Don't Let Go

Lesson: 1
Intelligence to wisdom, wisdom to recognition, recognition to need, need to reliance, reliance to freedom… It all originates and turns back toward Christ. Join us now as we explain with the Bible’s guidance how to deal with stress and how the Lord sweetly encourages us. We’ll elaborate too on what it means to take up our cross and how no matter what, we mustn’t ever stop. Sometimes we feel like God ignores us, but don’t let go ! You’re not alone. Believe that Christ understands, because He does.

Determining the Will of God

Determining the Will of God
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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 answer 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 Jëan Ross.

Jëan Ross: Hello, friends. Let's see--Pastor Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug is out this evening, but how about an amazing fact? The octopus possesses many astounding abilities that leave scientists and nature enthusiasts in awe. One of its most incredible features is its remarkable intelligence. Octopuses exhibit problem-solving skills and have shown the ability to learn and remember tasks, even in complex environments. Their brains are proportionally large for their bodies, and are distributed throughout their arms, which gives them a degree of autonomy and allows for multitasking. Their cognitive ability enables them to employ sophisticated hunting techniques and even escape from enclosures, making them the escape artists of the sea. One remarkable example of an octopus's intelligence comes from an incident involving an octopus named "Inky" at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. In 2016, Inky made headlines around the world when he carried out an audacious escape from the aquarium. Inky found a small opening at the top of his tank and then waited until the aquarium was quiet and dark before making his getaway. Once outside his glass enclosure, Inky navigated his way to a drainpipe that led to the nearby ocean and then on to freedom, leaving just a trail of wet suction cup marks as evidence of his daring escape. Now, friends, just as Inky the octopus demonstrated remarkable skill in navigating his escape, so we are called to use our God-given abilities wisely and responsibly. Wisdom is a gift from God, and when we choose to pursue knowledge and understanding, we align ourselves with God's purposes for our lives. In the Bible, Proverbs chapter 8 verse 10, we read: "Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold;" and James tells us in James chapter 1 verse 5: "If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally without reproach, and it shall be given him."

Perhaps, friend, you're wondering what God's will is for your life. Maybe you're seeking heavenly wisdom to know what you need to do. Well, we have a free gift that we would like to make available, a book written by Pastor Doug entitled "Determining the Will of God." This is our free gift to anyone who would call and ask. The number to call for that is 800-835-6747, and ask for the book called "Determining the Will of God." We'll be happy to send it to you if in the US or in Canada. If you're outside of North America, you can also read it, though, by going to our website, just or .com and you'll be able to read it for free right there online at the Amazing Facts Media Library.

And of course, this is a live interactive Bible study, so if you have a Bible-related question, we'd love to hear from you this evening. The number to call here in the studio is 800-463-7297. That's 800-God-Says, 800-463-7297 if you have a question about the Bible or living a Christian life, this is a good time to pick up your phone and give us a call. Well, before we go to the phone lines, as we always do, we like to begin with a word of prayer. After all, the Bible is God's book, so we need the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that inspired the book to begin with, to guide us. So let's pray. Dear Father, we are so grateful for the time that we have to be able to open up your Word and study. Lord, as we always do, we ask your Spirit to be with us. Be with those who are listening, Lord, wherever they might be, and lead us into a clearer and a fuller understanding of your will of true wisdom found in your Word. For we ask this in Jesus's name, amen.

Once again, friends, we want to welcome you to "Bible Answers Live." If you're just tuning in, Pastor Doug is out of town today, but this is a live program. So the number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Our first caller that we have is Jerry listening in Texas. Jerry, welcome to the program. You're on the air.

Jerry: Hi, Pastor Ross. Thanks for taking my call. You're alone tonight. You got the this-- Anyway, my question tonight, Pastor Ross, is that how many miles was it from Israel to the promised land and how long was the journey supposed to take?

Jëan: Okay, well, good question. You know, it appears that from Jerusalem, and there's probably different routes, especially back in Bible times if you're thinking about the children of Israel and the way they journeyed, about 260-280 miles. I think it's 260 direct from Jerusalem to Cairo, if sort of a straight shot, and if a person walks an average about 20 miles a day, that would be almost two weeks, 13-14 days. But that's not taking into consideration what he's bringing with him, how fast he can walk, if there's a family traveling, if they're riding by donkey, what animals they have, how long they have to stop along the way. So, if one was in a hurry and you were fit and healthy and you had enough supplies, you could probably do it I would say, at least back in Bible times, probably in four weeks. Now, that's moving quickly. That's making sure everything's just right.

Jerry: How about things as building the sanctuary?

Jëan: How long did it take them to build a sanctuary?

Jerry: Yeah, because that took a little time from when they left Egypt. They had to go to Mount Sinai and build the sanctuary, and then go on to the promised land.

Jëan: Yes, yes, absolutely. So, for them directly from, for the children of Israel when they left Egypt and they made their way to the promised land, they were at Sinai for about a year before coming to the borders of the promised land, so almost two years of traveling brought them the first time to the land of Canaan, and then of course, you remember the story they rebelled against God and they ended up going back into the wilderness. Finally forty years later, they came back the second time.

Jerry: Thanks so much, Pastor Ross.

Jëan: All right, thanks for your call, Jerry. Our next caller that we have is Peyton listening in Virginia. Peyton, welcome to the program.

Peyton: Hey, Pastor Ross. Thanks so much for taking my call.

Jëan: Absolutely.

Peyton: My question actually revolves the series of events in Revelation, and I was just wondering if the Bible describes a formal judgment for the wicked before their attack on the New Jerusalem during the second resurrection?

Jëan: Yes, good question. Well, you're referring to a passage of scripture that will be found in Revelation chapter 20. Revelation 20 describes an angel coming down from heaven and he has a great chain in his hand and he lays hold of the serpent, the dragon, and binds him for a thousand years. Now, the dragon there, of course, is Satan. Satan's bound to the earth. The bottomless pit is another word just for this dark, desolate, broken down planet, and the devil is bound here for a thousand years. The righteous have all been taken to heaven, so at the second coming of Christ, the dead in Christ are resurrected. Those who are living are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and the righteous are taken to heaven for a thousand years. So the righteous are in heaven for a thousand years. The devil is on the earth. The devil and his angels. All the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of Christ coming. But at the end of the thousand years during Revelation chapter 21, it speaks about the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. All the redeemed will come in that glorious city with Christ, and according to Zechariah, the Old Testament book, it's at that point that Jesus sets his foot on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives opens up and forms a great valley and the New Jerusalem comes to rest. Then the wicked are all resurrected, and you can read about this in Revelation chapter 20 beginning at verse 7 on through 9. It says how that the--Satan went out and deceived the nations of the Earth and gathered them together--together, "whose number is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the Earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city."

Now the beloved city there is the New Jerusalem. So, you can kind of picture the scene in your mind. The redeemed are inside the golden city with Christ. The wicked are outside the New Jerusalem. They are gathering around the New Jerusalem, but then suddenly Revelation talks about the great white throne judgment, Revelation chapter 20. So as the wicked are about to mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem, suddenly their attention is grasped by this scene that they see, and that's the final judgment. It's the judgment of the wicked.

Now, we don't know how long that judgment is going to take place, but at the end of that judgment, Paul says every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. So even the devil himself, overwhelmed by the evidence, he eventually acknowledges that God is true, but no sooner does he say that, that he suddenly seems to realize what he's doing because then he goes around and he gathers the wicked together and they actually mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem. Now, this confession isn't a confession of--of sorrowful sin, but rather it's the acknowledgment of the evidence, almost like Judas, who said "I've betrayed innocent blood" when he betrayed Jesus. It's not a genuine conversion. So they mount their attack, the wicked mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem, and then we read in Malachi 4 verse 3, also in Revelation chapter 20, that fire comes down and devours them. The wicked are consumed by that fire. So there is a great white throne judgment for the wicked at the end of the thousand years before they mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem.

Peyton: Well.

Jëan: Did that help, Payton?

Peyton: Oh yes, sir. Thank you so much.

Jëan: Gave you a quick breakdown of Revelation 20. There's a lot in there. You know, friends, we do have a study guide that we'll be happy to send to anyone who wants to learn more about this one thousand years of peace, talking about this millennial period in Revelation 20. If you'd like to receive that, all you need to do is call and ask. The number is 800-835-6747, and you can ask for the study guide. It's called "1000 Years of Peace." That's 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide called "1000 Years of Peace." Next caller that we have is Brittany listening in California. Brittany, you're on Bible Answers Live.

Brittany: Hey, hey.

Jëan: You're on the air.

Brittany: Yeah, my--my question is how much does the--how is a Christian supposed to deal with all these trying times, especially since we're nearing the time of Christ's return?

Jëan: Okay, so how does a Christian deal with all of these things happening in the world. Are you meaning as far as staying at peace? Or is it a fearful thing when we see these things happening? What do you mean? Or how should we just respond to natural disasters and increasing crime and all the rest of it?

Brittany: As far as things like the things happening in the news, natural disasters, the hurricanes, the--the whole government issue, just all that wrapped into one basically.

Jëan: Yes, how are we to deal with it. Well, you know, first of all, we need not be afraid. Jesus says perfect love casts out fear. So, if our hearts are open to the love of God, if we are seeking first Him and His kingdom, we need not be afraid of the things that are happening to us or the world around us. He promises to be with us, and even if we ourselves have to go through trials, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, God promises to be with us and He promises to ultimately deliver us from these trials and difficulties. But when we see these things happening in the world, what are we to do? You know, the Bible says when you see these things happening, lift up your heads, for your salvation draws near. So on the one hand, we are sorrowful because we see suffering and we see pain, we see death, we see natural disasters, but on the other hand, we realize the Bible says these things must happen. God is allowing the devil to reveal his true colors, and God will bring an end to it, but as we see an increase in these natural disasters, let's remember that Jesus is coming soon. We need to lift up our heads, for our redemption, our salvation, is drawing near. So, don't allow the things happening in the world around you to cause you to lose faith or allow you to get discouraged. Keep seeking God. Make Him first. And ask for that peace that passes understanding, and the Lord will give it to you.

You know, we have a book and we'll be happy to send to anyone who calls and asks. It's "Finding Peace in a World of Worry." That's the name of the book, and I think this looks fairly just with your question, Brittany. Finding Peace in a World of Worry. To receive the book, just call 800-835-6747. It's 800-835-6747. And again, ask for the book. It's called "Finding Peace in a World of Worry." We'll be happy to send it to anyone in the US and Canada, and you will be blessed. Thank you for your call. We've got Gary listening in Illinois. Gary, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Gary: Thank you. In Genesis 1 verses 26 to 28, God gives people dominion over the earth. Is the implication that urge be good stewards, or just that they have control over the planet? My church wants Jesus to come again, but they don't take a concern about, you know, climate change. They say God is in control. So, what's the appropriate attitude to have? Are we to buy electric cars and put an effort into it, or just watch everything go into oblivion?

Jëan: Oh, good question. All right. So, based upon the verse, Genesis chapter 1 verse 26, for those of you who might be driving in your car and you don't have your Bibles handy, let me read it. It says, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the Earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the Earth.'" So, what does it mean that God gave dominion to Adam and his descendants? Well, first of all, the dominion referred to there is caretaking, nurturing, providing; and the work that Adam did in the Garden of Eden, he was a gardener, so he was taking care of God's creation. So, as a Christian I think first and foremost, we need to be responsible, at least to the degree that we can be for our environment. You don't want to litter. You want to be a good example to others. But on a broader scale, the Bible tells us that the Earth is waxing old like a garment, although the Earth has been inhabited now 6,000 years according to Bible timeline, and it's getting old. I mean, we just have an increase of population. There are more stresses upon providing for the masses. Yes, there are changes happening in our environment. And so, you know, on the big picture, we want to be responsible individually, but let's also recognize that the end is coming. God is going to have to create a new heaven and a new Earth. So, for the Christian, our real home is the earth made new. That's why Jesus said the meek shall inherit the Earth. But having said that, we still need to be responsible to whatever degree we can be, because the Bible tells us that God will destroy those who destroy the Earth. So, those who are reckless, those who don't take care, at least in their ability, the things that God has provided, there is a warning pronounced against them. So, there's a balance, Gary, between being responsible for what we can do, but ultimately recognizing that no matter what we do, no matter how many electric cars we have or no matter how, you know, organic we might be, or using solar powers, the real solution for the crisis our world is in is a new heaven and a new Earth, and that's something that God will create.

Gary: All right, thanks.

Jëan: All right, thanks for your call, Gary. Appreciate it. Next caller that we have: Junith listening in Nevada. Junith, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Junith: Hello, good evening Pastor Jëan.

Jëan; Hello!

Junith: Thanks for taking my call.

Jëan: Sure.

Junith: My question is in about the Jacob's ladder in Genesis 28, I believe down through 23. I would like to--to know your biblical perspective of this matter, because is this the ladder that is accessible for only guardian angels to access the--the throne of God?

Jëan: Yeah, well, of course, the ladder that you're referring to in Genesis chapter 28 is a symbol. It was a dream that God gave Jacob. Jacob was feeling cut-off from God. He felt like he sinned in lying to his father, and now he's fleeing for his life. He felt as though that had separated him from God, separated him from heaven. He was sorrowful. He was heavy-hearted, and with genuine repentance he lay down and God, in giving him encouragement, revealed this dream, and in the dream he saw the ladder and on the ladder ascending and descending were angels, meaning that heaven had not forsaken him. There was still a way in which he could communicate with heaven. God's grace was still available.

Now, Jacob understood the significance of that because you read afterwards when he awoke, he set the pillar up. It was actually a stone that he was using for a pillar. He set it up and he anointed that and that became a memorial that God had promised to be with him. But the significance of the ladder is really brought to view in John chapter 1 verse 51, and this is Jesus speaking, and he's speaking to Nathaniel and He says, "Most assuredly--" John 1:51 "Most assuredly, I say unto you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man."

So here Jesus is taking Nathaniel's mind back to the story about Jacob and the ladder, and in Christ's own words, He says the angels would be ascending and descending upon the son of man, meaning that the ladder represented Jesus. Jesus is the link between heaven and Earth. Christ came to give us life, to give us salvation. So, Jesus is the ladder. He was the ladder for Jacob. He's the ladder still for every true-hearted, sincere seeker of truth. The only way to the Father is through Christ. Does that help, Junith?

Junith: Thank you very much.

Jëan: All right, you're welcome. Thanks for your call.

Junith: Very well in life.

Jëan: Amen. All right. We got James listening in Michigan. James, welcome to the program.

James: Hi, Pastor Ross. If that's okay for me to call you that.

Jëan: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, no problem.

James: First time caller, pretty nervous.

Jëan: Oh, no problem. You're welcome.

James: Okay, my question is regarding Genesis 5:28 to 31. Lamech, the good Lamech, not the bad Lamech that we always hear about. The father of Noah, the son of Methusaleh, grandson of Enoch. It says that he lived 777 years and he died. Is there any significance to the 777 years? I know numbers are a big thing in the Bible. I know the number 7 is very important, the number 3 is very important. Here we got 7 mentioned three times in a row.

Jëan: Yeah, good question. Now of course, we're talking about the age of an individual, so there was a literal application there. I mean, he really did live 777 years and then he died. But, numbers in the Bible—

James: Right, right.

Jëan: --yeah, numbers are significant, as you say. Of course, the number 7 represents perfection or completion, and it's interesting that during his life, Noah came, and it's during the life of Noah that the world before the flood was cleansed by water. Judgment came, and a new beginning occurred. So, the number 7 represents perfection. It's often the number associated with God. The number 3 in the Bible is interesting. You've got the 3 represents the Godhead: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The number 6 in the Bible is often associated with man, and the reason for that is because man was created on the sixth day of the week, and then of course, you have the counterfeit of the trinity in Revelation when you have the number 666, which is the mark of the beast. It's man trying to usurp the place of God. It's the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. Those are the--the counterfeit trinity. So, yeah, there is significance to the number 7, specifically here in this situation. You know, I think it's just stating historical fact that it just so happened that he lived 777 years, but you could look at other examples, especially in the prophetic books of the Bible when numbers--and Revelation in particular--where numbers have special significance.

James: It's also interesting, Methusaleh died at the year of the flood, but Lamech died five years before then, so I found that kind of interesting too, and I go, is it significant that he died when he was 777 instead of like a year longer, but I might just be reading too much into this like you said. This was just, you're going through the genealogies and just 777 struck out to me.

Jëan: It is an interesting number. Yep, it is an interesting number. Specifically for him, though, in this context I think first and foremost, the meaning would be historic. It would just be a simple stating of the fact. Is there a broader application to the flood coming and a new beginning? Possibly, but I don't think that's why the Bible specifically mentions that time period of 777.

James: Yeah, we don't think of Methusaleh lived 969 years. We don't think anything special about that number.

Jëan: Exactly. Yep, exactly.

James: Adam lived 930 years; we don't think anything about that number. I'm reading this and 777 just jumped out at me, so—

Jëan: Yeah. Well, it's a good observation. The number 7 is significant.

James: Okay. Thank you, Pastor.

Jëan: Thanks, James. Appreciate your call. Next caller that we have is Sherrie listening in Missouri. Is it Sherrie? Welcome to the program.

Sherrie: Shalom, Pastor. How are you doing?

Jëan: Doing well, thank you. And yourself?

Sherrie: I'm grateful to get to ask my question. Could you please tell me what it means in the Bible when it says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit"?

Jëan: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven--absolutely. I'm glad you asked. You know, I've actually been studying for my own personal devotions. I've done something a little different this year. I've, um, I've decided to read and study all of the words of Jesus. So, I start in Matthew and I look for the red letters, those verses in red, and I'm just reading and studying all the words of Jesus. Not long ago, I actually studied the Beattitudes. You find them here in Matthew chapter 5, and Jesus begins by saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." To be poor in spirit is to recognize your spiritual poverty, to recognize that you have need. If a person gets to the point where they realize that they are spiritually poor and they need a Savior, they need help from God, Jesus says theirs is the kingdom of heaven. That's the kind of people that will make it into the kingdom of heaven. But those who are proud, those who are spiritually--who think they are spiritually doing well, that they don't need the help of the Holy spirit, they like the Laodicean group that says, "We are rich, increased with goods, and we have need of nothing," but Jesus said you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. So, to be poor in spirit is to recognize our spiritual poverty and to come to Jesus.

The next Beatitude is "Blessed are those who mourn." So not only are we to see our spiritual poverty, but there is a sorrow for that, and we realize we need help. And then it says, "Blessed are those who mourn; they'll be comforted." If we come to Jesus, we have our sins forgiven. If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That's 1 John 1:9. And then we are comforted, and then it goes on to talk about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and then it talks about being merciful, being pure in heart, being a peacemaker. So, it's really the steps that we find here in the Beatitudes. All the steps that have to be taken to draw closer to God. But the first begins with being poor in spirit, recognizing our spiritual poverty. Sherrie: Thank you. Thank you very kindly. Jëan: All right, you're welcome. Thanks for calling. Next caller that we have is Lee listening in Texas. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Yes, Pastor, thank you for taking my call today.

Jëan: Yes.

Lee: Yes, my question is, I've been reading the Bible and I came across a kind of strange scripture.

Jëan: Yes.

Lee: Is self-sacrifice an instant entry into heaven? Because in the scripture, it says "Love has no great--no man has loved greater than this, than someone willing to lay down his life for his friends." That's self-sacrifice.

Jëan: That is. That is the ultimate demonstration of self-sacrifice. Now, specifically here, when it says that, it's a--a reference to Christ who provides salvation by laying down His life as the sacrifice. But, self-sacrifice is manifesting the Spirit of Christ. It's a spirit of kindness and a willingness to, even at personal loss, serve others and help others. And of course, to be a true Christian does require a certain degree of self-sacrifice, because the Bible tells us in Matthew chapter 16 verse 24, it's the words of Jesus. He said, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." So there is. If we want to be a true follower of Christ, it requires denial of self. In other words, we need to recognize that by nature, we are selfish, and we need the Holy Spirit to put the love of God in our hearts. Christ is our great example. And when we look at the life of Jesus, he lived to serve. He lived to minister to others. And we have to pray and say, "Lord, give me that same spirit of self-sacrifice that You had, that we can be a blessing and a help to others around us." So yes, self-sacrifice is required. Now, it's not just one act of self-sacrifice. It's living a life of self-sacrifice. It's a lot easier to have a moment of self-sacrifice and do something great to help another or even save another, but are we willing to live a life of self-sacrifice? That requires a lot more work, because that's a day-by-day experience, and that's where we need the grace of God every day. So, we are called daily. Jesus says daily take up his cross and follow me, and that needs to be our work. And we can only do that by asking for God's help. It is by His grace that we can live a victorious Christian life. Well, thank you for calling, Lee.

Friends, we don't have time to take another call, because we're coming up on our mid-program break, and the best is yet to come, as Pastor Doug says. We will continue our study of God's Word in just a few moments. If you have a Bible question, give us a call. We'll be back in just a few moments.

Announcer: Stay tuned. "Bible Answers Live" will return shortly.

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Doug Batchelor: Every year, forth thousand 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.

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 host for more "Bible Answers Live."

Jëan: Hello friends, and welcome back to "Bible Answers Live." This is Pastor Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug is out this evening, but this is a live interactive international Bible study, so if you have a Bible question, our phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That's 800-463-7297. If you don't get through right away, stay online. Somebody will answer and we'll queue you up for the next caller available. Well, we're going to go to Australia. Joan is listening in Australia. Joan, welcome to the program.

Joan: Hi, how are you? Can you hear me?

Jëan: We can, yes, loud and clear.

Joan: Thank you for taking my call. In the Bible, Old Testament, I know King David jumped and twirled half-naked when dancing for, um, our Heavenly Father. I think it was after a victory. And my question is, how do I make understanding when you're being made to acknowledge and respect the representation or representations of cultures and tribal dancing inside the church?

Jëan: Okay. Well, good question. Of course, we live in a world where there are different cultures and different traditions and history, and as a Christian, what are we to do if, you know, there is an activity or a tradition that might run contrary to what we believe as a Christian? Well, first and foremost, we need to recognize our citizenship is in heaven, and we're seeking after a heavenly culture, not an earthly culture. Having said that, though, we want to show respect to individuals, to people, whatever their background, and we want to do what we can that's in harmony with the principles of the Bible to recognize that; to recognize the history and the culture. But having said that, let's make our priority first and foremost God. You know, a lot of the cultures, a lot of the tribal cultures, when it came to worship and dancing was a big part of their worship ceremony and their--their tribal traditions, they weren't worshipping the true God. Often they were worshipping pagan deities, sometimes ancestors, and so I think we as a Christian need to be careful in participating in those type of ritual dances that clearly is connected to a history that is not Christian.

So, you know, it's kind of a fine line, Joan. You have to pray for wisdom on how exactly to navigate it, but, you know, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they stood up when everyone else bowed down, and there were those who just simply bowed to the golden image because it was culturally accepted that you bowed down to images. But they worshipped the true God and they wouldn't compromise their faith. And so, we need to pray for wisdom that we can honor God first and foremost, and yet also respect other groups and other cultures around us. So thanks for your call, Joan. We have Christopher listening in California. Christopher, thank you for the, for your call. You're on the program.

Christopher: Okay, hello. Good evening, Pastor Ross.

Jëan: Yes, good evening.

Christopher: So, I had this wound for eight years trying to understand God's word, and I have been praying to God to give me wisdom and understanding and knowledge, but He doesn't help me understand the Word, and due to this, I've been failing him, falling--I keep falling into sin, and I say to myself, why am I still with God if I keep falling into sin and failing him. I don't want to be a hypocrite, so I'm--my question to you is what should I do, because I'm tired of being a hypocrite and I'm being a false testimony to the world. I'm not reflecting God's light. And, I'm just close of literally just departing from God and going back to the world.

Jëan: Well, you know what, first of all, I appreciate you calling, and you--just your honesty, Christopher. You know, your experience is not unique. I think everyone who's wanted to live a victorious Christian life, they've stumbled time and time again, and it's easy to get discouraged and you begin to wonder, well, Lord, where are you, you know, when I really need you? The Bible says first and foremost that a righteous man falls seven times, and yet he comes back. The Bible says if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Sanctification is a work that God wants to do in us, but here's the key, and this is the point I want to make: It's God that drives sin from our hearts. We can't do it of ourselves. We are fallen. We have a fallen, sinful nature. It's only a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, but we have a part to plan, and this is key. When Jesus came to the temple in Jerusalem, they were buying and selling, and it was just a chaotic place. It was the presence of Jesus that drove out the money changers and created the temple into a place of worship. So it is the Spirit of God in our minds and in our hearts that will drive out sin from our lives.

How do we get the Spirit of God in our minds? Here's the key: we need to fill our thoughts with Jesus, with spiritual things. If we're spending ninety-five percent of our day filling our mind with the things of this Earth and five percent of our thoughts with Jesus, we're never going to gain the victory. But if we're spending more and more time thinking about spiritual things, thinking about Jesus, not just in the morning but throughout the day, and as we fill our minds with spiritual things, with thoughts concerning Christ that enables God to do something in us that we cannot do for ourself, and that is the key to living a victorious Christian life. It's the surrender of self, and even if you don't feel like it, start thinking about spiritual things. Start reading the Bible and trying to understand what it says, and just by doing that, you're allowing God to do a work within you.

So Christopher, don't give up. I mean, every sincere believer has struggled with this. Even the apostle Paul says, "The things that I don't want to do, those are the things I do, oh wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" And he says, "But Christ can." We need to continue every day and submit. So, I just want to encourage you, all right? Don't ever give up. But for anyone that's listening, no matter what trials or what sins you're struggling with, Christ is able to give us the victory if we fill our minds with spiritual truths with His Word. The Bible says it's by His promises that we gain the victory. So Christopher, hang in there. Keep studying, keep reading, trusting in God, surrendering to him, and He'll do a work for you that only He can do. We've got Ellen listening in North Carolina. Ellen, welcome to the program.

Ellen: Thank you so much, Pastor Ross. My question is about the fight that started everything between Michael, Jesus, and--Michael the archangel, Jesus, and Lucifer in heaven when he was cast out of heaven and a third of the angels with him. Question is, was that before God created Adam and Eve?

Jëan: Yes.

Ellen: Or did he show up after Adam and Eve were already on the Earth. Thank you so much, Pastor.

Jëan: Yeah, good question. All right, so the war that took place that you read about in Revelation chapter 12 verse 7, it says: "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought..." So we have Michael, which is the prophetic name of Jesus, and His angels, fighting against the dragon who is Satan, and Satan was able to deceive a third of the angels to join his rebellion. Well, this war in heaven took place before Adam and Eve were created, before the Earth. There's the war in heaven, and then the devil and his angels are cast out of heaven. That's verse 8. It says, "They did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer." Verse 9: "So the great dragon was cast out, that a serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the Earth, and his angels were cast out with him." So, the war in heaven, the devil is cast out of heaven. At that time he's sort of looking for a place he can establish as his kingdom. Right around that time, we don't know how long after the war, but right around in that time, God goes back to His work of creating, and he creates the Earth. And the devil sees this brand new planet that God has just created with Adam and Eve, and he thinks, "Well, here's my opportunity." So that's where he came in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve, Eve gave of the fruit to Adam, Adam and Eve fell, and you know the story that came about. So, the war in heaven occurred before the creation. We don't know how long, maybe not very long. But then Satan came. But once Adam and Eve sinned, then the devil claimed the earth as his. And so, He refers--Jesus referred to the devil as the prince of this Earth. So, Satan claimed it as his. Thank you, Ellen. Does that help? All right, I think Ellen's off. Rebecca in Michigan. Rebecca, welcome to the program.

Rebecca: Hello, Pastor Ross.

Jëan: Hi. Welcome.

Rebecca: It's nice to hear from you. I have a question.

Jëan: Yeah, and your question.

Rebecca: Question: Isaiah 43 verses 1 to 2.

Jëan: Okay.

Rebecca: I forgot the—

Jëan: You want to read this? Yeah, let me read it for those who are listening. It says, "But now, thus saith the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.'" So what was your question on those verses?

Rebecca: I know that there's--why do we go through all the suffering, trials, tribulation, and testing that we go through-- Why?

Jëan: Okay, why does God allow suffering to happen to us. Well, you know, if the Christian was immediately delivered from all suffering the moment he called out to Christ, there would probably be a lot of people that would be claiming to be Christians for the wrong reason. They're just simply in it for what they can get out of it. But to be a true Christian is to recognize God's love and to make a commitment and say, "Lord, I'm willing to serve you even if I have to go through the fire," as it says, "or through the flood. I will trust in you." Just like Jesus said, "Not my will, thy will be done." So, there is a refining process. There is a purifying of our faith. When we go through trials and difficulties, ultimately God promises He will deliver us from all of these things because He's going to make a new heaven and a new earth. And of course, the righteous, the redeemed, will be in heaven with Jesus when He comes the second time, and on the Earth made new. But until then, yes, even though we go through trials and difficulties, the promise that we have in these verses is that He will be with us. He will go through those trials with us. So, it's not always easy being a Christian, but by trusting in the Lord, not only is our faith being refined, but we are being a testimony to others. People look at our lives, they look at the trials you might be going through and say, "While, she is still trusting in Jesus despite these things that are happening to her." Meaning that her faith is real, and you are a powerful testimony. You know, the time the Christian church grew the quickest was when it was facing persecution and people looked at the faith of the martyrs and said, "There is a faith. These people are living for something meaningful." And so trials, even though it's difficult to go through, they can ultimately be not only for our benefit in the long run, but it can be a positive witness on others. Does that help, Rebecca?

Rebecca: Yes it does, thank you.

Jëan: Not that it's easy, but God promises to be with us. You know, specifically here, it's interesting. Isaiah in Isaiah 43 verse 2, he talks about when you go through the fire, you shall not be burned. Isaiah lived about a hundred and--about a hundred years before Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Daniel and his three friends, they knew. They read the writings of Isaiah, and you wonder if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing on the plane of Dura, when Nebuchadnezzar commanded that everyone had to bow down and worship the golden image, otherwise they'd be thrown in the fiery furnace, I wonder if they thought of this verse, "When you go through the fire, I'll be there. You will not be burned." And of course, God was with them in the fire. He delivered them. But they still faced trials. They were taken from their home. They lost their family. They were prisoners. Some bad things happened to them, and yet they still remained faithful and loyal to God. And they were a testimony of their faith. Thanks for your call, Rebecca. We've got David listening in Texas. David, welcome to the program.

David: Hi.

Jëan: Hi, David. How old are you?

David: Six and a half.

Jëan: Six! All right, well I'm glad you called, David. What's your question?

David: Did Jesus just live forever, or did he, or did Mary make him in his womb from God's power?

Jëan: Oh, good question. All right, so, was Jesus--did He live before He came to Mary or was born of Mary? The answer is yes, Jesus was always there. He was actually involved in the creation of the Earth. Jesus was the one that helped leading the Old Testament, and in the stories that we read, Jesus was there. And the amazing thing about the birth of Jesus is that Jesus came down from heaven and miraculously by the Spirit of God, He became a little baby in Mary's womb, and He was born. And He had to learn just like we have to learn, like when we're a little child or a baby, so Jesus had to grow and He had to learn, and yet he was still the Creator. He was still the Son of God. Even when He was a little baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger, He was still the Creator God. So, it's a great mystery the Bible speaks of. But no, the same Jesus that was born of Mary was also the Creator, the Jesus in the Old Testament. Good question, David. We've got Henry listening in New York. Henry, welcome to the program.

Henry: Yes, good afternoon-- My question is, when the resurrection day comes for Christ to raise the dead, will we, the same clothes that we're buried in, when we come out of the grave, will we still have those same clothes on?

Jëan: Okay, good question. The answer is no, we won't. We will have glorified bodies and we'll have special clothes that go along with that glorified body, and the way we know that is the Bible tells us that when Christ rose from the dead, His glorified body will be the same type of glorified body that the redeemed receive in the resurrection, and when Jesus rose from the dead, it talks about how the disciples ran to the tomb and they looked in and they saw the clothes that Christ had been wrapped in after His death. It was still there in the tomb. So, Jesus was clothed with a robe of glory and light, and that will be the garments that the redeemed will wear in the resurrection. No need for cotton fabrics or polyester, but we've got a glorious robe of light and glory that Christ will give the redeemed on that resurrection morning. Thanks for your call, Henry. We've got, let's see, is it Duane? Duane. They missed the--all right, Duane, welcome. Sorry.

Duane: That's perfectly fine, Pastor Ross.

Jëan: I always get nervous looking at these names and I'm saying, are they missing a letter there, or is that just the way it is. So, all right, Duane. Welcome.

Duane: Thank you, sir. I appreciate your ministry and I certainly thank you for taking my call. What exactly does this mean when it says a Sabbath's day's journey? Is that a certain distance, or, I don't know what they mean when they say, "Sabbath day's journey."

Jëan: Yes, now, when it says a Sabbath day's journey, you don't find anything specifically in the Bible that says, you know, you can only walk this far on the Sabbath. That was a tradition that the religious leaders had made, and at the time of Christ, the religious leaders had--they placed even more importance on their traditions than the actual Word of God, but they'd come up with a certain distance that was permissible for a person to walk on the Sabbath. That distance is about two miles. That would have been a Sabbath day's journey. Now, you know, Jesus didn't follow that tradition, not that we know of. The religious leaders were upset with Him because He didn't follow their traditions. You don't find it mentioned anywhere in the Bible that there is a limited amount of distance that a person can walk on the Sabbath. But it's about two miles would be a Sabbath day's journey according to the religious leaders back in Bible times.

Duane: Okay, sir. Thank you for taking my question.

Jëan: All right, great question. Thank you. Next caller that we have is Jeremiah listening in Michigan. Jeremiah, welcome to the program.

Jeremiah: Thank you, Mr. Ross, I appreciate you taking my call.

Jëan: You're welcome. Thanks for calling.

Jeremiah: So, my question is out of Joshua chapter 6 where the Lord commands Joshua to have the children of Israel walk around the City of Jericho, it appears seven consecutive days. And it just, taken at face value, appears that in doing so, they would have broken the Sabbath. It doesn't say what day they started, what day they stopped, but it says the seventh day that they journeyed, they walked around actually seven times, which, we don't know what day they started and stopped. Just wondered if you had any thoughts on that and if there was any rational reason.

Jëan: You know, first of all, I don't think the actual attack occurred on the Sabbath day. Like you said, they could have started on a Tuesday. Could have started on a Wednesday. But they didn't have to start on a Sunday. And the reason we think that they started some other time, on the Sabbath they definitely marched around the city, but it was just once. It was a solemn march. It was an act of worship in that they were worshipping God, believing that He was going to give them the victory. But we don't believe the battle occurred necessarily on the Sabbath, and the reason being is you read in Matthew where Jesus is talking about the time of trouble that's going to come upon Jerusalem, and specifically he's talking to the Christians and He says, "Pray that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day. Well, it's a little hard to keep the Sabbath holy and have a reverent time of worship when you're fleeing for your life. Well, it was not God's will that these people were to do battle on the Sabbath either. Now, maybe if they were attacked, yes, they could defend themselves, but God initiating this, it's not likely that the seventh day there that they marched around and the city fell on the seventh day of the week, meaning it was the Sabbath. It could have been any other day.

Jeremiah: Okay, so you feel that even by marching around it once, that they weren't really profaning the Sabbath day.

Jëan: No, they weren't. Now remember, of course, the Bible doesn't say anything about a limited amount of distance that you can walk on the Sabbath, but this was specifically given to them by God. They were marching. It was a solemn march; there was just the sound of the trumpets. Everyone was to be quiet. They were marching around the city, and they were doing so as an exercise of faith, trusting that God is going to bring deliverance to them, which He did. So there--there was nothing wrong with that. They were following specifically what God had commanded.

Jeremiah: Okay. Well, thank you so much.

Jëan: All right, thanks for your call. Good question. We've got Adrian listening in Kentucky. Adrian, welcome to the program.

Adrian: Hey, Pastor Ross, thank you so much for taking my call. Jëan: You're welcome. And your question?

Adrian: Yeah, sorry. It's from--it's based on Hebrews 6, 4 through 6.

Jëan: Yeah, let me read it for those who might be driving. It says, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come...if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to open shame." So what was your question on that?

Adrian: Yeah, I'd like to know, because me, you know, just being a little personal on this, but, you know, I came--became a Seventh-day Adventist about ten years ago, and I went through a really rough patch and basically became a prodigal, and this kind of--this scripture kind of throws me off a little bit because, you know, I'm--you know, I've repented and came back to God, and it just, you know, it just almost seems like it's saying, like look, you know, you're sacrificing him again, you know, so can you just shed a little light on this for me?

Jëan: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, is there any Christian out there who can say honestly that, you know, once they came to Christ they never fell back into a former sin. I don't think there's anybody out there. Every Christian has stumbled and fallen, and we've had to go many a time to Christ and ask for forgiveness, and God's grace is there. If we confess, he's faithful and just to forgive. When it talks about those who were once enlightened and they tasted the heavenly gift and so on, and then it says if they turn away, become partakers of the Spirit, but if they turn away, they fall away, the phrase there in the falling away isn't just slipping back it's one's sin, but it's purposely, deliberately turning your back on God, cutting yourself off from God where you have blocked your mind from the promptings of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for that person to be reconverted because the Bible says it is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance. So it somebody has hardened their heart to the point where they don't care, they don't want the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit can't reach them any longer, they have committed what we call the unpardonable sin. It's impossible for them to come back because it's God spirit that leads you to repentance. But if somebody has fallen away and the Holy Spirit has spoken to them and they've responded to that--to that Spirit and they've asked forgiveness, they have not committed the unpardonable sin. The very fact that they have returned means that the Holy Spirit is still getting through to them. Somebody who has committed the unpardonable sin, they have no interest in returning to God. They've given--you know, they have no interest in spiritual things. They've pretty much given themselves to the world and the ways of the world. So, you know, that's talking about a unpardonable sin or the falling away. That's what it's referring to. Not an occasional falling back into sin. Does that make sense, Adrian?

Adrian: Yes, yes it does, Pastor. Thank you so much for that.

Jëan: All right, thanks for your call. We've got Glen listening in Ohio. Glen, welcome to the program.

Glen: Good evening, Pastor Ross. Thank you very much for taking my call.

Jëan: Yeah, thanks for calling.

Glen: You know, there's a lot of talk, a lot of talk about temples. The temple in heaven, the church is the temple. The third temple, will it be on the mount of won't it be? And in my studies I ran across a very interesting scripture that I can't find an answer to. It's Zachariah the 8th chapter verse number 9. What temple is God talking about right there?

Jëan: Yeah, let me read it: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts," this is Zachariah 89 verse 9, "'let your hands be strong, you have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke in the day the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord of Hosts that the temple might be built.'" Now, what specific temple are you referring to there?

Glen: Yes, sir.

Jëan: Okay. Well, there's a historical application, and then there's also the--the spiritual application. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians around 605 BC and they went back and began to rebuild the temple, they laid the corner foundation and at the building of the temple, there were those who looked at the building and said, "This is so inferior to what had been built during the time of Solomon." But the promise was that the glory of the second house would be greater than the glory of the first temple because Christ was going to come, and Christ did come to that second temple that was built. But then Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it up again." And that's really the Messianic application that this verse is talking about. The temple that Christ built, not only is it referring to his resurrection, but it's talking about the New Testament church or the spiritual temple which is the body of believers. That is the temple that Christ has built. And he laid the chief cornerstone. He is the cornerstone, and we these living stones, as Paul says. Put together to form this--this temple, this place of worship. The Bible says, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?" And so, there's a number of temples that we read about, but here in Zachariah, it's really looking forward to the Messianic--if you read the whole context, it's talking about the Messianic promise. Christ is coming, he's going to build a temple that will last forever, and that's a reference to His church. Does that help, Glen?

Glen: Okay, thank you very much for your call.

Jëan: All right, thanks. Absolutely. Thank you for calling. Well, let me see, maybe time for one more caller. We've got Joyce in Florida. Joyce, we have about a minute. What's your question?

Joyce: Yes, praise the Lord, thank you for taking my call. I'm confused about the millennium. The question is, just when will the millennium occur?

Jëan: Okay, let me jump in here because we're going to run out of time. The millennium begins with the second coming of Christ. So when Jesus comes the second time, the dead in Christ are resurrected, the righteous will change in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the dead are--the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of Christ's coming, the righteous are taken to heaven, and that's the start of the one thousand year period in Revelation 20, also knows as the millennium. Now, at the end of the one thousand years, the New Jerusalem comes down, Revelation chapter 21 verse 1 and 2, and the wicked are resurrected for the great white throne judgment, and then they mount their attack upon the New Jerusalem and fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them. That's Revelation chapter 20. So, take a look at our study guide called A Thousand Years of Peace," and it will give you a lot more information about the millennium.

Friends, we're signing off to those who are on satellite radio, but the rest of you stand by for some Bible questions.

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

Jëan: Hello, friends, and welcome back. This is "Bible Answers Live," And for those of you who stayed around, we have about two minutes or so and we're going to try to answer some of your email questions that you've sent to "Amazing Facts." So if you'd like to send us a Bible question, you can just email at That's We've got emails coming from not only North America, but literally around the world, and so, let me try and answer a few of them. The first one is Wesley's asking, "Is eternal security true or false?" Well, it depends whether you understand by eternal security. The Bible says if we are trusting in Jesus day by day, placing our faith in him, we have no fear, for God will not allow anyone to pluck us from His hand. We're safe. But if we're thinking that eternal security is the result of me maybe saying a little prayer and then for the rest of my life I can live for the world and still think that I'm going to make it to heaven, well, we're going to be unfortunately surprised the wrong way, because to have a saving relationship with Jesus, it's a day by day experience. The apostle Paul says, "I die daily." So, we can have eternal security if we're trusting in Jesus day by day.

All right, next question that we have from Ghana. Nana from Ghana is asking, " When someone had a previous knowledge of the Bible and falls away, is the effort to come back harder?" And the answer is yes, it can be. Once we've lost that peace and that joy that we had in fellowshipping with God, we've turned away but the Holy Spirit's convicting us and we want to come back, it's not always that easy to receive that peace again. Sometimes there needs to be sincere prayer, and we need to prayerfully study and read and seek and long and ask and beg for that peace, that joy, that spirit to come back again, so we don't want to lose that presence of Jesus. It's not always easy to get back. But if the Holy Spirit is convicting us, that means there is hope; we can come back. We can have that peace.

Finally, we've got Lance asking, "In heaven, will there be nighttime?" Well, the Bible says that in the New Jerusalem there is no need of the sun because the glory of God provides the light in the New Jerusalem, but not only are we going to be in the New Jerusalem, but the Bible says in Isaiah that we're actually going to build our own houses outside of the city and inhabit them. Then it says from one month to another and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh is going to gather in the New Jerusalem and worship before God. So even though the glory of God provides light in the city, there will still be the rotating of the Earth. We'll still have day and we'll still have night, and we'll have weeks and we'll even have months.

Friends, thank you for joining us at "Bible Answers Live." Hopefully, you've been blessed. Until next week, may God be with you.

Announcer: Bible Answers Live, honest and accurate answers to your Bible questions.

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