Lost and Found

Lesson: 1
"Wherever I am, I am what is missing," (M. Strand)... and it's true. Missing from our Father's side, missing out on what He yearns to give us - unless we sincerely believe that Christ can save us. Explore with us now what perfection in Him means and how to obtain it. We'll also discuss each step of abiding in Christ and we'll learn of forgiveness with regards to discernment. All that God asks is for us to try, because at the end of the day you did not find Jesus, you finally let Him find you.

Three Steps to Heaven

Three Steps to Heaven
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- [Presenter] It is the best selling book in history. No volume ever written has been more loved and quoted, and it's 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? Listen to this one, an Australian big wave surfer, Danny Griffiths, were surfing in the chilly waters off the south coast of Tasmania when he wiped out and he lost his favorite surfboard in the foaming billows. He figured it was gone forever so you can imagine his amazement when Danny learned, four years later, the board had been discovered by some young brothers fishing off the coast of North Queensland, Australia, 1,670 miles away. The surfing community in the Southern Hemisphere is really small and big wave boards are unique and very specialized. When word got around about the bright green board, someone said, "That sounds like Danny's board." The fishermen sent a picture and sure enough, it was the long lost surfboard with distinctive markings. What's especially amazing, oceanographers say, it's more likely that the prevailing currents carried the board from Tasmania all the way around New Zealand and back over to the north coast of Australia, an odyssey of 4,700 miles. And despite its incredible journey, the big wave rider said, after cleaning off the barnacles, the board was still 100% surfable. You know, the Bible says that there's a number of incredible lost and found stories. Stay with us. We're going to learn more, friends, on this edition of, "Bible Answers Live."

- Well, you know, Pastor Douglas, it's an amazing story about somebody who lost the surfboard and then it floated, what, almost 4,000 miles and was discovered by two brothers fishing. You know, you think about these incredible stories of discovery. First of all, this story took four years before he actually found the board. Is that what you mentioned?

- Yeah.

- So it was gone for four years on its journey. It's kind of neat to hear about folks who have lost something, especially valuable things and many years go by and then somebody will find it and they'll trace the owner and they get a call and say, we found, you know, your grandfather's, you know, watch or whatever it might be. And it's kind of neat. You hear those stories and yeah, here's the surfing story that was incredible.

- And the amazing thing is, is that after, and you wish the board could talk to see where it went, but after it went through that journey and they had a picture of it on the screen there, it's, you know, covered with seaweed and barnacles and stuff, that's because they put wax on the boards, evidently he was able to scrape that off and it was fine. You know, they're fiberglass, they're pretty tough. But makes me think, and by the way, there is one verse in the Bible where it says in Ecclesiastes 11:1, "Cast your bread upon the waters for you will find it after many days." Makes it in, cast your surfboard on the waters and it'll come back after many days. But there are a number of lost and found stories in the Bible. Probably one of the favorite sections of scripture that deals with that is there in Luke chapter 15 where he talks about a shepherd that loses a sheep, talks about a woman that loses a coin, talks about a father that loses a son and he's gone for a while. Doesn't say how long it was, but he goes to a far country, squanders all the money, endures a famine, so probably years went by. But the father is praying that he will come home and the coin is found the woman looks until she finds her coin and the shepherd searches until he finds his sheep. These are pictures of God, you know, the father praying. And when his son comes home, he runs to embrace him and friends, all of us have sinned, all of us, we're lost until we are found by God. But we've got to do what that prodigal son did. And it says, "He came to his senses and said that there is bread in my father's house." And if you're out there wandering and you would like to be found, then we'd invite you to turn back home and come into your Heavenly Father. He's got a big plan for your life. And we have an offer.

- We do. We have a book entitled, "Three Steps to Heaven." And it deals with this very subject of, what must I do to be saved? What do I have to do to come back to God? Or maybe you've never come to God for the first time. What do we do? Well, "Three Steps to Heaven." We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. All do you have to do is call the number 1 800-835-6747 and ask for the free offer. It's called, "Three Steps to Heaven." We'll be happy to send it to you in the mail. If you're outside of North America, you can just go to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.com and you can actually click on our free library and you can read the book right there online. It's called, "Three Steps to Heaven." I think you will be blessed. Well, Pastor Doug, we are going to go straight to the phone lines. We have a number of folks who are waiting. We have Irene listening from Bakersfield. Irene, welcome to the program.

- [Irene] Hello. My question is, my father passed away in 2018 and I have dreams about him all the time. Is he trying to tell me something when I have those dreams, I wake up sad because I know he's not here, but he's with our Lord and Savior. So what can you tell me about that? What is he trying to tell me?

- Well, you know, when we lose someone we love, and I think most of us have, our minds and life is filled with memories and experiences with that person. And it's not uncommon to kind of have a sensation through either dream or, you know, after I lost my brother, I forgot that he had gone and I found myself picking up the phone to call him as I often did. And it was just very, oh, heartbreaking for me when I realized he's not there, I can't call him. Now, the Bible teaches, and there's no example in the Bible of the living communicating with the dead or the dead communicating with the living. You can see in the Book of Job where it says, "When a person dies, his sons come to honor and he knows it not," you know, he's sleeping. You look in Ecclesiastes chapter nine, for example, and it says in verse five, "The living know they'll die, but the dead know nothing." Now, when you say your, you know, your father's with the Lord, let me just give you some perspective about time for just a second, Irene. When a saved person dies, their next conscious thought is the resurrection. It's no time for them, it's immediate for them. But for us who live in the world with time, the resurrection is at the end of the world. So for our loved ones, we can rejoice because we know their next conscious thought is the presence of the Lord. But the judgment day and the resurrection hasn't happened yet. So you read for example in First Thessalonians, chapter four, and it says, "The Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the ark angel, and the trumpet of God, and then the dead in Christ will rise." So he's resting peacefully now, that's why you see on so many graves, RIP, resting in peace until the resurrection. So you know, if you're getting sensations through dreams or something that God is talking to you and it may just be your heart. The Lord might be comforting you in some way. It's hard to say, but the dead do not consult the living.

- You know, we have a verse that actually describes the experience of a person who does die. And it says, and this is Job 14:12. It says, "A man lies down and does not rise till the heavens are no more." And then we read in Second Peter 3:10, "That the day of the Lord will come in which the heavens will pass away." And we know that's talking about the second coming of Christ.

- Right?

- So when a person dies, their next conscious thought is the second coming of Christ. So they can't communicate with the living. The Bible describes death as asleep. Their next conscious thought is Jesus coming?

- Yeah. And you know, we know our loved ones out there, they've lost special people. Their hearts are breaking. But the Bible's also very clear to warn us, there's several verses. It says that we should make no effort to communicate with the dead because that's called in the Bible a medium or necromancy. And you know, Isaiah says, "The living should not try to consult the dead." I think it's Isaiah chapter eight. So just be assured that your father is just resting in peace. I understand he's saved dead in Christ. Find comfort in that and look forward to meeting in the resurrection.

- You know, we have a couple of resources, Pastor, that deal with this subject. First of all, one of our amazing facts study guides is called, "Are the Dead Really Dead?" And this is something that folks will enjoy reading. It's actually encouraging, it's inspiring if you've lost a loved one and they've loved the Lord. We'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide, it's called, "Are the Dead Really Dead?" We also have a website that's called deathtruth.com and also has a number of Bible verses.

- And some resources.

- And some sermons, some video content there dealing with the subject. What does the Bible say about the dead? I think you'll also be blessed if you take a look at that. Thank you for your call. We've got Brandon listening from Maryland. Brandon, welcome to the program.

- [Brandon] Hello, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are y'all doing?

- Good, thanks for calling.

- [Brandon] Awesome. Thanks for taking my call. My question, I just understand that all torahs, there's a commandment statement that all torahs must be written by hand. I was just wondering how this commandment applies to us now?

- You know, I don't know that you're going to find anything in the Bible about that. It does say in Deuteronomy that when they came into the Promised Land, they were to write a copy of the book clearly so that the king could have it read before him all the days of his life. Some have interpreted that to mean it can't be printed, it must be written. But you know, I don't think that's what Moses was saying or God in that statement. I forget what verse that is in Deuteronomy, but anyway, I've read it this week. I think they're just saying that there should be a copy created so the king can read it. Now, whether that copy's printed on a printing press, a modern printing press, or they're reading that copy, you know, from a laptop or whatever, as long as they're getting the word that was the objective of that commandment to say it must be written by man's hand. Well, that's extremely expensive and tedious and laborious today to write out the whole torah.

- I think the verse you're referring to is Deuteronomy 17:18.

- There it is about how it needs to be written.

- Of course, Pastor Doug back in Bible times, the only way of recording something was by hand that you had to write it down. They didn't have the possibility to print. And even in New Testament times, the apostle would write a letter to a particular church, it would be read to the church members, and then there would be people in the church that would carefully copy it and then they'd send it on to the next church to be read. So that was the only way of recording things was to write it by hand. And in the Old Testament times, the scholars were very meticulous in the copying of the scriptures. They did it very carefully and it was quite a skill to write beautifully to record the Word of God.

- Yeah. And you know, when the printing press came along, the explosion of opportunities for people to read the Word, you saw an explosion of a reformation at the same time. So the fruit of it was very good as well.

- All right, thanks for your call, Brandon. We've got Paul listening in Arkansas. Paul, welcome to the program.

- [Paul] Hey, Pastors, blessings to you and your ministries. Can you hear me?

- Loud and clear, thank you.

- [Paul] Nice. My question for calling is in reference to Luke chapter two, when Joseph, Mary and Jesus go to the feast of the Passover. And of course afterwards they lose Jesus, they think he's with family or relatives for a couple of days, then they catch up with him and in verse 48, Luke two, "So when they saw him, they were amazed and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously,'" sounds like a mild review, but the question is 49, it says. "And he said to them, why do you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?" So my question is, is at that time, did Jesus know at 12 years old that he was the son of God, God himself, and his destiny to do the father's will was go to the cross and die so we may be redeemed and receive our salvation? And a follow up is, did he have the power of the three Omanis at that time where he could use it or not? Or did that happen when John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the dove came down as a metaphor as the Holy Spirit, and then Jesus when he started his ministry, have all his powers back as God himself?

- All right, you got good question there. Let me see if I can take a stab at answering the first part. When Jesus said to his parents, you know, why did you search for me whist ye not, I must be about my father's business. There's like a twofold answer in there. Joseph and Mary knew that he was a messiah. I mean, they had at his beginning, the angels appeared to them on multiple occasions and they knew that this was the Christ child. And so they understood the important charge that they had when they took him to the temple and they said, "Well, we didn't know where you were." He's like saying, "Well first of all, you, you know, I must be about my father's business, so I would've been here at the father's house." So he's kind of sharing that with them. And at that Passover, I think Christ had some revelation about his unique mission before then. But I really believe at his 12th birthday at that Passover, the Holy Spirit revealed to him in a special way what his mission was. Now Christ always had the Holy Spirit, but he received a special anointing. That's where the word Christ comes from, Messiah and anointing of the Holy Spirit at his baptism to prepare him for his life of ministry. And that's also a sign for us. Peter says if you can be baptized you'll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So it's what we should also expect as well.

- And then the second part of the question, Pastor Doug, is did Jesus have all of his divine powers from a child all the way through to his ministry? Or was he dependent upon God the Father, to reveal to him and show him what he was to do?

- You know, I don't think that Jesus, because he became a hundred percent man, I don't think that Jesus had all of the knowledge of the cosmos swirling around in his head. Because when he talked about his second coming and he said, "No man knows a day or the hour, not the son, not the angels." And some people say, "How come Jesus didn't know?" Well on earth, he didn't have, like I said, this explosion of knowledge in his head all the time. He became a man, he humbled himself and really became a man. And he lived through the spirit of God, you know, as God revealed his will the way we do.

- And Jesus said, "I can of myself do nothing."

- Yeah.

- So he was dependent upon his father to guide him. And we find in Luke chapter 2:40, speaking of Jesus as he grew, it says, "And the child grew and became strong in spirit filled with wisdom." So there was a gradual process. As Christ grew, his mind expanded, he was able to understand and comprehend. And yeah, around the age of 12, it seems as though he began to really understand his mission because verse 50 of Luke chapter two, after Jesus said, "Do you not know that I must be about my father's business?" Verse 50 says, "But they did not understand the statement which he spoke to them." So there was something more that Christ was referring to yet that they didn't quite get.

- Yeah. And you'll often find that even Jesus' family didn't really understand his mission.

- All right. Thanks for your call, Paul. Great question. We've got Holly listening in Michigan. Holly, welcome to the program.

- [Holly] Hi, thank you. I'm calling tonight to seek some clarification. During creation week I've always believed that God spoke the animals into existence as it states in Genesis 1:24-25. But this week I was reading Genesis chapter two again. And in that of course there's like a recap of some of the creation events. And in 2:19 it says that God had formed the animals. So I was just hoping you could help me understand if God spoke them or if he formed them into existence?

- Well, it says God spoke, when you use the word formed, you know, if I'm going to do anything, I'll form it in my mind before I maybe form it physically. So I don't think he formed the animals the way he did Adam, is one of the points that's being made in chapter one. God actually with his own hands took the clay and formed one man, when he spoke all these creatures into existence. I don't think he gave it the same personal attention. They were not made in the image of God. Whereas man was. So, I don’t know, Pastor Ross, you got any?

- Yeah. I'm just looking at the verse. It says that God formed the animals as verse 19 "And out of the ground, the Lord God formed every beast of the field and the bird of the air." I don't think it's telling us that for every bird and every animal, God used his hands to actually form them and make them or mold them, but rather that the substance of which they were made was the earth or the ground. And of course, the elements of life, both human life and animal life, the elements come from the earth, come from the soil.

- And they returned to the earth.

- And they returned to the earth. So I don't think it's stating God actually physically forming the animals, but rather what the animals were formed of that were formed of the ground or from the earth.

- That makes sense, Holly?

- [Holly] Good point. Yes. Thank you so much.

- All right. Thanks for your call. Jose is listening from East Texas. Jose, welcome to the program.

- [Jose] Hey, how are you guys doing?

- Doing good. And your question?

- [Jose] Okay, so my question is about Acts 19 basically, if somebody has been baptized already in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by immersion, but the Holy Spirit leads them to a different church, to truth, let's say, do they need to get re-baptized?

- Well, you know, it depends. There are three biblical reasons for re-baptism. One reason is if you're not baptized biblically, you know, if you are baptized by sprinkling or pouring or you know, a variety of different ways they do it. The biblical method of baptism is immersion. This is what Jesus did. He went down in the water, came up out of the water, also says that about the eunuch that Philip baptized and others. So that's one reason. The other reason is if a person has back-slidden in a public and deliberate way where they kind of renounce the Lord, it's almost like a divorce of the Lord and they go off and live in the world, when they come back, it would be appropriate for them to be re-baptized. And then the third reason is sometimes people come into a significant new learning of truth and they may, you know, join a church by what they call profession of faith. And most churches that practice biblical baptism, they'll let a member come in. They say, "Look, I've been baptized biblically, like to join your church." And they'll simply say, "I profess that I believe the foundational doctrines of your church." But some choose to be re-baptized. And I've often found that kind of helps people get a new beginning. So, you know, it's done both ways. Acts 19 that you cited is an example of believers who were baptized by immersion, but they had not heard about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a lot about Jesus. But when Paul preached that to them, they were then baptized again.

- Does that help, Jose?

- [Jose] Yes. Yes. But my main question is do they need to?

- Well, you know, I would counsel with, if you've got a pastor and you're considering joining a different church, I'd counsel with a pastor. And like I said, those are the three Bible criteria. And so you just have to look at how does that apply to an individual's life?

- Well, you know, Pastor Doug, there are people that come to us. We have a church, we pastor a church and folks will come and ask to join the church. And some of them have been baptized by immersion and they've loved the Lord, but they've come to an understanding of new Bible truth and then they'll join the church on what we call profession of faith. There are those who have not been baptized by immersion and then they joined through baptism. There are others who were baptized by immersion, but their lives have changed as they learn so much more Bible truth. And they say, you know, I want to make that firm decision again and be an example to my family and to the church. And I want to be baptized by immersion. So there's no hard and fast rule if a person has been baptized by immersion. You just..

- It's personal choice.

- Yeah. Depends on the circumstance. You know, we have a book, it's called, "Baptism is it really necessary," and we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The number again is 800-835-6747 and it deals with the subject of Bible baptism. Next caller that we have is Tracy listening from Colorado. Tracy, welcome to the program.

- [Tracy] Thank you. Thank you. Hello Pastors.

- Hi.

- [Tracy] Hi, so my question is, there's many verses about how Christ was perfect and he lived a perfect life. First Peter 2:22. There was no guile found in his mouth. And I think the other one is John 3:5, first John. And we know that he was sinless. So my question surrounds Romans 3:23 where it says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So how are we supposed to live up to our example when nobody has ever done it? And I look at that verse as ever will.

- Well you're right, every human except Jesus has sinned. So this is what Romans is saying, of course, Christ is sinless. And I think there's another verse that said, who did no sin? I think Peter says that. But then Jesus calls us and people read in Matthew, he says, "Be therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect." And a lot of people roll their eyes and say, "I guess I just can't make it. How am I going to be perfect."

- [Tracy] Exactly. And I run into that when I say that I want perfection, and people are like, it's just impossible.

- Well first of all, there's no excuse for sin. I think you would agree with me on that. And no one questions that the devil can tempt us. So we need to ask the Lord if the devil can tempt us to sin, can Jesus keep us from sin? And the obvious answer is yes. And when Paul says, "I can do all things for Christ Jesus who strengthens me," or all things mean all things. And I think the goal of every Christian is we have a perfect Savior. We should strive every day, every moment to live by faith in his will. Will we fall? Virtually everyone does. But does that mean we'll never come to a place where we mature as Christians and we have the kind of faith that Daniel had when he went to the lions den, or Elijah had on Mount Carmel or the faith of . I think we can. And even in the disciples lives, you see growth that was happening. And you know, it's interesting, Paul says in one, where's that verse, Pastor Ross? Paul says, I do not count myself to be perfect.

- In Mark.

- He says, I do not count myself to be perfect, but I press on.

- Yeah.

- But then at the end of his life, Paul says, "I fought the good fight. I've finished the race, I've kept the faith." And you know, he talks about, you know, I've got this victory. And I think that's really the guide, the template for every believer. And I'm stalling.

- Philippines chapter, I found it. Found it. Yeah. Philippians chapter 3:12. 'Not that I've already attained or am already perfect, but I press on that I might lay hold of that which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of for me."

- Yeah. So the dangerous thing is I've just seen what happens when people say, "Oh, well nobody's perfect." And if you say that, then you'll never try. And I think that every Christian should try every day and every particular to model their life after Jesus' life.

- You know, Pastor Doug, you can use the illustration there of a child, let's just say a little child's learning how to walk, a baby, a toddler's learning how to walk. Well it's true. They're not going to be able to walk perfectly, but they try and as they try, they get stronger and better. But let's just say the little child decides to walk and it falls down so many times and says, I'm never going to be able to walk. I just give up. Well, it probably will never walk.

- Yeah.

- And so as a Christian, yes, we ought to at least try and we'll stumble and fall and God forgives us and he gives us grace. And through that experience, we learned to trust in Jesus more and more. And we might not be where we want to be, but we should see growth in our spiritual experience. Peter says, "Grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord." So it's a continual growth.

- Absolutely.

- Another good question. We needed to hear that one.

- Thanks for calling. We got Robert listening in Washington. Robert, welcome to the program.

- [Robert] Yes, thank you for taking my call.

- Yeah. And how can we help you tonight?

- [Robert] Yeah, I just want to know if there will be snow, ice, and glaciers in the world after Christ comes again to the earth?

- I hope not. I know Pastor Ross likes it cold and I don't, I like it warm. But you know, I think that it's interesting when you look at the kind of the archeology that's been done around the globe and not archeology as much as geology, the whole planet seems to at one time have had a temperate climate and then something radically changed after the flood, the temperature change. I think the whole planet was like a garden compared to what we have now. And I expect the new earth is going to be like that where there's no places in the world that are un-habitable because of burning deserts or freezing polar regions that maybe God will have worlds we can go visit like at the Planet Titan or it's one of the moons of Jupiter that's all ice. But nope, I hope there's no Arctics regions or snow or freezing up in heaven. Hey friends, we're going to take a brief break. We still got more Bible question time coming to get the very important announcement we want to share with you following that. And keep in mind that all of these programs, you can also catch them on Amazing Facts at the amazingfacts.org website. And you can tell your friends to go there and tune in. Queue up. We see a few more people that are standing by. We're going to get to your Bible questions in just a minute and we'll be right back.

- [Presenter] Stay tuned. "Bible Answers Live," will return shortly.

- A beast, a dragon and a woman. They sound like the character's in a fairytale, but nothing could be further from the truth. These three symbolic end time players are actually found in the Book of Revelation whose predictions about the last days are not exactly a bedtime story, but there is a book called "The Beast, the Dragon, and the Woman." And it's a daring and concise overview of the Bible's most compelling and perplexing end time players. And it tells about the struggle between truth and error. You'll even find out the part that America plays in these last days. If you want to be ready for the earthshaking events yet to come, then make sure and get your copy of, 'The Beast, The Dragon, and The Woman", today.

- [Presenter] To order your copy of, "The Beast, The Dragon and The Woman," call 800-538-7275 or visit afbookstore.com.

- Don't be caught unprepared for the final events of Bible prophecy. Okay friends, let's start with the basics. We know we're here, but we're not here for very long. So the most important thing would be if we could learn during this life how to live forever. This is the central focus of Amazing Facts. Now, there's a lot of wonderful things that Christian ministries do. I believe in Christian education, but if the schools lose the message of salvation, you end up with more educated sinners. I think it's very important for us to build churches, but if the churches lose the message of salvation, they just become buildings and shells. I think it's important to have a medical ministry and build hospitals, but if they separate that from the message of salvation, you just prolong a sinner's life for a little while. That's why for years, Amazing Facts has made it our focus to present the saving truth that sets people free. And friends, we want to thank you for your support and your gifts. We'll do our very best to convert those resources into the currency of heaven. May God bless you and keep Amazing Facts in your prayers. Every year, 40,000 souls in North America end their own lives. Suicide is a terrible tragedy. And while it's difficult to talk about, we need to face it together as Christians. That's why in my new book, "Choosing Life," I share the biblical perspective about suicide, answering some difficult questions about faith and salvation along the way, and offering practical tips that should help and encourage others. Jesus wants us to choose an abundant life in Him.

- [Presenter] You are 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 to, "Bible Answers Live." If you've tuned in along the way this is a a live interactive Bible study that's going out through radio and television now. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

- All right, Pastor Doug, we going to go back to the phone lines. Our next caller is Kiram from Trinidad. Kiram, welcome to the program.

- [Kiram] Good Night to the Amazing Facts family.

- Evening.

- [Kiram] I would just like to thank you to Amazing Facts and amazing discoveries for leading me to Christ, I got baptized in January, 2018. And I must thank you all for that.

- Well bless you heart. Praise God.

- [Kiram] Thank you. My question is about the beginning of sorrows. Just need some clarification on that. When exactly did the beginning of sorrows began? Will it happen before the close of probation and the time of Armageddon? Thank you.

- All right, thank you. And I think you're talking about in Matthew 24, and that would be verse eight, Jesus said, for nation will rise, this is verse seven, actually, "National will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines, pestilence, earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows, then they'll deliver you up to tribulation." All right, now to understand what he's saying here, you've got to really look at the first question in Matthew 24. Jesus is answering, well the three questions. He's saying, what are signs of your coming? When will these things be the destruction of the temple and the end of the world when he said they'll deliver you up to be afflicted. That happened to the apostles also. So let's remember that, the apostles went through great tribulation. They even had an earthquake, they had a major earthquake in the Middle East during one of the times back then in the days of the apostles. And then there were the dark ages where there was a gray tribulation and millions of Christians died during the inquisition and times like that. But I think you're probably asking about the third reference that Jesus is making to just prior to his return. And you know, after these signs that are given, they'll ultimately become a global persecution. We know the beast in his image is going to persecute everybody that does not worship the beast and they won't be able to buy or sell. That is probably the real time of sorrows and trial there. Ultimately, there'll be a death decree and the seven last plagues fall. But I think once probation closes and the seven last plagues fall, that's not the time of sorrows. God's people are sealed and saved then. So it's before that when there's going to be a real time of trial, Bible tells the same passage that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. There'll be a time of trouble, such as there never has since there was a nation. I don’t know, Pastor Ross, you got any?

- Yeah, I'm just looking at that verse, Pastor Doug, in Matthew 24:7. It says, Jesus said, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom." Well we look back at the history of the earth and there's always been war in kingdoms. But you know, you have World War I in 1919 and then you have World War II. Talk about kingdoms rising up against kingdoms and nations. I mean the whole world was involved in war. And then the next thing Christ mentions is famines. And after World War II we see terrible famines in Russia and in Asia, in China, in Africa. And then it talks about pestilence. Well of course we're right in a plague, pestilence.

- We're living it out.

- One that has spanned the globe and then it talks about earthquakes. And of course there's many earthquakes. It's one but many earthquakes around the world. Then it says, and all these are the beginning of sorrows. So I think Jesus is telling us that the end is coming. If ever there's a time for us to be faithful in our own relationship and come up with a crisis now. But of course there's one very important sign, Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world." This is verse 14, "As a witness to all nations. Then the end will come." So there is something we can do in helping to hasten the end. And that is be involved in preaching the gospel.

- Amen. Yeah. So everything we're seeing in the world this last century, these things are all, there's a confluence in our time right now. So hope that helps a little, Kiram. Great question.

- We got Kendall listening.

- By the way. Pardon me, Pastor Ross, we do have our study on the Lord's coming and signs. We can send him a copy or he can read that online.

- Yeah, absolutely. If you're outside of North America, you just go to the Amazing Facts website. We have a study guide, it's called, "Ultimate Deliverance," and it talks about the second coming of Christ. And I think you'll be blessed actually. It's called, "Rescue from Above."

- Right? Yeah.

- We get mixed up on those names. "Rescue from Above." It's the study guide talking about the second coming of Christ. We've got Kendall listening in Illinois.

- Indiana.

- Indiana, sorry, Kendall, Indiana. Welcome to the program.

- [Kendall] You might have to...

- There we go.

- [Kendall] Hi John.

- Hello.

- [Kendall] Well, I'm actually from Columbus, not Illinois.

- Okay.

- [Kendall] But I just want to thank you guys, I really appreciate your programs and Amazing Facts and I'm hoping that the Lord will bless you all in helping us hastening the Lord's coming. Now my question happens to involve with one John 2:6 where it reads, "He who says he abides in Him by himself also to walk just as He walked." So my question being is how can I abide more in Christ?

- Great question. And I think there's probably a lot of people out there that are interested in that as well. And then you read, you know, everything John says, or Jesus says in John chapter 15 about, if you're going to bear fruit, the vine must abide or the branches must abide in the vine. And so, and that's, you know, synonymous with abiding in Christ. Well if you look in Matthew 11:20, Jesus says, "Take my yolk upon you. Learn from me. I am gentle and lowly in heart and you'll find rest for your soul." So one thing is just in walking with Christ on a daily basis through prayer, that's how we abide in Him. You know, the Bible says, "Enoch walked with God, Noah walked with God. Abraham was the friend of God. Moses spoke to God face to face." The Lord wants to have an intimate love relationship with us. Not only is he our creator, he says that we've got a heavenly father. And Jesus said, he's our brother. He wants this family relationship where we're trusting in Him for everything and prayer, sharing our faith and reading His Word. We abide in Him through the Word too.

- Yeah. You know, there's a verse here, Pastor Doug, John 6:56. It says, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in Him." And when Jesus said this, it was a confusing to the people. There were many that said, this is a strange thing. He's talking about eating His flesh. There were those who were offended and actually left. And Jesus turned to His disciples and He said, "Are you also going to leave Me?" And they said, "No Lord, we have nowhere to go." But then they said, this is a hard saying. What do You mean eat Your flesh and drink Your blood? Jesus explained, and He said, 'The flesh prophets nothing but the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, they are life. And again, Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." So to abide in Christ, a big part of that is receiving His Word and believing His Word and applying His Word to our lives. That's how we abide in Him, communicating with Him.

- Yeah. And he kind of tells us how often, he says, give us this day our daily bread and man doesn't live by bread alone. So we need to be feeding on it on a regular basis. And I find that I'm so much closer to the Lord when I surround myself with spiritual information. I mean, right now in the world today there's just a, you know, snowstorm of obscene information that you don't want. There's all kinds of bad news and things that a Christian could get distracted. You've got to counteract that by making a conscious effort to, you know, if you're in your car, I always listen, I'm going through Christian books right now as I drive and it edifies my soul, my home devotions, at night family worship, and just keep staying rooted in what it means to be a Christian is what it means to abide in Him.

- And of course fellowshipping with other believers.

- At church.

- Yeah. The church described as the body of Christ. And we want to abide in that. We want to communicate in fellowship, in worship. All right. We do have a book, it's called, "The Ultimate Resource," and it's all about the Bible.

- Yes.

- And I think folks will find that helpful in your own study. If you'd like to receive it the number to the call is 800-835-6747. And you can ask for the book, it's called, "The Ultimate Resource," and we'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. We've got Tiffany listening in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tiffany, welcome to the program.

- [Tiffany] Hi. Good evening guys. So my question is, it's very clear in the Bible that in the ten commandments especially that you shall not murder. And even in Romans 12:19, it says that we should not avenge ourselves, but that God will repay. But then the Old Testament is a lot about judgment, I guess, through killing and stuff. Like even Judges chapter four, they rejoice that Jael kills their enemies. So what about like stuff like Christian police officers or military? Like is there a biblical time to kill?

- Yeah, great question. You know, I don't think any believer wants to be in a position where you would need to take another human life, even if it's what they would call justifiable. You know, I think a lot of people recognize you can create these scenarios where, you know, a father in order to protect their child, if there's some raving lunatic and the only way you could stop them is by what they call deadly force. You would do that and every law in every country would support you doing that. Or if you got a home invasion and you know, the life and safety of your family's at risk. Police are hired. And I think Paul says, is it in Romans, where it says that the government does not bear the sword in vain. In other words, they have the sword. And if you break those laws, they can ultimately use the sword. Well the sword was not used for spanking, it was usually used for lethal force. So, you know, there is a time for that. I think a lot of Christians would probably like to avoid full-time lines of work that might put them in a position where they need to kill even the guilty. But we certainly have no right to condemn people that are doing that. You know, a lot of folks have been saved by soldiers and law enforcement that are doing a very difficult task of killing a lethal enemy or a thief or a criminal.

- The verse you're referring to there is Romans 13:4.

- Yeah.

- Talking about the powers that be. But again, Pastor Doug, you mentioned that probably the wisest thing for a Christian to do if possible, is not to put themself in that situation. In other words, if there are others willing to do that kind of work, as a Christian we want to do everything we can to help heal and save life, not take life. So there are a number of Christians that don't believe in bearing in arms or going to war, but they do believe in helping to their country and they'll go as medics or they'll go as helping in different capacities. So the goal is to save life, not take life.

- Yeah. I think a lot of our listeners have probably heard of the movie that was made called, "Hacksaw Ridge," about Desmond Doss. And I'm always tickled to be able to tell people that he was a friend and that he said, "Look, I want to try and go and do what I can do to help save life." But he said, "I am not going to pick up a gun." Everyone thought he was crazy and they thought he was a coward. Proved he was exactly the opposite, he was very brave, very principled man. But so, you know, hopefully that makes sense.

- Okay, thank you. We've got Nick listening in Canada. Nick, welcome to the program. Nick in Canada, are you there?

- You might be on mute.

- [Nick] Yes, I was.

- Okay.

- [Nick] Hi, how are you?

- Good. Thanks.

- [Nick] To finally speak to you Doug Batchelor and good evening Jean Ross. And my question this evening has to do with Mark chapter 14:51-52. And it says, "Now a certain young man followed him having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body and the young man laid hold of Him and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked." And I just wanted to know if there was any significance to that scripture.

- You know, it's interesting, I actually heard a preacher on the radio quote that verse today and he said, "I'd never spotted that before." And I thought, really, if you read through the gospels, it's only in the Gospel of Mark, but it's pretty prominent. And everyone wants to know who is it? Well, it doesn't tell us who it is, but a lot of Bible scholars think, and I agree that this probably was John Mark, it wasn't one of the apostles, John Mark, his mother had this upper room, it's later used several times. They probably maybe used it for the last supper. I think they're in the house of John Mark when the Holy Spirits poured out at Pentecost in that upper room. And when he knew that Jesus and the apostles were retiring to Gethsemane, Christ had done that other times. That's how Judas knew He was there, that he wanted to follow along and see if he could pick up, you know, any teaching or just be close to Christ during the Passover. And when they came to arrest him, he was on the outskirts and he was trying to follow, to find out what was happening. And they went to grab him and he tore himself free and fled. Now when it says naked, I don't know that he was in his birthday tuxedo, but that meant that he took his robe. He may have ran off in his loin cloth. Who else would know this story except the one who is writing it. So many believe the gospel of Mark is largely the gospel of Peter that Mark wrote out. And probably it was Mark. So I know no reason to disagree with that.

- The honesty that you find in the Bible writers is kind of neat. I mean here probably Mark is the one that you know, is referring to himself. But he doesn't paint himself in a beautiful light saying, "Well, I was there and I was faithful." He kind of tells how that he ran and he was so scared he left his garment behind. So the honesty that you see in the Bible writers, it shows us that this is not just manufactured, this is real.

- Yeah.

- They're telling it the way it was. It's kind of a neat little...

- And just since we're on this and we never get on it, I think there's a spiritual analogy there too. I mean, Mark did exactly what most of us would do, but here you've got someone, he was following Jesus, he went through some persecution, he decided not to follow anymore and he left naked. And after Adam and Eve had a wrestling match with the devil, they were naked. And so, you know, when he ceases to follow Jesus and he leaves naked, there's I think a lesson in there too. All right, thanks so much for your call.

- All right. We've got Chase listening in Illinois. Chase, welcome to the program.

- [Chase] Oh, thank you Pastor Ross. Hi, Pastor Doug.

- Hi.

- [Chase] I'm glad to hear you're doing better after your about with, you know, everything with Covid and stuff. But my question is, let me pull it up because I wrote it down. So I've heard on the show before, just like you talked about how when you forgive a person, you may discern that they're untrustworthy. So I guess I wanted to ask a little deeper on that was like, how can we practically apply this with allowing our discernment of the individual being untrustworthy to become a subtle way of still holding what they did to us against them?

- All right, so as a Christian, if someone offends you or they take advantage of you or use you and they ask forgiveness, you can forgive them. Of course you should. Sometimes, even if they don't ask forgiveness, you want to restore the relationship if they're willing and forgive them. But that doesn't mean if their behavior has proved unfaithful. One example would be, you know, I've got a friend that I did a business deal with and worked for him for a day, and he never paid me. He was supposed to pay me, never got a penny. Oh, I take that back. He did, he gave me $15. But you know, I never got paid the $80 I was supposed to get that day. And, you know, I let it go. I realized he wasn't going to and remain cordial with him from then on, but he said, "Hey Doug, you want to come work with me again another day?" I said, "No, brother, thanks so much. But I think not." And so, you know, you learn not to, you have to have boundaries. You just don't do it again.

- And of course, forgiveness is something you do, how the person responds, that's up to them. But forgiveness is good, even if somebody hurts you, if you could pray and say, "Lord, please give me the strength to forgive them.' As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us we need to be able to forgive by God's grace. It doesn't mean that you don't make wise choices to avoid being hurt again in the future. But you don't want to hold onto that because really holding onto something like that, the one you're really hurting is yourself.

- Yep. Unforgiveness is a poison that destroys its container. So if we're harboring unforgiveness in our hearts, it actually eats at us.

- Yeah, absolutely. All right, well thanks for your call, Chase. We've got, let's see, Rachel listening in Georgia. Rachel, welcome to the program.

- [Rachel] Hello Pastors. Good evening. Thanks for having me.

- Evening.

- [Rachel] My question for you both is I've been seeing a lot lately of pronounced Christian basically giving healing over individuals who need it in the name of Jesus. And is that something that Christ disciples can do now? And if it is, why are we not doing it more often?

- All right, well, the Bible I think is pretty clear that Jesus healed and he said, "These things that I've done, greater things than this, will you do. Because I go to the Father." So even in the book of James, is it chapter five, "If there's any sick among you, let them call for the elders." They'll come together, they can pray over a person. Sometimes it says if they're stricken, that that they pray and they anoint them with oils. So prayer for healing does happen all the time. And we see, right now, I just know a lot of people that have been healed, you know, especially with the pandemic going around, but we don't seem to see the same intensity of miracles. Now they tend to come in waves through history, and we don't see the same kind of level, you know, we don't see many people coming back from the dead. And you know, Paul and Peter both resurrected people from the dead. So you may not see that level of healing, but prayer for healing is, Bible says that in his name. You know we're to do that.

- And I think we find in James sort of the prescription that we need to follow when it comes to healing. So of course we can pray individually for folks to be healed, but if somebody is sick and they are very sick and they need special divine healing, the right thing to do is talk to the leaders of the church and invite the elders to come. And it actually describes the process. They gather together, they pray over them, they anoint them with oil. You know, I'd be a little skeptical of healing or so-called faith healers that don't follow the biblical guideline. It's sort of a one man show where he's the one doing all the healing. Well, that's not what we find in James. It's gathering a group of leaders together, the elders in the church, and it's prayerfully asking the Lord. There's the anointing with oil and there's also the confessing of faults. You want to say, "Lord, please, if there's anything I'm doing that's hindering you from healing me, please forgive me." So there is a process that we need to follow in the Bible.

- Yeah. You know, I was just looking in Acts chapter 28, when Paul was shipwrecked on Malta. It says that, "The father of Publius was sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him." You'll see several things happening now. They do it maybe with oil, there's a laying on of hands, something very odd. And some evangelists have taken advantage of this, I think. It even says that with Peter and Paul, they would take a piece of cloth from them because maybe they couldn't get there and they'd go and bring it to the people and they'd be healed. Well, boy, I know a bunch of evangelists that sent out little pieces of cloth and envelopes all around the country said, "If you'll send $20, this will heal you." So, you know, some people have exploited these things and abused them, but biblical healing is Biblical.

- I think part of the reason for that is God was also establishing the leadership in the church and Peter and Paul, those who were the apostles that were leading in the church, God worked through them.

- And he was endorsing their authority.

- Yeah. Yep. In the minds of the people.

- Good question.

- Next question that we have is Cindy listening in California. Cindy, welcome to the program.

- [Cindy] Hi, good evening to both of you. My question is probably fairly quick. During the pandemic, my family has been gathering at my house every Sabbath and we started playing some Bible games and stuff like that. And then it has progressed into, some of my family members are wanting to play Word games and games on their phones and I'm wondering if that fits within the Sabbath outline.

- Yeah, that's a practical question. And keeping the Sabbath holy, you know, sometimes people will, there's a fine line, like they've actually got Bible games that help kids remember scripture. Amazing Facts is making a new Bible memory game that kids could freely play on Sabbath, I would think. And it's, you know, it's just focused on memorizing scripture, but they say, well, it's a word game. What about Scrabble? Well that's different. You know, you start, those words aren't all Christian words. So there's a line where you need judgment and say, let's keep it with a spiritual emphasis if we're going to be doing that on Sabbath. What do you think Pastor Ross?

- Absolutely. You know, there's certain activities that we want to do on Sabbath that sets the day apart from just any other day of the week.

- Yep. Great point. Well, listening friends, it's hard to believe sometimes how quickly the time goes by. We are going to come back in just a minute. We're going to tie off this broadcast for our friends that are listening on satellite. We're going to be back in just a few moments. We've got some online Bible questions. What's the address if they want to, if you want to send in an online question.

- Just Bible Answers Live, BALquestions@amazingfacts.org. And we actually have some questions that we are going to take here in the last two minutes. So we're going to take a quick break and then we'll be back. If you want to send us an email with your Bible question, it's just BALquestions@amazingfacts.org. And as mentioned, don't go away. We'll be right back with some exciting Bible questions that you folks have sent in. So stay tuned.

- [Presenter] 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 we are in our special bonus feature of our program. So Pastor Doug, we've got a number of questions that have come in. We're going to try and cover as many as we can. So we're not going to spend a whole lot of time on each question. But question number one, why were the Israelites told to look at the serpent to be healed, after all, isn't a serpent a symbol of Satan?

- Well, keep in mind, this is a nation of shepherds. They carried staffs. There were venomous serpents. They would kill a serpent. They did not pick it up with their hands. They picked it up with a stick and they carried off and buried it. A serpent on a stick represented a defeated serpent. They had been going through a plague where they were in the book of numbers or being bitten by all these venomous serpents. Moses was told to put a bronze serpent on a pole and if people look in faith, it's basically saying that that look of faith would free them from the venom. When we look at Christ dying for sin and he became sin for us, that frees us from the venom of sin. And he mentions that of course in John chapter 3:15.

- And then of course a little later we read about how the children of Israel end up worshiping that serpent and it had to be destroyed.

- Yeah, he kind of rounded up. He said you were never supposed to make an idol out of that.

- Right. Okay, question number two. Isn't the Trinity a Catholic pagan teaching?

- Well, the word trinity is just like, you get the word tricycle, it's tri entity. There's nothing wrong. You don't find it in the Bible. You don't really find the word Bible in the Bible. You don't find the word millennium in the Bible, but it's a teaching. The teaching of the three persons of the Godhead is a biblical teaching. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Catholic interpretation of the Trinity, I would say is different from the Protestant interpretation in the Catholic church, they almost have a holy quartet because Mary is sometimes exalted to a place of worship as well. But yeah, but there's nothing wrong with the word trinity or the teaching of what we would call the Godhead.

- Okay. Question number three, are the elect deceived in the last days?

- Jesus said if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived, meaning that the temptations and the trial is going to be very intense. But he said if it were possible, which implies the elect, obviously the saved are going to be saved. He's saying those who are saved and sealed, they are going to make it. They will not be deceived.

- Okay, very good. Last question, Pastor Doug. Why did God allow the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden?

- Well, the Lord was not wanting anyone to be tempted, but he wanted everyone to have a free choice because there was a rebellion in the universe. Lucifer and his angels were out recruiting followers and God said, make your choice. Out of time, friends. Thanks so much for listening in and join our program.

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

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