Fight the Good Fight

Lesson: 1
Our Father is faithful, no matter the circumstance, no matter the time. Our part is to receive His Word, no matter the circumstance, no matter the time. Our work is a work of faith (COL, 64)... to fight the good fight, to believe and own His promises, to confess and prepare. The signs are all around us, let us not be a stubborn people. Let us return to the Lord no matter how or why, but let us return to the Lord. Join us now in study and prayer. He will always provide strength and victory !

Tips for Resisting Temptation

Tips for Resisting Temptation
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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.

Doug Batchelor: Welcome, listening friends. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? In 1969, a well-groomed 74-year-old gentleman was jumped from behind as he walked down 53rd Street, New York City. The muggers had the surprise of their lives as the old man broke loose, spun around, and proceeded to knock both of his assailants flat with his fists, leaving them sprawled on the sidewalk. They might have thought twice if they had known the old man they had singled out as an easy target was a former professional boxer. But not just any boxer, but the ferocious world heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Dempsey. He was known as one of the toughest boxers in history and a hero for the likes of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. When later asked by reporters, Dempsey replied, "I guess I was just acting out of instinct." He knew how to fight in a pinch because he had practiced in real life.

You know, the Bible says every believer must train to fight the good fight of faith against the attacks of the devil. You know, you can read about that in 1 Timothy, Pastor Ross, where it says in chapter 6, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed a good confession in the presence of many witnesses." Sometimes people are told that, you know, once you accept Jesus everything's going to be fine. They don't really understand that there's going to be struggles. The Christian walk sometimes involves battles. It says we run, we wrestle, we war, we strive. And people need to know that there's a fight, and you can train in preparation for a fight.

Jean Ross: That's right, Pastor Doug. You know, before an army goes into battle, they go into training. They call it boot camp. And they prepare so that they can be successful in battle, and as Christians there is preparation that we can do so that we can be successful in the most important battle of all. Often in the Bible the Christian and the church is likened unto a soldier and an army; and we're fighting in the Lord's cause, not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers as Paul puts it. How can we resist the assaults of the devil? Well, we have a book. It's called "Tips for Resisting Temptation." If you've made a decision to be a Christian, you know about temptation because the devil does not want people to follow the will of God, to keep His commandments. How could we be victorious in our life? We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The book is called "Tips for Resisting Temptation." The number is 800-835-6747. Just ask for it by name. It's called "Tips for Resisting Temptation." And if you have a smartphone, you can just dial #250 and say, "Bible Answers Live," and then ask for the book "Tips for Resisting Temptation" and we'll be happy to send that to anyone out there.

You know, Pastor Doug, it's so important that we as Christians, as you mentioned in the beginning, recognize that once a person gives their life to Christ the battle isn't over, it's really begun in earnest. And if ever we need the armor of God and the Spirit within us, it's living the victorious Christian life. Doug: And that's one of the messages throughout Scripture from Joshua to Gideon to David, that there are battles involved. But if you're fighting in God's battle, He gives you strength and He'll give you victory. Jean: Well, before we go to the phone lines, as we always do we would like to begin the program with prayer.

Dear Father, we thank You that we have this opportunity once again to study Your Word. We know that the Bible is likened unto the sword that the Christian needs when he battles against the forces of darkness. So we pray that You guide us as we open up Your Word and study together, and we thank You in Jesus's name. Amen.

Well, Pastor Doug, we also want to welcome all of those who are joining us. I know we have folks who are watching on AFTV; also listening on the radio; those who are listening also on Facebook, the Doug Batchelor Facebook page, the Amazing Facts Facebook page; also on Amazing Facts YouTube and on AFTV. I think I mentioned that. And some who are watching on Hope channel. So we'd like to welcome all of those who are participating in this live interactive international Bible study. And if you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. It's 800-463-7297. 800-GOD-SAYS, and that'll bring you here into the studio with your Bible question. Our first caller this evening is Anthony listening in New York. Anthony, welcome to the program.

Anthony: Good evening, pastor. My question is based on Exodus chapter 8, verses 22 and 23. And I guess the question is, why did the Israelites have to suffer the first three plagues, and why did God only, you know, make a division between the Israelites and the Egyptians on the fourth plague?

Doug: Well, another way to say that that's very interesting is, why did God then deliver them from the seven last plagues? And if you look in Revelation, of course God delivers His people during the seven last plagues in Revelation. But I think one reason is because God reminds us that people suffer as a result of decisions of others. None of the Israelites were in Egypt because of a decision they had made. They were suffering because of a decision their ancestors had made. And why are we suffering in a world of sin? People suffer because of a decision our ancestors made going all the way back to Adam and Eve and subsequently others since them. So I think God is illustrating that, you know, even--in a war even innocent people suffer. And so yes, they did experience the first three plagues, and they were not the most catastrophic part of the plagues. The plagues started easy, you might say, and then got tougher and tougher as it went along.

Jean: You know, we do have a study guide that talks about the origin of evil and why we live in a world with sin and why do good people sometimes suffer. The study guide is called "Did God Create a Devil?" And it talks about the origin of evil. It's a great study guide. It's part of our set of Amazing Facts study guides. Again, we will be happy to send this to anyone who calls and ask. The number is 800-835-6747 or dial #250. You can say "Bible Answers Live" and then ask for the study guide. It's called "Did God Create a Devil?" And of course we'll send that to anyone here in the US, in North America, Canada. Thank you for your call, Anthony. We got Gary listening in Illinois. Gary, you're on the air.

Gary: Hi. My question is, are we living in the Book of Revelation? I get this from Matthew 24. "You'll see plagues and pestilence, wars and rumors of wars." There be beginning of sorrows. In Revelation 8:7, the world will end by fire and hail. Fire everything west to the Rocky Mountains, 75 wildfires going on. For 6 months it took to put them out, and then hail. You go to YouTube, hailstorm Georgia, Texas, France. They show you hailstorms size of baseballs going through windshields. And so even now atmospheric rivers. We never had that 10, 5 years ago. This is all new stuff. So that's my question.

Doug: Well, in a word; yes, we are living in the Book of Revelation because Revelation the prophecies actually begin with--he says the time is at hand. So Revelation is covering a span of history from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus. And so we're definitely living in the time of Revelation, and I think we are also living in the time of Matthew 24. There have always been wars. As a matter of fact, Jesus said there'll be wars and rumors of wars but the end is not yet. In other words, don't let every war that comes along make you think this is the end. But what you would see as you got closer to the end is that the wars and the natural disasters and earthquakes and the plagues and pestilence would increase in intensity and frequency. Jesus talks about it as birth pangs. And when a woman's about to have a baby, you start the contractions and as the contractions get closer together they get more intense and then you've got a baby eventually. So that's what's happening; is as we near the end of time it's almost like a top that's about to fall over it begins to gyrate and wobble, and our whole planet is sort of gyrating right now. Paul says the whole creation groans and travails together. And so I do think you're seeing an increase. The last world wars in the last century were unprecedented, and now we've got weapons. And, you know, if Russia uses one of its nuclear weapons and--how many other countries have nuclear weapons now? Pakistan and India and Israel and France and all over the world. It can mark the end. That's why Jesus said except those days be shortened no flesh would be saved.

Jean: You know, I'm thinking of a verse, Pastor Doug, in Luke chapter 21 and verse 25. This is what it says. It says, "There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity," and it says, "the sea and the waves roaring." Kind of get the idea of tornadoes and storms. Verse 26 says, "And men's hearts failing them for fear and the expectation of those things which are coming upon the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken." So here we have a description of end-time events and it talks about natural phenomenon, storms in the sea, perplexities, distress amongst nations, fear, disease; all of these things we see happening today, and of course it's also referred to in the Book of Revelation.

Doug: Yep, absolutely. So I think the answer to that question is yes, we are living in the last days. Do we know the day and the hour? No. Can we tell when that time is near? Yes. Jesus said when you see these things begin to come to pass lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh or draws near. Thank you. I appreciate your call, Gary.

Jean: Glenn in Ohio. Glenn, can you hear us?

Glenn: Hey. Good evening from Bethel, Ohio. Just wanted to tell you I enjoy the program, getting different answers on common issues. I was looking for an answer on an issue that's not very common. You know, today it's being more and more seen the Jewish people are being proselyted into Christianity. As I get to see in the-- it's really on the increase. But in my Bible studies I was searching Scriptures and I went to the Scripture Zechariah verses 28--I'm sorry. 22 and 23; Zechariah chapter 8:22 and 23, which indicates there might be a reversal of proselyting there. Can you comment on that? Go ahead.

Doug: Yes. Thank you very much. We'll do our best, Glenn. Yeah. In Zechariah, it's saying something you actually hear repeated other places in the Bible where God talks about that people will turn to the God of the Jews. Of course, this first happened with Jesus. When a Christian comes to Christ, it is not a rejection or repudiation of Judaism. What it is is the fulfillment of Judaism. Judaism all look forward to the coming of the Messiah, and the first ones who proclaimed the Messiah were all Jews and the New Testament is written by Jews. And Paul said that what happens is when a Gentile accepts Christ, they become a spiritual Jew. So what it's saying here in Zechariah is that people of the world would come to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And true Judaism embraces the true Messiah. So this is not--there's nothing wrong with Christians inviting Jews to accept Jesus. That's not asking them to renounce their Judaism, it's actually a fulfillment of that. My mother's Jewish, and so I never felt like I was more Jewish than after I accepted Jesus because the Bible is like--I felt like it's our book, you know, and--yeah. So we appeal for Jews everywhere to accept Jesus, and Christians become spiritual Jews.

Jean: You know, we've done--actually you, Pastor Doug, and two Jewish friends of yours did a series of presentations called "Is Jesus Kosher for the Jews?" And I think Amazing Facts has the DVD. People can call and ask for it. It might also be available on YouTube, I'm not sure, or on the Amazing Facts website. Doug: We also have that book called "Spiritual Israel." We could send a free copy to Glenn. Jean: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called "Spiritual Israel." You can also dial #250, say "Bible Answers Live," and then ask for the book "Spiritual Israel." Thank you for your call, Glenn. Let's see. We've got Martha in California. We'll go back to Martha. Martha, can you hear us?

Martha: Yes, I can. Now, my question comes from Genesis 15, verse 17. The Lord had asked Abraham to lay out three different animals and two different birds and then later after Abraham had fallen into a deep sleep there was a smoking furnace and a burning lamp that passed among the animals. Could you please let me know or tell me what those two items represent?

Doug: Well, when--the animals being divided like that is a sacrifice, and often covenants were ratified with sacrifice. And God was making a covenant with Abraham, but He was also warning Abraham that his people were going to go through a time of severe trial, which of course was fulfilled in Egypt. And He says to him that, you know, "Your descendants will be struggling in another land and they'll be oppressed." But the smoking fire that passed between the sacrifice, that was like the glory of God, the consuming fire, the Shekinah that passed between them; and I think it was sort of a symbol of the presence of God was going to be there and bring His people through.

Jean: It also a reference to a covenant when somebody would--back in Bible times if they were to do something like that and divide an animal and let the blood flow into a little bit of a trench and those making an oath or a promise would often pass through that, and in essence they are saying, "If I fail to keep my side of the agreement, you know, I can be as those killed." And here you have God in this burning fire passing through the midst of these sacrificed animals as if God is saying, you know, "You can put your trust in Me. Even though your descendants are going to be in this foreign land for 400 years, I will bring them back." And the whole promise of the Jewish people is the coming of the Messiah. So there's a reference to Christ, the promised one who would deliver them ultimately from all of the enemies--spiritual enemies.

Doug: Yeah. Very good.

Jean: All right. Well, thank you for your call, Martha. We've got Carol listening in Nebraska. Carol, you're on the air.

Carol: Hello. Thank you for taking my call. I have a question on Psalm 139, verse 16. It says, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." Thy book, is that referring to the book of life?

Doug: You know, I'm not sure that that would be the book of life. You know, the Bible talks about a book of remembrance. I think that God is basically just saying that--David is actually writing in the psalm. By the way, what version were you reading from? Because I was following along and my Bible here is a little different.

Carol: Was the King James.

Doug: Okay. You were reading from the King James?

Carol: I was. Yeah.

Doug: Okay. Well--because I thought I was following in the King James. It says in verse 17--you were reading verse 16 rather, right?

Carol: Right.

Doug: "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed; and in your book they were all written the days fashioned for me as yet--when as yet there were none of them." Yeah, I think he's basically saying--God said to Jeremiah that, "I ordained you a prophet from your mother's womb." And, you know, God is basically telling His--about His foreknowledge of each of us in our lives. So I don't know that it was talking about the book of life.

Jean: Rather that God knows all things and He had purposed or planned for His people to accomplish certain things.

Doug: And that--yeah, God's got a plan for everyone.

Carol: So how many books are there? I know there's the book of life and book of remembrance. How many other books are there in heaven? Do you know?

Doug: Yeah. And keep in mind, books in heaven are probably not like what you'd find in the Smithsonian Library or the Library of Congress. You know, God, I think, has a record of every word we've ever spoken and every deed that we do. I think there are angels that record all things. Right now, when you think about it, in China they've got facial recognition software that's monitoring about a quarter of their people and they're recording everything. You think about the data that that involves. Well, if humans can do that, how much can God do?

Jean: Well, you know, we do know that the Bible has, of course, the book of life. That's where the names of the redeemed are. You have the book of remembrance, which is a record of the good deeds that were done; and then, of course, you have the book of sin or the book of iniquity, where every idle word that men speak they shall give an account of. So--

Doug: But not every idle word is sin.

Jean: Yeah, that's true.

Doug: I mean--and there's a book of record.

Jean: A book of record, too. Everything is recorded in heaven. Jesus says they shall give an account of it-- of reckoning.

Doug: Yeah. Of course sins are recorded. You're right.

Jean: Yeah. There is the book of sin. All right. Well, thank you, Carol. Good question. We've got--we're going to go back to Junith in Nevada, and hopefully we've got everything working.

Doug: Can you hear us?

Junith: Can you hear me, Pastor Doug?

Doug: Yes.

Junith: Thank you for taking my call. My question is, what made the Israel the--in the Old Testament time and even going forward to the New Testament time that they were described by God as hard-headed and stiff-necked people? I already have my biblical insights. I want to have biblical insights from the expert like you. Thank you for answering my call.

Doug: Yeah. Hope we never called ourselves experts, but I'll share with you what we believe; is I don't think that the Israelites were especially more hard-headed than another nation might be. I think it's the nature of sin. Who is it, Isaiah, that tells us all we, like sheep, have gone our own way and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all? So it's kind of the nature of the human race. The reason He called them a stubborn and a stiff-necked people is He said, "Do not think I chose you because you're better than other nations." Said, "You are a stubborn and a stiff-necked people." He said, "I chose you because of My grace." So I don't think that the Lord was saying Jews are a lot more stubborn and stiff-necked than other nations or other races. I think He was just illustrating that it's--you know, He was working especially with them, but in spite of all the miracles they still weren't getting it right and that probably would have happened with any nation.

Jean: You know, Junith, I think you'd also like the book called "Spiritual Israel." The number, again, is 800-835-6747. You can just ask for the book. It's called "Spiritual Israel." You can also press #250 on your phone, say, "Bible Answers Live," and then ask for the book "Spiritual Israel." Next caller that we have is calling from New York. We have Eveian calling. Eveian, welcome.

Eveian: Yes. Hi. Good evening, pastors. It's Eveian. My question has to do with Luke chapter 12, verses 47 and 48. I want to know if this text means that when--at the end of time when all the wicked are cast into the lake of fire if some people will burn more intensely than others based on their sins. For example, you know, if Hitler, who has killed many people, will burn longer at that time as opposed to someone who have killed one or two.

Doug: Let me read this for our friends that are listening. You know what the verse says but others don't. If you look in Luke chapter 12, verse 47, "And that servant, who knew his master's will and did not prepare himself to do according to his will, will be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know yet committed things deserving of stripes will be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required: and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." Basically it's saying that we're accountable based on what we know. But one thing that's clear there are varying degrees of punishment, and the Bible talks about varying degrees of reward. Jesus says, "For those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, great is your reward in heaven." And so there are varying degrees of punishment and reward because God is a good judge. And yes, I think clearly Hitler, who is--at least from our understanding is a lot more guilty than most people, is going to suffer for all of the misery and the guilt that he caused, and the one who will suffer the most and the longest would no doubt be the devil.

Jean: And, of course, the final penalty of sin, the Bible tells us, is death; but not everyone will immediately die, at least not, you know, in that lake of fire. There will be different degrees of punishment that will be meted out based upon the works of the wicked. Pastor Doug, can we also say that there's rewards in heaven? I know the reward of eternal life is given to all who are saved. But in addition to that, those who have sacrificed, those perhaps who have spent time as missionaries and, you know, have martyred--were martyred for their faith. Are there also differing rewards in heaven for the righteous?

Doug: Yes. Yeah. The fact that He said, "Great is your reward in heaven," He emphasized that and--yeah, if He's going to have varying degrees of rewards for punishment, there will be varying degrees of rewards. Matter of fact, the disciples said, "Can I sit on your right hand and left hand?" And Jesus said, "Someone's going to have that position, but that's--my Father's going to decide that." And he told the apostle, he says, "You'll sit on 12 thrones with me judging the 12 tribes." So there's going to be thrones, there's varying positions in heaven; and even among the angels now there are varying positions.

Jean: All right. Very good. Next caller that we have is Lee listening in Texas. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Yes, sir. My question is, I am addicted to one of your early programs, I believe, about coming back to God for all the wrong reasons, and I think I might be one of those-- that is coming back to my--to God because I didn't really want to come back to God just recently because I didn't know the truth about heaven or eternal fire or eternal perishing forever. And now that I know the truth about it, about being completely destroyed, that's what turned me back to God. But that's turning back to God just out of self-preservation, not out of love for God. I mean, I've been studying the Bible King James Version.

Doug: Yeah. Well, let me jump in real quick. We're going to run out of time before a mid-break. There's not a wrong reason to turn back to God. A desire for heaven is normal. That's why God tells us about the reward. Wanting to avoid punishment is also normal. I mean, we teach children with simple things like that. They get spanked or there's some corporal punishment for bad behavior. As you mature, you want your children to obey because of principle. And as we mature as Christians, we obey God because we know He loves us and we learn to trust Him. Come back to Him any way you can, do the right thing because you know it is the right thing and say, "Lord, give me the right motives to do the right thing along the way." And He will. So take those first steps. We have a book we can send you called "Three Steps to Heaven." We'd like to encourage you to read that, Lee.

Jean: The number to call for that is just 800-835-6747. And, again, you can ask for the book. It's called "Three Steps to Heaven." We'll send that to anyone who calls and asks.

Doug: Yeah. Thank you very much. Friends, this is not the parting music. We're just taking a break. We're going to come back, and we hope you'll still call in with your Bible questions. And we look forward to the second half of the program where we study the Word of God together.

Announcer: Stay tuned. "Bible Answers Live" will return shortly. announcer: Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay. Maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters, enhance your knowledge of the Bible, and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible timeline at

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Doug: Worry affects everybody differently, but it's all driven by fear. So how can you overcome a world full of reasons to be anxious? I'd like to recommend for you my new book, "Finding Peace in a World of Worry." You'll discover a lifeline to victory, a place where you can cast your cares upon Christ and experience a serenity that isn't subject to your circumstances. announcer: Send a gift of any amount to receive your copy of Pastor Doug's new book, "Finding Peace in a World of Worry." Call 877-232-2871 today.

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Announcer: 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 p.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific Time. To receive any of the Bible resources mentioned in this evening's program, call 800-835-6747. Once again, that's 800-835-6747. Now let's rejoin our hosts for more "Bible Answers Live."

Doug: Welcome back, listening friends, to "Bible Answers Live." And for anyone who has tuned in along the way, this is, as the title suggests, a live international Bible study. And we invite you to call in with your Bible questions. We're also streaming on Facebook. You can go to the Amazing Facts Facebook page or the Doug Batchelor Facebook page, and it's on YouTube and it's on AFTV and being rebroadcast in a number of other television outlets. But I think we have some questions already queued up. And so if you haven't called in, do get in line right now and we'll go back to the phones.

Jean: All right. Our next caller that we have is Carlos listening from Florida. Carlos, welcome to the program.

Carlos: Good evening, pastors.

Doug: Evening.

Carlos: So the question is--so we're saved by grace through faith. Correct?

Doug: Yes.

Carlos: Not by works. But the faith without works is dead. So I wanted to know if there's a way to, you know, discern the two. You know, it seems like it's a thin line.

Doug: Yeah. Well, the sequence is, I think, the key. You look at the story in the Bible and when the Lord saved the children of Israel from Egypt He did not save them because they had done a lot of good works, He saved them because of grace. They sacrificed the lamb--the Passover lamb and they began their journey out of Egypt. They crossed out of Egypt. Then He brings them to Mount Sinai and He gives them the law and He says, "I am the Lord who saved you out of Egypt." Basically, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." So God saves us first and then His desire, His hope is that because of our love for Him we'll want to obey. So first you have the lamb, then you have the law. Those who persisted in disobedience never made it to the Promised Land. The reason that we do the good works is not to be saved but because we have been saved. Bible says we love Him because He first loved us. We see His love for us. We want to love Him. And if we love Him, we obey Him. So I don't know if that's answering what you're asking, Carlos.

Carlos: It sort of helps. There was another young man who just asked a pretty similar question. He was--he mentioned that sometimes he feels like his works are more like out of fear of going to hell and that sort of thing and I was wondering if that--what works does that fall under? Is that faith or is that just like works by our own efforts to, you know, get to heaven?

Doug: Yeah. You know, I think sometimes people are left with the impression that it's wrong to evaluate your behavior and to try to do the right thing even if you don't feel like it because you know it is the right thing. There's nothing wrong with doing the right thing for self-preservation. You know, the Lord, He puts warnings in the Bible because He knows it will respond to trying to do what's right. The best thing is to do what's right because we trust Him, but then we should also do what's right because He commands it and He says there are bad consequences if we disobey. So it is true that sometimes we'll do the right thing and we're saying, you know, "Am I behaving correctly? And what if I don't? Am I being works-oriented?" Well, it's easy to get that mixed up. There's nothing wrong with evaluating your works. Paul says let each one of us examine ourselves, whether we're in the faith. Prove your own selves. Don't you know your own selves? That's in 2 Corinthians. So, again, I don't know if I'm answering what you're asking, but it's normal to evaluate yourself and also to say, "I want to do the right thing because I want to go to heaven. I don't want to be lost." But ultimately you want to do it because you love God.

Jean: You know, we have a book, Pastor Doug, that I think will help illustrate this. It's called "The High Cost of the Cross." That's really the motivation of why a person chooses to do the will of God. It's because we recognize the price that was paid for our salvation. It's free. We'll send you this book, anyone who calls and asks. The number to call is 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book. It's called "The High Cost of the Cross." And we'll be happy to send it to anyone in Canada or the US or in US territories. Also, you can just simply dial #250 on your phone and we'll ask--say "Bible Answers Live" and then ask for the book. It's called "The High Cost of the Cross." And of course we want to also recognize those who are listening outside of North America in different countries around the world. We want to encourage you to go to our website. Just All the resources that we talk about on this program are available right there at the Amazing Facts website as well. Next caller that we have is Henry listening in New York. Henry, welcome to the program.

Henry: My question is when Christ comes back there's going to be a 1,000-year reign. For the people who are not saved, they won't be able to join that 1,000-year reign. Is God giving them enough time to repent?

Doug: Yeah. Well, during the 1,000-year reign sometimes called the millennium, during that time when Jesus comes back, probation is closed. At that point when Christ returns, the saved are saved and the lost are lost. There is no second chance beyond that. When the Lord descends from heaven, it says the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of his coming. Peter says, 2 Peter chapter 3, the elements melt with fervent heat. The earth and the things in it are burned up. So now is the time before Christ comes. It's appointed unto men once to die, after that the judgment. There's no second chance once the millennium begins. So people need to make the decision before the millennium begins.

Jean: You know, we have a study guide. It's called "1,000 Years of Peace," and it talks about that 1,000-year period spoken of in Revelation chapter 20 sometimes called the millennium. We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide. It's called "1000 Years of Peace." And of course you can also just dial #250, say, "Bible Answers Live," and then ask for the study guide "1000 Years of Peace." Next caller that we have is Edith listening in Illinois. Edith, welcome to the program.

Edith: Hello. Thank you for having me. So I was--I understand Michael to be a station of Jesus or that's Jesus. And as I was going through a study with someone, I was trying to explain that. But when we got to Daniel 10, chapter 13 where it says Michael one of the chief princes, they said it sounds like he's more--it's more than one chief prince. So what is that referring to when it says one of the chief princes?

Doug: Yeah, that's a common misunderstanding the word one there. The word one can mean one numerically, and the word one can also mean one as like sequentially. And there it means sequentially. So another way you might translate it is Michael, first of the chief princes. You know, when you say that the president's wife is the first lady; well, you don't mean she's the first lady that ever came to the US or was born in the US, you just mean that there's a place of prominence. And so there it would say Michael, first or greatest of the princes. And it's not like he's one of many.

Jean: And in Daniel chapter 12, verse 1 it refers to Michael. It says the prince who stands watch over the sons of your people. So there specifically it refers to the prince that stands watch, and his name is Michael.

Doug: And it not just calls him the prince, it calls him the great prince in Daniel chapter 12, verse 1. We have a book called "Who is Michael the Archangel?" We will send you or anyone that wants to understand that a free copy. And of course, friends, if you don't understand it that's not a salvation issue, but I think it'll enhance your Bible study to know who is this Michael that appears in the old and new testaments. What does that mean? Is it a special breed of angel?

Jean: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. And, again, you can just ask for the book. It's called "Michael the Archangel" Or "Who is Michael the Archangel?" Dial #250 on your smartphone, say, "Bible Answers Live" and say, "I want the book 'Michael--Who is Michael the Archangel?'" And we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. We've got Raquel listening in California. Raquel, welcome to the program.

Raquel: Hi. Good afternoon.

Doug: Yeah. How are you doing?

Raquel: I'm doing well. Thank you for asking. My question was regarding--I don't know of any verse--at least I'm barely starting to read the Bible. So I just wanted--I had a question regarding if the devil, Lucifer in heaven, had a role pertaining to the choir. Was he like in charge of the choir? And I asked this question because it pertains to today's culture in music being influenced by the devil. Was Lucifer the head of the choir in heaven? And if so, would that explain the current music situation, how it is a big influence for people in the world?

Doug: Yeah. The closest thing I can think of where it talks about Lucifer, and it doesn't use the name Lucifer but it's obviously talking about the devil before his fall, is in Ezekiel chapter 28. And if you go to verse 13 it says, "You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering." Then it says, "The sardius, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, turquoise, the emerald with gold, the workmanship of your timbrels, which is a musical instrument, and pipes were prepared for you on the day you were created." So here's this angel created that has--when it says timbrels and pipes, it's kind of Old Testament poetic word for saying your voice. And believe that, you know, if angels sing and the Bible tells us angels sing--you know, the angels sang when Jesus was born--that if angels sing, the chief of the angels would logically have one of the greatest voices. And so this is one verse that mentions the musical sound of his voice or his musical ability that's probably--there might be another one. I don't know of another.

Jean: Well, just to clarify that, verse 14 clearly says, "You are the anointed cherub that covers." So we are talking about this angel in heaven, Lucifer. So there's no doubt. And as being the leader of the angelic host, you would assume he would be leading them in music and song and worship and praise prior to his fall.

Doug: So hope that helps, Raquel, a little bit. We do have a study guide--or we actually have a DVD you can watch for free online called "Cosmic Conflict." Talks about Lucifer and the fall of Lucifer.

Jean: All right. Next caller that we have is Robert listening in Washington. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Thank you, Pastor Ross. Good evening, Pastor Batchelor.

Doug: Evening.

Robert: I suppose you've gotten this question before or heard something like it about 2 Corinthians 12 and--Paul experiencing the in-body and out-of-body experience. Someone earlier today was suggesting that was a near-death experience, that he was out of body.

Doug: Yeah. Well, when Paul--and let me read it for our friends that are listening. This is in 2 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 1. "It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I'll come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know. God knows. Such a one was caught up to the third heaven." And so he's probably referring to himself in the second person saying, "I had this vision. I had a revelation. I was caught up to God, whether I was physically there, whether I was taken in the spirit." John in chapter 4 of Revelation he says, "I was caught away in the spirit." It was so real to Paul he just--you know, "Was I there or was it in the spirit?" And it felt maybe tangible, but God could have taken him out of body and it would have felt tangible. So, you know, God can give a person a three-dimensional dream where you smell and taste and touch and yet it may be a spiritual experience. So I think that's what Paul is talking about there. What are your thoughts?

Jean: Yeah, I don't think there's any reference to a near-death experience. Actually he's going on. He's talking about visions and revelations. So, of course, Paul was a prophet. He received visions, and we have many examples of the Bible--in the Bible of people who received visions or a prophecy. Daniel--the whole Book of Daniel, you have a number of visions. And of course that's not near-death experiences.

Doug: And Paul's probably talking about himself in the first few verses because you go to verse 7 and he says, "Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations." He said, "I had so many revelations and visions." God spoke to Paul on several occasions--or Jesus did anyway, that he said, you know, "Lest I should boast I was given this affliction." So he's probably referring to himself in the first few verses. He might have been having a bout with his affliction. So I said, "I knew a man," second person.

Jean: All right. We got Susan listening in Wisconsin. Susan, welcome to the program.

Susan: Thank you so much for taking my call. I've got quite a quandary. My concern is the emphasis put on the pagan holidays and the pagan traditions of men. You know, like many people, we used to, you know, do Christmas and Easter and Halloween and all that until a while back I started delving into the history of it and I was shocked that Jesus was born in the lambing season. It had nothing to do with December 25th.

Doug: Well, first, Susan, put this into the form of a question.

Susan: Oh, I'm sorry. The form of the question. How can we stay away from being drawn in with, you know, pagan tradition when we know in the Bible it doesn't instruct us to do that?

Doug: Okay. Good. I appreciate that, and I think I know where you're coming from. So in our culture today there are a number of holidays, and sometimes they're called Christian holidays, where there's no Bible command to celebrate the birth of Christ, there's no Bible command to celebrate his resurrection. So what do we do where we see that even the pagans had holidays where the 25th of December they would sort of celebrate the end of winter and the birth of the son, and the Christian church years ago decided that that was the date they were going to assign for the birth of Christ and try and exploit the Christ--the pagan holiday that way. How do you respond to that as a Christian. First of all, Paul said in Romans 14, if one man regards one day above another and another man regards every day alike, let each one be persuaded in his own mind. If you're going to keep a day, keep it to the Lord. Don't keep it to Santa Claus and elves and reindeer and all that. If you're going to memorialize the resurrection, then don't, you know, have it all about Easter bunnies and eggs and so forth. It should be thanking God for the resurrection of Jesus. By the way, Jesus, while he wasn't born the 25th of December, he was resurrected around the time of the Passover. So the time of Easter is at least closer than the time of Christmas. I'd say if you don't feel that way, then don't. There's no command, you know, and—

Jean: You know, I think there is a possibility where we as Christians could exploit, for example, these holidays. I'm thinking about Christmas, for example, when most of the world is talking about the birth of Jesus we recognize, and I think there's a lot of evidence, that Jesus is not born the 25th of December just because of the weather in the Middle East and Jerusalem and that kind of thing. There wouldn't be shepherds out in the field. But when people are thinking about it, what an opportunity for us to share Jesus with those who have never really come to know him. So, you know, Paul says to the Jew, "I became a Jew so that I could win some for Christ. To the Gentile I became a Gentile to win those for Christ." Now, of course, we don't violate our conscience, but we can exploit these opportunities to try and share truth. Now, I think out of the holidays, Pastor Doug, one that as Christians we would probably have a really hard time with where I don't think there's any good or any redeemable aspect in, that would be Halloween. Now, that's new to me. Where I grew up we didn't do Halloween, but when I came to the US I thought, "Wow, this is a strange holiday where you celebrating ghosts and goblins and skeletons." So I think for a Christian when it comes to Halloween, that's probably one of the holidays that's--it's hard to kind of pull out anything good from that holiday.

Doug: Yeah. I remember we went out Christmas Caroling years ago in a small town, and I was a young Christian and--with a small group from our church just singing Christmas carols and one family opened the door and some kids were standing there and they looked very sad. And the family says, "We don't believe in Christmas." And they shut the door, and I thought, "Okay. Well, that's not a really great way to witness during the holiday." So I would say now--and for Susan or anyone, because something is pagan doesn't always mean it's bad. What I mean by that is pagan just means that it's not of a Christian origin. There's a lot of pagan things we do in our culture that aren't essentially bad. The thing is if there is a pagan law or custom that violates a Christian principle, don't do that. And, you know, nothing of the Bible talks about shaking hands. They used to greet each other with a holy kiss. Well, we don't do that. We shake hands. There's nothing sinful about shaking hands. You know what I'm saying? So just because there's a custom that may have a pagan origin doesn't necessarily mean it's bad unless it violates a Christian principle. That's an important point. Now, we do have a book we can offer Susan called "Baptized Paganism." And she will appreciate that.

Jean: Send that to anyone who calls and ask. The number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book. It's called "Baptized Paganism." You can also dial #250 and say "Bible Answers Live" and then ask for the book "Baptized Paganism." We've got Johnny listening from Texas. Johnny, welcome to the program.

Johnny: Hello, pastors. It's my first time calling in. Just a little background, I've been doing Bible studies for about 15 years, getting my graduate degree in it. Over the course of doing Bible studies, I have a quick question for you. In John 3:13 it says no man has ascended into heaven except for the son of man who came down from heaven but yet you have Enoch who walked with God and he was no longer. Then you had Elijah who was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind even though he writes a letter to Jehoram afterwards. So I just wanted to get your take on this.

Doug: Yeah. I don't think that Jesus is referring to Enoch or Elijah or even for that matter--Moses had been resurrected at this point as well. He's basically saying that there had been no human that had come from the presence of God to earth to bring that knowledge of the Father except him. True, Elijah was caught up to heaven and Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him, but there was no heavenly messenger who had come from the presence of God to earth to live among men and teach other than Jesus.

Jean: Yeah. And I think the context of that, Pastor Doug, if you look at the earlier verse, Jesus said, "If I've told you earthly things and you do not believe, how would you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" So it's in the context of teaching. And then Jesus says no one has ascended to heaven and come back down in order to give this or to reveal heavenly things but the son of God or himself. So that's the context, not saying that no one has ever ascended up into heaven. It's also interesting that Moses and--well, of course, Moses was--he died and he was resurrected and taken to heaven, and you have Elijah that was taken. They did appear on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and you have--that's right. That is interesting. But they didn't come to teach things that they had heard in heaven, Jesus came—

Doug: They didn't talk to humanity, they just talked to Jesus.

Jean: Right. Right. Let's see. Chelsea listening in Florida. Chelsea, welcome to the program.

Chelsea: Hi, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are you?

Doug: Great.

Chelsea: Yeah. So my question basically--so right now I'm currently attending graduate school for veterinary medicine and many of my professors believe in and teach concepts of evolution. So I wanted to know as a Christian how can I be an effective witness to my professors who believe in evolution, and also are there any resources that you have that I can share with them that shows them that God's biblical creation is actually true.

Doug: All right. Two questions. So one, first I'll answer--we do have a little sermon book if they're open to read it, and it's called "When Evolution Flunked the Science Test." You might want to read it first. They may think it's too elementary for their sophisticated level of study. It's basically written for just layman to read and say that, you know, evolution doesn't really make sense. In visiting with them--now, we have some videos online. I've got a video that you can listen to. It's a YouTube where it talks about evolution, creation, and logic. And I used to be an evolutionist and I became convinced about creation because I believed that evolution was very unscientific. I started seeing that it just was really illogical to believe that you could get order and organization and inner working systems and symbiotic relationships by accident. There had to be intelligence to have all of this incredibly complex interaction of life in our planet. And just the way a cell works and the way that, you know, life works is extremely complex. For that to have happened without an intelligent God is absurd. So I don't know if you'd say that to your professors. So I think the best thing to do is pray for them, be a witness, and if they're open share information. There are some other really good resources out there by a ministry called Answers in Genesis. Their specialty is material about creation and evolution, and we recommend them wholeheartedly.

Jean: And, you know, Pastor Doug, it is interesting that there are a number of non-Christian scientists that are looking at at least Darwinian evolution and saying if Darwin knew what we know now about DNA and about the cell there's just no way that his whole theory would make sense and yet people are still holding on to the idea of evolution. I mean, there's things like a sudden explosion of diversity of life that they see in the fossil record where there's no intermediate forms of animal life but suddenly there they are with the full DNA. That cannot be explained by Darwinian evolution.

Doug: Yeah. Even to have the simplest form of life is extremely complex. I read somewhere that Darwin was confounded by the complexity of the eye, whether a human eye, eagle eye, whatever it is. And he said that is--he could never find a satisfactory explanation for the eye. Anyway, here we are out of time, but do ask for that book, Chelsea, "When Evolution Flunked the Science Test."

Jean: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. The book is called "How Science Flunked--How Evolution Flunked the Science Test." And we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and ask. Also, you can dial #250, "Bible Answers Live," and say, "I want the book 'How Evolution Flunked the Science Test.'"

Doug: Yeah, now, for our friends listening, we are going to sign off in two stages. We're bidding farewell to our friends listening on satellite, but for the rest of the audience stay tuned. We're coming back in just a moment with some of your internet Bible questions.

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

Jean: Hello, friends. Welcome back. For those of you who are able to stay with us, we're going to take some of your email questions. And if you'd like to send us an email question, our email address is just That's Pastor Doug, first question that we have for tonight. If there are going to be no marriages or new births in heaven, will there be marriages and new births in the new earth?

Doug: I would think that what happens in heaven continues in the new earth. Now, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. So I think King James uses the word replenish. That leaves us with the idea that earth was once populated and got wiped out and they had to replenish it. No, it just means to fill. And so once the earth is full of the redeemed, there'll be no need for procreation. Otherwise, think about the math and pretty soon people would be on top of each other like rabbits spilling off the planet into empty space. There'd be no room. So the earth is going to be populated with the redeemed. Jesus is making mansions for everybody and we'll go out and build our own mansions, but there'll be no procreation as their--children that have died or children alive when Christ comes will go to heaven and it says they'll go forth and grow up, and that's in Malachi chapter 4.

Jean: Okay. Another question that we have it says, "What did Jesus mean in Matthew 20, verse 16 when he said the first shall be last and the last shall be first?"

Doug: Well, Christ is making the statement there talking about the Jewish nation who he chose first as a people and gave them the truth. They might be surprised that some of the Gentiles who would embrace the gospel, you know, within the first 50 years of Christianity there were more Christians in the world than there were Jews. The gospel had gone like fire through the Roman Empire, and they embraced it with--you know, many, of course, embraced it with their heart and soul. So first he's saying don't think because you heard the gospel first that you may have first place in heaven. Those who appreciate and embrace it, they're going to be the ones closest to God. And so we might be surprised.

Jean: All right. Last question, Pastor Doug. If a trans person says that they believe in Christ, are they saved?

Doug: Well, if a person believes in Christ, they're going to obey the law of the Lord and the Bible says that a man shall not wear that which pertains to a woman and a woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man. All that do so are an abomination. They'll want to obey. Hey, friends. You hear the music. We're out of time. God willing we will study His Word together again next week. Go to the site.

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