Heaven Is Cheap Enough

Lesson: 1
Christ gave Everything to simply have the possibility that you could accept His sacrifice (T. Gibson), so what will you do about it ? Accept His gift and pass it on ! Spend time with Christ in His Word. Join us ! We’ll discuss God creating sin, contradictions in the Bible, and many other topics. Christ deserves all our love, all our mind, all our life, all our time. “Nothing is too little which relates to man’s salvation, nor is there anything too little in which to please God,” (E. Pusey).

Riches of Grace

Riches of Grace
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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: Hello friends, would you like to hear an amazing fact? In February 2014, a Northern California couple out walking their dog on their country property east of Sacramento, they stumbled across a modern-day pot of gold. Actually they found several pots of gold buried in the shadow of an old oak tree. The couple, who had chosen to remain anonymous, found eight tin cans containing 1,427 gold coins dating between 1847 and 1894, virtually all of them in mint condition. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of the coins are so rare and well preserved, coin experts expect they could fetch easily up to $1 million. It's believed whoever owned the property 150 years ago buried the coins as a kind of primitive safety deposit box, and probably died taking the secret with them. This once in a lifetime horde that could easily fetch $10 million is believed to be the most valuable buried treasure ever found in the United States. You know, Pastor Ross, the Bible also tells about a man who found buried treasure in a field.

Jëan Ross: That's right, Pastor Doug, after hearing that fact, you want to go get a shovel and start digging around in your yard, you never know. We're not far from where this story actually took place here in northern California. We wonder what else is out there?

Doug: That's right, and matter of fact, today our family just went kayaking down the American River with our granddaughter, Lilly. Hello, Lilly, and our son. And we went right through the country where they found that gold and the guide said, you know, they're panning out there right now. We saw people panning for gold because they keep finding gold in the American River. And the story I referenced is in Matthew 13 verse 44, and it says, "Again the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and hid; And for joy of it, he goes and he sells all that he has and buys the field." So, Jesus pictures the story. You know, back then, poor people used to lease land for farming. And while he's out plowing this land, it's not his land, but he's doing something, and he finds this treasure. People didn't have banks, they buried their treasure back then. And then you realize, he's an honest man. It says he hid it again, he covers it up, and he goes, and he negotiates to buy the field, but it's going to cost him everything. But he knows what it's worth, so he sells everything. And Jesus uses that as an analogy or parable to explain that the kingdom of heaven and eternal life is worth everything. What could be worth more?

Jëan: You know, we have a book that talks about this. It's called "The Riches of His Grace." It's the greatest treasure that anyone can ever find, is the truth as it is in Jesus. And we'll send this to you for free. All you have to do is call the number, 800-835-6747. That is our resource phone line and ask for the book. It's called "The Riches of His Grace." You can also dial #250 on your smartphone and just say "Bible Answers Live," ask for the book, "The Riches of His Grace," and we'll be happy to send it to anyone here in the U.S. or outside--or North America, I guess it is. If you're outside of North America, then just go on our website, amazingfacts.org. If you have a Bible question, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297, that will bring you right here. If you don't get through right away, please just be patient. We'll get to as many calls as possible. Well Pastor Doug, before we go to the phone lines, let's start with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for the opportunity to study the Bible, and, Lord, we just pray for your guidance and the Holy Spirit to be with us here in the studio and be with the many who are listening, wherever they might be, Lord. Guide us into a clearer understanding of what the Bible says, in Jesus's name, amen.

Doug: Amen.

Jëan: Well, our first caller this evening, we've got Gary listening in Illinois. Gary, welcome to the program.

Gary: Thank you. In Genesis 11, verses 6 and 7, it says that God confused the language of the people building the Tower of Babel because all the people spoke the same language and there would be nothing impossible for them. So, is there anything in the Bible that talks about the development of AI? You know, the conversations I heard on YouTube says that AI is sentient, that it has consciousness, that thinks on its own. Well, this is going to be a have a big impact on society in a big way, and so I'm just wondering if there's anything in the Bible about it. Also that the AI said it didn't believe in a deity.

Doug: That's interesting, you know, just before we came on the air and I had not seen your question yet, Pastor Ross and I were talking about AI, meaning artificial intelligence, I think most people know that. And that is a fascinating question. You know, Jesus does warn us in the last days that the deceptions will be so effective and overwhelming that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. Now, while I don't agree with some of the experts that are saying that artificial intelligence has a conscience right now, all that artificial intelligence does is it responds to programming. And it is true that there are programs that are then being trained to analyze, is what they're doing. But as far as having, you know, I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to our minds and gives us a conscience and convicts, I don't think AI has that. It's a computer program. But are there dangers? Yes, look at what it does today and just imagine what it's going to look like in five years. We had a men's meeting this morning, we talked about AI and I don't have time to share everything, but the presenter did a good job of even tying in some scriptures about--like when the serpent suddenly spoke, he had this extra intelligence that Eve was intrigued by. And, you know, what they're doing now with taking a segment of a person's voice and some of their pictures, and they're creating video of this person talking, and they may have been dead. I mean, all you need is some of their audio files and video files, and they now can kind of recreate them, which is like consulting evil spirits or dead spirits. So, I think there's some very interesting moral dilemmas, not that all AI is bad. Virtually every company is using it in some--you know, if you have a smartphone, you're using AI, you may not even know it. But I think it's going to play a role in how the beast's power is going to control buying and selling in the last days.

Jëan: All right, well, thank you for your call, Gary. And next call is Jerry, Jerry in Texas. Jerry, welcome to the program.

Jerry: Okay guys, thank you. You're opening up with a bag of worms tonight. You have AI there and I'm going to give a follow up to the question I'm going to ask you.

Jëan: Okay.

Jerry: It could--could it be construed as--playing with AI or interacting with AI, could that be construed as playing with the ouija board? And I base this on eight days ago, we had an Amazing Facts Sabbath School study hour that we have weekly on "Amazing Facts," and the gentleman referred to a young boy that was 12 to 14 years old, and he was interacting with a bot, and he asked the bot, "Who is your creator?" And the bot responded saying, "My father is a fallen angel from heaven."

Doug: Well, that's interesting. When you start dabbling with using AI and trying to get spiritual advice from a computer, I think the devil can influence that, and I wouldn't recommend that. Now again, I want to explain that when I'm typing a document and it is auto correcting, that is a very simple form of AI. So, AI in itself is a technology, and like television or printing press or, you know, so many technologies can be used for good or evil. And I think there's no question that AI, the devil can use it for evil, but that doesn't mean all AI is bad.

Jëan: I think part of that concern in talking about AI is people put so much trust in, you know, what their phone says. We were just talking about this on the way home after the meeting this morning. And if somebody asks, "Well, what's the population of Sacramento?" And somebody pull out their-- everyone says, "Well, I think it's this, I think it's that," and then they ask Google and Google give an answer, that is the final answer. Once Google says or whatever your phone tells you the answer is, it's as if, all right, that's the final word. There's a lot of trust built into AI and you wonder what that confidence that people have in artificial intelligence, is that something that the devil can manipulate in the end of time?

Doug: And computers do make mistakes.

Jëan: That's right.

Doug: I've taken--I followed a GPS down the road that ended up being filled with trees and there was no road, but it--so--my GPS said forward. So, they can mislead you sometimes.

Jëan: All right, thank you, Jerry. We've got Anthony listening in New York. Anthony, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

Anthony: Good evening, pastors.

Doug: Evening.

Anthony: Really quick, when I asked the question a few months back about ambition and you know in the Christian walk and things of that nature, and based on the answer to your--to my question from you, I applied for a promotion. I actually got it, and it's a pretty high position in the company. So, I just want to say thank you for that-- for that word from the Lord. And just praying that I'll be faithful like Daniel or Joseph. And so, my question is--has to do with the Shekinah glory. So, we know from Exodus that in the sanctuary, in the wilderness, that I believe the pillar of cloud, when it stopped, we believe that the pillar of cloud is Jesus, was a form of preincarnate Jesus Christ and the pillar of fire as well. And that pillar of cloud, once the sanctuary was built, filled the temple. So--with the glory of the Lord. And so, I guess my understanding is that the Shekinah glory, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, the Shekinah glory is--was Jesus Christ, the presence of Jesus Christ among the people. And so, when Christ came to the earth, when he was born, was the Shekinah glory still in the temple before it was destroyed in AD 70? And you know, and I know the temple, the veil in the temple was rent when Christ died, signifying the end of the sanctuary service. So, because Christ was here physically on earth, was the Shekinah still in the temple? Or was there no Shekinah and the Jews were, you know, doing the sacrificial service without the Shekinah?

Doug: Understood. Yeah, the Shekinah glory never really reappeared in the temple following the time of Josiah. When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and the Ark was hidden, the Ark of the Covenant--the Shekinah glory, always appeared above the Ark of the Covenant, it never appeared again. There's no record, I should say, of it appearing again, because the Ark was gone. It's like back when the Ark was captured by the Philistines in the days of Eli, they said, "Ichabod, the glory is departed." So, I think the glory, that visible manifestation of God's presence was gone from the temple from the time of Nebuchadnezzar. When they rededicated the temple in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, they never saw the Shekinah glory come down like they did in the days of David or in Solomon's time. So, when Christ was on earth and the veil ripped, it was signifying that the old ceremonial system had ended. But I don't think anything happened with the Shekinah glory. Did you have any—

Jëan: You know, I agree. I think after, you know, the temple was rebuilt, it spoke of the latter house, or the second house, having greater glory than the first house.

Doug: Because Christ went in to teach there.

Jëan: That's right. So, it wasn't the Shekinah glory, which was glorious in the time of Solomon, the glory, it was even greater in the person of Christ, so there was no need for another Shekinah glory, if the glory of Christ was greater than what was revealed there in the Shekinah. And then, of course, when the veil rent from top to bottom, it signified that the temple and Jesus said, "Your house is left to you desolate," so.

Doug: He said, "Destroy this temple, I will build one made without hands," meaning his body, the church.

Jëan: Very good, I'm thinking, do we have a study? We do have a study out on the temple. It's called "God Built--"

Doug: "God Drew the Plans."

Jëan: "God Drew the Plans," that's what it is. One of our Amazing Fact study guides. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 800-835-6747. As for the study guide, it's called "God Drew the Plans." We'll be happy to send it to you or just dial #250 on your smartphone and say, "Bible Answers Live," and ask for that by name. We've got Thomas listening, Canada, Thomas, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

Doug: Hey, Thomas, you're on the air, yeah.

Thomas: Yes, thank you. Thanks for taking the call.

Doug: And your question?

Thomas: The question is yes, they--I heard, heard expressed by pastors that--and this is not a common understanding, but that there is a book of creation. and then there's a-- the book of God's Word. And as there's two witnesses that God had to carry out a death, because of breaking the law, He required a minimum of two witnesses, so God follows that same principle. That's why Creation and the Word, they are in harmony. So, my specific question is, which I illustrated to the interviewer when she started is, that carbon has a signature of 666, and oxygen has a signature of 888. And Jesus's name adds up to 888 in in Greek, the language of the New Testament was written, the common language of the day. So, my question is, do we see an imprint of God putting salvation in creation by those two numbers?

Doug: Okay, I've never had that question before. I have heard before that carbon was somehow reflected by the number 666. I don't know, maybe the--something in the—

Jëan: Molecular structure or something?

Doug: Yeah, in the elements of it. I don't know that I would try to use that kind of math, taking the name of Jesus and the numerical value of his name in Hebrew, and saying, you know, part of it equals the earth and the Word and creation. You know, when I get to heaven, I think we're going to learn a lot about numerology. God does use a lot of interesting numbers in the Bible and we'll probably understand it better. There are math geniuses that see all kinds of connections.

Jëan: Of course, if you look in nature, you can see the great controversy played out. You see good and evil revealed in nature. You see beauty in nature, but you also see pain and suffering. So, just by looking at nature, you realize, well, first of all, there must be a Creator, but you also realize that there's an adversary that brings suffering and death. And then, of course, the Bible expounds upon that.

Doug: Yep. Something--you can see something went wrong. It's a beautiful world, and yet there's sin and suffering and death. So, hey, thank you, Thomas. Don't know if that helps at all. We do have--we do have a free download. It's at a website called bibleprophecy.com, is that right?

Jëan: I think so.

Doug: Where it's got the study on numbers?

Jëan: Oh, yeah.

Doug: Bible prophecy truth.

Jëan: Prophecy code, if their webs are still up.

Doug: No, it's-- well maybe there are two.

Jëan: Yeah, it was there.

Doug: But yeah, okay. Anyway, yeah, we--we've got, if you type in Amazing Facts, Bible numbers and their meanings, I think we have a resource on that.

Jëan: We have that. George listening in Texas. George, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

George: Hi, pastors.

Doug: Hi, how can we help you?

George: Okay, I know that one of the commandments is, "Thou shalt not kill," or, "Thou shalt not murder." Does that mean I'm automatically supposed to vote for the party of the pro-life? And if I vote for the other party that's not pro-life, am I sinning?

Doug: Well, that's an interesting question. Personally, I think that you need to evaluate what the values are of different candidates. You probably could find good and evil in both parties, unfortunately. So, you know, sometimes when the time comes to vote, you need to pray and then hold your nose and vote as an American citizen. But I personally would have a moral problem, and again, I don't want to make political statements, we want to give Bible answers. I would have a problem, personally, voting for a candidate that was supporting abortion. And that might mean that, you know, you're voting for a candidate who's supporting some things in other areas that are not Biblical. But to me, it's a pretty serious violation when you're taking innocent life.

Jëan: You know, one of the counsels I heard dealing with voting, it's always good if you can, to vote on specific issues versus just the parties in general, because like you say, there's good and bad in each of the parties. But if you have the opportunity to vote on a specific issue, whether that's pro-life or abortion, or how--what is marriage defined as, we as Christians, I think have an opportunity to stand for what the Bible says on these issues. So, vote on issues if possible.

Doug: Yep. Very good.

Jëan: Thank you, George. We got Joel listening.

Doug: You know, pardon me, I do have a book that's called "Should a Christian Vote?" Yeah. And it talks a little bit about the principles around elections. And it talks a little bit about the principles around elections. you know, around voting season. Yeah, but we'll send it to anyone who calls and asks. The number for that is 800-835-6747. Just ask for the book, "Should A Christian Vote?" and we'll be happy to send it to you or dial #250 on your smartphone and you can get it that way as well. Joel in North Carolina. Joel, welcome to the program.

Joel: Good evening, pastors. I'm doing a study on the timeline between the triumphant entry and the Mount of Olives, where Jesus told the disciples that, you know, the--Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. My question is, did that--from Matthew 21 to Matthew 26, did that--that happened over, like, a three-day period, right?

Doug: Well, it, yeah, it's a matter of a few days. I'd have to go back and look at chapter 21. I know that most of the Gospels would dedicate most of their time to the final week of Christ's life. So, it wouldn't surprise me. Matthew 21? Yeah, I think that's where Jesus is excoriating the scribes and Pharisees.

Jëan: Yeah, I think from--if you're looking in Matthew 21 starting in verse 1, all the way through to the crucifixion, it's about a week. So, various Bible scholars believe that Jesus came to Jerusalem or Bethany, which is two miles outside of Jerusalem, on the Friday, he was there for the Sabbath, and then on Sunday he entered, triumphant entry into Jerusalem. And then of course, that Friday he was crucified. So, a lot happened within that one week.

Doug: It tells about, yeah, several teaching episodes and—

Jëan: The cursing the fig tree when he went in and out. Okay, thank you Joel. Who do we have next? Chastity, is that right?

Doug: Yes, Chasity.

Jëan: Chasity from Arizona, Chasity, welcome to the program.

Chasity: Hi, thank you very much.

Doug: Yes. Chasity: I just have a question. Are the demons that are mentioned in the Bible the fallen angels, and who are the third of the fallen angels who fell to earth?

Doug: Yeah, yes and yes. The angels, the evil spirits, are the same as the fallen angels. So, you know the devil is sometimes referred to as an evil spirit. You know, "We don't wrestle against flesh and blood," it says in Ephesians chapter 6, "but against spiritual hosts of evil in high places." And in Revelation 12 it says Satan was cast out of heaven and his angels were cast out with him. And then you read earlier, the tail of the dragon drew 1/3 of the stars, and these--the stars are--the dragon is a symbol for Satan, and the stars are a symbol for the angels. And it says his angels were cast down with him. So, whenever we hear about evil spirits and sometimes they are called demons or even ghosts, these are typically angels, Satan's angels. They're fallen angels that have been converted, like Lucifer. Satan was once Lucifer, he was the chief of the angels and he became a devil, and the fallen angels became demons.

Jëan: We have a study guide that talks about the origin of evil. It's called "Did God Create a Devil?" And I think it addresses this very question, about the angels and how they fell. If you'd like to receive that, the number to call is 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, "Did God Create the Devil?" Or dial #250 on your smartphone and just ask for it. We'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks. We got Joe listening in Arizona. Joe, welcome to the program.

Joe: How you guys doing?

Doug: Great. How are you doing?

Joe: Hey, my question this week is, I've watched--Pastor Batchelor, I've watched your presentation on the 144,000, but I never really got a definitive answer of who they are. And so, I guess my question would since the Bible says that before the four quarters--or the End Times, the angels are released to wreak havoc on the earth, that the angel goes and he seals the 144,000?

Doug: Yes.

Joe: Is it possible that the 144,000 could be the actual literal number of people that get sealed with the seal of God, before the tribulation?

Doug: I don't think they're the only ones. In other words, I think everyone in the last days that's saved has the seal of God, because everyone else has got the mark of the beast. But the 144,000, I think there's more than just the 144,000 that are saved. I think the 144,000 represent the leadership. Keep in mind, Revelation is written by an apostle, his name is John, and everything you read about the 144,000 fits the definitions of the apostles. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. It says, "These are they without guile." They have a special message. It's like on the day of Pentecost, one of the disciples had committed suicide because he betrayed Jesus, Judas. And before the Holy Spirit is poured out, Peter says we need to replace that because we're down to 11 apostles. As soon as they get to the number 12, the next thing it says is the place they were gathered together is shaken and the Holy Spirit is poured out. When they got to that number 12, there's something about that. And I think that in the same way God used 12 apostles to go and preach to the lost tribes of Israel during Jesus's first coming, He's going to have 12 times 12,000 before the second coming. They're not the only ones saved, just like on the day of Pentecost, you've got 12 apostles in the upper room, but there's 120 total, there's other people, other disciples there. It wasn't just the 12 apostles filled with the Holy Spirit, it was everybody in the upper room, and then through their preaching, there's a great revival. And I think that's going to repeat itself. A latter rain outpouring of the Spirit. The 144,000 are a type of God's people, but they're a symbol for the apostles also. Got a book we can send you. We may have offered this to you last time, but I don't know if you received it yet or asked for it, but it's on--"Who Are the 144,000?"

Jëan: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. Just ask for the book, "Who Are the 144,000?" We'll be happy to send it to you, Joel, or anyone wanting to learn more about Revelation chapter 7. Dial #250 on your smartphone and just say, "Bible Answers Live," and again you can ask for the book. We'll be happy to send it to you. Next caller that we have is James, listening from Pennsylvania. James, welcome to the program.

James: All right, good evening. I was wondering if I could ask two really quick questions, If I'm real quick, to make my point?

Doug: Okay, let's take them one at a time.

James: Sure, the first question I have is, are God's people allowed to defend themselves and their families from the forces of evil, without committing sin? Say like if somebody tried to break into my house and the only way that I could defend my family is, like, if I had to shoot them or something?

Doug: You know, according to the Bible, it says pretty clearly, even Jesus said that, you know, "You can't break into a strong man's house unless you bind him first," physically, you have to restrain him. Meaning, that if you don't physically restrain him, he's going to defend his family. And so, I think it's a pretty common universal understanding that a man or whoever's in the house would want to protect the home and the children and the occupants. And so, if force is used to come in, you might need to use force if you can to stop an invasion. And most laws in most countries understand and recognize that. So, I don't think there's a moral--you know, some people might say, you know, "I just, I can't do that even if my family is at risk," and I'd respectfully disagree. But there are some people who feel so strongly about any kind of, what they would call violent defense, that they don't think a Christian should do that, they should just pray. Well, I wouldn't bother my conscience. I think it's normal reaction and I think it's even a duty for the man of a house to protect and provide for his family. Listening friends, we want to thank you for your continued support of Amazing Facts. Now, we've still got half the program to come, but I just want to pause here. This program is 100% supported by you. And if you've been blessed, we encourage you to go to the website and keep us going. Don't go away. The best of "Bible Answers Live" is coming in our second half.

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Announcer: You're listening to "Bible Answers Live," where every question answered provides a clearer picture of God and his plan to save you. So, what are you waiting for? Get practical answers about the good book for a better life today. This broadcast is a previously recorded episode. If you'd like answers to your Bible-related questions on the air, please call us next Sunday between 7 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 if you've tuned in somewhere along the way, this is a live international interactive Bible study, and you're invited to call in with your Bible questions. If you don't get through right away, well, try again. Seek and you will find. And the--knock and it'll be open. It's 800-God-Says, is the phone number. One more time, 800-463-7297, and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan: My name is Jëan Ross, and we're going to go to Aaron listening in New York. Aaron, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

Aaron: Good evening, pastors.

Doug: Evening.

Aaron: I encountered an internet troll on the comments section of a Christian YouTube video. He claims that God created sin because the Bible says God created all things and he counts sin as a thing because he defines a thing as which is considered a separate entity, object, quality, and concept. He uses Romans chapter 11, verse 36 to back up this claim. My question is, can sin be included in the meaning behind Romans chapter 6--chapter 11, verse 36, and Colossians chapter 1 verses 16 and 17?

Doug: Well, let's read these for friends who are listening. In Romans chapter 11:36, "For of him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be the glory forever." Well, what all things is Paul talking about? You go to verse 33, it says, "Of the depth of the riches of the wisdom of the knowledge of God." It's talking about the mercy of God in verse 31 and God's grace. It's not talking about evil. And so he's--Paul is saying that the glory for all--the plan of salvation belongs to God, we can't take credit for it. So that verse, I think, to say that God created sin, now there's a big problem with anyone who says that God created sin. It says God tempts no man. James says, I forget the verse, "God cannot be tempted with evil. Neither does he tempt anybody." So, whoever tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God never induces people to sin. God does not create entrapment to try to get people to sin. He hates sin.

Jëan: That's James chapter 1 verse 13. It says God doesn't tempt.

Doug: "Every good and perfect gift is from God and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning." And so, God is good. Sin came from--God created a good angel, who had a free will. And this intelligent, free, moral being, Lucifer, he became selfish. Sin began with him. And, God is good, God is pure, God is just. So, the idea that God created sin, created sinners and then said he's going to punish sinners for being sinners, well, that would make God an accomplice to the problem of sin, which really would go against everything the Bible says about God hating sin.

Jëan: Of course, we have that study guide it says, "Did God Create a Devil?" And it deals with this. I'll be happy to send it to anyone who calls and asks, it's 800-835-6747 or dial #250 on your smartphone and we can send it to you.

Doug: Sorry, just in fairness, also, I think Aaron was also asking about Colossians 1:16 and 17, which is also saying, I believe, that God made all things. But it's talking about God made everything. It looks back to Genesis, where it says it was good, good, very good, He made everything good. And because of the choice of one of the free creatures, Adam and Eve and the devil, they made moral choices not to love and not to obey.

Jëan: All right, thanks for your call, Aaron. We've got Lawrence listening from Oregon. Lawrence, welcome to the program.

Lawrence: Yeah. I just told a little bit about circumcision. If Jesus told us to follow his steps and he was circumcised on the 8th day, do we practice circumcision today or not? People-- that's my question.

Doug: Yeah, well, one of the big discussions they had in the New Testament is as the Gentiles were coming to Christ and believing in Jesus, some of the Jewish believers in Christ said, "Oh well, they need to be circumcised." And there was a long discussion about this in the early church, and they came to the conclusion that it is not necessary. Circumcision was something that pointed to the covenant that the promised seed would come through the line of Abraham. It also was a symbol for the cutting away of the flesh, not being carnally minded but being spiritual minded. So, now many countries and peoples, I think Muslims and Jews and many Gentiles today still practice circumcision and they perform it in hospitals routinely for Jews and Gentiles because they--there is some medical benefit. And I'm talking about male circumcision. Female circumcision is believed to be all negative, it's kind of a mutilation. But--and you can probably research the details of that on your own, but there's no command. Paul says circumcision is nothing, and you can read this in Galatians. Uncircumcision is nothing, keeping the commandments is what matters.

Jëan: Okay, thank you. We've got Junith listening in Nevada. Junith, welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

Junith: Hello, good evening. My question is related to Genesis chapter 3 verses 1 to 23. Is about the

character of the snake. We know that God described the snake as the most guile among the animals in the garden. Some people would even put in the sermon that the devil is smart, and I really would like to to address this, that if the devil is smart, the devil should not have become the devil. He would still be one of the cherubims guarding the Ark of the Covenant. And the meaning of guile here is, actually it's another form of intelligence. It's a crafty intelligence. And to be smart is quick-witted intelligence. Would you agree with me that the snake is not smart?

Doug: Yeah, well, the Bible says, you know, thank you, June. The Bible says that, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And Satan's not fearing God is a sign of the ultimate ignorance. And I know that that might sound like a contradiction, but keep in mind there are some people in the world that have extremely high IQ's that do not believe in God, and they are foolish in deliberately choosing not to believe in God. I think Paul addresses this in Romans 1, he says, "Thinking themselves wise, they become fools." And so, they're still very intelligent people that would, you know, if they took an IQ test, they'd score very high. If you ask them if they believe in God, they say no, and the reason is they can't afford to believe in God, because that means they would have to answer to God. They want to be their own God. That was the devil's problem. And so, when it says the serpent was more cunning, it's talking about the craftiness, the hypnotic ability of like a snake, to deceive, to sneak up on. So, it doesn't mean that the devil is wise in the spiritual sense. Real wisdom is surrendering to God and believing in God.

Jëan: All right, thank you. Next caller that we have is Loretta listening from New York. Loretta, welcome to the program.

Loretta: Hey, Doug and John. My question is, my 13 year old came to me with these two verses, and he was wondering if there is a contradiction. Clearly, I couldn't explain it to him. It's 2 Chronicles 22:2 and 2 Kings 8:26.

Doug: Okay, let's go there, 2 Chronicles 22:2. Yeah. "And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, King in this place for the raiders who came with the Arabians into camp had killed the older sons. So Ahaziah, the son of Joram, King of Judah, reigned." And, so, verse 2, "Ahaziah was 42 years old." Now, the--in 2 Kings it says Ahaziah was 22 years old. Yeah, and the reason that is given by the Bible scholars is that it probably was that he was 22 years old. The letters in Hebrew--the Bible is perfect, but sometimes the manuscripts they translate from, the scribes had written letters not clearly, or the ink had smudged by the time the translators got the documents. And when they looked at the Hebrew letters for 22, it's like in English, the seven and the two can sometimes look similar if you don't write them clearly. You know what I'm saying? And, matter of fact, when I was--when I was a teenager, I took my learner's permit. I was born in 1957. Now you all know how old I am. But I wanted to be able to buy alcohol, so I turned the seven into a two very easily and I used that counterfeit or forged learner's permit to get a driver's license. For years, my driver’s license that I was older than I was, even after I became a Christian, because every time I renewed it, they took the old date. And one day I went back and I said, "You know, this is wrong, it's not my age." And they just took my word for it and changed it back, I was amazed. I should have said I was 15. Anyway, but this is just a place where you are going to see a discrepancy because-- is this what you understand, Pastor Ross? The numbers in Hebrew, the characters look very similar and it was translated incorrectly, probably in 2 Chronicles 22. So, thank you. Hope that and the math adds up better one way than the other, as far as the ages of the kings and how old the kids would be.

Jëan: All right, next caller that we have is Jasmine listening in Georgia. Jasmine, welcome to the program.

Jasmine: Yes, good night.

Doug: Evening.

Jasmine: I just wanted to say, God bless your ministry and my son and I hear you guys every day, you know, repetition. But our question that we have is when Eve was talking to the serpent, why was she not surprised that the serpent was talking to her?

Doug: Well, I think she was surprised. I think the devil deliberately possessed this beautiful, subtle creature that was probably hypnotic in the way it moved, even snakes today can be hypnotic. But snakes after sin were cursed to crawl on the ground, which means before sin, they had some other means of mobilization. And commentators think that they may have been able to fly. Virtually every culture in the world talks about flying reptiles, and there's even bones of pterodactyls and pterodactyls and reptiles that flew. So, you know, we don't know if there's that connection, but I think she was surprised. And that's one of the things that--sure, she wasn't afraid. There was nothing in the garden to fear, but I don't think Eve knew that any of the creatures had the ability of speech, and the serpent is--he's intimating, "Well if you eat this fruit, look what it did for me? I was a snake, that all I could do is stick out my tongue and now I can talk." And she was amazed by that and thought, maybe God is keeping something from us. So, I think--I don't know what your thoughts are?

Jëan: Absolutely.

Doug: I think you--I think she was surprised.

Jëan: And also probably surprised by the fact that it almost seemed as though the serpent answered a question that she was wondering about. She was looking at the fruit and the devil was waiting. He saw his perfect opportunity.

Doug: He read her expressions of curiosity and yeah. Jëan: Subtle, yeah. Doug: And then you know, I heard one Hebrew scholar said, when he greeted Eve, it was like, hi there. I mean, it was all--yeah, it was almost like a flattering, seductive greeting that appealed to her. So yeah. Okay, thanks.

Jëan: Next caller that we have is Coby listening from Washington, Coby welcome to "Bible Answers Live."

Coby: Hello pastors. I wanted to know can people go to heaven if they go to church on Sunday?

Doug: Okay. There are going to be a lot of people in heaven that went to church on Sunday. There'll be people in heaven that maybe didn't know what day to go to church. Now, I think Coby might be wondering because on this program, we've said that biblically there's no question the seventh day is the Sabbath. Well, what does that mean about millions of people around the world that go to church on the first day of the week instead of the seventh day? Are they automatically lost? No. Sin is knowing to do good and not doing it, so there's a lot of people that don't know God's will in this area. And so, you know, Christians that live up to all the light that they have, they're going to be in the kingdom. But that doesn't mean we should ignore what the Bible says. Once we know what the Bible says, we need to follow the Word of God.

Jëan: Well, the Bible speaks of a time when God winked at their ignorance. For example, you have many very godly men in the Old Testament that had more than one wife. Well, that was never God's will. Jesus made it very clear when he said, in the beginning He created man and woman. And yet they still going to be saved. They kind of conformed to the culture of the time. And God has given us truth. We want to follow all the light.

Doug: Yep. So, thank you Coby. Hope that helps the answer that a little bit.

Jëan: We've got Steven, listening in Canada. Steven, welcome to the program.

Steven: Good evening, gentlemen. I appreciate the program as always. I think it's the fifth time I have a pleasure to call. Thank you for taking my call. What I would like to know, what does the Bible say about fornication, you know, to keep out of making love outside of marriage?

Doug: I think the Bible is pretty clear that sexual relations for people are to be reserved for the marriage covenant. And I think we can see the epidemic in our country and other parts of the world, to families where children are born into single parent families, not because the father or mother died, but because there was no benefit of a covenant of marriage. And they grow up and often struggle with a whole spectrum of problems because they don't have the biblically designed family. Now I know there are people that either through divorce or death, they're single parents and God will watch over and bless but it's not the ideal. God's ideal is for there to be man and woman. Sex is to be reserved for that, and you might be thinking, well, what if you know, if you use birth control, what difference does it make? You know, God wants us to reserve those intimate--that intimate gift for the marriage covenant. And I think the Bible, every verse in the Bible that addresses that is consistent.

Jëan: All right. Did you have a second question, Steven?

Steven: Yes, because I was just thinking, but I don't want to add--thank you very much, Professor Jëan Ross for asking. My second question is that we should not add or distract anything as Revelation questions, but my humble observation because the Sabbath is going to be the seal of God and also Isaiah 66:32-33 as you know, is going to be eternal life important, if this can keep us more on the narrow path, more in Christ, than let's say Sunday, which is not in the Bible or you know any other day. You know the Sunday, keep us more clean, more pure bride of Christ, the temple, you know more being the men and more the desire to stay pure until marriage.

Doug: Well, I do think there's benefit. Whenever we obey God, there's a blessing. If you look in Isaiah chapter 58, when it talks about the Sabbath commandment in particular and you can look in, let me see here. Here we go, I'm getting close. Isaiah 58, verse 13. "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord, honorable and shall honor him, not doing your own ways or finding your own pleasure or speaking your own words, then you will delight yourself in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken." He promises special blessings that go above and beyond the blessings of physical rest.

Jëan: You know, we have a study guide, it's called "The Lost Day of History," and if anyone wants to study this further, it's an important topic, we'll be able to send you this for free. The number to call is 800-835-6747. Just ask for the study guide called "The Lost Day of History." We also have a website called sabbathtruth.com, and you can go there right away, and you can see some great resources and study this further for yourself. Next caller that we have is Lee, listening in Texas. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Yes, sir, thank you. My question is that Jesus knew everything that God knows, right?

Doug: Well, yes, He does now, on earth He did not. I mean, on earth He laid aside His divinity, and so He only knew that what was revealed at the time by the Father.

Lee: Jesus once said that he didn't know the day--the day of His coming, but how could He not know the day of His own coming if He knew everything that God does?

Doug: Well, when--He does know now, but when Christ was on earth as a man, He--the incarnation. I mean, think about it for a moment, when Jesus was a baby in the manger, do you think He had all the knowledge of the cosmos and all the knowledge of God swirling around His head? He had to learn to talk like other babies. So--and it says in, is it Philippians where it says He laid aside His divinity? He thought it not robbery to be equal with God. I might be thinking of Colossians. "But made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a servant." So, Christ basically, when He was on earth as a human and He said, "No one knows the day or the hour, I don't even know." For one thing.

Jëan: Philippians 2:7.

Doug: Yeah. What would Jesus say to the apostles? Would He say, "Yeah, February 26, 1945 is when I'm coming or 2045"? What would that mean to them? I mean, how would--how would He even relate the date? They didn't have that dating method. So, does Jesus know the day and the hour of His coming? Of course, I mean, you can't picture Jesus is up in heaven by the Father and He's saying, "Please let Me know, when am I supposed to come?" "No, can't show You yet, can't trust You." Of course He knows, but on earth as a man, He didn't know all that.

Jëan: It had not been revealed to Him. All right, thank you. Next caller that we have is Cindy, listening in Arizona. Cindy, welcome to "Bible Answers Live." Hold on a second. We just had Cindy move real quick. Do you have it there, Pastor Doug?

Doug: We've got callers coming in, so it shifts our names. Well, let's—

Jëan: Oh, there it is, I found it. Cindy in Arizona. Cindy, welcome to the program.

Cindy: Hi, can you hear me?

Doug: We do.

Jëan: We can hear you.

Cindy: Okay. So, the question I have is around the crying of blood from the ground, the spilling of innocent blood and the crying out from the--from the grave, like Abel in Genesis 4. And then I--I had mentioned Matthew 2, I think it's 2:18 actually, where it mentions Rachel and the last part of that.

Doug: Yes, crying for her children.

Cindy: Yeah, but I was wondering about Revelation, I think it's 9 through 10 because of the connection—

Doug: The soul of those under the altar crying out?

Cindy: Yeah, and it's connection to abortion and, you know, the 6th commandment, not killing. So, do you think that those are the 63 plus million since Roe versus Wade, 1973, do you think that could be?

Doug: Yeah, I think I understand what you're asking, Cindy. You know, when God said to Cain, "The blood of your brother, Abel cries to me from the ground," he meant, the blood isn't little blood cells aren't, you know, squeaking. It wasn't talking about literally, it-- it's a figure of speech that the innocent blood of Abel was crying out for justice. You've got the innocent blood of the children in the story of the slaughter in Bethlehem crying out for justice. Jesus had all the blood from Abel to Zachariah, the son of Baraciah, who was an innocent prophet killed in Jerusalem, was going to come on that generation, and it did with the destruction of Jerusalem. When you read in Revelation, is it chapter 9, where it's the souls under the altars, is that 5?

Jëan: Chapter 6.

Doug: Chapter 6. When you read about the souls under the altar, it's again, it's a symbol for the martyrs, those who have died for the cause of Christ, but the innocent blood of unborn children, that is also crying out for justice. That verse in particular I don't think he's talking about that, but certainly God has record of any injustice and innocent blood, and there'll be a payday for that.

Jëan: Yeah, from the broader context, you know, we're talking about the first seal in the sequence of events, if you kind of follow through the chronology, it's talking about a time of severe persecution that came upon Bible believing Christians, during the time of the Reformation and even before, and that fits into that time frame. Could it refer to, you know, the broader aspect of just innocent life being taken? Possibly, but more specifically—

Doug: The principle is the same.

Jëan: Yeah, it's relating to the martyrs during that time period.

Doug: Thank you Cindy, hope that helps a little and maybe we have time for one more before our first sign off.

Jëan: All right, we got Darryll listening in Florida. Darryll, welcome to the program.

Darryl: Hey, Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan. So, we know that God and God only can forgive sin, but how do we reconcile when Jesus gave the disciples the authority to forgive sin in John chapter 20, verse 23? And then, once he gives them that authority, it was only-- was it only those disciples or was it from that point forward that Jesus, if you were a disciple of Jesus, you had the ability to forgive sin? And then the next idea that comes into my head, maybe this is why some certain priests think they have the ability to forgive people sins?

Doug: Yeah, let me quote this for our friends that are listening and this is in Matthew chapter-- I'm sorry, John chapter 20, verse 22. It says, "And when he said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven of them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" Now that has been quoted by the Catholic Church and probably others as proof that apostles and priests can forgive sins. But, I do believe that Christians can forgive. You know, keep in mind, Christ says when you bring your gift to the altar, if you have ought with your brother, go be reconciled to your brother. And in the Lord's prayer it says, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." So, there's a way for us to forgive each other’s offenses against us. In preaching the Gospel, we are passing on the forgiveness of God to others. In neglecting to preach the Gospel, they're not having that benefit so, in as much as apostles and believers share the Gospel of forgiveness, people receive forgiveness, and when we fail to do that, or neglect to do that they are--they are--they lose that benefit. I don't know, what are your thoughts?

Jëan: Yeah, absolutely. I think it also has a reference here to church authority or church leadership. Not that the church can forgive or not forgive, but if somebody is living in open violation and the church has spoken to them and they refuse to repent, and the church decides to remove them from membership, that is a serious thing. And Christ did give his church the ability to, in that case, protect the flock and also be faithful to the truth, to the Word.

Doug: Yeah, Matthew 18:18, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven," and that's in the context of the church forgiving. I hope that helps, listening friends. Now, I always like to explain just so people understand. "Bible Answers Live" is on hundreds of stations, on the Internet, we're on satellite radio, and we're on land-based stations. Because of the clocks, we sign off on satellite first. So, we'll say God bless and farewell to all those listening on satellite radio, but we're going to stay by and do rapid fire Bible questions in just a moment, so don't go anywhere, we are coming back.

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.

Jëan: Hello friends and welcome back to "Bible Answers Live." For those of you who are staying around for the next few minutes, we're going to answer some of the e-mail questions that you sent us. If you'd like to send us an e-mail question, our e-mail address is balquestions@amazingfacts.org. Pastor Doug, first question that we have, it's a tough one. It says, "How do you handle or how do I handle my 31 year old daughter who is now transitioning into a man?"

Doug: Well, you know, that's heartbreaking, and if you're asking for a Bible answer, I would say that, you know, we need to love people. Obviously, you don't love sin, and you certainly don't love where someone might be going through medical or chemical procedures to try to alter their gender because it's really a--it's an effort of futility. You cannot alter your gender. The genes of men and women are different all the way down to the very basic level, the chromosomes. And so they're finding out more and more people that are trying to transition are now trying to untransition, because they're not finding the fulfillment. I would say just be there to show unconditional love. While I know you don't approve of sin and what your values are, you want to support them as a human being, so you're there for them afterward, if they're looking for love and encouragement.

Jëan: Okay, very good. Here is a question Aunt Nancy is asking, she said, did God breathe the breath of life into all animals as well?

Doug: Yeah, that breath of life, that God, it's says, "God formed Adam from the elements of the earth, the clay, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Yes, that breath of life was not only given to man, but you read in Ecclesiastes that when any creature dies, the breath, it says the spirit returns to God who gave it, and the body returns to the earth. And so, the body decomposes and the breath of life returns to God. And that says to man and beast, in Ecclesiastes, they have the breath of life, obviously.

Jëan: Okay, another question, John is asking, are we to be afraid of evil spirits?

Doug: No. First of all, Jesus said, "Fear not, fear not, fear not, fear not." You know, I don't think we should dabble with or try to confront or communicate with evil spirits, but just know they're there. Good news is there's more good spirits than evil spirits, meaning there's more good angels than evil angels. And so, yeah, the Bible tells us, "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world," so we don't need to be afraid of the devil. Resist the devil, he'll flee from you, friends. God bless, we hope that you will return next week as we continue to study God's Word.

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