.

- [Angela] Hi, I have a question, and I think it may be Amos 4, but I'm not sure.

- Okay.

- [Angela] It says that we should not be wanting to hasten the day of the Lord because it will be a day of great...

- Yeah, yeah. Why do you pray for the day of the Lord? It'll be a day of distress and a day of punishment.

- [Angela] Right.

- Yeah.

- [Angela] And when you put your hand on the wall to steady yourself, and you'll be bitten by a snake and things like that so...

- Yes. And a serpent will bite you, yeah. I'm looking it up right now. Yeah, that's, here it is. It's Amos 5:19. It says, "It will be." Well, I can actually back up. It'll be here. It says, "Woe to those who desire the day of the Lord." This is Amos 5:18. "Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord for what good is the day of the Lord to you?" He's talking about the wicked. Why would you want the day of the Lord? It's a day of darkness and no light. "It will be as though a man fled from a lion and a bear met him." That's bad luck. "Or though he went into the house running for his life, leans on the wall and a serpent bit him." In other words, he's saying you can run but you can't hide. No matter where you go, calamity is going to follow you because it's a judgment. The day of the Lord is the day of judgment for those who have neglected the opportunity to have their sins forgiven and to know the Lord and be surrendered to the Lord. The Second Coming is a nightmare for them. It's judgment. Probation's closed.

- Absolutely, you look in Revelation 6, right up at the Second Coming of Christ, the wicked turned to the rocks and the mountains and they say, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sits upon throne from the wrath of the Lamb." So it's not a day of rejoicing for the wicked. It is a day of rejoicing for the saved, for the righteous, but not for the wicked.

- They will say, "This is the Lord. We have waited for Him and He will save us." And the wicked will cast their idols of gold and silver to the rats and the bats and the moles. And so you've got this contrast of your butterflies and your cockroaches when the Lord comes. Some go to the light and some run from the light, yeah. Thank you, appreciate that.

- We got Jeremiah listening in Texas. Jeremiah, welcome to the program.

- [Jeremiah] Thank you for having me, Pastor.

- Yeah, and we're glad to have you. Your question.

- [Jeremiah] And my question is, it's about fasting. because I see in the Bible it seems fasting has... Like for God, it seems to elicit extra attention from God when we add fasting to prayer. And I came across this verse in 1 Samuel 15:22 where Samuel says, "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." So what I was wondering is, if there is some area of sin in your life, can that interfere with the pledge you are fasting for?

- Well, I think that when you decide to fast and pray and reach out to God, that should involve a willingness for total surrender. And if you've got some area in your life that you know is in rebellion, that ought to be part of your fasting and your praying. So if you're saying, "Oh Lord, I've got this sickness and that I want to be healed," but you know you're living in sin, well, why do you want to be healed? So you get sick and die forever? Why don't you say, "Lord, I want to be healed of sin and then I've got eternal life." And then the physical healing is a small matter. So you always want to have your priorities. The worst thing that could happen to anyone is to be living in sin, still be a captor to the devil because that's the first thing you ought to be fasting and praying for. And even when we do an anointing for somebody it talks about, and if they've committed sins, they'll be forgiven. It's understood when you're praying for healing that there's some time spent in personal repentance and getting yourself right with God if you're going to fast and pray.

- And you know, you got the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee who went to the temple to pray and the Pharisee said, "Well, I fast twice a week, you know, and I give my tithe and I do all of these good deeds." And in reality his fasting didn't mean anything because he was filled with pride. Whereas, you know, the tax collector, he wept, beat upon his breasts and said, "Lord, be merciful unto me, a sinner." And Jesus says he's the one that went home justified. So fasting has a lot to do with attitude. It's not just abstaining from food, but it's abstaining from food for the right reason. Seeking God, wanting to gain victory.

- Yep, so hopefully that helps a little, Jeremy. We appreciate your call.

- Next one on the-

- Or Jeremiah.

- Is Richard in New York. Richard, welcome to the program.

- [Richard] Good evening, Pastors. Thank you for having me on tonight.

- Well, thank you. And your question.

- [Richard] Yes, my question is that I would like to know, does God have a true Church on this Earth? And should we as Christians be concerned with denominations?

- Okay, great question. I will answer your question with a question in that in the Old Testament, did God have a nation, a particular nation that He called and to make them the guardians of His oracles of truth? That's a rhetorical question because the answer is yes. He clearly called Abraham and his descendants. Now, does that mean they were better than other nations? Does that mean every Jew is automatically saved? No, Jews were like other people. There were good ones and there were bad ones, and some were faithful, some were not. The early Church, you've got some of the Jewish people that condemn Jesus, and the early Church is formed of Jewish people like the apostles. So does God have a movement now? When you get into the last days, is there a remnant movement that He has that He has made a guardian of the oracles of truth? I believe the answer is yes. You know, obviously if there are hundreds of different denominations that call themselves Christians, and I believe there are saved people in many different churches. In the days of Israel, God still had faithful people that weren't even Israelites. Bible says that, you know, God spoke through Moses's father-in-law, Jethro. He was not an Israelite. He spoke through Naaman. Naaman was saved. And Elijah was sent to the Canaanite woman. And you know, God had His people. But He still had a nation, a group that He used and then He organized them in a special way in the Old Testament. God has an organized work in the New Testament. With all these different denominations, we know that some are going to be closer to the Bible than others. Some, I think we would agree, are pretty far from the Bible. That means some are going to be closer to the Bible. You want to find the one that is the closest to the Bible.

- You know, we have a study guide called "The Bride of Christ." And in the New Testament, the Church, the true Church, it's described as the bride of Christ. So what does the Bible say? What are we to look for if we're looking for a church? We'll be happy to send the study guide to anyone who calls and asks. Just ask for the study guide. It's called "The Bride of Christ," and we'll be happy to send it to anyone in North America. The number is 800-835-6747. That is our resource phone line. Just call and ask. We'll send you the study guide, "The Bridge of Christ." Next caller that we have is, let's see, we've got JC listening in California. JC, welcome to the program.

- [JC] Thank you very much. Good evening.

- Yeah, good evening.

- [JC] My question is regarding the staff of Moses. It's first mentioned in the Book of Exodus 4:2, but not much information after that. So where would, please tell me, enlighten me more information you might have.

- Yeah, yeah, the shepherds, and Moses was a shepherd, and the nation of Israel were a nation of shepherds. Even when Joseph went, you know, Jacob said, you know, "We're a nation of shepherds," which was largely an abomination to the Egyptians. Shepherds all had a rod. The patriarchs of every family sort of had a rod and they might be engraved. There was some way of distinguishing them from others because there was one time when there was a challenge against Moses and Aaron and God said, "Tell the elders of Israel to take their rods." They all had a distinctive rod and an insignia on it and they were carved. Put 'em before the Lord and God is going to show you who among the elders He accepts, and it was Aaron's rod. It starts out here in Exodus 4 talking about Moses' rod. But you go later on, it often calls it Aaron's rod because Aaron was the older brother. And it seemed like that that terminology shifted once Aaron got into Egypt. But so a rod represented the authority of the family.

- And rulership, so we also find that Jesus is said to have a rod, and Revelation talks about Christ coming with a rod of iron, meaning He's going to execute judgment upon the wicked at the Second Coming of Christ. So rods or the rod has symbolic significance in the Bible as well.

- Yeah, it says they're shattered as a potter's vessel when He comes with the rod. And so yeah, it's a symbol of that. So hopefully that helps a little bit and we appreciate that. I'm looking at the clock. I tell you what, listening friends, we do something unusual here. Because this radio program is on hundreds of stations that are both land-based and some are satellite-based, their time schedule's a little different so we sort of sign off in stages. In just a moment, we're going to sign off and say farewell to those who are listening on national satellite. But we stay on and we take some rapid-fire Bible questions that come in via the internet. Now, if someone wants to send us an internet question. Pastor Ross, what's the address for that?

- All you have to do is just email the question to That's B-A-L, Bible Answers Live, And then we gather these questions together and we try to answer as many questions as we could in about two and a half minutes. So we sign off with our satellite radio and then we'll encourage land-based stations and those watching on the internet, stay with us as we're going to address as many of these questions as we can.

- Yeah, and thank you very much those who are listening on satellite radio. Keep in tune and God willing we'll study with you next week.

- [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 to "Bible Answers Live." And as we mentioned before the break, this is the time where we take your Bible questions that you've emailed to us here at Amazing Facts. So Pastor, we have a number of great questions this evening so I'm going to get right to it. The first question is, "Why is God going to restore the Earth into a paradise if everyone is going to Heaven when Jesus comes?"

- Yeah, well, we don't go up forever. He first takes us up and we live and reign with Christ 1,000 years in Heaven, which is the up dwelling place of God where He is now. So first we go to Him. He says, "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. If I go, I will receive you unto Myself. That where I am, that place in Heaven, we will be." But you read in Revelation 21, at the end of that 1,000 years, the new Jerusalem descends from God out of Heaven, comes down to Earth. God creates a new Heaven and a new Earth. And the Bible says, "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the Earth." So ultimately, we build houses and we inhabit them. We have mansions in the city. We live in this world. God fulfills His original plan.

- All right, question number two. It says, "I know that the sacrificial goat in Leviticus 16 represents Christ, but can you explain who the scapegoat represents?"

- Yeah, on the day of Atonement, there were two goats that were chosen. One was called the Lord's goat, and it is sacrificed. It represents the Lord. It dies for sin. Its blood is applied. The other goat, they used to transfer the guilt of the nation to this goat. It was carried off in the wilderness. It was banished forever. And they understand that represents sort of the eternal separation from the devil and sin of God's people. That scapegoat is the one, it's not the sin bearer the sense that Christ is. This is the devil paying for his own sins he's instigated.

- That's right, and the scapegoat was never sacrificed.

- No, no bloodshed, and it's banished forever.

- Next question that we have, "How long did Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden before they sinned?"

- You just do a little speculation, and if the last command of God after everything's perfect, He says, "Be fruitful and multiply." They are perfectly healthy, but sin happens before they procreate. So we're assuming that it wasn't very long, probably a matter of weeks or months the devil, he sent a blitzkrieg and attacked them, caught them off guard shortly after creation.

- All right, last question. "What is the difference between the old and the New Covenant?"

- Well, that's a big question for a short one. Well, when you take your Bible and you split it in two, you get the New Testament or New Covenant is talking about when Jesus actually did come. The Old Covenant is the law written on stone. The New Covenant is the law written on our hearts. Hey, thank you so much, friends. God bless. Keep us in your prayers, and we appreciate your supporting the program. We are faith-based. Study together again next week.

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

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